GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
No better way to celebrate review #500 than to break out the barrel-aged version of one of my favorite beers ever. Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity! 2007 bottle #316 of 447.
Pours black but not completely opaque as hints of mahogany show through the edges. The head is one-finger tall, very bubbly and remains a swirl of small bubbles and a ring for the duration, leaving traces of lacing.
The aroma is exceptional. The bourbon is present up front but is supported by dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and a whiff of coffee (not nearly as dominant as in the regular version). The barrel presence is evident with a bit of vanilla. All of these things seem to come together into one cohesive aroma.
The taste has the sweetness of the chocolate and some dark fruits up front before the dark malts and roasted coffee step up in the middle. The finish is big on vanilla and bourbon and leaves an alcohol warming as it goes down.
The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied for the style with less carbonation than I remember in the regular version.
This is a fantastic beer though I dont think it quite measures up to the regular version to me. Either way, its not to be missed. Thanks again to Derek for his (continued) generosity!
bb (8557) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 29, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. 2007 Vintage #46/447. Blackish beer with a nice tan head. Bourbon, rich malt, vanilla, and light coffee aroma. Bourbon, malt, vanilla, light fruity flavor with of course, coffee. Medium-plus bodied. Bourbon lingers with vanilla, rich malt, and light coffee. Lighter bodied than expected. Bourbon components are strong, but they complement more than in the BAON I’d had.
BrewDad (5328) - Olympia, Washington, USA - DEC 28, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Taster – 2008 Great Salt Lake Festivus – Beer Session – One of the best beers I have ever had. This was a huge Impy Stout with so many flavors. It was a beer to be drank slowly and savored. Did I also mention it was a limited brew number 98/228 (2004) in this series. Loved the coffee, chocolate and barrel flavors this beer is one for the books.
kegbear (436) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 24, 2008
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle 2007. As smooth as a babys ass and the aroma is so much better. The taste is of dark fruit, coffee, vanilla and sweet chocolate. Complex and wonderful.
douglas88 (8457) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 24, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2010 A 750 ml bottle, 2004 edition bottle number 98/228. A huge thanks go out to Eric for this, it was the gem of his awesome party. It was a festivus for the rest of us. Pours a dark brown color with a very thick light beige colored head. A awesome aroma of sweet fruits, chocolates, some coffee and just loads of milky sweet chocolate and mocha. The taste was excellent, sweet and milky chocolate and coffee, dark fruits, maybe some fudge. So very, very smooth and almost silky. Not aggressive, but excellent. The aging has done wonders to this, no alcohol noticed at all really. What a rarity and a wonder. One of my favorite beers ever. Re-rate: Eric shared a 2010 growler of this. It was hot, nasty and super aggressive. Pure goodness. Not the complex beer it was with four years on it, but still super good. A great brew.
Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 24, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2010 Bottle at Holiday Alesmith tasting. Bottle was of the most recent batch. Almost no carbonation. Stains the glass. Flavor is sweet. Molasses and vanilla. Raisin and fig. No bitterness anywhere. Really good. Rerate after multiple samples and pours fresh from tap and from the growler. Taste and aroma are everything you could want from a barrel aged stout. Coffee and cocoa and vanilla and molasses and creaminess and a hint of bitterness. Fat and smooth and rich. Up from 4.3 to 4.5
BrianK (200) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - DEC 20, 2008
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2007 vintage. I found this one to be quite enjoyable. Great aroma which I enjoyed more than anything else. Really well attenuated. I feel like the barrel definately took the edge off the base beer. Im pleasantly surprised as I really didnt care for the other BA Alesmiths or the regular speedway. Did I say killer aroma?
dchmela (3013) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 1, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Thanks to Beerlando for breaking this out at the opening of the new Redlight!! 2006 bottle, number 183 of 235. Black oily pour with a thin white head and coats the glass with a thick oily film. Amazing aroma of vanilla, tobacco, roasted grains, molasses and it just keeps going on. This is a seriously complex beverage. Taste is big roasted grain, vanilla, oily smooth sweet malt and a slight hint of citrus orange. Absolutely beautiful with a strong hint of tobacco in the finish. Incredibly complex and smooth, i loved it.
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - NOV 17, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a bit thin for the ABV, or maybe I am used to a little underattenuation for the style, but an imposing black color with no head.
Aroma is deep candied fig, coffee, port.
Taste follows suit with more coffee, some alcohol.
Very, very nice.
AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 16, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a very dark brown in color. There’s a short lived frothy ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Very subdued bourbon in the nose. Good to see that the bourbon is not dominating. Still some good roasty coffee notes coming through.
There’s much more coffee coming through in the taste. So much in fact that it’s dominating the bourbon barrel aging effects. I expected just the opposite. Also was a bit thinner in the mouthfeel than I was expecting. Ends up being a bit more balanced than I was expecting. Not earth moving, but then again, don’t know if this had a chance to live up to the hype.