Pailhead (5062) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - FEB 24, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: The aroma is heavy on vanilla (extract-like) along with bourbon, coconut, chocolate, and a hint of oak. It pours a dark brown with no transparency and a one finger beige head with okay retention. The flavor starts with chocolate and light coconut. The finish has moderate bourbon along with light-moderate vanilla (nothing close to the intensity in the nose), light mint, and light oak. The oak really seems to linger in the aftertaste. Medium bodied with mild carbonation and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I think the bourbon is kind of dominant here, but it doesnít come across as hot and it is pretty tasty. I would never guess 12%.
ddemmingjr (720) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - FEB 23, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Blanc Burger. Pours an opaque, reddish cola with minimal head. Bourbon. vanilla, malts, subtle cedar notes on the nose. Rich sweet notes of vanilla, molasses, prunes, flat cola through the flavor. Solid balance and depth. A big beer that requires a commitment for sure.
Strykzone (5065) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - FEB 22, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz. bottle with wax. Dark with red. A two toned dark tan head that is one finger and noisy. Lots of vanilla in the nose along with whiskey. Feel is substantial. Flavor is lactic with lesser vanilla than is smelled. Charred wood, dark chocolate, and coffee notes. The alcohol is very well hidden. This is really nice.
beernbourbon (1326) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - FEB 20, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at itap. Pour is dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is lightly roasted malt, light vanilla, and smooth but notable bourbon. Flavor is also a very well balanced melange of sweet, roasty porter and smooth silky bourbon. Both are very present but neither takes over. Very well balanced and very good. My goodness, this drinks like 6%. So well balanced.
dwaggs2 (1297) - Jefferson City, Missouri, USA - FEB 20, 2011
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wax tip bottle. Poured a dark black color with a two finger tan head. Aroma was dominated by bourbon and chocolate. Flavor was coffee, nuts, bourbon, and vanilla. Bourbon didnít overpower, like some aged beers do. Smoother. Oak and vanilla. Thick and oily mouth feel. A great beer.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 19, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2011 12oz bottle from either wholefoods or a pickup at vas.... pours a semi-deep stoutish pour with a minimal flimsy light beige head... bourbony forward barrel aged aroma with coconut and vanilla undertones. smooth and silky all around. nice barrel notes... flavors are much more barrel prominent lacking in subtleties, abrasive on the respite with big bourbon notes with a pretty harsh astringency mid-palate and lingering on through the backend. a fair bit of sour heat exists more towards the finish. not completely smooth but one of a better offering from arcadia of all sources. thinned out mouthfeel with an adequate carbonation level.
flatmatt (1157) - Northville, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2011 12 oz bottle. Pours black with a light tan head. Aroma has lots of bourbon and oak in it, over a chocolate and vanilla base. Flavor leads with strong chocolate, vanilla, and cherry notes, with bourbon also definitely making its presence felt. This is an impressively well-balanced use of barrel aging here, with the bourbon barrel and the base beer both singing clearly in the final product. Well done!
milewide (1579) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - FEB 15, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thin black color with medium body. Aroma and taste were almost all bourbon, with a touch of sweetness. Little roasted malt characteristics. Alcohol isnít noticeable.
drfabulous (4175) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - FEB 13, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 ounce from HyVee. Thatís a lot of bourbon. The bourbon is very intense and prominent, which is not a bad thing at all. The porter really fades, though. I like the bourbon, but Iím questioning some complexity here. You get some vanilla, but the bourbon dominates. Still, itís tasty.
RyanMM (411) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - FEB 12, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow, what a change. Previous batches of this were 7% alcohol and certainly werenít aged for almost 2 years, let alone in 22 year old barrels. This probably wonít even resemble the previous beer.
The bottle let out a little hiss when I cracked its seal. The beer poured deep dark, nearly black, opaque, with a fairly full, dark mocha head. Maintains a thin fuzz of suds with moderate lacing. The nose is sweet, malty, bourbon heaven, not overpoweringly so but with little else going on. What I can say is that thereís almost no alcohol vapor on the nose, itís bourbony but not scorching. That bodes well.
Wow. Iím kind of floored by how easy this goes down. The body is on the medium side, lively carbonation but not too much so, sweet up front and with some mild resiny hop bittering and heat on the finish. The palate isnít as dominated by bourbon as the nose, and it offers up chocolate, coffee, some milkiness, a hint of dark sour fruit, plus delicious bourbon.
This is a whole new beer, which makes me wonder why they used the same name. Itís definitely a porter, albeit a potent one. Iíd love to know what the ABV on the base beer was before it spent 2 years in the barrels, but suffice to say the end result is fantastic.
Itís a bit pricey, and isnít quite apples to apples with a beer like Bourbon County Stout, but I think this one is worth it. Definitely looking forward to laying some down and drinking them in the coming years.