Bamaboy1975 (242) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - APR 6, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
We crack the cage and yank the stubborn cork for a brew of the darkest cola brown. The coloring lets a bit of light around the edges, but shows no real haze to the clarity. It holds a one finger head of soft, creamy light brown bubbles. This leaves spots and wisps of lacing as it recedes at a medium pace. Carbonation appears active. The aroma is hot with boozy bourbon from the start, but warmth gives way to the hearty malt background of toffees, caramels, and roasted chocolate. The oak in and of itself is warming, adding depth, along with strawberry licorice, black cherry syrupiness, white sugar chalkiness, lactic tartness, and cooling vanilla cake batter. Our first impression is that the flavoring is very sweet, but with an initial puckering bitterness of oak and booziness. As we sip, fusel booze, tootsie roll sugars, charred chocolate malts, toffee sweetness, and soured oak start things off. The peak comes with more heavy booze, thick and musky woody dryness, and syrupy sugars of dark cherry. The finish is very drying, with an even more enhanced punch to the barreling that really overpowers the deep roasty maltiness, and makes way for the bright sweetness of cherry and apple fruitiness, and cooked caramel sugars. The final notes to leave the palate are black pepper spice of booze, mild but genuine bourbon flavoring, cola syrups, light diacetyls, and echoes of that dark fruitiness. The aftertaste flames of bourbon, chalky chocolate malts, juicy yeast, raw fig, massively dry woodiness, raw coffee malts, and thorough metallics. The body is full, and the carbonation is solidly medium. There is nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with great softness on the front of the sip. The mouth is initially coated through the swallow, but dries to a bone almost instantly thereafter, with fiery prickle and coolness as the residual alcohol evaporates off. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips rather easily.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the feel of it. The big sugariness gave stickiness around the mouth, while the fullness of body helped give nice pop and glug on the sip. This all coupled with soft creaminess, helping them to execute a highly desirable mouthfeel. The other components, however, were disappointing. The aroma felt cheap and overly sweet, while the flavoring was lopsided with sugars of its own, and all the drying characteristics of wood without much of its inherent warmth of flavoring. This is a decent effort, but without a solid base beer it is hard to build complexity.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
dmac (4631) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - APR 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml cork and caged bottle. Poured a good looking deep dark blackish full foamy deep beige head. Aroma is very nice, vanilla, chocolate pudding, bourbon barrel, earthy, marshmellow. Palate starts off a bit thin but with warmth it bolsters up a bit, average to stronger carbonation, a bit of a dry slightly hot finish. Flavor comes off with some burnt toast and light bourbon to start followed by vanilla and marshmellow along with earth and saw dust. Good beer just wish the body was a bit thicker.
skoll (420) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - APR 3, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black body with a nice tan head. Pleaant aroma, bourbon, sweet dark malt. Flavour is bourbon forward, a bit boozy, sweet dark core, light bitterness, lingering bourbony vanilla character. Very smooth medium to full bodied palate. Pretty nice, pretty big, Faint hintsof bourbon that does not over power like other barrel aged beers
BeerZack (288) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - APR 2, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a not-so-thick black thatís brown around the edges. A fizzy khaki colored head dies down quickly to a thin covering. Smells of sweet fruits initially remind me more of wine barrel than bourbon influence. Spicy, somewhat phenolic notes underneath remind me of cinnamon red hots, black cherry soda, faux leather, a bit of new shoes and some garden center (fertilizer). The flavor is equally odd. Bland sugary flavors hint at dark fruit, but never really differentiates. I do get some of the charred bourbon barrel flavor on the finish. The thin appearance on the pour also translates in the mouthfeel, coming off thin and fizzy, almost soda-like.
MadRobin (2343) - Silver Spring, USA - APR 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap 4 oz. pour at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC.
Opaque, brown-black with a small khaki head and good lacing.
Aroma of molasses, bourbon, roasted malt and dark fruit.
Taste of dark fruit, roasted malt, bourbon and molasses.
Medium/full body and medium/low carbonation.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
keanex (1629) - Atco, New Jersey, USA - MAR 28, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Best before June 2014.
Appearance: Opaque black body with a thin tan/brown head. Looks like an imperial stout should.
Aroma: The aroma is a bit restrained but comes off fruity (cherries?) with hints of milk chocolate and bourbon. I wish this were stronger.
Taste: There is certainly a fruity presence to this that reminds me of cherries on the intro. The mid-taste is rather bland, slight creamer flavor with a hint of the overlying fruitiness that leads to a mellow finish with muted flavors of chocolate and bourbon. While this isnít excellent, I wish the flavors were more pronounced, I am rather happy with how balanced this is and lacking in alcohol flavors despite being 10% and aged in bourbon barrels. So thatís a plus.
Palate: Thick and creamy.
Overall: I love the subtlety of this and maybe itís what I needed without knowing. Iím so used to intense barrel aged beers either heavily skewed towards the barrel notes or the base beer that I have a hard time adjusting to this. I really like this beer and feel it is well worth anyoneís time and money to buy one.
AdamChandler (3527) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 23, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 30, 2014 Batch 14 at cellar temp in a tulip. Poured mocha black with a 2 finger coffee colored head. Okay lacing. Smell is dominated by chocolate followed by espresso beans and vanilla. Itís a nice roasted character. yeah, lots of chocolate, hints of lactose and sweet bitter finish. No fruits, a lot of oak actually in the middle. Solid brew.
Update, had batch 15 of this on August 30th, 2014. this batch was pretty much infected. tasted like welchís grape juice and red wine vinegar.
budznsudz (581) - Audubon, New Jersey, USA - MAR 23, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark with a lasting creamy tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, and bourbon. Taste has notes of coconut, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Nice soft mouth feel that coats the tongue and finishes short and crisp.
maekchu (2687) - Hirakata, JAPAN - MAR 21, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber. some chocolate, a bit of coconut, and plenty of whiskey in the nose. Dark translucent brown. Chocolate and barrel initial / some metal and more chocolate in mid / final is moderately bitter. Thin-medium body. An imperial stout? Okay. But a bit thin. Lots of good coffee and whiskey. Not a great one.
KyotoLefty (7452) - Kyoto, JAPAN - MAR 20, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Cloudy black with lace. Nose of bourbon barrel, vanilla, alcohol. Big bourbon and vanilla flavors, oak, chocolate. Nice, not really refined.