ineedbeer (1859) - Oakland, California, USA - AUG 12, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is fairly well balanced between dark malt, fruit and barrels. Malt is fairly toasty with some chocolate notes to it. Nice vinous fruit quality with berries and tart cherries. Medium light oak and bourbon notes.
Pours a very dark brown, pretty much black with a mocha head of moderate size and thickness. The head quickly recedes to the edges where it lingers.
Flavor is noticeably fruitier than the aroma and the malt note is more chocolatey than roasty. Starts with a slightly sweet but tart berry note with hints of cherries and plums. Moderate chocolate with light roast. Medium low bitterness with no hop flavor. Medium low bourbon and oak note. Moderate alcohol in finish with lingering berries and chocolate.
Mouthfeel is medium full to full bodied with medium low carbonation. Low tannic astringency with medium alcohol warmth. This definitely has some higher alcohols to it.
Overall a nice flavorful beer, but it is definitely a winter warmer and leaves you feeling flush. I think they did a great job balancing all the flavors from the fruit, malt and barrels. One thing I might note is that I donít get much yeast character, but Iím not sure how much I was expecting.
wedgie9 (2639) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tasted on 8/1/13 from a capped 750mL bottle obtained in a trade quite a while ago, this one has been in the cellar for a while. Pours an extremely dark, cloudy brown with an average light brown head that slowly recedes to an average collar of lace. The nose is dominated by vanilla, caramel, and toffee bourbon, with dark molasses, burnt brown sugar, some dark roast, and a nice fruity note. The flavor starts off with all of the dark roast up front, moving to the much more pronounced fruity flavor, and finishing with more of the bourbon and dark malt. The body is full with average, smooth carbonation, and a very long fruity and full of dark roast and bourbon finish.
Advocate_Ames (581) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A defined bourbon scent, carmel malts, oak, and slight fruit scent. It has an even better taste. The bourbon blends well with the fruit flavor. I picked up on the sweet malts, berries, plums, and bourbon. The Nor Easter impacts the palate but leaves a pleasant refreshing and relaxing smooth finish.
Hair6a11 (1481) - Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch 5 Bottle; Pour is dark brown with ruby highlights into this glass - a modest khaki head initial, with average to poor retention and light lacing present. The nose is light bourbon barrel, berries, dark fruit, caramel, cocoa, and bread. The flavor profile is berry dominant initial, surprising actually. It does balance out a bit with dark malts, bread, bourbon notes, albeit lighter - the mouthfeel is smoother than expected for the style, and the abv is masked fairly well here. It loses something near the finish - but its a nice brew.
ngeunit1 (1555) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 10, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A - Pours a dark black with just a hint of brown and a finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.
S - Aroma is a mix of roasted caramel and chocolate malts, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, berries, dark fruit, a touch of spices, and some booze.
T - Starts off with some caramel and chocolate malts with some vanilla, dark fruit, and berries. Through the middle, the oak and Bourbon come through alongside some more berries and dark fruit and a touch of spices. The finish is a mix of sweet dark fruits and berries, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, caramel malts, a bit of spices, and some booze.
M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.
D - Very drinkable. The bourbon adds some nice complexity around a bit malty base beer.
michaelinwa (656) - Bothell, Washington, USA - SEP 1, 2012
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Trade with Bobertkuekn. Black pour, thick, moderately high head, very nice lacing. Aroma is very light, and very reminiscent of a sour ale. Flavor is lightly sour, not sweet, relatively uncomplex, slightly vinous. Light mouthfeel, but not thin. The alcohol is completely hidden. Very hard to pin this beer down because it really is different from anything Iíve had. Essentially it comes off as a light sour ale, with some subtle notes of wine and oak. Find very little if any bourbon in this. Rating is somewhat low, but I could see warming up to this over time. An interesting brew.
AdamChandler (4540) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 22, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 Vintage. Enjoyed in a wine glass at near fridge temperature.
A - No head at all. Murky plum brown with nice alcohol legs on the swirl.
S - Raisins, figs, brown sugar and other very sweet dark fruits. Maybe dried figs is more close to what this smells like. Small maltiness but not a lot of bourbon as I would expect.
T - Very malty up front. Sort of thick in the malt taste with the middle being the start of a box full of raisins. But thereís this acetic funky lacto sort of taste in the center. Itís unsuprising and not what I was expecting. Finish is oaky, hints of bourbon and some vanilla with a sweet departure of tastes.
M - 15% carbonation on the mouth swish, medium body and funky sweet solidly sippable drinkable finish.
O - This is a great beer. Enjoyable. Solid. Wishing there was a bit more carbonation.
fletchfighters (1410) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 19, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
-- Poured a clear, nearly opaque dark brown. One finger to half finger of light brown head. Good head retention and good lacing associated with this as drinking. Lots of spotty lacing.
S-- Did not expect tartness to this at all. Quite odd. Little bit of a sour/ tart smell to this. A bit like a sweet tart. Elderberry evident off the bat and in the back of the nose get touches of bourbon. Grape and bubble gum in the nose as well.
T-- More sour and tartness. Grape, bubblegum, oak, bits of bourbon in the back but very soft. Thought a La Chouffe but a sour version of it. Interesting.
M-- Light and bubbly, has a very clean, crisp and dry finish to this. Medium feel and medium carbonation. Pretty easy to drink really. Once got over the tart smell and taste a pretty easy beer to drink. Alcohol well hidden.
O-- Not what I expected but good. Well hidden 12% beer. Rich and full but light. Am guessing the triple fermentation to that. Touches of grape and bourbon make this quite interesting to me.
peteinSD (1462) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 14, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch 4 bottle from Josh - thanks! Pours extremely dark brown (nearly black) with a dark tan head that fades out to a slick. Aroma is sour fruit of some type up front with the bourbon and sweet malt, including raisin and perhaps some spice, toward the finish. Taste is an interesting combination of sour (but not infected) fruit with heavier malt, spices, and a clean, but slightly biting bourbon character into the finish. Mouthfeel is light and clean. Nice beer.
b3shine (8191) - Indiana, USA - JUL 12, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle to oversized snifter (shared with the wife; 2011 vintage). Looks good; dark with low carbonation and thin lacing (visible after swirling). Smells good too; wood and elderberries with sour notes. Tastes like it smells with bourbon present.