juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft at CCB for the BB Big Sound release party. Pours a completely opaque, pitch black color topped by a small, foamy kahki colored head. Sticky sheets of lacing are left behind. The aroma is big on dark chocolate and toasted caramel malts to go with a hefty dose of earthy, roasty bitterness. The spicy cedar and licorice notes are subdued as compared to the regular version. The bourbon and oaky vanilla from the barrel sweeten things up a bit. The flavor follows with the chocolate and caramel malt sweetness balanced nicely by the dark, earthy roastiness and hops. The bourbon and vanilla seem to blend there way in nicely adding good depthy and complexity. The bourbon doesnít overpower at all, which is good, but leaves a nice warming feeling so you know itís there. Full bodied and smooth and very easy to drink considering how big a beer it is. It finishes with some roasty bourbon and touch of spicy cedar. This is another fantastic stout as the barrel was really integrated well with the base beer.
markwise (4175) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2009
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2012 Rating #1000!!! Draft at CCB BB Big Sound Release. Excellent beer. This beer is the poster child for barrel aging. Emerges from the tap obsidian black with a dark tan head, depending on the bartenderís pour. It looks like a beer with a Vendetta. Nose is dark chocolate, burnt malt, lots of earth, roast, and where the bitterness resided in regular IRIS now resides subtle and assertive, but not overpowering bourbon, vanilla, and sweetness. This beer still has a thick mouthfeel, with roast and bourbon arguing over who gets the first shot. These are closely followed by dark chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, barrel, and roast. Finish lingers with bourbony/ vanilla-y goodness. Absoutely awesome BB Beer, but then again, look at my avatar...
cmillward (497) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 6, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft @ CCB BA Big Sound release party. Pitch black, thick, with a lasting brown head. On the nose bourbon, wood, roasty, dark chocolate, licorice. In flavor more bourbon, chocolate, roasty, fairly hot, some hop bitterness and wood, vanilla. Lush mouthfeel, drying booze, on the low-to-medium carbonation, a bit slick. The cedar isnít as discernible as in the base version, I guess since it has the bourbon barrel to compete with. Very good.
GT2 (7693) - Carlsbad, California, USA - AUG 3, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 30, 2010 Tap at CCB. Pours opaque used motoroil black with a thin but menacingly dark brown head. Big aroma of vanilla extract, cedar, licorice, anise, tobacco, and some strange whiffs of nail polish or lacquer thinner. Taste is dark chocolate, cocoa, vanilla ice cream, tiramisu, burnt sugar, oak, and a little roastiness. Oily on the palate. Great finish without too much booze or cardboardy bitterness. 8/3/2009 7/5/8/4/16=4.0
750mL courtesy of sebletitje. Pours still an outstanding inky black with a scary red mocha head. Aroma is Danish imperial stout: soy sauce, burnt tobacco, some burnt rubber, and then some HUGE green olives and pimento. Taste is spicy cedar, lemon tart (which I find in the normal 110K #2 anyways), and loads of olives. A little gross. I would give it probably a 3.5 at this stage. Not holding up too well. 8/26/2010 6/5/7/4/14=3.5
Ibrew2or3 (6436) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - AUG 2, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at CCB BA Big Sound release party. The pour is super dark with frumpy brown head and a short lived stain of darkness up the sides of the drinking vessel. Initially, while still plenty cold, the beer emitted bourbon and oak a-plenty. The taste begins oaky and bourbon and then quickly becomes velvety dark chocolate yum mixing with highly roasted malts that approach but donít succeed getting to burnt. By midway the oak notes move to the forefront and the bourbon resurfaces and mixes in with the base beer notes creating a delicious balance. It ends with smooth decadent chocolate and a lingering roasty to chocolate sensation deep into the after taste or after the tasting even. As it warms the aroma opens up and adds some nice complexity with chocolate and dark roastiness joining the ever present oak and bourbon. Thereís plenty of booze barrel notes to make the fortified beer booze lovers happy and leaves plenty of room for the delicious base beer to shine through.
djtimeless (221) - Colorado, USA - AUG 2, 2009
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ CCB tasting. Pours out black with brown head. Smells roasty and boozey. Taste is chocolate, coffee, cedar and bourbon. Some sweetness to balance the hoppy bitterness. Rich and smooth. A very good stout.
daknole (8327) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 1, 2009
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at CCB! Black pour, brown head. Aroma is beautiful. The Mt Ranier hops shine well as does a lot of chocolate, brown sugar, cedar, bourbon and some pepper notes. Beerlando is right in his review, the peppery notes are much less noticeable in this brew and the bourbon adds a bit of mellowness to the beer. Smooth and a great mouthfeel leads to flavors of chocolate, charred wood, bourbon, cedar and light bitterness. Damn fine.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at the Bourbon Barrel Big Sound release party. Pours an opaque, pitch black color that doesnít let a bit of light through. A small, foamy, dark brown head leaves viscous sheeting and wet spots of lace on the glass. The aroma shows big, malty, dark chocolate syrup notes up front, along with loads of burnt caramel and a hefty roast component. The peppery cedar element that shines in the non-barreled version is subdued a bit here, as the oaky bourbon seems to envelop it. The flavor is again massively roasty and chocolaty, malty sweetness and powerful, earthen roast and hops countering each other beautifully. Coffee seems more prominent, clashing just a bit with the woody bourbon presence. Like the nose, the taste shows just a bit of faded, peppery cedar. The body is big and smooth, a little warm in its bourbony youth, but otherwise satisfying. Finishes roasty and peppery. Another great stout, though Iíd give the slight nod to the regular version.
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at CCB. By far my favorite pour of the night. A black beer with a dark brown, creamy head. Seriously stains the glass and creates huge sheets of lace. Lots of roasted notes and chocolate in the aroma with subtle bourbon and vanilla notes. Full bodied, creamy, velvety mouthfeel. Up front the flavor is hard roasted malt and chocolate with a very noticeable but smooth bourbon element, lots of wood in the back end. Mild bitterness in the finish. A truly amazing beer.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at CCB BA Scotch Ale Release party. Pours a pitch black muddy black color with a nice tannish-yellow velvety and creamy head that settles slowly. Aroma is lightly roasted and malty with notes of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel and some earthy notes. Flavor is roasted and bourbony with notes of coffee, toffee, cocoa, tobacco, molasses, ripe dark fruit, some hints of anise. Generally full body with a pleasing roasted, hoppy finish. I didnt think that IRIS could be any better, but this barrel aged version is outstanding.