riversideAK (5560) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - SEP 12, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sweet toffee and dark malts in the nose, some green apple, and boozey whiskey barrel notes. Auburn pour with a thin ring of foam. The flavor is very boozy and woody, lots of whiskey, underlying malt sweetness. Long lingering dry woody finish. Too sweet for me, and very boozy, almost overwhelmingly. Sounded like a good idea, but ended up extremely underwhelming.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Iím not a big Jack Daniels fan; as a Tennessee whiskey it is alright, but itís not great. Now, when it comes to a beer being aged in a Jack Daniels barrelÖwell that is a different story all together, and that is exactly what Coney Island has done with their Human Blockhead. A doppelbock in nature, I am highly intrigued to see how the barrel will change her composure. Am I looking forward to sweet, woody, oaky notes tinged with whiskey? Am I looking for liquid fire and brimstone that screams undiluted whiskey? Or is my Human Blockhead going to be a brand new beast all together? Iím not sure, but I am about to find out.
A hand bottled growler, my Jack Daniels Barrel-Aged Human Blockhead from Coney Island pours a clear burnished mahogany with a small head, but that is excusable this time around: hand-bottled growler. What he lacks in a lacy head he more than makes up for with an amazingly massive nose of surprisingly quirky depths. What I was expecting was most certainly not what I got, and in this instance, that is a very good thing. Any time a brewer ages a beer in a barrel they run the chance of having some Brett influence in their beer; Brett is characterized by sour acidic vinous notes along with dry, earthen barnyard esters and funk. Definitely more of an acquired taste, but once you have caught the Brett bug, there is no going back, and this Human Blockhead has a huge case of Brett. Tart and vinous, dry wood tannins are influenced by black grapes, black plums, black raisins, and a powerful hit of alcohol in the back of his nose. I attribute the alcohol slap-in-the-face to the Jack Daniel barrels, because there certainly isnít any other whisky character anywhere to be found. Furthering his dry, vinous, and tart assault is red licorice, grape and plum skins, and prune juice concentrate. Wow. Brett bugs have certainly gone to town on this beer. My first quaff is light and refreshing, a further attribute to his blossoming palate of pinpoint acidity. Dark raisins lead into plums and grapes with skins intact, stones included. While his acidity hits the front of my palate, the back is all dry wood and charred oak barrel tannins. A wisp of characteristic Jack Daniel smokiness and dark spices flit through my breath, but they are a fragile being and flicker on the edge of extinction. Slow warmth creeps through my chest and puts a rosy glow on my cheeks which matches the sparkle in my eyes. While the Jack Danielís Barrel Aged Human Blockhead is nowhere near being a whisky whisper much less a whisky bomb, I love my Brett and it has worked beauteous wonders of nature on this beer which has culminated in quaffing perfection. If I didnít know better, I would say he had been aged in a wine barrel. A touch more dryness brings a bit more whisky spice and tannins from the background, but as my tongue continues to tingle in tart, vinous dark fruit delights, I finish my glass with a satisfactory flourish.
Oft times, the best surprises are the ones that we werenít expecting. The Jack Danielís Barrel-Aged Human Blockhead did very little to resemble a doppelbock aged in whisky barrels. That being said, I would have this beer no other way. It was invigoratingly delicious and seemed to almost laugh and tingle and tease and giggle with each playful quaff. During moments like these, I canít ask for anything else from a beer that is at peak performance.
scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - JUN 14, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tart raspberry in the nose, rich wood too. Dark ruby. Initially hot, wood and red fruit comes out later, very smooth.
hopscotch (8529) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 16, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUL 24, 2012 Growler... Lightly hazy caramel-colored beer. No head. The malty, vinous nose is a blend of caramel, red wine, wood and vanilla. Medium to full-bodied with gentle carbonation. The flavor is of sweet caramel, vinous red wine, and just a kiss of acidity. Earthy, caramelly, moderately bitter finish. If the commercial description didnít mention a Buffalo Trace barrel, I would have assumed Merlot or Cabernet.
GodOfThunder (1244) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at Redlight Redlight. Aroma is funky and fruity, cherries, oak and a little bourbon. Flavors follow. Pretty damn good.
redlight (2303) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2009
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
draft @ redlight redlight. Oak tanins on the nose, vanilla, wood, caramel aromas. Pours a reddish amber. Wood and vanilla, with loads of caramel malts in the flavor. You definitely pick up notes of the whiskey. There is just a small hint of tartness, nothing like the oaked messiah bold but there is a hint of it. Very solid!
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, New York, USA - APR 18, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tap at Blind Tiger. Aroma has a little twang to it. A little wood, oak, vanilla, toffee, bourbon and earth. Taste is also a hint of tartness with odd funk presence. Wood and alocohol with some sour vanilla and light bourbon.
tgncc (2663) - Bellmore, New York, USA - APR 16, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Blind Tiger, Barrel aged. This is only very slightly more boozy than the original, strangely enough. Excellent doppleock. The aroma is malts, fruit, slight whiskey, very nice, true to the Double Bock style. The appearance is gorgeous; a deep red/purple, almost brown, tan head. The flavor follows the aroma, but is slightly less pleasing. The flavor is malty, fruity, strong whiskey/boozy flavor. The finish is piney hops, and warming from the booze. Piney hops are evinced as well. Very nicely crafted dopplebock.
PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - APR 16, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Tap at Blind Tiger: Hazy amber pour with a tan thin ring. Sweet yet rounded aroma- some dark caramel, lots of maltose, raisiny with a light bourbon sweetness and spicy oak/ethanol note. Surprisingly less assertive bourbon presence than I anticipated. Big bodied but not cloying. Spicy and woody flavor- not as boozy as I had anticipated. Light buttery oak, peppery oak/alcohol, some plasticy phenolics. Big and lacking subtlety, but gentle.