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RATINGS: 253   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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This is a Belgian-style strong ale but with an American fusion twist dreamt up by Epic. Using authentic Belgian-style yeast, this is a malt-driven beer with Maris Otter malt as a base and a hint of Pilsner malt. For the first twist we use smoked cherry wood malt that works itís magic, bringing a smoky sweetness to the caramel malts and a bit of peat flavor as well. This ale then really marries together when it hits the cask. The entire batch aging in the whiskey barrels nicely dries out the perceived sweetness of the caramel malt leaving an almost scotch like taste, with smoke, bourbon, hints of vanilla, wood, aged fruit from the Belgian yeast and some peat. A very, very special extremely flavorful strong ale made for sharing.

Release #1 - 8.0% ABV
Release #2 - 8.8% ABV
Release #3 - 10.5% ABV
Release #4,5 - 9.9% ABV
Release #6,7 - 10.5% ABV
Release #8 - 9.5% ABV
Release #9,10 - 9.0% ABV
Release #11 - 12.5% ABV
Release #12 - 10.7% ABV
Release #13,14 - 10.5% ABV
Release #15,16 - 10.4% ABV

milewide's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
milewide (1515) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 17, 2013
Release #12, 12% ABV. Enjoyable, but oak overwhelmed any smoke or Belgium yeast contributions. Red amber color with medium head and solid body.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tmoreau (2441) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - SEP 18, 2014
Shared bomber poured to snifters, displaying a murky, amber color, with a modest layer of off white, bubbly head foam, and spotty lacing. A hint of cinnamon was noticed at the bottle top, as the glass content offered esters as fig & apricot, with sweetness, and some wood as oak, but no real smokiness. The taste was similar, with hefty malt & sweetness, some tannic tartness, and noticeable alcohol presence. Medium+ bodied, and quite tasty.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stumpyiliz (215) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 17, 2014
Mahogany pour with lingering beige head. Great lacing on the glass as I get through it. Slight cherry flavor dominated by bourbon heat. Nose is BBQ smoke with cherry and bourbon. Overall quite good

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hockey9930 (95) - - AUG 28, 2014
Cloudy auburn with thin tan head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, and smoke. Smokey whiskey taste with sweet medium malt. A bit too alcoholic and sweet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
iowaherkeye (2691) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - AUG 27, 2014
Release #17 (10.6%ABV), purchased for $11.99 well over a year ago from Olive Tree Market in OB. 22oz bomber, brewed Nov 3rd 2012, bottled Jan 19th 2013. Clear medium amber with a small off-white head, fair retention. Has kinda the same perceived sweetness as my cherrywood smoked German hefe I did some time back. The fruitiness of the yeast with that cherrywood smoked malt just gets too much for me.Actually, this reminds me of that beer a lot, though mine was smokier. Full body with low carbonation. Scant bitterness. Definitely showing some of its age with some oxidation--itís only a year and a half old! Alcohol is masked well with the mild to moderate barrel influence. I thought itíd be more barrel-y, to be honest. Not bad, gets a little cloying....much like my beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
monk191 (936) - California, USA - AUG 23, 2014
A great Belgian style. Quite malty. Pours a beautiful deep amber with a thick white head. Smells of oak, port, a bit of smokiness and alcohol. Taste is malty upfront, with a bit of smokiness and some brandy, and a boozy finish. Has on tap at the brewery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
UncleKorm (823) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - AUG 18, 2014
On tap, poured a deep copper hue w/ large creamy beige head fully diminishing. Huge sweet boozy aromas. Initial flavor is bold sweet w/ a light bitter finish. Tastes are Belgian sugar, brandy, cherries, cask, light smoke, and candied fruitcake. Full bodied and warm finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
IndianaRed (2490) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 8, 2014
On Tap at BitterCreek Ale House, Boise. Amber/orange with a small but persistant tan head that maintains a thick ring around the edge of the glass, even after it had receded. Malty ripe pitted fruit. Rich malty flavors, some weizen bock notes and lots of residual sugars. Some plastic and bandaid and a pretty significant ABV burn at the end. Boozy, sweet and malty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ABUSEDGOAT (2402) - California, USA - AUG 5, 2014
Brownish orange colored, cloudy, moderate head, good lace/retention. Aroma is vanilla, smoke, caramel, chocolate, alcohol, wood, spice, fairly fruity. Medium to full body, kind of like a poor manís Black Tuesday.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
pdx77 (1375) - Oregon, USA - JUL 26, 2014
On draught during the 4th Annual Fire & Brimstone Festival at Hop & Vine. Listed at 11.4% ABV. Clear dark ruby amber color. Aroma is oak, prune, toffee, and a touch of smoke. Taste is prune, molasses, milk chocolate, oak, toffee, and that same touch of smoke. A good Belgian strong dark that is more oaked than smoked, but the oak is a nice addition.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
drjay44 (2647) - Salida, Colorado, USA - JUL 4, 2014
651 ml. bottle.Release #29. 11.4% ABV. DEN # 1516. Pours a medium, tiny bubbled, poorly retained, ivory head, over a very slightly hazy, reddish amber (SRM 18) body.....nose is light smoke, sweet dried fruits including plum raisin, minimal spice, no hop notes, balance to the malts....taste is sweet, with plum, raisin, treacle, dried cherry notes, very light smoke, minimal wood notes, whiskey, slight herbal bitterness on the finish, minimal esters.......mouth feel, body light of medium, sticky, alcohol warmth present,carbonation adds tingle. This particular release is sweet, with the result that the malt backbone stands out more, than the smoke, barrel, yeast and hop. The result is a beer whose delightfully complex components do not have the ability to all shine equally. Allow this to reach a cool cellar temperature to fully appreciate. BJCP 7/3/15/4/7

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