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RATINGS: 259   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   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 it’s 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 (1593) - 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maverick34 (2392) - New York, USA - DEC 5, 2014
Booze honey pouring a sticky brown amber. White lacing head. Vanilla, cherries brandy oak. Yeast. Really good

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sammy (9036) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 15, 2014
A lot of smoke, thick yeast. True to form on what is promised,and drinkable but not very drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mar (4966) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 7, 2014
Deep amber with a light cream head. Nose is light smoke, rich malts, florals, toffee and caramel. Thick palate, toffee, alcohol, smoke, florals, great finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - OCT 22, 2014
THOUGHTS: Smokey and oaky. It went down easy in spite of all the wood and smoke. I hardly recognized it as a Belgian style beer with all the wood and smoke. Not too much to say about this one, but I really liked it. It would pair well with S’mores. TECHNICAL: Drank 4/20/2013. Bottle. Poured a cloudy, light to medium brown with amber highlights or a very dark brownish amber. It also had a small, off-white head that mostly diminished. The aroma had moderate caramel; light citrus hops; moderate spicy yeast; apple; wood; oak; smoke; alcohol; fireplace; marshmallow; campfire; and fruitiness. The initial flavor was moderately sweet and lightly bitter; while the finish was heavily sweet and moderately bitter with a fairly long duration. There was caramel, oak, wood, smoke, spicy yeast, vanilla, licorice, bourbon, smoked meat, marshmallow and hints of bacon. The medium body was a little syrupy and then dry with tingly carbonation and a slightly alcoholic finish. Bonus points for being better than the sum of its parts.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
maltman53 (399) - Corrales, New Mexico, USA - OCT 17, 2014
Bottle, in tulip. Smoky caramel sweetness on the nose and the palate. Caramel, bourbon, honey nougat candy, dark fruits on the body and through to the finish w/ just a touch of peat. Overall, outstanding!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (4659) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - OCT 15, 2014
At the Epic tap room, GABF week 2014. Sweet and sugary. Cherry and scotch, at least to my perception. Dry oak, some vanilla, and a sweet finish. Great palate, full of flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tmoreau (2621) - 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 (216) - 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 (122) - - 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 (2697) - 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--it’s only a year and a half old! Alcohol is masked well with the mild to moderate barrel influence. I thought it’d be more barrel-y, to be honest. Not bad, gets a little cloying....much like my beer.

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