maximum12 (24) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 24, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Another in the series of one of my favorite barrel-aged bunches. What better way to clear out the Town Hall goodness than one of the pyramids of BA madness? Bottle #2978, split with the wife. Heh. Pours typical big black bad; more head than most Christians, uh, what? Nose on this is spot-on as advertised, brandy, dark maltish, chocolate. Niiiiice. Brandy Barrel Blend is just lovely. Long chocolate milk with a shot of brandy, just like Santa ordered. Tingly sweet malts. Roast, vanilla, heavy dose of oak in the back-fill. Really easy to drink, this is a barrel-aged session beer. One more winner in the series, this is a huge improvement over the 2010 version, in my exalted opinion. Excellent beer.
juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - FEB 11, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2010 22oz bomber, bottle #204, courtesy hopscotch. This one pours a very dark mahogany colored body with virtually no head or lace to speak of. It looks very viscous and oily in the glass with a smooth glassy surface. The aroma is nice and shows a good amount of dark chocolate roast up front to go with some toasted caramel sweetness and soft vanilla laden oak. Notes from the brandy barrel in the back suggest boozy dark fruits like figs and dates.The flavor follows and shows a nice balance between the dark chocolate roast, caramel sweetness, dark fruits, and oaky vanilla. There is a nice drying yeast the keeps the profile from getting overly sweet. Medium to full bodied, silky smooth with a nice drying character to keep the sugars at bay and hide the alcohol perfectly. The finish is long and roasty with the chocolate and fruits in the background. There is no trace of heat at all from the alcohol or the barrel influence. The barrel use was mild, but added plenty of depth to the flavor profile. Really solid barrel aged imperial stout.
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz. Bottle (2011 Vintage. #2391.): Aroma of malt, chocolate, roasting, whiskey, and wood. Poured pitch black in color with a small, creamy, dense, brown head that diminished but lasted throughout. Opaque. Sparkling. Flavor is medium sweet and slightly bitter. Tastes of malt, roasting, slight whiskey, oak, chocolate, slight tar, and slight alcohol. Medium to full body. Slick, smooth, then slightly dry texture. Soft to average carbonation. Malt, oak, roast, chocolate, finish is lightly dry. 10%ABV is completely hidden throughout.
TheAlum (5205) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - JAN 30, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle from Binnys (Bloomingdale, IL). My big ass box of futures havenít arrived yet, so I decided to buy a couple of the ones I havenít had before. 2011 Version. Pours a rich black hue, opaque and dark, with just a touch of a ruby bottom and edge. A bigger frothy light brown head that provides a thick creamy ring, laces pretty well overall. Aromas are a healthy dose of brandy, offering apples and spirit, green apples, warmth and oak, vanilla, roast, sweet caramel, toffee, and cocoa. Some coffee roastiness and tempered by sweet a touches of tart apple brandy. Mellow warmth, pleasant yet potent Brandy presence on the nose. Initial is fuller bodied, offering sweetness up front. Cocoa, roast, and caramel. A good dose of Apple Brandy flavor, oak, coffee, and vanilla. Gets much more roasty and rich into the middle, still a full firm body despite the aging (Likely from the blend). Full, with sweet caramel, carmelization, toast. More cocoa, roast, vanilla. Finish brings the barrel, linger apple brandy, wet oak, vanilla and gentle heat as it dries out more, roast, and some fluffy marshmellow and vanilla. Pretty solid beer, coherent blend that works well, offering balance and synergy. The nose lets on a stronger Brandy presence than the actual beer gives on the palate, but itís still nice. Pretty nice different take on Eclipse. Will be interesting to try side by side with the í10 sometime over the next year. Lots of barrel, but the nose is definitely more brandy slanted, the beer itself more oaky.
pantanap (3340) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 28, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle. Numbered 2007 out of how ever many... Pours a deeper shade of stouty black with some dark reddish undertones... Sweet brandy flavors with deeper chocolate underneath. Not too impressive overall... Flavors are a step up with sweet brandy forwardness to mingle alongside a nice chocolate with a decent touch of roast. Not too bigger bodied just along the medium length profile with a lighter shade of carbonation. Good flavor that surpasses that of the aroma.
DocLock (7502) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 24, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2011 bottle, #1258. Pours onyx with 2-finger brown head. Looks great. Nose is roasty malt, cacao, hops, I get some piney sprucey Tanqueray ginny notes in this, spice and hops, oaky brandy, dark fruit. Tastes not quite as rich and thick as the other versions, with a rich malt flavor, cacao, sprucey ginny, dark fruit including plum and blackperry, hops. Very complex, with more oak, fruit, sprucey hops in the finish.
hopdog (8521) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 18, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz, waxed bottle. 2011 vintage, bottle # 2422. Poured a black color with brown edges and a medium sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, wood, some earth, and some dark fruits. Tastes of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, wood, and dark fruits.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy hopscotch. 2010 bomber, #204. The pour yields an extremely dark mahogany colored body with virtually no head or lacing. It looks viscous and oily in the glass, particularly with that slick, glassy surface. The aroma shows a good amount chocolate roast to back up the sweetness that is brought on by darkened caramel and soft, vanilla-kissed oak. Distant brandy-like tendencies suggest of boozy dark fruits, such as cherries and figs. Smells nice. Flavors are really nicely balanced, loaded with roast and showing some nice drying yeast, yet also sufficiently sweet and fruity at points. The barrel influence is actually rather mild, showing more subtle vanilla than anything else. Brandy isnít really all that prominent. The palate sports a big body, but the relatively dry yeast keeps the stickiness at bay. Overall, not the most dynamic imperial stout Iíve tried, but quite solid nonetheless.
crosamich (431) - Twin Falls, Idaho, USA - JAN 17, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
dark caramel with mocha head. bitter roasted chocolate mixed with sweet notes. I think Brandy beers are generally my favorite BA treatment. This version seems pretty tame for brandy but still a solid beer. Just a little heat as it warms up in the glass.
bhensonb (10348) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 13, 2012
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2011 bomber (Burgandy wax), #773 from The Davis Beer Shoppe in Davis, CA. Poured into a DeMolen snifter. Pours very black with a large creamy/frothy tan head. Aromas of chocolate and brandy. Full bodied. Flavor is very chocolate, followed by a vinosity which clarifies into brandy. Then oak is noticeable. So the flavors tend to follow one another. Not a trace of heat. Very smooth. Damn itís good.