Nuffield (3637) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 28, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a very attractive ruby brown color with a substantial head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bourbon, fruit, vanilla increasing as it warms, and some alcohol apparent. In the mouth it is less impressive, giving off too much alcohol (not particularly warming) with a relatively blah malt foundation supplemented by the bourbon & wood dimensions. It strikes me that this is a fairly "pure" exercise in taking a plain beer and giving it a dose of bourbon barrels, which isn’t bad at all, but it is fairly plain or unidimensional. Ten years ago this would have been a revolution; now it is just a beer some people might like, and others might find it a big crass.
lefossoyeur (430) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 28, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful dark copper topped by a thin beige head. Slight notes of caramel and vanilla on the first nose. Big, full body with an intense, yet smooth, attack of butterscotch, followed by sweet caramel, vanilla with just enough bitterness to balance the whole thing. Slight minerality in the aftertaste, almost salty. The bourbon does not overpower the beer in this one but rather blend all the taste together. Very well done beer.
PS: Went pretty well with a salty sheep cheese from the Pyrenees (Ostari)...
TheBeerGod (5053) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - NOV 28, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a murky, dark brown with a thick, foamy tan head. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, smoky notes, caramel, oak and candy notes. Taste is more oak and bourbon with big vanilla, smoked malts, caramel, candy, light chocolate and light tart fruit. Body is medium with creamy carbonation and mild warmth. Ends with light spicy notes, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak, smoked malts and earthy notes. Some alcohol throughout the finish as well.
cking (1175) - North Canton, Ohio, USA - NOV 28, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
"Dark copper brown in color, thin bubbly tan head, slow carbonation, and surprisingly good lacing. Medium bodied with a great whiskey feel. Mildly sweet and slinky~silky smooth. Vanilla and peat aromas with a lush scent of bourbon on the rocks. Straight forward no nonsense flavor with a grand malt base that is lightly sweetened. Flashes of vanilla along with a woody flavor that is backed up by smooth bourbon and earthy peat. Nothing too elaborate with this brew, but this years batch is done just right for my liking."
SpencerDB (223) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - NOV 27, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured with a lovely 2 finger head that just swarmed with malt, caramel, and bourbon aroma’s. I took a full minute to smell the beer because it was just that good. The sweet caramel smells and roasty character followed through to the taste. Some cherry tastes in there which were a nice touch. Great scotch ale. Much enjoyed after Thanksgiving dinner
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 27, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a small off white head. Tiny bubbles meander slowly to the surface. sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass. Nose is vanilla, bourbon, sweet caramel malt. Palate is full with a light warming and some stingy carbonation. Flavors of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, sweet malt, but finishes dry and tingly with a warm mouth.
ruskiimperial (308) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 25, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is certainly an american interpretation of a scotch ale. Scent has a lot of sweet caramel mixed in with that bourbon barrell sweetness. Taste is quite sweet with a lot of roasted malt, caramel and most definitely cherries. On the aftertaste the caramel comes through especially strong. There is also a some bourbon barrel taste but not quite as prevalent as the other flavors already mentioned. This is certainly a beer with some attitude that hides the high alcohol and brings forth many interesting flavors.
beernbourbon (1265) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - NOV 25, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2013 Bottle. Pour is dirty dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma is brown sugar, caramel malt, bourbon, and very light cherry. Flavor is rich toffee malt, a bit of a bourbon sting, vanilla, light wood, distinct smokiness, and a touch of cherry in the finish. Mild darjeerling tea in the finish too. A sipper for sure. Huge but not cloying. Update 11/9/13. Had the 2012 on tap at Rumpus Room in Milwaukee. Wow did a year do this some good! So rich and smooth with loads of maple, toffee, and vanilla. Really luscious and rich. Fresh - 3.7. With one year on it - 4.4
gpekar (455) - Florida, USA - NOV 25, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a hazy and very dark copper like a strong iced tea color with a thin tan head. The head disappeared rather quickly to just a film, but did leave a light lacing. The aroma was all about bourbon with a good scent of alcohol and a bit of vanilla. The texture of the beer was silky with the taste of bourbon and a good warmth of alcohol as well. There was a nice amount of a molasses like sweetness underneath before the bourbon flavor came on for a smooth finish. This was just like sipping a smooth bourbon. Excellent!!!!!!!
mcmd (304) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - NOV 25, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle. Pours dark amber brown with a red hue, small off-white head which settles quickly. Aroma is vanilla, oak, bourbon, sweet bready malt, caramel,even has a smoky quality to it. Taste is sweet malt, heavy wood/oak, lots of bourbon. Enjoyed this until the intensely bitter pill-like aftertaste set in - I had this on tap recently and loved it, but this aftertaste from the bottle is hard to bear. Would rate much higher if I rated from tap version.