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Four Peaks Belgian Black Ale - Barrel Aged

Four Peaks Belgian Black Ale - Barrel Aged
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RATINGS: 16   MEAN: 3.61/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 216   ABV: 7.2%
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Four Peaks’ two-year-old, barrel-aged Belgian black ale stored in a combination of raw oak, chardonnay and merlot barrels and blended to perfection.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
alexsdad06 (5338) - Ohio, USA - FEB 1, 2014
Draft sample at RBWG ’11 (from notes). Pours a dark brown to black color with a small creamy tan head. The aroma and flavor had quite a bit of fruit, fig, plum, grapes with some grape juice, oak, Some Belgian chocolate and yeast, red wine character and a butterscotch note sneaks in at times.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (10466) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 10, 2013
Draft. Poured black color with an average brown frothy head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted malt, tannic and wood aroma. Medium to abundant body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy dark malt and tannic wood flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration. This beer would go well with a cigar and surpassed my expectations.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DesertDevil (487) - Arizona, USA - MAR 3, 2013
Sample at the Arizona Strong Beer Fest. Pours a clear dark black. Slightly sour grapes and dark, roasted malt dominate the aroma with some spiced oak, dried fruit, and a touch of Belgian yeast. Taste of sweet grape juice, balsamic vinegar, slight tannins, prunes, a bit of tobacco, and light cocoa. The sweet and sour create a pleasant balance. One of my favorite Four Peaks brews.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JPDurden24 (1548) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - JUN 25, 2012
From FP Randomonium in April 2012. Black pour with a tan head. Aroma is brown sugar, wood, dried fruit and some roast. Taste has a little butterscotch and sweetness overall. Good Stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - SEP 14, 2011
Nearly black pour with a creamy tan head. Aroma of wood, yeast and ripe fruit. Flavor is slightly sweet and fruity, with some spice and wood. Very nice!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - JUL 19, 2011
2/17/11. same big black color as before... big time aroma and flavors of balsamic, saba-like grapey fruitiness, potato starch, chocolate and lots of flowery business. there’s a little grit to the texture. it is not as good as before it went in the barrel but certainly not bad and i really enjoy the fact that these local guys are willing to try new things.7/5/5/3/14

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Terminus (3229) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - JUN 14, 2011
tap at RBWG-thanks the brewery for lending this keg to us! deep brown with a small off-white head. butterscotch on the nose which is overpowering. dont think this did very well in the barrel. butterscotch and choclate on the flavors and there is nothing else. i dont think this is a very good beer however others seem to think it was great. quite one dimensional and the barrel aging covers up most of the belgian character of this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
fata2683 (2176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 27, 2011
enjoyed the weekend of RBWG 2011thanks to the brewery for providing the keg of this for us to enjoy! Pours black with a medium tan head. Aroma is coffee, roast, dark candied sugar. Flavor is sweet roast, cocoa, bitter tobacco and spicy yeast. Nice stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dionysus (1448) - Arizona, USA - MAR 25, 2011
On tap during AZRBWG. Pour is deep brown with a tan head. Aroma shows notes of light roast, chocolate, oak, plums, dates, raisins, and toasted coconut. Flavor shows the same with additional notes of vanilla, clove and light butterscotch. Overall body is moderate and soft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 14, 2011
A solid pour produces a one-finger thick, nicely browned stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is pretty black colored, and hints at some ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma mixes fruity fermentation esters with vanillin and spicy oak derived notes in my first whiff of the nose. The combination gets dangerously suggestive of a big, fruity, oak aged red wine at times. The fruit notes remind me of black, fruity plums that are on their way towards becoming prunes, freshly picked red wine grapes, and some solid dried fig notes. There is a supporting malt character to the nose, that is really only noticeable up front, as it succumbs to the fruit and oak notes towards the finish; the malt contributes some roasted notes, more toasted graininess, and perhaps a touch of caramelized malt character. The toasted grain character and the caramelized notes mix with a toasted coconut and vanillin character from the barrel. The barrel character here is actually not over the top here, and other than the nose being a bit too subtle overall, the aroma is quite well integrated and rounded.

My first sip is lightly sweet up front, and quite fruity tasting, which really accentuates the fruitiness even more. The oak here isn’t overbearing, but contributes a definite tannic edge, some toasted woodiness, fruit accentuating vanillin and perhaps a touch of spice to the finish. Again the fruit and oak combine to very strongly suggest flavors of a red wine; strikingly so even and it almost makes me think this was aged in a freshly emptied wine barrel. This sort of tastes a bit like Concord grape juice, though without the foxy grape quality. The fruitiness also suggest of prunes and fig juice. The body is fairly light, despite the sweetness, though it has a touch of viscous heft to it; it definitely has the drinkability that a stronger Belgian inspired brew requires. For a beer so dark, the malt character is actually fairly subdued; soft notes of toasty whole grain, some touches of burnt malt and a dark malt roast character towards the finish that has overtones of burnt caramel.

The most interesting thing about this beer is that it tastes so much like an oaky red wine. The beer seems a bit lackluster somehow, despite having a good suite of flavors and aromas to it; the beer really isn’t lackluster, as I am enjoying it, but it somehow lacks a presence and finesse that is required for a beer to be great. This is certainly worth trying though.

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