orangesol (560) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 6, 2013
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Served on-tap on three separate occasions this year, the last of which being this one at the brewhouse restaurant.
A - Pours pitch black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving very tiny trails of lace down the top part of the glass.
S - Smells of melted milk chocolate, dark roast, fresh vanilla beans, sweet molasses and plenty of warm bourbon booze. This is simply intoxicating.
T - Starts off with a big dose of milk chocolate sweetness slowly giving way to hints of warm vanilla, dark fruit, molasses and dark roast. The bourbon heat is ever present, never really fading away. Finish is sweet with a bit of warm booze, lingering on the palate long after the finish.
M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with lots of residual sweetness and mild booze burn. The alcohol only grows as it sits in the glass.
O - Definitely one of the better stouts out there and well deserving of the attention it garners. Worth seeking out if you have the chance. I will get my fill while I can and I hope to see this more often in the future.
wchesser (889) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 4, 2013
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 bottle @ 14.9% less than a week after release. Not as hot as I remember. Great bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, dark malts, and gingerbread on the nose. Deep black and viscous. Sweet with chocolate and dark malts and warming boozy finish. Incredibly smooth, even this young.
knezek (18) - Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2013
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Not sure it can get much better than this...I have a cellar full or excellent beers: Bells Expedition, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Victory Storm King, Old Rasputi, etc., but this beats them all hands down. Not sure how Founders Breakfast is anywhere near this in the ratings, maybe time for a new scale!
gschrade (286) - Collinsville, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I had this at Global Brew. Pours black with a tan head. Taste boozy, roasted malt. I thought this was so so. I would skip this down the road.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
radarsock (621) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
14.2% ABV. $5.00 exactly for the 12oz. bottle purchased from New England Wine & Spirits earlier today. Had it not been for my abrasively geeky questions, I donít think the cashier would have presented this yearís BCS as if it were the holy grail and I was part of King Arthurís crew. I hadnít rated this, nor have I ever consumed this, so I knew I might as well see what all the fuss was about. To oversized snifter, it pours a purplish deep brown with a quickly dispensing razor-thin khaki head barely a fingernail in length. Aromas of bourbon oak, mint, roasted malt, and hops. Huge and overwhelming alcohol presence. Tastes start with molasses straight up, followed by date syrup, chocolate, cinnamon, tobacco, oak, and burnt rubber. Blood orange peels, char, and pine needles by swallow. A tad zesty with undertones of earth at its finish. Heat experienced by first sip. This is a massive beer: complex, but perhaps too hot at the moment.
ineedbeer (418) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 3, 2013
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
08NOV13 bottle - 14.9%.
Aroma is super bourbon barrel character. Light chocolate and roasted malts. Medium high coconut, vanilla and almond notes with lighter bourbon and oak character. This beer really highlights the barrels and their contributions.
Pours black with a faint hint of a dark tan head that immediately disappears. No lacing and moderate legs.
Flavor is moderately sweet with a lot of dark chocolate and lighter roast and coffee notes. Light anise note adds a bit of complexity. Medium high bourbon character with lighter barrel notes than in the aroma. Light coconut and vanilla with a touch of leather and tobacco. Strong alcohol finish.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation. Slight oiliness to the beer. Low but present alcohol astringency and medium alcohol warmth.
Overall a pretty darn good beer, but the bourbon charger in the finish is a bit strong for me. I do not remember older vintages being this bourbon forward so maybe itís a factor of youth as other bottles have always had some age. I wish it treated the way it smelled.
tectactoe (649) - Michigan, USA - DEC 3, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
An amazing & complex stout that has so many nuances & intricacies each year, I have tried to take notes on all of the different releases I have sampled. Appearance is nearly always the same, huge, black body with a timid tan foam that never seems to last for more than a few moments.
[2013 / tap / fresh] Tons of bourbon on the nose, along with lots & lots of chocolate. Incredibly smooth, even with the heavy bourbon notes; very warming & full bodied. Mild roasty finish, light char & bitterness in the aftertaste. Nice vanilla character picks up with time. Lovely oak & bourbon throughout.
[2012 / bottle / fresh] Big-time oak & vanilla aroma on this one; the booze takes on more of a raw whiskey character. Bittersweet chocolate, lots of syrupy goodness with a mild roast in the finish. Oak, whiskey, & chocolate aftertaste, mild brown sugar.
[2012 / tap / 1 year old] Has mellowed out with a year, but the bourbon character is still nice & robust. Picked up a much bigger dark fruit (currant & date) character this time around, with a very deep & roasted malt aftertaste.
[2011 / tap / 2 years old] More subdued aroma than any other vintage, but very well composed. Bigger roasted char-like bite with a very smooth bourbon character. Nice chocolate fudge finish with some bitter roast & cocoa in the aftertaste.
[2009 / bottle / 4 years old] Amazing chocolate aroma & flavor with lovely notes of currant & brown sugar covered black cherries. Bourbon is insanely smooth, lots of chocolate in the finish with a little bit of finishing oak & vanilla. This was amazing.
[2008 / bottle / 5 years old] Thanks, Jeff! Even at five years, the bourbon character is very robust but so, so incredibly smooth, it is unreal. This vintage/age showed the largest molasses, vanilla, & brown sugar characters of them all. Big chocolate in the finish, too, with lighter inclusions of oak. My favorite vintage/age so far.
bourboncolove (1) - Palos Hills, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2013 does not count
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
A great bourbon aroma. Poured dark in a glass with a little bit of brown foam. Long lingering bourbon and chocolate flavor on the palate. Worth the wait!
BrewMoose (73) - Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft. Pours black with small tan head. Strong bourbon aroma. Chocolate and bourbon flavors. Finishes strong. Great beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Nehpets (6) - - DEC 3, 2013 does not count
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very strong bourbon aromas which continued through the initial taste. Really potent brew with all kinds of deep dark coffee and fruit flavors. Tends forward the sweeter side of the scale. Definitely a one beer experience or make sure you have a designated driver.
Chudwick (1527) - Cincyucky, Kentucky, USA - DEC 3, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft - pours black with almost no head. I even swirled it around to produce head but no go. Nose is wood and vanilla. Sip adds roast, sugar and bourbon. Sweet and dry. Long bourbon finish that satisfies. Worth the hype.