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Grumpy Troll Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter

Grumpy Troll Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter
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RATINGS: 4   MEAN: 3.5/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.09/5   SEASONAL: Special   ABV: -
This beer has been aged in a fresh bourbon barrel for over seven months. The nose is rich bourbon and dark fruit, the taste is warming and complex with hints of plum, dark chocolate and licorice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Skyview (5696) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - OCT 30, 2007
On draught at the brewpub in Mt Horeb, Wisconsin. Pours a clear dark reddish brown brew with a fast dissolving off-white head that leaves behind a fine film and thin ring. Aroma of dark roasted malt, some vanilla, coconuts, a touch of oak and plenty of sweet bourbon. Taste is medium to full bodied, no carbonation with flavors of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, sweet bourbon, coconut and a touch of black licorice. Finish is smooth, creamy, with a bourbon/vanillia dark malt aftertaste that linger around for a while.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 30, 2007
On tap at Grumpy Troll. Poured an almost clear, very deep reddish-brown with just a light ring for head. The aroma picked up lots of sweet bourbon and vanilla on top of deeply-roasted chocolates, more vanilla, and a little oak. The flavor found deeper-roasted dark chocolates paired with sweet bourbon and vanilla.. tangy toasted oak and a light coffee bitterness emerge toward the back end and work rather well.. warm and tasty with well-integrated barrel aspects. Well-roasted, heavier-bodied, and a touch grainy on the palate.. nice feel to it. Id drink it again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - OCT 13, 2007
Draft at the brewpub. The barkeep thought this beer was about 9% AbV. Poured a nearly opaque black color with red light shining through. Head was thin and light tan. Typical aroma you get with bourbon barrel aging; mostly vanilla, wood, and boozy bourbon. Slightly sweet on the tongue, but not quite as thick and chewy as I had hoped for. As with the aroma, the flavors imparted to the beer by barrel aging stole the show. Im sure the beer is in there somewhere trying to assert itself, but most of what I tasted was bourbon, vanilla, and a hint of anise. Pretty good beer, but I wish I could have tried the non barrel aged version in the same sitting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Brigadier (3550) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - OCT 9, 2007
On tap at brewpub

Since I was in the area I went around and stopped in at the brewpub for a sample. It was a bit of a letdown compared to the BA Maggie that was previously on tap. Without having access to the base beer I have no idea how it was affected by the barrel aging but something became unbalanced in the process. It was still enjoyable but the bourbon just overpowered the porter.

Aroma / Appearance - The mocha colored head was a nice decoration above the fluid black body underneath. Strong bourbon, oak and vanilla make it clear where this was stored for a few months. Underneath is a general sweetness with boysenberry and other fruity notes. It is mostly balanced but the bourbon is just a little too strong.

Flavor / Palate - The full body releases some warm booziness over the tongue. Oak, vanilla and intense bourbon immediately hit the throat. Licorice, plum and blackberries are evident underneath but are overwhelmed by the barrel characteristics. Black twizzlers complete the finish along with cherry liquer. Id be curious to try this sans bourbon barrel to see if it was as solid as it seems it should be. This version is just a little too unbalanced to stand out.

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