Brigadier (3250) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - JUN 22, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap in Minneapolis (MN)
The description caught my eye and imagination. A robust beer feels more like a twist on a barrel aged imperial stout than your average Irish ale. If a regular version of this exists I would love to sample it side by side for comparison’s sake.
Aroma / Appearance - A ruby red base shimmers and glistens like melted chocolate. Beige head bobs on the surface with a creamy film. Oak, vanilla, malts, and red vines fend for themselves against a mellow backdrop of creamy barrel aging.
Flavor / Palate - Creamy malts blend with vanilla and chocolate in a smooth mixture. The bourbon rises to the top like a heady imperial stout and eventually overwhelms the rest. The results taste better than I expected but this experiment should be one that few brewers try until they have a handle on other more mainline recipes.
Stine (1657) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 4, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
An attractively dense, regal mahogany hued pour. The nose is lacquered in bourbon. Butterscotch, toffee, strawberry, and saltwater taffy. Subversively strong heat is apparent, with wooden, mossy malts representing the base style.
The taste is densely sugared. Brown sugar syrup, caramel, red currant jam. The alcohol presence is not as noticeable here; these projects to extract complex barrel flavors without the accompanying booze seem to be working for Hammerheart. It can seem too sweet at times, but cloying isn’t really the right term in this case.
The palate is luxurious with pitch perfect carbonation that rises to the surface near the finish. Green apple notes mid palate are a reminder that this is consistently too sweet, maybe too reliant on barrel flavors over malt build. This might be best described as an intriguing idea with potential for greatness; the balance hasn’t been achieved quite yet.
Nsanders (740) - St Paul, Minnesota, USA - OCT 19, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Growler. Thick nearly opaque brown with a quickly dissipating tan head. Light smokiness, wood, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and pepper. The taste has a light shortbread sweetness that finishes dry and woody. Body is heavier with a syrupy feel. Very smooth, this was our favorite of four tried at the brewery.
Bacterial (2204) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - MAR 15, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at the brewery. Nice bourbon nose. Thin, but flavorful - lots of bourbon, wood, smokey peat. Solid.
arminjewell (8632) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pour on tap at the brewery, dark reddish black pour with tan head, aroma brought notes of big bourbon, oak, vanilla, earth, spice, slight ashy roast into some smoke, caramel, toffee, slight woody notes into a bit of grain. Taste had a mix of caramel, toffee, smoke and ashy into lots of bourbon, booze, and oak, slight vanilla in there, finishing fairly sweet, bourbon-forward.
TheHOFF43 (1786) - Robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA - JAN 28, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Hammerheart. Pours dark red with minimal tan head. Aroma is woody bourbon, caramel and vanilla. The taste is not as good as the aroma, sugar, caramal, bourbon, meh. Somewhat thin palate, I thought. Didn’t get the vanilla on it.
adnielsen (10102) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 10, 2014
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
On tap @ HammerHeart. Pours a dark red appearance with a tan head. Twangy grape, whisky / woody, caramel, vanilla aroma. Light veggie / woody / herbal, caramel, burnt / tar, brown sugar flavor. A bit thin. Sad to say that I didn’t like this Minnesota Homer Society release.
NeoHippie2 (1074) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JAN 9, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brown pour with a beige head. Aromas of oak, bourbon, caramel, and toffee. Flavor is sweet malt at first then the oak/bourbon notes come out nicely. Nice rich but smooth finish. Very easy to drink and very tasty!
Atom (1779) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 5, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Grumpy’s NE, pours a murky brown with slight red and a large khaki head. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Taste of vanilla and oak, smokey peat, Bourbon, caramel, some earthy bitterness, boozey, a squirt of citrus, with hints of leather and tobacco. A nice sipper.
badgerben (4614) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - SEP 8, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at the brewery. Dark red color with a medium head. Very smokey aroma. Lots of peat, moderate bourbon. The flavor is fairly bombastic with peat, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Light caramel and berry notes. Giggity.