AWISLguy (2597) - Wisconsin, USA - AUG 30, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
6oz pour at the source during our end of summer trip to the Cities. Smoke. Barrel. Sweet malts. Interesting for style, although too sweet. Tasty enough. 13.5
Ericular (965) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 29, 2016
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Very nice sweet barrel quality to this. Bourbon aged but almost smells and tastes like brandy. Lots of alcohol evident in the aroma and flavor, more than the ABV would indicate. Sweet and sharp.
jackl (7069) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 10, 2016
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Keg @ HammerHeart. Deep reddish brown with a small head. Nose is dominated by the bourbon barrel. Apple skin, vanilla, caramel. Flavor is fairly hot. Somewhat astringent. Chewy. Toasted grain. Croissant. Full body, soft carb. Lacks balance.
deyholla (10220) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 10, 2016
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sampled from the tap at the brewery. Pours a clear deep ruby red with a tan head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has bourbon and a bit of apple with grain and straw notes underlying. Flavor has bourbon and apple with notes of grains and bread backing.
Travlr (21680) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - MAR 10, 2016
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft at the source. Opaque brown colo, bright tan head. Aroma of vanilla, caramel. Taste is roasty vanilla, thin body. Nice.
Brigadier (3550) - Chagrin Falls, 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 (1761) - 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 (1017) - 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 (2872) - 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 (9262) - 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.