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Harringtons Big John Special Reserve

overall
89
78
style
Brewed by Harringtons Breweries
Style: Scotch Ale
Christchurch, New Zealand
Serve in Thistle

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 55   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed especially for connoisseurs. Conditioned in oak bourbon barrels for one year. It has its own unique flavour and has won enough medals to sink a ship! Big John Special Reserve is a must try for dark beer lovers.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jimthechap (2057) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 7, 2014
UPDATED: APR 22, 2015 I saw a description a few minutes ago that describe a beer as looking like Coca-Cola. This applies here except that it has been poured over a significant amount of rum to account for the thick latte coloured head. Smells of cocoa, dates, dusty carob dark sugar and molasses. Flavours similar with cola coming through now that the idea has been planted in my head. Some bitterness arising reminiscent of dark chocolate. A lengthy, pleasing finish. Another look a few years after the first trial sees me think this is quite a bit better. Quite a bit better.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
beer-yum (819) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - JUN 21, 2014
A pleasantly surprising brew that is full bodied and well balanced but add a subtle hint of hard liquor to keep you guessing. One of my favourite beers from this brewer.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
fletchfighters (1255) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 24, 2012
A-- Poured a light cola color. Settled a deep, murky, dark cola color. decent ruby glow to this. Well compacted one finger of light brown head that slowly fades to a collar. Good head retention on swirling and no lacing. S-- Light amounts of vanilla, Carmel, oak and bourbon. Some peat but mostly flavors that would be from bourbon. For a 6.5% ABV beer the nose is good. T-- Best way to put this is bourbon on ice where the ice has melted. Still get the flavors of bourbon (Vanilla, carmel, touches of oak) but thinned or a tad bit watered down. Also get touches of chocolate and nuts with this. M-- Lighter medium bodied and medium light carbonation. light in the mid and back palate. Prickly in the front. Watered down bourbon finish. Slightly slick and syrupy. Get some slight bits of scorched carmel and brown sugar. Interesting. O-- Does not appear to be on a barrel at all. Website for them says on a barrel but label says touches of bourbon. My guess is infused with bourbon. Not bad at all for an attempt at bourbon and in the lower ABV range.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pdubyah (518) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - MAR 27, 2015
I think that is is a bit good. Clearly the brewer is in some kind of rebuild rebadge reimagine, but this has many of things that you might look for in a beer, inviting and welcome about of bitter, fantastic amount of roasted chocolate dark malts and a lovely sweet over-note, which not being a bourbon drinker Iíll make it hat. The finish is soft and lands well. Iím really enjoying this and it is possibly the brewers best.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
petergaynor (137) - NEW ZEALAND - OCT 11, 2012
500ml bottle. Pours dark black with a thick coffee coloured head. Smells raisin malty alcohol. Tastes malty, toasted nuts. Decent drop

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
deusax (458) - Grenoble, FRANCE - JUL 2, 2012
Bottled. Dark brown colour with some red glints. Thin white head. Some caramel and chocolate aromas, also in the taste with lotís of malts. A full enjoyable body. Nice one!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chinchill (3000) - South Carolina, USA - JAN 3, 2014
500ml bottle purchased and consumed in Christchurch, NZ. Pours clear and dark reddish-brown with a very good beige head. Feel: Medium-full body and nicely smooth; medium and rather lively carbonation. Aroma: appealing and fruity, with raisins, dates and dark roasted grains plus a hint of smoke. Flavor: similar to the aroma with plenty of dark fruits and a hint of smoke, but with some hops showing in the finish and aftertaste and a hint of bourbon. Very good balance. O: Excellent. One of the better NZ dark beers . A big dark ale without real high ABV. Recommended.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bluebetty (1019) - AUSTRALIA - NOV 17, 2012
Bottle. Had this sitting in the fridge for a while now. Pours a deep bronze with reddish tinges down the side of the glass. Small light tan coloured head. Falls away pretty quickly. Looks a little lifeless in the glass. Aromas are not too bad. Some dark stone fruits, a little sweet caramel, hints of vanilla and some alcohol surprisingly given abv. Not too bad. Taste is dominated by nutty grain and more of that alcohol. Somewhat sweet. Thin mouthfeel.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
joe19612 (2145) - camberley, Surrey, ENGLAND - NOV 21, 2013
Bottle. Pours a dark red colour with a thin white head, malty aroma with the bourbon in the background, the taste is sweet with malt but the bourbon does not come through in the taste, with a dry finish.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
lisagirl (264) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JUN 16, 2013
weird, i had this only two days ago but it was obviously nothing special (either great or terrible) because i can hardly remember anything about it. malt and alcohol are the two things i remember. it was good, anyway.


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