beernbourbon (1355) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - AUG 10, 2009
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pour is black and viscous with a thin brown head. Aroma is brown sugar, toffee, distant dark fruits, notable bourbon, oak, and notes of chocolate. Aroma is really wonderful. Flavor is hot up front. Lots of bourbon, wood, and dark chocolate. Flavor evolves to coffee, more alcohol, and blackberries. Finish is bitter coffee, oaky, and hints of vanilla. Certainly not as smooth as the aroma had me believe. It’s coarse and rugged but certainly not boring. I do wish it tasted more like the aroma though.
GranvilleTim (1735) - Granville, Illinois, USA - AUG 10, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Deep black pour with a nice brown head. Aroma is of bourbon and roasted malt. Very pleasant, worth breathing in several times before the first sip. The flavor of the bourbon and the stout go hand in hand. Well balanced. Has a great aftertaste. Very mellow finish. Hints of vanilla come out as it warms up. It has a creamy taste. Alcohol is hidden underneath a great taste.
Beerman6686 (4873) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This poured a thick black with a tan head. Aroma was very roasted like its regular version, with hints of bourbon and smoke. Flavor was very very roasted, almost burnt flavor, but silky smooth at the same time. Very viscous but hides the alcohol very well too.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 9, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle of the XI. Very chocolaty aroma with a hint of vanilla. More dark chocolate in the flavor, notes of coffee, and creme brulee. Excellent.
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 9, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle XI Anniversary. Pours a dark brown black. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and brandy. Flavors of intense vanilla, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, and quite a dose of bitter hops and malt at the end. Alcohol is also quite pronounced. If it weren’t for the bitterness this would be a terrific beer. Still tasty but not world class.
mwelsh13 (499) - Maryland, USA - AUG 8, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pours jet black with a tan head. Looks like a bit of an oil slick with other colors glistening off of it. Aroma of coffee, chocolate and wood. Nice and earthy. Big alcohol taste up front with a lot of molasses, dark malts, syrup and brown sugar. Too much alcohol heat. Needs more time to blend.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 8, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
XII Anniversary bottling; Sampled July 2009
The beer pours from the bottle quite a black color, but it does have some concentrated brown notes to it around the edges. A thin brown head disappears pretty quickly. The aroma is dominated by the Bourbon aromatics, but it remains smooth. There is a huge hit of vanillin up front followed by a touch of spicy Bourbon / oak character. You can really smell the dark / roasted malt character here after a bit. I like that this has a toasted malt backbone that supplies a sort of whole grain, well browned / almost burnt bread crust sort of note.
The beer is warm and spicy from both the alcohol as well as the Bourbon / oak notes. The finish is pretty smooth with vanillin notes playing a big role. There is also quite a bit of chocolate flavors here, which mixes quite well with the vanillin notes. There is quite a bit of roasted character from the base beer and it even contributes a touch of acidity to the finish. Overall though the roast character remains fairly smooth. Some more warming alcohol becomes noticeable as the beer warms up. The body of this beer could use a bit more richness; at times it can seem a little on the light side, especially as it warms up.
Not a bad beer, I like that the Bourbon character remains well integrated with the base beer; both contribute just about equally to the flavor profile. In the end though I find this beer lacking in a certain richness that seems to be needed to keep this as a well integrated whole. Not bad, and I certainly wouldn’t mind getting another bottle, but not as good as I was hoping either.
presario (4748) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 8, 2009
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
XII. Half bottle. Big brown head on black. Dusty cocoa nose. Holy cow! The first sip is like drinking Nestle Quick syrup straight from the bottle. Reminds me of Aphrodisiac at first, although not at all after the first sip. Big bourbon kick in the second mouthful. Settles into a delightful rythym of chocolate and bourbon. Blended beautifully. Chocolate then bourbon kick then chocolate finish.(Had side by side with a regular Rasputin, which was woody, thinner and had darker chocolate notes.)
tjthresh (1866) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - AUG 7, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours opaque black with a soda like fizzy brown head. The nose is a good blend of the beer and the barrel. There’s that oak/vanilla/bourbon combo that we all love, but some roast and raisin actually make it through. Nice boozy bourbon flavors, and it keeps the integrity of the beer. The body is a bit tihnner than I remember the original being, but its still substatial. Seems kind of fizzy though. Still, this is a BA beer worth bragging about.
rhinobrau (17) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 7, 2009
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Allegedly the first year sold in bottles outside of the brewery tasting room. Cork sealed in a 16.9oz heavy glass bottle. Has a wonderful aroma upon pouring with a nice balance between malt and bourbon. The flavor is just as balanced, with the bourbon taming the stout roastiness into a smooth, sweetish finish. Lots of vanilla at the end. My only problem with this beer is the price. I paid $25 at a bar which I won’t do again, especially when I can get a bottle of Bourbon County, made 90 miles away, for 1/4 of the price. Still, this was an extremely enjoyable beer.