BrianK (200) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - FEB 19, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very different beer from the Brandy version. Had them side by side for comparisons sake. Still thick and chewy but much more subdued with a much more mild bourbon oak flavor. A little bit more heat on the finish as compared to the brandy but still thick and chewy. Nice beer
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest Night of the Barrels, 2/15/08. Poured murky brown, with a thin tan head. Aroma of caramel, vanilla and bourbon. Aroma is not as intense as its brandy-aged sibling. Bourbon and oak flavors nicely compliment the malt and peat flavors of the original beer. Long bourbon and oak finish. I enjoyed this a bit more than the Brandy Aged Old Stock, as I think the barrel aging worked a bit better in this case.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - FEB 18, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
EBF NOTB. Some fig and mostly bourbon in the aroma. The palate was a little thin, and the flavor had too much bourbon. There was some nice sweet malt / fig, and a little grape character, but not enough to save this beer. Maybe it will calm with age.
WeeHeavySD (3356) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - FEB 17, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
50th Rating of this brew, 375ml I ordered from the brewery. Shared with my girlfriend at a party. Pours reddish brown with a tan ring. Nose is full of bourbon and sweet. Taste is sweet, sharp, and pretty nice, not as good as the Brandy though.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 11, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a 375mL Bottle. Mostly transparent, chestnut brown colored pour with a thin head of wispy off-white. Loads of spicy oak and vanilla saturate a powerfully decadent aroma. So much bourbon character present, but it has a refined, apertif-like quality. Spicy fig fruits, gooey caramels, and sticky maple syrup add further complexity. Incredibly boozey, but wonderfully so. Full bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel with a soft, tickling texture. Brown sugar and maple syrup malt sweetness up front on the palate, along with lighter, balancing flavors of vanilla, coconut, and caramel. Some dark fruity characters start to come out mid-palate, raisin and prune, but this transitions into a spicy fig sensation as the oak character starts to take over. The finish is all oak, leaving a husky, spicy woody character lingering on the palate in the final smack with some tingling bourbon. A bit hot, but certainly a complex, enjoyable sipping beverage with some of the most intense oak flavors/aromas I’ve had the pleasure of smelling in a beer.
gotbeach (139) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 9, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle@Dr.Bills Brown and orange in color. Diminishing head. Light bourbon smell. Fizzy with a sweet end.
doubleo (1433) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 9, 2008
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a murky dark brown color with a thin fizzy head that fades quickly to nothing. The smell is the best part. Smells of wood, bourbon and vanilla.
Tastes of lots of booze, not just bourbon, straight alcohol too. Oak and vanilla on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thin and highly carbonated. Coats the mouth a bit. Good beer, not the greatest barrel aged brew though.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - FEB 2, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle courtesy of my man Naven. Very small head. Almost appears uncarbonated upon sight, but not in the mouth. Hot w/ bourbon and alcohol w/ maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel undertones. An excellent beer. I love it.
FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 1, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours with a quickly dissipating, initially one-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, rusted amber color, but shows a brilliantly clear, full cranberry color when held up to the light. Ample Bourbon and sharp oak notes greet my nose, but it is far more integrated and smoother than many Bourbon Barrel beers. In fact the barrel character is right on par with the Brandy barrel version; certainly dominant, but well integrated and pleasing to the olfactory senses. Notes of spicy Bourbon, vanillin, ample butterscotch laden oak, definite warming alcohol notes and a touch of spicy wood are all noticeable parts of the barrel aging. The barrel notes are well supported by a substantial, but clearly secondary, malt character; ample caramelized malt notes help to smooth out the barrel notes and especially marry well with the vanillin and butterscotch notes. Some berry-like fruitiness, a sweet nuttiness and toasty browned malts are also part of the malt profile. After my nose gets used to the aroma a bit the barrel character seems to die down a bit, but it never loses the ample warming note from the alcohol.
Sweet, but as was the sister brew, this is very light feeling for a beer of this strength. The alcohol is omnipresent and seems to quickly go to my head, though I would not characterize it as overly hot, merely substantially warming. Nutty flavors seem to accent wood derived notes of butterscotch and vanillin; the latter two being the more noticeable notes. The malt provides fruity notes of raisins and berries that, in combination with the booze, make this taste a bit like Brandy. This is clearly Bourbon influenced though as it has a characteristically spicy edge to it, especially in the finish. The barrel notes are huge here, somehow this beer holds them in check though; the base beer manages to keep the barrel from becoming overly aggressive. The Bourbon character somehow manages to be so present here in the flavor, but it still does not become disagreeable (am I becoming more used to Bourbon notes in beer, a distinct possibility, or is this just that well integrated).
Definitely harder than the Brandy barrel aged version, but not overly so and I can see this appealing more to some people. The sharper barrel notes, which the Bourbon brings out, are really nice though and make this beer different enough (in a good way) from the Brandy that I find that I am enjoying this beer far more than I thought I would. I really think that trying this beer after I sampled the Brandy one (separated by days) has made me enjoy this beer all that much more. If I had had it at the same time, or before the other one, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. The differences that my memory has played out seem to be the most intriguing part of this beer. What this relies on though is the fact that this beer, while clearly barrel dominated, does not allow the barrel notes to overwhelm & marginalize the base beer. In the end it is a little too alcohol accented in the flavor to be on the same level as the Brandy barrel aged old stock, but it is still damn tasty and quite close.
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - JAN 31, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Ken for this one. Interesting, but not quite as tasty as it’s brother from the brandy barrels. Brown pour. Whiskey, sweet, brown sugar aromas. Flavor is whiskey sweet as well, and contains a noticeable alcohol burn.