JorisPPattyn (8660) - Ursel, BELGIUM - MAR 15, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2005 vintage Yellow-beige head, gone in seconds, over reddish-shot hazy brown beer, well-carbonated. Fusels, old rich brandy, fruit on alcohol, cloved orangepeel, vanilla, black grapes and a bit of almond. Wry, woody, nearly tart flavours, despite quite some sweetness. Very alcoholic, and lots of fusels. Chocolate notes, chocolate-covered spongey cake. Retronasal markedly walnut. Fiery MF, medium to well-bodied, slick and oily. Very high alcoholwarming. Very inviting nose, great beer, but it has more of a sledgehammer than of a refined, velvety gem. Now, if I could only remember who bestowed these two beauties on me... Rodger?...
hapjydeuce (983) - Carlsbad, California, USA - MAR 14, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big ups to jarspag for ordering me a bottle of this from the brewery a while back. 2005 vintage. Initial pour yields some tiny clear bubbles and a faint hint of carbonation. Eventually the beer settles into a velvety appearance that likens itself to a fine aperitif with legs coating the snifter, and a dark & clear burgundy color. The aroma is straight up killer! Loaded with vanilla, bourbon, musty oak and toffee. Fantastic! The barrel-aging has really done its magic on this one. Flavors have a much more pronounced bourbon and oak character, with deep and spicy caramel and notes. Oxidation is noticeable in the finish, and there is a slight sting on the back of the tongue. Slightly numbing mouthfeel that is topped off with a warming alcohol finish. Almost ends up overly-boozy, but it stays well within the tolerable range. Warmth really helps out with the 2nd half of the bottle. Intriguing and very enjoyable. Yes sir!
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - MAR 5, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle ordered by telephone 1 minute after release email. This is also my last bottle, as I only ordered 3 bottles to minimize crazy beer spending in Dec 2007. Very little psst when I uncorked the bottle. A small head of medium bubbles forms when I pour, but they fade very fast. The beer is carbonated, but the bubbles pop when the hit the surface, leaving no head. Lack of head keeps appearance score down. Cloudy deep amber color. The aroma has wonderful oxidation and oak and light bourbon highlights. The bourbon is much more pronounced when drinking. The gravity seems low for such a high alcohol beer, with a light bubble burn on the tongue, like a soda. Iím guessing this is because of the high alcohol percentage. Tons of oak. Some sweetness, but the high alcohol hides it. Very fun and interesting to drink. Wouldnít want to drink to much though. Needs a cheese accompanyment with itís strength. Very good. 9,3,8,3,17:4.0
OK. 1 hour later. Iím drinking the second half of the bottle. It has warmed up, I have warmed up. The carbonation levels have dropped. This beer is incredible. Very good. Much better after it has warmed up: 9,4,8,4,18:4.3
OldMrCrow (2198) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 3, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from toncatcher -- thanks so much.
Another beer Iíd been very eager to try. Iím a big fan of the regular Old Stock (though not so much the 14+% version). Pours a caramel brown, rich and still, looking and smelling like bourbon - heavy acerbic oak aroma, tons of barrel influence, dates, bourbon of course. Powerful, powerful fumes! Nice sweet flavors, caramel and rich malts, indeed much like the old stock, but even boozier, lots of vanilla, mouth-drying oak. Here the bourbon works better on a barleywine base than it usually does, Iíd say. Itís like drinking liquor rather than beer, from the massive aroma to the heat on the tongue and the back of the throat to the thickness of the mouthfeel.
Itís a fascinating beer, pushing the edge of what I think of as beer toward what I think of as bourbon, but in the end I canít rate it as highly as the best bottles of well-aged regular old stock. Itís too harsh, the bourbon is too forward. Maybe with 3 more years it would mellow and the barrel character would meld into the base malts, but right now itís a serious bourbon BA show.
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
EBF 08. This one seems much more harsh and has a more pronounced bourbon character to it- even the vanilla and oak come through more here. Light fruity esters, good thick sweet malt profile syrupy with some maple hints, light floral qualities- maybe from the alcohol burn? Toasted almonds in the flavor, more sweet bourbon- light charr and burnt marshmellows with a smooth lingering bourbon finish wiht just the right amount of burn for a high abv beer.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - FEB 28, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
375ml caged and corked bottle from irishboy. Thanks Richard !Like the brandy barrel release, thereís plenty of beer/spirit/wood interaction. Not for everyoneís palate, but it works well for me. Heavy wet, charred wood, toasted caramel, vanilla, raisins and plums and alcohol on the nose. Like the brandy barrel, after the head dies, the beer looks still; dark, dark brown, nearly opaque with some rich amber highlights. Sweet caramel, toffee, alcohol, wood, a touch of smoke, vanilla. Heavy barrel presence. Medium to full bodied. Slightly sticky with medium carbonation. As with the brandy barrel, heavy on the alcohol notes but it works for me.
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - FEB 26, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
NorCal Feb í08 - Not sure who brought this to the tasting, but thanks. Iíve got 2 bottles at home and Iíd like to compare what a little age does to them. Right now, the beer is really nice. An aroma of Play-Doh, bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla and subtle tobacco notes. Flavors are caramel meltaways, dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, with a little too much alcohol right now. Iím willing to bet some age will do wonders for this beer. Still, a great beer that will only get better.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 25, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured a slightly hazed amber with a thin off-white head. Doughy and bourbon aroma. Also some fruity and woody notes. The flavor had big vanilla with bourbon and caramel. Woody notes. Very warming with a medium body.
puzzl (3257) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 24, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by EDA. Big, buttery, bourbon aroma, vanilla, lacking complexity. All oak. Hot and boozy, huge bourbon again, super buttery and dirty vanilla. Why do I keep using the same words in all these bourbon barrel reviews? God damn. I remember a couple years ago when I was having only my 2nd or 3rd bourbon barrel aged beer and I was still enjoying the new flavor that was coming with it. Now itís almost torture to drink these things, every beer that goes in to the barrel is different and everything that comes out is the same. Where is the originality or finesse?
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - FEB 23, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
375 ml bottle that fordest brought for a tasting. I liked this a lot. The flavors of bourbon were present but not overpowering. Very good.