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 (3810) - 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.
hellomynameis (876) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Soda like pour with a soda like thin head that didn’t have any staying power. Aroma is of oak and bourbon with a bit of alcohol in the back. Dry initially with some hints of dark fruits with a nice bourbon middle fills out some more dark fruits vanilla and then some oak and more bourbon laced fruit with a finish of alcohol.
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - JAN 27, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
375ml corked and caged bottle, with another thanks to AgentSteve! Pours a clear dark burgundy with bright ruby highlights and a fizzy tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. Aroma is a bit alcoholic, with strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, overripe dark fruits and some brown sugar. Flavor expounds on the bourbon, with more dark fruits, vanilla and oak - there’s some definite warmth there as well. Overall this is not as well rounded or put together as the Brandy Barrel, but an interesting take on Old Stock just the same.
argo0 (11955) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 27, 2008
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(375ml bottle, thanks kmweaver) Small tan head atop clear red-brown body. Aroma is moderately sweet, vanilla/bourbon, some prune/raisin. Taste is sweet, boozy, caramel, Bourbon, raisin/plum. Full body with low carbonation, smooth but too boozy. Seems to me that they screwed up a great beer, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone with some Bourbon barrels did that.
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - JAN 26, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUL 30, 2010 Multiple samples provided by kmweaver and mj. Clear dark amber body with a tiny off-white head. The nose is bourbon, toffee, dark fruits and vanilla. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with toffee, bourbon, vanilla, light coconut, alcohol and prunes. Full body is soft and sticky with moderate carbonation and a hot finish.
update on 7/30/10. Getting a bit oxidized, but the bourbon is more mellow. Quite improved since release, but probably won’t hold up too much longer. 3.8ish
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JAN 19, 2008
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I actually liked this better then the brandy aged one. Aroma was its weak spot with a very one dimensional bourbon vanilla nose. But upon drinking this guy some new flavors really added to its complexity. The alcohol was there but in a good way, not too hot, but close. Vanilla, oak, malt, caramel. Smooth as can be going down. Fantastic brew.
unclemattie (4348) - Georgia, USA - JAN 15, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
15 DEC 07, Southeast YeHa. Medium deep brown. Aroma of sweet vanilla, alcohol. Vanilla and straight Whiskey. Big alcohol burn, I feel like a scotch drinker now. The Brandy Barrel Old Stock is just a hair better, although this beer is the best of the best. Thanks KP!
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 12, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle thanks to devon at An Evening w/ Pantanap #2.....pours a deep medium brown with a thin white head.....nose of assertive bourbon, vanilla and caramel notes. a heavy emphasis on the barrel aging with this one....flavors that were a little hot and boozy. caramel malt and heavy on the bourbon....not as good as the brandy and could def. use a little aging for other flavors to evolve around the barrel forwardness.