Sarlacc83 (772) - Oregon, USA - JAN 28, 2013
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle, 2010 vintage. Consumed 1-26-13, reviewed from notes.
A: Bottle opens with a soft plip. Obsidian sludge, devoid of any head. Very sticky legs.
N: Heavy bourbon, prune and some soy to start. Lots of vanill and some raisins. Blackberry brandy and coffee overtones. 2 yeras has not decreased the alcohol. Chocolate and fudge, of course. Mint.
T: Blended bourbon and chocolate. Vanilla is the most dominant flavor with some tannins from the oak. Stale coffee grounds and prunes. Brandy, more so than bourbon after a few sips. Raisins and licorice. Honey.
M: Stick, viscous, very, very hot and practically flat.
O: Despite the low rating, I did enjoy this, but there are a lot of fatal flaws in a very competitive field. Age hasn’t seemed to help this much, surprisingly. I will say that’s it’s apt they put Santa Claus on this, because there’s a lot of raisin/prune which I’m sure is good for regularity.
andrewje41 (511) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - OCT 17, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Corked bottle, poured and split. 500th rating so a fun beer seemed necessary, and it did not disappoint. Pours black with a tan head that lasts. Sour cherry and a little vanilla on the aroma, with some chocolate too. Hints to be sour at first in the flavor, then switches to a bold flavor full of vanilla and cocoa goodness. Just a touch of bourbon feel to it in the finish. Super smooth, and not too heavy. Not too surprised, these guys don’t tend to disappoint with anything. Memorable beer for sure. Great stuff.
Aaron68 (595) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 15, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared bottle with a guest @ "Schouskjelleren", Oslo.
October 09, 2014.
Beer from a tulip glass.
Black thick oily look with a creamy brown head and medium carbonation.
Aroma is roasted malt,coffee,dark sugar,dark chocolate and some spices.
A sweet,malty and warming alcohol feeling in my mouth.
A nice bittersweet finish.
kaser (2791) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black thick pour from a 12oz bottle. Vanilla and whiskey taste. Sweet ashy aftertaste. Licorice. Tobacco. Lots going on. Good beer
Rrauth (1196) - North Carolina, USA - AUG 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
over all a nice beer but something I dont need to chase again as it had a bit of a funky aftertaste.
Stuu666 (2766) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - AUG 2, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at home. Pours black, nose is toffee, vanilla, chocolate, taste is more of the same, sweet.
ACHops (709) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 29, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ Chuck’s 85th. Pours deep inky black with a thick creamy mocha head. Aroma is rich darkly roasted malt, raisins, port, charred barrels, and a bit of bourbon. Taste is super dark malts that somehow dance on the edge of being over roasted but stop just short of that. All the big imperial stout flavors you’d expect (and get from standard Santa’s Little Helper...): dark chocolate, espresso, oak, soy sauce... plus amazing barrel flavors - bourbon, port, aged chocolate. Hugely thick mouthfeel, almost milkshake-like. The barrel-aging really takes this beer where it deserves to go. Maybe not quite as good as the best imperial stouts in the world... but this is close. Incredible beer, well worth the premium $ over the regular version.
rodenbach99 (3183) - Longueuil, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 15, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Une bouteille partagée avec SlovakSniper. Une robe profonde avec un anneau de mousse beige. Un nez intense de vanille, de chocolat, un nez boisé. Une bouche soyeuse où les saveurs boisées ne sont pas agressives. La texture est soyeuse. Une finale un peu trop sur l’alcool.
SlovakSniper (3219) - Out Of This World, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 15, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Liquide plutôt brun et presque noir. Tête fondante qui se transforme rapidement en anneau. Nez généreux en chêne, en fruits foncés, en cuir et en chocolat, en vanille, en bois et en bourbon caramélisé. Goût réconfortant avec du bourbon, des notes boisées, des malts gras, du café, du caramel, du chocolat et des raisins bleus. Bouche moins crémeuse que la version originale. Bon corps et bulles molles. Finale chaude et persistante, autrement amère que sa grande sœur mais plutôt riche, douce, boisée et légèrement astringente. Agréable nez fruité et saveurs moins excitantes.
tmzl (89) - SLOVENIA - MAY 31, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Taste-off: Santa’s Little Helper (S) vs. Santa’s Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (SBBA)
S: Pours with a huge, thick, creamy, billowy mocha head, has a good slow, equal retention (breakdown of medium sized bubbles). A very thick, medium-sized, creamy layer stays on top. Dark brown, heavy pour, fair amount of lacing.
SBBA: The head is a lot smaller, higher degree of medium/big bubbles, mocha head a bit lighter. Has a faster retention, mostly diminishing. Looks a bit more transparent and watery.
S: Cherry, dark fruit on opening, dominating roast, coffee and milk chocolate, stuffy, mostly dark malt driven. Light sourness, bit salty, soy sauce and some cookie dough.
SBBA: More dark fruit esters on opening, then goes to rum-kokos Casali chocolates with a lot of oak, vanilla. Roast, milk chocolate more on the side here. Alcohol with booze feeling, oak the most dominant aroma here.
S: Light acidity and molasses, burned sugar start with fruity forest esters. A bit rum-like transition into milky, dark malt medium sweetness that ends with medium dark coffee bitterness, it’s well developed. Small boozy spike towards the end.
SBBA: Bourbon oak dominates this one. Medium molasses, burned sugar sweet start with acidity turned down, the middle, which is overrun with oak dominance, a bit of milky backbone felt, but a lot more subtle. Ends with strong bourbon oak spike that dominates the after with turned down roast, coffee bitterness and alcohol.
S: Full, light heavy body, soft carbonation lingers on the tongue, quite pleasant.
SBBA: A bit lighter on the body (higher alcohol), light warmth, no carbonation to detect.
The non-barrel aged version is a lot smoother and very drinkable. Solid, not too demanding take on imperial stouts. The bourbon one is a lot sluttier, the oak is (too) heavy and goes down a lot slower. The age in barrels didn’t make it better IMO.
bytemesis (3303) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - MAY 25, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from 2012. Pours opaque black with a small quickly dissipating beige head that leaves some lacing. Aroma is bourbon, molasses, chocolate, oak, vanilla. Flavor follows, medium sweet and light bitter, bourbon, chocolate and dark sugars. Well balanced and minimal astringency. Medium plus body.