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RATINGS: 170   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 44   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
We take recently emptied barrels and refill them with our Winter Warmer English-Style Dark Ale. We then age this majestic ale for 10 weeks, resulting in a skillfully balanced, ambitious blend of dark malts and English hops, complimented by dark fruit, raisin and vanilla characteristics. The oak is very apparent, adding additional depth and complexity - yielding an ale that is large in personality. So raise a glass of holiday cheer!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
LamarBurton (376) - California, USA - MAR 18, 2011
Bottle in a trade with Hopper and shared with Armin. Thanks guys! Black pour with red highlights. Spare head, but good lacing. Aroma is candied dark fruit and burnt sugars. Some bourbon, but not overpowering. A very nice smelling beer. Some great roasty and ashy aromas pushing through as well. Taste is great as well. Lots of ashy dark fruits, not overly sweet. More vanilla than brown sugar here, bourbon is not overdone at all. Finishes slightly sweet, though the oakyness does push through to balance everything out nicely. Slightly warming and quite creamy. A real pleasure.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
arminjewell (8842) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAR 18, 2011
Pours black with red, off white head. Aroma has notes of candied plums, raisins, some ash, and vanilla. Taste is vanilla, touch of bourbon, some nice dark fruit, ash and a touch of roast. Very nice, complex brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
daknole (10350) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 14, 2011
Reddish brown pour, creamy tan head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, light peat, honey, caramel malt. Flavor is oaky, bourbon, vanilla, toffee. Nice!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jzzbassman (1525) - Arlington, Texas, USA - FEB 27, 2011
22oz Bomber. Pours a dark cloudy chestnut with a tan 2-fingered head. Aroma of vanilla bean, and slight bit of the barrel. Flavor has just a touch of bourbon, with malt, dark fruit, on top of light bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rougeau13 (2274) - Richmond, Texas, USA - FEB 26, 2011
Extremely dark brown with a puffybeige head. Aroma of vanilla, roasted and chocolate malt, plums, bourbon and wood. Sweet and woody tasting with just enough bourbon to accent. Nice that it doesn’t take over. Nice medium-full body and smooth, with just enough alcohol to make a really nice winter warmer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mcox90 (1736) - Wilton, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 21, 2011
22 oz bottle courtesy of Cavie. Dark reddish brown with almost no light showing through as I hold it up to the light. Nice 1 finger cream colored head that sticks around. A little lace is left when the head recedes. Caramel malt and vanilla aroma with a little bourbon in the background. Flavor has the same caramel and vanilla as in the aroma with spice notes and oak. I like that the bourbon is somewhat subdued. There’s just enough to be interesting, but not so much that you think you’re drinking a glass of Maker’s Mark. Nice full, warming palate. Very nice, thank you Travis for initiating this trade.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (14042) - San Leandro, California, USA - FEB 20, 2011
A: This one pours a darkish brown color with a thin khaki colored head. S: Smells roasty with a nice enough chocolate aroma. A bit of oak/wood and some mild vanilla. A bit of dark fruit going on in the background. Mild licorice aromas to it and some hints of coffee. T: Slightly bitter with lots of roasted malts. Some licorice notes, wood, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Quite a bit of chocolate, perhaps some of which is from oxidation. Light notes of dark fruit on the palate as well. M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation. D: This was quite good. Not too much bourbon flavor, but a nice -bal contribution to it and good flavors overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - FEB 18, 2011
22oz bottle from blutt59, thanks Bob! Pours a deep, hazed, dark brown colored body with a nice ruby hue. Finger-width, creamy, brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a pretty lacing. Aroma is really pleasant. Lots of rich caramels and vanilla, dark fruits and plums, bourbon, wood, a light amount of smoke and roast, and some chocolate. Flavor is solid as well. Caramel, bourbon, and a good amount of spices up front before a smooth vanilla and some dark fruits come in. Lots of oak and a light peaty toast guide this into a smooth finish where it dries with lots of wood and a nice spice giving it a light bitterness. Just a slight warming feel before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Smooth, somewhat creamy, medium body and soft, moderate carbonation. Overall, a very enjoyable barrel-aged beer. Solid depth to both the aroma and flavor with a soft, smooth body. Alcohol is hidden except for a small warmth in the chest. This one impressed me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BelgianBeerGal (3500) - Panama City, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2011
50cl traded bottle. Pours a nice deep, dark brown with a large tan head of tiny bubbles. Fair lacing. Malty aroma with a hint of chocolate and the barrel too. Still fresh enough to get a little hop spice in the flavor. Pretty tasty with some nice vanilla notes. Longer finish with some hops and booze. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 12, 2011
Bottle via MaltOMeal. Pours a deep glossy brown and sports large, dense, frothy light tan lace-inducing suds. malty nose of caramel and pancake syrup with a slightly minty hop edge. Balanced malty caramel flavors..not much of the bourbon comes through, but its nice and full and malty and satisfying regardless, at least for the most part. I get a little bit of the oakiness in the finish, but the bourbon has not settled into this much at all. Haven’t had the non-bourbon version, so nothing to compare...but it would probably be better with some bourbon vanilla accents. That being said, there are no glaring faults in the beer itself and it’s a nice cozy warmer, regardless.

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