Driftwood6 (214) - USA - NOV 8, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at RB Chicago. I thought it was outstanding-- much more complex than their bourbon stout. The bourbon flavor blends in well-- not overpowering at all. Nice mouth feel. What a nice treat on a cold night in Chicago!
BBB63 (6368) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 5, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at brewery, I had this post FoBAB after 3 hours of sleep in my hotel: Served in a snifter and enjoyed for the most part with my late dinner. (Now the service that night is a different story):
A deep muddy brown with a fading frothy head and some oily notes upon the glass. The initial aroma was quite intense and the barrel influence was apparent. I could only imagine how big this would have smelled if I had not been at FoBAB earlier. Heavy bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, pear, and fig esters.
Much like the nose that palate was aggressively attacked by big bourbon barrel characteristics. Lucky that as it warmed the fruit, tobacco, spice and earthy nature showed up and made it more drinkable. I even got a hit of peat and iodine during the finish. The mouth feel is very warming (LIVED UP TO THE NAME), lush and sticky. A slow sipping brew for sure, take your time and let it open up.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 1, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap - RB Chicago - Dense dark brown, thick creamy tan with perfect lace down the sides of the snifter. Nose was rich and intense with upfront notes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Warming to room temp brought out coconut cocoa notes that flowed over soft black currant tones. Dark bourbony wood and vanilla flavors are well balanced with hints of coffee, chocolate, and spicy dark fruit . A light hop bitterness in the end pulls this together and really keeps any perceived sweetness in check. Full bodied, light carbonation, warming finish. Very well made with good use of the barrel. Lucky Chicago crewÖ.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - MAY 19, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Once again Pete Crowley shows himself to be the master of the barrel. This beauty pours a dark chocolatey brown with a firm and lasting dark cocoa head. Barrel smells of Boubon, oak, vanilla, and light smoke blend well with chocolate, roasted malts, dark caramel, and a subdued hopping in the aroma. Very smooth to drink, the alcohol well hidden. All elements of the aroma are skillfully merged together in the flavor. A great sipping beer.
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Bottom Chicago, Chicago, IL<font size=-1>
drewbeerme (3891) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 22, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
on tap at RB Chicago. listed as being aged for 3 months in the barrel. 2oz sample. pours dark brown with off white head. nose has mildly juicy grapefruit hops with chocolate and caramel malt notes. flavor is pretty hoppy, piney and fruity, chocolate, toffee, and subtle bourbon. mouthfeel is very full. alcohol very well hidden. i found this small sample to be pretty tasty.
Aurelius (4572) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - APR 17, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Chocolate whiskey, spice aroma -- big, nice, different. Bites. Prominent bourbon, sommoth a bit one-dimensional, except for a cocoa twinge. Medium body. Finishes with dark cocoa, bitter and alcholic.
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - APR 14, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured mostly opaque dark-black with nice poofy white head that settles but never goes away, leaving rims of lace around the glass with each swallow. Aroma was pretty much dominated by the bourbon-barrel characteristics, namely bourbon, charcoal, and a bit of vanilla and a touch of molasses. Bourbon-barrel aspects dominated the flavor as well, almost burying the base beer in a sea of bourbon, charcoal, vanilla, toffee, and all that other good stuff. The base beer did, however, reveal some toasted grain and a pretty sharp hop bitterness, the latter of which worked surprisingly well with the bourbon-barrelization. Palate was full-bodied and slightly oily as it slid down the back of the throat. Overall, not a bad effort, but it seems the head brewer at this place has yet to appreciate the subtleties of the bourbon barrel aging process. Iíve also had their bourbon-barrel stout; I might as well have just licked the inside of the bourbon barrel for all the finesse that beer has. This one isnít quite as ham-fisted but itís still a bit of overkill. I think both beers would be better if they were blended with their respective stock beers to take out some of the bourbon-barrel "edge."
Ughsmash (7276) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 25, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2007 On tap at R.B. Chicago. Poured a deeper brown with iced tea highlights and a tall initial cap of off-white head... left nice lacing. Aroma really didnít pick up much other than a nice bourbon... little dark fruit and some dark chocolate deep down with vanilla accents. Flavor was again mostly bourbon... nice chocolate and darker fruit behind.. sweet bourbon sugars, oak, and vanilla at the finish.. nice, but canít really get past the barrel influence. Grainy on the palate and a tad sharp... medium-bodied. OK, but wish more of the underlying beer was evident.
6 4 6 3 12
On tap at Jeff Evansí Dirty Little Secret at FoBAB 5
Porued deep reddish-brown with deep brown head.. visually appealing. The aroma picked up lots of sweet chocolate and bourbon, and was quite deep.. the barrel influence was strong, but the brew maintained its composure well. Deeper chocolate and caramel with a lot of vanilla and bourbon at the flavorís core with some charred oak and wintery spices moreso on the back-end.. tasty. Lighter-bodied than expected with lots of grainy barrel feel to it.. ok feel, very good beer.