DrnkMcDermott (2990) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2012
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rounded up my notes from a visit I paid to RBY in June. This is from a taster. Solid black color, with no foam. Warming alcohol smell, but does not suggest brandy nor vanilla. Some bourbon character comes in a few sips later. Almost no room for the taste of a stout, but then it finishes off with a balanced blend of vanilla and stout malt.
TheAlum (6825) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampler pour on tap at the brewpub (Lombard, IL). Pours a thick viscous blackish pour, opaque and lively with a rich darkness, touches of brown and black dance on the edges. A frothy tannish head sits atop, dies to a firm ring, laces ok. Aromas are vanilla beans, gentle toast, roast, some caramel. Firm barrel presence offers touches of oak, gentle tannins and heat, with good flavors, more rich vanilla with the barrel. Nice play between the barrel and vanilla beans, mellow darker beer malt bill. Initial is fuller bodied, rich vanilla bean essence up front, touch of lotion, mellow spirit related ABV kicks some butt. Vanilla tannins, spirit, touches of bitterness. Mellow roast, toast, sweeter body into the middle with some gentle toast, caramel. Really, the vanilla bean treatment steals the show here and is only strengthened by the the barrel and it’s vanilla driven tannins, wet oak, touches of spirit. Backend dries up a bit, more vanilla. Interesting, very vanilla driven but not necessarily sweet like some of the vanilla sweet sticky stouts. Solid, for vanilla fiends. Some fudgy malty elements in middle and backend, but keeps on task preaching the vanilla and barrel elements.
tmoreau (3527) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - MAY 30, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at RB Yorktown, and lucky to sample before it left the building. Poured a black/brown hue, with brownish tan, creamy head foam, and dots & dashes of clingy lacing. The nose was bourbon, woodiness, sweet, dark fruit, and distinct vanilla scent. Full bodied, the flavor added medium hop bitterness, a silky mouthfeel, warming alcohol, and some signature dryness to the finish. A flavorfully warming treat for the palate.