dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAY 24, 2012
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
At Thunder Canyon. Pours a clear copper color with off-white head. Aroma is light whiskey, caramel and vanilla. Taste is sweet, watery bourbon with plenty of vanilla and some heat. Thin bodied with a slick texture. Meh.
Ibrew2or3 (7423) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAR 3, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured up on tap at the brewpub with copper to brown body supporting thin off white to tan head. The mild aroma is all sweet sugary bourbon and really little else. I wonder what the beer smells like? The taste is the same with big yet smooth and slippery sweet bourbon and only a mild level of Belgian yeasty spices well off in the background. This has way too much barrel time for my taste. I enjoy some balance so I can taste the beer as well.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - FEB 5, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap @ TC - Pours a clear copper color with a small off white head. Light lacing. Flavor is oak/bourbon, light vanilla, and esters. Aroma has the same components, just less of it. Medium body. This beer is dominated by the oak/bourbon from start to finish. Perhaps the base beer isn’t the best for barrel aging. Still, I thought it was a pretty good beer.
FlacoAlto (3838) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 1, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Arrives from the tap with an initially ¼-finger thick, richly tan colored head. The beer is a darker amber hue that shows a clear, red-amber hue (a shade ligter than the A-Mountain Red I just had). At first the aroma smells like watered down Bourbon, vanillin, hints of coconut and really almost no base beer aromatics. There is a light fruitiness that might lean a little towards the caramelized side of the spectrum and perhaps a hint of toasty / brown-grain character comes through, but it is really hard to smell anything but the Barrel influence here.
Up front this is fairly dry, perhaps with a hint of tart, but it picks up a hint of sweetness towards the finish. The touch of sweetness brings out ample flavors of toasted coconut and vanillin that really linger on the palate. In the finish there is also a smooth spiciness and flavor that is quite reminiscent of Bourbon (sort of fruity like a melon, but with that woody, lightly tart and spice character that is Bourbon). The oak contributes a lingering astringency and almost peppery spiciness to the finish without getting overly hot or aggressive. The spiciness in the finish is quite woody, sort of black pepper like, it accentuates a touch of the alcohol here (though it is more wood than noticeable alcohol) and sort of has a woody herb character to it (though it is really more wood than herb). The body of this beer has a certain viscous character to it, though it drinks a bit lighter than the strength might otherwise suggest, and it almost seems a touch thin at times. There is an almost melon like character to this beer that is contributed by the Bourbon barrel. Hints of caramelized, toasted malt and a touch of biscuit character are here if you really search, but otherwise the base beer really doesn’t play much of a role here.
The base beer here really disappears underneath the dominant Bourbon Barrel treatment; I would have actually expected more of the base beer to show through than it does. Having said that, this beer somehow manages to not be overly hot or Bourbon-aggressive. This is definitely a beer for those that like Bourbon, if you are looking for more than a vague, supporting role out of the beer then you might be a bit disappointed. The longer I sit with this beer, the more it seems to get dominated by the Bourbon barrel, it never gets hot or aggressive, but it really doesn’t quite do it for me.
daknole (10255) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish brown pour, small whitish head. Aroma is loaded with boozy barrel notes, peaches, toffee. Flavor is sweet, boozy, caramel, golden raisins, alcohol warmth. Nice.