Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 16, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2007 Pours a deep black hue with a decent lacing and head. Aroma of vanilla and chocolate. Intense body and mouthfeel where you definately know it was barrel aged. The wood also imparts a wonderful vanilla character with mellow creaminess that balances perfectly with the chocolate malt. Overall, an excellent example of what barrel-aging can do to a big beer.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - APR 14, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
thx to ughsmash for this one.
Beautiful vanilla aroma. Pours black w/ a big cocoa colored head
Lots of chocolate & vanilla flavor w/ a hint of roastiness on a medium body.
alaskaiscold (7) - Tennessee, USA - APR 12, 2006 does not count
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wonderful brew. I was very excited to get some of this and I’m glad I have another bottle of it to drink later. Poured a very dark brown with a thin mocha head. Smell was hard to get but smelled of chocolates and vanillas. Good marriage of tastes though. Good solid bourbon taste up front with hazlenut and chocolate in the end. A little lacking in the roastiness a porter should have, but still damn good. Slick and a little oily, good mouthfeel. Drinkability is really good. At about 8%(according to the brewery) its not that bad on the alcohol. I could drink this every night if so inclined. Can’t wait to have more of this in the future.
twindadplus2 (576) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 12, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep black with a small, brown fizzy head. Aroma is oaky with a hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Flavor is fantastically complex; big taste of coffee up front with a smooth vein of toffee, caramel and creamy vanilla. The bourbon is more pronounced as it warms but it’s definitely there. Finishes strong with hazelnut and dark chocolate. Rich, complex and incredibly satisfying.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 11, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours mostly opaque with a thin tan ring of head. Has a rich, complex, bourbony dark chocolate malty aroma. Starts with lots of sugary vanilla sweetness, some toasty caramel malt and more bourbon oaky flavor toward the sweet, lightly warming finish. NIcely-balanced, but has a touch too much artificial-tasting vanilla flavor. I’m looking forward to their other barrel-aged releases.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - APR 10, 2006
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Courtesy of The_Enemy
Aroma features sharp roasted malts, coffee and baker’s dark chocolate...aroma wise I didn’t smell any bourbon until after I had tasted it and trhe beer warmed a little. Deep black in color with a two finger thick head that is constant as the northern star. Rich coffe and chocolate in the fore followed by a LOT of vanilla and an almost Frangelico like liquor flavor. The bourbon is amazingly well integrated into the rest of the flavor palate. There are dark fruits some coconut notes as a result of the meshing of the vanilla, oak and toasty malts. Very lingering aftertaste of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Very tasty and well realized barrel aged beer.
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - APR 9, 2006
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2006 12oz bottle.
One of the best applications yet of the bourbon barrel-aging process. Not as subtle as their Rocky’s Revenge Bourbon-Barrel Brown (in which they only barrel-age a portion of the stock), but still very well-integrated flavors. (On this point I strenuously disagree with a number of reviewers who feel the bourbon-barrelization overshadowed all else.) Aroma is slightly vegetal -- the only knock I can think of for this beer -- but this subsides as it warms. Other aromatic characteristcs are the molasses, maple, hazelnut, toasted grain, vanilla; sniffing this beer is almost like walking into a gourmet coffee shop. Bourbon-barrel-aged characteristics are prominent, adding molasses, oak, vanilla and a mercifully judicious bit of bourbon. However, the porter base is not at all lost, contributing its own smokey, caramel, toffee, toasted grain, chocolate and nutty elements. Full-bodied, velvety-smooth creamy palate. As with their less bold but still intriguing Rocky’s Revenge, this is bourbon-barrelization done right. Seven bucks for a 4-pack of this?? You’ve gotta be kidding. Only in Wisconsin do they brew stuff this good for this cheap.
ClarkVV (3856) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 7, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2007 Bonus bottle! from StewardofGondor consumed with OldGrowth on 4/6/06
Head sticks around for a minute or two and then fades to partial cover and eventually a ring. Burnt sienna in color, atop a deep crimson, transluscent (at first) body, that settles out with transparent clarity. Light, spotty lacing left behind.
Aroma is heavy on the barrel, at first. Dry wood tannins pile in, with tons of coconuty-bourbon notes. Faint note of alcohol at first, fully passing. Quite dry and tannic, but as it breathes, fudgy cake emerges rather triumphantly, adding some depth. Alcohol passes, as said, while the tannins lay off. Behind them, however, is only light fudge and chocolate. That’s really the extent of the malt depth. Though, near the end of the glass, after fully warming, I am getting a smoky, charred wood note from the barrel. No roasted malt, not really any crunchy, earthy barley. And even more lacking are the fruits. Almost zero fruitiness. No hops, no yeast.
Flavor is woody, dry, moderately tannic but sweetens considerably towards the end. More German chocolate cake. Very Zywiec-like, actually. Would almost think this a Baltic porter minus the roast (though Zywiec is very light on roast too). But it dosent have an ale yeast fruitiness to it, though I imagine it is an ale yeast. Some dark plums are about the extent of that. Coconuts on the end, accentuate the barrel character and dont really bother the malts. The texture is lightly chewy, sort of in between on filtration. Not too heavy, but could be less. Malts evolve, somewhat, with graham crackers, adding a crusty, lasting quality. Dry tannins definitely hold back the sweetness and alcohol is well concealed (I hate it when alcohol is used to balance). Ends with simple chocolate and easygoing barrel character. Low carbonation. A simple man, with simple pursuits.
5000 (6027) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - APR 3, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: Black in color, dark chocolate edges, moderate to large frothy dark beige head, fairly nice lacing. Huge vanilla and graham cracker nose. Slight cocoa, chocolate, and bourbon. Seems fairly sweet. Sweet bourbon on the tongue, vanilla, graham cracker, and even a bit of mlk chocolate. Very smooth, well balanced, with very little bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, body is moderate to thin.   Remains very clean tho. Too easy to drink. I just wish I knew what the ABV was. I am a sucker for Bourbon anyways. Thanks Jason for this one, and an extra freebie of this!
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
picked this gem up at Steve’s in Madison last week. black on the pour with a ruby edge. nose is wonderful aroma of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel. aged to perfection the barrel has melded the flavors so one does not overpower the other. a delicious treat!