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 Rockyís 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 Rockyís Revenge, this is bourbon-barrelization done right. Seven bucks for a 4-pack of this?? Youíve gotta be kidding. Only in Wisconsin do they brew stuff this good for this cheap.
ClarkVV (3892) - 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. Thatís 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 (6299) - 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 Steveís 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!
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 30, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle courtesy of The Man, DavidP, poured at cellar temperature into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass. A dark tan head of moderate duration, finely bubbled, tops the sunless body....the nose at first quite faint, just mild licorice and vanilla-whiskey, chocolate coming in late in the game along with a touch of espresso, rich toffee and fine whiffs of grass.....the flavor is quite lovely, rich chocolaty-caky with mild hints of the barrel and again some licorice, little to no alcohol apparency until quite warm (cellar temp is great for this one), and some nice orange liqueur/ bitter citric hops towards the finish, with a slightly drier, mineralic texture to wind it down....rich, velvety mouthfeel with a touch of oiliness but mostly lots of thick black malt, roasty and bittersweet throughout, never verging on either syrupy or oily and thus near-perfect......Iím with the yea-sayers on this one, and honestly I must just not be that sensitive to whiskey/bourbon flavors, because this seems pleasantly mild and balanced to me.....a delight.
frankenkitty (1959) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - MAR 29, 2006
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours deep brown and sticky, with a fast, tan head. Props to the crayon font and cartoon on the label. Big alcohol affront... Southern Comfort covers all in the aroma, and SoCo is anathema to me. Seems like somebody forgot to tell these guys to empty the whiskey barrel before adding the beer. †Chocolate/cherry flavor with vanilla. Lingering fruity-sweet aftertaste despite thin alcohol astringence. Definitely a beer that would own you in large quantities.
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.workinlate.com/LoSBD3.html>L approved.
Shared with <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/View-User-14352.htm&g courtesy of <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/View-User-28565.htm&g via <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/View-User-18266.htm&g size=-1>
Ughsmash (7182) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 28, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled. Pour was just picture-perfect... deep, cranberry-tinted brown with a stocky, well-retained caramel head. Nose was chock fulla sweet caramel and bourbon... roasty chocolate and espresso... oaken vanilla and nutmeg... my only qualm is that the nose may be a tad over-saturated with bourbon (even watered up the eyes a bit). Flavor began with tingly alcohol and bitters on the tip of the tongue... progressing to sour dark malts (dark chocolate and coffee)... with roasty vanilla and hazelnut emerging at the top of (and through the) finish. Oh yeah... and the bourbon is everywhere... unfortunately masking some of the underlying beery goodness that I believe is there. Palate is a tad less than medium-bodied, with an interesting sweet/sour dichotomy stemming from the roasted dark malts and bright bourbon highlights throughout. Finish is tacky and roasty. Very good beer... maybe a little less time in the barrel (or a less potent barrel) may have made this excellent.
Cornfield (5552) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2006
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sampled with frankenkitty at a very mini-The LoSBD meeting: I have to give this a cautioned recommended rating. Thereís obviously a rich malty porter beneath this, but itís one of those instances when the barrel aging takes over the drink. A strong, sweet Bourbon aroma, reminiscent of past bouts with Southern Comfort, dominates the nose, some milk chocolate managing to seep through it all. The flavor is a tad more complex, adding a bit of oaken woodiness, a drop or two of vanilla, and a trace of nutty bitterness. The finish returns to the sweet Bourbon. I like it, somewhat, but I think that imbibing too much of this ale would bring about an undesirable rise out of me.
<font size=-4>Thanks to my The LoSBD colleague, <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=2 size=-1>
murrayswine (101) - Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured a solid jet black into my Tyranena Pint glass. Itís cliche, but hey, it was clean.
The head was really nice; a light tan color.
The nose is latte, caramel, Jack Danielís, mollassis, and pepper.
The taste is so damn smooth. WOW. Itís all Jack Danielís to me. A bit too much actually, slightly overpowering. It follows with an Irish cream finish. The coffee roast disappeared? Would have liked a bit more roast, but all in all, the best 6 dollar 4-pack since Old Rasputin.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 26, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2006 What a pleasant surprise...light coffee, espresso, caramel and toffee....with VERY subtle oak, bourbon, and barrel aged properties. Very well done and very understated. I appreciate the subtlety. Special thanks to my buddy, El_Borracho, for this great find!