Witch’s Hat Bourbon Barrel Night Fury with Vanilla Bean
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RATINGS: 12   MEAN: 3.95/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
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SpongeRuiner's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpongeRuiner (906) - Michigan, USA - OCT 27, 2013
On tap at Michigan Fall Beer Fest. Strong bourbon flavors here. Had the hint of vanilla but was overpowered by the punch.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tom10101 (3799) - Quebec, CANADA - MAR 25, 2015
Bottle (22 oz). Shared by Matt & Tony, thanks!

Appearance: Black with reddish reflects, a small brown head and little lacing.

Aroma: Intense vanilla, lots of toffee / caramel, bourbon notes and light oak presence..

Taste: Medium to heavy sweetness. A lot of vanilla here too, but a bit more integrated. Plenty of caramel too along with chocolate, bourbon, oak and medium bitterness.

Palate: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. The finish is quite harsh from the bitterness. There’s also some alcolhol warmth.

Overall: Like the two others we had from the series (Peanut Butter & Chocolate Espresso), this one is really showcasing the distinctive component which is the vanilla here. Like the Chocolate Espresso version, this one lacks a bit of balance while the Peanut Butter version is perfectly cohesive. The vanilla presence is very interesting and the bourbon barrel presence and the base beer are strong enough to compensate for the huge amount of vanilla but the harsh bitter finish hinder the drinkability and enjoyability quite a bit. Tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JulienHuxley (4140) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 20, 2015
Bottle shared. Deep black pour with tenacious tan-brown foam. Aroma is intense vanilla, light roastiness, candy, toffee, lots of caramel. Taste is sweet but with a rather harsh bitter after taste,tasty yet something slightly annoying from the bitterness. Palate is med-full bodied with good carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Petkus331 (335) - Redford, Michigan, USA - MAR 17, 2015
Aroma of sweet vanilla and chocolate brownies baking in the oven. Appears coffe brown with a very thin ring of light caramel foam. Tastes of bittersweet brownie batter, just a little unbalanced in the bitter direction, a bit of bitter grapefruit. Palate is a little fizzier than expected. Overall, very good, a bit unbalanced bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
firstsip (658) - Michigan, USA - SEP 4, 2014
Tap. Dark brown-black. Surprisingly bubbly. Sweet, boozey nose with notes of vanilla. Rich, full body. Great balance of vanilla, burnt marshmallow, vanilla--all without being too sweet. Man, do these guys know their imperial stouts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (5589) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - AUG 23, 2014
On tap: The aroma consists of moderate chocolate, dark fruits, espresso, light vanilla, and a touch of bourbon and oak. It’s a dark brown with no transparency and a small tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the edges of the glass. The flavor starts with moderate chocolate, caramel, and a touch of dark fruits. The finish has light-moderate espresso, light vanilla, alcohol, and oak. It’s medium-full bodied with mild carbonation and a slightly oily mouthfeel. Overall, not as overly vanilla as a lot of vanilla stouts. Also, I get some booziness, but not necessarily bourbon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
umich03jm (2712) - Flat Rock, Michigan, USA - JUL 28, 2014
Sampled at the 2014 MBG Summer Fest. Black pour. Aroma is a nice mix of vanilla and boozy bourbon. Tastes smooth and rich. Lots of vanilla and lots of bourbon. Some roasted coffee as well. This is very good but gets blown out of the water by a couple other variants.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
malkyore (277) - - MAR 28, 2014
This is a stupendous beer! It’s sweet outside of anything I’ve ever tasted, there is a ton of boozy Bourbon flavor on top of everything, and the vanilla is what pushes it over the edge. It’s like drinking chocolate milk... But way way better... I’ve had a lot of beers, but this one is really one of a kind, and the fact that I live 20 minutes away from there makes it even better... Totally worth waiting in line for, even if the dude from the doctors office next door thought all the people standing in line were smoking....

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
koleminer20 (983) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 24, 2014
From notes. On tap at Witch’s Hat on March 17. The pour is black as night with a decent dark khaki head and good lacing. The aroma is delightful. There is a great bourbon note on the front end that fades through a wonderful vanilla prominence on the back end. The body of the aroma is a ton of licorice, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is great. There are the normal Night Fury flavors with a delicious vanilla kick and a sought-after delicious bourbon burn. The mouth feel is great. There is a wonderful thickness and a delightful level of carbonation with a dry, bourbony vanilla aftertaste. This was my favorite among the variants.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Mittenator (1595) - Michigan, USA - MAR 2, 2014
Draft sample at MiWBF 14. Slightly more vanilla to the already complex, booze, chocolate, and malty flavor of the original. Balanced and smooth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tectactoe (3099) - Michigan, USA - OCT 29, 2013
UPDATED: OCT 30, 2014 Updated / Tap @ Witch’s Hat: Enjoyed this one again on tap at the source on St. Patrick’s Day 2014. I don’t know if this is a new batch or what, but I enjoyed it much better this time around. Still a large bourbon presence (the largest of all the BB Night Fury variants) but tame enough to be very enjoyable. Warm bourbon, vanilla, wood,a touch of maple syrup, slightly boozy brown sugar & subtly sweet vanilla finish. Tannic aftertaste, big -bal presence, powerful stout. Bumping up the score... [Original rating: 7-4-7-4-14, overall: 3.6]

Tap: Enjoyed right after the Coffee version of the same beer. Looks the same - inky black with only mild, dark brown trim. Creamy, tan-ish head is survived as a foamy film. Aroma is (obviously) less coffee-centric, though it still has big reminders of coffee beans. Some sweet vanilla beans, mild cocoa, oak, & a much more defined bourbon presence. Bourbon is more defined in the flavor as well; bourbon soaked oak, lathered in semi-sweet vanilla drizzle. Far from cloying due to the heft of the barrel-aging influence. Still get some roasty coffee in the finish. Pretty good, but I prefer the Coffee version.

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