hellomynameis (876) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - NOV 1, 2007
2006 release. First thought is that they could have filled the bottle a bit more. Other than that, it pours looking a bit thinner than the regular version and has no head. Aroma has some alcohol and apparent wood aging. The palate is a bit thin but not too bad. Alcohol up front with the scotch ale coming through in the mid and a long woody after. I think I prefer the regular version. kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 28, 2007
750mL bottle, 2005 batch, #42/222. Pours a murky, burnt-amber color; slightly yellow at the edges; light perimeter of bubbles. Significant bourbon presence in the aroma; soft sour-mash bourbon, melted butter, and lightly toasted / charred oak; strong emphasis on the barrel, with a very light, dried fruit and toffee core coming through. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: barrel presence is nicely integrated into a chewy caramel and brown sugar core; the beer underneath shows through much more in the mouthfeel than in the nose; toasty oak and butter, loads of soft bourbon and a mild sour-mash note; excellent, excellent bourbon barrel presence, but not a whole lot else; less impressive than some of the other BA Alesmiths. Dense, satisfying, and intense bourbon presence, as expected. Lengthy, buttery bourbon and toasty oak in the finish. Stine (1780) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 26, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2007 Poured from a 750 of the 2005 batch. Spirit-like in appearance, the color of rye whiskey. Clear, though deep and very oily. Full aroma of peat, the richest of chocolate moussen and burnt toffee. Earthy, and certainly quite warm; late suggestions of cotton candy and bourbon. Flavor likewise is immediately warming, chocolatey, and bitter. Silky and sweet, with caramel, lively fruit tones, and rich scotch. Full, smooth, and pleasant, but a touch too heated. Spirit character exerts a forceful effect on the palate, uncarbonated and syrupy, though it composes itself well in retaining a soft touch, balancing with skillful ease on the edge of impish and unbridled whiskey imitation. Peppery and port-like finishing tones. Itís nice, but itís far from transcendent. Thanks for sharing, Ken! mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - OCT 25, 2007
#1000!!!! Beer God finally! This beer is courtesy boboski, which is fitting, considering he is the person who really got me into craft beer and probably almost half my rates have come from him. His overwhelming generosity and willingness to share rare beers, even when he gave up alot to get them is second to none. Thanks again Jason, and everybody else who has shared beers with me, even the 2-3 years or so before I started entering rates seriously. Now to the beer. From one of my favorite breweries, and one Iíve been wanting to try forever. 2005, bottle 16 of 222. This poured a deep, cloudy, almost murky, dark brownish maroon, with a very small, bubbly light tan head. The bubbles hugged the egdes of the glass and left small swirls on the cap. Big caramel, bourbon, toffee, some dark fruit, and roasted malts all come together to form an enticing aroma that just sticks in the nose. The bourbon certainly isnt overpowering and seems to be somewhat balanced well with the other aromas. Canít wait to try a sip. The flavor is lightly carbonated, almost certainly from the barrel aging, but still enough to give the mouthfeel some tingle. The bourbon is quite pronounced in the flavor, moreso than in the nose. Huge caramel characters, some vanilla, maybe a little oak, and light chocolate all seem to tag-team with the bourbon. The finish is a little bit roasty and very full-bodied. The aftertaste has a light little bitterness to it, with a big bourbon presence and a lot of caramel and vanilla flavors as well. This beer was pretty much what I was expecting, and it certainly didnít disappoint. Thanks again to Jason for sharing this rairty!! Youíre my hero. wetherel (1881) - Cupertino, California, USA - OCT 12, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2008 2005 bottle #14/222 bought at the brewery. Tasted at Churchillís with Ivan, Tim, Aaron, and Dave. Aroma just hits you when you first smell it. Super perfect oxidation. I love this level of oxidation. Low level of carbonation. Sweet buttery caramels, probably from the oak. Melanoidin in your face too. Maybe a little bit of smoke. Very nice.
3 days later, there is 1" left in the bottle in my frig. Bourbon is a little over present in the taste and aroma. It took me a little to recognize what I was smelling. At a tasting, things are rushed, so rating details are left out. You get even a little of bourbon burn on the tongue, which is unusual at 9.5%. Iím bringing the palate and overall down a notch, lowering the rating to 4.4.
Tried again at fordestís tasting with ibrew2or3, fordest, papajohn, toncatcher, and others. 9,4,8,4,18: Same rating, but I seemed to enjoy it more this time.
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - OCT 9, 2007
Thanks to my boy Bruce Willis for this í07 bottle. Dark brown pour, barely any head. Aroma is huge bourbon all the way bigtime. Flavor is a bourbon coconut sweetness I donít know why but thatís what I get. The barrel-aging really has covered up most of the smokiness and rich flavors from the regular wee heavy. Some roasted malt and caramel sweetness come through but then thereís more coconut. BrockLanders (780) - Panama City, Florida, USA - OCT 9, 2007
Huge thanks to our version of Frank the Tank for dragging this back from his stay in SoCal. Deep dark red pour...somewhat hazy and zero head to this one. Sweet malty aroma...toffee, caramel, and a wee bit of alcohol too. Full bodied brew...pleasingly tart with lotsa dried dark fruits, raisins, plums. Woody, rummy, and bourbony...whew....big taste bomb. Lightly bitter in the end..if at all. Great stuff....doubt Iíll ever see another bottle, but that will just make this one more special. FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 4, 2007
2005 vintage. Murky dark orange-brown with little to no head. Chocolate, dark alefruit, caramel, vanilla, and alcohol heat in the aroma. Heavy oak and vanillin up front. Chocolate, raisins, slight smoke. Higher alcohol notes with syrupy malt. Rusty nuttiness, semisweet chocolate notes in the finish. Mouthfeel is heavy, rich, with some alcohol heat. badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - OCT 2, 2007
2005 vintage bottle #98/222 from Alesmith brewery. Dark mahogany brown with garnet highlights around the edge and absolutely no head. Big caramel, chocolate, and whiskey aroma. Thick velvet mouthfeel. Initial taste of smooth yet oddly crisp wood, transitioning to a chocolate and caramel taste, which is immediately replaced by the bourbon and vanilla tastes and finishes with a tobacco and spice taste intermingled with a nice alcoholic sweetness. Excellent. Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - SEP 30, 2007
Rating #500. 2005 vintage.. Drank this with four friends on the beach at San Onofre State Beach. Annual dudes camping trip.
Anyway, this beer was a definite highlight. We all agreed that it was fantastic. Well, everyone but my friend Drum, who happens to work for Anheuser Busch and thinks Natural Light is a "Damn fine beer." Even he admitted it was good. As with all of the BA Alesmith beers I have had, the Bourbon is definitely the star, and is very prominent. I have read others complain about this, but I happen to love the fact that the bourbon is so noticeable. The wood balances things out rather nicely and the smooth velvety mouthfeel makes this a really nice sipper. We all agreed that there is an interesting Coconut finish that is just fantastic. This is a world class beer in my opinion and it really was a treat to have consumed.