argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 8, 2007
Minimal tan head atop brown-black body. Aroma is medium sweet, coffee, vanilla/Bourbon. Taste is medium sweet, vanilla, coffee/chocolate, light alcohol burn, wood. Medium-full body with minimal carbonation. Dogbrick (13748) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 8, 2008
Sample at the Bell’s tasting at Brews Cafe on 3/6/08 (as Bourbon Barrel Java Stout): Pours nearly black with a wispy beige head that recedes quickly. Spotty lacing. Nice coffee aroma with some oak and roasted malt. Rich, smooth body with an understated coffee character. Notes of malt, hops and bourbon flavor. The finish is mostly coffee with touches of caramel and toffee. Hit the ground running with this one because it turned out to be my favorite of the evening. Very good overall. 3fourths (9358) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 8, 2007
2004 version (I think), from a keg. Called Bells Bourbon Aged Java Stout. The nose is pretty remarkable, it’s a buttery bourbon (with lighter wood) scent, the coffee almost unnoticed in the nose, and the malt character is sticky and sweet (at least it smells that way). I like the lack of hops in the nose. That all being said, the bourbon almost comes across as spoiled butter, so it’s not on the level of the Founders Kentucky Breakfast, though it does smell similar. While drinking this someone mentioned furniture varnish, so that’s something I picked up right then... flavorwise it’s better, it’s more wood and less bourbon, especially up front, and on the back the rich and chewy coffee presence is felt. Very good overall. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2007
On tap at Maduro prior to the 2007 GTMW: Pours an opaque black with dark brown edges and a thin wispy-lacing tan head. Aroma of toasty malt, maple syrup, bourbon oak and sweet caramel. Body is well-balanced with a good amount of sweet caramel bourbon and coffee with doughy toffee and some oaky balance. A nice barrel-aged beer. Ughsmash (7510) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2006
On tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest, poured by Mr. Bell himself! Poured a very deep brown with some lighter brown at the edges. Nose was deep, with lightly-burnt coffee maltage, hints of dark chocolate, rich vanilla, and oaky bourbon sugars. Burnt coffee bitterness and citrus tartness provide a fine first impression on the tastebuds... followed up by more coffee grounds, dark chocolate, oak, and warm bourbon. Flavors meshed very well. Fuller on the palate than it appeared in the pour, with sticky dark malts and alcohol at the finish. Excellent brew!
BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 10, 2005
2005 Eccentric Day: Enjoyed with Styles and Pailhead. Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Opaque with a small creamy tan head and left an oily film on the cup. The nose displayed characteristics of coffee (duh), mocha, vanilla, prune and raisin, peat, wood, and yep bourbon imbuded wood. The taste starts with a heavy dose of coffee bitterness with a sweet vanilla and mocha overtone. Got some notes of a woody and earthy undertone further on before finishing with an interesting mineral and hop bitters finish. The feel is VERY WARMING, lievly and sharp with an oily body. Very good barrel influence but it did start to overpower as it warmed. I will take the regular Java over this but still nice to try once.
On tap: Aroma is loaded with roasted coffee with light chocolate and vanilla. Dark brown, virtually black, with an insignificant off-white head. Flavor is loaded with roasted coffee just like the regular version. Chocolate profiles is much bigger and light vanilla as well. Hints of wood hide in the background. Very tastey. jsquire (4597) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 8, 2008
On tap at the Bell’s dinner at Brews. Dark beer with a thin brown head. The initial aroma is bourbon barrel followed quickly by burnt espresso beans. Warm, round bourbon flavors with oak and vanilla lead in the flavor, followed quickly by stale coffee, brown sugar, and an espresso bean bitterness that lasts well into the finish. Tons of flavors in this beer, all well balanced. drewbeerme (3921) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 22, 2007
sampled at GTMW 06. poured via handpump by Larry Bell. pours black with very small off white head around the rim. nose of stale coffee and bourbon. i didn’t think the oak/bourbon notes worked with the coffee notes this beer, it sorta comes off tasting stale and burnt. Brigadier (3750) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - AUG 15, 2006
Great Taste of the Midwest
artusory gave me about half of his pour while we waited in line for Alpha
Khan at the Three Floyd’s booth. I’m glad to have tried simply because it
confirmed that my desire not to wait in line was probably the right one.
It wasn’t bad but at the same time it was not quite on the level of the other
bourbon barrel aged beers sprawled around the festival grounds. I should
try the regular Java stout for reference to see how the aging changed it.
Aroma / Appearance - Bourbon notes were strong, along with dark
chocolate and Java coffee (of course). The body was jet black with virtually
no head or lacing. I was there had been more to the nose - maybe I should
give it a closer sniff at some point.
Flavor / Palate - It was a little thin coming down my throat but
some sweetness compensated a little bit. Hints of vanilla creamer, malt
and filtered coffee grounds were apparent but not overwhelming. Overall it
was enjoyable but at the same time I was not impressed. This was probably
one of the bigger disappointments of the day in my opinion, though others