bigbish (722) - California, USA - OCT 7, 2017 ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12.7 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a nearly pitch black color that doesn’t look particularly thick coming out of the bottle. The head is typical for the style, a one-finger khaki shade. It’s nice and creamy, but doesn’t retain well (as expected). Slight hints of lacing are left on the glass.
S: Upon popping the cork, a HUGE aroma of chocolaty goodness emanates from the bottle. After it’s actually poured, it turns into more of a typical barrel-aged stout. There’s plenty of oak, roasted malts, butter, and vanilla here. This definitely seems bourbon-forward enough.
T: Dark chocolate opens up the flavors nicely. There’s also something savory in between the chocolaty start and tannic finish. I’m venturing to say it’s just a pure bourbon flavor, but it also has a quality of roasted nuts. All in all, it grows on me after a while, and I enjoy it a fair deal. Problem is, there’s not much (if any) complexity. It’s simplistic to a fault - which is fine for some A-class pilsner or AA-class IPA, but this is the major league of barrel-aged imperial stouts. You need to bring everything to the table, and this doesn’t quite do that. On the positive side, the sweetness is nicely controlled; even BCBS, as fantastic as it is, comes across too sweetly at times.
M: It’s suitably creamy, so it meets the bare minimum for what the style should feel like in the mouth. The finish, too, is nice, managing to be both dry and long-lasting. On the other hand, it’s also rather thinned out and clean - the latter must be why there isn’t much depth. Still, I am pretty impressed how this has a decent bourbon flavor with little burn considering the sweetness is restrained and the body is slender.
O: 3.9 (or whatever the rAvg is) isn’t a great score for a barrel-aged imperial stout, but going by my tendency to rate most everything half a point below the typical average, I’d even wager this is slightly underrated. I’d probably lambast this somewhat if it had the same level of hype as BCBS does. All I know is that A) it’s better than the chocolate/coffee aged version, and B) with a few tweaks (more body, more complexity), it would be up there with the elites. Right now, though, it’s still quite good.
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2017 This is a really nice stout, lots of coffee and roasted notes. Slight vanilla flavor from the barrel, rounds out the flavor profile. Good stuff. markextrae (4485) - Alingsås, SWEDEN, SWEDEN - SEP 17, 2017
From bottle, big roasted notes, dark cacao, ash and porto fruit tones. Roasted bitterness, plum. rosskyle (760) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 14, 2017
Served on draft. Black color with minimal head. Bourbon vanilla chocolate. Booze finish. Heavy body.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone Nische (2500) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUN 25, 2017
Bottle shared with pilsnertest. Pours black with a small off-white head. Aroma is pretty bourbon forward with earthy wood, molasses, chocolate and a light roast. Taste is similar with bourbon, oak, vanilla and chocolate. A weak hint of stale cardboard, I might have been holding on to this one just a bit too long. Still highly enjoyable though. stevoj (5565) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 14, 2017
2017 RIS tasting, 2017 vintage on the bottle. Maybe should have held it a little longer. Black, oily pour, head a bit darker than the previous ones. some of the bourbon comes through in the aroma for some boozy scent, nice roast grains, small amount of sweetness. Taste adds some more woody, barrel notes, some chocolate, some fruitiness, which doesn’t seem out of place. A bit of heat form the alcohol too.
anders37 (26987) - Malmö, SWEDEN - MAY 1, 2017
Bottle. Pours a black color with a small off-white head. Has a roasted malty chocolate vanilla aroma. Roasted malty woody chocolate vanilla flavor. Has a roasted malty woody caramel chocolate and vanilla finish. hershiser2 (3661) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 24, 2017
$11.99 bomber from Wine Warehouse. Pours thick and black with a small brown head. Amazing aroma of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Flavor is vanilla and chocolate, light coffee, oak, bourbon. Slight sweet, very delicious. b33r (881) - Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2017
Dark brown color with thin light brown head an little lacing. Aroma and flavor have strong oak and bourbon characteristics. Roasty malts. Thin mouthfeel with a little alcohol burn. Okay overall. emacgee (4705) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 16, 2017
Insipid dark brown pour with a wispy weak khaki tan head. Nose is not appealing. Papery and stale malts with some dark grain and toast. Wood and weak bourbon show as well. Flavor is not great. Sharp alcohol and lots of dried fruits. Prune and raisin with a rich caramel sweetness. Bitter grain and an astringent finish. johnnnniee (4411) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 30, 2017
Bottle from Solidfunk, big thanks
Pours a solid black with a frothy creamy tan head that persists. Roasty earthy with hints of molasses and dark pitted fruits. Sweet brown sugary malts in the flavor with bits of oak bourbon and hints of vanilla and coconut. Bit of an alcohol warming this one is definitely a sipper but its also pretty damn tasty too.