kramer (6293) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 28, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap, RBWG 2010. Pours a thick pitch black body, rather inky looking, with a large very dark brown head. Identical to the Bourbon version. The nose on the Brandy is a little more to my liking, not quite as dominated by the barrel character. Great brandy and Stout balance, a little sweeter smelling, with light chili pepper, heavy roast, and rich dark chocolate. The alcohol doesnít seem as prominant as it was in the bourbon version as well. The flavor is very brandy dominated, and I like it. It works much better than the bourbon with the chocolate and (although light) chili notes. Some light woody notes on the back end where the chili comes out a bit more aggressively as well. Mouthfeel is full and oily with moderate fizzy carbonation. A little sticky on the finish. Identical to the bourbon version. Pretty great. A slight improvement over the regular version and better than the bourbon.
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUN 25, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Capones during PBW10. Thanks weeare138! Pours a deep black with a smaller creamy tan head. Basically got all the same character out of this one as I did the regular version. Carbonation was lighter and the Brandy really added to the complexity and was not over powering. Also added some woody character to an already really solid beer.
nickd717 (4365) - Sofia, BULGARIA - JUN 23, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle via trade from askofficerfriendly. Thanks, Greg! Pours pitch black with a tan head that fades to thick but spotty foam. Some legs - this is very thick. Aroma is absolutely amazing. Rich chocolate, roast, caramel, oak, and brandy. Super intense. Flavor is Hunahpuís and brandy. That doesnít sound great, but it was AWESOME! Roast, rich dark chocolate, toffee, coffee, oak, brandy, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili peppers. So much going on. One of the best and most complex RISes Iíve had, and thatís saying something! Itís my favorite style and Iíve ticked well over 100. On the palate, wow, this is very heavy, like Guinness almost. ALMOST. Syrupy and slick with very full body. Mouthfeel is really the only place it fails. Otherwise itís incredible. Oh, and drinkability I guess. I took down my 5oz or so with no problem, but may not want all that much more. But otherwise, damn dogg, this is legit! Probably top 10 among beers Iíve had up to this point.
wavers1 (916) - Notown, California, USA - JUN 23, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2011 thanks to shadesofgrey for this rarity. i guess. completely flat, not a bubble to be seen in this viscous pour. completely flat in the mouth, just seems more like a strong prune-ish port or something. maybe there is some cool stuff from the apple brandy barrel, but the absolute flatness and staleness of it make me not even want to seek anything out. hopefully i can rerate this in the future from something other than a hand bottle.
edit/re-rate: ok this is weird. the first pour from this hand bottle was dead still, and the second one has some light carbonation and some head. weird. head is super dark brown, one of the darkest iíve seen. the aroma is about the same, very distracted by heat, but good. however, just the bit of carbonation really opens up the myriad of subtleties in it. sweet apples, hot peppers, licorice, cacoa, etc. still a bit flat in the mouth, i imagine i might rate this another 0.2 -0.6 higher if it was in proper order.
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - JUN 22, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thick viscous awesome brew. Oily slick mouthfeel. Lots of alcohol with some fruit and roasted malts. A bit creamy and really nice to drink. Toffee, cocoa and wood with a bit of vanilla and apples. Nice and rich.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JUN 21, 2010
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2010 16oz hand bottle. Holy god... this beer looks sexy as hell in the glass. Super thick and viscous with about the darkest brown head of any beer Iíve ever seen. A gentile swirl in the glass leaves a slightly golden brown motor oil stain on the sides of my glass. As with the bourbon version, the barrel aging mutes some of the original awesomeness of the aroma. Very light pepper/chili notes. Fairly heavy on the alcohol, but thankfully the stink of isovaleric acid that was so prevalent in the bourbon version is absent here. Mild wet wood notes. The vanilla and peppers come up a bit more as the beer nears room temperature. Decent... but fairly average barreled aroma. The barrel shows itself much more on the tongue than on the nose. Lush flavors of peppers, vanilla, decadent milk chocolate, toasted nuts immediately come to the tongue. Further warming brings out the wood and brandy flavors. The base beer is pretty much gone with the barrel leaving a goddamn decadent imperial stout. Slightly tart granny smith apples, plenty of warming (but not distracting) alcohol, wet wood... Huge mouthfeel but never syrupy or cloying. Damn near reminiscent of cask Darkness. Ultra velvety and smooth throughout. Bitter chocolate with a kiss of heat and wood tannin on the finish.
Itís been a very, very long time since I have been this impressed with an Imperial Stout (much less a Barrel Aged version) but make no mistake people, this is the real deal. Color me impressed. Thanks a ton Ryan!
Lubiere (13183) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 18, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A deep dark stout with no head, thick and oily. In aroma, more soy sauce saltyness, alcohol and chocolate, intense and enticing. In mouth, a classy imperial stout with bitter chocolate, coffee, prunes, warming alcohol, just wonderful. On tap at Cigar City, May 22 2010.
DocLock (10205) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 9, 2010
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft at Caponeís Philly Beer Week Cigar City event, sampled side by side with the regular version in 5.5 ounce snifters. Pours dark browniush black with off-tan head. Nose is oaky brandy, dark malt, raisin, fine tobacco, vanilla, hops. Tastes veru rich and complex, with a big malt bill, a lot of oaky brandy, molasses, fine tobacco, vanilla, prune, blackberry late, and hops. Extremely complex, smooth, and delcious, and this one straddles thee fine line between beer and spirit. I loved both this and the regular version about equally, and they both have their pros and cons (mostly pros, and the cons are infinitescimal). Delicious.
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JUN 9, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2010 Tap at Caponeís. Dark brown color with a small wisp of head. Aroma of chocolate and dark fruit. Strange follow-up taste of syrupy soy and black olives. I usually like brandy aging, but in this case I really felt that it took away from all that is good about this beer.
Ibrew2or3 (8358) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 8, 2010
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at CCB pouring up inky dark soulless void with dark mocha head and long lasting ring of foam and some spotty lacing. The aroma is bold and tries to push you over with sweet brandy, coconut, vanilla, oak, rich dark roastiness and dark chocolate all coming together. The taste smooth and near velvety with dark roastiness and dark chocolate sliding into sweet smooth brandy booziness, vanilla, coconut and then oak as well. It leaves a pleasing rich dark chocolate, vanilla and coconut sense behind deep into the after taste. The balance ends up a bit more barrel forward than beer forward at this point allowing almost all of the beery goodness of this beer to shine through. I really wasnít able to pick up any chili other than maybe a sense of heat combined with booziness and carbonation into the finish.