muzzlehatch (4970) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 28, 2016
Un-Muzzling Olde Muzzlehatch Ratings, #42. Draught 10 ounce glass at the brewpub, August 2008. Cloudy walnut, clearing up as it sits, topped by a lasting moderate cap of foam...very powerful and complex aroma with the expected bourbon/vanilla notes certainly strong, but not completely dominating the heavy Belgian yeast; also touches of prune and raisins and a bit of caramel...body offers mostly huge sweetness, bourbon character much in evident, but also some interesting notes of Scotch or peaty bitterness and burnt qualities...ultimately it’s a bit too much in terms of alcoholic burn and sweetness - and my tolerance for this can be quite strong, and the body too syrupy and a bit undercarbonated. Still fairly impressive, just not great as I might have hoped. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - FEB 18, 2010
22oz hand-bottle shared by kmweaver on 8/24/08: Pours a transparent dark copper ruby with a thin-lacing off-white head. Aroma of rich, sweet dark caramel and complex oaky bourbon with a touch of brown sugar. Body starts fairly full and caramely sweet with a good oaky bourbon and toffee balance. Finishes smooth and bittersweet with good complexity throughout. kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - AUG 25, 2008
22oz handbottle, courtesy of Stine. Thanks, Eben! Pours a very dark, ruby-brown color; minimal head formation. Lots of sweet soft bourbon, dried dark fruits, butter, and caramel in the aroma; slightly reserved. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: lots of bourbon (toasty oak, sweet liqueur), dried dark fruits, and intense, oily maltiness; minimal alcohol showing through; intense, generous malt character and softly integrated bourbon aging; nicely done overall, and very tasty stuff. Lengthy finish: toasty malts, dried dark fruits, and soft butter / vanilla notes; nicely dry. ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - AUG 25, 2008
Courtesy of kmweaver. Ruby brown body with a small tan head. The nose is dark fruits and molasses. The flavor is lightly sweet, lightly tart with cherry/red berry, raisin, toffee and bourbon. Medium/full body is soft with light carbonation. tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JUL 28, 2008
12oz hand bottle. Fairly fruity and somewhat delicate aroma. Figs, raisins, spicy yeast and a pleasant wood presence. Not so much bourbon... more along the lines of wet wood. As the beer opens, vanilla and cinnamon graham cracker notes appear. Pours a still dark brown with some amber highlights. Fairly bourbon heavy on the tongue. Maple syrup, rum soaked raisins. An earthy and chewy woodiness. Some spices from the yeast, but the bourbon seems to overpower the original beer. Spicy caramel. Slick and oily on the tongue with soft carbonation and finishing with a kick of alcohol. I thought the Pinot barrel was a much better use of aging. Thanks Eben!
Skyview (6093) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JUL 4, 2008
From a 12-oz hand bottled, shared by Stine, pours semi-hazy dark brown brew with a thin off-white head that quickly dissipates to a fine film and no ring. Aroma of vanilla, coconuts, caramel and plenty of bourbon. Taste is smooth, a little thick, very, very light carbonation with flavors of bourbon, caramel malt, some flowery hops, a touch of raisin and some yeast. Finish remains the bourbon character with a light caramel and raisin aftertaste. For a low carbonated bourbon barrel aged reserve, this one is very tasty! Guerde (1297) - Leuven, BELGIUM - JUL 3, 2008
(handbottle, thanks Stine!) Pours dark brown with no head whatsoever. The aroma is very potent and pleasant. A nice mix of raisin, coconut, caramel, and some slight alcohol is detected. Flavor is also very sweet in the beginning with a lot of raisin, cherry, but this flavor is brief and gives way to the more dominant barrel flavors of wood, vanilla, alcohol, berry skin, and a sustained wooden finish that’s very similar to the Blue Label Pinot. This was excellent, and yet another superior example of barrel aging from Fitgers. badgerben (5285) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUL 3, 2008
A hand bottle courtesy of Mr. Stine. Dark brown color with no head. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla aroma. Possibly a little winey. While the immediate flavors of bourbon, vanilla and oak leave no doubt about what kind of barrel this was aged in, the dark fruit, sweet malt and Belgian yeast characters are not completely obliterated at all. Incredibly low carbonation. Stine (1795) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 2, 2008
Growler pour. A robust mahogany glow; transparent, and spirit-like. Complex, vinous, contemplative aroma of figs, raisins, cinnamon bread and fruitcake, raw nuts; moments of toasty, vanilla and butter-laden bourbon syrup lending weight. Alcohol mostly seems dirty; a counterintuitive rough stroke in an otherwise extremely refined portrait of bourbon and deeply toned malts happily together.
Cinnamon crusted heat hits the back of the mouth immediately. Pecans, baked wheat bread, burnt honey; generally, a rich, woodsy, earth-baked quality about the malt character gives it a pleasantly rustic tone that wasn’t as pronounced in the more streamlined, sophisticated pinot barrel version. Bourbon tones linger in and marry themselves softly to this earthy malt flavor, with ease, and without much noise. Outside hints of toasted coconut, pineapple, and extended, vaguely bright fruitiness.
Oily, warm palate. There seems to be some loss of carbonation to the growler, but the spirit-like texture that results is quite suitable. Somewhat plain bourbon flavor finishes in simplicity, though the wildflower honey and vanilla characters it offers are clean and even almost refreshing. Long, wooden smack with a nip of dry alcohol. While the pinot barrel version was so delicate and rich, this really highlights the red meat of the malt character in a viscerally satisfying way.