TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 19, 2012
Draft pour on tap at the brewpub (Chicago, IL). Pours a murky blackish brown hue, more brown with murky glowing edges. Frothy tannish head stays as a nice layer overall, laces ok. Aromas are fairly rich, offering rich barrel, Bourbon spirit, vanilla, and wet citrusy and bitter floral hops. Lemon, touches of toasty malts, vanilla, bourbon and bourbon soaked hops mix well. Initial is lighter end of medium, underbodied a bit. Striking spirit influence up front, spirit and oak flavors, vanilla tannins, mellow biscuit and toast. Vanilla, Bourbon into the middle with a citrusy, pineapple, floral and piney element striking firmly into the backend. Gentle malt, silky feel, toffee a bit. Finish is a touch hot, bitter, and settles down a bit into some more base influence in the hoppy finish. I think I preferred the base beer more, as the barrel seems to influence firmly here, perhaps a bit much. Still, it’s not a bad beer. Perhaps it’s just an odd style to age in a Bourbon barrel. Overall, the flavors are quite lovely, the balance is a bit off, but it’s a pretty fun beer if you’ve got time for one.