badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - NOV 26, 2010
Tap at goose island clybourn, following rare release party at binnys. Pours black with minimal beige head. Aroma of sweet bourbon, subtle vanilla, big raisin and molasses. All bathed in a milk chocolate cake cocoction. Amazing. Flavor manages to out do the nose. Lactose and toffee start out this decadent trip. Profile shifts to a bourbon and raisin onslaught. So smooth. So good. TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 26, 2010
Draft at the CBC Event at the brewery and again on Black Friday at the brewpub (Chicago, IL). Pours a pitchplack opaque pour, some brown ruby edges, a small frothy darker brown head dies to a small ring. Aromas are rich chocolate chip cookies, vanilla tannins, warming bourbon, roasted malts, flourishes of roasted coffee, bakers chocolate, dark fruit slips in. Thick and strong on the nostrils, rich and creamy, sweet yet roasty, deep barrel presence. Initial is rich and creamy, roasty malts, dark chocolate, brownies and cookies, caramel, coffee grounds, bigger vanilla tannins, rich barrel presence, warming as it goes down. Wet oak, thick bodied with legs, coats the palate well as raisin and dark fruit, touches of plum and dark black cherries really grow and give this beer it’s character. Vanilla, rich bakers chocolate, coating malts and warming barrel, a little hot, but a big luscious body supports it. Incredible, if not a bit hot. Truly a good display of the barrel, and special ones at that. Finish is warming, loads of vanilla tannins with roasty bitter malts, cocoa, and coffee running the gambit and warming spirit, touches of dark fruit, anise, biscuits, nice. Overall, it IS BCS.. With some added complexity hauled out from special barrels. I do think it’s great.. But at that price.. Is regular more worth it?? Pure judgment call. 17thfloor (2444) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 28, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2010 Draft. I’m sure the appearance is probably a 5... but in the little sippy cup thing they give it to you in... I’ll leave it a 4 for now. The aroma also suffers because of this, maybe it’s because of waiting in the cold for a while, but it also seems muted. Wow, what a great marriage of bourbon and wonderful stout, the bourbon is quite strong but never gives the sense that it’s too much, not subtle but remains ever sophisticated, the stout has just light touches of soy up front, a few people commented that it actually seems to have less depth than regular, the bourbon is just amazing... o so delicious. Mouthfeel seemed to be just a bit marshmallowy but that could be because this is out of a keg, so it fluffs up a bit, supremely drinkable though, no indication that it’s 14% at all, and you don’t tire of drinking it whatsoever, doesn’t gloop up like other big stouts... probably will get a 5 on palate once I try it out of the bottle, (eh just tried some regular BCS, this is for sure a 5 on palate). Brilliant. mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 11, 2010
After spending the last 2 hours trying to push my buddy’s car through the snow, and in the freezing minnesota cold, I finally get to pop this beer open. Big thanks to my buddy and his friends for bringing bottles up from chicago. Pour is black with an almost non-existent dark tan head. Excellent aroma here. Actually like the aroma more than the flavor. Quite sweet. Big chocolate and cream notes. Nice warming sensation with every sip, and lingering aftertaste is of chocolate chip cookie dough. Really just a great barrel aged beer to sip on during the great minnesota blizzard. Now just to find a hotel room because I’m stuck. illinismitty (2377) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 18, 2010
Bottle shared with my brother, cousin, and some chick. Pours a viscous black with a faint brown head that disappears. Full bodied with a slick, velvety mouthfeel. Outstanding aroma- and you smell this thing 6 feet away- bourbon, coffee lacquer, and port wine. Flavor of espresso, plummy red wine, bourbon, and cherry. Oaky and warming finish, but not hot or peppery. A slow sipper for sure and nice melding of flavors. Excellent. Worth the price? If you split with four people...yes.
User29624 (1687) - - DEC 22, 2010
This better be the best damn beer ever, because it costs a fortune. Think bourbon county stout, but thicker, and better bourbon flavor. Very smooth - amazing. dionysus (1486) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 3, 2011
Did this in a vertical along with BCS03-10, Vanilla & Coffee. Bottle pours deep brown/black with a tan head. Aroma is jam packed full of bourbon, toasted coconut, chocolate, roasted malt,light smoke, and touch of soy.
Flavor holds steady with the same underlying vanilla, molasses, and toffee as the regular bc. Hmm whatdya know, this seems a lot like the 06. Overall body is full, viscous, and has that same warming alc I know and love.
cpetrone84 (1810) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 29, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2011 Re-rate of brief notes from summer of 2011 from bottle. More rich chocolate cake than I remember, still strong but integrated bourbon with nice wood notes. Extremely rich and flavorful but a touch of heat detracting from a darn good beer!
Had on tap on Black Friday at Clybourne.
A-pours an opaque viscous black liquid with a dark tan head that is a little thin.
S-the nose has strong bourbon notes and a touch of wood. Creamy milk chocolate and notes of caramel come in with a touch of anise and some fusel alcohol in the back.
T-light bourbon notes, subtle but additive, sweet notes of dark fruits, black cherries and ripe plums, rich chocolate cake with a touch of bitter bakers chocolate. More malt sweetness comes in blended with some tangy anise, fusel alcohol in back with a fair bit of heat in the finish.
M-huge chewy body, nicely carbonated, fairly dry finish with a crispness that seems almost astringent.
D-pretty good stuff here, nice balance of malt sweetness and rich chocolate flavors. The bourbon barrel is done very well and the body holds up nicely. its a little sweet, boozy, and hot to be great, hopefully some of that will mellow with age but the sweetness could be an issue. douglas88 (9795) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 18, 2010
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2014 22 ounce bottle thanks to Dunt. What a nice brew, despite the price and the somewhat uninteresting name of ’rare’ it holds up as a great brew. Pours a pure black color with a medium deep brown head. The aroma is heavenly; massive rich bourbon just explodes out of the glass, some dark fruits, cocoa, and wood later as it warms. A wonderful flavor; hot, just inhaling warms you up, massive bourbon, but not just bourbon, perfect bourbon, vanilla, wood, rich dark fruits and chocolates mix, this is no one trick pony, in fact it is very complex. Lovely. A great example of craft beer. Yes, this is massively a bourbon beer. But it is also a great Imperial Stout. I could rate this even higher. dyetube (1378) - Hurst, Texas, USA - DEC 20, 2010
This beer pours a black with a medium tan head. The aromas are soy, roasted coffee, chocolate. The mouthfeel is stick, bitter and heavy like motor oil. Great beer!