TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - FEB 9, 2013
5 oz pour on tap at the Milwaukee Brew Pub (Chicago, IL). Pours a deep amber brown hue, darker with orange copper glow on the edges, some nice haziness, richer deep glow on the edges. A frothy beige head atop dies to a firm film, laces well. Aromas are sticky malts, gentle estery fruit. Banana and apple, gentle pear meet caramel, toffee, and biscuits. Sticky sweet meets barrel, vanilla, gentle spice, gentle yet growing spirit. Sweeter rum influence. Flaked wheat, caramel, barrel tannins and sweetness. Initial is medium bodied, a bit more girthy with sticky malts, caramel and apple, estery fruit, toffee, and some richer banana. Fruity, sweet, middle shows some barrel. Toffee, carmelization, and sticky malt. Vanilla, oak, and firm spirit influence come into play as we delve in further. Rum flavors, sweeter, a touch spicy. It’s a bit hot, harsh, and sweet.. But the barrel itself seems to play well with the base itself. A bit thinner into the back where the heat picks up, tannic and hot spirit influence. The beer goes from sweet and sticky to a bit of a mess on the backend. Perhaps some age will improve this. I can see others liking it quite a bit. For me, it’s certainly big, the rum influence makes it’s presence felt into back and finish. A bit sticky and oxidized at times. Some oranges, paper, and caramel malts. Fruity esters stick around. An oddity. It’s not bad, but it’s weird. A solid barrel aged experiment in the least. DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 9, 2013
Snifter on tap. Thin off-white head. Mostly clear orange / red / amber color. Decent lace. Bigger body. Dry texture. Smooth, lighter carbonation. Awesome aroma... Really nice amount of rum barrel here, not too strong, works well with the wheat barley wine. Great caramel malts, spice, toasty malts, some (tropical) fruity hops. Sweet, light bitter taste. Little warmth in the finish, but no bite here. Really good stuff now. I plan on getting more. Should age awesomely. b3shine (8795) - Indiana, USA - FEB 9, 2013
Draft to snifter at Dutch’s. Looks solid; an opaque dark reddish-brown with sticky off-white head that dissipates into lacing. Smells good too; sweet and boozy with a nice vanilla undertone. Dangerously drinkable too. This is good beer! NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 5, 2013
Draft at the 3rd year anniversary party. Will have to re-rate a bottle in a few months. Pours a hazed orangey gold with a sticky white head. Nose is big. Faint citrus and a hit of molasses, rich malty sweetness and booze. Sharp alcohol in the nose overall. Clean fermentation, though. On tasting, it is on the hot side with aggressive alcohol prickling the palate. Could use a touch more body. The rum notes are more subdued on the palate but do offer some raisin notes. An interesting beer that should mellow nicely in the bottle in a few months time. Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - FEB 2, 2013
On tap at the brewpub. Pours a deep amber colored body with a bit of an orange hue. Finger-width, creamy, light brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is rich caramels with some wood, hints of molasses, and a nice rum note. Touches of toast and a light fruitiness. Flavor is similar. Rich caramels with a bit more of a molasses sweetness, wood, some vanilla, and a nice rum note. The rum gives off a slight fruitiness and really adds a nice complexity to the rich caramels. Finishes dry and somewhat woody with a deeper caramel, some toast, a light woody spice, and a pleasant rum note. Just barely a hint of alcohol warmth before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Fuller, somewhat sticky body with a creamy, light carbonation. Overall, this is pretty impressive. The rum barrel adds a nice complexity to the big caramel malts without overpowering the base. Really well done anniversary beer.