FullObs (136) - Illinois, USA - AUG 24, 2012
From memory, on tap at the brewpub around xmas 2011. Had about 6 snifters . Was the beer of the year for me. thick and creamy, bourbon is strong but not overwhleming, flavorful and well balanced. Please bottle this in 6 pks BVery (10510) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - DEC 29, 2011
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2013 Tap. Killer. Jet black. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla all over everything. Pretty close to perfection. NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 22, 2011
Draft at Revolution. This is a beer that shows you how to do a barrel aged imperial stout. Pours a thick and oily black with a minimal dark brown head. The nose is great. Lots of dark fruit, fig, plum and currant notes, as well as a mellow vanilla and cocoa. Soft roast overall. Great choice of barrels for this one, actually, as it gets away from the coconut of the Woodford. Really fruity. On tasting, the deep dark fruit notes are very welcome with some soft sweetness that is dried out by the robust roast here. The barrel is incredibly well integrated and the alcohol is so well hidden. Phenomenal. dumontn (530) - St. Joseph, Michigan, USA - DEC 22, 2011
As seems to be the consensus, this is a fantastic example of a barrel Imperial Stout; incredibly balanced and dry-ish compared to other stouts in the 12+abv range. Pours opaque black with creamy dense brown head and GREAT retention (especially for the the style). Aroma is the perfect amount of sour whisky/vanilla/smoke, mild dark chocolate, jack daniels charcoal, espresso, chocolate syrup, hint of salt, awesome coffee chocolate whisky finish. Body is as dense as can be, very low carbonation, bitter roasty whisky finish. Overall, this one hides its booze like a freshman college student during room inspection. Dangerously drinkable and perfectly complex, this one is ready to drink from the very faucet. Cellar keeper that I am, I feel that this one would age well but is incredibly delicious right now. hombrepalo (1971) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 30, 2011
Wow seriously I pity the fool who misses out on this one. Cracked my top ten! Poured opaque black with a thin, oily, brown head. Big boozy aroma. Rich chocolate bourbon tones, not much hop character to speak of. Strong vanilla and chocolate taste with a backbone of bourbon . Mellows as it sits, but this is a beast of an Imperial Stout no matter how you slice it. Oak, vanilla, coffee, booze, chocolate. Great brew Revolution.
User29624 (1683) - - DEC 31, 2011
This beer is the titty balls.
Tap @ Rev. Pours black with a tan head. Aroma of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla. Sweet and full of flavor. Chocolate, bourbon and still very smooth. 12% packs a punch, but this is an amazing beer. My favorite one from them yet. pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 22, 2011
On tap the day after its release and consumed at the source... Deep rich and viscous pitch black pour, opaque as it gets, while a half finger solid khaki head rests on tap and reduces to a thin ring around the edges... The barrel aged notes are smooth and decadent with velvety wood, bourbon, vanilla and a modicum of coconut provided by the heaven hill I’m assuming. Rich and dessert-like, the aroma provides a comforting release so to speak... The flavors don’t dissapoint either by any stretch of the imagination. Coconut, vanilla, molasses with a touch of soy while the bittersweet chocolate provides a perfect backdrop canvas and base to a beer that absolutely improved after time spent in the barrel. The bourbon itself lends a helping hand and imparts an assertive but not overwhelmingly level of finesse. Sweet throughout mostly but not extending to the point of oversaturated residualness. The body, as a whole, isn’t as syrupy and cloying as the originally offered base beer and again, another instance of the barrel improving upon it. The booze factor never really comes into play and seems to be quite tame in that regard. A must try again and hopefully again. Really enjoyed this even with not being a fan of the base beer originally. Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2011
On tap at the brewpub. Pours a black body with a thin, frothy and creamy, brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing throughout. Aroma is really impressive with lots of soft and balanced barrel notes. Vanilla, bourbon, and oak blend wonderfully with a good amount of dark fruits and a rich, sweeter malt backing of cocoa, brown sugar, and molasses. Flavor is just as impressive. Rich and somewhat bittersweet cocoas with raisin dark fruits up front and an excellent barrel character. Vanilla, a soft bourbon, and a really nice oak along with some toffee and molasses, chocolate cake, and a touch of espresso. A really nice, light roast comes out in the end along with some bitterness as this finishes sweet and rich, but well balanced with a great oak, vanilla-bourbon, and light roast. Lengthy aftertaste following a smooth, full body and a soft, light carbonation. The barrel really thinned this out to a pleasant level so that it isn’t cloying in the least bit. Overall, an excellent barrel-aged imperial stout and my highest rated beer from these guys. The barrel smoothed out the sweetness of the original and added a wonderful, balanced complexity while hiding the alcohol completely. Still has lots of dark fruits and a really nice malt sweetness as well as a solid roast in the finish. Highly impressed. Newk (299) - - MAY 28, 2012
had on tap at the revolution production party. Had in a small plastic cup. Pours a near pitch black color with a small head.
There is a real nice balance of the bourbon aromas along with some sweet malts, dark and milk chocolate, and some bits of vanilla beans too. Very good depth too.
Full bodied and a beautifully smooth feel. Great depth with flavors of dark chocolate, sweet malts, vanilla beans, a touch of bourbon with a real nice coffee finish.
I was glad to get a pour of this. This has real good complexity and the feel really makes it. This is definitely one of their successes of the barrel aged brews KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 1/10/2012. Served on tap in a snifter at Revolution. Thanks to Dunt for the heads up that this was on tap.
From the very beginning this looks like my style of imperial stout - very dark and foreboding, with a creamy tan colored head. The head slowly fades to just a small ring around the edge of the glass, a clear victim of the high ABV.
The aroma is balanced and very pleasant. Jack Daniels is the most noticeable aroma, but that may be because I recognize it so easily. A more general bourbon aroma (I assume this is the Heaven Hill) comes through, and robust notes of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a bit of burnt espresso traipse in next. All of these aromas come together nicely, with a few wisps of oak and vanilla as well.
The flavor is absolutely amazing. Not only is the base beer pretty fantastic in its own right, but the barrel aging was done with extreme skill. Maybe my tongue is playing tricks on me, but the bourbon flavors seem to blend in better than the vast majority of bourbon barrel stouts I have had. My guess it is due to the use of two separate bourbons that does it. The bourbon flavors start strong and bracket the finish of each sip, but in the middle the malty base beer shines through. In order of strength, dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, and a bit of smoke come through and blend with the bourbons for an intense and complex finish. Aside from the bourbon flavor, there is no hint of the 12% ABV in here anywhere.
This is full, rich, and chewy. The huge malt presence creates a very full body that is only slightly cut by the bourbon presence. The carbonation adds to the effect, imparting a creamy nature that works so well with full beers of this style.
With beers like this coming out at Revolution, I am exciting to see what other barrel aged treats they are going to unveil. This is worth ordering a glass or three if it is available.