jrob21 (3841) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 18, 2015
I’m going to put this one here although the sample at strong beer festival did not specifically say it was a woodford barrel. This is barleywine kind of action here. Lots of vanilla in the aroma. Bit of bourbon flavor. Sweet malt and caramel toffee flavors. Nephilium (1821) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NOV 13, 2014
[Vintage 2013] Aroma starts with notes of oak and vanilla. Pours an opaque, murky brown with a thin ring of light tan head. Not much in the hop department, but that’s to be expected for a bottle that’s over a year old. The oak and bourbon notes are predominant, with a touch of sweet caramel in the finish. Slick mouthfeel, and a full body round this one out. I would love to try one of these fresh to compare. olr1984 (1530) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 14, 2014
on tap at huna day pours a dark brown almost red with a small tan head. a bit of a citrus taste with a bourbon finish PhillyCraft (7990) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 9, 2012
On tap at Capones last year or year before. Pours a dark plum color. MEdium sticky head and lacing. Aromas of plum, citrus, dark fruit, bourbon. Taste is plums, cocoa, cherries, piney resin, and bourbon. Very good b.a. ipa. egajdzis (6776) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 6, 2011
[Draft @ Capones] Reddish brown color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of floral hops, grass, citrus, light vanilla, wood, and a bit of bourbon. Taste of grass, citrus, pine, tobacco, vanilla, wood, and light bourbon in the finish.
TonyDiUlio (679) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 28, 2011
Had at capones. Pour was a clear dark amber. Some good head. Aroma is mild sour malts with berries. Flavor is a surprising sour berry with undertones of alc hopdog (13102) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 28, 2011
On tap at Capone’s. Poured a deep amberish / brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of wood, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and chocolate. Tastes of vanilla, wood, caramel, bourbon, roast, and chocolate. juiceisloose (1565) - Windermere, Florida, USA - JAN 25, 2011
Draft at Redlight Redlight. This one pours a deep, dark reddish brown color and topped by a small head of beige colored foam that settles to a thin film and leaving sudsy, drippy lace around the glass. The aroma is big and rich showing more like a barrel aged barley wine than a double ipa. The bourbon comes right up front followed by gobs of oak laden vanilla, rich caramel, and chocolate roast. Toasted toffee, oak, an dark fruit round things out, while just a hint of citrus hop bitterness appears on the back end. This smells really nice. The flavor follows suit and again show more like a barleywine. The toasted caramel and toffee malts are smooth and show first along with some roasted chocolate, which work well with the bourbon rich oak and vanilla. The citrus hops from the base beer are almost non existent here as the bourbon soaked oak and rich toffee malts have overpowered everything from the base beer. Really great flavors in this beer. The palate is full bodied, smooth, with a nice warming from the booze and slightly sticky from the sugars. The carbonation is light, but aerates things just enough from getting cloying. This is a slow sipper for sure as the caramel and bourbon linger on the finish. Really great stuff here as the bourbon barrel has completely changed the base beer. Definitely not a double ipa at this point, but still a great beer nonetheless. Beerlando (3343) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 25, 2011
Draft at Redlight Redlight. This is the Woodford Reserve barrel aged version, which is distinct from both Big Sloppy Monster (Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey barrel) and Oak-Aged Big Hoppy Monster (virgin oak chips). dchmela (3085) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 30, 2010
Right off the bat, this beer distinguishes itself from the base and oak-chip aged versions. Uniquely dark, showing a rich, deep, inky garnet color throughout, the body is capped with a thin beige head that fades to just a skinny perimeter ring. Small gatherings of drippy, rounded, wet lacing spots mark the glass, barely out dueling gravity. It’s definitely got the look of a dark barleywine, which foreshadows that which is to come quite accurately.
The nose is delectably rich, booming with vanilla-heavy bourbon straight from the start, then moving into wave after wave of luscious caramel, toasted toffee, and even some hints of chocolate roast. The bourbon component is of that distinct Kentucky sour mash ilk, incorporating well seasoned, mildly toasted oak notes throughout. Hops have all but disappeared on the nose, replaced by a general dark fruitiness that marries with the decadence of the malts quite nicely. Simply stated, this stuff smells awesome.
Flavors follow suit, again very barleywine esque. Toffee and caramel malts are full, round, and buttery, yet sufficiently toasted, and seemingly slightly roasty with the introduction of some chocolate. Maple makes an appearance, working nicely with the vanilla and oak rich bourbon. As the nose suggests, hops are simply a thing of the past here. I’m not sure how long this aged, but I’d guess a good long while, as rich, bourbon soaked wood and concentrated, reduced toffee maltiness have displaced the citrus bitterness present in the fresh base beer. Overall, the flavor resembles that of a really well made, dark barleywine. Barrel-aged Old Ruffian comes to mind here. Great stuff.
Predictably, the palate is big, thick, and warming. It approaches a syrupy consistency at points, yet manages just enough oxidation to keep any cloying tendencies in check. Carbonation is appropriately light, yet there is just enough to sort of clean things up on the tongue. It’s definitely a slow, fireside sipper of a beer.
On the whole, this is outstanding stuff. Definitely more barleywine than IIPA at this point, and most certainly an entirely different animal than past incarnations of this beer. Great brew. Wish I knew about it sooner, because I would have definitely taken more time to get to know it.
#1900 Draft at Redlight. Hazy brownish red pour with a thin tan head. Lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla in the nose really suppressing any of the hop aroma. Huge bourbon, vanilla up front with lots of chocolate and toffee with some hops finally peaking through. Awesome version of a great beer.