Fremont Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star

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This year’s release is a blend of 18, 12, and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. The roasted and chocolate malts complement the smooth oats to bring you a stout delight wrapped in the gentle embrace of bourbon barrel-aged warmth.

Final Rating: 4.74/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Fremont pub glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black inky body with a two finger brown head that reduces slowly to leave splotchy lacing and a ring of retention..

Aromas are mesmerizing, bourbon-chocolate-vanilla fudge cake and semisweet chocolate brownies, coffee, absolutely stunning once this warms, straight milk chocolate, vanilla, coffee, bourbon, maple, molasses at room temperature.

Taste follows the nose and just like the nose, is best at room temperature. Let this warm up for the full experience. Bourbon-vanilla-fudge, semisweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate brownies, light coffee but heavy roastyness on the finish. Thick, rich, creamy, low carb.

Fremont makes some of the best stouts in the world. I’ve had enough Fremont offerings to confidently say that even though they are rated as world class, they’re still underrated. No adjuncts needed. Just world class beer.

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Prairie Dawgz PVC Pipe Dreams

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Last year, members of the club were allowed to purchase an entire barrel of either rum- or bourbon-aged stout that had been aging in the barrels since early 2017 for $3,600. The purchasers were then allowed to add up to three spices or adjuncts to condition the beer on, choosing from vanilla, coffee, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, peppers, pecans and coconut, although the brewery was willing to work with other spices if it was feasible. Prairie then decided on the appropriate dosage rate for each spice.

Prairie PVC Pipe Dreams is a Prairie Dawgz single barrel Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Pecans.

Final Rating: 4.68/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Prairie Dino Glass.

Pours a deep brown body with a one finger light brown head that reduces to leave a ring of retention and little lacing.

On the nose, this is straight freshly baked cinnamon buns, frosting and all. There’s no other way to describe how this beer smells. It’s like walking past a Cinnabon booth. Cinnamon, creamy vanilla, and a light nuttyness from the pecans.

The tongue follows the nose with a lot of cinnamon and vanilla, light cocoa and pecans, followed by roasty coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Finish is lightly roasty. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich with medium-low carbonation.

This beer was fantastic. An absolute cinnamon-vanilla bomb. If this is rebrewed, it should be called frosted cinnamon bun..

Sante Adairius Westly vs. West Ashley

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Westly is a reinterpretation of on of our favorite beers we make here at SARA, West Ashley. It is also an exercise in folly. We indulged ourselves on question: what would Ashley be like with more fruit and longer aging? Twice the amount of apricots and twice the time in barrels, Westly is the answer. We hope you agree that sometimes more is better. Sometimes folly is the path. Sante!

Final Rating: 4.74/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Sante Adarius tulip glass. Drank right after tasting West Ashley Thanks Jake for the trade.

Pours a hazy light orange body, looks almost pulpy with a one finger white fizzy head that reduces quickly. Leaves little lacing.

On the nose, it’s very fruit-forward and champagne-like. Tons of stone fruit aromas, very juicy and potent. Psyched to taste this based on the nose!

On the tongue, it’s very tart upfront but the fruit is delicate and balanced. Just enough apricot flavors. Very juicy and crisp, lightly funky, champagne, white wine flavors. Oak barrel flavors show up slightly on the follow through. Mouthfeel is spot on with refreshing, medium-high carbonation.

I’d say this lived up to the hype, it was smoother and more delicate, less sour and more fruity than West Ashley.

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Orange, lactic, and bursting with apricot aroma, West Ashley is built for consideration and conversation. While Ashley starts as a simple Saison, careful aging in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels with apricots, our house microbes, and warm encouragement transform her into a tart, complex and delectable beer.

Final Rating: 4.59/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7 750mL poured into a Sante Adairius tulip glass.

Pours hazy golden body, aroma is lactic tartness, stone fruit, slight farmhouse funk. Tongue matches the nose with lots of apricot / stone fruit on the follow through – not as acidic as I thought, more balanced fruitiness with a nice pulpy aftertaste with some barrel in there as well. Medium carbonation and body.

Overall delightful, a true masterpiece.

 

Perennial Barrel Aged Sump

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Imperial Stout aged 12+ months in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with Sump Coffee Colombia Nariño Los Rosales coffee beans

Final Rating: 4.5/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Perennial stemmed wine glass. Thanks Brian for sharing this long-time want.

On the nose I get a lot of vanilla, chocolate, fresh coffee beans, and surprisingly a bit of maple. Smells like an awesome breakfast stout.

Bold, dark chocolate notes, chocolate covered espresso beans, vanilla-maple coffee, cocoa and bourbon on the follow through. The aftertaste is charred with dark roast coffee flavors lingering for a while. Mouthfeel is good with a medium-heavy body and low carbonation.

Sump is one of my favorite coffee stouts, so it was to be expected that I’d really enjoy BA sump, which I did. World-class beer!

DeGarde Boysen De Mer

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De Garde Boysen de Mer is a farmhouse wild ale aged in oak barrels with boysenberries.

Final Rating: 4.11/5
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a DeGarde tulip glass.

Pours a dark pink-purple body with a bright pink two finger head that reduces slowly to leave a good amount of lacing and retention. The color is stunning, this is a perfect 5 for look.

Aromas are faint and earthy, berries and somewhat grassy, fruit skins, tannic with some champagne-like aromas. On the tongue are fairly tart, dry, berry notes with white wine and champagne, light berry flavors in the background, earthy and green, lightly bitter aftertaste. Easy, crisp body with high carbonation.

This beer’s best characteristic was it’s vibrant color and head, which led me to believe that it would be more fruity with more berry flavors, but it was actually subtly fruity with delicate notes. Not bad though.

2014 Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze Golden Blend

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The Golden Blend is made with 4 year old Lambic that accounts for 25 % of it’s contents, the rest of the blend is made up by a “secret” combination of 1, 2 and 3 year old Lambic.

The exact mixture is only known by the master-blender Armand himself.

The name “Golden Blend” is not far away from the truth, in fact, the 4 years of maturation in oak-wooden barrels is making this particular Lambic very expensive.

Due to the “evaporation” through the barrels, only a small percentage of the lambic is left over after 4 years of maturing.

Final Rating: 4.52/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Drie Fonteinen tumbler glass. Thanks Emily for getting this for my birthday!

Pours a deep orange, lightly hazy body with a big, frothy off-white head with a yellow ring around the head that sticks around for a while.

Aromas are funky and musty, with oak and damp cellar, lemongrass and hay, citrus, lightly grassy and a tad skunky. On the tongue it’s lightly tart with barnyard funk but not overly funk, oak and citrus, yeasty, a little bitterness on the follow through, drying aftertaste. Lightly carbonated but super easy to drink, medium-light body.

This was fantastic – complex and balanced, so flavorful. 4 years did it well!

 

2016 Three Floyds Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout

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Dark Lord aged in bourbon barrels for one year. Recently has used a blend of barrels from Heaven Hill, but has also been Woodford Reserve and others in the past.

Final Rating: 4.71/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750mL 2016 bottle poured into a Dark Lord Teku. Thanks Ray for sharing this one.

Pours a thick dark brown/nearly black body with a tan head that reduces to a ring.

Aromas are complex and inviting, with lots of bourbon and dark fruits, oak and caramel, cocoa, chocolate, some vanilla in there, alcohol heat.

Great combination of flavors on the tongue, I can taste the base beer slightly but it’s really complimented with rich bourbon cake flavors, fudgy caramel brownie, dark fruits and coffee on the follow through. Pretty rich mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation, very easy drinking for 15%.

BA Dark Lord is a great example of what a BA Imperial Stout can take like without adjuncts. Super complex, flavorful, balanced.

Trillium Trillbomb

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“For this collaboration, we took the grain bill for Trillium’s Night & Day and combined it with the flavor sugar and spice additions from Prairie’s BOMB! to create TrillBOMB! Brewed with cacao, coffee, Ancho chilis, and vanilla, TrillBOMB! has an intense dark chocolate and oatmeal cookie aroma, tastes of hot chocolate, sweetened cold brew coffee, and ends with a subtle warmth from the Ancho chilis. ”

Final Rating: 4.37/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Trillium snifter. Thank you Steve for hooking me up with this bottle on my birthday.

Pours a thick black inky body with a big brown head that reduces slowly to leave leggy lacing and a ring of retention. This beer is thicccc.

Aromas are big and potent, and come out more as the beer warms up. Chili peppers and chocolate are immediately apparent, coffee and tobacco, burnt sugar, vanilla.

On the tongue is sweet milk chocolate, coffee, light vanilla and roasty charred malt. Some heat but not too much, spices and syrupy toffee on the follow through. Finish is lightly bitter. Thick body, this is a meal. Low carbonation.

Overall a good beer. A BIG beer, this is liquid fudge. Viscous with tons of flavor.

Goose Island Bourbon County Northwoods Stout

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Bourbon county stout aged in bourbon barrels with blueberry juice and almond extract added.

Final Rating: 4.47/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Goose Island Tulip glass.

Pours a deep brown body, a little less thick and inky than other Bourbon County beers, with a one finger tan head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little lacing and a ring of retention.

Aromas are very pastry like – nutty biscotti, amaretto, freshly baked cookies, marzipan, bourbon-vanilla, maybe a hint of blueberry.

The taste matches the nose spot on – amaretto and nutty biscotti with a light blueberry flavor, milk chocolate and bourbon, finishing roasty. Mouthfeel is medium, not as heavy as regular BCBS or variants but still thick enough.

This was interesting but I liked it. Less blueberry, more nutty.

2016 Three Floyds French Vanilla Militia

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Dark Lord Aged in Armagnac Barrels with Vanilla, Cocoa Nibs, and Coffee. 2016 is notoriously better than the 2017 version which supposedly tasted like green peppers. 2016 is considered one of the best stouts ever made.

Final Rating: 4.69/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 bottle poured into a Dark Lord Teku. Thanks Ray for sharing this one.

Pours a thick viscous black body with a one finger dark brown head that reduces fairly slowly to leave some good retention and a bit of lacing.

Aromas are straight chocolate, vanilla, oak, caramel. Just as advertised. As it warms they become more potent, and a bit of dark fruit and coffee shines through.

On the tongue is fudgy vanilla-bourbon, lots of barrel here, dark chocolate and roasty coffee in the background, marshmallow, pretty sweet (sweeter than BVDL and BADL). Mouthfeel is spot on, very thick and viscous, rich and velvety.

Another great Dark Lord variant. Lots of vanilla here, almost as much as BVDL. More barrel