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Beer Information
 
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
95 100 90 3 12 4

 
Review by wagenvolks on 08/22/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 2 11 20 4 10 2010
Wooden Hell pours an attractive chestnut-amber body with a nice depth to the hazy hue. The manila head vanishes quickly, leaving a thin wisp of foam on top. Rich nutty caramel and toffee sweetness greets the nose, followed by earthy hops and dried fruit notes of fig and prune. A flash of boozy bourbon, but more subtle than most. No real signs of oxidation--I think it's safe to say this beer is holding up well.

The flavor is something to fawn over. Gooey caramel candies coat the palate; beneath that are layers of butterscotch and dusty chocolate crumbles. Booze tastes sharp and still quite green despite Wooden Hell's age. Whisky wood and vanilla linger on the finish, but the heat is nicely restrained. Carbonation is tight, making for a creamy mouthfeel that keeps the thick body in check. Both spritzy and vinous on the finish with a flash of alcohol. No overpowering heat, cloying sweetness, or laboriously thick body. Everything is in perfect balance in this beer. Amazing stuff, worth the hype.

Served In: Snifter

Review by younger35 on 05/11/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
100 3 12 20 5 10 2010
Big thanks to Joe1510 for pulling out the big gun to start our pre Dark Lord Day ’10 tasting. I’m not one to review beers at tastings but I’ve had this beer a handful of times but never was able to jog down accurate notes. Drank from a Goose Island taster.

Appearance- Pours a murky reddish brown with a delightfully perfect one finger creamy tan head. A decently small cap and collar remain along with enough spotty lacing on my girly ass cup to keep me happy.
Smell- Full of rich butterscotch and tons of caramelized sugars. The entire nose is filled with yeasty brown sugar and some dark booze soaked fruity hops. Wooden heaven is more like it as the wood is full of vanilla and toasted coconut. The bourbon is noticeable but nothing over the top. It seems that the oak has gotten more potent over the 1+ years since the release.
Taste- So rich and caremelly as every sip is filled with butterscotch, molasses and burnt sugars of every kind. A slight sweetness that isn’t anywhere near cloying as a raisin and plum dark fruit character shows. The wood is bold and delicious as it’s full of vanillin and lightly tannic amongst all the other big bold flavors. The booze is hidden very well as the finish is dripping in English Barleywine goodness.
Mouthfeel- On the heavier side of the spectrum with super light carbonation that aids in the silky smooth creaminess.
Drinkability- Hands down the best beer I’ve ever had and I’m not really a huge Barleywine fan. I enjoy them, and appreciate them but I can think of 10 styles off the top of my head that I’d much rather drink. Everything just comes together so well to make for an epic drinking experience in this one though. I’ve loved this beer since the first time I tried it at the Chicago Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers ‘08 when (having never heard of it before) it was easily my own personal best in show. It’s an absolute shame this will never be made again (or anytime soon). Thanks for sharing Joe!

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by joe1510 on 11/03/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 1 11 20 4 9 0
12oz Snifter
$6.00
Flossmoor Station

This batch of Wooden Hell was leftover from FoBAB. The snifter was brought to my table with a small swirling of head and a slight collar around the glass. The body is chocolaty brown with ruby highlights throughout. When lifted off the table this beer has a dull ruby glow to it as the chocolate seems to fade. A thin line or two of lace is left behind here and there.

The nose on this big barleywine draws me in instantly. The bourbon barrel brings in heavenly aromas of oak, sweet vanilla, spicy bourbon and coconut. The bourbon plays a big role in the aroma but blends seamlessly with the barleywine without ever taking charge. Sweet notes of chocolate, fig, raisin, and caramel maltiness all show the complexity of this brew. I can't begin to describe all the different aspects of the nose but the ones I mentioned are the most noticeable.

Now this is a big, delicious, perfectly barrel aged barleywine. The rich caramel and toffee qualities abound to form the base with all the notes of chocolate, fig, raisin, and hops laying down layer after layer of complexity. The hops bring mild citric notes and a cinnamon-like spiciness to the mix. The barrel aging is about perfect in this brew. Lightly toasted coconut, oak, sweet vanilla, and bourbon all integrate perfectly. The barrel aging never takes over which creates a beer that meshes perfectly instead of being a bourbon bomb like so many others out there. Nice job guys!

The body of this brew is perfectly creamy and smooth. You know the alcohol is there from the warmth and bourbon character but I never actually feel any heat or get any fumes. Each sip coats the tongue and every taste bud allowing this beer to linger after each drink.

I only drank one snifter while at the brewpub but I could have put down another afterwards without question. Actually if this beer was bottled I could spend an entire winter night with this beer. A sipper without a doubt but one I never want to put down.

This is one of the best barrel aged brews I've had to date. The aging was perfect in this one allowing the bourbon to compliment the beer. I'd love to see Wooden Hell up again this winter.

Price: $6.00 Served In: Snifter

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