A - What there is of the carbonation is fizzy and is gone in an instant. There is no remnant of head, just a few bubbles that make it to the surface here and there. Body is deep reddish brown. The red highlights really shine when brought to the light.
S - Well, the bourbon has definitely taken over a lot of this beer. Huge boozy bourbon tones, with rich vanilla and oak following along. Sort of nutty. Vapors of the bourbon sting the nostrils if inhaled deeply.
T - Where the hell did chocolate come from? Sort of one of those chocolates filled with liquor that you can buy, with bourbon being the filling. Bourbon fills your mouth, ending with some oak and deep vanilla tones. Chocolate covers almonds? Big butterscotch finish with some lingering alcohol.
M - Full bodied and syrupy. Low carbonation.
Overall - Thoroughly enjoyable sipper here. Age in the wood has complimented a beer that ages well by itself.
Into the Riedel snifter it goes
A: No pop to the cork (much like the brandy barrel aged). And alas, the carbonation is totally fizzy and drops to NOTHING. No head, no swath of foam, nothing. Although when held to the light, lots of streams form magically at the side of the glass. The body is Jacobean with some opacity.
S: Whoa, almost made me flinch. That’s some serious smelling stuff right there. The bourbon is pungent, almost cheese like. There’s a lot of amaretto going on, perhaps some hazel nut and walnut. Definitely walnut. Smells like one of those liquor cakes. Intense bourbon with deep angel food and carrot cake.
T: First taste is some amaretto squirted with chocolate syrup. The bourbon then screeches into the nasal cavity bringing with it hot alcohol vapors. Surpising how much chocolate seems to be in the flavor…there really shouldn’t be. I’m wondering if somehow the vanilla of the bourbon and oak are reacting with the butterscotch in the stock ale. Either way, I’m totally down with it. And I can’t get over how nutty this beer is. Nutty, and chocolaty with bourbon and vanilla. Quite delicious really but totally blindsided me. After the swallow, it’s a lot more of the same. After taste is alcohol, lingering bourbon and low level butterscotch.
M: Full bodied and syrupy.
D: This one isn’t as complex as the brandy version. This one is really nice but isn’t as good. I actually think this beer could be laid down for a couple of years, it could improve from here.
Well, this one lasted all of two nights in my house. Pours murky, real dark amber with no head at all. Too much alcohol? Smell just punches you in the face. Big bourbon nose, with some cherry(?) and vanilla. Taste is not as monstrous as expected. Smooth bourbon, vanilla brew with the perfect alcohol finish. Way more smooth than what I expected form the 14.6% ABV. Awesome brew.
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