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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