Allagash Farm to Face

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May has always represented the unofficial start of summer for me.  Thermometers gain toxic mercury, warblers start migrating north, sweaters are stashed in winter chests, farmers markets pop open, and the fuzz from peaches start to tickle the lips.  There is no quintessential summer fruit quite like a luscious peach bursting with nectar sent from God himself.  The fruits from the farm might be the best part about the summer months… and Allagash is capitalizing off of this by brewing an especially tartly, refreshing brew.  Farm to Face is an American pêche brewed in Maine with peaches from a local orchard in New Hampshire (ironically called Applecrest Farm) and fermented with souring yeast.  Over 6,000 pounds of heaven peaches find their way into the barrels for aging, which for me, makes this the unofficial beer of summer.  Time to run them numbers…

IMG_4657Appearance:  Hazy orange with little head retention.  What I’d expect to see out of a pêche from Allagash.

Smell:  Stone fruit, lemon, acidity, peaches, must, wood.  I’m not getting a huge peach aroma and it’s pretty balanced for being a fruited sour.  Time to dive in.

Taste:  Unfreaking believable.  Huge sour punch up front that nails the tip and sides of tongue – it hurts so good.  And just as you’re recovering from the massive blow of sour euphoria, you get hit by truckloads of peaches.  This beer has more peach flavor than Georgia.  It is so distinguishable and so present that I’m left scratching my head wondering how the heck Allagash did it.  Pechish Woods was a fine beer also made by a New England brewery, but Farm to Face blows it out of the water, especially with its fruit presence.  Typically, when I’ve had fruit forward beers like this, my palate gets used to the sourness or the fruit flavors relatively quickly and the beer drops off as you drink, but from start to finish with this Allagash I never had that experience.  Peaches and sour for miles.  The mustiness and wood flavors from the oak don’t really impart themselves all that much – maybe some slight tannic bitterness on the finish – but this beer drinks very clean for being barrel aged for nearly a year.

IMG_4649The ABV on this brew is low at only 5.7% and does not distract from the glorious flavors in the bottle.  The mouthfeel is light and the carbonation is present.  Nothing overpowering, but in that perfect sweet spot for lower ABV sour.  And of course, the drinkability.  If I could make one beer an Everlasting Gobstopper, it would be this one.  I could crush these; it would be my summer beer in the spring, fall, and winter.

Overall:  Well, at this point you know where this is going.  A+ and into the hall of fame.  Quite possibly the best beer I’ve ever had.  I did have this beer two other times – once on draft (2015) and once in the bottle (same as this one – 2014).  The 2015 did not taste this fruit forward from what I recall and compared to the previous 2014 bottle, I can say that aged served this well.  It’s much more sour but the fruit hasn’t dropped off at all.  Hit the trading forums, this is one that you’ll want to experience just like that first ripened peach in May.

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OEC Brewing Experimentalis with Meyer Lemons

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Baby boomers know what it’s like to experiment.  They grew up in the days of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  They ride in the coattails of the greatest generation and they made a lot of mistakes – some that resulted were called millennials.  Like their parents, millennials aren’t afraid to break boundaries, however unlike their kin, they are often willing to try things that their beatnik parents would scoff at.  “What’s that you’re drinking Kayden?  A non lagered beer with estate grown organic lemons from Connecticut that tastes sour?  You kids have no idea what it’s like to live in the real world.”  Relax pops, it’s something that you just don’t understand.  In fact, many people may not understand what it’s like to be a little eccentric.  Thankfully, that’s OEC’s middle name.  Literally.  How will a lemon sour wine-gin aged beer taste?  How about we stop wondering and start experimenting.

Appearance:  Hazy yellow like a 8:00 sunset in July.  This beer looks like summer.  No head, but so inviting – its golden colored body is as pretty as a flowing, sun drenched blonde hair.

IMG_4547Smell:  Lemon drops.  That’s the first thing that comes to mind when giving this a whiff.  Tart, but cloyingly sweet at the same time.  The lemon I’m getting is all flavor and no sour… if that makes sense.  The harsh acidity and fierce citrus I thought I’d get is really dialed back and instead there is a sweeter, more approachable beer in my glass than I would have imagined.

Taste:  What’s happening inside of my mouth is very interesting.  There are a lot of flavors going on at the same time that it’s hard to sort things out.  One noticeable (and relatively expected) flavor is that of the lemons.  It’s not like what you’d get when squeezing lemon into water, but more like the smell of a freshly zest lemon.  The the lemon adds flavor and not an overwhelming amount of tartness, though the beer is fairly sour.  I would contribute that tartness to the barrel aging process – I honestly don’t feel as if the astringency and acidity of the lemon is contributing much to the sourness in here (not to sound like a broken record).  The second big flavor I’m getting is the wood.  You can taste all 16 months of the aging process with this guy.  Mick Dodge would love this brew.  It’s the second most wood forward beer I’ve had and is ringing bells of Ralph by the Ale Apothecary.  There is some pineyness in this brew, though it’s much more subdued than Ralph, yet it still adds a lot of earthiness.  I’m not sure if that earthiness is ramped up by the botanicals from the gin, the wood, the wine, or the lemons, but its there for sure.  Though this is clearly a sour beer, the tartness is what least jumps out to me.  The flavors here are so pronounced that you almost forgeIMG_4562t about how puckering this beer is.  It is balanced by some sweetness so it’s a little deceiving, but it’s still a classic old world sour.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for being a mere 4.8%… OEC brews tend to be full bodied even though they are always barrel aged and vary with ABV.  The carbonation is light, which also boots the mouthfeel and is also a classic indicator of an OEC sour.  The beer is super drinkable and has enough intrigue to keep you interested though all 750mLs.

Overall:  It’s certainly not coming close to the best sour I’ve had, but it is really interesting.  I appreciate that about OEC.  I’ve never had a beer from them where I haven’t thought to myself, “hmmmmm.”  The flavors and the originality of this beer make it worth while.  The eccentricity of this brew bumps it to a B+/A-.  Grades the babyboomers never saw in their lives.

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Sante Adairius Rustic Ales West Ashley

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Fall backward, spring forward.  I’m springing forward with yet another apricot infused sour on my favorite day of the year.  This one hails from the golden state and a brewery some are dubbing the Hill Farmstead of the weIMG_4150st coast – Sante Adairius Rustic Ales.  This is their second go around on Beer Chatter after an inaugural successful review of Fruit Punch 2; a brew packed with a whole lot of red fruits and beaming with flavor.  I’m hoping that West Ashley will be as bright and crisp as our newly enjoyed 7:00 sunsets!  Let’s run them numbers…

Appearance:  I already used this pun, but what the hell – it is my favorite day of the year… it looks like a 7:00 sunset.  Golden in color and quite hazy, it looks exactly like how an apricot sour should.  There are some floaties in here – I’m only assuming they are part of the flesh of an apricot.

Smell:  Tart apricots, hugely fruit forward with the stone fruit.  Citric Acid – maybe some lemon, but just really apricot forward.

IMG_4166Taste:  Really sour.  Huge puckering upfront that just stings and stings.  Three sips in, the palate gets acclimated to the sour flavors and the beer begins to open up.  This beer is giving me flavors of apricot, lemon, peach, plum, and granny smith apples.  The most prominent fruit in here are the apricots, for obvious reasons, but even with that said, this brew isn’t as packed with as much flavor as I would expect.  My most recent bottle of Fou had so much more flavor in comparison and was a year older than this as well.  As I continue to drink the apricot shows up for a few seconds, then off it goes.  It doesn’t linger like it does with Fou, or even the Bruery’s Filmishmish… which doesn’t have nearly as many fanboys. Don’t get me wrong I’m digging on this brew, but I’ve had others that seem to compete with this.  The midpalate is just sour with some minor fruitiness and the finish is crisp and dry like the season we just left.

IMG_4155Unlike old man winter, West Ashley doesn’t beat you up as much with it’s ABV ticking in at 7.3%.  Though this is high-ish for many sours, there is no trace of it in the glass.  The carbonation on this Sante beer is right in the sweet spot for a sour.  Lively small bubbles but nothing that makes you burp every 30 seconds.  The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied; I think the unfiltered brew helps to boast its body.

Overall:  For how increasingly hard this beer is becoming to land, I don’t think it’s worth the price tag you’d have to “pay” for it.  There are other sours that give me the same amount of satisfaction, one that comes to mind is Incorrigible Sour Reserve by New Holland, and that has a price tag of $7.  This does not blow me away, but regardless, it’s still a great beer.  If I considered value, I’d give this brew a C+.  If I am basing it on taste alone, it scores an A-.  With that said, I’m glad I had it once, will probably never have it again, and I’m completely content with that.  Go out and enjoy this beautiful day!

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Mikkeller & AleSmith: Beer Geek Speedway

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Ya’ll like coffee?  Me too.  AleSmith and that guy from Denmark… Mikkeller?  Yea, they did a collab.  Stout style.  Coffee.  Civet.  The numbers…

Appearance:  Black.  Tan Head.  Little Retention.

IMG_4037Smell:  Ehhhh… not so hot here.  It smells like old tools in a tool box.  Musty, metallic, little bit of dirty laundry.  HOWEVER… the cabinet I keep my Tekus in smells eerily similar to these descriptors (it was second hand so LAY OFF!); I’ll have to blame that on me not rinsing the glass out with water before pouring.  Stupid me.  Also smells chalky and a little soapy.  Some coffee, some roast.

Taste:  Hey now!!!  That’s what I’m talking about!  The flavors in here are darker than that Emo kid at the Dashboard concert.  A ton of charred roast and a decent amount of coffee.  I do feel that I get more coffee out of regular Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, but this incorporates more of the bitterness and booziness of Speedway.  The coffee is certainly there, but it melds so well with the grain build in here that it kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  I feel that that’s the rub with a lot of coffee and coffee/bourbon stouts.  It’s hard to make the adjunct shine when you have so many other complementary flavors… it’s like my Econ 101 class all over again.  On an off note, I do get some “ash-yness” out of this brew.  Cigerette butts and beer don’t make IMG_4048the best combo, but I mainly taste that on the mid palate.  The finish is espresso and chocolate… can’t complain about much there.

The mouthfeel is actually medium bodied considering the style.  For an oatmeal coffee stout, it’s not as thick as others and that aides to its drinkibility.  The first pour went down easy then the second filled me up, as a good oatmeal stout should.  The carbonation was slightly more prominent on this guy than others in its class, but nothing that would knock the brew at all.  ABV on here is a dozen.  It was awesome.

Overall:  Yes, very nice!  I give it an A-.  Those edges could be softened up like a Hamilton Beach lifeguard, but ya know… that’s a SoCal thing.

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The Ale Apothecary Ralph

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Laughter is the best medicine?  Not according to this apothecary.  Tucked away in Bend, Oregon lies The Ale Apothecary.  A brewery focusing on old world, small batch, and unordinary brewing.  Founded by Deschuttes’ former brewer, Paul Arney, this brewery isn’t afraid to march to the beat of their own drum.  Case and point is the beer being brought to you today: Ralph.  Aged for over 1 year in oak barrels and dry ‘hopped’ with fir needed from Oregon trees.  I’m just as curious as you are.  Let’s run them numbers

Appearance:  Cloudy golden brown with a head that vanished as quick as you could say “fir needles.”  No lacing as I went.

Smell:  Very woody and very musty.  Tree bark, earthy, dirt, and sour.  Strange to say the least.

Taste:  Woah, so interesting.  This really strange… it’s like somebody filtered Coolship Resurgam or Tilquin Squared through cheesecloth with tree bark, wet wood, and pine cones.  It’s sour, but it is the most earthy beer I’ve ever had.  Those fir needles are front and center;  I must say I’m kind of shocked with how much pine tree I’m getting out of this.  The most prominent flavor I’m getting besides the great outdoors is lemon and some stone fruit.  The brew actually finished with some sweetness and is not at all overly dry, which again is unique for a sour.  Ralph was lightly carbonated but had a more viscus mouthfeel to it, perhaps in part to an ABV of 7.22%.

Overall:  I’m still not quite sure what to make of this.  I can’t help but think I’m drinking dirt at points during this session.  Other times Pinesol.  Other times tree bark.  I’ll give it a B-/C.  It’s not particularly enjoyable, but it is one heck of an experience that I’ll likely never have again.  It tastes like hiking.

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Fremont Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice Wars

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In a galaxy far, far away lies a 15 year old oak bourbon barrel.  At war, rebel spices from different backgrounds – some sweet, some unique – wreak havoc on an evil galactic oatmeal stout.  The fight for turf within the large wooden cask occurred for several months, until the human forces at Fremont Brewing decided to end it.  Racking the beer into glass bombers and sealing it with wax, the war has now reached my home front.  Who will emerge victorious: the Jedi forces of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg or the Stromtrooping trio of allspice, ginger, and clove?   Time to run them numbers…

Appearance:  Darth Vader black with a Chubaka colored head that didn’t stick around too long.  Pours as one would hope an oatmeal stout would – rich, bold, and beautiful.

IMG_3989Smell:  Brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, oak, clove, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne.  This brew smells spicy like the firey pit of hell, but I got some spices on the nose that had nothing to do with this beer.  I’m interested to see if I pick up anything unique on the flavor as well.

Taste:  Oh man.  Fremont just freaking nails every damn beer.  This is no exception.  I was worried that the charred molasses smell would overpower this beer like it does with many other BA stouts, but it’s not nearly as potent in the taste.  The flavors in here deep, perplexing, and rich.  The cinnamon and vanilla were most prevalent on flavor alone as they complement the caramel richness and oaky character of the barrel.  The malts are not as pronounced due to the adjuncts, but they are deep and roasty.  I don’t get as much spicy heat on the flavor as I did on the smell, but I’m assuming that it’s the ginger on the back end that soothes the throat as I swallow.  To be frank, I don’t eat much food seasoned with nutmeg or allspice, so I cannot say much about them, however I do get some bitter and herbal notes mid palate.

IMG_3997For being a barrel aged oatmeal stout, the beer has a lightness about it.  It’s very easy to drink and the flavors in here strike a curiosity that kept me diving back in – I found the first pour to vanish quickly.  That said, the body of this beer is velvety and silky as one would expect to find in an oatmeal stout and matches the style well.  The ABV of 11% is hidden beneath a flavor profile that truly unique in a craft beer market where brewers are constantly trying to one up their peers.  And really, that’s why I have such a crush on Fremont.  They put together some head scratching combinations sometimes, but as the late Steve Jobs would say, it just works.  They deliver uniqueness, yet award winning beer that is purposeful, discerning, and most importantly, good.

Overall:  This brew gets an A+ from me.  This beer could have gone awry in so many facets, but the six spices, malts, and barrel character meld so perfectly together – a melting pot of peace, love, and harmony.  Not only did Fremont really push the boundaries here, but they were successful.  I know this breaks the theme, but it’s a beer that will make you live long and prosper.

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Tilquin Oude Mûre À l’ancienne (2014 – 2015)

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When people ask you what your favorite beer is, it can often be a tougher question than who you favorite child is.  It all depends on the day, the season, the month, the weather, the time, etc…  However, I can unequovically claim that Tilquin Quetsche is in the top 5 of all time for me.  Tilquin Squared may very well be my favorite non-fruited sour (that or Allagash Coolship Resurgam).  Regardless, this gueuzerie from Belgium has been making sours that are simply delectable.  I’m hoping lightening strikes for a third time with their newly released Mûre, a lambic aged on blackberries.  Let’s run them numbers to find out…

Appearance:  Reddish maroon with some haze to it.  Second pour was much more opaque than the first as more of the schmutz fell into the bottle.  No head to speak of and no lacing as I drank.

Smell:  Classic gueuze and Tilquin funk going on.  Musty oak, sour fruit, and mild acidity.  No heavy hint of blackberry on the sniff – in fact, outside of the beers color, I don’t think I’d say this was a fruited sour on smell alone.

Taste:  Refreshing.  Tart oak up and base gueuze up front followed by stinging lemon sourness.  Not a ton of blackberrIMG_3867y at first sip or even during the mid palate, but you get a quick spray of them on the finish – very subtle.  It’s a little disappointing with the lack of fruit in here, however the taste of this beer is on point.  Cobwebby oak, hot attic, stone fruit, and acidic.  Everything I would want out of a Belgian sour that has a 10 year shelf life.  I will mention that on the second pour, the beer got a little sweeter and had more fruit.  I would recommend rolling this bottle to break up the yeast cake before pouring – the second pour has a bigger tart fruit finish than the first.

The body on this brew is also part of the reason why I like it so much – it’s thinner than balding 30 something’s hair.  It makes it super easy to drink and complements what little fruit I do find on the finish.  The 6.4% ABV is something that I come to expect out of Tilquin and is average to above average for sours of this style.  The carbonation is right where I want it for a fruited sour as it was a little more bubbly than most beers, but again helped with it’s easy drinkability.

Overall:  I enjoyed Tilquin Mûre.  It reminded me a lot of Quetsche only it was a little thinner on the body.  It was as sour as their plum lambic, which I was a big fan of, but the lack of bursting blackbarry was a bit disappointing.  I’d certainly buy it again if I found it on the shelf, but I have had fruited sours with a little be more… well, fruit.  Overall, I’ll give it an A-.  Not a top 5, but still very tasty.

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The Bruery Black Tuesday

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Only in America can we celebrate a holiday in which we get together with people that we love to give thanks for everything we have, then the next day we trample people in line to acquire things that we don’t.  Black Friday brings out the worst in people and it’s all over saving a few bucks on a TV, laptop, or latest widget.  And for the beer lover, it’s no better.  For us, it means trying to guess what bottle shop is going to have the variants… and if we’re limited to four regulars, it’s worse than our first break up.  To protest this madness, I’m going to pop open something pretty special that I really want to share with close friends.  Why not have a Black Tuesday on Black Friday?  And the numbers…

IMG_3778Appearance:  A rich brown, mahogany color that left no head or lacing behind.  While it wasn’t blacker and more dismal than the stock market crash in ’29, it was a beer to be taken seriously on pour alone.

Smell:  Huge bourbon notes jump from the glass coupled with dark fruits – raisins, dates, figs, and some prune.  I also get butterscotch, coconut, and caramel as well as a tremendous booziness that many turned to during the depression era.  God damn it Hoover.

Taste:  Oh man that’s tasty.  Deep, rich bourbon notes hit immediately but the sweetness of the grain oozes out.  Caramel, brown sugar, butterscotch, and toffee immediately quell much of the bourbon heat this boheamouth gives off.  The dark fruits make an appearance at the finish line as I get some raisins and figs, but nothing overpowering.  There is some presence of the oak, but it’s more seen in the bourbon – this thing wacks you with a strong whiskey uppercut.   The heat from the whiskey is also felt strongly as you get a nice burn in the back of your throat that lingers for a while.  The alcohol in this beer makes you pause before digging back into the glass, but the flavors can’t really keep you away.

The mouthfeel on Black Tuesday is medium to full bodied, but not as heavy as one would expect given the ABV.  I’ve given a lot of referIMG_3790ences to the booze in here – it’s 19.7%.  This may very well be the strongest beer I ever review on Beer Chatter.  It’s mighty powerful.  As mentioned earlier, I am going to share this bottle with friends in a couple of hours – 1, I really want them to have some 2, I would be shwasted if I didn’t, and 3, the bottle is over 2,000 calories.  You really need to split this beer if you acquire it, I’m already feeling a little tingly off of a pretty small pour thus far.  Speaking of tingly, the carbonation in here is on the bubbly side given the fact that it’s a stout.  I would prefer if it were toned down a bit, but as usual, it doesn’t take away from the beer.

Overall:  This beer is really quite tasty, but the lengths at which people go through to acquire a bottle really isn’t worth it.  I traded for this brew (and really didn’t lose my shirt over it), but there are several BA imperial stouts that can give this a run for it’s money.  Fremont Bourbon Aged Dark Star and Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. are two that come to mind, but with that said, it’s still a wonderful brew.  I’ll give it an A overall – the whiskey flavors in here are undeniable and the balance The Bruery is able to achieve given the massive ABV is impressive.  It’s worth a shot, but don’t be willing to crash your portfolio to get it.

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Fremont Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition

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Beer, bourbon, coffee.  Three things that quite possibly are ranked 1, 2, and 3 on my culinary must haves if stranded on a desert island.  Thankfully, I would be able to add some food on that list because Fremont decided to make a brew with all three of my favorite liquid treats.  Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition is something that comes out every fall for Seattle based Fremont Brewing.  It’s an oatmeal stout gone wild and is something that I’m willing to tame.  Will this brew be desert island quality?  Time for them numbers…

IMG_3776Appearance:  Jet black with no head.  There were some tan bubbles that I saw for a few seconds until they vanished into the abyss.

Smell:  Big coffee nose with a light bourbon smell and some roasted, charred grain coming through.  There is no mistaking this for a coffee stout.  I also get some oaky tannins from the wood, but am surprised that I’m not getting more bourbon.  Fremont has a way to subtly let you know that their beers are barrel aged off of aroma.

Taste:  Oh my goodness.  This stout is incredible!  First thing I notice is vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel.  The toasted oak really imparts a lot of flavor in here without it being overly bourbony, although you do get a meaningful bourbon presence on the back end of this beer.  The bourbon and the booze found in this brew leave you with some heat in the back of the throat, but what else would you expect at 29 proof?  The coffee makes its way into the beer imparting some bitterness and additional roast, and its a little more subdued than the smell would suggest, but it’s definitely there.  The whiskey really rounds things out hIMG_3775ere – as mentioned before, it does not at all dominate the flavor of the beer but adds a lot of character with oak, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon flavors.

As alluded to earlier, this beer is a massive 14.5% ABV.  It drinks a little hot because of it, but it does not distract from the rest of the brew.  The mouthfeel on Coffee KDS is nice and silky with the addition of oats, and something that trumps BCBCS.  The carbonation is fine (if anything it’s lacking a bit) but I’d prefer that in a big ABV stout.  All of the factors combined makes this beer fairly drinkable, but the heat makes it a 2+ hour beer for sure.  I’m confident that I’ll finish it in one sitting, but it’s likely best to be shared.

Overall:  This is one heck of a BA coffee stout.  The flavors from the wood, the coffee, and the bourbon really come together and make this a memorable beer.  There are several of these blue waxed beers hanging out in my cellar, but I wanted to drink one fresh just for kicks; I am certain with age this beer will only get better.  It’ll be interesting drinking one of these with a few years on it.  All said and done, I have to give this Fremont an A.  Had this review taken place a year from now, it may get a different rating, but I’m judging with what I have in front of me.  Fremont shines again, and they can do no wrong.

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Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout

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If you’re a beer nerd, you know the appeal that “Bourbon County” has.  Their regular stout is much acclaimed, their barley wine is searched for, their varients are almost impossible to land, and their coffee stout requires some persistence to find in most liquor stores.  Well, persistence paid off for me.  I was lucky enough to purchase this brew a couple of years ago from a package store that knows my face and told myself I’d drink it on a special occasion.  That occasion happens to be today.  Why?  Because I’m sick of waiting.  Let’s figure out if the hype behind this beer is deserved.  Time for them numbers…

IMG_3746Appearance:  Jet black in color with no head.  Carbonation was apparent when I preyed off the cap, but I guess the ABV is keeping the froth away from this one.

Smell:  Rich dark coffee, faint bourbon, roasted and charred grain, molasses, and some spice (faint pepper).  Smell is pretty nice, but that spice is something I wasn’t expecting.  I doubt it will show up in the flavor, but there’s only one way to find out.

Taste:  Lucious.  I get more bourbon in the taste than I did in the smell – it hits you with a large whiskey presence and a touch of vanilla and caramel sweetness warming all the way to the core while easing the burn at the same time.  The grains in here are not to be forgotten about as they complement the bourbon with a rich and roasty taste – some toasted almond and coconut notes are coming out which are also likely accentuated by the wood and whiskey.  Even though this stout is less than a month from being 2 years old, the coffee can still be found.  It’s not as prominent as I would have thought, but it is there and it is delicious.  It of course adds some depth of flavor, to the beer, but also imparts a little bitterness to hold at bay the sweeter flavors identified before.  As I’m about halfway through the bottle, I also notice some maple syrup flavors that are staring to sprout in my palate.  Love the sweetness I’m getting from this brew.

The carbonation from BCBCS was present.  Although it left no head, the bubbles were more than I was expecting from a beer oIMG_3763f this style and would have actually prefered it to be toned down a tad.  Doesn’t impact the beer a whole lot, but just being a little nit-picky.  The mouthfeel on the brew is solid, but again would like it to be a little more hefty.  The addition of oats would do this beer wonders; why they don’t choose to chuck them in the boil is something that I won’t ever understand.  Regardless, the mouthfeel is on the heavier side, but I’d like to see a little more heft.  The ABV was big at 13.4% – and you could feel it – however it was actually very easy to drink despite this.  The flavors in here were on point.

Overall:  This is a decadent bourbon aged coffee stout.  I enjoyed drinking this very much, but the little things could have really made this a HOF beer – more mouthfeel, less carb, slightly more coffee in taste.  However, as the Rolling Stones once said, you can’t always get what you want.  So what are we left with?  A beer that has incredible flavor and an elusiveness that’s Barry Sanders-esque.  Overall, I’d give this brew an A: great flavors all around, however since this is so tough to find, I have to give it a knock there and down grade it to an A-.  If you have regular bourbon county, I don’t think this is all that much different since flavors of coffee prominent in that stout.  It’s worth a shot to find it, but I wouldn’t give up my first born.

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