Ever have the feeling that somebody is watching you? As I was walking through isles of the package store I bought this in, I noticed this beer. It seemed to be afraid to make direct eye contact with me, but when I found out it was a bourbon aged stout brewed with marshmallows and vanilla beans from Tahiti, I didn’t think it’d be too shy. I decided to pull the trigger this past summer, knowing that it would be reserved for the winter. Although it’s early March, it’s still enough time to squeeze this beer in before the trees start to bud. Let’s run them numbers…
Smell: Molasses, bourbon, roasted grain, dates, figs, dark fruits, and a little vanilla. You can tell this is going to be a dark and robust stout – it smells like a Russian winter.
Taste: Huge roasted grain profile that is hearty and scorched. Toasted rye bread, coffee, cigar smoke, and creme brulee topping are all things coming to my mind when sipping on this. The bourbon might be in there, but it’s so difficult to tell over the hellacious malts used but you do get it in the burn. That says something when the malt profile is more pronounced than the bourbon. Very little sweetness and vanilla come out in the brew even though it’s concocted with marshmallows and vanilla bean. The flavors in here are really a one trick pony, yet the beer still seems to be all over the place. Mostly, I get charred grain and a nice alcohol burn all the way to the stomach.
Although the label says 11.2% ABV, I wouldn’t question somebody if they said it was 18%. I drinks much higher than the label would suggest. I wouldn’t attribute the heat in this brew to its youth as it’s been aged for about two years, which is long enough to calm things down. The alcohol in here also attributes to the viscous and oily mouthfeel making this beer a sipper for sure. Thank god it’s only an 11.2 oz bottle, there would be no way a mere human could finish 22 ounces of this.
Overall: As you could probably imagine, this beer doesn’t get the highest of ratings from me. It’s not as balanced as I would like to see out of BA stout and is just a little too much. I’d give it a B- overall – would love to see more complexity out of this glaring beer.