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Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

12 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 12
Hads: 37
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 8.61%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 12-02-2012

Nickel Brook took some of the best Pinot Noir barrels from the Niagara wine region and tossed their Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout in it? I mean, what have they done to the soft oak and subtle, earthy fruit notes from the barrel? Their Imperial Stout has WAY too much chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavours for the delicate notes imparted by the barrel-aging process. I don't know what they think they're doing. So what if it's delicious? Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures. A votre santé!

70 IBU
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 12 | Hads: 37
Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What, again into a full pint glass (side by side with the Old Kentucky).

Dark brown with a tan head. Nose is winey, tart dark fruits in the blackberry/currant vein. Some chocolate, oak and vanilla. Taste has more tart dark fruits, oak, vanilla and sweet malt. Chocolate again and a tannic finish, with some red wine balsamic. Medium body, sweet but tart fruit in the finish. Low carbonation. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of wine BA's imperial stouts and this didn't do much to sway me. Best sip of this pint was the last, oddly.

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Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with a ring of tan head,decent retention, some lace but not a whole lot. Smell is dominated by wine and fruit up front , oak and some slight roasted malt, wine is pretty heavy in the nose though. Tatse follows the nose big wine flavours up front, fruity and a bit tart/sour, roast is more aparent in the finish, bit of chocolate in the aftertaste as well. Lightly carbonated, medium body, pretty decent feel. This was interesting and pretty good overall, perhaps a bit too much wine to make this something to come back to but certainly worth a shot though.

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Photo of rappmann
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at bar volo, served in a tulip.

A - Pitch black reddish head, no lace

S - Lots of sweetness, almost like a concord grape, off the bat you can tell the barrel did a lot to the base beer

T - Sour and dry much more like a wine, lots of stone fruit like cherry and sour apricots very interesting

M - Nice, a bit carbonated for my liking

O - Interesting to say the least, enjoyable but I don't see how much of this stuff I could put back....far superior to the base beer

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown color head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt is offset by some vinous notes with light oak flavours. Taste is also a great balance mix between some vinous notes offset by dry roasted malt notes with some black chocolates notes also noticeable. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I am not a big fan of aging imperial stout in wine barrel but I must admit I was quite impress by this mix.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, spice, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity and roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice red wine barrel aging that works well with the base beer.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bolshevik Bastard aged in pinot noir barrels for 12 months.
On tap @ Bar Hop. Served in tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of bubbly medium brown head.

S - Oak and red wine up front - stronger barrel aroma than expected. Some roast and char are present in the background.

T - Tart grapes dominate up front with a big oak presence. Mid-palate adds roast and hints of chocolate. The finish is bitter and tart with vinous fruit and oak. The base beer is definitely overshadowed by the barrel characteristics. This drinks almost more like a wine than a beer.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - A very interesting beer but for my tastes this was aged in the barrels for too long. The pinot noir and oak dominated the base beer, which is normally a robust and flavourful imperial stout.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Amsterdam charity event. Wine colour. Big pinot noir flavour that overwhelms with some Imperial Stout and chocolate in the finish, not astringent. Some cherry.Big mouthfeel. Flavourful, more of a wine, it can win a wine medal. Interesting and worth a try, bit not a great IS.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer is black with no head. Not much more to say about it.

Smell contains red wine. berries, oak and some cocoa. Nice but a little faint.

Taste is a real surprise. A serious red wine flavour throughout, along with loads of oak. Berries, tannins and vanilla. The stout flavours are actually hard to pick out- almost reminds me of a wild ale without any of the sourness or funk. There is a bit of chocolate and roast malt down there. Pretty unusual.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit sticky.

Overall, a very unusual beer. The most wine-like beer I have had, the barrel just dominates this thing. I expect that this would be a very divisive beer. Personally, I quite like it, but it would not be for everyone.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml waxed bottle served fairly cold into an Innis & Gunn glass. Purchased for $14.95 CDN from the LCBO. I'd been storing this in a fridge for about 4 months since purchasing. Advertised as 9.3% ABV.

Appearance - Gentle pouryielded and ominous jet black colored beers, blotting out all semblance of light. A small layer of tan foam rests on top and gradually dwindles down leaving behind a small ring of lacing.

Smell - Tons and tons of grapes right up front, even when cold which gives the beer the aroma of wine more so than beer. A steady leafy hop aroma whirls in behind upon repeated sniffing. Vinous with champagne characteristics.If you didn't see this beer, it could probably be mistaken for a spin on wine, so strong is the grape and wood barrel aroma. Some plum aroma comes out as it warms.

Taste - Plenty of grapes and a little more plum with a dash of fogs thrown in for good measure. Leafy hops follow it up and a coffee latte finish, reminding us that the base beer is a stout. Mild to strong bitterness levels are most detectable at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth mouthfeel, oily and slick, with just a bit of spritzy feel and good carbonation. Despite the grape barrels involved it's not a dry finish. Flavors stick to the mouth nicely.

Overall - Certainly an interesting one-off beer, the cost to enjoyment ratio isn't quite high enough to be a repeat purchase, but it certainly is a unique stout. I've never enjoyed a beer that had this much grape barrel flavor mixed in with an already potent stout, but because of that the barrel aging is actually just a bit overdone here. Still worth a try and glad to see the experimentation at one of Ontario's more prolific craft brewers.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml, purple wax capped, sturdy-ass bottle, 2013 edition, @ 9.5% ABV. Wow, what a supreme pain in the ass to open - yeah, I tried using a knife to remove the stubborn as shit wax, and even considered bringing in fire. Fuck. Great name though, for, well, anything.

This beer (eventually) pours a solid black abyss, with the barest of dark cola basal edges, and three chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and certainly rocky dark beige head, which leaves some incredible honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of tart red fruit - maybe some bing cherry, and perhaps the suggestion of wild strawberry - a bit of sour rhubarb, gritty roasted caramel malt, dark chocolate powder, edgy barrel staves, a bit of free-agent yeast, and a plain earthy bitterness. The taste is blended candy bar chocolate/caramel sweetness, with strong notions of raw cherries, green strawberries, a generic fruit wine booziness, subtle cold coffee, more than a bit of vanillan woodiness, and an agreeably supportive, yet weak floral and slightly perfumed hoppiness.

The bubbles are pretty sublime, or maybe just AWOL, the body an adequate medium weight, given what the barrel treatment often does to thin out the base style, and smooth, sure, with a heady tart fruit caveat. It finishes off-dry, but mostly just muddled in a pleasant enough way - chocolate, wan caramel, and coffee, all dosed with a big hit of woody red fruit.

Nice to see, really, a Pinot Noir barrel having such a noticeable effect on a big beer like this - not that I've ever had the opportunity to enjoy the particular Niagara escarpment wine responsible for the aging here - but it must be some good stuff to render such a secondary product. Overall, very red wine-forward, with the underlying stout present and accounted for, sure, but subservient all the same. Great to try, especially given the intra-provincial and inter-booze-production co-operation going on here.

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Photo of Luisc94
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Full Black no light coming through this fucker, Mocha Head with little retention.

S: Chocolate and cherries combined very well, Nice Wine (Pinot Noir) Smell with the Oak. There is a prominent tart smell, like a sour feel, probably because of the wine. There are some plumbs and other dry fruits with light roasted malts in the background.

T: Chocolate and wine hits the tongue, followed by coffee and roasted malts. Malts are a bit more noticeable in the palate that the nose. Not much tartness and some dry fruit undertones. After all this barrage of flavors there comes a slight bitterness followed by a light dryness in the end.

M: Nice full bodied, heavy looking, with low carbonation, just how a barrel aged should be. The sour and dry note of the wine creates a tingling feel in the mouth, almost like heat (not quite like). Despise of everything is incredibly smooth and flows easily.

O: Very nice beer, huge array of flavors, I would of preferred less coffee and more chocolate mix with the wine. Overall good solid beer, worth picking up.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got on trade! Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a ton of head that lasts. Watch the bottle as it foams for a half hour LOL. Super dark and rich looking

S- Lots of Pinot here. Oodles of wine. You can't imagine the grape goodness on this one.

T- Fantastic! WOW this is fanominal. Never thought that a wine barrel aged beer was this good. This gives me ideas. So impressed. Will buy on sight every time I see it.

M- Dry and tart like a Pinot Noir. No booze at all.

O- WOW I like this one. So good. Looking forward to all wine BA beers I can find now just to see what they offer!

Food Pairing

This one I saved knowing it had to be good for...... Roasted lamb head with rosemary, garlic, hot pepper flakes, salt pepper, parm cheese, parsley and olive oil. WOW this was great. Rub these ingredients down on the head and throw in the oven at 400deg F for 1.5hrs then take some potatoes, slice them 1" thick from the center in wedges, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning then pitch them in. Cook 30mins longer then here you go!


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Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.