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Nickel Brook Cuvée (2012) - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Cuvée (2012) - Bourbon Barrel AgedNickel Brook Cuvée (2012) - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
87
very good

24 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 24
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-01-2013)
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Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Brendan10
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of sbarre
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of raisins and spice with light dry caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by dry raisins with some dry caramel malt with light oak notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Bourbon is really hard to detect which was a disappointment and base spices beer is not bad but again nothing really special.

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of biegaman
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nickel Brook Cuvée 2012 has the look of someone who has just gotten out of bed unwillingly. And after spending unknown amounts of time slumbering in bourbon barrels who can blame it? The murkiness is far more noticed on the second pour (the first being quite clear), though its off-orange colour did appear tarnished all along. Impressively, a good amount of head would generate and, even more impressively, manages to stick around for the duration.

The nose is pretty and enticing, showing striking finesse and breathtaking balance between bright notes of tangerine, mulling spices and plenty of Kentucky's finest. There's so much going on I can't even concentrate. This aroma comes across more perfumed than a Bath & Body Works store. If this brewer were smart, he'd trademark the scent.

Nickel Brook Cuvée 2012 could be the topic of an essay on globalization - demerara sugar, figs, orange peel, raisins, cinnamon, all spice, black pepper, cardamon, and vanilla bean. It's a modern reconstruction of an exuberant Silk Road market. Balancing such a long list of disparate ingredients requires an attention to detail that makes this brewer eligible for prescription drugs...

And yet the end product is astoundingly tasteful, inherently agreeable, surprisingly harmonious, and, above all, joyfully drinkable. Nickel Brook need start a dating service and no one will be alone on Valentine's Day ever again. How this brewer knew to pair these dried fruits with these spices required child-like imagination and Columbo-like intuition.

Typically with bourbon-barrel offerings the tastes of bourbon and oak are so heavy and wide that the other flavours must move aside to make room for them. But that isn't the case here. Keep your eyes (err, tongue) peeled and you'll catch a glimpse of each and every ingredients on that label at one point or another. And the oak-y, bourbon flavours present are delivered as casually as you’d pick up and return a rental car. Impressive.

When barrel-aging caught on brewers got so obsessed with it that they seemed to have explored all possibilities. Somewhat astonishingly, few had the idea to try it with spices. Nickel Brook Cuvée 2012 is an utterly charming beer, the true genius of which is not the spicing nor the barrel-aging, but the combination of the two and the fact that each is executed so tastefully. There's really only one word that can sum it all up: Bravo!

Photo of jrenihan
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beer is reddish-amber in colour, with a small to moderately sized off-white head.

There is a lot happening in the nose. The spices jump out: cinnamon, cardamom, more. Lots of fruit as well, with the raisin and fig making themselves known. A very sweet and malty smell. The bourbon is there as well, but not as strongly as one might expect. Oak is also quite restrained.

Like the nose, the taste has a lot of competing elements to it. Spices are up front again, along with fig, raisin, bourbon and oak. I get some ginger, but there does not appear to be any in here. A bit of the orange, perhaps. For me, the spices are a bit too strong. The barrel impact is very restrained but certainly present. It is a nice addition to the beer, certainly improves the overall package. Quite sweet.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit on the sticky side.

Overall, not bad. Actually better than I expected. Given the long ingredients list, I expected a real mess, but it pulls it off relatively smoothly. Not something I would want to have again, but not bad.

Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish-ruby red colour, 1.5 fingers of white head, good amount of lace. Smell is fairly spice forward initially, cinnamon is right up front, dark fruits, figs, plum, vanilla with some light oak and bourbon in there as well, as it warmed citrusy orange was pretty apparent also. Taste is spicy, orange peel/orange, malty with a bit of sweet toffee, dark fruit, oak is there but quite light, vanilla and a bit of bourbon, vanilla in the aftertaste as well. Light-medium carbonation, body is light to medium and quite surprising since this is partially barrel aged and over 8% ABV. This was pretty enjoyable, from the laundry list of ingredients I thought for sure this would be a spice bomb but its actually quite well balanced and pretty damn drinkable, would have liked a little more oak/bourbon flavour but this works as is.

Photo of Digimaika2
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(3.75) A: Cloudy deep amber colour with quite a bit of fizz as this spills over upon opening (my wax removal technique didn’t help). Head forms an eggshell white blanket that recedes to the edges.

(4.25) S: Raisins, cinnamon, toffee, oranges, white grape, sour cherries, and nut qualities. Pleasing boozy bourbon aroma in general. Good diversity and boldness. Not overly sour with a solid mix of dark fruit and toffee to mellow this out. Impressive.

(4.0) T: Very similar to aroma with white grape and orange upfront, bourbon soaked dark fruits, and toffee in the finish. Tastes a little spicy almost ginger or cinnamon-like at times. Easy-to-drink with a nice smoothness. That woody booze warmth is on the backend. Impressed again.

(3.75) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Oily and creamy with a fairly chewy texture.

(4.0) D: Happy to see an Ontario cuvee and the creativity in general. Impressed at how mellow and smooth this was. Will be picking up another bottle.

Photo of ThinkAgain
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of trippyime
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL wax-sealed bottle from the LCBO. There's been a great deal of wax-topped brews lately, and though they are a pain to open, they are certainly a nice touch.

Poured into a goblet, shared at a recent beer tasting. A hazy dark caramel-amber brew, with a half inch of large-bubbled foam. Recedes into a thick ring, some lacing.

Nose really has a great deal going on here, and I certainly am enjoying it so far. A slight sour kriek smell - probably from the fermented fruit - with notes of fig, cinnamon and other spices. Certainly getting the sweetness of the bourbon barrel, though it is kept in check by all the other smells competing for my attention.

Again, quite a bit going on here, but the flavors are much the same as before - definitely getting clear figs and raisins here, with that sourness as well, spices, and that bourbon barrel sweetness.

Lighter bodied, a bit slick, carbonation is spot on.

Enjoyed this brew for what it is - an interesting experiment that I was happy to see on the shelves.

Photo of SebD
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice deep orange/amber color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of bourbon, vanilla, banana, caramel, raisins and some spices.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has vanilla, caramel, banana, raisins, some bourbon and light cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Some bourbon aroma. Fruit and sourness. Brown bodied with a good head. Chocolate and very malty. Some bourbon, sourness in finish, dry finish.Thanks Americo.
Had a bottle sample with one of the owners a few weeks later and it had a nice long sour finish.

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had trouble opening the wax seal on this bad boy, quite the struggle. Pours a very dark brown-copper, thick off-white head.

Very complex aroma, I smell loads of raisins and figs at first. Banana, cardamom, bourbon come out as it warms up.

Tastes a bit like Innis & Gunn, but with a thicker mouthfeel and more complexity. This beer would do wonders with age.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to tulip.

A - Medium to dark copper colour; almost opaque with a slight ruby glow along the bottom. Two fingers of cream coloured head formed and slowly reduced to a thin layer.

S - Spice up front: ginger, nutmeg and some sweet caramel. Very light traces of oak and bourbon but if I wasn't looking for them, I probably wouldn't have found them.

T - Sweet caramel malts and a big spice bouquet. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. The barrel is nowhere to be found. No bourbon. No oak. No vanilla.

M - Medium body. Slightly chewy. Moderate carbonation.

O - This was decent enough but the barrel was nowhere to be found, which was very disappointing.

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of korguy123
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper wax on the 2012 bottle.
I've had the 12oz regular version, I'll have to go back and compare notes.
Poured into snifter.

Lightly syrupy, hazy copper pour. Creamy half finger off white head. Lacing is minimal.

Massive brown sugar and vanilla, with a slightly sour note from the raisins and figs. It's liquid fruitcake. I hate fruitcake but if fruitcake smelled as good as this did I'd probably eat it more. The bourbon is present, not overpowering though. It's a good balance between sweet and bourbon. The oak plays a minimal role in the aroma.

Brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, and than a nice raisin finish. It's very muted as far as bourbon goes. It's presence is known but it doesn't stand out over everything else that's going on. Slightly sweet finish.

Light to medium body, good carbonation, sticky sweet on the lips.

Photo of kjyost
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Edition - Bourbon Barrel Aged. 8.5% ABV

750 mL wax capped bottle acquired from the Bank St. LCBO Ottawa South, poured cool into wine glasses.

Pours a copper body that is quite as clear as you would hope. The beer has a great white head that caps and laces though. Decent nose that has sweet caramel notes dominated by the bourbon barrel aging, quite enjoyable. A very nice body filled with flavour. BBA is strong in fore front with dried fruits, sweet malts, caramel & light peppery spice underneath it. The only thing detracting from this beer is a thin body and a light mouthfeel, as I would have preferred a little more stickiness on the palate.

Nickel Brook Cuvée (2012) - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.