Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate - Foothills Brewing Company
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 171 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kkipple:
4.88/5 rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Warning: This review is long. Grab a brew.
So just a few short days ago, a friend of mine sends me a text: "Sexual Chocolate on draft at the Flying Saucer on Thursday!!"
Cool! sez I. Sexual Chocolate 2 miles away from my office downtown, on draft? Yes please! Imagine my shock when I found out a day before the event that there was no Sexual Chocolate, but rather BARREL AGED SC on route. Good grief, what has Columbia done to deserve this? I don't know, but I was there 2 hours in advance of the keg tapping, with friends.
A little background on this gem: This is Foothills highly sought cocoa-nib RIS, socked into a wet Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel and left to sit for who knows how long. ABV going in is just shy of 10%, and the Foothills rep (Bless you Scott!) guessed the beer we drank was 10%+ Not that it matters much.
Now, I really like Sexual Chocolate and bourbon is quite fond of me. Obviously, I was already predisposed to liking this sort of thing... that said, I simply wasn't prepared for what arrived in my 10oz glass.
Looks, ok, well, no different than basic SC. A 5 minute-long low dirty red-brown head sits atop an glass of oily darkness.
You know the drill. Let's dive in.
Holy hop bracts, this smells phenomenal. Dense and rich out of the gate, there is everything YOU like about a dessert Imperial Stout nose. Layered roast malts, coffee beans spiked with sugars, lush cocoa (think real hot chocolate), supportive hop bitterness and, crowning everything off, endless waves of bourbon. Oak dryness, woody vinous fruits, deep soil, butter, vanilla, caramel, teasing barrel-spice and a heady booze aroma that, despite going on forever, maintains its place in the grand scheme of All Good Things. The bourbon aroma here is evident and obvious, but it's not brash, hot, or overpowering like some poorer beers. (Black Ops and Rasputin XXI, I'm calling you out!) It just works so, so well and is a rampant joy to smell.
Of course, I haven't even gotten to the flavor yet, but you know what's coming. Everything in the nose is present in equal measure, and by some stroke of luck, works together flawlessly. This is certainly sweet, but what can I say? It's one of the best chocolate beers around lovingly infused and raised to new, absurd heights by the addition of a mellow, smooth and mature bourbon. No hot booze to be tasted, just lush, decadent brownie-batter goodness. So deep, complex and well done that it practically defies description. See: Vanilla Dark Lord, Firestone 11. And yes, I would put it against those beasts any day of the month.
Do I really have to talk about the mouthfeel? Velvet slick, low, fine carbonation, long, lingering fading finish that pulls you back through roasted and burnt grains, cocoa dryness, and wet, lip-smacking, sweet, sweet bourbon. I don't know what the finish is like after very long because I always had another sip in my mouth.
I was going to rate BA SC low on drinkability after my first glass... but it grew on me at an astonishing pace, and I had no trouble putting back four of these at ten ounces each. Many of my friends had 3 or more. I'd go so far as to say it's actually more drinkable than standard Sexual Chocolate. So be it.
The long and short (ok, long) of it is thus: Pappy Sexual Chocolate is just a sublime Beer Experience. From time to time we get these "Dream" moments that remind us why we do this hobby in the first place. You know what I'm talking about. Your first, virginal sip of Double IPA that turns into a mad rush of hop addiction. The first time you "got" a sour, and opened up a whole new vista on your palate. Sharing aged Belgian Quad with friends under stars on a sparking autumn night. You remember the beer, sure, but always in context. The beer helps make the event. And so did this.
Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate turned just another night at the bar with friends into a joyous, talkative and excited event as we ran from table to table, sharing notes, praising the brew, and ordering it again and again. It immediately flew to the top of my, and 3 other seasoned beer geeks top twenty lists. We're still talking about it the next day.
The one big problem with this beer is that Foothills has now obliterated the previous bar set for themselves. How they are going to top this, don't know, but I'll be the first in line to drink the attempts!
Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate gets my highest recommendation.
Serving type: on-tap
08-01-2009 00:31:58 | More by kkipple
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Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate from Foothills Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.