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Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate - Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Sexual ChocolateBarrel Aged Sexual Chocolate

Educational use only; do not reuse.

204 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 204
Hads: 1,106
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 21.76%
Wants: 1,379
Gots: 328 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LilBeerDoctor on 07-14-2009

Barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout brewed with organic cocoa nibs.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 204 | Hads: 1,106
Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to both BucketBoy and Photekut for sending me bottles of this one. Shared at Bryna's birthday celebration. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - From Sexual Chocolate review - "Pours with a finger of dark tan foam that dissipates to a thin ring. Some spotty lace is left clinging to the sides of the glass. The body is black with some glints of brown at the fringes of the glass." This looks nearly identical to regular Sexual Chocolate, with a slightly more complete cap of foam left behind.

S - "Roasted malts, chocolate cake, molasses" from the base beer, as well as some dark multigrain toast, earthy barrel, and a dash of whiskey spice. The barrel-aging thankfully lets the good aspects of the original beer shine through and isn't heavy-handed.

T - The taste has more cocoa and vanilla character, but still a hefty amount of earthy bitterness and char. I get more barrel and grain character than overt whiskey, although it's hard to be accurate having never enjoyed Weller's. Apparently Wellers uses wheat in their mash instead of rye, but I have no idea if this is relevent. In any case, I didn't find this to be substantially better than the base beer.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, medium-full body that surprised me as usually barrel-aging thins beers and this seemed heftier than the original. Perhaps the reduction in carbonation caused this illusion.

D - I didn't find this to be significantly better or different than regular Sexual Chocolate, a trait that is somewhat of a double-edged sword. The good qualities of the base beer shine through, but the barrel-aging doesn't add huge flavor components either.

I'm curious how distinct the Pappy Van Winkle version was, but I guess I'll probably never know.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for sharing this, bottle into a Bells glass. Will people please stop hyping these damn Foothills beers? Sexual chocolate was not any good, barrel aging it certainly did not improve it much, if any...A super dark black pour that is lacking most carbonation...The aroma gets this off to a nice start that makes me think I finally found a good Foothills beer. The aroma is a touch to light but shows complexity that you'd think would be tough with some a chocolate dominated base, light bourbon, a touch of canilla, a chocolate all come through really balanced; the taste not so much. The taste is all wood, I might as well be licking a piece of fresh coat oak. All sweetness is gone, as well as the complexity.

Another let down.

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Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A shared growler.

A: The imperial stout is pitch black, dark as midnight on a moonless night. Tan head, a stark contrast to the darkness of the stout. The ale has legs, running up and down the glass.

S: The nose has a roasted chocolate body that has been overtaken by rich bourbon. Vanilla and coconut dominate over the stout. A vast improvement, nose-wise of the original.

T: Sweet bourbon runs rampant over the chocolate stout. While the base hangs out, it allows the bourbon to come through. That's good because I was underwhelmed by the original version. Here the bourbon accentuates the malty sweetness, bringing out more roasted flavors. The bourbon itself adds a sweet, hot flavor of vanilla, coconut and oak. Coffee and burnt, sugary malts come back near the finish and drive the fullness of the stout. Sweet bourbon in the stout, what a great pairing.

M: The mouthfeel allows the bourbon to take over. That smooths out the chocolate flavors and adds more depth.

D: Small sips only, a rich, strong stout that hits the right notes.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed last night out of a Bruery tulip. Thanks go out to rudylaw for the trade. Review from notes.

The body is black as night and sports some oily legs and thickness. Initial pour creates a three finger beige head with tight carbonation that exhibits good retention throughout and leaves tons of lacing behind.

The nose bursts with cocoa, baker's chocolate, caramel, oak, vanilla and bourbon. A decadent and sweet bouquet perfect for dessert.

The taste follows in the exceptional footsteps of the smell. Upfront there is cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, a hint of roasty coffee, molasses, and caramelized brown sugar. Then comes barrel notes on the back end of oak, vanilla and bourbon. The barrel notes are pronounced, but by no means too powerful. There is enough roast and bitter components to balance out the complex sweetness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, rich, coating, and smooth. The alcohol is well hidden too. My only complaint is that it is a little on the high side of carbonation for the style.

This beer is epic! A seriously tasty beer, and worth seeking out. It blows it's non BA sibling out of the water. Thanks for bottling this Foothills, and please make more soon!

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Photo of jsanford
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Foothills Brewery on BA Sexual Chocolate Release Day.

A - Inky black with a thin tan head that remained for quite a while. Lovely lacing all on the sides of the glass.

S - Bourbon dominates (and while it's not PVW23, Weller truly is no second-banana in the bourbon world), with dark roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla.

T - Pretty obvious here, but bourbon, chocolate and dark roasted malt dominate. What isn't obvious is just how smooth and silky this beer is, absolutely amazing with no heat from the bourbon. Definitely sweet from the cocoa but no where near cloying.

M - Thick and creamy with a nice prickly carbonation that I just love in my stouts.

D - What can I say, I drank my serving and my buddies serving and could have easily had a few more. This is an outstanding beer and a phenomenal merging of chocolate and bourbon (these are a few of my favorite things...). So happy to have made it to Winston-Salem on release day, can't wait to see if we can do it again next year!

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Photo of Onibubba
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with coffee brown highlights that I may have just been imagining. Slight ring around the top of the glass where a head might once have briefly sat. Rich smells of straight alcohol becomes more palatable as the beer has a chance to warm up a bit. Dark chocolate syrup, bosco, fills the air. The alchol heat is still present, but more identifiable as bourbon. And underneath it all, the roastyness of a stout. Taste is not as sweet as the nose would imply. The chocolate is more of a dark syrup than the milk chocolate taste of a Young's Double Chocolate. This is quite hot. The bourbon is aggressive and gives each sip a slight afterburn. Mouthfeel is nice, but I have had better - Speedway and Ten Fidy come to mind immediately. Drinkability is good, but not great. Again, this is a hot flavorful monster, and it drank slow. This was fine stuff, and I can only hope the bottles drink as well as the keg.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the release party.

Pours a light tan head to accompany an opaque black brew. A standard look for an RIS.

Loads of chocolate, black strap, malt, vanilla and coffee in the nostrils.

I get some bitterness in the taste and glimpses of cocoa powder and soupy brownie mix. The barrel is amazing in this version! Not being the biggest fan of the regular version of SC, I was a little apprehensive of this was all going to come together. Well, the barrel aging does absolute wonders.

Low carbonation and very, very smooth. Alcohol is well hidden as one could easily polish off a few pints of this in a session. This is the real deal and a perfect example of how barrel aging can take a good beer and make it incredible.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to Foothills about 11:05 AM Saturday morning...and of course they'd sold all the bottles of this the night before. So we ordered a round from the keg, and that was just fine by us (thanks to kels, Snorkapotamus and extra special guest pwoods for the great time).

Comes to the table a little too cold, but while letting it warm, it's a pretty thing to behold: pitch black, like melted black licorice in a glass. Very little head, but didn't expect one.

Aroma is prominent wood, bourbon and chocolate (surprise, surprise)...all perfectly blended, and very much opened up with some warming.

Flavor gives an excellent mixture of wood, whisky notes, chocolate, hops (a bit dialed down from the regular version, though), big-ass caramel deep down in there, black licorice, liqueur-soaked dark fruit...even some fudge, especially with warming. Chocolate sweetness practically glows, prevailing over the wood/whisky, elements which are rightly acting merely as a base or foundation for the other flavors.

Whole lotta body on this thing, but not overly thick or chewy...very creamy, very round, very slick, just about perfect.

I think I like this a tad better than the regular version (I usually prefer original versions over barrel-aged ones). The fact that the bourbon isn't intrusive, and that the extra special treatment makes everything glow a bit brighter, it's clearly a very special version of an already special beer. Rock on, Foothills.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black body with a good-sized brown head that hangs around briefly. Not much lacing to speak of. Standard appearance for the style, but a bit more head retention or lacing would be nice. The ABV of this really isn't high enough to warrant a fast-vanishing head, IMO.

The aroma reveals huge notes of bourbon and cocoa/chocolate. Great aroma, and pretty much spot on for what you would expect. The taste brings all of the same - big bourbony notes, loaded with dark chocolate and cocoa. Behind that, some more subtle notes of oak. This thing really is damn delicious - basically chocolatey bourbon. That said, I feel like it could be a smidge improved - or am I just nitpicking? I don't know. Either way, it's one of the tastiest imperial/double stouts I've ever had. If this was on shelves, it might be the only stout I ever buy.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Nice and thick with great carbonation.

All in all, this is a phenomenal beer. I'm interested in trying the regular SC to see just how the bourbon barrel changed it.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was unable to make the release party for the bottled version of this. I was able to show up the following Saturday to sample this on draft. As it turns out, I was drinking from the last keg so this stuff went pretty freaking fast.

Pours pitch black with a small, ring-like head of minimal size. Not much lacing present. With the higher abv, this doesnt surprise me.

Aroma is bourbony for sure. Not much of a smokey aroma, but pure bourbon with coffee and chocolate and tons of roasted grains. I think the balance between RIS and barrel aging is met well here as neither seems to overpower the others. Sure, the bourbon is strong in the aroma, but it is supposed to be.

Well balanced in flavor as well, nearly perfect. The bourbon flavors shine with the underlying beer being the best supporting actor for sure. Although the bourbon is strong, I still get a lot of the original Sexual Chocolate underneath. Chocolate, heavily roasted grains, bready, slightly fruity, alcoholic, nearly perfect.

This is a very easy drinker. Restraint was hard to come by as this one just sat on the table egging me on and teasing me. Another outstanding beer from the guys at Foothills!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

last years version in the pappy barrel may very well have been the best beer i had ever drank. this year we have bottled it and its from weller barrels. an outstanding beer still but a tick less then the original. consumed on 08/28/2010.

the pour is a crazy pitch black with a wonderful head of tan on top that sits at about an inch or so before settling back down and leaving a good bit of lcing up an down the sides of the glass.

aroma is deep roasted malts, loads of cocoa notes, hints of oak and vanilla notes that dominate the aroma. warming brings about even more of a roasted note to it. first sip reveals such a smooth, mellow beer without a bit of hotness or bite to it at all, really just sublime with an amazing drinkability. each sip was as mellow and relaxing as the one before with smooth boubon notes overtaking each and every taste.

overall a stellar beer, one of the best for sure.

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Photo of pwoods
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Foothills.

Footed glass, 12 oz or so.

A: Pours very dark, nearly black with ruby edges. Moderate head with little retention but good lacing.

S: Nice medium bourbon aroma, complimenting. Decent oak with nice vanilla notes to compliment the base beer. Lightly roasty.

T/M: Bourbon is nicely balanced. A little heat but nice. Some woodiness and plenty of the base SC comes through. Body is medium full with mellow carbonation.

D: Drinks nicely and is plenty balanced.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the release party 8/27. 8oz. (?) pour into their stange/tulip/pint... thing. Thanks to Christine for sharing.

A: Pours a nice 1 finger frothy, light mocha head with decent retention that fades into a robust film around the glass. Beer is opaque black but not the thickest of brews. Lacing is spotty but ample with good cling.

S: Nose is very typical of a regular imperial stout. Hints of chocolate, cocoa, liquorice, roasted malt, and the slightest bit of coffee. Barrel aging is only really apparent in the back with a twinge of bourbon and vanilla. This one isn't going to blow you away but it earns style points for subtlety.

T: Big, stouty tastes upfront: chocolate, sweet and bitter cocoa, roasted malt, liquorice, vanilla, and coffee. This is a good bit sweeter than the regular version though, with just a bit of bourbon peaking through right before the finish. Not hot in the least and even though the abv. is unclear, this is incredibly easy going down for a big stout. Finish is subtle bourbon sweetness along with cocoa that leads to a quick aftertaste that doesn't leave much.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Super smooth in the mouth with very little abrasion or heat due to alcohol. Oily and slick all the way down with a very clean finish and little aftertaste.

D: The first time I had Sexual Chocolate, I was very disappointed and I immediately thought that it needed something else. Perhaps this barrel aging was it because this beer is far superior to the regular version. More robust, more complex, smoother, and simply more drinkable. Not all big beers do well after sitting in the barrels, but this is definitely one of them!

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Photo of atsprings
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First glass served on-tap at the bottle release! This batch is aged in W.L. Weller barells. Served a deep opaque black with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a bit of oak in front of roasted malts and smooth cocoa. The taste is a wonderful blend of oak and Bourbon in front of bitter cocoa and roasted malts. The beer is very smooth, and easy drinking with its alcohol quite well hidden, bit it is still a real sipper. While I was hoping this release would be Pappy Van Winkle aged, this is almost as good, hands down one the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of twowheelssoar
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Raleigh Times. Did a double take when I saw it on the menu, had to have it.

A - Served in a fluted beer glass, beautiful dark color, very small dark tan head. It just looks chocolatey.

S - Some pretty good nose, chocolate and oak scents, but not quite as fragrant as I had hoped.

T - Wow. This is the most beautiful beer I've had. It hits with delicious rich chocolate and dark fruit flavors and end with a perfect, smooth oaked bourbon finish. No hotness at all, the 10.0% ABV was nowhere to be seen. Perfect.

M - As with regular Sexy Choco, outstanding feel, not too heavy not too thin.

D - I finished the 10oz. glass so quickly that I could have had at least a few more, but one was perfect.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At the World Beer Festival in Durham. Had my friend, who doesn't like stouts, get a sample and pour it into mine so I could have more like a 5 oz. sample instead of just over 2. Black viscous pour, dark tan nearly brown head. Roast malt, booze, chocolate, light oak, hint of dark fruit aromas. Sweet malt and molasses up front and a good dose of caramels and chocolate. Some vinuos fruits. Would have liked more roast, though there was some through the finish.
Solid sticky body.
This was all right, but I thought the barrel played made this just a bit too sweet compared to regular SC. Drinkability was hurt a bit to me by this also. I guess I'll be in the minority that prefer the regular, which is rare since I almost always like barrel aging better.
Still good and worth trying if you can.

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Photo of bmanning
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled twice at Durham World Beer Fest 10/03/2009 (kicked in under 15 min).
Pours a thick black with mocha head. Smell is devine with plenty of bourbon along with chocolate and dark fruits.
Taste is of dark chocolate up front with a perfect balance of bourbon, vanilla, cherries, and coconut.
This beer is fantastic and easily one of the top 5 barrel aged stouts I've ever had. I hope to taste this beer again and will actively seek it out.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler into goblet on 9/22/09. Huge thanks to Deuane for sharing this rarity with a few friends!

A - Poured an thick, oily black body with a thin, beige strand for a head and virtually no carbonation whatsoever.

S - Subtle bourbon notes intertwined with dark, semi-sweet chocolate notes and a hint of vanilla. Aroma is a little warm and beefy, but the alcohol remains fairly restrained in the midst of all the sweetness. There's also a hint of toasted coconut in the background, which imparts a pleasant, unexpected twist.

T - Mmmmm... there's that toasted coconut character again, this time working quite nicely with vanilla and bourbon notes as well as plenty of dark chocolate. Finishes with earthy hop bitterness paired with more toasted coconut and tangy bourbon notes. Wonderfully balanced and delicious, to say the least.

M - Full bodied with a smooth, luscious texture resulting in a silky mouthfeel. Quite oily and viscous overall, and very softly carbonated. Alcohol presence remains well-concealed.

D - Simply delicious and so easy to drink, especially given the high ABV%. I really enjoyed the coconut presence here. I could have drank this all night.

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Photo of Deuane
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to kkipple for hooking me up with a hand bottle of this gem. I was glad to have the opportunity to take it home and share with some fellow beer geeks.

A-Deep, dark black--almost looks like thin motor oil. Unfortunately, time in a bottle was not kind to the carbonation level and there was no head of any kind. Quite disappointing after seeing what the draft version looked like.

S-Lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, and bourbon sweetness. Bits of dark fruit, cherry and some tobacco. Even notes of toasted coconut which I did not get before. This is such a complex brew.

T-Despite the lack of carbonation with one still tastes great! Rich and robust with the cornucopia of flavours on the palate that are in the nose. So much going on it's like having a rave party in your mouth!

M-Heavy bodied, viscous thick and oily. The lack of carbonation hurts here a bit as the creamy texture is lost. Still good but not the same as the fresh draft.

D-Regardless of the carbonation loss this one still tastes great and is a real head scratcher when you try to figure out all of the flavours. I was glad to share this awesome beer with some good friends.

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Photo of drperm
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewgrass '09. Fill my glass, carefully return to my chair, take out my beer journal, and discriminatingly review. There is no other way to treat this beer.

Appearance: Perfectly opaque black with a brown-tan-caramel head.

Aroma: Roasted German Chocolate Cake, of the most nostalgic-family-reunion variety.

Taste: Bitter, dark chocolate. It tastes like liquid rum cake in my glass. Warming, yet smooth, and it *keeps on going.* Holy moly, I think I need to change my pants.

Palate: Ever-so-slightly hot (keeping it from that elusive 5.0), but mostly smooth. The finish is incredibly complex, like having walnuts in that rum cake.

Overall: Yes, please! Again and again and again, all night long. It's a Rated-R dessert in a glass.

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Photo of ralflord
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unfuckingbelievable! Poured in my Double Bastard glass. Nice rusty brown, root beerish color. Tiny bubbles danced about with virtually no head. Smell was incredible. Light chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and bourbon. The bourbon was mized in nicely, did not overwhelm the beer. Taste was equally great. It mimiced the smells almost exactly, with an expectional balance. Man, do I love BA beers, especially Stouts aged in bourbon/whiskey. This beer got better as it warmed up, and was very easy to drink after awhile, which with it's high abv can cause problems. Definitely on my top 5 beer list. Pursue this incredible beer with the utmost of vigilance.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes:

Black pour. Great head retains well, and leaves behind some very nice lacing.

This is what a barrel-aged imperial stout should smell/taste like. Loads and loads of bourbony and stouty goodness. The folks at Foothills apparently love using those Pappy Van Winkle barrels...this is the only BA beer I've had from them, but I'd love to try more. The great thing about this beer is the perfect balance of all flavor components. Roasted barley, chocolate, coffee beans, vanilla, and sweet, sweet bourbon. Never is the bourbon hot, or over-powering. Dangerously drinkable. The only knock I can think of is the body wasn't as big as I would have liked.

Just a great, great stout. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of supermanjace
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahhh my Dark Knight of beers. There are so few that live up to the hype that surrounds them. There are so few that really should be held to the standard that is the BA hype machine. But holy macaroni, this one lives up. Anticipated, raved about and well worth it at every turn, tis a real shame this one won't be experienced by more of the faithful seekers here. However, we gave it a good home, here in LA, thanks to a great BA in one of the Carolinas.

A brilliant pour, despite it's cross country journey, billows of head cascade to the top of the glass. Not overdone, but enough to tickle the tongue, the carbonation is just right. And the taste is sublime. My fellow taster, young HopHeadLouie mentions the balance, and he is right. If the draw on bourbon barrel aging for you is the bourbon heat, the feeling you're drinking not a beer, but a spirit, look elsewhere. This is a sublime, chocolate goodness, with merely the hint of the Pappy Van Winkle. Not to say it isn't there, but in line with my Dark Knight metaphor, Pappy is the character actor that comes in, delivers his lines, kicks it's ass but never hams it up, thinking it's his movie. He is the Gary Oldman of this treat.

And what a treat! Far too enjoyable, far too drinkable for its sizable ABV. Man, this is one we shared with a fair number of non BA Sexual chocolate fans, but I feel I Could have (and maybe the hoarder in me wishes I had) enjoyed a far larger amount of this one.

A paramount example of what barrel aging should be about. A phenomenal beer in Sexual Chocolate is made only more layered and more complex by this process. Never losing sigh of the brilliance of the original., not resting on its laurels this beer is just an experience well worth having .

I figure there will be more of this next go round. Make your deals, for you shan't be disappointed.

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Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.87/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sexual Pappy is one astonishingly good brew! So many bourbon barrel beers overwhelm you with essence of booze, but the key note here is balance. Sexual Chocolate is the perfect vessel to deliver the spirit of the spirits and the smooth Pappy van Winkle flavor serves only to enhance the already stellar brew. Waves of dark chocolate and woody vanilla lovingly assaulted my pallet over and over with every sip. The full bodied velvet silky smooth mouth feel, pitch perfect carbonation and luscious dark brown appearance made this a beer experience that I won't soon forget.

Side Note: How I ended up in Hollywood, California drinking a super rare beer from North Carolina is an amazing testament to the power of the beer trading community. Thanks to the efforts of Khiasmus, myself and 6 other West Coast BAs were able to share a Growler of this remarkable beer.

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Photo of kkipple
4.87/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.