Santa's Little Helper 2012 Cognac Barrel - Mikkeller ApS
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -8.7%
Tromping through the various barrel aged varieties of both the Santa's Little Helpers and the To-Fro-Via's, I had come to the conclussion that I enjoyed the Grand Marnier versions best, the Tequilla versions second and the Cognac the least. ...that is until...
And like the other "Santa's Little Helper" versions, the ale leads with dark "bark" brown hues with a mocha-laden haze. Perhaps taken for a porter, its head character is patient to release and is creamy in its structure. Even though the ale is sturdy, its foam exudes confidence as it coats the glass with artistic patterns.
Grape and booze aromas are evident as the aromas of charred toast, coffee, chocolate are buried within a charred toffee scent that limits the beer's fruit and spice scent. Heading into taste, its a lead of fennel and wine that keeps the nose engaged.
In its early palate, the beer enlivens with a sweet and boozy taste- brown sugar, toffee and bittersweet chocolate seems porter-like but the middle comes alive and it nearly bursts with a tinge of grilled grape and light licorice- but more so of coconut, walnut and marzipan. Light licorice and chicory trails as the ale recedes into a coffee-bittered taste to finish.
Full bodied throughout, the ale has a zesty and creamy quality that's lightly acidic but its undoubtedly full. Its rich and savory taste blends well with its rich body and offers up a bready sweetness with a twangy booziness that heightens its toasty, boozy and wine influences.
Agreeing with my earlier sentiments, the Santa's Little Helper series are equally rewarding as they are and frustrating. They give all merely the necessary character of fruity, spicy and dryness to qualify as "Belgian", and its porter-like chocolate, coffee and toast kicks its out of focus. Yet, the beer doesn't do either Belgian or Porter all that well- but its cognac fruit and spice character easily saves the day!
01-05-2014 08:52:15 | More by BEERchitect
4.23/5 rDev -3.4%
Pours very dark brown, essentially black. Khaki head, smallish though larger than expected for the size, style, barrel aging, etc. Bubbles mostly die away after a few moments. Aroma is a mix of cocoa, cola, caramel, spice, and cognac barrel. It smells sweet and warm, like a warm slice of chocolate cake with a snifter of cognac. Everything comes together very nicely. The spice is a holiday-ish mix of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. It starts out with cola and honey sweetness. Unsweetened cocoa and holiday spice bring some depth to sweetness, while cognac and oak reign in the possibility of cloying sugariness. Very round flavor. Lots of stuff going on. The cognac barrel and chocolate combination is particularly nice. Mouthfeel is full and slick but a little fizzy at first. Tasty beer. I liked this one a lot more than expected. It tastes like a boozy Christmas dessert. I'm not normally a big fan of spiced Christmas beers, but Mikkeller did an excellent job, here.
12-17-2013 04:59:19 | More by popery
4.9/5 rDev +11.9%
pour is dark and thick. fizzy head which disappears to almost nothing. very heavy bottle, I might add! this bottle is durable.... aroma is liquor, almost bourbon, unless I have been conditioned with all the bourbon barreled brews I've had lately. smells like a nice stout, almost like a FiftyFifty Eclipse, with no discernible Belgian yeast. dark fruit flavors with some alcohol heat. also get some thick pancake syrup flavor on the back of the tongue and a little rock candy as I get more into the bottle. as it warms i'm getting some sticky and very sweet fruitcake but very tasty and no bitterness at all. second pour yields some nice mocha-tan head, but that also dissipates to nothing. overall, this is a very nice, high-abv, brew. much more than I was expecting and after much contemplation (and sunday football), I am liking this more and more. i'd love to try the others (tequila barrel and marnier[?]), but at nearly $15 per 12.7 oz bottle i'm a little hesitant. but still tempted. it's that good. the best mikkeller I've had so far... yum, still getting a caramel syrup coat on my tongue!
taste and smell: 4.9
11-24-2013 21:31:04 | More by pkalix
3.71/5 rDev -15.3%
A: Pours a dark slightly translucent brown, with a fair amount of tan head. Just a film on the surface retains, leaving reasonable lacing.
S: Sweet roasted malt, vanilla, and some nuttiness. Quite pleasant, and good depth.
T: Starts relatively light with nutty sweetness, becoming deeper towards the finish, with notes of toffee and raisin.
M: Medium body, with a full aftertaste, light carbonation.
Overall, quite nice. A bit light, and doesn't taste as strong as it is. Drinks pleasantly though.
01-05-2014 01:29:22 | More by seand
4.5/5 rDev +2.7%
Pour: Into a tulip glass. Almost black, just over an inch head. Looks beautiful in the glass.
Aroma: Roasted malt, dark chocolate notes and a hint of sweet caramel with a sting of cognac at the end
Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. Creamy and smooth going down, although the ABV does leave a tingle behind.
Taste: I'm getting an earthy, roasted nut flavor with a good balance of the yeast. There's the tease of chocolate right before the alcohol taste sets in and the cognac really starts to shine. The finish has a spice flavor, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Overall: I love this beer. It's only my second time having anything by Mikkeller but I am a believer. If you come across this I would suggest picking up a couple because it is definitely something you will want others to try.
12-29-2013 05:36:57 | More by SeatsTaken
Santa's Little Helper 2012 Cognac Barrel from Mikkeller ApS
92 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.