Beer Geek Vanilla Shake (Bourbon Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Beer Geek Vanilla Shake (Bourbon Edition)Beer Geek Vanilla Shake (Bourbon Edition)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

239 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 239
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 6.99%
Wants: 332
Gots: 38 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: johnsonni on 02-16-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

In the beer geek breakfast series – the beer that really put Mikkeller on the map, we decided to shake things up by adding a truck load of vanilla to the french press coffee trick, creating a whole new dimension to the beer that are loved by freaks and geeks worldwide. Not only that, we then placed it in bourbon barrels for 8 months for a truly unique beer experience. It’s dark, dangerous, sweet and incredibly tasty as you would expect, but most of all; it’s ready to conquer your breakfast table routines. Please note: The label is the same as the regular version. This one comes with a limited edition yellow wax.

Brewed at Lervig in Norway.
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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by appetiteforparis:
More User Reviews:
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this with Mikkel sitting 5 feet from me on the TG patio at their EPIC bottle share. Mikkel brought this as well as BA Brunch Weasel....both were out of this world!! Tons of Burbon but ultra smooth!!!

Photo of dlino11
4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured dark with a nice thick consistency. Smell did not reveal a lot of vanilla to me. At first the taste of the beer resembled Dark Lord but followed with vanilla and minor barrel flavor. Will have again.

Photo of sunnrider
4.69/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with little carbonation and soon appears flat. The smell is something else though, loads of sweet chocolaty vanilla with a hint of the bourbon.
Tastes delicious to me, smooth and not too heavy. The vanilla isn´t overdone as in certain BA beers. It´s as good as my favourite stout, Parabola. I wish it were a little easier on the pocket but that´s not going to stop me buying more.

Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Geek Vanilla Shake from Mikkeller out of Copenhagen, Denmark. This is their delectable Beer Geek Vanilla Shake aged for eight months in a second-use bourbon barrel. Same label as the regular version, distinguished only by the dull golden/Dijon mustard colored wax.

Score: 100

2014 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Mikkeller taster glass and enjoyed on 02/16/14. Review is from iPhone notes

Appearance: Pours a deep brown coffee color that is practically black. Not much head or retention lacing/froth-wise, but swirling this beer browns the side of the glass more than Bourbon County Brand Stout and leaves behind big oily legs and a mysterious milled oats-like residue on the sides of the glass. 5/5

Smell: HUGE vanilla here, with ample fudge/chocolate brownie notes too. Molassses undertones, and only a light amount of "straight bourbon" in the aroma. There is a good roastiness present, and a little bit of spent coffee grounds too. The fudge and vanilla and roast are quite bold, and in perfect harmony. This smells like a roasty Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord! 5/5

Taste: This beer is best described as a roasty Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord with a lovely underlying bitterness rather than decadent sweetness. Dark chocolate and roast upfront, followed by a huge wave of mashmallowy vanilla flavor and then finishing with a strong cocoa and light coffee bitterness that linger with the vanilla and add great balance. As with the nose, there is a subtle and complementary molasses and bourbon flavored backbone that accentuates the chocolate and vanilla here. Hints of coconut too. As the beer warms up, a little oak flavor develops towards the finish and a big fudge flavor comes out of the woodwork. So much going on, so balanced, so well integrated. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Sweetness and roastiness upfront, with a strong and delectable balancing bitterness towards the finish. Creamy, viscous mouthfeel. 5/5

Overall: Ungodly expensive, but worth every penny. This is Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord (BVDL) junior, with a great underlying bitterness that makes the bottle dangerously (and selfishly) drinkable. The non-barrel aged version of this beer was great, but the barrel aging takes this beer to a whole 'nother level. This is easily a top five overall stout, quality-wise capable of going punch-for-punch in a blind tasting with the likes of BVDL, Kentucky Breakfast Brunch Stout (KBBS), Rare Bourbon County Stout, and Barrel Aged Abraxas. Although the price is hefty, I justified buying several after sampling this bottle because (1) most people who would seek out a bottle of BVDL, myself included, would jump at a $70 bottle of BVDL in a heartbeat considering that its a $50 bottle retail, and (2) I am happy to pay a premium to have two 12 oz bottles that can be consumed at separate points in time rather than one 750 ml or 22 oz bottle that is a one-and-done. Mikkeller (allegedly) only bottled a couple hundred bottles from this batch, but there are still a handful available for sale on their website. Order one now, while you still can, and do not look at the billing receipt after placing your order -- you'll thank me later, even if your wife monitors your credit card statements.

Cost: $35 (shipped) for a 12 oz bottle.

Photo of mtomlins
4.62/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and opaque but with no head at all, even with a vigorous pour. The nose is ethereal, chocolate fudge brownie, sweet vanilla, coffee and some bossy bourbon, but not tons. The taste is very similar and the fudgy brownie is the driving force with ample vanilla some coffee and boozy bourbon and some dark roasted grains on the finish (a hint of dryness). It is thick and smooth on the palate and almost still with a lack of carbonation. I loved this beer but the thickness and lack of carb may be an issue for others.

Photo of Immortale25
4.91/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours out like motor oil with next to no bubbles at all.

S- Big vanilla plus lots of nuttiness, milk chocolate and some raisin. All covered by a subtle bourbon coating with suggestions of butterscotch.

T- The roastiness comes through first with notes of bitter chocolate and mild char. Then comes the bourbon and, with it, the luscious vanilla bean that creates a caramel characteristic before finally arriving at a distinct coffee aftertaste. You hardly taste the 13% ABV. There is the slightest trace of oxidation which makes me glad I popped this bottle when I did.

M- All the flavors are supported by a silky smooth feel with nearly no carbonation (which is fine) and the fullest of body.

O- The total lack of carbonation in this beer is perfectly excusable because the beer is just that: perfect. I just couldn't imagine a BA stout getting any better. The intense sweetness of the vanilla is wonderfully complemented by the roasty bitterness and coffee notes.

Photo of johnsonni
4.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz golden waxed bottle

A - a dark black. A dark khaki head that barely showed.

S - Nose is what told me this beer was going to be the bar Mikkeller offering I've ever had. Strong scents of hazelnut, vanilla. Backed by sweet smells of charred sugar, molasses, and coffee.

T - Much of the nose. This beer opens with some vanilla bean and some semi-sweet chocolate. Coffee follows with sweet notes of bourbon and oak. Wow. This beer should not be 13%. I think the rest of the breakfast series is 10% so I assume a different beer was brewed for this one. There is zero trace of alcohol. This beer is sweet but in all the right amounts.

M - This was another shining area. Just the right amount of carbonation, which wasn't a bunch but just enough to not be flat. Oily snd thick, the taste and thickness gives off a molasses taste and mouthfeel.

O - This beer was not cheap and I would never condone paying $35 for a 12oz btl of anything (shipping per bottle included) but this is a top notch beer and with zero doubt the best Mikkeller offering I've ever tried. The nose sets a high expectation and the taste delivers. This beer needs zero aging IMO. Mouthfeel is everything I want in a stout. Seek this out if you have the opportunity!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance- dark black bodied beer with thick cap of dark brown head. Head drops quickly down to a scant ring around the glass Thick legs on the side of the glass after each sip or swirl.

Smell- lots of vanilla and bourbon. dark roasty coffee. chocolate. this smells fanfrickntastic! the beer has this maple thing going on in the nose even though no maple syrup was used to brew this beer.

Taste- really sweet upfront and a deep lingering bitterness on the back end of this beer. soo much vanilla. great vanilla flavor that tastes like the real deal not artificial at all. nice dose of bourbon too. in the of the beer middle I taste some light notes of smoke & moderate oak notes. beer finishes out with deep roasted espresso that is almost acrid. great balance. well done barrel notes. really really tasty beer.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied beer almost full bodied. thick, oily and chewy mouthfeel. low carbonation levels, but adequately carbonated. not boozey at all. even a room temperature the beer is mellow in reguards to noticeable booze with this beer.

Overall- this is the best barrel aged mikkeller beer out there and also the best mikkeller beer that I have drank by a long shot. I hope that you have deep pockets for this 12oz bottle of beer because that's what it will take at around $38 for 12 oz. of this beer; despite the fact that it is this is an over the top costly beer, I really enjoyed this beer a lot. the nose and mouthfeel are its best attributes and they definitely accentuate the flavor profile of this beer. Super sweet dessert stout that has a nice dark roastiness to balance the sweetness of all that vanilla.

Photo of Rish907
3.45/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really surprised for all the high reviews on this on. Bottom line way more bitter than expected and very roasty and bitter. Was thinner than most BA stouts with similar ABV. Tons of bourbon and very hot. Didn't think the favors melded well, and definitely not worth the hefty price tag. If you can share a bottle I recommend but not worth paying for or trading a good size bottle. Just some thoughts. Cheers.

Photo of floridadrift
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

The best vanilla beer in a 12oz bottle, that money can buy.

A: Dark, dark, dark, dark brown, almost black

T: It was so smooth, rich, creamy, and boozy. This beer set the bar for vanilla use and paved the way for beer and liquor being put together. God Bless Mikkeller

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

thick viscous stout imbued with chocolate and vanilla flavors... very tastey. Bourbon flavors a little muted compared to bourbon county brews...

Photo of dar482
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The aroma offers vanilla, milk chocolate, subtle bourbon sweetness, and caramel sweetness.

The flavors of confectionery vanilla dessert, lots of roasted malt in the middle, some artificial chocolate flavor. The beer is surrounded by the vanilla of the bourbon barrels and some coffee bitterness. The finish is clean, but lingers slightly of malt.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla bean, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, vanilla, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick 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 very good beer with a bourbon barrel aged presence that works well with the base beer.

Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml gold waxed bottle poured into tulip 3/12/15, can't thank kumatmebrew enough for this one

A mortar oil black right out of the bottle, even an angry pour gives just a dark thin fast falling film that leaves no lace

S smells like liquid fudge, vanilla, sweetened coffee, sooooo much chocolate of all forms its ridiculous, not a whole lot of barrel but a little bourbon in the background, hard to believe I'm smelling a beer smells like desert

T again its like drinking liquid fudge and chocolate syrup, again the barrel plays only a minor role, the 13% is nearly invisible, a little char, dark roasted espresso grinds, but its like drinking fudge

M chewy liquid, super thick but almost flat, sticky on my lips, no heat, maybe more on the finish then anywhere else

O crazy brew here, remind me more of a chocolate liqueur then anything, interesting beer drinking experience

not exactly what I was expecting but amazing stuff, so rich, so intense, hard to believe its a beer, worth seeking out

Photo of Tim460
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Bottle from the Mikkeller Webshop.

Black with brown head. Could tell it was viscous from the pour.

Milk Chocolate and vanilla dominate the smell and taste along with coffee and some of the heaven hills bourbon barrel on the back end. Incredible! I didn't really get any hint of alcohol from this brew.

This is the most viscous beer I've ever had.

I had Mikkeller George Vs. Brian Cherry wine BA the same session as this beer and it blew my mind but the BA Vanilla Shake is the best beer I've ever had. Substantially better than the non BA version. If they have any left in stock when I make my next order I plan on picking up a few. Expensive, but worth it.

Photo of drmcleod10
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the pricey BA Vanilla Shake. Drinking this one by myself because I felt selfish. Celebrating the new job and upcoming graduation and some other small wins for me.

Poured into a Hunahpu's glass and filled to the brim.

A - Deep dark coffee brown pour. Not much head, appeared for only a second than dissipated into the Abyss. This one stains the glass it's so dark and thick.

S - Smelling it as I sit here typing this while taking small sips. Loads of Vanilla, Fudge, Chocolate, Coffee. Bourbon is hardly noticeable in the smell. From what I've read and heard, the smell was closely resemble that of Bourbon Vanilla Bean Dark Lord

T - Taste is much the same with a dazzling display of balance between the fudge, vanilla, coffee, chocolate and bourbon undertones. One could describe this as marshmallows mixed with vanilla fudge and chocolate. This is one of the best tasting beers i've experienced. Never have had a stout with so many unique flavors that balance and blend so well together.

M - One of the chewiest, mouth coating, thick beers I've experienced. Extremely creamy and enjoyable with a full bodied low carb feel.

O - Overall I would put this up there with Mornin' Delight and King Sue. One of the most well balanced beers I have had

Photo of MalibuKenny
4.96/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 batch poured from bottle to sniffer glass

A: Poured like a thin syrup, dark and cling to glass

S: There is no denying there is vanilla in the brew, and the coffee is very aromatic.

T: Gawd! So many characters to identify, I have to take multiple sips and wade through each one. One sip for vanilla, one sip for coffee, one sip for bourbon. Altogether, definitely a creamy smooth shake.

F: Such a heavy feel in the mouth that you might have to smack you lips a couple times after each sip.

O: Definitely near the top of this category of barrel aged adjunct stouts. Simply amazing. Does it justify the price to order and ship from oversea? To each his own I supposed. I'm just glad we ordered a CASEFUL :)

Photo of Stevedore
4.59/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz yellow wax bottle, no bottling date. Unknown bottle count. Poured into a Cigar City snifter today, 3/24/2014. Big ups to Matt for sending this one to me as an extra.

App- Pours positively pitch black. Like motor oil. Lots of legs on this one. Very minimal head comes out and only at the very end of the pour. Not much lacing at all, absolutely no retention. A very still stout, even for a barrel-aged one.

Smell- Tons of oak barrel, bourbon sweetness, chocolate fudge, sharp vanilla and bitter espresso. Very complex, intense and comes together very well. The vanilla never dominates, which is a bit disappointing yet the complex interplay of the ingredients all have done well in its time in the barrel.

Flavour- Sticky sweet bourbon, oak barrel, good bit of vanilla essence, lots of bitter black coffee and charred malt, accompanied by milk chocolate and molasses. Very nice interaction between the vanilla flavours and the bourbon sweetness, with the bitter coffee. Finish is mostly sticky sweet bourbon that just coats my palate. Very good, very tasty and not too much for one person to handle.

Mouthfeel- Best aspect of the beer. Full bodied, thick and viscous, truly chewy. Makes Bourbon County and its ilk seem watery in comparison. This is a very sticky beer that brings a lot of sweet bourbon flavours on the backend that threaten to overwhelm your palate. At the same time, this is easily a one-man job should you wish to enjoy it as such. No ABV heat at all.

Overall- On its own merits, this is a delicious bourbon barrel-aged beer. It's unique in that it's a coffee vanilla stout that will bring a lot of its bitterness. Yet, there is a nice complex interplay of bourbon, vanilla and coffee that reminds me a lot of how the maple syrup blends with the coffee flavours in Mornin' Delight. So yeah, this is an extremely good stout. I will say however, that this is nowhere near the level of BVDL in any category other than mouthfeel. In comparison, it's too bitter, has too much coffee flavours and the base stout is not anywhere near sweet enough to approximate Dark Lord. So don't buy this thinking you're getting BVDL. Buy this because you want an unique and very tasty BA stout. Now, the expense? I'm not entirely sure this is worth $35 for 12oz.. (hint: it's definitely not), but I'm trying to find ways to convince myself that it is, that's how good it is. And because of that, I don't feel bad for drinking this beer all by myself and not sharing it.

Photo of Sean9689
3.72/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle bought online at the Mikkeller Shop for too much cash...poured into Darkness snifter.

Pours black tan-colored head, spotty lace, wisps on top. Nose is dark chocolate, light char, very light vanilla, some oak, smooth bourbon boozy character. Taste is good, but just too bitter and not enough sweetness. Dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, burnt sugars, not much vanilla character (if any at all) do to the overwhelming bitterness and roast. Full body, smooth, creamy finish.

Overall, this is a good beer, but not a great beer. This tastes nothing like Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord, so a comparison to that is just plain silly. If you don't believe me, spend $30+ and find out. While I did enjoy this beer for the most part, it's just too bitter and not sweet enough to find any comparison to other high ABV barrel-aged beers. I would much rather drink BCBS, Black Note, BB Plead the 5th, Bomb!, etc. (I could go on & on) at much less cost. If I want a "vanilla bomb", I'll open a bottle of Eclipse Vanilla Bean.

Photo of Tele
4.46/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: 5 Pitch black with a dark tan, almost brown head. The head is a thing if beauty. So uniform and clean looking as if it were on nitro.

S: 4.5 Huge vanilla up front followed closely by roasted malt and coffee. A bit of caramel and molasses as well. Not much barrel until it warms, then there's a hint of bourbon.

T: 4.25 Like the nose, huge coffee and sweet vanilla followed quickly by roasted malt and some bitterness. As it warms, there are dark fruits and a little barrel character, but the vanilla an coffee still dominate.

M: 4.75 So rich and creamy. It is like a shake, yet it still goes down really easily. It's only flaw is that it's a tiny bit too dry at then end.

O: 4.5 Really interesting and intense. The vanilla and coffee are definitely still the dominant flavors/aromas, but the barrel seems to balance everything out a bit. A bit more bourbon character would be nice, but the chewy thick mouth feel almost makes up for it.

Photo of mothman
4.24/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick and vicious. Black.

Hershey's syrup and cocoa. Maple syrup. Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and oak. Very rich. Some peat and char (very traditional Mikkeller flavor).

Solid stuff.

Photo of mserviam
3.94/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black, little light brown head disappears quickly
S: Vanilla with some nutty chocolate. Sharpness of the vanilla mellows as it warms.
T: Chocolate, some coffee bitterness with a nice bourbon alcohol finish.
M: Creamy, low carbonation.
O: Glad I got this one on tap at Mikkeller and Friends before it was gone. An outstanding barrel aged stout. Not overly sweet as I'd expected from the vanilla infusion with the right hint of bourbon finish. The alcohol tasted comes more from the barrel than the high ABV. The flavors of this beer unite, living up to the name of "Shake."

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.56/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a little brown head served in a little Mikkeller glass. Tons of brown film while swirling. Looks imposing and delicious.

Tons of vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon barrel in general. Wow.

Super smooth and creamy. Lots of rich chocolate and vanilla flavor and sweetness. It's almost like dunking a chocolate chip cookie in some bourbon. Slight warmth from the spirit. Some slight roast/coffee. Totally dominated with chocolate and vanilla flavor. Wow.

I loved this thing and need more.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz waxed bottle thanks to Nick. Into a snifter

Pours a pitch black with a slight beige head. Smell of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate...the works. Taste more of the same but just so smooth and criminally easy to drink. Tons of vanilla and chocolate and hazelnuts and a very slight bit of bourbon. Mouthfeel is the best part of this beer as its super thick but so damn easy to drink. ABV absolutely undetectable and this is up there with the best stouts in the world. Insanely expensive yes, but worth it for how delicious it is.

Photo of trippytbta
5/5  rDev +9.2%

A: pours black with tiny brown head
S: like rich hot coco, melted milk chocolate, slightly bourbon
T: tastes like vanilla and chocolate immensely. Maybe like chocolate malt. The very slightest heat and BA at the end. The sweet chocolate vanilla and coffee really come through through-out this beer.
M: silky and milky. Superb mouthfeel
Overall: def a world class brew. One to be shared and sipped. A very special brew.

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Beer Geek Vanilla Shake (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
100 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.