George - Calvados Barrel Aged - Mikkeller ApS
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 6 | Show All Ratings:
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
The bourbon version a couple years back was €8 in Amsterdam, and now it's €15. I decided to stop sponsoring Mikkeller and wasn't going to buy this, but one ended up in my possession by mistake. At least it's a world class beer...
From a 25cl bottle into a snifter
Drunk along side the bourbon and cognac versions
APPEARANCE: Pours pitch black and yields a ½ finger, medium looking, dark mocha colored head with pretty good retention. Head is dark, but not quite as dark as the cognac version. Thick pitch black body with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a good wisp and dark mocha colored ring. A ring and light wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass. All these beers look good.
SMELL: Burnt and charred malts for sure, with roasted espresso, oak, some light alcohol and molasses on the nose. A bit more burnt and charred with less aroma from the spirit.
TASTE: Burnt, charred and roasted grain initially, with a bold sweet caramel, boozy and ashy finish. This is the most charred and ashy of the series. Big and lingering aftertaste of burnt and charred grains, bitter espresso beans, some wood flavors and alcohol. Lots of wood and vanilla linger. Not as boozy and barrel heavy as the others, but more burnt and roasted. Very flavorful and enjoyable in its own right.
PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, a touch lighter than the others in the series, goes down smooth and finishes sticky. Less heat than the others, but also a touch lighter than expected.
OVERALL: Another wonderful George variant. These are great and make a fun series to drink all at once. This one is more burnt and charred than the others, with less of a barrel component at as well. The feel is also a touch lighter. Still, a top notch brew that I would buy regularly if it were available and reasonably priced. As it is now, I will probably only drink Mikkeller beers if I get them by accident, as they've kind of priced themselves out of my market.
Serving type: bottle
01-08-2014 08:12:26 | More by Jeffo
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Been saving this one for a special occasion, and as I'm moving out of my flat in Los Angeles tomorrow to attend grad school in Austin, Texas, I figured it was time to give this one a go. That, and my car is so damn full of all my crap that the more bottles I can go through, the easier moving will be.
First off, I love the label art. But I don't love that it's imported by the Shelton Bastards. "Imperial Stout aged in Calvados barrels." 12.12% ABV confirmed per the label. Expectaitons are really high for this one since the bourbon variant was #26 in ratebeer's top 50 in 2011, and Mikkel is me favourite brewer. 8.5 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a local beer store some months ago and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Brewed at Nogne O.
I do want to say I applaud the small bottle format; it's always nice to buy an imperial stout you know you can easily drink that night by yourself.
Served cold, straight from me fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a gorgeous rich shiny tan colour head; wonderful vibrance. Half a finger in width. Brilliant creaminess and thickness, yet it still features a soft complexion. Near perfect for a head colour and texture; the only thing that's missing is an equally impressive retention - this only holds up for maybe three minutes, though the floater ring it recedes to remains for some minutes more.
Body colour is an opaque jet black. It was sinfully dark pouring out of the bottle, but also a bit syrupy - which has me worried. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.
No flaws are obvious, and it certainly seems special. The syrupy looking texture does have me a bit concerned. The retention is excusable given the high ABV, but I've definitely seen beers at this ABV or higher that held up far better. (The Vietnamese Speedway Stout, World Tour Blend Speedway Stout, and even Barrel Aged Speedway Stout 2012 vintage that I tried yesterday come to mind.)
Sm: Decadent calvados notes, evoking red apple, brandy, hints of red wine, and a pleasant warmth. Dark malts, caramel, chocolate malt. Cream. Milk chocolate. Timid dark fruits - dates, and maybe grape? The calvados notes seem to blend seamlessly with the base beer; there's no clear dichotomy; it seems gestalt. Baked apple notes emerge more as the beer warms. A seductive aroma of incredible complexity, subtlety, and balance. Some toasty character, but not much roast. Moderate in strength, and damn appealing.
I don't detect any coffee, char, burnt character, or espresso. It's definitely a warm aroma, and I might call it boozy - but that descriptor has an unsuitably negative connotation. It's got a pleasant presence of alcohol that doesn't turn me away by any means. No yeast character or hop character is detectable.
T/Mf: Sweet apple brandy/calvados mixes well with the more chocolately, lightly burnt base stout, but somewhere along the way a rough sort of scratchy texture emerges. It's a bit syrupy and frail, and the texture dries and coarsens towards the finish, which teases out the next sip. But the texture is in some ways unnatural, which is unpleasant to a degree.
I get warm caramel, baked apple, pleasant alcohol warmth, a dab of raisin, some dark fruits (dates, mainly, with a biteen of grape), and milk chocolate. The apple swells and sweetens as the beer develops, leaving you with a kiss of caramelized apple right on the finish. That's lovely.
Certainly a thick beer, but aptly so. The texture supports and complements the taste; it's a fine marriage. Perfect carbonation. Silky smooth with a welcome wetness up front, but it gives way to the more dry and coarse texture noted above. Sticky and somewhat chewy. It flirts with the delicate feel of the finest beers I've ever had, but it never quite crosses the line into that territory. Good body.
Superb balance. Good complexity and subtlety, though it could maybe use a bit more.
Dr: Damn drinkable for the ABV. It's an excellently executed beer for the concept; it hits the calvados aging with grace and the barrel notes seem to complement the base beer and coax out its nuances - there's clearly reasoning behind the barrel aging here. I'm actually quite resistant to apple liqueur of any type, but this stuff is delicious. Sure, the pricetag is high as an exotic import (mostly thanks to the Shelton Bastards), but I could justify buying it again - especially for aging, which I think would be interesting. Could I have another? I'd probably want something a bit lighter within the same day, but it's a high quality brew nonetheless. Another incredibly good beer from Mikkeller. I can't wait to try the other variants.
Serving type: bottle
08-11-2013 21:49:47 | More by kojevergas
4.36/5 rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Acquired via online purchase
Black throughout and heavy in body. Not quite as thick as a Dark Lord of a Hunahpu, but thick nonetheless. Heavy in the glass. Coating. Sticky. A very pretty imperial stout.
Lots of cocoa powder in the aroma butted up against really earthy, dark fruit character--fig, and sun-dried cherry. There's some mild wood character peeking through there as well. A little bit of the spirit and alcohol heat emerge as the beer comes more close to room temperature. Very nice--layered, expressive, and complex.
The flavor is quite similar to the aroma. Nice layers of chocolates and dark fruits play nicely together. Mild spirit note and a touch of barrel, but the base beer is still really allowed to shine through here nicely. The time in the barrel, I believe, has smoothed this beer out nicely, integrated the flavors, and made the alcohol nearly untracable. Silky smooth and very nice flavors.
Medium bodied with silky, creamy mouthfeel. Exceptional for a stout of this magnitude.
Serving type: bottle
06-29-2013 04:29:49 | More by ehammond1
4/5 rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours really black with nicely tanned head.
Nose is smoky roast. Some apple. Brandy, creamed brandy snaps, more boozy apple. Big hit of vegemite, but a bit less soy than I normally expect from this (base) beer, and more boozy apple.
Taste is roasty, sour-sweet, boozy apple. At times the roast and barrel combine nicely to create a great toasty character.
Mouthfeel has a nice tarry chocolate finish. Sweet-sour.
The Calvados barrel has a notable presence. Relative to the Bourbon and Cognac, it mutes the base beer and lends it a mellow, apple-y note.
Definitely a distinctive addition to the series but not as elite as the Bourbon or indeed the Cognac version.
Serving type: bottle
05-21-2013 11:37:13 | More by danieelol
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
8.5 oz. bottle poured into a Teku snifter.
Appearance - Inky black. Small mocha head. A single island on the surface. Glass staining.
Smell - Less alcohol, but stronger liquor character. Apple, lots of fruit from the calvados. Roasty still, but it's muted compared to the cognac version.
Taste - Strong fruity calvados flavor. Rich chocolate. Booze. Bitter chocolate and coffee.
Mouthfeel - Boozy in every way. Low carbonation. Viscous.
Overall - Not quite as good as the cognac barrel version. Calvados is a stronger flavor that doesn't quite mix as well with the chocolate flavors.
Serving type: bottle
05-07-2013 00:12:44 | More by Alieniloquium
4.28/5 rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle from Etre Gourmet. Served in a tulip glass.
A - Looks a lot like the Cognac version, but with more sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.
S - The Calvados doesn't show up as heavily as the Cognac did. There's far more of the base stout, but with some mild brandy sweetness integrating with the milk chocolate and dark fruits of the base beers. There's perhaps a hint of sweet apples in the periphery, along with mild roast. Not nearly as burnt as most Mikkeller offerings.
T - The taste has a bit more Calvados presence, with sweet apples and very mild oak presence. Again, it's like George, but with a bit more sweetness and fruitiness to it and less of the signature char and burnt flavors. Booze-soaked dark fruits, chocolate, and mild roast.
M - Seems a tad more tannic than the Cognac version. Otherwise quite similar in fullness of body and understated carbonation. No heat, and lingering stickiness.
D - Enjoyable, but was a bit of a drop-off compared the Cognac version. I'd gladly drink this again, but at $20/250ml it'd be hard for me to justify the expense. Again, the nip is a nice serving size for this type of beer. Liked it about as much as the bourbon version.
Serving type: bottle
04-23-2013 19:37:18 | More by MasterSki
George - Calvados Barrel Aged from Mikkeller ApS
91 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.