Black Magick - Pappy Van Winkle - Voodoo Brewing Company
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Reviewing the Pappy Van Winkle Black Magick from Voodoo Brewing Company out of Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Bottle is dated 01/18/13. There were allegedly 522 of these made, but I am clearly drinking out of bottle #527. Served in a Goose Island Black Friday Bourbon County Brand Stout snifter and enjoyed on 12/05/13.
Appearance: Pours the same inky black color as the Buffalo Trace and Laird's Apple Brandy versions with a thin layer of cinnamon head that settles to a thick ring around the glass. Excellent lacing, amazing retention. The cling factor on this beer noticeably trumps the Buffalo Trace and Laird's Apple Brandy version. 5/5
Smell: Unlike the Buffalo Trace and Laird's Apple Brandy versions, the vanilla and chocolate aromatics do not "explode" out of the bottle as soon as it is opened. They are still there in good force, but they come across as denser, and richer here. Ample cocoa/dark chocolate gives the nose a nice anchor to the sweeter characters. The vanilla comes across a little more restrained here than it did in the Buffalo Trace version.The mix of chocolate and vanilla in the nose is reminisce of how the vanilla bean Taza chocolate wheel smells, for those that have had the pleasure (those that have not are highly encouraged to buy some). Behind the chocolate and vanilla notes are a lovely mix of fig, raisin and other dried dark fruits, a dash of cinnamon, a hint of spent coffee grounds and nice undertones of caramel, toffee and brown sugar. There is an oakiness to the nose too, but in substantially lesser quantum than it was in the Buffalo Trace version. The nose is rounded out by fudge brownie notes towards the end of the whiff. I like the change of pace through restraint here compared to the Buffalo Trace and Laird's Apple Brandy versions, and the complexities meld wonderfully. 5/5
Taste: Wow! The taste here is surprisingly different from the Buffalo Trace version! My first sip is like biting into a vanilla cake with notes of raisin and marshmallow, with a chocolatey caramel finish. Virtually no oak charactery here. Distinctly bourbon-flavored undertones, as compared to the more deconstructed, but well married, brown sugar, oak and dark fruit characters of the Buffalo Trace version. This beer has a smooth backbone comprised of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate dark chocolate and molasses, but it is much less sweet than you would think given the flavors overlaying. The dried dark fruit character comes across nicely, without imparting a lasting sweetness. There is a little tobacco and a faint hint of coffee towards the finish too. The chocolate notes add a nice counterbalancing bitterness to the sweeter characteristics of this beer. The chocolatey-caramel finish is long-lasting. No real "fudge" on the palate, but who cares? This beer is damn delicious. 5/5
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with the perfect amount of (i.e., not that much, but just enough) carbonation. The flavors here coat and cling to the palate, layering nicely with a long finish. Well balanced and creamy, with a sweetness level falling somewhere between the Buffalo Trace and Laird's Apple Brandy versions. Has a nice dryness to it as well. The mouthfeel here is awesome. 5/5
Overall: I thought the Buffalo Trade and Laird's Apple Brandy versions of this beer were excellent, but this one is truly king of the variant trio. Epic notes of creamy, cake and marshmallow-like vanilla, dense chocolate morsels and raisin sweetness marry perfectly to create one of the greatest drinking experiences I have had in a long while. This beer is just as good as Bourbon County Rare was when it was fresher. It is on par with (and less sweet than) Bourbon (and Brandy, while we're at it) Vanilla Barrel Aged Dark Lord. This is one of those can't miss, must seek out bottles.
Cost: $10 for a 12 oz bottle.
Serving type: bottle
12-06-2013 06:15:47 | More by jegross2
Black Magick - Pappy Van Winkle from Voodoo Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.