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Black Magick - Pappy Van Winkle - Voodoo Brewing Company

Black Magick - Pappy Van WinkleBlack Magick - Pappy Van Winkle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%

Brewed by:
Voodoo Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MarkIntihar on 03-27-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of largadeer


3.88/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oily pitch black body capped by a thin lingering head. Leggy and viscous. Nose is heavy on soy sauce, molasses and bourbon. Not much in the way of heat. The palate is similar; the barrel brings a huge but mellow caramel/vanilla bourbon character that's undeniably excellent, but the base beer is underwhelming, reminiscent of soy sauce and burnt sugar. Pretty cloying, this seems sweeter than Black Tuesday despite being significantly lower ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 05:12:44 | More by largadeer
Photo of MasterSki


4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Kristina at Zwanze Day. Served in the provided Cantillon glass.

A - Thin tan foam settles to a partial ring and a few wispy patches on top; no lacing. Very dark brown body that isn't quite black.

S - Massive coconut, vanilla, and oak, with complementary notes of dark fruit, chocolate and caramel. I love the bourbon character here, as it's mellow and vaguely port-like; just like Pappy tends to be.

T - The taste is also quite nice, albeit with more malt character and less pronounced barrel character. Very sweet, approaching Black Tuesday levels, but with a lingering oak and smoke kiss in the finish. Doesn't reach the highs of the aroma, but still quite excellent.

M - Not as big as I anticipated, particularly considering the higher ABV; think this has been thinned out with the extended time in the barrel, although I don't remember the regular Black Magick being all that hefty either. Medium-full body that is quite clingy and viscous. Low carbonation, with tons of lingering stickiness. Not overly boozy, although some heat definitely creeps in as it warms up.

D - I thought this was quite excellent. One of the few barrel-aged stouts I've had in recent memory that has lived up to the hype. A number of us split the 12oz bottle so it's a definite sipper, but it's one I'd love to drink again.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 02:32:59 | More by MasterSki
Photo of inlimbo77


4.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz, Bottle #676, Bottle date 1/18/13
Mini snifter

A: Pours pitch black. Head disappears into a collar around the edges of the glass. Alcohol feet.

S: Vanilla. Caramel. Roasted malts. Dark chocolate. Smooth notes in the nose. There is just something about good bourbon barrels.

T: Dark fruit and soy. Dark chocolate and roasted malts. Vanilla. Burnt sugar. Caramel. Intermingles beautifully.

M: Full bodied. Chewy.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 15:19:45 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of maximum12


4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #393 dated 1/18/13, red-waxed head. I'm clearing some trash like this out of the fridge while my wife is sunning & drinking in CA. And a deep bow to the east towards fiver29 for this bottle: I have no idea why he sent me the three Black Magick's, but I'm now in his debt until I hit Purgatory. Big expectations. The other two variants were some of 2013s best beers for me. And this one is supposedly better? Huh.

The pour slithers out black with a short leash of carbonation. All the variants have been close to identical in the nose: 'roid-malts, vanilla, barrel, sweet brown sugar, chocolate cake. It's a rogue's promise.

Black Magick - Pappy Van Winkle is a good beer. Mortal words like 'depth' & 'complexity' & 'thickness' pale in the face of this monster. The mouthfeel alone is worth the try; if you'd care to waste a bottle, I'm one hundred percent sure you could seal cracks in your driveway with this stuff. Barely a liquid. As for the taste, ever seen the pic of that guy playing on his phone with three strippers making out around him? That'd be me if the phone were this beer. Concentrated, liquified fudge, malt sweetness, & a barrel bomb of booze, whiskey, & vanilla come down on the palate like an angel's wing (a dark angel, of course, hell, this review could veer off into a Victoria's Secret ad at any moment). Almost too-sweet, a la Black Tuesday, & that's my only complaint as it veers close to the border of Cloying. Finish displays oak & more oak, drying.

I thought about putting this up next to my 10 1/2 lb. walleye but hey, I figured, why not drink the thing. Honestly? This is an excellent beer, but I preferred both the Apple Brandy & Buffalo Trace variants. But that's like saying Jill Goodacre is hotter than Frederique van der Wal. I'd take any of whatever of any every or all days of the week.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 02:27:32 | More by maximum12
Photo of cpetrone84


4.54/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour is jet black with an extremely dark coffee brown, darker than buffalo trace. Nose does not have the same nuttiness, the whiskey barrel is much smoother and seems more integrated and the whiskey itself is less sweet. The cake batter notes are a little lighter with the sweetness residing in the back. Body is also thick and rich, stronger carbonation, chewy. Taste is huge, lots of barrel and whiskey well integrated up front. Flavor has some chocolate cake batter with loads of dark chocolate. Sweet malt complexity a bit less sweet than buffalo trace. Decent heat in back, less than buffalo trace with a lingering wood and rich chocolate lingering. Seems more well integrated and less sweet. I prefer this.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 17:51:19 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.56/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big ass thanks to trxxpaxxs for opening up this incredible offering

The beer pours jet black with no head/lacing and a touch yellow oily residue. The nose is SUPER intense, buttery, caramely, chocolatey, and slightly boozy. The taste is also intensely flavorful, potent like I remember RARE being, harmonizing sweet, fruity malts, bourbon craziness, and a hint of bitterness. This beer is more like drinking a solid (velvety smooth, full bodied, little carbonation or detectable ethanol) than a liquid with generous vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and malt flavors pushed to the max and bundled together nicely. This beer is crazy as hell...and needless to say, completely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 05:32:03 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of stouts4me


4.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Trade for a 1/2 growler.

Served in my Duck-Rabbit snifter, pours out blacker than my Chevy Avalanche.

Thin tan head rimming the snifter, looks like a midnight skinny-dipping pond with a moonlit fringe.

Crap! Being it is a PVW barrel, really has a Rare-like aroma, and if you blindfold someone ( preferably your girlfriend ), and have them inhale this delicious aroma, they may declare it is Rare, that is, if they have had that pleasure at least once.

Taste is sweet, not overly so, you can tell there is a barrel presence but it does not dominate, everything is smooth and tasty.

Not overly chewy, seems just about the right feel, very nice.

This was a great trade, really enjoyable, I can see why it has a 100 rating, uh, that's because for this style , it is 100. ' Nuf said, get it !!!!

Serving type: growler

09-08-2013 20:13:39 | More by stouts4me
Photo of IrishColonial


4.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Many thanks to Shilt for sharing this huge want!

A: Dark thick melted dark chocolate color, perfect looking head. Not much head but very nice lacing along the edge, very nice legs after swishing

S: pretty perfect. Lots of vanilla, coconut, and wood. Some muted dark chocolate with a hint of brown sugar and caramel. Outstanding.

T: Pretty sweet with a touch of bourbon heat. Not much barrel but what is there is well integrated and delicious. Lots of chocolate and vanilla with a hint of molasses and espresso. The Pappy leaves a delightful tingle on the aftertaste.

M: Thinner than expected but still medium bodied. Coats the tongue without being too syrupy.

O: Excellent beer. The Pappy barrels shine on an excellent base beer. The aroma is one of the best I've smelled and the taste is not too far behind. Well crafted all the way around. Pleasure to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 18:56:48 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of Alieniloquium


4.65/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 847.

Appearance - Viscous black. Inky. Almost no head.

Smell - Incredibly bourbon aroma. Dark dark chocolate and licorice. Vanilla.

Taste - Really fudgy. Bourbon is delicious. Dark fruits and rich dark chocolate in the back. Very sweet. Boozy.

Mouthfeel - Thick and low carbonation. Boozy.

Overall - Immense beer. Delicious barrel.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 03:31:20 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Rifugium


4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First had: bottle from the '13 release at Voodoo. What a day/night/day.
Shared at a March '13 SEPA tasting.

Solid, opaque, black pour, with a small cap of dense brown head that receded to a ringlet; minimal lacing, some oily streaking on the glass. Aroma of chocolate fudge, cocoa bitterness, tobacco, definite bourbon notes, but very smooth, with a good oak profile. Man, this beer is drinking incredibly good already, with the Pappy being pretty much fully integrated in the taste. Dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, lots of smooth bourbon, oak, earth, tobacco, hint of licorice. Black Magick is a high octane brew anyway, so the bourbon really melds good, leaving a trace of heat, but overall making for a very smooth mouthfeel. Essentially full-bodied, and quite drinkable.

I want to age at least one of these, but as good as it is now, why wait?

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 11:05:34 | More by Rifugium
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Did the full side-by-side-by-side with the Apple Brandy and Buffalo Trace versions. Bottle #662 into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .25 finger dark mocha colored head with poor retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is minimal. Stringy and spotty with decent cling. Thick, oily, monstrous legs. Solid.

Nose is unmistakable pappy. Notes of fig, prunes, soy sauce, fudge, leather, and molasses. Very sweet and hugely aromatic. Really good.

Opens sweet molasses and fudge. Sweet soy sauce, prunes, fig, and plum in the middle all wrapped up in chocolate with a lingering, evil booziness wafting in the background. End is sweet honey, some leather and more booze going down. Sweet, sticky aftertaste. Very very impressive.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, slick, and oily in the mouth and goes down warm, viscous, and caressing. Messy finish with a strong, sweet, lingering aftertaste. Oh so perfect.

Easily one of the best imperial stouts I've had in a long, long time. I went to this release and I'm definitely no homer (as can be seen from my reviews) but this beer is no joke. Seek it out. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 01:35:42 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Brabander


4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This bottle was brought to me by trevorjk and it was a gift from my beerbuddy Sean, Claaark13. Bottle number 138 from january the first of 2013. Wow what a beer. When i opened it ig got the big picture, what a smell and what a taste.

Poured in my Struise glass this was the last beer of the evening. Almost no head with a pitchblack fluid. Very sweet and sticky beer with the barrel coming in very strong. Not a good beer for someone who is starting with barrel aged beers but for those who drink this style regularly this is a beer you should try out.

Very rich mouthfeel thanks to the pvw!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 09:01:55 | More by Brabander
Photo of pschul4


4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Darkest beer I've ever poured. Seriously, Goddamn

S- oh god. Dat Pappy... So bourbony nothing else is coming through

T- Sofa king good! Tons of bourbon and chocolate flavor. Roasted malts in the back of the taste

M- Extra smooth, this is amazing

O- Jesus Christ. Get this beer at all costs. So worth it

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 19:07:02 | More by pschul4
Photo of orangesol


4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared this one with a bunch of close friends and Matthew Allyn, Brewmaster at Voodoo.

A - Pours black as night with a nice one finger tall khaki colored head, slowly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, vanilla, fudgey chocolate, coconut, dark fruits, caramel, oak and plenty of dark roasted malts. Definitely the best nose of the three, just smells incredible.

T - Starts off much like the BT version does with a big dose of sugary sweetness; mainly vanilla beans and chocolate fudge batter again; quickly giving way to hints of coconut, dark fruits, tobacco, woody oak and a mild amount of warming bourbon. Finish is pretty sweet with a bit of heat, lingering long after the finish. While the BT version is rough, this is the epitome of smooth.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Big, smooth feel with a nice warming booze burn at the end of each sip. Definitely the smoothest, most well integrated of the three thanks to that magic pappy barrel.

O - This is easily my favorite of the three, which is saying something because I really liked the other two. It has all of the flavors I love, as well as being aged in my favorite bourbon barrels, and despite the large ABV it remains fairly easy to consume. Looking forward to seeing how this one develops in the years to come, could get even better.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 05:01:46 | More by orangesol
Photo of stakem


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a matching voodoo barrel room collection snifter. The brew streams as black as a beer can be and rests inside the glass with a finger of brown head sitting atop. The cap fades back fairly quick leaving just a ring around the perimeter of the glass. A swirl revives a half finger and paints some spots and patches of lacing effect on the glass. When held to the light, there is a faint line of lighter brown to almost ruby clarity noted around the edges.

The aroma opens up quite sweet almost indicative of freshly baked brownies with notes of cocoa, vanilla and an overall sweetness that is almost candy-like. There is an earthy oak quality to the nose that blends into suggestions of tobacco and old coffee before the focus of the brew changes to more of a booze character. The bourbon is quite apparent towards the back and does a masterful job of being a supporting role and not a dominating factor.

The taste of this brew is much more forward with the bourbon playing a significant role in the overall flavor profile. There is a bit of residual sweetness suggesting chocolate that blends into more of a roasty bitter baker's cocoa, coffee, earth and tobacco. The earthen aspect brings out a flavor of oak and almost a mild spice of cinnamon before a mild fruity alcohol ester fades to all bourbon across the back. There is a mild touch of anise left in the aftertaste as well as more bitter chocolate and mild coffee tones.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol is evident but not distracting for 15%. I am a huge fan of black magick having consumed more than a case of it since it's last release. I was hesitant opening this because I knew it would be hot from the PVW, I had no idea it was going to be this good. This brew is absolutely fantastic, I cannot wait to get into the others from the release.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 02:13:15 | More by stakem
Photo of siege06nd


4.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Shilt -- your generosity knows no bounds. You have shared so many world class beers i never would have had otherwise. Thanks.

A. Pitch oil black. No head. Thick legs clinging to the glass.

S. Sweet yes. Sexy dark chocolate, caramel, coconut, raisin, stone fruit, cherry. Complex as all get out. One of the best noses ever.

T. Incredible. Melted Hershey kisses, brownie batter, vanilla, toasted coconut.

M. A little on the flat side. I don't want much carb in a big stout but this needs a few more bubbles. Flavors and balance are impeccable though.

O. A spectacular beer. Worthy of its hype. This rocked my world. Thanks, Sam!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 23:15:18 | More by siege06nd
Photo of jeonseh


4.81/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a clear, reflective body. Milk chocolate head with small, carbonation on the sides.

S - Chocolate and fugdy nose with big butterscotch pappy aspect. Vanilla and slight booziness as well

T - Chocolate, fudge, tons of vanilla, and tons of butterscotch from the pappy. Slight oak and alcohol on the finish. This has tons of vanilla, butterscotch, and fudge in it and it is absolutely amazing

M - Medium thick and smooth body with a slight stickiness from the sweetness.

O - This is an amazing pappy beer with great butterscotch and vanilla presence to it. Want to get as much of this as possible. Reminds me of a slightly less thick yet sweeter Rare

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 03:59:22 | More by jeonseh
Photo of MarkIntihar


4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into my new Voodoo snifter. Picked this up at the release party this past Saturday.

A - Pours pitch black with a dark tan head, maybe a pinky's worth. Completely opaque, but does not look as creamy thick as, say, Dark Lord or Hunahpu's (which I like). Can't really fault the beer for that, however.

S - Dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, roasted malts. Just absolutely ridiculous nose. Perhaps a touch of booze, but not so much to dominate the smell. More so a warmth to it than a burn, on the nose anyway.

T - Follows closely from the nose. Huge chocolate notes, more toffee than in the nose, but a nice touch of vanilla as well. Really pleasant level of heat. Aftertaste has a bit more booze in it, but is still dominated by chocolate. A flawless example of a barrel aged stout, honestly.

M - If I have one "knock" on this beer, this would be it, but it's really not bad by any means. Just a touch thinner than I'd prefer (as I expected). Really coats the mouth nicely with each sip. And the heat is more of a warming presence, which I find to be just about perfect for this cold spring evening.

O - This is an astounding beer. To the point where I'm disappointed in myself for not sticking around for the chance to buy more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 01:26:34 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

big thanks to nhindian for hooking this one up. enjoyed from a voodoo brewing oversized barrel room snifter.

bottle #843 1-18-13

a - pried the wax off and opened the beer. brew poured a fairly awe inspiring silk black. the beer literally glistened and i swear i saw it wink at me as the big creamy tan mocha head formed and then vanished leaving sparse bubble islands. simply gorgeous.

s - holy crap, i can smell chocolate from across the room. deep decadent chocolate and vanilla with the trademark intense heat from the pappy barrels (maybe its just me, but i always feel like pappy aged beers are boozier than other barrels...but the booze is pretty smooth). some wood and licorice.

t - i'm a fan of black magick in general, but hot dog if putting it in a barrel doesn't make it better. this beer is pretty much perfect. everything in the right place. great chocolate notes, no booziness at all. perfect thickness. like dessert shake...not a beer. just amazing.

m - WOW. mouth jumped out at me immediately. this is a meal in a glass. big and bold and chewy. thick, but just the right thickness. not boozy at all. smooth. full. rich. bold.

o - overall, i'm floored. this is one of the best beers i've ever had. holy moly. just wow...

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 04:20:05 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to Wowcoolman for this bottle!

12oz bottle with a rustic bottle label that is sealed with pressure cap and thick maroon red wax.

bottle # 723. bottled on date is 1-18-2013.

poured into wine stem.

Appearance: opaque dark black bodied beer with a thick medium brown cap that quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Leaving decent legs on the glass after each sip.

Smell: Never ending aroma of fudge and bourbon that are just massive in this beer. Heavy dose of oaky tannic earthiness and even more wood. Hints of smokiness and leather. Splash of vanilla for good measure too. Smells slightly boozey.

Taste: Immediate. Tastebud. Overload. In reguards to the flavor profile...this beer comes at you hard, but in the best possible way. I have never tasted soo much fudge in a stout as I have with this beer. Immediately when the beer hits your tongue, it has a substantial amount of richness. As the strong fudge character slowly fades into the beer, its like an unforgetable memory or an old reliable friend; next is when the many other complexities begin to surface within the beer. The barrel notes immerge from the middle of the beer. Loads of coconut and leather mix with top shelf bourbon. Tannic oak and a hint of roasty malts linger in the background. Hints of caramel chocolate candies and molasses. The finish takes all the flavors in this beer and integrates them all together perfectly. The flavors found in the finish include milk chocolates, rich fudge, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, oak, and leather. What a balanced and complex stout!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer that is almost a full bodied stout. Low carbonation levels with just enough carbonation. Super mellow and smooth drinking; not boozey at all. Chewy, luscious, oily and mouthcoating feel to this beer.

Overall: This is the best PvW barrel aged stout out there. PvW Black Magick is easily better than BCBS Rare and PvW Dark Lord. This beer might even be my favorite barrel aged stout. This beer is insanely amazing. This beer has far exceeded my expectations, this beer is flawless. Vodoo you guys nailed this beer! I am not sure that I can look at any other barrel aged stout the same after drinking this beer. Whoa, what just happened!!!! This was seriously a religious experience, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 14:40:50 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of MoJaveMan250


4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers I've ever had and I'm so glad I managed to get 2 bottles of it. It was very dark brown to black in appearance and had a wonderful aroma of bourbon that filled a room. The taste was slightly hot with dark chocolate, some coffee and lots of bourbon. You could definitely tell this had a high abv. I hope Voodoo makes more of this!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 23:04:19 | More by MoJaveMan250
Photo of jd18

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark, delicious, viscous and smooth.

Poured a dark tan head on black as night body. Oak, bourbon and a hint of vanilla are immediately sensed when opened and poured. This beer is perfection. BCBS is the finest annual release. This is the best limited release IMO. Never had Rare so can't compare. Would drink again if I could find one.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 04:02:13 | More by jd18
Photo of jegross2


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.

Score: 100

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
Photo of Stevedore


5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, #885 with the maroon/purple wax, though allegedly the bottle count was out of 522. Bottled 1/18/2013. Poured into a Voodoo snifter while hanging out in the Voodoo barrel room today, 2/13/2014. Thanks so much Zac.

Review #445.

App- Pours like motor oil. Dark black body, opaque with a fairly minimal mocha head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing. Lots of leg. Typical of a high-echelon imperial stout.

Smell- Oh my God. So much sweet, decadent whiskey. Same smell that The K13 and Rare and King Henry bring. Plus so much dark chocolate, milk chocolate, barrel vanilla and a bit of espresso. So intense and so decadent.

Flavour- Sweet and mellow whiskey, dark and milk chocolate, so much chocolate fudge with touch of molasses, vanilla, some espresso... this is ridiculously flavourful in both an intense and mellow way. Obviously, I can't call any beer both mellow and intense since that's an oxymoron. Maybe mellow and complex is a better way to put it as there is a ton going on, but they are not covering each other up but rather complementing each other perfectly. Either way, this is the best Pappy beer I've ever had and that includes The K13. And most certainly the best barrel-aged stout I've ever had.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, not syrupy but incredibly substantial on the palate. Just the right amount of carbonation for the style. Aftertaste is decadent fudgy chocolate that sticks with you. Not hot at all.

Overall- The best Pappy-aged beer I've ever had and that includes Rare, King Henry, and even The K13. This beer is worth what it's commanding on the market right now despite being in a 12oz bottle format. 4 ounces of this beer is all you need to blow your mind. By far the best barrel-aged imperial stout I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 06:27:50 | More by Stevedore
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