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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

540 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 50
Gots: 176 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 07-25-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 540 | Reviews: 184
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased for twelve dollars last weekend at the brewery, also had a few samplers of it there, also opened one of these last night with Dane since he had not had it yet, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, I preferred the draft version to the bottle but did not take notes on that seving type, color is
pretty much black with minimal light shining, 1/2 inch tan foamy head, people were complaining about this being flat but that did not seem to be an issue in the two bottles of this I have opened, small amount of lacing, head stayed around for almost ten minutes too, aroma consists of bourbon, burned chocolate, coffee, roasted scents, vanilla, oak, and mild booze, starts off with bourbon and some vanilla but not sweet, roasted caramel and coffee beans in the middle, finish consists of more bourbon and rich dark malts, lingering oak in the finish, warms up a little sweeter than its initial flavor, dry, roasted, slightly hot, and on the verge of sweet mouthfeel, full bodied, moderate carbonation, taste lingers for a few minutes, drank a bottle once but this stuff seemed heavier tonight, alcohol is hidden well but it is rich and not completely smooth at times, still pretty good drinkability, should develop with age, good now but has potential to be much better later on, glad I have some extra bottles to cellar, will be drinking again, worth trying

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
2.6/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

22oz bomber via Sinner's Club. Pours into my glass completely and utterly flat, looks basically like soy sauce. Not overly heavy, but ultimately lifeless. Disappointing. Aromas of smooth dark malts with a solid sweetness bathed in a woody, boozy bourbon. Vanilla and caramel accents with a touch of dark fruits. Touch of chocolate and coffee. Well, it smells pretty good at least.

First sip makes me feel more like I AM drinking bourbon as opposed to a beer. No carbonation at all as it rolls across the tongue. Bourbon and wood lead the way with vanilla and dark fruit flavors. A bit of caramel and chocolate meld in. Flows down with a fumy alcohol kick that works its way through the nostrils as well. Might be better off serving this one in shot glasses!

Mouthfeel is slick and boring, again it's more like a liquor than a beer. Not very refreshing and quite hard to drink. Overall, I don't know what I will do with my second bottle...cook with it maybe?? Milkshakes?? Either way, this shouldn't have been released like this and I'm a bit upset I spent my hard earned coin on it. Blech.

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My personal favorite of the Christmas in July Party, this baby is thick, chocolatey and viscous. Definitely a dessert beer, I was blown away by its intensity and flavor. BASLA has a velvety sweet taste, similiar to BCS with a surprisingly low level of alcohol burn. I think if cellared a year or two this could be delicious. Only tick was that I drank too much of it. I would keep this one to a 4-6oz serving at a time

Granted I am drinking it from a tap, I was surprised by the complaints about it being flat. I am hoping the 2010 version is not as problematic as the 2009 considering we all seem to continue funneling money into Tomme Arthur's wallet for flat beer.

Photo of Beaver13
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle - 2012 version 12% abv. Pours opaque black with a smallish brown head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet baker's chocolate, some roasted grainy malts and some light bourbon.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate with a lot of roast and a big sharp alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is kind of light bodied for an impy stout.

Overall, it's a bit subdued other than hot alcohol.

Photo of Wespatrick
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Opened my bomber and got nary a peep of carbonation pop. I poured it into my Duvel snifter as briskly as possible. There were few bubbles, but in 10 seconds they were all gone and the beer was completely lifeless. What this beer lacks in carbonation it more than makes up for in the nose. Loads of bourbon! Molasses and vanilla are also present, but definetely in a supporting role. Flavor is pretty much identical to the nose. Alcohol heat comes up big in the finish. No hiding the 10 %ABV here. Mouthfeel is ok body wise, but the lack of carbonation is problematic. This beer could be phenomenal with even some carbonation. Truly a pity!

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mar.

Beer pours black with no head. This is one of the flat Port/Lost Abbey beers I have heard about. The aroma is alcohol, chocolate and the notes you expect in bourbon aged beers - oak, bourbon and vanilla. The flavor is similar with the alcohol being pretty hot, but the vanilla and bourbon being very present as well. The mouthfeel is medium but I think the beer would be better if it was properly carbonated.

Photo of 1Adam12
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

08 bottle. Barely any hiss when I popped it. Pours black, but looks a bit thin. ZERO carbonation. Smells of heavy bourbon, a bit of bitter chocolate, and some coffee. Taste is a huge bourbon bomb, but as it warms the chocolate does come out. Almost no carbonation. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a barrel aged stout. Overall, this made for a really good bottle to get as pretty much an extra in a trade, but I wouldn't seek it out again. Just too one dementional. The bourbon is just too much. I've had the regular version, and this should be a lot better than what it is.

Photo of jondeelee
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bourbon barrel aged version of Santa's Little Helper opens with a thick, mealy aroma, and the heady bourbon overtones make the beer's barrel aging immediately apparent. Typical stout aromas such as coffee, tobacco, chocolate and black malt are present, but cranked up a notch or two, catalyzed and heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel aging, which imparts heavily vanillas, oaks, and smoky charcoals. Touches of figs, caramel, and toffee bring slight Christmas aromas. Overall, the aromas are intense and mouthwatering, marking this as one of the better-smelling Imperial Stouts I've encountered.

On the tongue, the beer opens with an immediate bourbon whang, and in fact the beer initially far more resembles a straight shot of bourbon than it does a beer. This impression lasts throughout the entire mouthful, the stout flavors of coffee, ash, tobacco, and beer malts largely subsumed beneath a heavy bourbon cloak, so that the predominant flavors are vanilla, oak, charcoal, and a thick alcoholic vapor that coats the tongue and makes more subtle taste recognition difficult. Some fig and caramel notes make it through, as does a touch of pine sap from the malts, but for the most part this is bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. Even the aftertaste is largely alcoholic bourbon, lingering in a vodka-strong alcoholic cloud for a long time. Mouthfeel is a strangely watery medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, while the aromas drifting from the bottle were incredible, the beer itself is far too alcoholic and bourbon-like on the tongue, almost as if a good measure of bourbon was left in the barrel before the beer was added. This bourbon-stout boilermaker combination can and does work well in moderation, but here the ratios are too far off, and after only a few sips I'm fairly sure I would spike a breathalyzer test. Perhaps bottle aging would help, but I also wish the beer hadn't been left to age in the bourbon barrel for quite so long.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour a super dark brown (not entirely black), with absolutely no head. Not impressive, I expected more, but the bourbon aging has really done a number on this appearance.

S: The aroma is strait bourbon mixed with dark chocolate and maybe a little anise. Not very complex, but if you're a bourbon lover, your mouth will water.

T: The flavor is pretty strait forward like the aroma. Mostly bourbon, sweet notes of anise and chocolate. Hints of the brew's roastiness begins to break free as the beer warms.

MF: This brew suffers from what many bourbon barrel aged beers suffer from...poor mouthfeel. The feel is thin, with minimal carbonation at best.

Overall: This beer is ok. I really enjoy bourbon, but when bourbon becomes the main flavor note and over powers everything else, you have a beer that is average at best.

Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Way underrated, it is complex, smooth and tasty.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chewy black lookin, very nice, but carbonation was on the low side, leaving no head, no lace, nuthin. Aroma, standard stuff, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon warmth, alcohol warmth, barely a trace of wet wood.

Good roast flavor, chocolate in the nose isn't as apparent in the taste, but it didn't leave altogether. You kind of get to understand why the carbonation was on the soft side in the mouthfeel, it allows more nuances to hit you. Nothing over the top and dominating in the flavor profile, heat is less with every sip. Coffee is conspicuously absent in this one.

While there's plenty of just outstanding offerings in this department, this one is still a good offering.

2009 bottle drank at Surly Goat. Have a 2010 & 11 in the cellar, hopefully the carbonation is just a nudge upward, and this can break into the upper echelon of beers, that's really the major factor holding it back, but very good nonetheless.

Photo of glid02
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Yikes, quite the divisive beer here. Shared by kp - thanks!

Pours black with a few large light brown bubbles that quickly burst leaving a glassy top without even a thin ring around the glass.

Smells of bourbon and vanilla with good amounts of smooth roasted malts and hints of dark chocolate. Very mild spices waft out from time to time.

Tastes very good. Roasted malt flavors upfront are overtaken quickly by smooth bourbon and vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the bourbon flavors mellow out a bit allowing the roasted malt back out along with hints of dark chocolate. The ending is mildly bitter and leaves bourbon flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's missing a lot of carbonation however I still feel as though there are a few bubbles fighting to get through and honestly the beer doesn't suffer horribly for lack of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I thought this beer was unfairly panned simply for lack of carbonation. I think the beer could certainly be improved upon however as it is now it's one I would seek out in the future. Worth a shot as long as you know what you're getting into.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz, caged and corked bottle, 12% ABV, thanks be once again to the good doktorzee for procuring this for me from SoCal.

This beer pours a solid, light-destroying black abyss, with the barest of cola-tinged basal edges, and two fingers of wanly puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves a bit of awkwardly arched lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of big 'n sweet Bourbon barrels - acridly boozy vanilla, caramel, wood, and spiced grain - bittersweet chocolate, gritty caramel malt, biscuity toffee, black licorice, dark muddled orchard fruit, milk-dosed coffee, Japanese stir-fry umami, and an earthy, weedy, and slightly leafy dryness. The taste is still big on the Kentucky barrel-aged spirit essence straight-off, with the same testy vanilla, caramel, rye spice, and besotted woodiness from the nose, alongside a heady toffee/caramel maltiness, dark cocoa pudding, melted licorice, cafe au lait, a waning Teriyaki weirdness, and overwhelmed earthy, musty hops.

The bubbles are pretty understated in their frothy temerity, the body a hefty medium-full weight, and generally smooth, what with that 24-proof booze gnashing at the outer gates, and perhaps even a tad creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, the Bourbon, chocolatey caramel, and milky coffee kind of tightening the reins.

A pretty tasty and engaging imperial stout, aged in Bourbon barrels, at that. The wood does some good, and some not so good, but in the end, the positives outweigh the negatives. And yeah, the 12% ABV is sublimated enough that I didn't think to mention it outright until now, which I suppose is sayin' something. Cheers, Santa - after that particularly long day of work, you do indeed deserve to drink this stuff for the rest of the year!

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle - says Oak Barrels on label, not Bourbon as the photo suggests. Make no mistake, this was aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

I'll start by saying...I can see how this beer gets a overall B- if it were one of the flat bottles. This 2010 bottle is carbonated perfectly and hit me right in the nose the minute I popped the cap. I didn't have high expectations for this beer but this was the biggest Bal-aged surprise of the year for me especially because I'm not a big fan of the base beer. I was also skeptical of the more than reasonable price tag for a Bal-aged Imperial Stout. $10.99

Poured into a snifter:

Appearance - Solid. Opaque with a nice charcoal head that quickly dissapates. When held to the light a little brownish tint from the Barreling shows up at the edges or the ring of the top of the glass.

Smell - Chocolate and Molasses dominate equally so as the Bourbon. The balance between the 3 is simply fantastic. Like a Bourbon German chocolate cake with very slight hints of vanilla showing if I look for it.

Taste - See smell. Exactly follows. Reminds me a bit of a less intense Parabola minus the extremely silky mouthfeel and a bit more chocolate forward than Parabola.

Mouthfeel - Fantastic. It's a sipper and feels the 10% that the beer is. Not that it's hot, the booze in the Whiskey is slightly apparent and expected but it has good viscosity, giving you the 10% feel. Love it!

Drinkability - Very Good. One bomber is the perfect amount to one's self on a winter's night.

Final Thoughts - For the $10.99 price tag, this is a value if I've ever seen one. This beer I found fantastic. Enjoyed this one much more than Old Rasputin XII and at 1/2 the price. I also enjoyed this much more than Older Viscosity as there was so much more going on than just bourbon which I experienced with Older Viscosity. I didn't chill this beer at all, popped at very near cellar temp. A must try to all you other BAs.

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Tops Tasting Room in Tempe, with the staff. The most knowledgeable person promised it was the barrel aged version, arrived recently, and tasted bourbon in it. I found it just a very good imperial stout. Black appearance, though no noticeable head. Very drinkable and smooth, some wood but still boozy. Coffee, chocolate.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter. 2009 vintage.

A: Cap opens without so much as a hiss... another winner from lost abbey. Pours no head, just a coarse mocha colored ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is non-existant.

S: Nose is strong on the bourbon. Oak is present along with hints of brownie, chocolate, prunes, raisins, and other dried, dark fruit. No bitterness or roasted malt present. Aromatic though, and very sweet overall.

T: Opens brownie, cocoa, and chocolate. Sweet bourbon graces the tongue quickly afterwards followed by indescribable dark fruits. Perhaps some prune and raisins? There's a bit of saltiness in the background also, which is a bit weird. Finish is accented with a sharp booziness. Aftertaste is incredible sweet and syrupy.

M: Medium to full bodied and flat as a pancake. This beer makes me believe that there are, in fact, LEVELS of flatness... as this is the flatest offering I've had from Port/Lost Abbey. Oily and viscous in the mouth but abrasive around the edges due to the booziness. Finish is accented and aftertaste is sticky and oily.

D: Not bad, but this beer could really use some carbonation. Oily and viscosity (as it should be, since its got no bubbles) is appropriate but there's something weird in the taste that I can't quite identify. An average brew, but I wouldn't have this again.

Photo of dirtylou
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle, 2011 vintage

Served in an oversized snifter - muddy garnet body, bubbly head - low carbonation. Overwhelming aromas of bourbon and vanilla, caramel and chocolate. And then, unfortunately, you take a sip. Absolutely fierce - burnt rubber, charred malt, torched oak, abrasive bourbon, caramel and chocolate. Heavily bitter - gonna be a tough one to choke down

Photo of nbree00
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 Bottling

A: Jet black in color with minal head, probably could use just a hair more carbonation

S: The nose is really where this one shines. Strong notes of bourbon, vanilla, espresso and dark chocolate. Super inviting.

T: Not quite as epic as the nose but a nice depth of flavor here. Robust flavors of bourbon, charred oak, dark roasted coffee, bakers chocolate and a hint of anise.

M: Has thinned out a little from when I tried it fresh. Still lush and silky just not as long a finish or as much texture from the oak.

O: Overall a seriously good beer, don't wanna say it's peaking cause I think it will hold up for a long time, but maybe not improving a whole lot. Beautifully rich and loaded with bourbony goodness, highly recommended.

Photo of nickd717
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared thanks to vacax at the post-Bruery Reserve Society Initiation bottle share.

Pours jet black and flat as a pancake. But you already knew that would be the case.

Aroma is very nice, with bourbon, chocolate, roast, and caramel.

Flavor is even better. A great base stout, roasty and chocolatey with excellent caramel and toffee notes, with wood and a touch of bourbon.

Medium-full on the palate and - here it comes again - flat as a pancake that has been run over by a steamroller. Carbonation would have helped, but it's still very good. Even pretty drinkable, surprisingly.

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask @ the Stone Brewing World Bistros & Gardens on 11/9/09 during the "Tomme Arthur Experience" event. Served in a snifter.

Pours jet black in the glass, with a ½ finger of burnt mocha colored froth. Big rich retention on this, which showers the sides of the snifter with of spotty lace and gooey brown oil. Cola-like Bourbon and tannic oak accents just dominate the nose. The Stout flavors are trying in vain to break through (I'm getting chocolate, roast, and just a bit of dark fruit that's trying to peak out) but it really does struggle against the barrel character.

Thankfully the Imperial Stout shows itself much more in the taste, being frontloaded with sticky notes of chocolate, toffee, dark roasted, coffee, and some fruit. But man, the Bourbon strikes back with a vengeance in the backend of this, with a boozy tasting bite that ends sticky at first and then rather drying in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a mellow creaminess to it from the cask conditioning that helps sooth things out a bit. Much like the regular Santa's Little Helper, this could be called overly hot (and the Bourbon sure doesn't help), leaving a warm hazy feel on the breath. All in all though, the alcohol presence probably isn't as bad as it could have been.

Well after hearing the horror stories about this beer in the bottle, I have to say that having the opportunity to have this on cask was probably the best case scenario for it (hooray for carbonation!). At the end of the day though, this was still just too warm and boozy to call it anything better than good. I'm glad that I got to try this here, as that will allow me to sit on the bottle that I've got for a long...long time.

Photo of IKR
2.62/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving:Bottle into a tulip glass

A: Black with a hint of head that instantly vanished. Old Viscosity is a regular go to beer of mine which I've never had carbonation issues with. This one validates other BA's comments regarding some of Los Abbeys/Port Brewing carbonation issue.

S: Dominant bourbon aroma with a slight vanilla aroma with a tiny bit of roasted malt smell.

T: Dominant bourbon taste. Some dark fruits present with some oak elements and slight roast taste following. The lack of carbonation to my palate results in an overly sweet bourbon dominated beer. Tastes like my early underattenuated home brew efforts which again may be due to the complete absence of carbonation.

M: Medium body with no carbonation does not work for me.

D: I'm not sure if the abundant bourbon flavor and sweetness are the result of the lack of carbonation but it's not for me.

Old Viscosity is a standby beer for me and I like several of Port Brewing/Lost Abbey's offerings so I am not a Lost Abbey basher but the fact I could have gotten two Old Viscosity (which were right next to this one)for the price of this one is kicking me in the butt every time I think about it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by beeruser at an impromptu Hobo Tasting in a parking garage before heading out to Pisgah for a ticking session... NO BLACKED OUT SANTA! Served from bottle into a Duck Rabbit snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Really glad I got to try this one and what better way to do so than at a make-shift Hobo Tasting!? Nice flavor going on in this one, but it was still quite hot. Nice aroma going on here as well. Even with the heat from the alcohol this was still nicely balanced. Definitely worth trying!

Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a small wine glass. Black color, no head. What do you know, a flat Port/LA beer. Small bubbles, wouldn't really qualify as carbonated. Smells great. The saving grace of the beer. Bourbon, vanilla, alcohol, chocolate, coffee. Tastes like it smells. I'd imagine it'd be better if it had carbonation. Mouthfeel = fail. Oh lord. FLAT. Not bad drinkability, given it's flatness and alcohol. Lame.

Photo of GRG1313
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle appears with red label and appears identical to Bourbon aged but indicates "Oak" in lieu of Bourbon. No date stated on label but believed to be a summer 2010 release.

Pours black with no head. Even a good swirl or a very slow pour will not yield a head of any kind. Edit: Bottle was open for 15 minutes and poured again and got a very short lived tan head.

Nose is semi sweet dark chocolate, sweet dark black coffee, whiskey and light vanilla (oak).

Mouthfeel is medium full to creamy and by second or third taste gives nice creamy "coated" feel. Light carbonation and would like to see more. Unfortunately, ability to age is lessened by diminishing carbonation - this one is already very lightly carbonated and it fades even more as it sits in the glass.

Flavors are intense semi sweet black chocolate, molasses, big semi sweet dark coffee, whiskey and light sweet soy. Flavors seem to improve and become more and more appealing with every sip.

Finish is a big chocolate, sweet coffee, light whiskey alcohol character. You get some of the alcohol (the sweet character of higher alcohol) in the flavors and especially in the finish. Long coffee bean/espresso finish.

This beer will likely age nicely for a year or two but is very nice to try now. Surprise choice for what I believe was a summer release. Nice effort.

Photo of KYGunner
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black and viscous this poured with a thin trace of brown foam.

All that one expects in a barrel aged stout with vanilla, chocolate, and coconut.

This actually excels in taste as it has far more complexity than the aroma could muster. I feared that the bourbon would be lost but it hits right at center palate. The bourbon is tangy and woody and then is washed away in a thick creamy chocolate and caramel wave. Vanilla then holds out at the end.

The feel is smooth slightly less viscous than expected.

This goes in the barrel as a less appealing stout than most but it takes on the barrel characteristics extremely well and serves as a proud addition to the style.

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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.