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Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel AgedDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

114 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 513
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 469
Gots: 142 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ffejherb on 01-24-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged Alström Bros
Reviews: 114 | Hads: 513
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with light retention. Aroma of corn and light vanilla with some light black chocolate and alcohol fusel is good. Taste is a complex mix of corn and vanilla with some bourbon which rounds the edge of this beer. Body is full with low carbonation and some fusel alcohol is perceptible. Not bad though I prefered the brandy barrel version. (411 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.52/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2011 vintage, bottle 274 / 336. Thanks to claaark13 for this one!

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit last year (scroll down for the original review), so I retraded for the latest batch. Re-review here.

A: Pours a dark brown body that appears opaque in the center, with a mild maroon translucence around the edges. A short-lived tan head appears and vanishes quickly.

S: Bourbon is noticeable on the nose, along with vanilla and oak. Leather, chocolate, and caramel. A touch of soy sauce.

T: The taste is a bit disconcerting to me. I remember last year's having a dominant bourbon character composed of sweeter flavors like caramel, vanilla, and milk chocolate. This one still has some bourbon, along with base beer flavors like milk chocolate and some anise, but it's starting to turn a tad green apple-y, with a pronounced grainy sourness. More smoke and soy than I remembered this beer having. It's an odd experience.

M: Medium-bodied, with low carbonation. It feels thin, and finishes semi-dry. Otherwise, it's fairly velvety and clean, though the tartness amplifies a perceived, lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Just a touch of booze bite.

O: This wasn't as impressive as I remembered it being last year. The flavor in particular has taken a boozy and slightly tart turn; I'd hesitantly say this was in the incipient stages of infection, but I'll see if more reports echo my experience, first. Whatever the case, I wasn't particularly impressed with this bottle, though I wouldn't say it was undrinkable.

EDIT: I have since had the base version, which also has the same grainy sourness I picked up in the bourbon and (to a lesser degree) in the brandy-barrel aged iterations. I think that flavor is just a hallmark of this particular beer now. I can't say I love it.

~~~~

Original review:

3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 (A)

Thanks to nickd717 for opening this up.

A: Pours a black body that reveals itself to be a clear, dark brown in smaller quantities. The head is tan in color; it rises to a half-pinky in height and vanishes quickly. No lace.

S: Caramelly bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, oak. Very light vanilla. There's a small presence of alcohol. I will say it's not harsh, just there. I don't necessarily like that quality, but I'm sure it will fade as the beer ages.

T: Bourbon, caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla. Toasted oak and coconut. The finish is relatively clean, with a small presence of tannins and a lingering aftertaste of caramel. The booze I detected on the nose is even more subdued here. The barrel character is pretty well integrated. With more complexity and mellowness in the flavor, I'd have bumped this up to a 5.0. Right now it's beginning to show the signs of greatness, but they haven't fully materialized.

M: There's a mild warmth, but nothing I would call "hot" in this beer. It has a full, rich flavor, but it is not a viscous beer. I like that characteristic; I'm less impressed by underattenuated, syrupy beers than I am by beers that nail the sweet spot. I think this is a fine example.

D: This was left on the table as the tickers moved on to greener pastures. I kept taking more pours of it. I enjoyed it. (3,219 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a pitch black color with a fairly thin brown head. Head is gone pretty quick, turning into a thin ring around the edge of the glass and leaving next to no lacing.

S- Picking up a ton of bourbon. Roasted malts, vanilla, wood, darker fruits, and a touch of herbal hops.

T- Follows the nose really well. I'm digging the bourbon aspect of this one a lot. Roasted malts, very light coffee, chocolate, raisins, vanilla and wood. Very nice.

M- Full in body and low carbonation if any.

O- Very solid brew. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. (543 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to RocPorterFanatic for sharing this guy with me.

A: Pours a deep brown, in the glass it is black. An aggressive pour yields a very dark brown head, that dissipates relatively quickly.

S: Huge bourbon barrel nose. Boozy and syrupy with a sweet vanilla and oak aroma. A touch of molasses, and you can almost smell the caramelization of the oak barrel itself.

T: Dark chocolate, and bourbon dominate the flavor. Rich, oaky, with vanilla and a nice bourbon kick. There is certainly a nice booze kick to it. There is a touch of black licorice in the finish.

M: Rich, dense, and thick. Carbonation is appropriate for the style. It leaves a slight film in the mouth that lets you know you're drinking something thick and sticky.

O: Wow, what a beer. This is everything a bourbon barrel RIS should be. Big, delicious, and well crafted. (849 characters)

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black. Not Brown, Black. Small amount of light brown head.

S - Nothing but bourbon and chocolate in the smell, and I like it that way.

T - Wow!! Brown sugar, carbonated, with molasses and bourbon thrown in for good measure. This is what perfection tastes like.

M - Great for the style, the agressive carbonation keeps the sweetness from getting cloying.

O - Great beer. This was a hold out from the original release, now a year old. Absolutely delicious. (468 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black for sure. No pop...no fizz. no head. Not required by some beers, so I am ok so far.

S - Soy meets coffee. Mocha coffee. Love soy in the mix.

T - Dense mix of booze, soy sauce, cocoa, coffee and wood.

M - Chewy, sludgy, oily stuff. Balance good. NO CARBONATION. It would have helped.

D - Lots of promise. Would have been lots better with the carbonation. (367 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage. Bottle #186 of 336.

3.5 A: Black color. Fairly aggressive pour yielded only one finger of creamy light brown head. Retention is average and little lacing is left.

5.0 S: Truly a great smelling brew. The bourbon is the first thing you notice, but it allows for the stout to shine through as well. Lightly leathery with a peat-like smokiness, notes of pear, and that signature JO's barrel character. Oak and vanilla are more subtle than when I had this fresh. The stout offers tons of chocolate, brown sugar, and hints of coffee.

4.5 T: The bourbon seems to have mellowed a bit since the release. I dare say the stout is now in the driver's seat. Lots of chocolate followed by brown sugar, molasses, and coffee. Barrel adds moderate vanilla and oak. Bourbon adds leather, a touch of char, pear, and hints of peat and smoke.

3.5 M: This is the only thing that doesn't live up to on-tap at the release. Heavier medium body. Carbonation is lower than I'd like and it causes this to come off as a bit thin and less creamy.

4.5 D: Great beer and a vast improvement over the regular Dark App. (1,128 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black colored beer with a nice than head that had decent retention and faded to a nice ring.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, barrel. A bit of chocolate and some roast in there as well. Has all the components of a good BA stout.

T - Lots of really smooth bourbon overlying the chocolate and roasted notes of this beer. Quite bourbon forward, but manages not to be hot.

M - Smooth, thick, lower carbonation.

O - Really good beer. For those seeking bourbon barrel aged stouts this would be a good one as it's pretty much spot on. (530 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Bottle #184/384

Barrel-aged Dark Apparition is pitch black in color. Very ominous. No light cuts through at all. Very impressive looking. A dark mocha colored head tops it and rises to about a finger and a half in height. It recedes quickly, leaving light strands of lace lining the glass.

Smells delicious. It’s very malty up front. Chocolate and caramel malts smell delicious. It definitely smells a little sweet. Bourbon and oak are definitely in the mix. The bourbon seems to be moderately strong. That’s my preference. It complements the malty notes very well. Secondary scents include coffee, molasses, and perhaps a touch of black licorice. Alcohol is there, but it doesn’t smell too strong. Eh. It’s big beer…what do you expect?

The flavor definitely lives up to the nose. The malt base is nothing short of tremendous. It’s full of caramel sweetness, bittersweet dark chocolate, and a little cocoa. Very tasty. Bourbon has a moderately strong flavor. It works perfectly. Eight months is barrels were the perfect amount of time. The flavor profile is quite deep. Secondary flavors of oak, roasted coffee, molasses, very faint black licorice, and a touch of sugar are all noted. Alcohol is blended well for what it’s worth. It’s there, but isn’t warm or hot. Finishes a little sweet and chocolaty with a touch of bourbon.

The body is best described as medium. Carbonation feels light. It is smooth, but would benefit from more body. It just feels a little insubstantial for a big barrel-aged stout. Not bad at all though.

Barrel-aged Dark Apparition is excellent beer. I know Jackie O’s brews a lot of good beer, but this has to be among their best. It’s chock full of flavor and has a ton of depth and character. There’s really not much that could improve it. Maybe a tad bit more body. That’s about it. Great stuff. Thanks a ton for the bottle, Chris! (1,937 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

776th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
22oz

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks Shail for sharing

App- This for some reason was a bit lighter than the regular DA. Only a 1/8" of bubbles and didn't have much cling or lace to it.

Smell- Well I think something went wrong. Normally the barrels add a certain depth of flavors and this was quite lacking. Some residual coconut flavors showed on the nose but mostly just booze and malts.

Taste- I don't think this was a good bottle. I can't call it infected since it has some good qualities behind and wasn't a sour stout or a Brett stout by any means. Just a little bit of a normal stout flavor and a little vanilla from the barrels and a little oily.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Didn't leave a whole lot behind, just a bit of slick malts.

Drink- I really had high hopes for this bottle and was very excited to try it. A bit of a letdown but still pretty tasty in the end. I think I need to trade for more Jackie O's. (970 characters)

Photo of julian
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a dark brown viscous head and lots of spotty lacing all the way around. 4.5

S: Bourbon...raisin, but mostly boozy oaky bourbon. 4

T&M: Very good. Somewhat drier than KtG, but mostly dark fruit presence, and raisiny flavor. Smooth and somewhat boozy. 4 / 4

O: Nice, a little too dry for my taste, but still excellent. It’s like a more diluted, more attenuated KtG. 4 (390 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sent to me by Dan. Thanks!

A: The beer pours a black color and looks almost flat, in fact, it is. No head to be found, either.

S: Jesus is this boozy. Tons of bourbon, booze, and ethanol type aromas on this one. Lots of oak with a bit of vanilla as well as some chocolate and roasted malt notes, just a hint of coffee, as well.

T: Tastes a bit better, but still a touch harsh. Lots of booze/ethanol as well as a bit of actual bourbon flavor. Some wood and vanilla are there as well as roast, chocolate, and a touch of coffee.

M: Medium bodied with essentially no carbonation.

O: Way too harsh, way too much booze, and no carbonation? Not a winning combination. (672 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tasting glass. Black in color with a very thin head clinging mostly to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a nice dark chocolate and vanilla character to it with some woody oak and bourbon notes coming through. I got a little bit of a rum like quality to the alcohol at times as well.

The taste has a dark chocolate presence throughout the flavor with more vanilla and oak showing in the finish. Some bourbon alcohol comes out in the finish as well. Moderately roasty, but falls a little more on the sweet side.

The mouthfeel is thick with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall I thought the barrel character really integrated nicely into the beer flavors without overpowering the beer. I thought it was a a very solid barrel aged beer overall. (785 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside regular dark apparition and brandy barrel aged.

2011 #18 of 240

look is identical to all the others...like a black hole with no head at all. the smell is really nice. not top shelf bourbon, but a nice smelling brew. flavor, however is spot on. vanilla, creamy, wonderful. mouth was the top of the 3, very creamy. overall really nice and my favorite of the three by a long shot. (441 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Sean for this one. Aroma: Anise and vanilla, coffee, chocolate malts and bourbon. Very intense. Appearance: Black pour with offwhite head. Flavors: Bourbon and vanilla cream makes a perfect mariage with chocolate and coffee. Very well integrated. Palate: Very heavy with light carbonation. A dessert in itself. Overall: Very good barrel aged IS. The flavors are intense and you can really feel the barrel presence without being cloying. This is not infinitly complex but the flavors are so well blended together. (527 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle number 246 of 336.

poured into tulip glass. I shared my bottle with both wedge9 and ryan585.

Appearance: very dark brown beer almost black in color. Thin head on top this beer more than a cap.

Smell: Caramel, oak, bourbon, and vanilla.

Taste: Heavy bourbon notes that are both sweet and smooth, but is not overdone. Brown sugar, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, raisins, and even think I detect some butterscotch. The beer finished with burnt marshmellows and a small boozey burn.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with a low to moderate carbonation. Beer is a little syrupy, but i dig it.

Overall: If you have a sweet tooth; this is a beer for u! Massive malt and bourbon bomb! After tasting this beer... I want to try Dark Apparition and all its other barrel-aged spin offs. This is fantastic beer! Jackie O's is awesome! (831 characters)

Photo of camil1mj
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Romulux I got to try DA, Bourbon DA and Brandy DA all in the same night.

A: Dark as night. Small amount of carbonation. Little to no lacing.

S: Alcoholic heat dominates this one. Best smell of the three variations from the most recent release.

T: Initially you get a very big alocholic heat followed by chocolate, malt and sweetness.

M: Light bodied for the style. A little disappointed as this whole series has been hyped up here on BA.

O: A great BA stout. Very glad I got to try all three variations from the recent releases. This was my favorite of the three. Would not to see how this does over the next few years! (635 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to thunderroad12 for sharing this one with me in-line at BASC among other rarities! Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured a massively dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, peat, sweet alchol, and subtle wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, subtle roasted malt, dark chocolate, peat, wood, and subtle alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. However, the slight peat character on this one was a little off-putting to me. While it was not abrasive, it just didn't seem to fit in well with the other flavors going on in this one. The aroma was quite nice on this one however. While I say the flavor wasn't the best, it was in no-way bad. Really glad I got the chance to try this one! (902 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted chocolate, caramel and bourbon alcohol aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy bittersweet dark chocolate malty flavor with a heavy bittersweet and small bourbon alcohol bite finish of long duration. This is another standout beer. (378 characters)

Photo of Kshock
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Jet black with a little tan head retention that subsides quickly leaving a tan ring. Bright color to it, no haze at all.

S- Smells like a coffee, chocolate, vanilla and a little hint of sour in the back. Hints to a flanders.

T- The sour is not dominating. It gives a citrus berry taste at the end. It starts like a good bourbon stout, good chocolate and vanilla flavors, then finished by the citric sour.

M- Big mouth feel, but not hard to put down. Has some viscosity without a doubt.

O- this is an awesome beer, but the sour gives a fruity character. My first sip instant reminded me of FFF Chocolate City (bourbon scotch ale with marrion berries). (657 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Don't know what the hype is for this beer. Yeah it's rare but it's not THAT great. Poured into a snifter. Pours super flat again like the Cab Cherry Man. No head. No lacing. Super black.

Aroma is good. Probably the best part. It's super bourbony. Nice stouty ness. Caramel and some slight dark fruits.

Taste is way too thin. And no carb. Has a nice bourboness. Little bit of roast in the finish. The flavor is really lacking like some caramel and body you would expect from a stout of this style.

Mouthfeel is too thin and no carb. Terrible mouthfeel for a stout.

Overall this beer was disappointing. And people are saying the west coast hypes up their beer. This one is not deserving of an A at all. There are alot more beers I would put up there. If their other beers are rated this high and taste like this I dont think I will be trading and giving up awesome beer just because the bottle count is 300. (911 characters)

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark as hell with a light lacing head around the rim of the glass

Smell- bourbon, oakyness, and vanilla.

Taste- bourbon, vanilla up front. Brown sugar is present and the finish is very suttle with bourbon but it doesn't linger. Some alcohol burn (254 characters)

Photo of GrowlerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a Dark Apparition fan, I've been consuming BBDA since it was created. Finally I'm reviewing it.

Appearance - Dark brown-black, thick oily.

Smell - Buttery sweet bourbon, and a little oak with all the regular DA nose (chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty). The DA scents are more prevalent than in the Brandy Barrel DA.

Taste - Sweet bourbon, vanilla, and DA's chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty notes.

Mouthfeel - Coating syrup feel with warming alcohol.

Overall - All versions of DA should be consumed, and if you like boozy bourbon barreled beers like I do - yummm. (617 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From tap to snifter at Jackie O's on 6/24/11
*From notes

This batch of Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition was aged in Woodford Reserve barrels (per Brad Clark)

A: The name ain't lyin' - this monster is as dark as night. The .5 finger head yields little to no lacing.

S: Wonderful bouquet. Like the best of the bourbon barrel bunch, it's got that toasted coconut and sweet whiskey profile. The highlight of the brew.

T: The booze hits first, as this is pretty hot and rather sweet. The bourbon runs rampant from start to finish, yet the charry malt sets the foundation here. The dark cocoa and molasses keeps this stout anchored and carries it through and beyond the finish. There's also a noticable amount of funk to it. Not a sour funk, more like a metallic twinge on the finish that adds to the complexity.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit thinner then some of the RIS's you may encounter, but I feel this allows the beer to be much more approachable and drinkable. If it were packing a motor oil consistancy, I don't know how you'd get through entire serving, as it's such a complex and robust stout. The carbonation is a bit more noticable then expected, but keeps the beer from becoming too cloying.

O: Jackie O's Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition is one of the best barrel aged beers in the business. It puts a lot of other brews to shame, and overall this is easily the second best DA Brad has yet to concoct (Figgie Smalls being a reasonably close #1).

Pretty damn close to perfect, and worthy of it's massive hype. (1,516 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6/24/2011

Thanks to Jason for opening this.

A: The beer is a very dark shade of brown. Not much else to report. Small head.

S: Lots of coffee and roasted malt with a light smoke element. I detect an unmistakable nuttiness that accompanies a low level of bourbon.

T: Alcohol up front with faint bourbon. Roasted malt borders on burnt. Lightly nutty. Coffee finishes it off and bourbon makes a short appearance. Not much bourbon to speak of overall.

M: Full in body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth, sticky, and a touch thin.

Overall: A good beer, though not enough spirit or barrel character for my liking. (608 characters)

Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.