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Dark Apparition - Vanilla Bean Rum Barrel | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

very good
44 Reviews
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Dark Apparition - Vanilla Bean Rum BarrelDark Apparition - Vanilla Bean Rum Barrel

Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MbpBugeye on 02-05-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 92
Reviews by Spider889:
Photo of Spider889
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the release last weekend. Sucked waiting in line, but the beer was great and the day turned out to be fun for all.

This was a black beer with little head. Lace was not even an issue (and the head certainly must have suffered some) because they were only serving this in 4oz pours. I look forward to seeing this after a proper pour out of the bottle.

Smelled pretty darn good. The rum is there, though very subdued. I was really looking forward to this as I am more of a rum drinker than any other spirit, but I discovered the rum to be quite mild, and it has been suggested that most/all of the barrels used in the beers released this time around were from second use barrels. Nevertheless, the rum shows some trademark sweetness, providing more molasses notes than vanilla (as in bourbon). If you like vanilla though, fear not, for this beer was aged on vanilla beans, and the vanilla scent is quite potent. The aroma finishes almost bitter-sweet (that's the malt and whatever hops are involved showing their presence). Mild roast barley and bitter dark chocolate co-mingle with the emerging trademark sourness now found in nearly every Jackie O's offering.

Man oh man is this beer sweet. Near tootsie pop drizzled in Hershey syrup sweet (I say tootsie pop, cause the beer tastes faintly sour, wink). Loads of vanilla bruise the otherwise tough Dark Apparition. There is still plenty of black malt and mild coffee tones to the beer, but the barrel aging has really softened and rounded out this one. The beer finishes slightly sour, with some plum and green raisin. Not a bad flavor, though not exactly helpful to the aim of this beer either.

Really smooth, the vanilla and oak make this feel a percent or so less in alcohol. The rum is still understated imo, but c'est la vie.

Overall I say well-done Brad. I can only assume that over time your barrel aging expertise will improve and these beers will become better each time they're brewed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SanFranJake
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Brenden
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is dark brown in color, nearly black, with a small, creamy tan head. Retention is good and some nice lacing is left clinging to the glass.
Vanilla is all over the noise, actually a little bit cloying. Wood and smoke are also present. The malts almost get muted by all the sweetness and the alcohol, the rum notes adding to the confusion a bit. This is a nice aroma that just gets overrun a bit.
The flavor is an odd mix of smoke and wood with more of a charcoal taste coming though mixing with something of a citrus tang. This one's actually a bit confusing and I just think the elements don't mingle as well as they could, making this one somewhat tasty but also somewhat chaotic. This is just one where the things meant to make the beer special overwhelm it instead.
The mouthfeel is smooth and the body fills out with each sip without getting filling. Levels of carbonation are appropriate for it to work.
This is one that has a great base but is run over by the vanilla and rum. It does make me interested in trying other variations of it. That aside, just because it's not great doesn't mean it's not good. I still like it.

 1,138 characters

Photo of NorthCoastPranqster
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 Vintage. Bomber 221/225. Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303. Kinda just forgot about this one for a while.

Pours thick, viscous, and black. No head and very little lace. Oily, thick legs though. Looks every bit the big beer.

Nose is subtle booze, some mild vanilla, fudge, and roasted malt ashiness. Ok but a bit of a letdown given the robustness of the appearance.

If the nose was a letdown, the taste made this one take an even larger turn for the worse. Vanilla is only present towards the back and a touch in the aftertaste. Rum barrel aging coupled with the base beer gives this one an awkward tartness. Some roasted malt and fudge rescue this a bit in the middle but finish is too boozy for the overall taste. Not very good. As it warms, the vanilla peaks out a bit more, but its still dominated by an awkward non-infected tartness.

Medium bodied and too carbonated. Oily and spritzy in the mouth and boozy and slick on the finish. Filmy and sticky aftertaste. Again, average but I expected more from the initial appearance.

Another Dark Apparition variation that didn't live up to the hype. Though this might be a bit of my fault for aging the vanilla presence out of this beer. Still, just barely average and definitely not worth the fuss.

 1,281 characters

Photo of leschkie
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of nickd717
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber thanks to the late (on BA) chswimmer on his birthday. The man has a liver of steel.

Black as the night in color with a one finger tan head.

Huge vanilla and rum on the aroma with mild roast and chocolate.

The flavor is just too unbalanced with vanilla bean and rum overwhelming everything else. Some oak and chocolate hide in the background.

A little syrupy with carbonation on the low side.

Disappointing. Goes to show you can just mix a bunch of intense flavors and throw them in a barrel to make a good beer. Well sometimes you can, but not always. Yes I am giving a rating like this to a -bal aged imperial stout from a hyped-up brewery. Deal with it.

 667 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 bottle #101/240. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black and transparent at the edges. No head. Looks flat.

Smell - Rum, chocolate, and fudge. Tons of vanilla. Nice.

Taste - Lots of vanilla with a nice rum barrel. Chocolate and a consistent lactic sourness. Very odd. Really ruins what was potentially a good beer.

Mouthfeel - Sour. Medium heavy. The sourness kills. Intentional?

Overall - Really disappointing. I wanted to enjoy this. The bottle wasn't that old when we consumed it. Just soured. What's strange is that it's such a clean sourness. Almost makes me wonder if Jackie O's did it on purpose, although I can't fathom why.

 679 characters

Photo of MajorBuckeye
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of dtx00
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of TheSamKuehn
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of akorsak
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Deuane for sharing this one. Lucky me for picking it out...A 650 mL bomber.

A: The stout is a dark brown color, thick and murky enough to resemble blackness but not quite there. A tan colored head sits handsomely atop the brew.

S: Sweet vanilla beans, sturdy, stand out in the nose. It even goes so far as to crowd out the stout body. Rum adds a fruitier aspect but the vanilla is the clear winner.

T: Thankfully the taste delivers more than just the intense vanilla. While there, the beans don't play such a forceful role. The rum barrel adds an interesting tandem of oaken strength and sickly sweet booze. I'm not a bug rum fan, so the flavor requires a few sips to get used to. There is plenty of stout running around as well, bold chocolates and burnt grains. The dark roasted aspects go well with the vanilla but the rum seems to be the odd man out, struggling to coalesce. Still good though.

M: The mouthfeel is pleasantly sweet, the vanilla smoothing out most of the rough edges of both the stout and the barrel.

 1,030 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a deep, dark color that no light could penetrate. Nice chocolate head of about an inch came up initially but then settled down to a bare top that just looked like an evil pit of doom The aroma was rich with blackstrap molasses,vanilla beans,hints of alcohol and a ton of roasted malts, interesting, I must go in fora closer look. The flavor was equally as rich, dare I say wonderful Super sweet notes here of vanilla, molasses, hints of oak and a touch of almost bourbon as it warms. This was an amazingly complex beer. Super full bodied with that huge feel that you really only find in the best of the RIS's, you know what I mean. A huge beer that you know is every bit as strong as you thought it would be, but for some reason is just soo damn smooth, you just cannot stop drinking it.

 807 characters

Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
2012 release
Bottle 176/240

A - It is black as coal. Two inches of mocha head rest lazily on top.

S - They is definitely a dark fruit thing going on. I get some plum, molasses, and the slightest hints of vanilla.

T - The taste continues the plum theme. There is also some mellow roasted malt. I get kind of a coffee finish.

M - Full

O - This is a fruity stout. I like it. Two years has served it well. I really need to get to Jackie O's.

 490 characters

Photo of danwho
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of hansgruber
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Bottle #66 of 225. 2011 vintage. This was my favorite beer on-tap at the release, but my palate was less than fresh by the time I got to this.

3.0 A: Black color. An aggressive pour yielded barely one finger of light brown head that fell pretty quickly, but did leave a bit of lacing behind.

5.0 S: This smells amazing! Really absolutely wonderful. What a difference a clean palate makes! The vanilla and rum are both present in ample amounts and work extremely well together. Lots of chocolate, a moderate roastiness, some oak and caramel, and overall sweet but far from cloying. Not a hint of alcohol.

4.0 T: The taste is several steps below the nose and the nose isn't really indicative of how this tastes. The aroma suggests a sweet, rich chocolately stout, but in reality, it's much drier than can be expected. There's a healthy moderate bitterness in here. Whether it comes from the dark malts alone or if there is some hop contribution is not apparent. The vanilla and rum are much less apparent than in the nose, but are still a feature. Moderate roastiness with much less chocolate, caramel, and overall sweetness than the nose. Again, alcohol is well hidden. It's still a tasty beer, just not an outstanding one.

3.5 M: The mouthfeel leaves much to be desired. While I wanted a thick, rich body, this only offers a medium one. The carbonation is on the lower end of acceptable. Super smooth, but could be creamier and a thicker body would certainly help with that.

4.0 D: I had a great time smelling this beer, a pretty good time tasting it, and a mediocre time sloshing it around in my mouth so I guess the experience is overall positive. I've never had the original Dark Apparition, but the bourbon barrel variety was much thicker and richer than this one. I'm not sure what happened in that rum barrel, but hopefully the next time this is released, the body is richer and the taste is deeper.

 1,935 characters

Photo of schwaeh
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bobertkuekn
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of stouts4me
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Kaydogg
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened by Pete. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head. Decent staying power after a swirl with some light legs. The nose is pretty nice with a good amount of chocolate and vanilla plus a nice warming boozy character. The flavor is really quite nice with some sugary vanilla and chocolate plus a bit of roast. There is a slight amount of dark rum character, though I don't think I'd pick this up if I hadn't known about it. Feel is ridiculously-creamy and smooth with a bit of back-end booze. Drinks really well; I really enjoyed this one.

 569 characters

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Dark Apparition - Vanilla Bean Rum Barrel from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.