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Dark Apparition Brandy Barrel - Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Apparition Brandy BarrelDark Apparition Brandy Barrel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 81
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 45
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Urbancaver on 05-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 81
Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Brad for hosting this release and putting out another batch of fine beers. Shared at a tasting the other night and served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a dark brown color with a good light tan head and some spots of lacing. Thin cap and collar throughout. Cap covers the collar, but I can assure you that it's there.

The nose has a whole lot of oak and vanillin. It's very, very reminiscent of an oaky chardonnay in that regard. Behind that is some chocolate and roast with light brandy. Very buttery, but not from diacetyl. The flavor takes a step back from that, with a bit of booze and brandy plus some light oak and vanilla and roast. Medium body and very smooth. This is where the barrel really shines.

Overall, quite good, but not at the level of some of the others in the Jackie O's BA stout series.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma consists of black chocolate with some Macintosh toffee notes and some light brandy. Taste is also a mix between some light dry black chocolate notes with some Macintosh toffee notes and some brandy, which is more pronounced when tasted then in the aroma. Body is full with low carbonation and some light alcohol is apparent though not too strong to distract.

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Photo of largadeer
2.17/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nickd717 shared this one. Thanks for the tick.

Opaque black body capped by a thin but lasting light tan froth. Sweet, buttery nose. A lot of slick diacetyl, tart dark fruit, sweet barrel notes, butterscotch. Palate is slick and buttery up front, some noticeable sweetness from the barrel along with mild tannins. Dark fruit and charred malt toward the mid-palate, some burnt acidity and a little heat in the finish. Ends with a big grape alcohol character. This is alright, by no means good. The base beer seems to be afflicted with diacetyl and a burnt acidic malt flavor.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

rich dark in color, essentially black as an abyss with no light coming through on this one at allTwo fingers worth of brown, frothy head then gradually formed and pushed just out over the lip of my snifter.

warm vanilla notes waft through the air and perk up my senses. I find that rich aroma comforting and soothing and a sign that it stayed in the barrel just the right amount of time. a complex mixture of chocolate, hints of tobacco and leather, even the finest touches of coffee all coming together and creating a symphony of aroma. Vanilla and brandy notes hit first. Smooth and silky feel here, really very nicely done. It melts seamlessly and effortlessly into a spinning cauldron of coffee and chocolate that just reeks of woody tones and vanilla underpinnings. Warming really starts to bring this out now. Hints of chocolate are now awash on the palate and are starting to flex their muscle through the haze, but the finish belongs to the barrel as the sweet, balanced flavor leaves its mark and fades off into the night.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this my way, Curt.

A: The beer pours black in color with a tan head to go with it.

S: Brandy aromas practically jump out of the glass on this one. Very vinous with a nice spirit character as well. Oak and vanilla are also there, as is a graham cracker sweetness to balance the roast and dark chocolate. Perhaps a hint of butter.

T: The flavor is fairly sweet from all the fruit notes of the brandy. Lots of molasses, graham cracker, and vanilla also contribute to that. All the roast is sort of counteracted here. A little bit of tannic oak is also present.

M: Medium bodied with a low, smooth carbonation.

O: Significantly better than the Bourbon version. The butter on the nose was the thing that held this one back from being a real stand out.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dfclav for this one. Had at the Stouts and Spiders tasting thanks to Mike. Bottle 3 from batch 240.

Pours a very light fizzy head covering, with a very dark black syrupy beer with some legs.

Nose brings barrel, wood, bread and biscuit malt, hint of chocolate and roast, bit of coffee, loaded with caramel like caramel candies, hint of sweet fruity brandy or brandy soaked raisins or something, dry and bready.

Taste brings some light chocolate, oatmeal even, creamy chocolate milk, again with lots of caramel, tons! A hint of booze sneaks through with a bit of the burnt roast flavor but not a lot of either. A hint of fruit, like fig or brandy soaked raisins again, as it's semi sweet with more creamy chocolate and a light boozy brandy flavor. Light barrel and oak, with a hint of woody esters. Finishes a bit drier with lots more caramel, hint of cinnamon spice, chocolate, oats, chewy, dark chocolate, bitter roast, all lingering on the finish. Its quite bitter but not really an acrid burnt flavor.

Mouth is heavier bodied, lower but decent carb.

Overall really nice, great dark malt flavors, chocolate, bit of roast, tons and tons of caramel, a bit of barrel and wood flavors, some nice brandy with fruit and slight esters, some nice bitterness, and a touch of booze that doesn't kick ass. A nice well rounded tasty beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/17/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one; thanks Mike! Always like trying new Jackie O's beers. Bottle 240 of 240.

a - Pours a dark brown color with an inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like the others, pretty good.

s - Smells of alcohol, roasted malts, chocolate, oak, brandy, and sweet vanilla. Alcohol is very prominent, moreso than the other versions, and the vanilla is minimal, unlike the others.

t - Tastes of brandy and alcohol, roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruity malts. No real vanilla here and again, lots of booze. Very strong again.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Some definite alcohol heat.

o - Overall a very good beer, but no where near as good as the other versions I've had. My least favorite of the DA beers so far; would personally sit on this for a while or trade for the other versions. Worth trying though and still a well done beer.

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Photo of stakem
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to BA Therealnomayo for hosting a tasting that included every barrel aged version of dark app. The brew pours dark brown to black with a mochoa colored head. A light swirl aggitates bubbles back to the surface.

The smell is quite tangy with alcohol esters and almost a vinous element that seems like it is too much. The oak/barrel aging reveals itself with suggestions of coconut mixed with raw oak and a bit of vanilla. Not the best dark app treatment but not horrible either.

The taste is quite tangy with alcohol. Some raw oak, vanilla and ash tray aftertaste. As it warms up, there is cocoa and coffee hints but the tangy alcohol is not well integrated with its vinous and nearly tart components.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. Im guessing the vinous elements of this barrel is what caused the distraction and made the character of this brew just clash. Dark app on its own has some tang to it but this brandy barrel really exaggerated it and not in a good way. While not a bad beer, I would opt for any other treatment than this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is dark brown with a finger of tan head. The aroma is quite nice and complex, with brandy, oak, and roast. The flavor brings vanilla and oak with some booze and barrel notes. I seem to like this brew considerably more than my esteemed cohorts. The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish has a subtle harsh kick with some booze notes. Overall, I thought this complex, tasty, and interesting. I would have it again.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 22oz bottle shared at a recent tasting. It poured a very dark brown color with a thin, bubbly, tan head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of dark fruits coming out in it with notes of fig and plum being the most noticeable. Some brown sugar flavors mix with a little roasty, chocolaty, stout flavors. The sweeter, dark fruits flavors are pretty bold in it, but it's a pretty good aroma overall.

The taste shows the dark fruits more up front with some fig, plum and cherry notes coming out. In the finish I get more chocolate and cocoa to it with just a little bit of a roasty presence. Some alcohol is noticeable in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is heavy with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid beer. It has a lot of sweeter, dark fruits and chocolate flavors to it but it managed to pull everything together pretty nicely.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle 240 of 240 shared by Mike and Mike.

Appearance is like the other apparitions, dark black with a slight mocha colored head. The aroma of this bottle is an abomination. Smells like a vanilla butter chardonnay cake. Artificial and gross. Flavor attempts to recover from the aroma and isn't quite as vomitous. Still fairly sweet, with a very strong brandy presence from the barrel, as well as interesting layers of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla, butter, caramel and brown sugar. Overall, a fairly unique experience from the draft version (which I need to dig out my notes of), but this is my least favorite DA of the most recent release.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Andrew at Woodshop Classix, thanks!

A: Near black with a finger of dark foam that lingers for half a minute.

S: Brown sugar, dark chocolate, and molasses with a nice brandy profile. Smells pretty good except for a persistent butter note that cuts through the more pleasant attributes. Oak accompanies vanilla.

T: Fudge and brown sugar with delicious brandy notes and less butter than was in the nose. It's pretty easy to ignore, actually. Vanilla is light. There's a little plum and a whisper of coffee. Alcohol is evident but not harsh or detracting.

M: Full in body with lower moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and creamy.

Overall: Good stuff that would have been much better without the butter notes.

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Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Photekut for sendig this my way. Shared with PALMEJ1.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger beige head that slowly fading into a lasting cap.  Really good retention with chunks of soapy lace left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a decent barrel presence thats nicely integrated .  Subtle toasted oak, vanilla and booze followed by sweet and dark malt notes.  Hints of slightly burnt malt, coffee, dark chocolate and oatmeal.

Medium bodied with a nice balanced of brandy barrel, roasted and sweet malt notes.   Really sweet with a strong boozy barrel  presence.  Hits of toasted oak, charred wood and brandy followed by some coffee, dark chocolate and smokey, roasted malt.  A bit thinner than expected and a bit too much sweetness.  Lots of boozy flavor but not too hot.  Decently quaffable.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap to snifter at the Jackie O's bottle release on 6/25/11
*From notes

A: Smoldering and dark. Black as night, with a head the color of brownie batter. A nice .25 finger head with little lacing.

S: Unlike the other Dark Apparition variants, this one is a good deal sweeter on the nose. Red fruits and a hint of hard candy mix with the alcohol and rich chocolate malt.

T: More acidic then any of the other one-off's. The fruit here really comes out to play on the mid, and the finish is molten chocolate with a tart and tannic twist.

M: Really oily and almost thin. I don't know quite what the brandy barrel has done to the mouthfeel and texture, but it's unlike any of the other versions. It's still packing a reasonable amount of carbonation and weight, but this is without question the most dissapointing part of the brew.

O: Jackie O's Brandy Barrel Dark Apparition is a really high quality beer. It has everything going for it but the mouthfeel, which affects the overall presentation and delivery of the finished product.

Not the best of the Dark App's, but an incredible brew none the less.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle opened on 2-14-12.
Bottle #212/240

A - Pours a motor oil brown with a one finger dark brown head. Good retention, but fades to the edges and leaves good lacing.

S - Brandy, cherry, chocolate.

T - Smooth chocolate with a cherry-brandy finish.

D - Good carbonation and a nice lighter body.

O - I was affraid this one would be strong, but it was very nice and balanced.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to kenneyho for sharing this one with me in-line at BASC! 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, very sweet alcohol (yum brandy), wood, and a hint of dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, subtle roasted malt, very sweet alcohol, dark chocolate, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I am a big fan of brandy, and that comes with no exception when you talk about beer. The brandy barrels really added a nice touch that was very noticeable and defined to this one. Having had the Bourbon version shortly after this one, I can honestly say this was my favorite of the two without question. Really nicely put together and enjoyable.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown beer with a tan head that had some moderate retention and left the sides of the glass clean.

S - Tons of butter. It's really a butter bomb. There is a bit of brandy and some cocoa sweetness but it is dominated by a very rich buttery smell. I dig butter though, so this isn't an entirely bad thing.

T - Out of all the DA variants I've had, this one is my least favorite. It seems to have turned in some strange way, little bit sweet. Strange butter, brandy doesn't seem to have melded very well with the beer, and doesn't taste good either. A little hot, and hard to get down.

M - Fuller side of medium bodied, a little thin, moderate carbonation.

O - This one didn't turn out well, although based on some other reviews I suspect I may have gotten a bad bottle. Would definitely like to give it another go.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

2011 #104 of 228

look is identical to all the others...like a black hole with no head at all. the smell is fruit on roasted malt. a bit odd smelling actually. the brandy doesn't help the beer in the flavor, it kind of gives it an identity crisis in my opinion. kind of like chocolate covered fruit. this was a good beer, but not worth the hype and my least favorite of the three.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the day of the June 25th release. Received in a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Just a touch of creamy beige head.

4.0 S: Vinous brandy with a touch of diacetyl present. Good bit of oak and some vanilla. The brandy is definitely the main attraction. Usually I don't like dark beers in brandy barrels, but this is still as pleasant as the regular. Underneath chocolate and coffee are detectable with the slightest touches of molasses and caramel.

4.0 T: Again, brandy and barrel are strongest. Vinous, boozy brandy, oak, and a good amount of vanilla. Coffee, chococlate, and molasses in respective decreasing intensity.

4.0 M: The barrel treatment somehow made the body a good bit thicker than the regular. Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess and smooth.

4.0 D: Good beer and probably my favorite dark, brandy treated beer (which really isn't saying much).

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Photo of Jeffo
2.14/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The second bottle in the six beer set that we'd assembled. I think this one came from claaark13. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Bottle 99 of 240

APPEARANCE: Much the same as the base beer, with a couple improvements. Pours out dark brown, almost black, and yields a small, medium looking, fizzy tan head with half decent retention. Retains a little better than the base beer, but also fades quickly to a thin ring. Black opaque body with next to zero carbonation evident. A ring remains and leaves a few dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts, brandy and ribs! Burnt meat and BBQ sauce. Some dark chocolate and coffee notes in there, but this is all about ribs and BBQ sauce in the backyard by the pool. Whoa. Pretty off-putting.

TASTE: Starts with some roasted malts, tobacco brandy, and the BBQ suace is a little more subtle here. Luckily, though it actually works a little better here. Not that that's saying much. Caramel sweetness and a touch of dark chocolate at the swallow, moving into a bold and lingering aftertaste of brandy barrel, roasted and smoked malts, and caramel sweetness. Some alcohol shows up as well and give it a bit of a hair spray character as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate but a touch too light for the style. Goes down smooth and finishes very sticky on the palate. A little too cloying for my tastes. Same cloying feel as the base beer, though a touch lighter in body.

OVERALL: Hair spray and BBQ sauce are not the qualities I'm usually looking for in a barrel aged imperial stout, and this time was no different. I don't know where these flavors came from, but as a collective community here, we should do whatever it takes to make sure they generally don't feel welcome. Train wreck of a beer. Avoid.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black. Check. Not much head. Just thin ring. Very sparse lace. Not much going on visually.

S - Cocoa and light wood. Maybe too cold, but not much giong on on the smell scene either.

T - Nice big sweet malt flavor, mixed with a an almost cherry brandy and wood.

M - Hot, decent carb, good balance.

D - Pretty tasty; I am going to enjoy this whole bottle.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with just a few brownish colored bubbles. Pretty much zero head and no lacing at all.

S- Quite a bit of brandy here for sure. A lot of booze. Dark fruits, burnt sugar, vanilla and wood.

T- Quite a bit of brandy and dark fruits up front. Some wood, chocolate, light coffee, and vanilla. Quite a bit of booze here too.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and fairly low in carbonation.

O- I was pretty excited to get to try this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but its not my favorite of the Dark Apps.

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Photo of seeswo
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a medium dark tannish head. Looks good. The smell is very malty - the brandy and sweet roasted malts glue themselves together with a small presence of booze as well. Taste is that melded brandy and sweet roasted malt richness (small hint of oak). There is a real butteriness to the flavor as well, like toffee or butterscotch. The beer is not boozy, but darn potent. Comes together nicely for me, but if you don't like brandy beers, back away because this isn't shy. Mouthfeel is medium with reasonable carbonation. Overall, I think this is a successful brandy BA Imperial Stout. There is a great potential for harshness with brandy instead of bourbon barrels and this beer avoids that.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber #34/240. Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Just like the others. Dark, heavy, and sticky. Oily legs but no head and no lacing.

Nose is vanilla, booze, wood, and leather. Some chocolate, fudge, and prunes. Sweeter than the others and lacking that slight tartness from the base. That helps.

Opens sweet nuttiness. Some caramel, prunes, and chocolate. Tartness from the base hits hard and fast. Anise and more prunes towards the middle. Finishes roasty with hints of cocoa powder and cream. Aftertaste is more tartness. Pretty middle of the road considering its peers.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down warm and sticky. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Again, a bit thin but the barrel helps.

Not quite as good as the Kopi and Bourbon but a bit better than the base and the vanilla, this one sits squarely in the middle of the Dark Apparition offerings. A decent beer but this keeps me wishing the base beer was better.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of claaark13. Thanks!

2011 vintage, #115 / 240.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown (basically black -- the lighting isn't strong enough to get into nuances here). A vigorous pour elicits only a pinky finger of mocha head that quickly collapses into a very thin film, which lingers for a long time.

S: Dark-fruit dominated, with brandy (grape) leading the way. Suggestions of fig are noted, as is some vanilla and a touch of oak. Chocolate and notes of molasses also waft toward the nose.

T: Begins with a brandy-barrel sweetness, lending accents of grape and mild vanilla to the base beer's flavors of milk chocolate, roast, and cherry. A light grape tartness (or possibly grainy sourness) going on, and the finish is mildly astringent with lingering flavors of leather, earth, and oak -- they're bitter and a little acrid. Given my odd experience with the 2011 Bourbon iteration, I am of heightened sensitivity here. But maybe I'm just over-cautious. See my "overall" section below for elaboration.

M: Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Mild booziness. I'm not fond of the finish, which leaves leather and oak naked; they're not a good way of closing out this beer.

O: I have to be honest here: I've developed a notion, prior to try this beer, that grape-based spirit/liquor/etc. barrels just don't work for stouts and porters. I arrived at that conclusion after trying several wine-, port-, and brandy-barrel aged beers in those styles and finding them all lacking. I think that grape flavors can work with, but not really enhance, stout flavors. So when I say I'm not impressed by this, you should take it with a grain of salt and keep my possible bias in mind.

I also drank the 2011 Bourbon Dark Apparition recently, and found it to have a grainy sourness or beginning-infection flavor. I find a similar flavor in the Brandy DA, but in this beer it's less pronounced, so I'm inclined to think it's just from the brandy. Whatever the case, it brings the beer down, and the finish, which is jarring, hurts it more.

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Dark Apparition Brandy Barrel from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.