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Figgy Pudding - Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Figgy PuddingFiggy Pudding

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 153
Avg: 4
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 166
Gots: 32 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 11-19-2010

"Inspired by a 16th century English Christmas cake our Figgy Pudding is brewed with English Pale & Specialty malts & molasses and fermented with London ale yeast. After fermentation we matured Figgy Pudding in brandy barrels before conditioning with mission figs, Ceylon cinnamon and nutmeg."

64 cases of 750ml bottles produced in November 2010.

Re-released in November 2011.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 153
Photo of Gobigvt7
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part of 8-Tap Block 15 Takeover (+Imagine, 2 years of Pappy's Dark, Caves Saison, Pale Ale, Super Nebula, and La Ferme De Demons) 12oz tulip at The Hop & Vine (Portland, OR)

Pours a gorgeous figgy (go figg-ure) brown, chestnut around the curves. Fine frothy head, reduces fairly quickly to a thin, off-white cap.

Sweet caramels on the nose, raisin, plum, bread. Faint cinnamon, allspice. Hops a non-player.

Wow. Wow. This tastes SO good. Exactly like a dark raisin bread, dessertlike and rich. Sugared dates, cinnamon and a little barrelly nougat. I could drink this every day of my life and die happy.

11% but hides it well. Tastes like cake but, somehow, not cloying. Big, robust body but not filling. I should have let this warm up (i'd drink this hot in a mug in a heartbeat) but didn't have the patience. Strong carbonation from first to last.

We're edging up on hyperbole here, but I freaking love this beer. The 5 I'm about to give it puts all the recent 4.5's I've rated to shame, and that includes Pliny the Younger. I wish I could afford to drown in it. Please, mommy, can I?

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Photo of dwaz
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Robbrandes for sending this, 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with small white head

S: Strong smell of sweet cherry and figs with slight whiff of brandy that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms

T: Just like the smell, strong taste of sweet cherry and figs upfront with a nice brandy flavor on the back end, a nice sipper. Didn't really pick up any cinnamon or nutmeg flavors

M: Medium carbonation and body

O: A really nice treat for Xmas morning, gave to my wife as a present and she wanted to open it immediately. Fortunately for me, she shared the bottle and it didn't disappoint, great Christmas beer. Again, thanks Rob for making this happen.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 8/15. thanks to hannont for the trade.

a - almost maroon in color with a nice creamy head.

s - brandy. figs. molasses.

t - brandy. figs. molasses. a bit sangria like. caramel. extremely tasty. some toffee.

m - smooth and easy to drink.

o 0 REALLY enjoyable. great meld of flavoring. almost like a barleywine. i really loved it.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty amber color with orange highlights, without much of a head. Sweet aroma of pale malt, candi sugar, a whiff of molasses and brandy, and tons of sweet, ripe figs. Palate is sweet throughout - molasses sweetness and candied figs, with a hint of cinnamon. Body is rich and pretty creamy, with some very light carbonation to provide a little lift. Finish is sweet and warm from the considerable alcohol content. Very tasty and complex, although I'd like to see what a few months in the cellar could do for it.

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Photo of corylew
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the '11 on tap

Pours muddy brown with a thin tan head that forms into a ring around the tulip glass halfway down.

Smells fruity with a malty toasty nose that swims amongst molasses and spice.

Tastes malty foremost. Lots of spice and fruit characteristics. A slight sweetness but only in a flavor aspects not in density.

Mouthfeel follows Belgian guidelines. Spritzy.

Overall this beer was a crowd favorite. Packed with flavor yet light. Absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of maximum12
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks (& a little bit of love) goes over the airwaves tonight to bfg75 for this long-desired treasure. This fine trader made me giddy - then crushed my tiny heart when Block 15 said they wouldn't bottle it - then got me a 32 oz. growler. It was like a high-school relationship. Split with my wife.

Before the pour, there is the wrestling match with the cap, which was secured with molten lead - a big pliers is finally employed to remove the beast. Now I'm really thirsty. Pours a mahogabrown with a little head, which is nice to see after its thousand-mile journey. The smell, oh Santa, the smell. Wonderful brandy notes, sweet sugar brown, dark fruits. One of those smellers. I mean, why bother to drink it?

OK, OK. Figgy Puddy is, in my wife's words, "like nothing I've ever had before". I agree. The figs are intensely, uh, figgy, & cut with the advertised spices. This could veer into traditional winter warmer territory, but the brandy cuts in mid-palate with a lovely warming chop, then an argonaut of sweetness & fruit swells & takes over from there on out. Nip of sharpness at the end, which is most likely the oak. Half a small growler? No sweat.

This is a beer that rides the short bus - special. Never had anything like that, & in this case, that's a compliment. Wonderful use of figs, great barrel presence, unique, complex, tasty. What more could one ask? Excellent beer.

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Photo of robbrandes
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a tulip.

pours a hazy deep brown, amber hints. minimal, tan head, recedes to a thin film. nose is dark fruit, plenty of woodsy-brandy, just a whiff of spice.
taste - big malts upfront, the figs come through in perfect balance with the warm alcohol. reminds me of a well-done belgian dark.

i'm always nervous about spiced beers, but this is exceptionally well done.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a snifter.
A- pours murky dark brown with about half a finger of mocha head that disappears quickly.
S- sweet molasses, caramel, figs, vanilla, cinnamon, booze soaked raisins. Very nice. Barrel notes are present.
T- sweet caramel with some fizz, molasses, then finishes with very smooth vanilla and brandy barrel notes. Perfect balance. You taste the cinnamon in the back of your throat. Incredibly smooth for being 11.5%.
M- a little bit too much carbonation for my taste but it's refreshing.
O- awesome beer from block 15. This one gets overlooked because of previous infections but should be seriously looked it. Even fresh, it drinks as it's been aged for years. Worth seeking out especially if you like winter beers

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton for sharing Brian! Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a hazy dark ruddy brown with a thin soft dark tan head that faded into a soft fuzzy film. Great head retention, spotty lace.
S: Figs! Or dates. Sweet dark fruits at least. I get some notes of alcohol warmth, spices, and a touch of dough. Definitely sweet. I’m not smelling any cinnamon or nutmeg, but I’m definitely getting a touch of nutmeg. Sweet smelling, not much brandy, bit of spice.
T: I get strong flavors of molasses and fig-like dark fruits, with a finish that is sweet and has flavors of warming brandy that is way more present than the nose. Molasses is strong alongside the dark fruits. I pretty much get molasses, fig, brandy, vanilla chocolate and cinnamon in that order. I’m still not getting nutmeg. Sweet overall, and boozy.
M: Medium-full body, low soft carbonation, with a clean and sweet mouthfeel.
O: Drink great. Sweet and fruity but the brandy balances well. Fig is there but not overwhelming. I liked it. Thanks again bbb099.

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Photo of bbb099
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown color. Nice and foamy mocha-colored head.

S - Sweet and fruity aroma. Figs, molasses, and toffee.

T - Syrupy sweet taste of dark fruits. A little amount of bourbon and licorice.

M - Small amount of carbonation, medium to full bodied.

O - Incredibly sweet beer. Great taste for the high amount of abv.

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Photo of squaremile
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lucky to try this elusive brew. Pours a ruby/dark brown, head stays around the edge with no lacing. Smell is vanilla, figs, tobacco, and booze. Taste is excellent. Figs, apricot, vanilla, maple syrup, and leather dominate, with some alcohol bite and mild bitterness to balance an enduring sweetness. The mouthfeel is where this shines, exceptional medium body and smoothness. Drinkability is good with the booziness and the abv preventing more consumption. I would love to have a bottle of this aged. The best Block 15 beer I've had.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at Belmont Station in Portland, OR.

appearance - dark cherry and brown in appearance, short white head, streaks of lacing

smell - spice, fig, brandy

taste - fig and brandy intertwined with aromatic spices, very complex

mouthfeel - medium/full bodied, quite warm

drinkability - such a complex feat of delicious brew, a sipper's beer

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station the other night.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with very good head retention and nice lacing. The nose is likewise impressive, showcasing considerable molasses, caramel, cherry and vanilla. This beer smells rich and sweet, and I get the impression it will likely be pretty potent as well. As good as this beer smells, it tastes even better and is more complex on the palate. There is considerable vanilla and fig flavor, along with the caramel and molasses. The flavor components seemed to improve and become more complex as the beer warmed in the glass, and I picked up some sweet melon, hazelnut and butter as well. The beer is pretty viscuous, with the carbonation dialed down fairly low. That seemed to add to the rich, soft, heavy cream mouthfeel to this beer. While the beer is not at all hot, heavy or tiring on the palate, you can tell the alcohol is definitely up there, and that along with the sweetness makes this beer very much a sipper.

Glad I had a chance to try this one. This is really a very nice Winter Warmer, and would probably not be something I would enjoy any other time except in the dead of Winter. Regardless, this is an impressive effort from the folks at Block 15.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 6 oz. pour from one of very few 1/4 barrels that left Corvallis - this one courtesy of NoPo's finest, Hop & Vine. Served in a petite wine glass.

2010 - First Release

A: Murky tawniness, an opaque and leather-colored liquid. Stubby white head, a fraction of a finger that settles soon to a star-shaped film and ringing cream. Droopy bands of lace hang like 'legs' in a fine glass of wine.

S: Malts meet the nose right away with a nutty and praline-like toffee sweetness. Served pretty cool, so the nose isn't quite as pronounced, but it's enticing nonetheless. Sitting a while helps some, eliciting a bit more pit fruit and port wine.

T: A fruit cornucopia: muddled figs and raisins, apples and dates. There's a thicker, darker spiciness working here - molasses and rum cake - and enough toasted woodsiness and barrel-char to offset all the sweetness. Cocoa, then vanilla, then cocoa again - wow. A complex and vibrant Old Ale with substantial character now and potential for more...

M: The creamiest feel: refined carbonation that coats gently and warms (somewhat) gradually. Lingering spices and a lasting cocoa dust bittering. Not exactly 'hot', but the alcohol here is pretty notable. A fortunate twist brought a cellarable bottle or two, so we'll see where this one goes.

D: No doubt this is fine and interesting today. Sure, it's a bit boozy now - nothing that a few months more in a cellar can't resolve, however. Review and scoring will be revised as necessary when the day comes that I open a bottle. For now, just seek out a bottle (or a pour: only 64 cases produced and limited kegs) - you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Counter-pressure growler filled 2 days ago

A: Chestnut colored, slightly cloudy. Not much head.

S: Even straight from the fridge, this is pretty intense with figs, brown sugar, cake-y malt, and gingerbread.

T: Taste follows up the smell with Christmas spices and molasses, moderate sweetness, and a hint of bitter chocolate on the tail end.

M: Low carbonation, but enough.

O: Maybe the best vintage of this beer yet -- definitely better than last year -- and a pity that they weren't able to bottle any this time around.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Evan for this one. 32oz. counter-pressure filled growler into a snifter. Shared at a tasting 12/8. Reviewed from notes.

Light cream colored head. Beer is clear, dark brown. Spotty lace with thin legs. Decent considering the style.

Nose is fresh and candied figs and fudge. Very sweet and fruity. Really unique. Fig notes are super robust.

Opens fig, grown sugar, fruity. jam. Slight booziness. Molasses. Nutty and mildly bittersweet. Fig skin finish with fig seed and skin on the aftertaste. A pretty polarizing flavor profile but I like it a lot.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and warm going down. Messy finish with a long, lingering, spicy aftertaste. Nice.

I didn't really know what to expect from this beer but suffice to say, its very aptly named. Fig presence is very apparent and it works well with the other flavors present here. A unique and delicious brew in every sense.

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Photo of claspada
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle.

Pours a murky medium brown color with an average-size beige head that recedes to leave some frothy, solid lacing.

Aromas begin with moderate to heavy roasted and caramel maltiness, with emerging amount of dark fruity figs and oak. As it warms you get some nuttiness and some lightly unidentifiable spiciness.

The tastes follow the nose with moderate to heavy malt sweetness and dark sweet fruity figs. Caramels and other fruity esters emerge more as it warms. The fruity but slightly boozy brandy notes also emerge more and help to balance the base beer's sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to soft carbonation. Finish is slightly slick and creamy. Spices are restrained on the whole or that could be from the year or so of age.

Overall I really enjoyed this holiday inspired American/English ale. The sum of the parts (spice additions, barrel aging, fruit additions) are all done in balance and work really well to develop the overall flavor profile. For such a big beer this drinks very smoothly, definitely a sipper but an enjoyable and not over-bearing one.

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Photo of boMD
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8oz pour at The Hop & Vine. As far as I know, one of the only, if not only few kegs to hit Portland.

Poured hazy/cloudy amber-honey with a thin white head that kept a consistent ring around the edge of the glass.

Nose was bready, well spiced, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and light fruits. The initial flavors started out malty, very sweet, toasty and nutty, but really turned boozy and hot towards the finish. Definitely a brandy kick to it. One to two years would do wonders for this brew. Other notes of vanilla, apples, bitter-sweet molasses, and ripe fruits. The yeast played like champagne, creating a very dry finish and a bit of carbonation on the tongue.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reiew from notes:

Murky brown color. Ring of foam around the edge of the glass. No lacing, some legs that recede into the glass after being swirled. 3
Smells of candied dried fruits. Some buttery brandy, touch of vanilla oak, hints of alcohol. The fig candied dried fruits steal the show in the nose. 4
The taste follows nose, but much more barrel butter brandy notes than in the nose. I almost get a touch of pineapple as well (brett?) 4.5
The mouthfeel is smooth creamy and finishes dry though it has a round and sweet body mid palate. 4
A challenging and tasty beer. Quite nice. 4

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Photo of yourefragile
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 cork and cage 750 mL bottle shared by Matt served in a random snifter.

Pours a murky dark amber-brown with a short tan head that fades to a frothy ring. Aroma was my favorite part of the beer; subtle blend of oak, cinnamon, apple, plum, nutmeg, molasses and all things Christmas. Flavor is much drier and less sweet than expected. Cinnamon is fairly strong though out and cuts the sweetness of the brandy barrel nicely. Plums, figs, apples and light cherry fruit flavors throughout and a dry, oaky finish. Medium thick body, smooth and creamy throughout. Not nearly as spicy or fruity (or more generally, novel) as imagined, but the balance and subtle alcohol presence this fresh is impressive.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Starrdogg for this tick, served in a snifter. At the time of this review, this is the #5 beer on the English Strong Ale list, quite a nice little beer too. I enjoyed it a lot.

Beer is brown mostly clear with a decent little head of off white bubbles, some lacing, relatively low retnetion, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, fruity, dark jam and figs. Some spice too.

Beer is medium in body and a little boozy, sweet and a thinning alcohol on the back end. The overall experience of the beer is nice, a little biscuit and a little malt sugar / syrup. A nice strong ale for sure, I'd have it again.

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Photo of oregone
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Side by side draft comparison of 2010 to 2011.

Note: I have high hopes (and expect) that some of the currently stronger spice notes, predominantly cinnamon, in the '11 will mellow with some time leaving the greater fruit presence in that year to shine as it does, albeit to a lesser extent, in the '10.

A: '11 visibly darker and running towards molasses
'10: Caramel or dark honey. Good clarity.
Both pour with a solid finger+ of creamy off-white head that recedes to persistent broken tufts of cloudy foam. Excellent lacing.

S: '11: Cinnamon and baking spice up front with a big push of candied fruit and fig preserves. Light hint of alcohol enhances the spiciness. Some rich oak/vanilla notes apparent.
'10: Subdued spiciness from cinnamon and nutmeg with a lift again from the light alcohol note. Fruit is less caramelized/preserved and more simply along the lies of 'ripe.' Malt backbone more apparent in a reticent bready character. Hints of spicy barrel treatment.

T: '11: Spicy up front. Cinnamon dominant with a light sharpness balanced by the strong fruit again. Buckwheat honey, dried fig, very dark caramel or molasses, and some brandy-soaked raisin apparent. Soft oaken notes with hints of vanilla again.
'10: Subtle spice. More along a vague hint of pumpkin pie spice than anything distinctive. Ripe to over-ripe figs, some dark caramel, hints again of a dark honey. Golden raisin and some molasses..

M: '11: Moderately viscous with a good medium/full body. Carbonation is more creamy in appreciation than crisp. Very smooth, and stears away from sticky in favor of rich.
'10: Very similar.

O: I found the current spiciness of the '11 to detract from the experience to some extent, as did some others in our group. However, others next to us, including brewery/pub staff seemed to disagree. Obviously tolerance of it is a matter of taste largely. There is a very nice richer fruit and altogether 'darker' fruit and caramel character to the '11 that bodes well for it's development. Not having had the '10 at the time of it's release, I can't say whether they both will follow similar evolutionary paths in regards to the spice, but they are quite visibly different beers otherwise.
I've averaged my impressions for the two, and if reviewing the '10 alone would have given a higher score, but again, my expectation is that the '11 will evolve nicely and ultimately end up as the better brew. I hope. ;)

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a leather-hued head.

Smell: The nose is interesting, rich with figs and spices, not nearly as barrel forward as I expected. It's rather earthy, moderately sweet and malty, with a pleasant molasses overtone. Cinnamon and nutmeg are noticed but thankfully don't overwhelm. It's faintly metallic when cold, but that dissipates as it warms and the barrel shines through a bit more.

Taste and mouthfeel: As the nose implies, this is much more about figs, toasted malt and spices than barrel. Figs lend a gentle earthy sweetness that's quite nice, while spices and oak contribute light tannins and astringency that balance out the malt a bit. It's a sweet beer, but not too sweet, nor is it terribly heavy. The spices feel heavier on the palate than they do on the nose, but aren't harsh. The finish brings warming alcohol and a slight tannic bite, leaving lingering flavors of fig and molasses.

Overall: Pretty good, unique and easy to drink given the strength and richness.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 Bottle opened on 9.22.13

A - Pours a murky dark caramel brown with a fluffy tan head with good retention.

S - Fruity- apple, figs, sweet caramel candy.

T - Green apple, fig, molasses, leather, earthy.

D - Good carbonation with a lighter body.

O - It's getting colder outside so... Fruity and sweet brandy makes it sweet, a bit overly sweet, but great flavors.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to joe for hooking me up with some block 15 brews. I've wanted to try this one for awhile. This review is based off the newest release - 2011 corked ad caged 750ml bottle format. Shares with friends and poured into a snifter. The brew appears an amber brown with ruby clarity through the body. A finger of tan head fades leaving webby patterns of lacework on the glass. A light swirl brings up a yellowish tan froth. Orange clarity is noted around the edges.

The smell has a dark sweetness like molasses mixed with prunes/plums and some mild spices that include vanilla. It has a very rum-like character about it. Some rindy fruits are noted towards the back of the aroma that were previously surpressed.

The taste is mildly oaky and includes some cinnamon spice overtop of a sweetness of plum, prune, raisin and molasses. The hops are evident with a bit of grassy and herb quality. Overall this has quite a spirit-infused alcohol character throughout. Some toasty caramel to burnt grain flavoring comes out more as the brew warms. Despite the rum alcohol aspect, it also has something reminescent of orange liquor.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to high level of carbonation that gets very frothy inside the mouth. It contains a nice arrangement of flavor but wasn't exactly what I was expecting. It is certainly worth a try and overall is quite good for what it is.

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Figgy Pudding from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.