Figgy Pudding - Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
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.
11-30-2010 00:19:32 | More by msubulldog25
4.23/5 rDev +7.4%
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.
11-20-2012 03:17:32 | More by kscaldef
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
12-09-2012 17:13:54 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.18/5 rDev +6.1%
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
12-11-2010 21:47:18 | More by billshmeinke
4.15/5 rDev +5.3%
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.
11-12-2012 16:12:30 | More by claspada
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
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.
11-30-2010 17:41:53 | More by boMD
District of Columbia
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
01-14-2012 17:31:19 | More by yourefragile
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
01-26-2012 18:35:52 | More by drabmuh
4.05/5 rDev +2.8%
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. ;)
11-20-2011 08:38:46 | More by oregone
4/5 rDev +1.5%
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.
01-30-2012 18:18:43 | More by largadeer
4/5 rDev +1.5%
First had: on tap at Block 15, Corvallis, OR
This review is for a recent tasting from the bottle.
I don't often review a beer twice, but sometimes--as in this case--the tap version and the bottle version are different enough to warrant it. This was an '11 vintage that I shared at a Dec. '12 tasting.
Hazy, darker mahogany pour, with a thick tan head that took a few minutes to settle to a reasonable height, otherwise retaining well and leaving streaks of lacing on the glass. Poured cloudier as we got to the bottom of the bottle. Sadly, a lot of the spicy aroma that came out up front on tap was absent in the bottle. There still were definite notes of dark fruits and dark sugars, but the spice had mellowed out significantly. Same thing with the taste. Flavors of brandy, figs, cherries, brown sugar, but the spice and vanilla bean had faded considerably compared to when I had it fresh and on tap. This was still a tasty beer, and the alcohol warmth had also mellowed a bit, though i actually liked the heat in the fresh pour. Body was about medium, and drinkability was still high, despite lacking a bit of luster from my previous session.
I do have another bottle of this that I guess I'll save for a special occasion, but based on this tasting, I'd recommend drinking this beer NOW, so you at least get some of the spice quality from it.
12-13-2012 05:24:03 | More by Rifugium
Figgy Pudding from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
88 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.