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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling BirdsBourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

147 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 30
Gots: 88 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  14.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

4 Calling Birds was our 2011 winter ale - a spiced strong dark ale. We took inspiration from the traditional winter warmer for our fourth verse, integrating gingerbread spices into a robust dark ale. Notes of licorice & banana bread mingle with dark fruit, molasses and bitter chocolate for a perfect cold weather sipper!

This is the Bourbon Barrel Aged version of last years holiday seasonal! Spending a year in rich oak barrels, the beer has picked up incredibly deep and luxurious notes from the oak and bourbon, but has maintained it's original charm.

(Beer added by: largadeer on 12-26-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stevefinny
stevefinny

New Jersey

1/5  rDev -75.6%

02-13-2014 14:24:06 | More by stevefinny
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3/5  rDev -26.8%

03-16-2013 12:15:02 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

03-13-2013 23:25:28 | More by DonFrap
Photo of CityofBals
CityofBals

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

09-12-2013 18:24:08 | More by CityofBals
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to ObeMaltKinobee for this bottle...I think. This might be the first time in half a decade of beer trading that I've found a "Lost Record". I hang my Auditor head in shame & split this 750ML molotov cocktail with my wife.

The pour is dried blood brown-red, except liquidy. Close to completely still, with a federal minimum of carbonation; the second pour is even close to the activity of shaken water. Has that distinctive Bruery smell of black malts & wicked bourbon. Only a barely perceptible sliver of spices peeks out of the malt/bourbon monster.

4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel Aged is a boozy belly-flop. Naked alcohol abrades the tongue & lights up the "designated driver" signal in my head - good thing I'm on my couch. Bourbon & booziness call the shots here. There's a lovely shot of spices, much more noticeable than in the nose, & I can buy the 'gingerbread' noted in the description, though i wouldn't have volunteered that. Background chocolate. Mouth is nice, sticky, thorough, thick. But half a bomber is looking pretty intimidating from where I am (thankfully) sitting.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but this is a low-complexity, big-bourbon beer. Not a bad way to waste an hour, but there's really not much to it. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 02:27:38 | More by maximum12
Photo of Andreias21
Andreias21

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

03-19-2014 01:54:42 | More by Andreias21
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If regular 4 Calling Birds is 11%, this apparently gained 3.8% ABV from the barrel. Good lord.

Looks more or less like the non-barrel aged version: dark brown with a slight ruddiness and a fair bit of haze to the body. This version has less carbonation, but it's still decently bubbly.

The intricacies of the aroma at this point have been annihilated by the barrel, especially at cold temperatures. There's plenty of oak, caramel, and booze, but little in the way of spice or yeast. Tart plum-like dark fruit pops out as it hits warmer temperatures. While this isn't actually bad, it is comically barrel heavy.

There's a hilarious amount of booze on the palate. Harsh stuff, this desperately needs a few months of age to calm the higher alcohols. The base beer does peek through a bit more, mostly the strong banana note that was so prominent before barrel aging. The body is full, the mouthfeel sticky and rich. The finish brings even more astringent alcohol.

I can't say that I entirely dislike this, but I am a fan of big boozy bourbon barrel aged beers. That said, it's far from refined and definitely not ready to drink yet. I'll revisit this one in 6 to 12 months.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 01:01:51 | More by largadeer
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

02-25-2013 19:48:28 | More by Adamostella
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

06-10-2014 19:45:08 | More by kscaldef
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

02-24-2013 18:51:39 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the Reserve Society
Pours a deep dark brown with a garnet bend to it and a smallish tan head that quickly dissipates to a cap on top that constantly dances as the carb stream tries to replenish it. Smells of gingerbread, molasses, ethanol, woody vanilla lots of brown sugar and ripe pitted dark fruit. This smells a lot better than the regular version, or maybe a year has done this wonders. Heavy alcohol in the nose. The flavor is sweet with lots of dark sugars and hints of fruit. That is quickly countered with a heavy shot of ethanol and some mild spices. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick bubbly mouthfeel. Wow that's still pretty hot, flavorful and definitely a sipper, but wow that's some heat in there.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 01:05:46 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle served in a CCB snifter. Thanks to AgentZero for the share.

A: Pours a semi-clear brown color with little to no head forming on the pour. Light carbonation is visible, but not enough to sustain a solid head.

S: Bourbon up front. Sweet malts with a ton of backend spice. Nutmeg and cinnamon mostly with a hint of pepper. The bourbon dominates the nose though.

T: Pretty hot. Bourbon with a fusel alcohol quaff to it. Sweet malts with a dark fruit flavor, mainly figs. Light caramel notes from the barrel with a little tobacco as well. The spice isn't as prevalent in the nose, but it is there with some all spice mainly.

M: Medium light bodied, a little thin from the barrel aging. Low carbonation as well.

O: A little thin, but there wasn't really anything wrong besides the overt alcohol in the upfront taste. Not outstanding, but solid.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 03:00:36 | More by Treebs
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown. No head. Thin khaki collar.

Smell - Bourbon, brown sugar. Licorice. Quite boozy.

Taste - A little bit more Belgian character than the nose. Fruitier. Lots of licorice. Booze and bourbon. Slightly spicy.

Mouthfeel - Sweet and heavy. Boozy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Barrel is harsh, but as always, the Bruery makes some bourbony sugar goodness.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 00:55:40 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Jackie O's tulip...

A. Pours a dark tobacco brown, nearly black. It doesn't have much head to speak of, just some loose, soapy bubbles that ring the brew. Lacing is equally sparse, though this is a 15% bruiser so perhaps I shouldn't be expecting much.

S. Spice, spice, and then some spice with a touch of spice. I get a lot of cinnamon, some nutmeg, clove. Also hints of roastiness, stone fruit, and some chocolate shavings. The bourbon soaked wood notes clash a little bit with everything else going on here. They rip through the bouquet with this dry, boozy note that detracts every so slightly.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely with a lot of spice, some roasted malt, light chocolate, and a huge kiss of bourbon. Unlike the nose, the bourbon actually compliments the flavor profile nicely, though this is still pretty boozy. It's got some nice flavors and hits most of the marks for a strong dark ale.

M. It's pretty darn boozy, like munching on bourbon soaked dates. Strong tannic, drying notes on the finish from the barrel. Balance could certainly be better.

O. It's solid, but nothing remarkable. Not sure bourbon barrel aging does anything at all for this brew. The barrel isn't all that well-integrated, and I'm more intrigued by what the regular base beer would have tasted like. Not bad, but not memorable.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 18:58:18 | More by siege06nd
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of quickly receding head, no lacing. Not bad for 14.8% I guess...

S: Woah bourbon. Bourbon is extremely strong in this beer with a lot of dark chocolate and caramel. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are in the background providing additional complexity. This reminds me a whole lot of BCBS with gingerbread spices. The bourbon is particularly nice - I get a distinct coconut aroma that plays well with the spices as well as the chocolate and caramel.

T: Bourbon is strong again, though not nearly as much as it was in the aroma. Dark chocolate and caramel again dominate this beer. Gingerbread spices are there, but in the background. This beer is very sweet and a bit muddled.

M: Extremely thick with very low carbonation.

O: So this is not a BSDA. It's way too alcoholic, way too thick, far too little esters, way too much bourbon presence for even the most extreme version of what could be considered in the style. It is extremely chocolatey with tons of caramel. The beer is as dark as the 19% ABV Imperial Stout from the same brewery with far more stout characteristics than that beer. Having said all of that, it's pretty decent. It tastes like a Christmas BCBS.

Oh, it's too boozy.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 23:50:11 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.69/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Dark brown color. A small, short-lasting frothy head formed and as light brown in color.

4.5 S: Nose on this is wonderful. Tons of spices that all blend well together with the base beer. Gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon, maybe some allspice. Layers of caramel with toffee. The bourbon falls behind the spices and it does very well there. Oak, vanilla, and a subtle welcoming booziness. Prune, molasses, currants, and hints of anise.

3.5 T: While the nose is complex with great depth, the taste is more booze focused. This is a shame since I'd love to drink a beer that tasted like the nose on this. It's still good, but less complex with much less depth. Prune fruitiness oddly enough comes out as the focus of the taste. Molasses, caramel, toffee next. Spices listed in the nose are underneath all of this with leathery bourbon. Oak and vanilla. Overall the booziness is fairly well hidden for the ABV, but it still packs a punch that lingers and warms well after the sip.

3.5 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation. Sticky chewiness from all the excess sugars. Light creaminess. Not too bad.

3.5 D: Of the Bruery's big, boozy diabetes bombs, I prefer the barrel aged anniversary series over this.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 01:23:12 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by AgentZero - thanks Mike! Served in a tulip.

A - A crust of tan foam settles to nothing. Murky, turbid, dark brown body. Not terrible for nearly 15%, but not particularly impressive either.

S - A hefty dose of boozy bourbon and oak, unabashed alcohol, anise, Christmas spices, lightly roasted malts and dark fruits. You can definitely tell the ABV from this one - not subtle at all.

T - The taste is a bit mellower, albeit still somewhat boozy. More chocolate and oaky vanilla to be found here, with less of the spice and anise notes. A bit muddled,

M - Low carbonation, smooth, chewy and viscous texture, oaky and dry finish with some noticeable alcohol heat. Probably my favorite element of this beer.

D - The smell is rough at the stage, and the taste is merely solid. It's a fast way to get drunk, but this series has gone significantly downhill since the first two beers. That being said, I can imagine this beer might make it to the end of the series.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 03:09:42 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

01-01-2013 01:18:07 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

06-30-2014 13:28:15 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of cfrances33
cfrances33

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

04-15-2013 04:54:54 | More by cfrances33
Photo of Hopbully
Hopbully

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

02-28-2013 05:42:56 | More by Hopbully
Photo of JPortillo
JPortillo

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

09-15-2013 23:37:43 | More by JPortillo
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

02-04-2013 01:52:09 | More by harrymel
Photo of Rollzroyce21
Rollzroyce21

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

12-21-2013 22:33:05 | More by Rollzroyce21
Photo of HopsintheSack
HopsintheSack

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

04-07-2013 20:15:14 | More by HopsintheSack
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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.