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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

30 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 172
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 7.56%
Wants: 32
Gots: 84 | FT: 14
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:
Beer added by: largadeer on 12-26-2012

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 172
Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
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. (1,265 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (1,174 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
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. (857 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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. (756 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (1,346 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (1,253 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.73/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,235 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev -6%
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. (979 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thank you ObeMaltKinobee!

Appearance. Pours a dark cola brown with half a finger of light tan head that fades quickly.

Smell. Sweet caramel, nutmeg and licorice with some nice dark fruit, vanilla and fresh barrel wood.

Taste. Molasses and caramel, dark fruits, some woody bourbon and christmas spices.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. A decent big brew. Nothing unpleasant going on. (411 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

big thanks to portable for having too much beer and popping this (along with 11 other choice brews) into a shipper and sending it my way. shared with the mrs in two bruery snifters.

a - brew pours a dark purple/brown that settles as black in the glass. upon a hard pour there was some dark tan head that quickly dissolved from the center outward until the beer looked still and shiny as a bourbon barrel aged beer often does.

s - nose is fig, plum, and brrrboun. smells rich and chewy.

t - much like the nose suggested, figs and plums with some soft nuttiness and seasonal seasoning on the finish...oh yeah...and the booze...there is some heavy booze, but i like it (and so does my wife). gives it an almost sangria vibe to it.

m - big bold rich and chewy. drinks real nice i could drink two-ee.

o - overall, reading through the reviews, this beer gets a bad wrap (i actually tend to think that this series in general gets a bad wrap...they are all interesting and unique-ish beers and the concept is fun - they are not designed to be masterpieces, they are designed to be one off seasonals and hopefully last til the end of the series). is this beer boozy? you bet. it clocks in at just under 15%...so i expect it to be boozy. everything is not in the right place though as with a melange 3 or white chocolate, but the booze is a cool compliment to the beer and gives it an old ale vibe. glad i got to check it out and look forward to checking out the non barrel aged version. (1,482 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There aren't many Bruery beers that I think are very good, but as I do like the base 4CB beer to some extent (rated 3.53), I was glad to get a chance to try this one as well. Dark brown pour, with a small ring of bubbles around the rim, and not much else in the way of a head, though the beer itself left some oily streaking on the glass. In the nose, molasses, smooth bourbon, cakey malts. More of this in the taste, molasses, smooth bourbon that has had a good amount of time to lose some heat, fruitcake, burnt caramel, I didn't pick up a lot of vanilla, but there was some, lending a bit of sweetness, Christmas spices took the back seat. Heavy-medium body, lower carbonation, alcohol was present for sure, but not too hot. A nice drinker overall, and I really think the barrel improved this one. (800 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

The Bruery
Placentia, CA

Dark brown with no light coming through. Small to moderate brown head. Leaves the glass oily and only spotted with stick. Pretty enough, though unremarkable, as with most barrel-aged offerings.

Far more barrel character than the base version, I'm happy to report. The Christmas spices, gingerbread and molasses, are definitely prevalent underneath the strong barreling, with a banana bread characteristic I was surprised to find.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though the Christmas spices and the bourbon barrel don't mingle particularly well at colder temperatures. The Christmas spices initially bring a sharp, almost acidic nature to the beer, akin to an infection, but that isn't the case at all. Upon warming, the flavors integrate nicely and the vanilla and oak from the barrel play well against the gingerbread/cinnamon/dark brown bread character of the base beer.

Medium in body with low carbonation.

Very nice, but this one needs to warm to nearly room temperature to be fully appreciated. (1,048 characters)

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

Appearance: Dark-brown (picture root beer) with a modest sized beige head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Bourbon notes dominate the nose, but i also get some dark fruits, brown sugar, and some spice notes.

Taste: Bourbon front with some dark fruit notes (think raisins and prunes), mild brown sugar, clove, and spice notes. There is a moderate alcohol presence which must have been fairly forward fresh. The beer finishes with some tannic oak notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. i can easily see why reviewers perceived it as hot fresh but right now the alcohol is in line with the listed ABV and the beer has a good taste profile. Exceeded my expectations based on some of the reviews I've read. (757 characters)

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

Bottle opened on 8.16.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a fizzy brown head that is gone fast.

S - Tons of bourbon, spices, figs.

T - Strong spices and bourbon, fruity, fig, raisin finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Strong spices and bourbon, good and hits you hard. This one is built to age. (313 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the Bruery Initiation Celebration held at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a clear crimson-brown with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is strong but tasty. (500 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for breaking this one out. Pours the color of cola with no head. Nose expresses cinnamon, all-spice, malt, spruce, cocoa and ethanol. Taste follows nose - there's quite a bit of ethanol in the flavor profile, as well as the addition of vanilla and nutmeg. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation and just a kiss of heat. Overall an interesting and complex beer, but best served in small quantities due to the intensity of the flavors - think a cross between a gingerbread Yankee Candle and potpourri. (544 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a snifter. The brew appears dark brown with a khaki head. As the cap fades, it leaves spotty lace sticking to the glass. A swirl revives a finger that is slow to fade. Lighter brown is seen around the edges and more ruby through the body when held to the light.

The aroma includes a sweetness like belgian candy sugar mixed with vanilla, caramel and toffee. Some oak and chocolate grain to roast aspect blend with a mild hint of oxidation. Dark fruity alcohol evolves as it warms mixing with bourbon.

The flavor is like dark fruity alcohol mixed with chocolate, raw oak and bourbon with plenty of cardboard-like oxidation but not too much. Earthy with vanilla and caramel into the aftertaste that focuses a bit on the sweeter instead of boozy side of things. The spicy base beer is well represented but the barrel aging really takes it to the next level.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation and plenty of warming alcohol. It is quite boozy even at colder temperatures and strangely oxidized already for only being 6-7 months or so since its release. This was a very enjoyable offering but the already evident amount of oxidation has me questioning how long I will hold out on my other bottles. (1,236 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a dark brown in color with pale brown highlights and a thin bubbly head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass. lots of bourbon barrel character was noticeable upfront in the nose with plenty of booze to follow, bready malty sweetness, slight spice, molasses and gingerbread notes but with hints of vanilla. Like the nose suggested the bourbon barrel character was also as apparent on the palate alongside ginger bread flavor, slight spice, vanilla accents, a good amount of caramel blended with molasses, malty sweetness and plenty of booze heat as well. the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, bready, spice, bourbon boozy and silky finish. I thought it was really good but it looks like it could use a little time to mellow out. (795 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is chestnut brown with a small head that fades to nil. The aroma is really nice. Prominent bourbon with a touch of spice. Beautiful bourbon and oak character in the flavor. The flavor definitely surpasses the aroma. Spice character evident in the finish. Abv pretty well hidden. Low carbonation and smooth. A delightful sipper. (336 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 02/16/13 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine glass, split with my girlfriend.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of spices, cinnamon, bourbon, bready malts, oak, dark fruits, nutmeg, caramel malts, and toffee. Nice nose and a pretty interesting mix. A lot of the spices and cinnamon from the original beer still come through, as does the bourbon. Not quite as bourbon forward as I was expecting, though it is there.

t - Tastes of cinnamon, bready malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, nutmeg, toasted malts, and coconut. More bourbon here than the nose, but the spices and underlying characteristics of the base beer still come through a lot. I like it quite a bit.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth, with some light heat. Pretty nice.

o - Overall I liked this one more than I expected to as well given some of the reviews. I was expecting the bourbon to dominate this one more than it did, and was surprised how much cinnamon, spice, and nutmeg came through still. I had a BA 2TD recently which was outstanding; while this isn't that, I have hopes it can eventually become that. If you like bourbon forward beers and the normal 4CB you should like this one, but if you only have 1-2 bottles I might hold off on this one. I look forward to opening one in 6 months, and then alongside a normal 4CB next winter/Christmas. (1,486 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark cola color with a short but dense light brown head.

Smells like blackstrap molasses, figs, nutmeg, vanilla and toffee.

The bourbon dominates the palate. Charred oak, vanilla, toffee, boozy as hell (in a good way.) licorice, molasses, nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is heavy and supports the booze well. Carbonation is low.

It's a sipper. The bourbon dominates but I think is showcased fantastically while still letting the base pop. Well done. (443 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a little colder than I'd like into a HF tulip. Permitted to breathe a bit before consumption.

A - Pours a deep, murky brown with a very light head, mostly bubbles. Those fall off quickly and only bubbles around the glass and some occasional lacing.

S - Strong barrel presence, banana bread coming in strong in the background. Some pumpkin pie spices come through as well. A licorice note comes out as it breathes.

T - Caramel and bread, banana, light spices that are mostly covered by the barrel. The middle is very sweet, which I'm sure is what keeps the bite from the barrel coming into the finish. The barrel really adds a lot to the flavor, making this sorta like bourbon banana nut bread. Finishes with some sweet dark fruits and slightly dry oak.

M - Medium body, but the minimal carbonation gives it a much fuller feel.

O - I can't believe I actually like this. I found the base to be quite poor when fresh. Based on conversations with friends, this was also a boozy mess right after bottling. I'm sure I'll be completely over this one by the time I get to the end of the bottle, but the first pour has been really nice. (1,141 characters)

Photo of dbc5
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into B. Nektar mini chalice.

A: Pours a cola color which yields about a 1 finger, soapy head that recedes extremely quickly. Glass is left looking like it is filled with flat cola. Not a particularly good looking beer.

S: Big bourbon up front. Wasn't expecting this big of a bourbon presence. Vanilla, caramel, and chocolate, followed by nutmeg.

T: Wow, this things is huge. I didn't really have huge expectations for this one, but it is fantastic. First thing that popped into my mind is "bourbon candy." As this warms, the nutmeg pushes through, with cinnamon detectable on the finish. Alcoholic gingerbread cookie is a reasonable characterization. Really enjoying this.

M: Low carbonation, viscous, and chewy. Appropriate mouthfeel to support a beer like this.

O: Honestly wasn't expecting too much from this one, but it snuck up on me. Really enjoyable beer. (890 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark, murky brown color with a hint of ruby red. Small, light-brown head...mostly bubbles though. I let this one breathe for quite some time. When I pulled it out of the fridge, it was extremely cold. Now it's just a bit cooler than room temp. Scent is boozy at first. I just got smacked in the face with bourbon and Christmas-y spices. Lots of oak and vanilla. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and fresh pumpkin pie. Such an inviting aroma. The taste is shockingly sweet at first. Very boozy too. I would be lying if I said the alcohol warmth on this one is tame. Dark fruits, and Belgian-dark ale characteristics come through in the flavor, as they were not present in the nose. Lovely oak and barrel flavor. The nutmeg comes through very heavily in the flavor. Finishes quite boozy. Drinkability is fair to fairly high. Best in small doses. The drinkability will improve with age, as the booziness mellows out. This beer has so much going for it, just a bit hot right now. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very lightly carbonated...which suits this beer well. Overall, I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this...thought it may be too sweet. Although it is very sweet, the barrel flavors and Christmas spices go together oh-so-well. (1,226 characters)

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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.