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

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 32
Gots: 87 | FT: 16
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: 163 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of nickfl
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Little to no head with a clear, dark brown body. Lots of dark sugar and bourbon. Thick, but not quite syrupy. Pretty nice, overall.

Photo of MasterSki
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Rifugium
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mdfb79
4.16/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.