1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

148 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 30
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

09-07-2013 04:59:19 | More by nmann08
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

09-06-2013 05:28:20 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of JosephThompson
JosephThompson

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

09-05-2013 23:52:32 | More by JosephThompson
Photo of scottiethebody
scottiethebody

California

4/5  rDev -2.4%

09-04-2013 06:38:34 | More by scottiethebody
Photo of PlinyBeMiney
PlinyBeMiney

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

09-03-2013 06:35:28 | More by PlinyBeMiney
Photo of Greenplastic615
Greenplastic615

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

08-12-2013 19:05:57 | More by Greenplastic615
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -13.9%

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.

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

British Columbia (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -7.1%

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.

08-06-2013 00:43:41 | More by Rutager
Photo of kspongeworthy
kspongeworthy

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

07-31-2013 23:28:35 | More by kspongeworthy
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -15.9%

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.

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

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

07-30-2013 18:02:53 | More by JMRSN
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

07-30-2013 00:55:40 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.4%

07-27-2013 21:08:40 | More by djrn2
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

07-22-2013 16:28:44 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

07-15-2013 19:38:58 | More by stakem
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

07-12-2013 02:34:39 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of Crazydaddyo
Crazydaddyo

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

07-10-2013 14:44:11 | More by Crazydaddyo
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

07-10-2013 01:57:17 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of miadw3
miadw3

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

06-29-2013 09:09:51 | More by miadw3
Photo of Lucnifter
Lucnifter

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

06-29-2013 00:53:33 | More by Lucnifter
Photo of mdillon86
mdillon86

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

06-24-2013 21:53:42 | More by mdillon86
Photo of Nightrain87
Nightrain87

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

06-23-2013 18:43:53 | More by Nightrain87
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.26/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured deep brown and settled black with a thin layer of light brown head that immediately disappeared.

S - Massive barrel notes dominate the nose - sweet bourbon and vanilla and toasted oak. Some spice and a light gingerbread aroma is noticeable.

T - Charred oak, sweet bourbon and a touch of vanilla are dominant as the barrel again really takes over the palate. Spice, hints of chocolate and a light gingerbread presence.

M - Medium to full body with very low carbonation.

06-22-2013 15:02:31 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

06-21-2013 04:12:36 | More by JRod1969
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

06-15-2013 02:21:43 | More by Vonerichs
Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.