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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
91
outstanding

168 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 31
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Greenplastic615
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of kspongeworthy
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of JMRSN
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.57/5  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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of bsuedekum
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of miadw3
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Lucnifter
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Nightrain87
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Vonerichs
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of falcon1
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, out of my Founders Snifter. Thanks as always to my trustee Scott

A- Pours a nice brownish/black, very slightly transparent. Starts off with a nice healthy head that quickly dissipates. After settling, it looks pretty mundane.

S- A stinging boozy scent hits first. I can get some hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon coming through. A little sweetness, but not nearly as much as most bruery beers.

T- Very smooth initially, then sweep in the spices and malt. Again some cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as some chocolate. The aftertaste is primarily bourbon and vanilla, with touches of spice. Much less sweet than many of the other bruery BA offerings which is welcome.

M- Nice and carbonated and no cloying sweetness. Plenty of body without being overwhelming. My only complaint if I could make one would be that it is almost too fizzy.

O- Overall, this is one of the best BA beers from the Bruery that I've had in a while. I expected it to be overly sweet and difficult to put very much down. However it was dangerous how easy this was to drink. The spices are evident but blended well into the beer, as is the bourbon barrel aging. This will be really good once it has time to mellow a bit more.

Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.