1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

150 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 31
Gots: 86 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PlinyBeMiney
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

PlinyBeMiney, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Lare453, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of vissai
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

vissai, May 06, 2013
Photo of Pecan
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Pecan, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

drabmuh, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

jaasen64, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of RuckusDu
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

RuckusDu, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Rutager
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Rutager, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of cosmicevan
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

cosmicevan, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Rifugium, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

ehammond1, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Beerontwowheels, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -2.2%

mdaschaf, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of IKR
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

IKR, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -2.2%

claspada, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of wolf_switzer
4/5  rDev -2.2%

wolf_switzer, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of scottiethebody
4/5  rDev -2.2%

scottiethebody, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of threedaggers
4/5  rDev -2.2%

threedaggers, May 12, 2014
Photo of waltonc
4/5  rDev -2.2%

waltonc, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev -2.2%

WillCarrera, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev -2.2%

jeff1973, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.2%

SocalKicks, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -2.2%

djaeon, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of mikeincharleston
4/5  rDev -2.2%

mikeincharleston, Jan 26, 2014
Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.