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Retribution - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
RetributionRetribution

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

303 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 303
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 70
Gots: 83 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A full-bodied, Single Barrel Bourbon-aged Imperial Stout with rich aromas of espresso and dark chocolate, and smooth roasted malt flavor. Aged for 6 months inside charred Kentucky white oak bourbon barrels to add the natural vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors of the bourbon soaked wood to the beer. Each bottle run is drawn from a single barrel, making each batch a unique drinking experience. ABV from 10.5% to 11.5%.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 10-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ego:
Photo of Ego
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

in barrel 3.19.13
out barrel 9.23.13
barrel 12 of 15

acquired in Maryland in October although now it is available here in nj

eyes...
writhing and sizzling head, it seemingly can't wait to evaporate at first but then magically it stalls into about a half finger of head, nice dark cocoa head of tiny bubbles that are being replaced as they disappear into the ether of this bitter cold night, sporting both lacing and legs this is right on for the style, nearly pitch black hue here with a few travelers of light kind of bending around the edges of the bottom of the glass, the devil himself (insert lawyer name here) could probably hide within the realm of this beast

nose...
bourbon and cherries, slight oak and some smoke, cocoa notes are sunk into the next layer being mired in the very strong booze/bourbon smash, really reminiscent of whiskey for obvious reasons, the bottle mentions espresso notes but I do not detect those here in this
particular offering (and hell I love me some espresso and hookers, but that review would be for eros.com...), as this sits a while longer the burnt notes really come out as do the subtle points of soaked wood, really complex offering here thanks to da' barrels

taste etc...
the carbonation is pretty low, too low imo, this drinks relatively heavy but not as thick as one might expect, pretty boozy but not overly so (I would say spot on in that department), after a few sips there is a real nice subtle char flavor sitting in your mouth which I have to report is like totally awesome (hey, I grew up in the 80s, definite warming in the gut from the ABV here, not a burning hole through your stomach... just a nice hobo on the street drinking wild turkey warming, letting this sit more than a few minutes you lose all the carbonation, I recommend pouring an sipping it quicker, it is much better with the added boost of carbonation, the coffee notes seem more apparent along with subtle chocolate notes, deeper into the bottle now this is drinking boozier

verdict?
worth checking out. I have some mixed feelings about this brew. Certain aspects are just fantastic but somehow as an overall package it does not blow me away. It has quite a nice kick that overdone that speaks to the craft here, but it just doesn't totally do it for me like say Jessica Alba

Ego, Jan 26, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Rifugium
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Bainbridge Street Barrel House.

Solid black pour, with a finger of brown head that receded to a ring, good retention, dots of lacing on the glass. Everything I'd expect from a stout in the nose, dark malts, cocoa, coffee, along with some marshmallow sweetness, and barrel notes that were somewhat muted. In the taste, dark malts, fudge and creamy sweetness, coffee, dry oak, light notes of bourbon and coconut. On the verge of being a mess, but never really reaching that point, all elements just keeping themselves together enough for this to be a tasty brew with decent drinkability. Body was medium, mouthfeel was fairly smooth if a little syrupy, with some booze heat expectedly present.

Rifugium, Nov 06, 2013
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megamass, Jul 16, 2013
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3.5/5  rDev -15%

Runofthemiller, Jan 08, 2012
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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -15%

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Beerontwowheels, Nov 15, 2011
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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

whatname, Feb 13, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -15%

leschkie, Jan 09, 2013
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3.5/5  rDev -15%

Bierleichen, Oct 11, 2014
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

qcbrewer, Oct 16, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -9%

Hessian257, Feb 08, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -15%

Gonzoillini, Nov 26, 2013
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

StoutItOutLoud, Apr 30, 2014
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3/5  rDev -27.2%

aleckpa, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Fruity, chocolate. Oak. Not much bourbon. Slight tang.

Taste - Dark fruits. Kinda tangy. Chocolate. Some bourbon and oak. Vanilla and fudge.

Mouthfeel - Tang is weird. Low carbonation. Chewy.

Overall - This tang is weird, but I like it. Red wine and fruit characteristics blend well.

Alieniloquium, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the DuClaw Brewing Co. Arundel Mills Mall location on 10/13/11 during the release party. Served in a shaker glass.

This is a first of what is planned to be multiple single barrel-aged releases of this beer. While their Brewer’s Blog indicates that the first bottling of this will be from Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, I’m not sure if this debut draft version was from those particular barrels or from another. I’m sure that future entries of this will have to broken down per their barrel type as more versions are released. For now I’ve merely added this as “Retribution”.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, topped with a thin and frothy covering of darker colored mocha head. This retains with some rich and creamy edges that basically stays that way during the entire duration of the glass and leaving back a robust cascade of spotty lace and brown oils down the sides. The aroma is SWEET. Cocoa, molasses, vanilla, alcohol. Just a ton of dark stickiness here in the nose with not much in the way of sharp notes of roast or hops showing themselves, as they seem to be well integrated into that overall thick sweetness. Burnt tannic wood notes and light spice hang on the edges and yes, there is a bit of stiff warmth at times to. It doesn’t impact the nose too much though, as the overall boldness of the flavors keep it in check for the most part.

The taste is once again, VERY sweet up front, with notes of thick chocolate, caramelized sugars, and a hefty dose of vanilla. This has a ton of sweet gooey deliciousness to it and much like the nose, the majority of any roast and hop character here as been very well integrated, with just some overall “dark” character and light green accents being all that I’m picking up anymore. The bourbon kicks in towards the backend of the profile, with a woody charred warmth that finishes this burnt and spicy with a touch of lingering sugars. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mouth-filling sharpness that fills the palate up with those flavors. Luckily, this then gets more creamy and slick feeling along the back that lends this some needed smoothness in the mouth. The alcohol content is handled very well here, with it adding a beefy warmth and extra boldness to the profiles, and much like the aroma did, that hefty sweetness soaks up any excess heat that this is giving off.

I’ve been drinking DuClaw beers for a while now and this has got to be probably the single most impressive beer that I’ve had from them so far. While this was border line overly sweet at times, it was more of a product of the barrel used than anything and I found that the integration of the flavors here and overall time spent in the barrel was very well done. It’s awesome that they are going to be releasing different barrel variations of this in bottles. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Kegatron, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of sbrotschul
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Given a bottle of Retribution by a colleague, as it was recommended by the store. Living near Bel Air, MD, it is nice to know that a local brewer is putting out a good product. (A far cry from Iron City in Pittsburgh!)

Appearance (4.25). Out of the bottle pours another dark black beauty. Little to no head leaves lines on the glass like little chocolate fingers.

Smell (4.5). A mild smell -- not as strong as some, but thankfully missing any type of smell of syrup. Coffee and chocolate at first, but as it warms, the bourbon smell coates the nose which in turn warms the heart.

Taste (4.75). The first mouthful is of coffee roast & bourbon. It hits all areas of the tongue and the mouth, coating it in liquid goodness. A chocolate-vanilla taste competes with the alchohol -- a great battle.

Mouthefeel (4.25) Wonderful feel -- flat no carbonation makes the beer lack punch -- but you don't buy a beer like this for the bubbles.

Overall (4.5). I'll pick up a few more bottles to see how they cellar ... but I first picked up a bottle of Retribution (and a few Imperial Eclipse Stouts) to give to my brother.

sbrotschul, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of hdofu
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had just about lost hope of ever trying this beer after it ran out on the second day of the premiere party and a subsequent visit to the pub when they just ran out. I was in the liquor store when I happened upon a bomber of it and decided to pick it up. The bottle I picked up was from barrel 10 of the 20 from 3/11/11

The thirst think I noticed with this beer was a punch in the face with molasses from the smell, the kinds you get from fresh fudge. The beer poured dark brown with a thick but small head that almost looked like a frosting. Taste was no holds barred a supper sweet taste of chocolate and molasses initially finishing in dark chocolate... however as it heated up the chocolate got darker and darker making it even more enjoyable. This was a full bodied beer that did not try to hide the heat from the alcohol.... which I respect and like in a imperial stout. I'd honestly say this was a perfect beer, though not an everyday beer so I had to take off points in the overall.

hdofu, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First time reviewing on here in quite a while, very excited!

A: pours a glossy, and almost oily, opaque black into an American pint with a thin skim of brown bubbles for a head ( may have been a result of a well meaning bartender wanting to pour a full glass). As it sits it leaves no lacing and nice fingers running down the glass. Looks like a pretty heavy beer and not one to be toyed with.

S: a huge hit of bourbon and slight hints of dark chocolate mingle well and are right out in the front followed closely by a dark roasted and burnt malt note that makes me remember this is a beer.

T: as soon as it hits the tongue there is a moment of bitter burnt bread that is quickly swished away by a subtle dark chocolate which is in turn swept away by the larger bourbon notes. Things get complicated with some soft caramel and vanilla hints and an even more quiet mossy quality give the lingering flavor of a scotch on the tongue. It keeps you wanting so much more just to see what flavor you will pick up next. And through all of that, there remains a hint of that dark burnt bread.

M: I always laugh at people that say all dark beers are like 10-W30 motor oil; but if that is there true interpretation of stouts this beer is surly where it came from. Viscous and heavy, I think I'll have a light dinner now. It is warm through the whole ride and at the end almost leaves your tongue tired.

O: all the good attributes I have reviewed, time for some of the bad. The Bourbon can get a little overpowering. I like stouts and especially ones aged in/with or infused with a little bourbon or scotch, don't get me wrong. I also like this beer but wouldn't want more than one or two on a lazy cold night but drinkability isn't an issue because I would like another shot at this a couple, maybe 10, years down the road. Overpowering bourbon aside this is a good beer that I didn't expect to be drinking tonight ( the bartender suggested it) but I'm glad I came across it. A good beer but too soon to tell if its one in a million or one of a million.

nickthetick, Nov 13, 2012
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Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.