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Retribution - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
RetributionRetribution

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

302 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 71
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: 302 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

djrn2, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this bottle last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours near-black with a thin mocha head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose carries some good notes of chocolate and malt, though the bourbon is a bit heavy. Everything melds together much better in the flavor. Full body with good carbonation and a nice chewiness. Another impressive brew from DuClaw.

Thorpe429, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

acurtis, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Texasfan549, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With a sultry and ominous taste, DuClaw's stab at the Impeiral Stout is shrouded in a cloak of bourbon for intense warmth, wood spice and the thin caramel and vanilla tones that round out the roast and introduce a beautiful dessert-like taste.

Simply black in its appearance, the ale is completely opaque. As it settles into the glass, a slow rise of espresso-like creme floats the beer for a short time before the froth disintegrates and the ale trends brandy-like with its creep of legging.

Boozy to the nose, the unmistakable scent of bourbon springs to life with caramel, vanilla, charred oak and an almost vinous wine-like tone. But that is the wrapping for the dense espresso, bitter chocolate, walnut and heavy char that lies within.

Rich with chocolate covered espresso beans, the ale tastes sweet and roasty. Brownie batter and fresh ground coffee is the central flavor with bitter walnuts and chocolate awash on the palate. Savory and salty tastes bleed into the taste of charred fruit, spicy oak, and sweet bourbon to round out the taste.

Absolute fullness on the palate, the beer is creamy, lush and velvety up front, but as the alcohol sets in, the beer is thinned for drinkability as the carbonation is ushered aside and the sweetness dries slightly. High warmth and a numbing prickle provides lasting aftertaste and texture.

Retribution is a forcefully bourbon infused Stout that pulls no punches. Its whisky effects aren't subtle or nuanced. They make every bit as much impact on the palate as the massive Stout does.

BEERchitect, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

kjkinsey, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

ygtbsm94, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Knapp85, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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 Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Slatetank, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of jlindros
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another split from rudzud as a trade helper. Still havne't really had anything I really like from this brewery, so hopefully this will break the spell.

Mild creamy dark head no lacing, very dark beer little legs.

Nose starts with dark malts, little roast, and bakers choc, candy syrupy, mild earthy herbal component, mild molasses candy.

Taste super sweet, candy syrup, mild super sweet choc, caramel molasses, little chewy caramel candy, little vanilla barrel and whiskey but barely. Finish is sticky and sweet, syrupy, chewy, little choc. Very sweet and syrupy, if not for that at least it would have been more drinkable.

Mouth is thick and syrupy, light carb, little booze.

Overall meh. Super sweet and almost undrinkable. Not a very good imperial stout.

jlindros, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of oline73
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub during the release event. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with just a ring of dark tan head around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and quite roasty with notes of bourbon, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Taste: Follows from the smell. Extremely sweet and packed full of my favorite flavors. I'm getting bourbon, vanilla, maple, chocolate, dark fruit, and some alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick with aggressive but smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is very good. I guess the sweetness could have been toned down just a bit, but I really enjoyed it.

oline73, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.76/5  rDev -9%
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
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.1%

mendvicdog, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/15/12 notes. Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this one, been wanting to try it.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, burnt malts, and light vanilla.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel malts, toffee, sugar, oak, light alcohol. More vanilla in the taste than the nose; a step up for me.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy and not too hot.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good beer from DuClaw; i think after the Oak Aged Black Jack this is their second best beer that I've had. I thought the taste was really nice and balanced. Would definitely like to have it again.

mdfb79, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -3.1%

beernads, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

XmnwildX12, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber of this with some friends. Had an interesting timeline on the bottle with date into the barrel and date out of the barrel. Very strong alcohol smell on this one, oh boy. Taste is thick, lots of vanilla and bourbon notes, with the burning alcohol taste. Finishes somewhat smooth, decent mouthfeel. Some decent chocolate notes as well. Definitely not one for the weak, a very strong in your face beer.. but has a pretty good flavor profile. Glad I tried it... but the booziness brings it down a notch.

oriolesfan4, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.1%

imperialking, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -3.1%

InspectorBob, May 20, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

drewone, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, barrel 12, shared by Jeff, served in a snifter.

Appearance is syrupy and viscous, dark chocolate body with a quickly fading tan head. Cover the glass in legs and settles in a thin collar. Massive boozy and bourbon aroma with roast malt, brown sugar and milk chocolate. Despite having had this on tap and taking a good whiff of the aroma, I gagged on the sweetness the first time I took a sip from this bottle. It's intense. Bourbon and vanilla dominate the chocolate presence (which was stronger on draft) than the barrel in this bottle. Medium thick body, fairly robust and creamy, but unfortunately this beer crosses the line of being too cloying for my taste in the finish. I feel like there is more too appreciate here than just the initial barrel blast, but as this warms and becomes even sweeter I'm not the one capable of enjoying it. I'd like to try some different barrels of this and get some age on these; certainly impressed with DuClaw's recent offerings.

yourefragile, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.29/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black, completely opaque, viscous and oil like with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Good retention for the style and ABV with streaks of spotty lacing left behind.

The aroma of this beer has a prominent bourbon barrel presence that is very nicely integrated into the elements of the base beer. Complex barrel character with some slightly charred oak, spicy, sweet bourbon, vanilla bean, marshmallow and toasted coconut without completely overwhelming everything else. Underneath, there is a nice mix of sweet, dessert-like malt and subtle roast. Slightly smokey/toasted with hints of burnt toast, dark chocolate, coffee bean and toast countered by caramel, toffee, flourless chocolate cake and fudge-y sweetness. Very inviting.

Lighter body than expected and slightly watered down which is surprising considering how it poured. Unfortunately, it's also not as complex or flavorful as the aroma suggests. The complex barrel presence found in the nose is lacking and what is there isn't integrated very well into the base beer. Very strong oak presence with dry, charred oak and toothpick flavor that lingers throughout, dominating the palate. Very faint vanilla character along with a weak spicy bourbon flavor that just isn't very appealing. There's also some lingering boozy heat but the 11.5% is decently masked. The barrel presence is much stronger than I prefer overpowering the complex malt bill that I was hoping for. Much more roast than sweetness which compliments the oak and spicy spirit but it hides all of the dessert-like that is needed for balance. Overall, this beer looks and smells pretty good but the body is too thin for my liking, the barrel flavors aren't very good and it's a bit one dimensional.

corby112, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -3.1%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask offering with jalapeno and chocolate. Served in a nonic via the hand pump at Als of Hampden. The brew appears a rich black color with a creamy finger of mocha colored head. A full wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The nose is heavy on roast and chocolate. A hint of sweetness almost like vanilla pokes its way through with a mild tingle of alcohol and a bit of earthy to mineral inclusion.

The taste is super roasty and bitter. Jalapeno makes itself known with some mild spice across the back of the throat that increases with each sip. Along with the jalapeno is some earthen element almost more like black pepper. A mild alcohol bite helps to push forward the flavor of the jalapeno. Once warm a little bit more of chocolate and vanilla sweetness becomes evident.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation from the cask delivery. As more sips are taken, it gets more spicy but the alcohol is very well hidden. Quite a pleasant inclusion of spice, it wasnt overdone in a way that distracted from the base. I would drink this again.

stakem, Aug 09, 2012
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Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.