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Retribution - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 430
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 28.28%
Wants: 82
Gots: 116 | FT: 10
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:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 10-14-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 430
Photo of rudzud
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown with a thin mocha head that fades to leave spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of some light vegetative, gentle chocolate, light bourbon, something isn't quite right here.

T - Taste is incredibly sweet, cloyingly so, light chocolate, sweet malts, light bourbon. Just way too sweet.

M - Mouthfeel is way too sweet, but drinkable.

O - Overall this was a bit disappointing, alcohol is hidden nicely though awfully sweet.

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Photo of taylor714914
2.85/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

After a train wreck of a beer in the pumpkin version, I was curious to see what the standard retribution was like.  Well that was certainly a mistake.  This stuff is horrible.  As a huge BA stout fan, I was left scratching my head, wondering what went wrong.  Booze and burnt malts followed with some rather sharp oak flavors dominated this beer.  Nothing about it seemed rounded out or complimentary.  Seemed more like a mediocre imperial stout that was barrel aged, hoping to improve it, only to disjoint it further and provide for some expensive drain pours.  Thinking about the divine retribution, cacao and vanilla retribution?  I’d think twice.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer is an obscure tar black. The beer also has a slick appearance. The head is off tan but quickly dissipates and does not gather much strength even with a hard pour. However, the beer does leave a ring around the inside of the glass. The beer smells strongly of vanilla and oak with a roasted malt smell that supplements the dominant smells. The taste is very similar to the smells. Vanilla and oak dominate the taste with roasted malts complementing the dominant flavors. However, the hops make an appearance in the aftertaste as well as a bit of malts. The mouthfeel is heavy bodied and thick.However, the thickness feels somewhat velvety and not like syrup. Overall ,this is a pretty good beer and worth getting.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The khaki-colored head, while short at less than a finger high, has pretty decent retention and good creaminess. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S: Wow, this smells great. The first whiffs bring a ton of chocolate, only to develop stronger notes of bourbon, cream, and vanilla when allowed to open up. When it opens up even further, it gains a touch of dark fruits, along with some banana. I don't even miss the low oak presence, because this has a fantastic and complex dessert-y aroma.

T: Okay, NOW the oak is coming through strongly on the opening flavors. This is ridiculously bourbon-forward, almost to the point of excess. The first few sips really lack balance, but it becomes more harmonious as it warms up. Some pleasant chocolate and vanilla characteristics develop near the finish, before the alcohol bite envelop said finish strongly. On the plus side, the booze helps to give this some palpable nuance between its roast, chocolate, cream, and vanilla flavors. I wish it was slightly sweeter (to cover the alcohol better), but thanks to its complexity, I am warming up to this the more I sip.

M: It has a pair of characteristics I like in an imperial stout: it's initially creamy, yet dries nicely on the finish. I also like how the barrels didn't overly thin the body out. There is a harsh tannic bite post-swallow that could be cut down some, though. Carbonation is slightly high for the style, which means it's still rather low.

O: If the rest of the beer had lived up to the aroma, it could have been a local, readily available Parabola killer. Still, there is more than a passing resemblance to the Firestone Walker stalwart - it brings both the bourbon and the stout nicely, it's complex, but it's also rather abrasive. Honestly, in a blind taste test, I'd have trouble telling the two apart. I'd definitely buy another bottle of this to age a year.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish body with one finger tan head on top of a rather oaky, woody aroma, touch of bourbon I guess. Had some dark chocolate and caramel malt as well, maybe even toffee but not that much coffee at all. Smooth, the barrels help smooth things out, almost chewey but more cream, good balacnce between chocolate, real sweet vanilla, caramel, toffee, and those dry, roasted coffee malts. Hints of dark fruits like figs/raisins. Minor carbonation aids into a slightly crisp, dry finish. A stout that packs a little bit of a punch but is not too heavy or muddled.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Max's during BBW 2013 (from notes, 10/23/13).

A: Pitch black with ok lacing.

S: Malts with a slightly sweet roast.

T: Sweet. Dark and roasty. Dark tasting with a lot of malt. Boozy but not actually hot.

M: Smooth.

O: Ok, stout and probably much better with some age on it. This version might not taste better than the more expensive versions but you get more bang for your buck.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with a tightly knit halo of tan head that sticks loosely to the glass as I sip. The nose is a bit of chocolate, toasted sugars, minimal booze, and some grain. The taste is smooth and chocolatey with a subtle hint of bourbon caramel in the finish. This stout has a world class mouthfeel- smooth, rounded, lightly spiced, full bodied, and has a slightly astringent booziness in the finish. Great beer and definitely a worthy release from duclaw and I'm excited to try the variant at a later date.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, my bottle says 11.5% abv, and 1 out of 15 barrels. 9/21/12 out of barrel.

appears jet black, nice 1/2" thick tan colored head. decent retention. smell is boozy bourbon and oak flavors. caramel, vanilla, roast, toasted marshmallow. taste is good balance of roasty dark malt, slight bitter cocoa and coffee, with whiskey alcohol burn, lingering. medium boy and carbonation level. could be thicker, but does coat the tongue.
overall - pretty good. if you're a bourbon drinker, seek it out.

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Photo of russwbeck
2.84/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours out like motor oil, but only yields about a finger of fizzy brown head. The head doesn't lace at all, nor does it stick around for all that long. 2

S: The aroma is pretty boozy, but chocolate and vanilla also play large roles. The bourbon is there, but isn't as prominent as I would like. It smell like the taste is going to be very sweet if it wasn't for the booze. 3

T: The taste is very boozy, but the sweetness that I thought would take over, doesn't. The booze is cut by a nice amount of chocolate and vanilla. The bourbon and some oak come out at the end. Overall, the taste is good, but doesn't stand out in the style. 3

MF: The body is a bit too thin and undercarbonated for my tastes. The balance is good, but it's missing an aspect to make it stand out. 2

O: I wanted this to be great, but the flavors just aren't robust enough. The beer hints at being great, but isn't there yet. I enjoyed it, but not for a style that boasts some of the best beers I've ever had. 3

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz, Bottled 9/21/13
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours out a deep reddish brown. After having all 3 Speedways before this, it's certainly thinner than them. Not a ton if carbonation. Not a lot of lacing, but still a good looking stout.

S: Cocoa puffs. Vanilla. Oak. Definitely nice bourbon character coming through on the nose. Seems likes it's meshed in there nicely.

T: Dark chocolate bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Then that integrates nicely with the vanilla from the barreling in the mid-palate, giving you a sort of cocoa puff like flavor (delicious though). Taste a hind of charred wood and roasted malts along with that deep chocolate flavor. Dry finish with lingering barrel character.

M: Full bodied.

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Photo of bum732
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

S: Bold bourbon with strong coffee notes. Sweet oak, some cherry, vanilla.

L: Thick, black as night. Tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Sweet chocolate-like malt with lots of bourbon sweetness. Alcohol-like bitterness with some bitter coffee-notes. Finishes with some rich chocolate along with some alcohol. Some earthy cocoa as it warms.

M: Medium full bodied, somewhat chewy. Alcohol definitely present, but not too overwhelming. Medium low carbonation.

Really solid, similar profile to BCBS, but a touch sweeter and boozier. Heavy on the chocolate and bourbon sweetness.

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Photo of tehawful
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

DuClaw's Retribution is an imperial stout aged in Kentucky white oak barrels. My particular bomber was taken out of the barrel (after the standard 6 month stay) on 9/21/12.

Retribution pours pitch black, with a fizzy, dark mocha head that leaves significant lacing. The smell is very sweet, with high notes of dark berries, chocolate and espresso, and a low note of alcohol. The smell is pleasant, though a little scattered.

As the smell suggests, the sweet notes of espresso, chocolate, dark berries, vanilla and caramel create an (overly) sweetened chaos upfront...though the charred barrels carry the bourbon taste to even out the back end. What I really appreciate here is the fact that the bourbon is infused into the beer...as opposed to an artificial taste on either end. Mouthfeel is extremely rich and smooth.

While Retribution is incredibly more sweet than I would prefer in an imperial stout, I appreciate the craftsmanship that was evident, as it is usually lacking in DuClaw bottle offerings. I'm not sure I would by it off the shelf again, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber, bottled in 2011 (bottle states 9% ABV)

A: Pours pitch black with 2-3 fingers of mocha brown head. Good head retention.

S: Balance of barrel character (sweet bourbon, charred oak) and sweet stout notes: lots of coffee and chocolate, a little dark fruits. Very sweet nose.

T: Extremely sweet, cloyingly. As with the nose, there is a lot of flavor going on and the barrel treatment was done fairly well (contributes to the base beer without overpowering it). Sweet milky chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, and slight dark fruits. A little bit of alcohol is present, but nothing offensive. The sweetness, however, is. It's sweeter sweet. Kahlua is what one friend called it.

M: Full, sticky sweet body. Light carbonation. Sweet finish. More carbonation would likely help cutting through the sweetness.

O: While I did like the flavors in this one and thought it was an example of good barrel aging, the overwhelming sweetness was a huge turnoff that led me to a drain-pour of most of my glass and others mixing with Vodka to make it more drinkable. A lot of potential for this one, but unfortunately it's just not drinkable.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Bottled on date of 9/21/2012 from Barrel # 12.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Medium brown head that recedes into a nice thin layer of lacing. Leaves a nice sticky lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Cocoa powder, rich milk chocolate and some really strong bourbon tones. Lots of burn from the bourbon. Really nice coffee and caramel tones as well. Some nice vanilla is present as well. As this warms, the bourbon really comes through, both with the sweetness and moreso with the alcohol heat.

Taste: Roasted coffee beans, cocoa nibs, and some strong bourbon heat. As the bourbon heat fades, some really nice caramel, milk chocolate and vanilla bean tones really start to shine through. There's also a surprisingly black pepper tones that counters the sweetness with a bit of burn. The bourbon tones are still not completely integrated into the beer and sometimes the bourbon overwhelms the beer instead of completely integrating into it.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and sticky. Plenty of body. Creamy throughout.

Overall, a really tasty, sweet bourbon barrel stout. My biggest complaint is that I don't feel the bourbon completely integrates into the base beer and sometimes it comes off like a shot of bourbon in an imperial stout. I like the counter of the char of the barrel that gives almost a black pepper quality to counter the sweetness. Definitely enjoyed this and would have it again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Barreled 03/21/2012, released 09/21/2012, Barrel No 15 of 15. Really nice labeling, love the color, and this craft be cherished rules be damned bottle cap.

Body color pours, very dark, a classic walnut black, but virtually no head at all made, barely a millimeter pencil collar of light tan and hardly anything for a top. Slightly filmy. Very opaque. A little more suds, and this would look real impressive.

Nose brings lots of chocolate sensations. A little hint of roasted grains, but a big whipped up mocha that dominates. Very inviting, a faint fruit hits behind but it's not big enough to distinguish. Pretty solid and impressive.

Palate though gets a bit fleeting. There's a distinct distracting fizzy carbonation on this, that gets into sharp club soda which distracts quite a bit. Fleeting palate, with a front palate drying sensation. Lots of deep roast character and charring, but also quite a bit of hint of wet.

Overall I can't get past this soda character, it's taking away too many of the possible good qualities of this brew. There's potential here though, I think this has the possibility to just be tweaked a bit to be made a little better, and hit the mark. It's ok.

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Photo of sbrotschul
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
4.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My First Review!

A: A deep dark black appearance. A thin brown lacing that dissipates pretty quickly with only a thin brown circle remaining.

S: Strong bourbon notes up front followed by dark chocolate and a hit of vanilla

T: Bourbon right up front dominates the palate. The burnt malts come through strong up front as well and lingers throughout. The roast flavor stays with you well after the sip. There is a hint of dark chocolate and vanilla as well but the bourbon and malt flavors dominate the sip.

M: It is thick but not overly thick or syrupy. It has a flavor that lingers in the mouth well after the sip. Though not overly thick, the flavor coats the mouth and throat. A great after meal drink.

O: Very solid value for a Barrel Aged Stout. The chocolate notes don’t dominate and the other flavors really distinguish it from a lot of bigger stouts.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Into the barrel on 3/11/2011 and out of the barrel on 9/19/2011. Barrel #19 of 20.

3.5 A: Black color. A little over one finger of light brown, frothy/creamy head. Retention is about what you'd expect from a beer this big and just a tiny ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Really wonderful nose on this. The barrel aging is done to perfection. Smooth leathery bourbon with mineral, apple, wood dust, and cantelope aromas. Underneath there is a supple roastiness, chocolate, molasses, toffee, caramel, and a hearty neutral malt sweetness. If you dig even deeper, you may find a note or two of coffee. Sweet overall, but with good balance.

3.5 T: The taste is an amplification of the nose. This is a sticky, sweet stout. It's a bit cloying for sure. Lots of toffee, molasses, and caramel. Roastiness, chocolate, coffee are underneath all that. Big neutral sweetness. A good bit of leathery bourbon with vanilla, oak, apple, and nondescript light fruitiness. It's a tasty beer, but it's too sweet to drink a whole bomber of (which I plan to do).

3.5 M: Heavy body. I like heavy bodies on imperials, but the problem is that it's also too chewy, which results from the sugar overload. It causes some moderate amylase clumping in the back of the mouth. Otherwise, it'd have a good creaminess.

3.5 D: Not a terrible beer, but it has the sweetness of BT without the crazy booziness, so I'd bet that many out there would like this.

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Photo of BirdFlu
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised this beer's rating isn't higher... It comes off almost more similar to other barrel-aged strong ales, but certainly borders the line for a stout... Flavor is more similar to an Angel's Share or such.. very sweet.. good body for a stout, though, and good sweet aroma.. If nothing else, could almost see it requiring a little more ABV to bring the burn up to a BCBS level..If you have a very sweet tooth certainly seek this out. If not, look out..

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Photo of stakem
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Al's. With chocolate and jalapenos.

A: The stout is pitch black, an eggshell white head blanketing the top. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: The bourbon barrel is present, not intense though, more of a blended stout/barrel combination. Plenty of chocolate but the jalapenos are nowhere to be found. The result is chocolate on top of light bourbon, plenty of sweetness without a balancing bite.

T: Again, the chocolate and stout elements, along with the barrel, stand out at the expense of the jalapeno. The chocolate is very sweet and milky, standing out against the roasted malt base. The bourbon barrel, a blend I'm thinking, adds a bit of wood and vanilla but not the normal blast of bourbon. I keep looking for the peppers but just can't coax them out of the chocolate morass.

M: A good drink even without the jalapenos - chocolate is liquid and sweet, at home within the sweetness of the barrel. The stout side is strong but not forboding.

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Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.