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Retribution - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 77
Gots: 96 | FT: 9
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: 356 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of DruRho
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of andthevolcano
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of AngusOg
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of bum732
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of doc17325
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Drtfinelli
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of LambicKing
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of skaboom420
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of greyghost86
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of tehawful
3.46/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of Satchboogie
2.98/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

Photo of denimdemon
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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.

Photo of thedirtystayout
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of bmur112
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.