Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter (X-1) - DuClaw Brewing Company
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by stakem:
3.55/5 rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bomber into a matching DuClaw standard pint glass. The brew pours black in color with some lighter brown indications around the edges when held to the light. A stead pour directly down the middle of the glass yields 2.5 fingers of brown head that fades fairly quick down to a half finger leaving some spotty lacing effect sticking to the glass. A hearty swirl revives less than a finger back to the surface.
The aroma is tangy with the bourbon component of the barrel aging process coming right out in the open. Notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla and coconut are also present blending into a bit of raw woody character. The more I smell this brew, the more it warms up to me and I really enjoy it. Only once it goes beyond ideal temperature does it start to get a bit fruity and perhaps have too much focus on the alcohol.
The taste includes the previously mentioned notes of tangy alcohol. Some roasted grain flavors impart flavors of coffee and chocolate, earth and then the barrel presence of soft raw oak and a whiskey tang aspect that accents the base alcohol notes. Whereas the aroma hinted towards having a deeply complex set of notes revolving around the barrel, the flavor comes up just a bit short. It seems to be a 1-2 punch of roast and tangy alcohol.
This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. I had this brew shortly after the release and was not impressed with how raw and dry feeling the barrel presence was. Perhaps time has rounded this brew our more or maybe the difference between draft and bottle is quite different. Regardless, this was a pretty marginal brew. Not bad, but also not that great either. This is a rare miss where I enjoy the base version significantly more than the barrel aged version.
Serving type: bottle
03-21-2013 01:43:41 | More by stakem
More User Reviews:
3.89/5 rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle shared by Bruce, thanks for the opportunity!
Solid black color with a smallish tan head that slowly dissipates. Aromas of oaky wood, roasted coffee, milk chocolate and caramel. The flavor is a complex mix of caramel, chocolate, a bit of spice, vanilla, and wood tannins with a hint of earth. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a creamy silky mouthfeel. Nice imperial stout. The rye adds a hint of spice that compliments the creamy sweetness well.
Serving type: bottle
02-22-2014 23:22:12 | More by johnnnniee
4.2/5 rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
And with my first introduction to DuClaw comes with this excessively bold Porter, brewed with rye and chocolate malt and then bourbon barrel aged. X-1 is one complex ride!
With a shade off of black, its matte appearance carries a medium cloudiness as garnet low lights penetrate its bark-brown body. A dainty coffee-like creme of foam emerges to cap the beer for a brief moment before its structure quickly succumbs to the barrel complexities within. With little lacing of which to speak, the beer looks still nearly half way though the snifter.
A depth of aromas circulate around the Porter style- heavy toast, chocolate, toffee and a sprinkle of brown sugar kick things off while the earthen char, partly (and presumably) from rye that gives a spicy whole-grain character to its scent. Woodish hops are somewhat British-like except with a hint of pine. But the subtleties of barrel are only known as the ale warms and its bourbon-sweetened notes come forth- caramel, vanilla and oak.
To taste, its the well-balanced flavors of malt that carry the beer. Toffee, toast, chocolate and that ever so spicy rye offer up the earthy sweetness that defines the beer's overall character. Even before the hoppy wood flavors set in, the huskiness of rye applies its sharpness to the early palate, just as the sweetness seeps in. Its toasty dry malt flavor tramps over the middle palate to arrive at a bourbon-soaked sweet booziness in the end. Its toasted base flavor links up perfectly with barrel char, and continues to balance with wood caramel, vanillans and spices.
Upon the strength of a mere 7+ percent, the beer seems lighter than is should. Its lush and velvety textures are creamy and smooth throughout- even as dry toast tries to apply its acrid astringency. But the ale wards those off easily as it ushers in a semi-dry finish with understated warmth and and extended bittersweet chocolatey lingering.
The beer's charm is in its impeccable balance and its humble complexities. Sure, I would prefer more influence from the barrel and a level of intensity that would accompany a 9% Porter, but to that reward I'm sure that their inherent detriments would rear their heads as well. I'm perfectly content with this hefty Porter with some nuances that are hard to place the finger upon- I just wish DuClaw wouldn't have clued us in on all their secrets before hand.
Serving type: bottle
09-06-2013 04:10:47 | More by BEERchitect
3.99/5 rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
A - A slight finger's worth of moderately creamy and mostly lush light to medium brown colored head... Minimal retention gives way to a mostly full thin veil of lacing and thin to moderate collar... The color walks the fine line between deep dark brooding brown and a sleek flat black... There is a wee bit of light that leaks in around the edges... Very still with no noticeable carbonation...
S - A slight whiff of bourbon barrel to start... This gives way to a robust mix of milk chocolate and lightly roasted malts that is rather quite appealing and intoxicating... Some subtle wood and vanilla notes lie beneath the surface... Lots of depth with good balance and complexity... Very nice all the way around...
T - The bourbon barrel notes are at the forefront and linger throughout and also varies in its intensity throughout... The lightly roasted malt is also quite present on the palate... The chocolate notes take a distant backseat... The rye aspects of this beer are very subtle and linger way beneath the surface... Solid, but not quite as nuanced as the base version of this brew...
M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Moderately chewy... Sleek and smooth... A touch of lushness... Limited carbonation... The finishes turns a bit dry and quite chalky... There is a slight bit of alcohol induced heat...
D - A very nice brew from DuClaw here... Very enjoyable, but not quite as good as the standard version of this brew... While the bourbon barrel aging has only a subtle to moderate impact on the overall flavor profile it detracts slightly from the base brew.. Still quite tasty and enjoyable... This is something I would recommend to fans of barrel aged brews and it is also something that I would gladly drink again in the future...
Serving type: bottle
04-20-2013 01:36:17 | More by philbe311
3.58/5 rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Thanks to Captain, oh my CaptCleveland, for this bottle, along with the non-barrel version. That was so good, that expectations for this bottle have reached epidemic proportions. A good epidemic. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.
Pour is a quiet black. Aroma mirrors the non-barrel verison: big roast, chocolate, & a rounded edge of bitterness. No barrel, at this stage. Coming? Let's hope.
Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter X-1 doesn't reach the heights of the non-barrel version: there's been a downtick in the intervening treatment. The tastes of the original are all there, but muted: nice chocolate, solid roast, some bitterness. The barrel is like a ghost of a dream you can't quite remember upon waking, & the taste is only visible if you squint. Hard. Not bad to drink.
A great beer that's suffered from the barrel. The original was bright & aggressive & gorgeous, this one is quieter & not as forward. Still good, but I'd take the original in a half-heartbeat.
Serving type: bottle
03-24-2013 03:40:43 | More by maximum12
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter (X-1) from DuClaw Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.