Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by russwbeck:
3.63/5 rDev -7.9%
Winter 2011 Bottle #251 of 900
A: The beer pours out of the bottle a beautiful black color with about a finger of brown head. Really the ideal pour for a year old Bourbon Barrel aged beer. The retention is ok, I wish it was a bit better, and the lacing is a bit lacking.
S: Very bourbon and boozy with underlying molasses, vanilla, roast, and maybe some chocolate. The aroma seems to be dominated by the barrel, and is missing a strong base beer to give it some character.
T: The taste picks up some slack, but is still missing the flavors of a strong base beer. I'm amazed at how boozy this remains after almost a full year. Sweet, vanilla, bourbon underneath this time and not on the forefront. I'm lacking the dark fruits, molasses, chocolate, or something underneath the barrel characteristics. I very much like how mellow the barrel is, but it just isn't enough to win me over.
MF: Medium body with a lower than average carbonation. The booze gets to you after a while, warms the body, and leaves a slight aftertaste.
O: I thought this was going to be outstanding, and it was only average. Very sweet and boozy. Tasty, but just not good enough to be considered great.
09-05-2012 23:01:40 | More by russwbeck
More User Reviews:
4.04/5 rDev +2.5%
Bottle number 45
A - Completely black, with no head. Somewhat boring. Some bubbles form around the edge.
S - Alcohol and bourbon. Some vanilla, raisins and oak. Some chocolate as it warms, but the bourbon is plentiful. Whole lot going on here that I can't put into place.
T - Vanilla and oak forward. Boozy on the pallet, and a strong bite on the bottom of the tongue. Vanilla in the finish, with a nice burn, but not harsh. Can't get over the bourbon, simply awesome amount of flavor. Edit: 5/13/11 - Still lots of woody and barrel-y flavors. Alcohol has not gone down one bit in 3 months.
M - Lightly carbed, medium to heavy body. Almost oily, it stays in your mouth for a while, with a heavy finishing flavor. Edit: 5/13/11 - Alcohol bite is still very prevalent. Can't subdue this beast.
D - Very happy I got to try this beer. Definitely will benefit from some time, but very good in this form as well. A sipper for sure. Reasonably priced for a high quality brew at 12 a bottle.
03-04-2013 07:35:53 | More by Mertzy81
4.28/5 rDev +8.6%
Review from notes 2/11/11.
A: Pours dark black with not head whatsoever. A small ring of bubbles formed around the outer edge.
S: Heavy bourbon! There is some nice vanilla, oak, and a little molasses. The alcohol is a bit present as well.
T: The bourbon is in the forefront. There are a lot of nice underlying flavors though. There was some oak, vanilla, and a little coffee. There was a little bit of tobacco too. The beer really opens up as it warms. The alcohol is present and burns a little, but in a good way.
M/D: Medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. Pretty good drinkability considering the abv and style. I think that this beer will benefit from a little age, a nice bottle to split with a friend or two and sip on for a while.
03-08-2011 21:20:16 | More by mdaschaf
4.28/5 rDev +8.6%
A: very dark almost black with little to no head
S: bourbon with a hint of vanilla (if blind folded would assume was an actual bourbon not beer)
T: vanilla leads and is followed by BOURBON and then finishes with a bite of vanilla.
M: heavy flavor, minimum and pleasent burn
D: A sipper. for a fan of bourbon this beer is sublime, enjoyed it slowly and noticed with time and warmth flavors increase. Love this beerbourbon
02-21-2011 19:37:17 | More by droobacca
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
A 750 ml capped bottle, cool label Poured into snifter with little to no head as expected. Little to no bubbles. Dark, thin, looking.
S Bourbon, dark malts, dark fruits, maybe a little hot?
T Delicious, bourbon, oak, nice!
M Somewhat thin, but good
D Good, Hope you can find a bottle around. I will pick up at least one more for the cellar.
02-26-2011 00:29:03 | More by DBoone
4.18/5 rDev +6.1%
Winter 2012 bottling
#584 of 1400
A: stout black but with translucent dark brown edges into tulip, large dark foam head settled quickly into nothingness, leaving no trace of lace behind
S: bourbon and vanilla, dark malt and musty dark fruit
T: charred wood, molasses, bourbon, and dusky dark fruits; vanilla and wilted plum, hints of semi-sweet cocoa, faint coffee; low bitterness
M: slick and oily, medium weight, slightly sticky in the corners of the mouth, mild carbonation
O: a very smooth drinking beer, the bourbon added nice class and character without being overpowering; had many stout-like qualities - nice blend of fruit and chocolate tones.
03-05-2013 01:51:38 | More by Greywulfken
4.22/5 rDev +7.1%
brown with a large two inch plus head of foamy tan on top that only gradually decided to fade and nestled down into a layer of lace covering the top and the sides of the glass. The aroma was very interesting, it had a definite wine like character and the wood smell was defiantly a presence. Had a bit of a spiced note to it as well and also a bit of alcohol. The taste was very strong, with a lot of alcohol present in it. There was a very big presence of spice and oak barrel taste to it as well. A dry hop like finish tried to make itself known at the end, but never really got that far past the strong notes from the other flavors. Very nice medium to full body gave it a very sipper like quality
10-20-2011 01:45:09 | More by mikesgroove
4.03/5 rDev +2.3%
Received from a trade with brian 12812000, appreciate it! Was bottle number in the 300's of the 1100 bottled. Might be off a bit on the mark.
Poured a dark brown/amber hue with a nice off white head forming. The head stuck around for a bit which was enjoyable. The aroma was a bit soft and pushed the sweet malt and bourbon through. The taste of this brew was very interesting for me to say the least. The bourbon was strong there is not doubt about it, but the ale was great. Now this is were it becomes a bit weird as even though the bourbon was strong the ale was still evident and tasted great! Usually a lot of BA brews I have had you can hardly taste the brew, but this one was very evident. I am happy I was able to pick up a few bottles to cellar, as this could get even crazier.
Body carried a bit over a medium carbonation which fit the brew perfect, the body it self was not to think nor thin and added to the great brew. Glad I was able to try and grab a few extras.
04-11-2011 19:22:09 | More by BZero007
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
Bottle number 115 of 1400
A - Pours very dark, almost black with a thick dark head that quickly evaporates to nothing
S - Dark fruits and chocolate, with pronounced bourbon and alcohol
T - Great taste, with vanillas up front, quickly replaced by bourbon and alcohol. This is my first bourbon barrel Dark, and I love the flavors. Just enough bourbon to not overpower.
M - Light carbonation to almost nonexistent. Someone mentioned oily earlier, and I can see that.
O - Glad I tripped over this one and decided to give it a try. Wish they has 2 bottles!
Serving type: bottle
03-06-2013 00:49:22 | More by cdmillard
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
Poured from tap into snifter. Pours a dark thick brown with a tan foamy head.
Smells of dried raisons, malty chocolate. Taste is spectacular. This is what I like in a strong ale. Oak, chocolatey, raison...slight malty backbone. What I like about this is the fact that its spectacular and still available. A lesser known brew that really shines.
This is a very good brew. Worth seeking out..I would even say essential.
02-22-2012 01:09:31 | More by DrinkSlurm
4.39/5 rDev +11.4%
Poured from the bottle into a goblet.
The beer is almost black except for some red at the edges when the light hits the pour. There is a small layer of tan head. The smell is sweet and full of dark fruit and lots of vanilla. I'm also getting some roast/dark chocolate, caramel, and bourbon that burns just a little bit. The taste is sweet and just a bit hot. The strong vanilla notes show up here, and I'm really digging them. Also getting some caramel and dark fruit. The finish is slightly bitter and warm from the alcohol. This is a thick beer with smooth, tingly carbonation. The vanilla notes from the bourbon barrels were very nice. I'd be happy to have more of this one.
01-22-2013 01:37:30 | More by oline73
District of Columbia
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/20/11
-- Thanks for sharing, Señor Siege! --
A: Rich velvety-brown to amber in color. A forceful pour yields zero head and zero lacing. Huh, that's odd.
S: It smells like a Barleywine-Stout hybrid. Really fantastic. Hints of bourbon and wood here add to what makes for a killer nose.
T: Raisinated, condensed fruit and toasty bourbon. It's at that point where the booze really starts honing in and finds balance with the body and origin of the beer. Dark cocoa and molasses round out the wonderfully complex flavor profile.
M: Really dissapointing. There's almost no carbonation to the brew, making for a signifigantly less pleasant drinking experience. As a result, the texture is a bit oily and off-putting.
O: Evolution has knocked another one out of the park with their 2010 Winter Migration. With the exception of the carbonation issue (which is not to be taken lightly), this is a massive win for one of my favorite up and comer's. I can't wait to see what they do next.
10-09-2011 18:36:05 | More by Rhettroactive
3.75/5 rDev -4.8%
Thanks to Amyliz4 for picking this up at Rick's last week. Served in a tulip.
Pours dark brown with a slight tan head that fades very quickly without leaving any lacing behind. Slight, slight collar, though that's about it. The nose brings forward quite a bit of booze (in a pleasant way) plus strong bourbon. Sweet malt, chocolate, and some vanilla come through as well. The flavor isn't quite as complex, landing mostly bourbon and some roasted malt. Touch of coffee as well. Feel is nice and heavy with a good amount of carbonation. Moderate booze, though not too much considering the ABV. Drinks pretty well. I continue to be fairly impressed by Evolution.
02-09-2011 02:01:28 | More by Thorpe429
3.85/5 rDev -2.3%
Served in a flared pokal.
Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!
Bottle #963/1150. I missed the other seasons, but last Winter's a good enough place to start, right? This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a very short-lived bit of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises plenty o' bourbon, light oak, and light-ish roasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more roasted malts, some rich cocoa, some molasses, and a light twinge of coffee. Damn, this stuff is pretty tasty! The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a silky smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one that can easily stand next to many of the higher-rated barrel-aged stouts out there.
11-28-2011 23:11:58 | More by TMoney2591
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.
A: Pours a very, very dark brown color that is nearing black. There is very minimal carbonation and no head to speak of.
S: Smells almost completely like bourbon and barrels. Lots of bourbon and vanilla, quite a bit of alcohol, but there are some good dark fruit notes hiding. I get a nice cherry and prune thing going on.
T: As barrel heavy as the nose was, I think the flavor is even more so. Bourbon, alcohol/heat, wood, and vanilla. A decent enough roasted malt flavor and a noticeable astringency.
M: The body is medium with a very low level of carbonation.
D: Not bad by any means, but completely overwhelmed by the barrel.
03-01-2011 01:30:42 | More by womencantsail
4.43/5 rDev +12.4%
On tap at Max's last night. This was actually the 2011 Winter Migration version, but I can't see any reason to make a separate entry for it. Like the 2010 version, this was listed on the beer menu as a bourbon barrel aged dark ale.
The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is just great in this beer, as I get noticeable bourbon, dark fruits (plum and and raisans mostly) and some light vanilla, with maybe a hint of chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but I was impressed by the balance in this beer. Nothing seemed to be out of preportion, and the bourbon flavor blended well with the dark fruits, vanilla and light chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and the beer finishes well with no heat in the finish. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.
Just an excellent beer. Evolution really seems to have a knack when it comes to making bourbon barrel based beers, and this is no exception. Really wish this beer was more available over the winter months, but was told this was one of only 4 kegs sent to Baltimore from the brewery. So my guess is that this will be my only chance to try this excellent beer (I'm sure it will be long gone the next time I'm at Max's). That's a shame.
Note: Just sampled the 2012/2013 version of this beer, and have to say I really was not all that pleased. The beer smelled and tasted like a german dark beer, with lots of licorice and burnt toast, but with an underlying booziness from the bourbon as well. In combination, it just didn't work that well for me, especially on the palate (the beer was sweet and boozy, with the intermix of vanilla, licorice and bourbon just not working for me).
12-15-2011 14:14:27 | More by John_M
Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.