Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

39 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 63
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 8.42%
Wants: 20
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lackenhauser on 01-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 63
Photo of korguy123
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Supee dark brown, boderline black. Zero head, zero lacing. Alcohol clinging to the glass.

S- Massive bourbon aroma. Molasses, chocolate, brown sugar with copious amounts of wonderful vanilla. It smells like bourbon candy.

T- Huge bourbon taste with amazing vanilla and brown sugar. Coffee and chocolate. There is a slight booziness in the end but it really adds to the experience.

M- Almost full bodied, creamy with a hint of booze.

O- Mind boggling, so glad I got to try this and even happier I saved it as long as I did. (530 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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). (1,752 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first in Evolution's Migration series. Limited to 1150 bottles. Somewhat muddy at first pour. Very, very dark-ok I will call it black. Low caronation head wise but seems lively enough. Big bourbon nose right upfront. Boozy, oakey. Big bourbon flavor to begin with. Mild smokey and almost a charcoal flavor. Faint vanilla against a definate oak presence. Definately enough alcohol to be recognized. Mild roasted coffee. Some sweetness in the finish. Great mouthfeel. The booziness adds a nice, subtle burn. A great beer overall. The whole package really falls into place for me. I hate to be biased as they are my local but man this one is hit right out of the park. Great, GREAT stuff! (689 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beandip, who sent this Minnesota-bound in another good trade, this one centered around Evolution. This is a sleeper brewery in my book; have been really looking forward to tying into this one. Bottle 163 of 1150 split with my wife on the eve of a Lake of the Woods fishing trip. Walleye here we come!

But first, beer. Pour is dead black, close to pancake-flat. The smell, though, reaches out of the barely cracked bottle & seizes me by the pantaloons. Bourbon! Smells like victory! Tangled up in the barrel is a mash-up of sweetness: maple syrup & vanilla, maybe. If this is foreshadowing, I like it.

Migration not only tastes like liquid good, it's strangley different than your run-o-the-mill barrel-aged experience: lighter than a stout, not as harsh as a strong. Smooth, it moseys along the taste buds with thumbs hooked in its belt, smiling. Bonus points for originality. Oh, what's it taste like? The bourbon is laid on thick, but with style & grace. Underneath are the registry of odors: the sweetness, fine syrups, vanilla, resting on a bed of nice malt with hints of roast to it. Awesome. Low carbonation, but drinks like a champ.

Excellent barrel-aged beer that veers off the beaten path a bit. Would that a few others follow in its path. Worth having once, twice, or as often as possible. (1,314 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (678 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter at the Cantwell's Tavern EVO beer dinner on 2/27/12. Not sure what bottle this was from, but it was definitely the 2011 version.

A: This one poued out a dark, dark brown. No head except for a ring around edges. What's there is light tan colored. Very faint on the carbonation from the looks of it. Definintely some alcohol feet.

S: The nose on this is delicious: vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Doesn't smell boozy at all.

T: I pulled some dark fruits right away: plum, raisin, prune, etc. Then lots of vanilla and oak and roast and caramel and toffee. The warming only helps the flavors come out even more. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and light on the carbonation, but it's just enough. (726 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (749 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 (700 characters)

Photo of droobacca
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 (425 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.
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. (434 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1527th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
750ml

2011 Vintage
Bottle 64/900

Thanks Mdaschaf for this one.

App- A good mix of crimson and browns in the glass. Only a small 1/2 finger fast receding brown head. No cling or lace.

Smell- A whole ton of candy aromas on this one. Sweet sugars, burnt caramel, vanilla and oak. Bourbon comes last. The booze is quite prevelant and prickly.

Taste- Well isnt this like a dessert in a glass!! A whole ton of vanilla and bourbon with some slicker malts. The whole depth of flavor is tasty and has a ton of prickliness behind it. Seemingly one sided with sweetnesss but damn tasty.

Mouth- A full on medium body with a medium dense carbonation. Lots of prickly residual flavors with good Vanilla and Bourbon.

Drink- Sometimes you need a bourbon barrel 750. Tonight was that night. Semi smooth and little rich and plenty of bourbon. Hit the spot. Thanks Matt. (897 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/20/11
*From notes

-- 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. (1,041 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into cervoise. Bottle 512 of 1150. Thanks to slvrmon82 for the trade.

A - Pours an inky purplish, brown and black. Let's just say dark. A whisper of head formation and slippery lacing (very little though)

S - Nice, high quality bourbon. Strong oak with charred smoke. Dark fruits and pepper.

T - Bourbon is the star here and I enjoyed the flavour of the bourbon. A nice strong presence of strong cherries, raisins and currents to counteract the bourbon. No spice from the pepper I picked up in the nose.

M - Heavy, slight heat from the alcohol, the high ABV is noticeable but not overwhelming. Fairly flat

O - A definite sipper. This one is quite tasty and it is a huge beer. It still tasted fairly 'young' and some time in the cellar would help to mellow the alcohol/bourbon flavour. Really liked this one. (833 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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. (657 characters)

Photo of DBoone
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (340 characters)

Photo of cdmillard
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 (579 characters)

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 452

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. (991 characters)

Photo of Mertzy81
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

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. (990 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: Dark brown black, with a lacing of head

Smell: Boubon, vanilla, oak, molasses

Taste: bourbon, vanilla,

mouthfeel: no carbonation almost flat, smooth

Drinkability: If you like bourbon this would be right up your alley. After talking to some of the brewers at EVO they said give it another year and it should be at it's peak.

Cheers,
The CPJ (378 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle # 465/1150 split with friends and poured into several snifters. The brew appears black with a thin tan head thats quick to receed. Some brown clarity is seen around the edges. Webby legs of lace stick to the glass and a mild froth holds around the edges.

The smell is full of barrel presence mostly coconut and vanilla sweetness with an accenting hint of caramel and cocoa. Some booze is noticed as it warms along with a mild touch of grain.

The taste is boozy but not overdone for the strength. Flavors of cocoa and roast mostly through the body with a hint of something mildly musty. Coffee, alcohol and raw oak come out more as the brew warms up.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It displays a very nice barrel presence but the base beer is quite mild but with a boozy kick. Overall not bad and worth a try. (866 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, approaching black, in color. Forms a smallish light tan head around the edges. No lacing. Appears flat.

S: Oak, wood, bourbon and some lighter vanilla notes.

T: Tastes of roasted malts blended with lots of bourbon. Vanilla and a light caramel sweetness. Some fusel spice on the finish.

M: Full bodied with lower carbonation levels. Mild bitterness. Mild warming from the alcohol on the finish.

O: A good beer. Rather well balanced and quite drinkable. (478 characters)

Photo of dtivp
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with brown highlights, no head or lacing.

Aroma of smoke, bourbon and hints of vanilla.

Taste of dark roasted, bourbon soaked malt, smoky oak and a trace of vanilla caramel sweetness.

Mouth Feel is full body, little or no carbonation, bitter with an bourbon warming.

Overall a nice sipping, strong dark ale, well balanced and enjoyable. (360 characters)

Photo of BZero007
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (980 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My buddy from DC snagged a bottle of this for me over the holidays, so we got to crack it open. It pours a dark brown or black and is completely opaque. The brown head is fairly large and solid looking. The retention and lacing are both nice.

The aroma has a ton of bourbon and good bit of wood to it. Lots of dark malts come through as well, with some dark fruit too.

Sweet bourbon notes come through immediately, followed by a bevy of barrel characteristics. Light char, spicy oak and a little bit of both vanilla and coconut are all noticeable. The barrel doesn't necessarily overwhelm the beer, but it does provide the dominant flavors. The yeast is surprisingly active, adding some dark fruit and some spice; it almost tastes like there is a Belgian yeast thrown in here, but I think it is just a really active ale yeast. The malt is smooth and chocolatey, and rounds things out nicely in the finish. There is a little bit of heat in the back end.

There is a little bit of warmth and just the right amount of carbonation. The body is medium to a touch below.

Evolution does some great things with barrels, and I want to try everything they do. Winter Migration is no exception, with a nice blending of barrel and beer flavors. (1,235 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown almost black in color with brown highlights and had a very thin head leaving barely any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of bourbon and booze were definitely showing their face on the nose with vanilla, roasty, and mild cocoa notes. It did have some toffee and slight coffee.

T: the bourbon booze character dominated the palate alongside toffee, caramel, vanilla, cocoa accents but had some slight roastiness and a touch of brown sugar.

M: the brew was medium in body with a very low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, bourbon boozy, mild oaky and silky finish.

D: definitely was a sipper but was tastier than expected. Good lookin out torino for crackin open this brew. (713 characters)

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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.