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

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 20
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: lackenhauser on 01-30-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vdubb86


5/5  rDev +26.9%

12-04-2011 09:30:05 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 00:06:02 | More by korguy123
Photo of reizorc


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

03-11-2014 20:08:58 | More by reizorc
Photo of larryi86


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

02-25-2012 00:51:17 | More by larryi86
Photo of MalReever


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

01-23-2012 12:39:15 | More by MalReever
Photo of John_M


4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
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).

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 14:14:27 | More by John_M
Photo of lackenhauser


4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 02:45:48 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of maximum12


4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 02:37:26 | More by maximum12
Photo of oline73


4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 01:37:30 | More by oline73
Photo of inlimbo77


4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 22:36:53 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of mdaschaf


4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 21:20:16 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of droobacca


4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 19:37:17 | More by droobacca
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.25/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2012 01:09:31 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of 2dogbrew


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

07-31-2012 01:27:24 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

08-10-2012 16:40:19 | More by bonkers
Photo of FosterJM


4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1527th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 03:44:49 | More by FosterJM
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 01:45:09 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 18:36:05 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of OakedCanuck


4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 17:04:46 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.18/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 01:51:38 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of DBoone


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 00:29:03 | More by DBoone
Photo of cdmillard


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 00:49:22 | More by cdmillard
Photo of BeerThursdays


4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:49:14 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of Mertzy81


4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 07:35:53 | More by Mertzy81
Photo of BZero007


4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 19:22:09 | More by BZero007
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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.