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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

63 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 19
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:
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: 63 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mocktm
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of champ103
2.73/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A friend shared a bottle with me and some other BA's.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black. An inky, viscous appearance. A one finger tan head forms, and recedes in a second. Not much lace is left.
S: Big boozy notes right off the bat. Charred wood, smoke. Some vanilla. Very harsh alcohol burns the nose.
T: Follows the nose. Basically just some barrel flavors. Lots of alcohol, burnt wood, charcoal, light smoke. Some vanilla sweetness. Burning alcohol all the way.
M/D: This has a lighter body than I would like. The base beer is way to thin and under carbonated for the bourbon barrel. Very hard to sip on. Burning alcohol that did not go down easy at all.

This is way to unbalanced. To much alcohol and to much barrel. I am not sure if a few years would help to mellow this out considering the thin body of the base beer. Not something I would recommend.

Photo of jwjon1
2.83/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Break out your shot glasses!

If bourbon aged in beer barrels in your thing, you might dig this brew. If you prefer your beer to taste like beer, don't even bother. First fail from Evolution I've run across, and this from my most anticipated Evo release. This beer is straight up bourbon. In the smell, in the taste, and in the burn. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I could do my first flaming shot of beer with this bourbony mess.

There is a silver lining: it's hard to find 750mL of quaff-able bourbon for under 15 bucks. Alas, Evolution to the rescue! PLUS, it would make a great gift for the alcoholic in your family who likes to disguise their liquor. Because beer can't be so bad for your liver, now can it?

Photo of chadmoe1
2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at Finn's in Rehoboth, DE on 7/17/11 from bomber bottle poured into a pint glass; review did not show up here after entering it so recreating from notes.

A -- dark black, no head

S -- definite vanilla and bourbon, no hops or much else

T -- deep roasted malt then strong alcohol flavor; alcohol dominates and overpowers

M -- low CO2 but not unexpected

O -- not a horrible beer, but the alcohol overpowers everything and really transforms the flavors into a one dimensional taste. Aging it a bit longer may help with the alcohol flavors, and it would be interesting to see if other flavors would manifest.

Photo of homebrew311
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 963/1105

A: pours flat with black appearance, brown highlight, 0 head

S: I get some buttery notes up front followed by boozy bourbon, not getting much roast or chocolate in the nose, notes of vanilla and wood come into play as well

T: vanilla and bourbon up front, the body is kind of thin without much malt backbone, somewhat sweet

MF: thin body, low carbonation, a little tingly on the palate

O: this brew has a nice flavor and decent balance, however it is very one note. Worth a try.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of ROGUE16
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Brought to a local DC RB tasting. Bottle 958 of 1150.

a - Pours a dark brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malts, toasted malts, chocolate.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, hot alcohol, roasted malts. A bit hot, but still pretty good.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, but a bit hot and harsh.

d - Overall this is a good beer, but it is still way too hot. I have another bottle of this one and I'm looking forward to opening it up in a few years. If I only had one bottle of this, I would recommend holding onto it for a bit longer.

Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 version on tap at the Judge's Bench. Served in a snifter.

Pours a flat, cola brown with a thin tan head that quickly fades leaving little lacing behind. Bourbon, raisin and oak dominate the nose with considerable heat. Extreme bourbon flavor throughout but not quite as boozy or unbalanced as expected. Stronger malt (roast) presence than the nose and tame dark fruits blend with the vanilla and oak bourbon flavors. Medium body, with low carbonation and a pleasant warming aftertaste. I like this more than my score indicates, and while the beer isn't completely out of balance, all I end up remembering is the bourbon and it fails to match the depth of better bourbon stouts.

Photo of GregSVT
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml capped bottle into a tulip - 2010 Vintage #130 of 1150

A: Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights and almost no head with no lacing. The little carbonation that shows up vanishes just as quickly.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, and chocolate. It's pretty heavy on the barrel qualities but I like it.

T: The taste is same as the nose with lots of vanilla, molasses, chocolate, and a touch of hops on the finish.

M: The feel is thin and flat. This would be great if it had carbonation. The finish should last much longer as well.

O: Given the carbonation issues I can't give this much of a high score. All the flavors and aromas are great. It seems the 2011 actually has bubbles so I may try to find that one.

Photo of siege06nd
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter...

A: Pours a dark black with a finger of light brown bubbly head. Spotty and thin lacing down the sides. Retention is good, with some creamy swirls dotting the top of the brew.

S: Wow, looots of bourbon. A little bit of vanilla and caramel and then some very faint chocolate and coconut. Also some nice dark fruit. Bourbon is pretty dominant, but as it warms, the other notes start to come out.

T: Like the nose, it's very bourbon heavy and slightly imbalanced. There's some nice chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit to even things out slightly, but the bourbon is just a bit over the top. Good woody finish with some booze heat and some caramel.

M: Solidly carbed and full-bodied, but balance is decidedly lacking. Bourbon is just way too far out in front here. I can detect the other flavors in the background which makes me think that this could have been an excellent strong ale, but it's just too boozy at this point.

O: A booze bomb, truly drinks like bourbon with a little bit of porter mixed in. The heat is fairly well-tempered, but the bourbon qualities just overwhelm everything and produce a slightly tannic, somewhat flabby overall profile here. That being said, some excellent flavors are roaming around the background, they are just completely buried by whatever barrel was used to age this. This already has about 5 months on it and I think it needs at least another 9 months before it may calm down some. I will be taking the last two bottles I have of this and burying them somewhere in the back of my closet to see what becomes of them with some age. It's not a bad beer, just very one dimensional. Slightly disappointed by this special release from a brewery that has been "can't miss" for me for some time.

Photo of womencantsail
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of russwbeck
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine Source. Served in a stange. Bottle #693 of 900.

A - Late-rising tan foam settles to a thin collar, some, wisps, and no lace. Body is a very dark brown with some transparency at the edges.

S - Bourbon, oaky vanilla, molasses, raisins, dark fruits, a touch of chocolate.

T - Taste isn't quite as good, with a bit too much wet oak and bourbon harshness mid-palate. The finish is nice, with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses lingering on the palate.

M - Pleasant medium carbonation, medium body that seems a tad thin for the ABV, some warming alcohol, tannic texture mid-palate but with some lingering stickiness.

D - Not a bad beer for the first 6oz, but it'd be a might struggle to consume an entire 750ml bottle. I'd recommend sharing this with a few friends who really dig bourbon. I do like that it's quite a bit different from your typical barrel-aged stout, as it's pretty much devoid or roast flavors.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared thanks to BigSexy410. 2010 vintage.

Pours a very dark brown to black color with a small tannish ring of head, not much lacing. The smell at first hits with a sweet nutty almost coconut or pistachio note, but then it evolves to much more of a typical bourbon heavy barrel aged dark sa that doesn't have a big roast component. Sweet and a little alcoholic in the smell.

The taste Is good, has some smoke added into the alcohol sweetness and heavy vanilla oak bourbon presence, seems like more of a hot boubon than a really fine bourbon, though I'm not complaining too much. Not a lot of malt from the base beer, it seems overly dominated by the barrel to me.

The feel is a little hotter than I thought it would be at 2 years of aging, decent feel maybe a little thinner than I like.

Overall not terrible but not great compared to the canon of barrel aged beers.

Photo of danwho
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ottodyer
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Florida9
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of dtivp
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.