Menagerie #5 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Menagerie #5Menagerie #5

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 51
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  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: yourefragile on 05-11-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MalReever
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of jamesmbirchnyc
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chocolately brown color with surprisingly little head. Swashing around the beer almost reminds me of what used motor oil might look like in a beer mug.

S: So malty you almost feel like your standing next to the brewer as the hot licquor is transfered back to the kettle for boiling.

T: The first note is carmel and it lasts very briefly before the slick aftertaste of chocolate takes over.

M: Obviously a very heavy beer at 10.5 and you can taste the heavyness in each sip. But this is to be expected and works really well with the color and smell.

O: One of my favorite beers, and perhaps the best RIS I've ever had.

Photo of HosP
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of beer karma sent to BeerThursdays for this one. Very generous BA, thanks Jay! Poured into snifter.

A- Pours very dark, almost jet black, other than the dark brown around the edges from the light. Nice khaki head that stays around the edge.

S- Very nice earthy aroma. Nice roasty smell mixed with vanilla and some chocolate. Bourbon aroma comes through nicely to support the other smells. Very enjoyable nose.

T- Starts out nicely with some sweet vanilla flavors. Subtle chocolate hints behind the vanilla. Nice roasted, oak flavors throughout that balance nicely with the sweetness. Bourbon gets detected more at the end and tie everything together nicely. Very smooth, gets a little hot as it warms. Oak, bourbon flavors tend to dominate as you keep drinking a bit.

M- Right at a full body, maybe medium. Low carbonation. A little dry in the mouth but not bad. Some slight bitterness lingers.

O- Very nicely done BA RIS. Very nice flavors, balanced very well with the bourbon. Isn't to over the top with the flavors which makes for a very nice and smooth drink. Enjoyed this one very much. Big thanks to Jay for sending me this bottle for no reason other than spreading beer goodness.

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opened one of these the other night with a few friends. Beer was all black with a nice tan head. Smell was Coffee, molasses and vanilla. Taste has really improved over the last year. Alcohol has dropped off tremendously and the vanilla and chocolate flavors are very prominent. In the mouth, this is thick and smooth. Alcohol is only found in the finish. Mildly carbonated.

Overall, this beer has done great with a year on it. Barrel flavor has settled down a bit and is very drinkable. Can't image it will get much better at this point, so I think I'll start to revisit this one about once a month.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great BA for this one.
22oz. from Evolution. Latest in their Menagerie Series.
Pours a lovely black w/ a full two fingers of cocoa-colored head. Most of which lingers for 20 minutes and creates some nice lacing...looking forward to this one.
Very pleasant in the nose. Vanilla, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice.
Taste is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, vanilla and oak. Less of the licorice in the flavor, but the mild bourbon decides to show up and is just enough to complement the style.
Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden nicely. Very easy to enjoy a bomber of this gem by my lonesome, but even the better half is enjoying this offering from Geoff and Co.

Photo of Tenchi221
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaasen64
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Frankly, I wasn't sure I'd ever get to try this beer at all. However, Matt (slatetank) had a bottle for his stout tasting, and so got to try it in that format as well.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive, and shows the effects of considerable barrel aging. In this case I get dark chocolate, bourbon, milk duds, vanilla, cherry and light coffee. The flavor profile tends to repl9cate the nose pretty closely, though I thought the dark chocolate and vanilla dominated in this moderately sweet stout. Mouthfeel is full, soft, creamy and long in this delicious stout. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile... I can tell the abv. is up there, but this beer is not at all heavy, tiring or hot on the palate.

Just an altogether outstanding effort from this impressive, local (relatively speaking) brewery. I thought the bottled version had a bit more depth of flavor, but either way (bottle or draft), this is a delicious beer.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BZero007 for popping this one open!

Poured a solid black with brown head that faded fairly quickly.

The smell was intense bourbon and oak with a coffee roast as well.

The taste was oaky on the front, with a slight vanilla on the mid, and a coffee and bourbon on the back that lingers for a bit.

This beer was silky smooth and a little heavy on the mouthfeel.

It was spot on for a barrel aged Stout and hangs in there with the best of them for sure. They also didn't skimp on the barrel aging and is the forefront of this beer while remaining balanced.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Evolution Brewery at the release. Review from notes.

A: Served in a snifter. Very dark brown, almost black, in color with a nice mocha colored head on top. Eventually, the head reduces to a outer ring of foam. Nice lacing that sticks to the sides forms.

S: Nice aroma with the bourbon coming through a bit, but providing a very nice vanilla characteristic. A little bit of roasted malt and a deep chocolate aroma as well. Slight hint of booze, but not off-putting whatsoever.

T: The taste is really great. Right away there is a great combination of vanilla and chocolate with some light roasted malt. There is a bit of oak and the bourbon shines through as a bit of sweetness and a bit of spice. There is a slight smoky flavor mixed in near the end, which has a slightly sweet finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate retention. Finish is slightly sweet, but not sticky. Drinks very smooth.

O: Loved this beer, one of the best that Evolution has put out so far. Extremely smooth and easy drinking for style and abv. Very excited to see how this does over time. Hopefully it will be made again.

Photo of Immortale25
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Green Flash cask-style glass. No freshness date but I've been holding onto this bottle for almost a year, so I'm sure it was bottled in 2011.

A- Pours an absolutely opaque motor oil black with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that doesn't retain much before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small amount of light surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Deeply roasted coffee and chocolate that's semi-sweet and also has a hint of black licorice.

T- Firm, burnt malt taste. Incredibly easy to drink for 10.5% ABV. The chocolate comes through more dark in the flavor and not as sweet. The black licorice also surfaces adding a sort of spice note to the flavor profile. Roasted coffee aftertaste. Some hops clamor their way to the point of detection but this is, decidedly, a malt bomb.

M- Has a thick chewy mass to it that's also a bit creamy. Medium-low carbonation is spot-on for the style.

O- Exactly the way I prefer an RIS. Maybe could've used a tad more aging to make it peak, but I'm glad I opened it when I did.

Photo of Slatetank
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at the brewery - enjoyed chilled from a tulip and allowed to gradually warm.

The color is deep brown bordering on black with a thick cap of sandstone, the clarity is opaque and lace clings well. The smell is rich with malt that has coffee aroma and a lot of vanilla from the barrel, the bourbon presence in this stout is pretty high but definitely complimentary. The feel is very good but the alcohol is a little forward perhaps it will tone down but I do like a bourbon barrel aged stout to show some bourbon warmth so I don't really fault it for this a nice amount of carbonation(low) and sweetness with full feel almost chewy overall.

This stout is so good for so many reasons -the taste of the malt is not overly roasted with a gentle yeast element that provides some dark dried fruit flavors with enough hops to keep the sweetness in check. I really love the bourbon barrel treatment since it is pretty strong in the flavor and yet does not distract from the base beer at all, this is a good example of how a barrel can add to the brew and increase its complexity adding some layers of flavor without destroying the imperial stout or giving it to much boozy heat. I consider this a successful stout in just about every way. I will probably let this have some time in the cellar to allow some of the flavors to marry but it is incredibly good to drink right now.

Photo of beer2day
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour with maybe the faintest suggestion of red in just the right light. 1-finger of dark mocha head, faint retention, and thin wisps of lace.

Strong oak and bourbon nose. Mocha, espresso, and woody roasted malt back that alcohol up. Touch of vanilla and light pine. Well done and nicely complex.

Big notes of bourbon and alcohol dominate the tongue. Lots of rich chocolate, dark roast coffee, and even more oaky bourbon as the glass warms. Hides the abv pretty well, but still a definite boozy hit here. Light vanilla cream in the finish, up against the bitter chocolate malt.

Medium body, perhaps just a bit too thin for the robust flavors.

Overall, I'd easily get this again. The bourbon is not too over the top for my tastes, but does get in your face a bit.

Photo of ShanePB
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, generously shared by Matt aka mdaschaf when my girlfriend and I visited him in DE. Simplistic yet attractive labeling on the bottle, poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown and black body with some burgundy hues along the top edge. Thick, creamy tan head along with splotchy lacing and a thin retention ring. An absolute beautiful looking beer in the glass, even until the last drop.

S: Caramel toffee notes, almonds, sugar coated and roasted pecans, bitter dark chocolate, sweet bourbon. Molasses is the finishing aroma rounding out an extremely diverse and very barrel aged nose.

T: The oak character dominates at first though it's not overdone. Semi sweet chocolate morsels, slightly bitter coffee notes and some melted, sticky caramel finish. At the very end of the finish into the linger, mellow and flavorful bourbon wood notes stick around. For being so big, this is not hot whatsoever, nor does it leave any unpleasant residual flavors. Powerful and masterfully crafted.

M: Nicely carbonated, medium to full bodied. Smooth, creamy, a bit bubbly and lively on the tongue. Really, this is damn near perfect for what I want and expect in a big Russian Imperial Stout.

Only my second beer from Evolution and this literally knocked my socks off. The flavors were so well blended, balanced and coexisted in what some would consider perfect harmony. At no point was a beer of this size a challenge to finish -- in fact, it left me wanting more after we finished the bottle. Truly, an absolute under the radar and fantastically crafted beer.

Photo of AngusOg
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Max's in Baltimore. Poured into a sniflter. Dark brown to black with a thick tan head that disappeared quickly. Smells nice and roasty like a good stout should, a little cholcolate note and hint of the bourbon. The problem with some RIS are they are a bit hot for my tastes. But not this one. Blended well, this was an easy-drinker. As it warmed the nice bourbon finish began to become more apparant. Not as thick as other RIS, but still a solid beer from a solid brewery.

Photo of stageseven
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Evo brewery.

Ar - thick aroma loaded with roast, vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate. Bourbon notes as well with just a touch of booze, but in a pleasant way.

Ap - deep brown color, some dark tan head with creamy bubbles. Sticks to the glass a bit when swirled.

T - roast, vanilla, and some oak dominate. A bit of dark chocolate. Theres a moderate bitterness in the back that's pretty clean and well balanced. Very obviously a bourbon aged beer, but so smooth and not much alcohol heat to it. Really comes into its own when it sits a few minutes to warm up. Drink at cellar temps for sure.

M - medium body, well carbonated. Not too much carbonation but not flat either. Could be a little thicker in the mouth but it felt pretty good.

O - Excellent BA Russian Imperial Stout. Bourbon flavors and wood blend well with the beer in a way that isn't overdone. Very well balanced between the bitter and sweet flavors. May not be a "world class" beer yet, but given a few years it should really develop nicely.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black in appearance with a nice, small, tight dark tan head on top. Very nice aroma-really has come into it's own as it warms. Nice oak and vanilla notes with a light trace of bourbon. Not as boozs as it was when first poured. A lot of oak up front in the flavor. Heavy dark chocolate and cocoa. Decent enough hop bite to be barely noticeable. Again this has improved greatly as it warms-not as boozy and bourbon flavored. Sure it is there but has faded a bit to let the oak and vanilla come thru. Nice solid mouthfeel-almsot has a sticky, sweet, creamy feel to it. A great beer all around. Glad I have an extra 1 or 2 to lay down cause me thinks this will cellar quite nicely.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark as night inky black pour with a nice little tan head of about two inches that fades down into a nice layer of about an inch or so that hangs around for the remainder of the session.

nice aroma, rich cooca and coffee dominate with a nice touch of bitter and roasted malts that take over the profile very nicely. smooth, effortless flavor then wraps itself over the palate. light hints of vanilla mix in with the dark chocolate and rich roasted malts. small touch of alcohol but this fades quickly as it warms and leaves you with a nice touch of sweet vanilla and brown sugar

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 22oz bottle to plastic tasting cup at Rick's Wine & Gourment in Alexandria, VA on 5/14/11. Poured by Tommy Knorr, Founder of Evo.

A BIG thanks goes out to Tom for bringing this sought-after brew with him, as it's a brewery-only release. Cheers!

*It should be noted that the barrel used is Heaven Hill.

A: It's a rich and fudgy, chocolate brownie-black. A decent head, .75 and some reasonable lacing considering it's being poured into a plastic cup.

S: Fantastic - the prize winner of the brew. It reminds me quite a bit of Blue Mountain's Dark Hollow: dark chocolate dipped coconut and bourbon. Mellow yet robust. Just fantastic.

T: As expected, it's got a good amount of boozey bourbon, though it's very laid back and take it's time to develop on the palate. Complex. The malt is slightly sooty, but it in no way over powers the whiskey. Some coconut and sweetness from the alcohol come out on the finish.

M: Not as thick as I expected, but it certainly isn't flabby. It's got a great, creamy carbonation to it. I would love to try this on a nitro-tap.

O: I'm pretty pissed I won't be making it to the brewery this weekend for the official release, as I'd love to grab a few bottles for the cellar. Evolution's Menagerie #5 is one of the better RIS's to hit my palate in some time, and I must give BIG props to Tom & crew for creating a real winner with this one. Absolutely worth seeking out.

Photo of sendsilk
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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Menagerie #5 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.