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Menagerie #5 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Menagerie #5Menagerie #5

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

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 54
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yourefragile on 05-11-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

mendvicdog, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Bobby.

A: The beer pours very dark brown, almost black, with a finger of tan head.

S: Plenty of roasted malts and espresso-like coffee notes to this. Lots of chocolate with a little bit of vanilla, booze, and oak. The bourbon comes off a bit too hot and almost solvent-like.

T: The flavor is a bit better. Definitely still boozy with some nice fruit notes which balance out the intense roast and charred oak flavors. A bit of dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

M: Medium bodied with a somewhat high level of carbonation.

O: The nose wasn't very good, but the flavor wasn't too bad. Don't think I need to have this one again, though.

womencantsail, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of yourefragile last night. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours a moderately-dark brown with a thin off-white head and a good collar throughout.

Nose brings forward mild bourbon and a bit of light cream. Faint roast and a bit of chocolate as well. Nothing too strong or complex. The flavor is about the same -- light bourbon notes as well as light roast and a bit of chocolate. Fairly creamy.

The mouthfeel is the highlight of this one -- nice and creamy with a smooth finish after a medium-heavy body.

Pretty good, but not fantastic.

Thorpe429, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of Magery
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Magery, May 07, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

t0rin0, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of billab914
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 22oz bottle shared at a recent tasting. It poured pitch black in color with a thin, fizzy, tan head to it. it had some nice retention to it though as I drank it.

The aroma shows a modest bourbon and oak profile to it. I get some nice roasty, dark chocolate flavors mixing with a little vanilla. Pretty decent aroma overall, but not something that really stood out to me for the style.

The taste shows more of the barrel characteristics. I get toasty coconut, woody oak and a little boozy bourbon. I get more of the roasty, dark chocolate, slightly burnt and bitter flavors of the base beer coming out in the finish. It's a nice balancing of the barrel and base beer characteristics.

The mouthfeel is heavy with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall it was a pretty solid barrel aged beer. It was very flavorful and balanced the beer flavors and the barrel flavors pretty nicely.

billab914, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into mini snifter. Booyah.

A- Deep dark brown, nothing out of the ordinary. Mild sandy tan head that settles to an outer ring.

S- Lots of caramel and vanilla, heavy bourbon. Very nice, though.

T- This beer is all about the bourbon. Nutty, caramel, smooth silky malts. Hot on the tongue, though. Mild coffee astringency in the finish.

M- Hot and heavy alcohol presence. I'm digging it, but I can see how it could put people off. Would be interesting to taste this with some age on it.

O- Enjoyable, would prob. be best to split this one. Good stuff though, a very impressive first from Evolution.

ShogoKawada, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with very little light coming through. There is a layer of tan head that leaves just a ring.

Smell: Sweet roasty bourbon and a hint of port. I'm picking up some alcohol too.

Taste: Sweet roast initially and then the bourbon shows up. Hints of vanilla and dark chocolate. The alcohol and sweetness combine in a way that kind of reminds me of port in the finish. There is some bitter roast in there as well.

Mouthfeel: It's on the thick side of medium, but could be a touch thicker. Prickly carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: This is a good beer. I would have liked a bit heavier body, but I really enjoyed the vanilla notes and the alcohol is quite smooth.

oline73, May 20, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at a recent Northern Virginia tasting.

Black pour with a brown head. Smoky deep smell with a ton of chocolate and caramel malts. The bourbon really shines through. A ton if oak and chocolate. Tasty and boozy, but not balanced all that well and a bit hot. Heavy and creamy body. A lot of alcohol on the finish. I wish it was a bit more balanced.

russwbeck, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bob (klipper) for sharing this one. It's been on my wants for a while now. Served in an Alvinne taster glass while waiting for FFF to open.

A - A thin mocha foam settles to a partial ring of bubbles, leaving behind a few stray spots of lace. Pitch black body.

S - Lots of oak present here - I'm guessing this was in barrels for quite some time. Lots of vanilla, roasted malts, anise, dark fruits, and surprisingly little overt bourbon flavor. Alcohol is relatively well-hidden too.

T - The taste is also very vanilla-forward, with light dry oak, dark chocolate, and black licorice flavors. Again, the bourbon contribution is quite restrained, with more barrel influence than anything. Alcohol is present, but not excessive - I guessed 10-11% without looking at the bottle.

M - Smooth, chewy, medium body, with a sticky finish, and mild warming alcohol on the throat. Surprisingly low amount of tannins for something so oaky. Carbonation level is moderate-to-low.

D - It's a nice barrel-aged Imperial Stout, but there's not a lot to distinguish it from the umpteen other beers in this style. I enjoyed drinking it and I would certainly have it again if offered, but at the same time I wouldn't actively seek it out again. Certainly a very good effort from a new brewery. Was kind of surprised to see it only spent 5 months in barrels.

MasterSki, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -5.4%

klipper, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a nice dense espresso colored head. Leaves moderate lacing behind as it slowly fades away.

S: Loaded with bourbon and dark fruits. Lots of fig, raisin, toffee, molasses and caramel. Quite oaky to boot. Don't get any roasted malt, smells more like a bourbon barrel BSDA than anything.

T: Bourbon is a little more subdued here but still quite strong. Big toffee and oak hit up front. Roasted malt kicks in with a really creamy, almost chalky char flavor. Bitter chocolate comes along into the finish. Lingering strong oakiness in the aftertaste with a bit of vanilla mixed in.

M: Thick, heavy, creamy and almost chalky at times.

O: Very bourbon heavy RIS for sure. Super oaky; a bit detracting. Otherwise a pretty well balanced and complex barrel aged RIS. Think with some age on it the oak might fade a bit and it could be really good. Has potential for sure.

Dope, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of camillo13
4/5  rDev -5.4%

camillo13, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -5.4%

whartontallboy, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz, May 2011 release
Mini snifter

A: Pours deep dark brown leading to black. Dark head of about a half finger. Alcohol feet. Some dark reddish hues.

S: More dark fruits than I was expecting. Soy sauce. Dark chocolate. Some barrel notes: vanilla and dry oak.

T: Sharp dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Barrel character is a little muted but there. Some vanilla notes. Dry finish. Lingering chocolate.

M: Full bodied.

inlimbo77, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:

Tonight I will be breaking out my Dogfish Head snifter which should hold most of this twenty two ounce bottle in one gentle pour. Upon pulling off the cap I was really surprised to hear a very loud and boisterous hiss coming out. I noticed the label mentions that this was re-fermented in the bottle and I must say they did a nice job of achieving this aspect. On the pour I went straight on and slow watching the evil black looking sauce just flop right out of the bottle and coat my snifter with such ease. There was just a tiny reminiscent of bubbles while I was pouring but near the end a beautiful head formed and left with me a one finger thick coca colored head that looked like froth on a great cup of coffee. When I hold my glass up to the light there is absolutely no chance of light passing through and I do not see any form of yeast chunks or trub floating around which is a good sign. I gave my over-sized snifter a generous swirl and noticed this baby just paints my glass with a nice amount legs and the lacing creeps down slowly.

Smell:

Even through this is barrel aged the most prominent aroma I am pulling out is rich deep chocolate and vanilla undertones. Very sweet and dessert like aromas are surly the front and center here with some faint bourbon lucking around which is very welcoming. Preferably I like the bourbon to be a little more noticeable but this is still a great beer so far and it won't take away from its construction. In the finish some burnt roasty flavors and maybe some form of earthy hops pushing through. Not a drop of heat alcohol to mention of.

Taste:

Simply divine! Very slick and smooth on the mouthfeel with big burst of vanilla up front. Complimented by subtle oaky notes chocolate, and espresso this really makes for a great sipping beer for the evening. Bourbon is present but not overwhelming, more so just a compliment to all of the complex flavors rather than being the only thing noticeable. Shockingly I do not notice any heat alcohol at all which is pretty surprising for being nearly 11%. In the finish just a touch of roasted or smoky BBQ is poking through but thing astringent or off putting. This is great now and I imagine that with a year or so with some age the flavors will mesh much better and even become more drinkable.

Drinkability:

Overall this was a nice representation of the style and very easy to drink. Again I say that I like my barrel aged beers a little bit more boozy but that is my preference. I am going to say that this is a huge step in the right direction for Evolution especially since they are so young. I would love to see these guys make the base imperial stout into a regular rotating beer because that in my opinion is what really makes this beer so good, the barrel just compliments it. If you get a chance to try this one go for it because it is just so damn smooth. If any of you are in the Maryland area or plan on traveling to Ocean City for a beach trip search these guys out because Dogfish Head isn't the only great brewery in the area.

Bmoyer0301, May 15, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheCPJ for sharing. Bomber into a snifter, the brew appears dark brown to black with a ring of brown clarity around the edge. A brown head rests atop and slowly fades leaving some spotty lacework on the glass.

The aroma contains plenty of sweet cocoa, vanilla and toasty coconut from the barrel aging. A hint of wood and roasty grain like coffee fills out the rest of the aromatics with a mild tingle of alcohol.

The flavor is bitter roasted grain with suggestions of coffee and herbal hops with a hint of earth. Dark fruity alcohol like raisin with a contrasting barrel sweetness like vanilla and caramel. Some coconut with a contrasting raw woody quality comes out across the back as it warms.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Pleasantly roasty and bitter with a solid barrel presence. These guys at Evolution really got a handle on things and work some magic with barrel aging. I need to get my hands on more of their stuff.

stakem, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle shared with Mike and Matt. First bottle I've tried; previously tried this on tap at ChurchKey and at the source with abysmal results. Served in a McKenzie...sniflup? (I have no idea what to call this glass).

Pours a mocha, opaque chocolate with a finger thick dark khaki head. Minimal lacing and a splotchy cap.

Aroma is weak and mild; vaguely Eclipse-like if I use my imagination super hard. Light malt with solvent alcohol. Chocolate and roast are strongest notes with faint "bourbon".

Flavor is much more impressive in balance and subtlety. Alcohol is smoothed out and a surprising amount of balance between the strong chocolate, bourbon and oak barrel flavors and roast, light hop and dark fruit RIS base.

Body is, well crap, sort of perfect. Silky, smooth, medium thick and chewy with light carbonation. Flavor is lacking depth and complexity but the body is enough to make me want to sip this all night with a pleasant warming kick of alcohol in the finish.

An exceptional BA RIS for the DelMarVa region and OK one for the rest of the US. Seek this out regardless; one day Evolution might make a world beater.

yourefragile, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of jsanford
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of THECPJ. Cheers, Shane! Poured into an Evolution tasting glass.

A - Dark, ominous black with a thick, creamy, mocha-colored head that settles to a thick haze, leaving sheets of lacing clinging to the glass a it recedes.
S - Whew! That's a big one! Huge flavors of dark roasted malt, brownie batter, vanilla, and Bourbon. Smells a touch on the "hot" side, but I think I'll be OK ;)
T - Yeah, definitely on the boozy side, but god knows there's plenty of dark malt to back it up. Tons of dark chocolate and caramel with big Bourbon flavors of oak and vanilla. Really smooth, despite the high ABV.
M - Thick and viscous, with a chewy, sticky mouthfeel and a full body.
O - A very impressive BA RIS from a (relatively) new brewery, these guys are doing some great thing! Thanks again to Shane for passing this along to me!

jsanford, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Jules11788
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color that lets no light through; very small head, very light lacing

S: Sweet bourbon, dark chocolate woodiness, light notes of roasted coffee

T: Roasted malts, sweet bourbon-soaked wood, and dark chocolate. This stuff tasted like one of those chocolate truffles filled with bourbon liqueur, it was so delicious. I would love to enjoy a bottle of this with ice cream or cookies

M: Thick and smooth, lightly carbonated, just the slightest bite of booze at the end

O: This was a deliciously chocolaty beer that reminded me so much of those fancy liqueur-filled chocolates. If you enjoy a good Imperial Stout you will like this a lot.

Jules11788, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: black with a 2 finger mocha head

smell: bourbon, vanilla, little booze

taste: very nice complex bourbon vanilla flavor.

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: pretty damn good RIS represented here glad I got to try it on tap and from the bottle. Evolution is definitely one of the better up and coming breweries.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, May 12, 2011
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

duceswild, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

BillRoth, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

PittBeerGirl, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

rab53, Aug 27, 2013
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Menagerie #5 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.