Menagerie #5 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
11-08-2011 16:28:19 | More by billab914
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
10-27-2011 17:02:19 | More by russwbeck
4.47/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
09-30-2011 15:39:21 | More by Eriktheipaman
3.9/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
09-27-2011 01:05:15 | More by ShogoKawada
4.25/5 rDev +0.5%
22oz bottle received in a trade with slvrmon82. Thanks, Matt!
A - Pours pitch black into a snifter glass. Very thin layer of chocolate brown head covers about 3/4 of the top and fades almost completely within a minute or so. A tiny ring of bubbles surround the perimeter of the glass.
S - Very pleasant. Lots of coffee, rich chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon are detected. One smell doesn't dominate over any other...everything is blended really well. Right on target with what I would want a bourbon barrel aged RIS to smell like.
T - I'm picking up some slightly bitter chocolate initially before some oak and vanilla come into play. A slight alcohol burn from the bourbon is noticeable on the back end, but it is very minor. Again, everything is blended very well.
M - Medium to full body, light carbonation (which is perfect for the style), and creamy. Very easy to go back for sip after sip.
O - This was the second beer I've ever had from Evolution (after the Lot No 3 IPA that Matt included as an extra) and I am very impressed with their beers so far. I'm really excited to try the bottle of 2010 Winter Migration that I have in my basement! Menagerie No 5 was very well balanced and expertly blended. It was complex and enjoyable on a cool fall evening. I have no idea what bottle production was or if it will be made again, but I would recommend trying this one if you are able to!
09-07-2011 01:31:09 | More by ratedz
4.43/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
09-07-2011 01:20:47 | More by beer2day
3.58/5 rDev -15.4%
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.
09-02-2011 21:53:37 | More by womencantsail
3.73/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
08-30-2011 19:50:45 | More by Thorpe429
District of Columbia
4.18/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
08-30-2011 03:56:07 | More by yourefragile
4.28/5 rDev +1.2%
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
08-21-2011 17:31:58 | More by mikesgroove
4.22/5 rDev -0.2%
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!
08-19-2011 02:42:49 | More by jsanford
4.4/5 rDev +4%
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.
07-20-2011 02:34:32 | More by ShanePB
4.43/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
07-08-2011 19:49:33 | More by mdaschaf
4.43/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
07-03-2011 13:13:53 | More by Slatetank
4.47/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
06-30-2011 17:41:23 | More by John_M
4.65/5 rDev +9.9%
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.
06-27-2011 23:39:57 | More by jamesmbirchnyc
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
06-21-2011 00:56:54 | More by warriorsoul
4.53/5 rDev +7.1%
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.
06-19-2011 01:44:12 | More by HosP
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
05-20-2011 20:36:01 | More by oline73
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
05-17-2011 20:29:11 | More by AngusOg
4.05/5 rDev -4.3%
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.
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.
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.
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.
05-15-2011 19:03:29 | More by Bmoyer0301
District of Columbia
4.28/5 rDev +1.2%
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.
05-14-2011 20:02:43 | More by Rhettroactive
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
05-13-2011 01:02:15 | More by lackenhauser
4.22/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
05-12-2011 13:01:29 | More by THECPJ
Menagerie #5 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.