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Polaris - Rising Tide Brewing Company

PolarisPolaris

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.02%


Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Polaris is our first special release beer—a wheat stout aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels. We started with our winter weizen stout Ursa Minor, fermenting it to completion in steel before barrel aging it for 5 months. Hints of the base beer remain but with the added complexity of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, and oak notes. Conditioned to a moderately low level of carbonation in the bottle, this beer is a perfect cold-evening sipper.

(Beer added by: Brez07 on 11-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of poolemhore
poolemhore

Maine

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pitch black pour into a pint glass (wrong glassware oh well), half a finger tan head that doesn't hang on too long, very fine bubbles, minimal lacing

S - alcohol front and center, very red wine-esque, coffee and roasted scents hidden deep below

T - astringent and alcoholic up front, whiskey/bourbon middle (smoother than the first bit), butterscotch sweet finish

M - smooth and light with a slight tingle toward the end

O - this is a winter warmer for sure. Very complex. A bit unbalanced I feel as that alcohol kick is a bit too strong for my liking. Might have been better letting this one age a bit longer, but I'm not dissatisfied.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 20:26:36 | More by poolemhore
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass, with a fine, huge brown head with good retention and thick lacing. Aroma of sweet toasted malt, lots of vanilla and toffee (actually smells a lot like a vanilla toffee candy), mild earthyness, light bourbon. Smells great. Starts out with bourbon soaked dark toasted malt, then thins out to a more bourbon influenced, vanilla, chocolate and caramel character, finishing with lingering bourbon barrel and light greassy hops. Different, but good. Medium bodied, lighter than expected from a rich stout. Starts out as a barrel aged stout experience, but then presents an interesting light body from the wheat that actually showcases the other relatively complex flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma suggests, overall well integrated, but you will know this is bourbon barrel aged. I enjoyed this quite tasty and off-beat stout (they call it a barrel aged wheat stout and that fits perfectly). Hope I can find something else from this brewery. If the body of most heavy barrel aged stouts is too much for you, it may be worth trying this out as a nice change.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 04:50:23 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375ml sent by Valdieu2. Autumn 2013 bottle, /1620. Thanks! Into a flute glass.

A: Pours brownish black with a small dark cocoa-colored head.

S: Thick notes of bourbon and fudge push up, along with some dry oak and soft raisiny sweetness. This smells more robust than the 6.7% would suggest.

T: Taste brings milky coffee, mild bourbon and oak, dry dusting of cocoa, slight vinous note.

M: Medium-bodied with almost-frothy carbonation.

O: This is pretty nice. Man times lighter-strength stouts get washed out by the barrels, but Rising Tide managed to keep things pretty balanced here.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 02:17:43 | More by Etan
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Cork launches out of the bottle with almost zero coercion. The body is very, very dark. Minimal light invasion. A nice, thin tan head forms atop the beer with soft lacing.

S-The bourbon really jumps out at me. Boozy chocolate and fudge. Maybe a little bit of dark fruit and some clearer roast. The bourbon barrel is the high point.

T-The wheat really stands out here where I didn't find much of it in the nose. Bourbon is again very noticeable but not as dominating. Sweet dark fruits, maybe figs. Chocolate and lighter roast. Some espresso notes. A unique flavor.

M-I have a few qualms here. Body is light, I know it's not a huge stout! but the body is a hair too light. Also the carbonation is too aggressive. It doesn't work well with the robust flavors.

O/D-A pretty neat beer. Too pricey for the 375ml format. I thought the barrel character was nice. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 00:52:14 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Late Autumn 2012 release. 12.7 oz. C&C bottle. Limited release of 960 bottles.

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers worth of dark tan head that quickly fizzles away to nothing

S: Roasted barley, dark fruits, and a hint of barrel character that includes vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Subtle and complex

T: Follows the nose, only more complex. Starts with the roasted malts and fruity wheat character and goes into the barrel aspects. The barrel imparts the usual vanilla, bourbon, oak, and some tannins. Again, the barrel is subtle and doesn't overwhelm the base beer

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: The base beer is already solid, and aging this in Jim Beam barrels only makes it better and more complex. Far from a bourbon bomb, so don't expect that. That said, I'd drink this sooner rather than later given the abv and subtle barrel character. A little pricey at $8.49 for a 12.7 oz. bottle, but this is one unique beer

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 02:31:01 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into tulip. 2011 bottle - #70.
Pours a deep black with a creamy creamy tan head. Wow, this looks awesome! Nice boozey barrel roasted malt and oaty aroma. Taste is nice booze/bourbon, roasted malt and oat; some coffee notes. Silky smooth as can be, and super easy to drink. I actually thought this was much bigger by the taste, but almost a sessionable stout; if it came in 12oz year-round bottles. Nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 16:38:34 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown, one-finger head that vanishes quickly leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied, body is a little thin for a stout. Bourbon and sweet wheat nose. Flavor is malty sweet wheat and bourbon. Pricey at $8.50 for a caged and corked 375ml bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 23:14:59 | More by jdhilt
Photo of IBU5000
IBU5000

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was expecting another heavy bourbon aged stout, but found something much better. An excellent beer with smooth but not too smooth notes of oak, bourbon and caramel ending with chocolaty malt finish. Presented in a nice wired corked 22oz bottle.

Pours as a nice tall rolling surf style nougaty tan head that modestly settles without going flat. The head wafts full of butterscotch and vanilla blended nicely with a bourbon-oak foundation that stays with the beer throughout. Emphasis on the head, can't recall the last time I've been this surprised by such a balanced but dynamic bouquet in a stout. Great full-body as expected but goes down buttery smooth with chocolate and hints of espresso at conclusion.

Polaris disappeared on me quickly, it could be a sipper but was too dam quaffable to keep around for my palate. Maybe it was the wheat that brought out the complexity and rich flavors which helped to eliminate that overly roasted malt finish many traditional stronger stouts uphold. Overall a very unique offering…wish I had purchased more than 1 bottle. Another great pour from Rising Tide and the state of Maine.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 17:31:30 | More by IBU5000
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was a very dark brown color with a small tan head.

Mostly an aroma of bourbon. Some vanilla, some roasted malt. Maybe a bit of spice.

The bourbon aroma smoothed out in the taste. Still present, but not as forward. Chocolate and coffee notes, a little bit of vanilla. Things came together well.

This was a smooth, easy-drinking beer. Very enjoyable, will drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 21:04:36 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. This is bottle number 163 of 336.

The beer is completely black, with a decent of amount of tan foam resting on top. The liquid is too opaque to make out and rising carbonation. Lacing is good.

The beer has a strong bourbon aroma. It's like sticking my nose into a glass of Jim Beam. I'm not really smelling any of the roasted malts that make up the nose in Ursa Minor (the base beer). There is a little bit of malty sweetness, but for the most part this beer smells boozy. If it still smells like this after 5 months of aging, I wonder how hot it was when fresh?

Luckily, the bourbon in the flavor isn't as overpowering as in the aroma, although it is still strong. It provides some good oak and peat moss flavors, and a smokiness that works very well with Ursa Minor's roasted malts. There is a slight chocolate flavor here that I didn't pick up on in Ursa Minor, and Polaris doesn't have any obvious wheat characteristics.

The body is thick, but not as thick as some other stouts. It leaves a slight stickiness on my lips. The mouthcoat is also sticky, but retains some decent flavors. Despite the strong aroma, there is no heat from the alcohol.

Although not an amazing bourbon barrel aged stout, this is an enjoyable beer. I think I would have liked to let it age a little longer, but I was in the mood for Rising Tide tonight, so I cracked it open. If you were one the people who sought this beer out, I think you'll be happy with it. Hopefully, this is the first of many barrel aged releases that Nate has in the works. There is a lot of potential here, but I am left wanting slightly more. Still, no part of me regrets checking Facebook obsessively until I saw Polaris was on sale and rushing out right away to secure bottle. I only regret not picking up a second bottle (but with such a low bottle count, I wanted to leave plenty on the shelf).

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 01:25:31 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not sure if I've ever had a wheat based stout before, esp aged in bourbon barrels, so this should be interesting.

Pours a darker colored bubbly fluffy 1 finger head that fades pretty quickly with all the big bubbles popping, leaves just a bit of lacing which surprises me a bit, over almost pitch black beer with slight hints of ruby light sneaking through the edges.

Nose brings a nice blend of malts and bourbon barrel, starting with a bit of a roasty dark malt with hints of coffee, then dark chocolate and baker's choc plus cocoa, then plenty of bourbon to match the malts, a bit of an oak barrel with vanilla and light woody shelf sawdust like barrel aromas, then more malts with caramel, toffee, molasses, and a strange malty softness I can only attribute to the wheat.

Taste starts with slight esters from the wood actually, but then quickly moves to the barrel flavors, some nice bourbon with a light toasty oak and more wood shelf flavors, and a light vanilla and oak chip like. Then malts kick in, some chocolate but not as much as I expected, light baker's chocolate, a bit of roast with hint of coffee, some caramel and light toasty brown malt flavors, toffee, molasses, etc. It gets a very slight burnt malt quality that adds a hint of briny roasty quality that brings it down a bit. It does have a creamy almost oatmeal like feel and flavor, with perhaps a touch of lactose, and a nice soft malt cushion. Some bitterness is brought in with the roasty flavors but also a bit of an earthy hop kick. I also gets very slight hints of dark fruit and even a caramelized banana flavor which is really interesting, and I'm not making that up!!! It finishes sticky and a bit syrupy but slightly drier, with more dark malts, hints of chocolate and caramel, as well as bourbon and barrel woody esters, and a creamy feel all lingering.

Mouth is full bodied, a bit creamy, no real booze, and decent enough carb for the style although its lower than usual.

Overall really interesting, a nice profile with nice malts, a bit more chocolate would have been nice, the roast hits well but just a hair too much burntness, bourbon comes on nice but fades too quickly, and the barrel brings a good profile. there are some hints of wheat with the soft feel and hints of banana like fruits and softness overall, and a bit of a creamy oatmeal or lactose feel. The hints of bitterness and hops play in well and not too much, but maybe a hint more would kick this up a notch.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 02:16:30 | More by jlindros
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit

Maine

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 117 of 336
Released Autumn of 2011

Pours a wicked black color, a large tan head gives about two-three fingers of head, fades at a slow rate to leave a long lasting cap.

Smell is primarily roasted malt, picking up a bit of chocolate, not really finding any bourbon or woody aspects that might come from the barrel aging process.

Taste starts out with a burnt roasted malt front, bitter dark chocolate follows, dark fruit begins to linger in and is likely from the barreling process even though it still remains subtle, incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a slightly above normal carbonation level, picking up hints of heat so although the ABV is unknown it's probably a bit stronger than the regular Ursa Minor.

Very glad I was able to find a bottle of this at a lesser known wine & cheese shop, especially considering it has been sold out everywhere else for at least a few weeks before procuring it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 00:20:39 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

2.58/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Ben for sharing! This bottle is number 151 of 336. Poured into a tulip. The color is nice and black with a small than head. This one looks a little thin compared to other barrel aged stouts, but I'm not knocking it for that (I'm not sure this would be an imperial stout anyway).

The aroma is full of licorice and lots of bitter dark chocolate. I get a hint of fruitiness or maybe some cherry notes.

The taste is bitter coffee, much of the positive aroma notes are muted and hard to perceive entirely. There is a slightly tart cherry finish.

The body is a little thin, with heavy carbonation that drinks like a seltzer almost.

I'm wondering if this might be headed downhill; I'm a little disappointed. The aroma was promising at least.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 05:03:03 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 151 of 336. Poured into a tulip. This pours jet black with a thin layer of dark mocha head. It settles quickly leaving some thick lace.

The aroma is jam packed full of rich bourbon right up front. Hints of chocolate and licorice in the background with dark fruits. The pallet has a nice chocolate flavor to it with some vanilla notes. A little bit of a dark cherry flavor rounding it out with good roasted malts throughout the drink.

The body is a little lighter than I would prefer and the carbonation could be toned down a bit. But it doesn't ruin the end result. Overall a nice treat here. I look forward to new beers from these guys.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 04:57:29 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of ggilman
ggilman

Maine

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed two bottles at RSVP. One to rate, one to cellar.
As almost always, poured into a Sebago tulip glass.

Jet black with a small dark tan head. Minimal lacing. Smells like bourbon and vanilla, no surprise. Taste is light, mineral, with notes of coffee and alcohol. Sharp tight carbonation. Some chocolate malt in the dry grainy finish. Vanilla and bourbon flavors become more pronounced as it warms, but not overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 19:45:37 | More by ggilman
Photo of BobZ
BobZ

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Duvel Tulip, Bottle number 69 of 336 2011 release.

Appearance: Same as Ursa Minor minus the head. Rich dark brown, yields a ¼” head that recedes to a thin cap. Very, very, nice lacing. The lack of a large head is to be expected from a BA stout.

Smell: Jim Beam bourbon is the first thing you get, underneath is some roasted malt aroma.

Taste: Again, Rising Tide surprises, the bourbon is present in an oaky vanilla flavor but this doesn’t overwhelm the Ursa Minor base beer, it just complements it. Damn near perfect balance, you get the chocolatety roasted wheat flavor wrapped in a nice oaky, vanilla, bourbon. Very well done, I liked Ursa Minor, I love Polaris. Such a unique beer, I don’t get any overt weizen characteristics such as banana, but there is such a nice unique flavor to this stout that it leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, delicious. Not cloying or overly sweet in any way. Easy to drink all night.

Overall: Great offering, hope to see this again next year. I bought three bottles and gave one to a friend, now I’m starting to wish I kept it. Really impressed with this brewery and their products, in all honesty I might even prefer this beer to KBS, it’s THAT good.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 03:25:07 | More by BobZ
Photo of Cadebro
Cadebro

Maine

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to get one of these in a 22oz bottle the day before it was officially released.

A - Black with a thin, dark caramel brown head. Leaves tiny clusters of lace behind.

S - Bourbon, dark cherry and coffee. There's a sweet smell as well, perhaps vanilla.

T - Bourbon, plum and slightly smokey. Finishes sweet and a little cloying.

M - Fairly heavy body for a stout, at times almost too thick and sticky.

D - Rising Tide's Weizen Stout is one of my favorites. This bourbon aged version is very good. They balanced the aging very well, I would drink this many times except for the price tag.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 10:41:19 | More by Cadebro
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is Ursa Minor aged in Jim Beam barrels (which were previously used for Allagash Curiuex) for 6 months. Had three 8oz pours of this tonight at Mama's Crowbar

A: Pours a dark brown color and leaves a minimal amount of tan head. Not much retention to speak of, and no lacing

S: Some bourbon right up front, but nothing that overwhelms. Still get the nice roast and wheat from the base beer. Notes of chocolate as well

T: Composed similar to the nose, except the bourbon is much more specific to Jim Beam. There is some dark fruit presence not detected in the nose. Brief flavors of caramel, brown sugar and oak. And as odd as it sounds, there is even a small amount of fresh dill at times

M: Starts off medium bodied but finishes a little thin. Dry, roasted (almost hazelnutty) finish. Appropriate amount of carbonation

D: Very smooth, easy drinking. This was aged well to give it subtle barrel aspects. Looking forward to this in bottles

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2011 04:06:52 | More by Brez07
Polaris from Rising Tide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.