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Jester King / Mikkeller Whiskey Barrel Rodeo | Jester King Brewery

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Jester King / Mikkeller Whiskey Barrel RodeoJester King / Mikkeller Whiskey Barrel Rodeo

Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This version of Jester King and Mikkeller’s collaborative imperial oatmeal stout, made with chipotle peppers and smoked malt, was aged for six months in Tennessee whiskey barrels, prior to the addition of a special blend of Vietnamese coffees, including a large portion of authentic Kopi Luwak coffee (a.k.a. “weasel coffee”).

Added by Mora2000 on 06-18-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 164
Photo of MattU
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a Jester King Tulip.

Appearance - Jet black. A soft pour produces a one finger, brown head with surprisingly decent retention.

Smell - Coffee, burnt/roasted grains, ash, chocolate, chilies, smoke, warm and perfumy alcohol, oak and slight boubon.

Taste - Follows suit to the nose. Toffee, chocolate, coffee on the tip of the palate gives way to a wash of roasted grain and deep dark stone fruit. The finish is mildly of bourbon and oak. All the while a soft heat and smokiness of chipotle chilies rolls around the palate. Bitterness is moderate and round, tastes more like alcohol bitterness than hop bitterness (which I prefer in a beer like this). Alcohol is well hidden and warm, not the slightest bit hot or assertive.

Mouthfeel - Thick and oily with a soft and fine carbonation. Despite how thick this beer is the high alcohol keeps the palate clean.

Overall - I paid $17.85 for my bomber of whiskey rodeo. I very rarely pay much more than $12 for a bottle of beer, but this was well worth the price tag. Despite the high ABV (12%) this beer is surprisingly easy to drink, and hides the alcohol so very well. A beer this ambitious has a lot of room to fall flat on its face, but this was done so very very well. Interesting and complex, no one flavor or element dominating. Everything in proper balance. Masterfully done. Lightyears beyond what most Texas brewers are doing. A rare jewel... so if you see one... get it!

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Photo of StuporJew
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 750 Ml. Bottle into DFH Tulip. Six months of cellar time.

A - Pours heavy with a thick espresso-colored head. Much better carbonation than the Weasel Rodeo. Leaves behind a one-finger (Lingering) head with light lacing. Black as tar. Hooray!

S - Whiskey Barrel takes the lead, with coffee notes, burnt cigar, and some earthy funk. Hints of Cacao nibs in there as well.

T - Immediately assaults the tongue with peppery notes, akin to the chili it's brewed with. Almost acidic! This beer slaps you in the face with the fact that it's brewed with peppers. Again coffee and chocolate abound, with more mellowness that came from 6 months of age in the bottle. Damn, I wish I'd bought more of this beer... I'd love to taste it again after a year of aging.
The whiskey barrel adds some nice oak and vanilla notes, that round out the overall bitey-ness of this stout. (Bitey-ness is a word... Shut up. ☺)

M - Nice carbonation, once again compared to the Weasel, with a nice sharp burn from the pepper. Surprisingly easy to drink, for being what it is!

O - Cheese and Crackers, Jester King pulled one out of left field this time! All in all, a complex, intriguing, multifaceted stout, that bypassed ALL of my expectations for it!
*Kicks self repeatedly for only buying 1 bottle* I cannot wait for next years' batch... I'm buying half a case. Cheers!

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Photo of jbeezification
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Petrol Station a few months ago during a special cask event.
Poured into a clear plastic cup (I would have drank it out of a shoe)

Pours black with a small dark brown head that doesn't stay too long.
Smells amazing, coffee, hints of chocolate and vanilla. Very well done.
At first taste you get malt, very slightly bitter coffee hint of chocolate. Then comes the burn, the amazing, spectacular burn from the chipotle peppers. Almost no alcohol taste, but it could just be buried by the peppers.

This was fresh from the cask I had the fourth pour and it was near perfect. This beer met all expectations. I can't wait to open one of the bottles I have to see the differences a few months of bottle conditioning has on it.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an undated bottle from its one and only release into a snifter. Reviewed from notes 12/7/13.

Appearance: A dark brown/black brew with a moderate, persistent tan head. Decent, thick lacing too. Looks like any good stout does.

Smell: Wow, so much whiskey. Wow, even more dark, roasty coffee. I can smell the rare!!! This coffee has a different character than traditional coffee stouts do, pretty sure thats from the weasel shit. The roasted chiles come through here too. So much complexity! This is really fantastic, and I haven't even tasted it yet.

Taste: Does not disappoint. Roasted coffee is ridiculous. How has this not faded in the past year? This is probably the best coffee stout I've ever tasted. I'm not getting the Whiskey as much from here, but thats fine because it's so awesome in the smell. Some faint dark fruit, this is a pretty dry beer. The chile heat comes through at end with the alcohol heat, which blends remarkably well. Bitterness is pretty mild. Seek this beer out for sure. It's earned its status as a Texan mini-whale.

Mouthfeel: Very thick. Great body. Carbonation is moderate, the beer sticks around in my mouth a while. Lovely.

Overall: WOW. So in love. This beer aged great. I spilled my second glass on my computer keyboard. It no longer works (had to buy a bluetooth keyboard), but now my keyboard reeks of whiskey and Kopi Luwak. Which isn't a bad thing. Lovers of Prairie Bomb! and Pirate Bomb! should try this before they die. Glad to have a glass-worth left in the bottle for tonight. I might try hard to get some more of this somehow.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a murky medium brown color (did a side-by-side with the base beer and it was substantially darker. I think there was so much whiskey left in the barrel that it actually made the beer paler) with no head. There was literally no "pssht" when I popped the cap so it's not surprising that there's nearly no trace of carbonation.

S- Straight boozy whiskey aroma with a hint of coffee.

T- Tons of grainy wood character with an equal amount of whiskey flavor. Slight vanilla sweetness and I'm getting this interesting umami soy sauce type of flavor that's actually surprisingly nice. Must be the chipotle peppers.

M- Pretty much flat, but the flavor is so great it doesn't matter. Somewhat slick.

O- This is the first time I've had a barrel aged beer that completely transformed the base beer into something completely different but also made it way better. Definitely a slow sipper since it's pretty much just straight whiskey but it's a really good whiskey. Wish I knew what kind of barrel this was aged on since it's so damn good.

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Photo of dar482
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer has a beautiful amount of complexity with its ingredients coming out.

The beer has a medium minus spiciness from the peppers. There is a pop of whiskey barrel, which is clearly unlike the smooth qualities of bourbon barrels. Then from mid palate on, there is a big roasted coffee flavor that is familiar of Kopi from Kopi speedway.

The beer is medium plus to full.

An interesting and fun brew.

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Photo of ADZA
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours a dark black hue with a creamy three finger head and lacing everywhere what a looker, the smell is strong whiskey with dark chocolate and smokey oak, the feel is full bodied lush with moderate carbonation and the taste is started off with a little whiskey then the big imp stout takes over its dark chocolate, coffee and finished with a smokey oakiness and overall wow what a top drop cheers.

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Photo of zonker17
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft 2/7/16. Opaque near black pour. No head. Whiskey nose along with burnt malt, vanilla. Farmhouse funky flavors evident in the taste and marry well with the base ale/whiskey. Big mouthfeel and light carbonation.

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Photo of specksnreds
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A perfectly bubbly 10W-30 pour. Finally, bubbles. Black as a moonless night in the deepest of woods. In other words.... dark. Bubbles make a dark brown head which is quite pleasant to ogle. And it's particularly appealing to peruse in my white-guy-douchebag-approved snifter - "Hoi polloi..."
Smells like a chocolate covered Jack-and-Coke. Kinda dry, and it finishes with all the apt dark syrup analogies. Tastes of whiskey (ya think?) and RC Cola. I love RC Cola - "Do you not?"
She's a bit thin on the swallow, but I kinda dig it. More dry than motor oil. I no longer need to wait/hope/pray to zombie jesus for The Abyss, because this is just as good. Amazing what bubbles can do...

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Photo of mindswoop
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a 1.5 finger mocha head that doesn't last long. Some alcohol legs, which should be expected for a beer this big.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, moderate pepper spice, oak, vanilla, whiskey, alcohol.

T - Big coffee, oak, and moderate whiskey up front, warming pepper in the middle with vanilla, and dark chocolate finish that delectably lingers for quite a while.

M - Really coats the mouth well. It's oily but not chewy or tar-like. The carbonation is perfect for a beer of this viscosity. It gives the flavors just the right amount of time to linger before refreshing the palette...for whatever reason, this seems to be a challenge when making big stouts.

I tried this 3 months ago on tap and tonight out of the bottle. In that time, the heat has definitely dissipated and coffee and chipotle are more apparent. I thought the alcohol and whiskey were overpowering on tap, but the time in the bottle has been good to this beer. If you can get it, do it. Really fantastic stuff!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New bottle poured into a snifter.

Comes out black with a big super dark brown head that starts out large and pillowy but falls down fairly quickly.

You get coffee, whiskey, chipotle pepper, and the best combination that comes in barrel aged stouts with the chocolate and vanilla.

The taste on this is great. The whiskey is prevalent and big right up there with the roast and coffee flavors. The chipotle takes hold at the end of things and a spicy warmth lingers on the lips and in the mouth. It’s got a big body and modest carbonation. There’s a slight pop of barrel character.

Even at a big 12.1 I’m not picking up any alcohol and it drinks just as easy as the other beers in this whole Rodeo trilogy.

May the hype continue.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Black pour with a few fingers of really brown head. The retention is pretty good with a decent amount of thin lacing going down. 4.5

S: The Kopi Luwak coffee is as big as you'd expect, but it's bolstered by a big, chocolate-y imperial stout. The chili peppers are there, but only slightly. Noted throughout the aroma is the whiskey, as one would expect, tied with vanilla from the barrel. Very diverse, and relatively balanced, aroma. 4

T: The taste is really focused on the chocolate with amazingly blended whiskey and vanilla. The coffee also helps take this beer to another level. I really don't know how they worked all of these delicate flavors into such a well balanced beer. Some booze is noted at the back of my throat, and coffee sticks around forever. The burn from the chili peppers sits in my stomach much longer than I expected. 4.5

MF: Thick, heavy body with a nice amount of carbonation. The balance and delicious finish makes the beer absurdly drinkable. The 12% ABV is only slightly noted and is actually welcomed in the makeup of the beer. 4

O: This was outstanding, as I would expect from these two breweries. Really happy to have had this. I'm jealous of you Texans who have it available. 5

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer at the Lake Beerfeast 2012.

The beer pours a deep, inky black color with a brown head. The aroma has a strong dose of whiskey, as well as some great pepper notes and some coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is very heavy on the chipotle peppers and there is also a little bit of heat. The coffee is fairly subdued compared to the peppers, but there is a good bit of chocolate and roasted malt. There is also some nice oak and vanilla notes from the barrels, characteristics which go very well with the other notes. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Compared to the non-barrel-aged version, this beer has a lot more heat and a little less coffee. Still, it is delicious and in my opinion, better than the original.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

served from a bottle into a stone old guardian glass
1st smell is slightly boozy with hints of coffee
the taste is chocolate, caramel and that beautiful coffee taste not acidity
at 12% it is extremely smooth very easy to drink
not overly sweet
as it warms up it becomes even smoother
not as boozy and the chocolate really come out with a slight hint of the pepper in the back
before the coffee flavor hits hard
really a nice mix
overall a really good brew would try again

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a big creamy tan head leaving excellent lacing behind. Good retention for a beer this big.

A few sweet malts in the aroma, but fresh ground coffee quickly takes over. A little bit of smoke as well.

Coffee explodes on the front of the palate. Good roastiness along with smoke. Sweet chocolate in the middle before finishing somewhat acrid and dry. Coffee lingers on the tongue. Whiskey asserts itself at the end finishes with a slight boozy twinge with spice.

Medium to thick bodied. Alcohol is fairly well tamed and the whiskey is blended well. Medium to low carbonation.

Usually don't like many JK offerings, but this one is pretty solid. The harshness from the coffee and whiskey limits drinkability a bit, but this is a very good bottle to share.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil with a huge frothy cocoa head on top-poster child of a dessert beer if I ever saw one. Great aroma of cocoa and chiles, almost a dry sort of scent. Huge cocoa flavor right up front. Somewhat of an espresso tinge with a great underlying chile flavor going on. Lingering cocoa powder flavor. Traces of whiskey and a slight boozey flavor. Whiskey and booze is well balanced and not overly done. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry but I think that is a sense of the cocoa flavors. Just a great beer all in. The whole barrel thing is getting away from me but this is nicely done and not overly so. Thanks ladyofmuchbeer for the major league hook up.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the second of three collaboration brews between Jester King and Mikkeller. This is not a sweet stout nor is it a heavy one, which is somewhat of a surprise when compared to Jester King’s Black Metal. It’s barrel-aged, with some of that weasel coffee—the real deal.

From the bottle this pours pitch black. It has low carbonation and hardly any foam. It looks thick, black, and oily—unctuous, even. Recycle at your nearest auto service station…

On the aroma I get a lot of coffee notes along with a kiss of vanilla and some bourbon rounding it out. The flavor follows suit, with an intense taste of coffee perhaps the most dominant feature—tannic, slightly astringent, and full-bodied—followed by a real smoothness and a dry finish. Think of dark roast mixing with dark and bitter chocolates in an earthy sort of way—it manages to be delightful, deeply intense and somehow delicate, all at once.

Absolutely fantastic.

Update (6/13):
My bottle of Whiskey Rodeo mellowed out with a year on it. The appearance is still ridiculously amazing, with this luscious cocoa-colored foam atop a jet-black brew. However, the coffee notes on the aroma and the coffee-forward flavor profile have taken on an unfortunate astringency. It’s more of a sharp roast, with an acidic, astringent finish. Thickly rich, with perhaps a tad more carbonation than it needs. This beer makes a great sipper. But I had to dial back my initial enthusiasm for it.

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A strong, black as night, aggressively hopped beer with a warming spice effect on the finish. Basically it's completely awesome and worth picking up if you can find it. It's super strong, think like blaecorn unidragon that's barrel aged with peppers that adds a lingering burn at the end.

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Photo of zac16125
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a snifter
2012 Vintage (which puts it at about 9 months old I believe)

A big thanks to fatbeats18 for sending this one over in a trade!

A: Pour is opaque jet black. 1.5 fingers width of dark mocha colored head is dense and dissipates down fairly slowly. Leaves a trace amount of lacing.

S: The first aromas I get are sweet chocolate and roasted malt. This is followed by a somewhat acrid dark fruit character. Then the barrel comes out with oak and bourbony-vanilla. A hint of coffee but its surprisingly subtle. Bakers chocolate and fudge become more prominent at it warms. I also get a very faint hint of booze. Quite complex, and really a great aroma.

T: Roast malts, coffee, and heavy cream are the first flavors I get with nice black coffee notes lingering for a long time in the aftertaste. The coffee is certainly more prominent on the tongue than the nose. I also get roasted malts, raw oak, bakers chocolate, some bourbon notes (although they are fairly tame), faint pepper heat comes out about midway through the first glass (and is the first hint of the chipotle chiles used, as I got no pepper notes on the aroma) and slowly builds as I continue to drink. By the end the pepper heat is fairly prominent and adds a nice touch to the beer. Really nice palate profile, and again a good deal of complexity. I do wish the bourbon notes were stronger though.

M/D: Carbonation is on the higher end of the spectrum for the style, but its a pleasant carbonation not a harsh one, and even with the higher carbonation it still remains quite smooth. It gives a nice whole body warming effect. Barely any hint of the ABV and drinkability is great.

O: A really, really good beer here. I wonder how this one was fresh? I bet with stronger pepper and bourbon notes this could have been incredible. But as is, I really enjoyed this one. Thanks again fatbeats for sending this one my way!

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Photo of lokieman
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Jester King tulip:

A: Pours a viscous black with hardly any light making it's way through the edges of my glass. Thick, fluffy Belgian head erupts immediately after pouring but settles down after the 12% takes over. Wonderful looking beer.

S: Hot cocoa spiked with bourbon and roasted coffee. Not picking up any chili in the aroma but the smell definitely invites a taste...

T: A more aggressive continuation of the aroma. Get coffee bitterness and whiskey up front with a sweet middle and slight chili burn in the finish. Very complex and earthy. The Belgian yeast really brightens things up and surprisingly easy to drink for 12%. Layers of flavor here...

M: Light and creamy on the palate. Not as viscous as the pour suggests but has a nice velvety texture that invites you to swirl this beer around your mouth a couple times before taking it down. Reminds me of a big Belgian quad in it's mouthfeel.

O: I'm very happy to have picked up several bottles of this one as I can see it aging beautifully. A little hot out of the box as it warms but an excellently crafted brew that should only become legendary over time.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours dark brown with a small brown head that fades to a ring with no lacing.

S: The nose has great aromas of vanilla, dark chocolate, and a touch of earthy pepper in the background. Not getting much coffee here.

T: The taste is really something else. Big flavors of vanilla, buttery whiskey, toasted caramel, chocolate, coffee, a bit of pepper, and a slight molasses note on the finish. This really takes the base beer and makes it 5x better.

M: The feel is on the fuller side of medium with good carbonation.

O: I tried this side by side with Weasel and Beer Geek Rodeo and this one won hands down. Very highly recommended if you can find it.

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Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an engine oil black with a thick tan head that leaves a very nice lacing pattern around the chalice

Smell: Chocolate and whiskey, with undertones of coffee and chipotle

Taste: Chocolate, dark fruit and grassy hops, up front, with the chipotle and coffee flavors developing in the middle; after the swallow, the heat builds, blending with the chocolate and coffee in the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous, but a tad over-carbonated - more like a Belgian than an American double stout

Overall: A really interesting beer, with a range of flavors that coalesce nicely

Thanks, Phoenix2443, for the opportunity

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

just a huge stout, massive in terms of flavor, alcohol, and body. impenetrably dark brown with several inches of tall light mocha cream head, airy and lasting. less chipotle pepper than I remember in the non barrel aged version, but still a touch smoky and hot. chocolate malt too, with notes of raw cocoa, as well as a richness from the oatmeal. I also of course smell whiskey, which is so strong I think it overwhelms some of the more nuanced elements from the other version. lots of vanilla and booze in the flavors, chocolate and smoked malt, with just a faint hint of the chili on the back end. what I love about this is the silky texture, its just velvet on my palate, thanks to the whiskey barrel I think for that, this has really mellowed in terms of feel. just enough carbonation, and a thickness that's enormous but not filling or syrupy, just beautiful stuff in the mouth. I think a little less time in the barrel would allow some of the other flavors to stand up a bit more, but I have nothing to be critical of here, this is magic.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Jester King 1st Anniversary snifter.

An eager pour builds a sizable, yet slowly diminishing head of dark custard foam that recedes to a tan collar. The body of Whiskey Rodeo is pitch black with a faint trace of cola at the rim. Fantastic aromas greet the nose: vanillins from the barrel-aging, bright whiskey notes, earthy coffee roast, and fudge-like dark chocolate. A little sweet, a little boozy (although the 12% is superbly hidden), and a LOT of complexity. Me gusta.

The flavor follows the aroma's lead, opening up with a twang of wooden, whiskey barrel sharpness, before giving way to smooth oats, dark chocolate, and darker coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Heat from the chipotle peppers intermingles well with the alcohol warmth on the back end. Chewy fudge, booze, and capsaicin linger into the finish.

Bottle conditioning is a fickle beast, as any homebrewer will tell you, and Whiskey Rodeo is a touch on the over-carbonated side initially. However, the mouthfeel only takes a minute or so of swirling to lower the carbonation level to where it can successfully accompany the creaminess of the oatmeal body. After that, it's all gravy. All in all, this is a fantastic effort from the Jester King and Mikkeller crew, and proof that collaborations really can produce a remarkable beer experience.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.3.14

A - Pours a very dark brown with a huge active head that fades quickly.

S - Coffee hits first, then chilies, then finally some bourbon.

T - Taste follows the nose, except more bourbon and chilie heat in the finish.

D - Good carbonationn with a medium to light body.

O - Not sure if the bourbon helped this one. Still a good beer.

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Jester King / Mikkeller Whiskey Barrel Rodeo from Jester King Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.