Bourbon Barrel Aged Tunguska Imperial Stout - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
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Ratings: 9 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
On tap at Brewzilla, the grand tasting of Cleveland Beer Week 2010. I was excited to cross paths with this after missing the first tapping at the Brew Keeper during Cleveland Beer Week.
On June 30, 1908 the Earth was rocked. Eyewitnesses say the sky caught fire and the wind literally knocked people off their feet. Trees were flattened and birds scrambled to escape the wake of the explosion. The biggest meteriod impact of modern history had occured in the Tunguska river in Russia.
Could a beer possibly live up to the pressure of being named for such a monumental blast? The Brew Kettle humbily released Tunguska Russian Imperial Stout in mid 2010 to little fanfare, but the reviews trickled in and the response was very positive. I enjoyed the beer but commented that it would benefit from a bourbon barrel treatment. I was very excited four months ago when Jack Kephart, award-winning head brewer at the Brew Kettle, contacted me to say the barrels had just been filled. While this may not be an Earth-altering event, Barrel Aged Tunguska certainly made an impact on my Brewzilla experience.
While the explosion was said to fill the sky with blue and orange fire, "Tunguska the beer" is pitch black with just a touch of red at the bottom of the glass. It has amazing head retention and lace. For an 11% Russian Imperial Stout to have this much head retention, one needs to wonder if some celestial interference played a part.
The beer smells of roasted malt, bourbon and wood. Specifically, notes of chocolate, coffee, tar, oak tannins, vanilla, and coconut are present. Fragments of bourbon are scattered all over the site of the aroma explosion.
The taste is the thunderclap that follows the aroma with expression and percussive pleasantness. Roasted malt gives coffee and chocolate impressions with some dark fruit, namely bourbon-soaked cherries. Speaking of bourbon, there is a good deal of well integrated whisky and wood. Overall, the beer is smooth but a touch too much wood and tar make this just a bit rough. But it's an admirable attempt, especially for the first-time The Brew Kettle has bourbon barrel aged this beer.
The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, without jagged edges. The medium body is enhanced by the barrel and, while this is a huge beer, it's enjoyable. The bottom line is that Tunguska is an explosive stout with a nice barrel treatment. Even if the Earth didn't shake, I enjoyed this and will certainly sample it again at The Brew Kettle's Ogrefest 2011.
Serving type: on-tap
11-03-2010 17:58:47 | More by jampics2
4.1/5 rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Outside of the Founders BBA stuff, this was my favorite BA Stout of Cleveland Beer Week.
Thick black stout with a short mocha head on it. Decent retention.
Smelled sweet with tons of vanilla and oak notes. Burnt toast and chocolaty malts throughout. The bourbon really marries well with the base beer.
The flavor is much the same. The bourbon is certainly apparent, but this is one balanced BA stout - the bourbon is strong enough to assert all of the desired effects without being too oppressive as I find some BA beers to be. Sweet chocolate dominates alongside a plethora of vanilla bean and mild oaky alcohol. Nice and richly malted, this beer holds nothing back, yet exhibits much restrain as well.
Smooth and mildly carbonated. At 11% it's a sipper, but not too overwhelming by any means. Warming in the back of the throat.
A great beer by the Brew Kettle. I need to seek them out in the future.
Serving type: on-tap
11-03-2010 06:42:25 | More by Spider889
4.13/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
My 200th review!
I had the pleasure of tasting this beer on tap at The Brew Kettle on the first night of Cleveland Beer Week 2010.
A: Came to my table in a snifter. Black as night with a thin tan head and some foamy lacing slowly sliding down the glass.
S: The barrel aging really stands out. Lots of sweet vanilla, some dark fruit and coco nibs along with underlying suggestions of bourbon and oak.
T: Lots of chocolate, coco nibs, and raisin up front. The mid-palate transitions to strong suggestions of bourbon and oak. The sweet bourbon and booze flavor is just a touch overpowering, but the flavor is still very good overall. The tastes also balanced out a little more as it warmed.
M: Full, chewy, and a little sticky. Significant alcohol warming in the finish.
D: A great BBA stout overall - especially for a smallish operation like TBK. The flavor was just a touch unbalanced, but nothing to get really get upset about. And at $3.75/glass who can really complain? Probably the best price on a BBA beer I have ever seen.
Serving type: on-tap
10-17-2010 00:49:59 | More by MrDanno96
Bourbon Barrel Aged Tunguska Imperial Stout from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
- out of 100 based on 9 ratings.