Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.
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Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by lacqueredmouse:
4.09/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz stubby bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Shared with Rich in Sydney.
Pours a surprisingly light cloudy brown, certainly still stout-worthy, but perhaps less than Impy-level. Head forms a big, burgeoning froth when first poured, settling to a mocha crater of large bubbles. Body is surprisingly light, although the carbonation that forms is still quite fine. Overall it looks good, but with a few quirks to it.
Nose is wonderful. Big American oak flavours balanced with a rich sweetness from the beer itself. Plenty of toasted coconut, vanilla and mild milky chocolate. It's balanced or perhaps shot through with a slight acidity which adds a point of difference from other bourbon barrel aged Imperial stouts. But mostly, it's just sweet, rich and gorgeous. Lovely stuff.
Taste has that slight acidity on the front, but it's quickly packed away by the sweetness giving chocolate and vanilla smoothness. The acidity however maintains a lightness to the palate throughout, making it feel slightly frothy and ephemeral from start to finish. There's a slightly metallic note on the back as well which again countermands the big, sweet vanillin oak characters. On the finish lingers a dry, sweet character of toasted coconut.
Feel is very different to the usual imperial stout: it's light, slightly rounded and a little bit ephemeral. It's an unusual experience, but not an unpleasant one by any means.
Overall, this is very good stuff. Sure, I love imperial stouts, and a big, heavy, boozy, rich example would have suited me fine. But I love that Almanac have done something very different with the same basic construct here. It's a new twist on a big bourbony stout, and that's something that's extremely welcome.
Serving type: bottle
09-07-2013 05:42:59 | More by lacqueredmouse
More User Reviews:
Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.