Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.
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Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mxchap:
4.01/5 rDev -1.5%
Bottled in Winter 2012, enjoyed in January 2014.
Appearance: Black, no surprise here. Tall light-tan head with great lacing. Certainly looks inviting and a bit mysterious. [5/5]
Aroma: A lot going on, but it meshes well together. The most notable aromas are of the bourbon/vanilla, but the dark fruit (figs) from the Belgian side of the blend are also quite noticeable. Bitterness in the form of cacao is also detectable. [3.75/5]
Flavor: The Belgian dark ale is most assertive, and the bourbon barrel shines through very nicely. This tastes similar what the label describes: 50% Belgian dark ale aged in bourbon barrels & 50% American imperial stout. I would say it's closer to 60-40 in favor of the Belgian though. There is a stout hiding in there, and it asserts itself in the manner of cacao roastiness and fruity esters. A little metallic on the finish, but it doesn't detract much from the enjoyment.
Feel: A little thin for being 10% ABV, but I'm guessing the BSDA finished rather dry. Carbonation is a little high initially. The stout flavors linger for a bit, but no flavors are cloying or long-lasting. [3.0/5]
Overall: A nice dark ale hybrid. I haven't had too many Belgian style stouts that I really enjoyed (other than black albert), but this blended beer essentially pulls it off. Nicely done Almanac. [4.0/5]
08-10-2013 14:52:41 | More by mxchap
More User Reviews:
3.74/5 rDev -8.1%
Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one. Pours very dense and nearly black with the smallest, deep-brown skin at the time, a pretty long cry from being called a "head", even after a straight-down pour. No real lacing or legging of any sort, just a fairly dark and still, troubling looking beer. A little more carbonation certainly wouldn't hurt.
Somewhat musky and deep roasted cocoa beans are the first things to jump out and hit my senses. Quickly following is a brigade of woody and oak notes; surprisingly enough, the bourbon isn't that strong - actually, it's hardly even noticeable in the aroma. Light caramel and sweet, sticky brown sugar softens the finish, coupled alongside some plums, dates, and even a touch of apple skins. Solid barrel-stout aroma with a nice finishing sweetness at the end.
The first sip is pretty heavier up-front - a bit heavier than the smooth aroma would have you guessing. Boozy and strong, but not quite akin to smooth bourbon. It's more of a sharp and abrasive booziness; think straight Jack Daniel's whiskey. It hits hard up front and haunts the palate from start to finish. I'm typically a fan of some nice boozy flavors in my beers, but this one could use some time to mellow out.
Other actually flavors from the profile include some lightly milky chocolates, molasses, nuts, and a strong, woody, polished finish. Barrel Noir leaves your palate a touch sticky and coated with a nutty-oak flavor that's been soaking for days in a vat of Tennessee whiskey. The mouth feel is pretty nice - big and boisterous, heavy bodied and full of itself, and even slightly creamy due to the low carbonation.
I feel that if the bourbon character of this one was toned down a bit, it would be pretty damn great. As it stands, it's simply a good barrel-aged beer that is a little to boozy to enjoy for any prolonged beer drinking period of time. Perhaps waiting this one out is a better route.
05-09-2013 11:31:25 | More by tectactoe
4.16/5 rDev +2.2%
Churchill's Pub & Grille
san Marcos, CA
A delicious, refined, roasty, earthy barrel-aged imperial stout. The aroma comes packed with loads of chocolate and an integrated bourbon barrel character. It actually reminded me a lot of Parabola's aroma. The flavor isn't quite as successful, the but the usual players are all here and are delicious. Everything Almanac puts into barrels turns into gold. Another winner!
08-14-2013 17:47:40 | More by ehammond1
4.66/5 rDev +14.5%
A: Deep, cola brown. Cloudy but neither very thick nor oily.
S: Let it warm. The vanilla, caramel, and bourbon notes strengthen as it heats up a little.
T: Strong bourbon up front with a coffee roast and mild bitterness on the back; like a bourbon barrel Yirgacheffe drip coffee.
M: A bit thinner than I had expected with only a touch of syrup.
O: As this warms I keep increasing my score. Not the absolute best bourbon barrel aged stout but one of the best; an amazing feat given that this is their first iteration. Another great beer from Almanac.
02-11-2014 03:17:13 | More by 01001111
Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.