Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout - Blue & Gray Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutMinor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

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34 Reviews
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Reviews: 34
Hads: 46
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 23.2%
Wants: 16
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue & Gray Brewing Co. visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: davidt on 03-16-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 46
Photo of macrosmatic
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to ZachKelly for hooking me up with this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown that's a bit translucent - appears light for style. Forms a half-finger of light tan head atop low levels of visible carbonation.

S: Some roasted malts and toffee, some bourbon but quite restrained, with vanilla and a bit of chocolate to round things out.

T: Bourbon, oak tannins, lightly toasted malts, toffee and roasted caramel. Finishes with some bourbon heat , malt sweetness and oaky dry tannins.

M: The body is way too light body for an imperial stout - this would be on the thin side for a porter. Has a creamy mouthfeel, relatively low carbonation sensation, and the alcohol heat is noticeable but seems well-integrated.

O: Good flavors, and perfectly drinkable. If the label had said "Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Ale", I'd be a pretty big fan of this one. But honestly, it's a failure at the stated style. Scores above are for the beer rated for style, and might be a little kind at that - if I tasted this blind with no style listed, probably closer to a 3.75.

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Photo of harrymel
1.68/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.25

Bottled: unk

Pours a dark brown with a solid tan cream head. Smells of sour grapes, vines and some ink. A little alcohol, some dry toasted malts. Flavor is bitter, some leather, more bitterness, reminds me of an infected bottle of Maduro Oatmeal Brown from CCB I had. This is kinda fucked in my opinion. Some bits of soil, but mostly burnt, bitter char character. Medium on full bodied with creamy carb and a dry finish. Can't say I enjoyed this.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at B&G

Poured a very dark brown with a small tan head; minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of dark malts, rum raisin, pretty solid. Tasted pretty decent as well, dark chocolaty malts, more roasty, less sweet, dark dried fruits, notes of bourbon-soaked oak, distant earthy hops. Body was on the heavier side of medium, lower carbonation, some boozy heat was no surprise. Not the best bourbon stout, but still a pleasant surprise from this little brewery.

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Photo of jfmorey
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass at Whole Foods in Vienna

Almost opaque brown with thin lacing

Aroma is not pronounced

Taste is very roasty, almost coffee with some piney bitterness

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a stout

Overall it is a very good local stout that was very welcome on this February day when the temperature did not reach freezing.

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Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up at a gem of a store in Reston called Market Cellars: http://www.marketcellars.com/. While their selection may not be massive, every beer counts and they have some wicked good stuff there. The beer buyer really knows his stuff!

Served in a snifter... a Cigar City one, to be exact.

A: Poured out an inky black color, with a few bubbles floating around posing as a head. Looks dangerous....

S: This had sort of prune juice infused coconut aroma, balanced out by a very port-like sugar consistency.

T: The part I liked about this was the fact that the coconut/bourbon flair carried through from start to finish... and that finish was rather smooth. The sweetness was kept in check without going overboard. Lots of flavor in every drop!

M: I didn't get any booze at all here, but I guess one can make the case that bourbon is also a booze. This was thick, without being syrupy, and the lacing was splotchy.

O: It seems like a lot of peeps in my area like to bag on Blue & Gray. Why can't they just admit that where they're on, they're really on?!

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Photo of gopens44
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This dark beer served up a most impressive sticky lace head with great beige color. Scents of bourbon, plenty of chocolate and twists of the malts carrying the weight give way to a flavor overwhelmed by the nearly contrived bourbon. There was a pleasant chocolate taste as well, but it was still muted by the heat and bourbon. Very little aftertaste, but what was there could be summed up as a sweet bit of whiskey. Overall, this was enjoyable but needs time to cellar.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.64/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown body, some foamy head.

Nose is lovely coconut, light and almost tropical.

Sublime bourbon character with buckets and buckets of coconut. If this is a flavor you seek in bourbon barrel beers, ask for this by name. If not, keep on keepin' on. A bit one-dimensional, but with a slight hop edge at the end to keep it keen. Ample vanilla as well.

Lovely, pleasant mouthfeel.

This is a fantastic release from a small brewery, and the only Blue & Gray I've actually tried.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes on 01/13/12:
No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Half inch of creamy, light tan head; Very dark brown in color with light only coming through along the edges; Scattered patches of lacing

S - Very faint smell of alcohol, which is expected for a big beer such as this; Notes of bourbon, figs, molasses, tobacco, and a bit of tart grapes as well

T - Somewhat sweet and sugary up front with a taste of molasses, figs, grapes, and tobacco; Afterwards and into the aftertaste comes some bitterness with bourbon and oaky tastes and very mellow molasses in the background; A bit of alcohol in the taste

M - Low carbonation; Full bodied; Creamy and smooth mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish; Touch of warmth and burn from the alcohol, but not overwhelming

O - I actually tried this beer on Friday the 13th, and didn't realize until later that the beer was 13% ABV. Was it some sort of sign? Probably not, but fun nonetheless. This was a solid imperial stout that didn't blow me away, but had a good overall smell/flavor. It was a little rough around the edges with the noticeable alcohol, but it definitely succeeded in warming me up from the brutally cold weather outside.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomber to CBS snifter on 1/9/12
*From notes

Vintage 2012, and aged in Bowman Whiskey barrels

A: Lighter in hue then the best in class. It's more of a muddy brown. A hard pour down the center of the glass doesn't produce much of a head: less then a quarter finger. Zero lacing or collar.

S: A bit astringent. Hints of toasted coconut skin, vanilla and a touch of wet cardboard.

T: Damn this is hot. To say the 13% ABV is right out in front would be the understatement of the decade. Rich, charry cocoa hits the mid to finish. The lasting flavor of dark roast coffee grounds is rather intense.

M: This needs a good bit more body to carry the epic amount of alcohol this thing packs. Richer, creamier carbonation and a silkier feel would round this, and afford the beer a complexity it desparately needs.

O: I have fond memories of downing this directly from the bottle while standing line a year ago at the Sexual Chocolate release. In fact I remember liking it signifigantly more then Sexy Cocoa.

But it appears my palate's moved on a bit, as this isn't quite the barrel aged wonder I once thought it to be. It's certainly not bad, it's merely "pretty good", and could use a bit more TLC from the brewmaster.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria, VA 2 days ago, $8.49 for a bomber. Heard about it for a while but never had it. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with two fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Looks really great.

s - Smells of vanilla, bourbon, and sour fruits. The smell is very odd and really seems like there is something wrong or infected. It is not necessarily bad, just not what I was expecting at all. Given the 13% ABV, the bourbon and vanilla from the barrels still comes through, but after that it is very fruity, and a tiny bit sour.

t - Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, tropical fruits, fruity malts, caramel malts, sour fruits, and toasted malts. Taste is no where near as sour as the nose, but it is still very fruity. Pretty interesting.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and a little alcohol warmth.

o - Overall a very interesting beer. After I smelled it, I looked up reviews and it looks like many people who had it in '09 liked it, and a lot of people who had the '10 vintage had similar experiences to me (though theirs' sounded even worse), so I wonder if there is any infection at all, or this is what they are going for? Either way it is an interesting beer, and has a lot more fruit than you would expect. I wasn't the biggest fan of it, but thought the taste was significantly better than the nose.

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Photo of dnrobert24
2.51/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm reviewing this beer for one reason only, and that is to inform the potential purchaser of the beer that this batch is more than likely infected. Aroma is a mix of rich imperial stout flavors and wild ales sour undertones. There is an acrid, thin flavor that is probably the result of a few wild yeast cells in the barrel. Surprisingly, the result is not completely off--the funk is still overwhelmed by the roasted malts, but there is no doubt about it, this beer is an aberration. I taste tart cherries and smoked meats. There sour aftertaste is a bit off-putting. Not one I would drink again. We had nearly a quarter of a bottle left of it after our gang bang BIF tasting.

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Photo of billab914
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery glass. It poured a thinner, dark brown color with a huge bubbly and rocky tan head to it. It's very fizzy and active for the style, which is probably not a good sign.

In the aroma something immediately seems wrong. Instead of the bourbon I get a somewhat sharp and funky sourness to it. I get a lot of cherry to it with a little grape coming through. It actually has an aroma of a pretty decent sour. Not what I expected at all but not half bad.

The taste unfortunately has a sharp, fruity sourness right off the bat. I was disappointed as soon as I tasted it, not because it was bad but because I really wanted a bourbon stout tonight. I get some apple, grape and a bit of cherry to it. Some musty, funky flavors comes through towards the finish along with just a hint of some roasty, bitter and chocolate flavors. It doesn't taste like a bourbon stout at all, but actually tastes like a pretty decent American wild surprisingly. This might be one infected beer I'll finish.

The mouthfeel is very thin for the style and carbonation is very high. Overall I was very disappointed in it as a Bourbon stout but it was actually drinkable as an American wild though. Typically I'd drain pour a beer that was this far sour, but surprisingly it was pretty tasty. It actually reminded me a little of the BA Night Falls from White Birch I tasted last weekend. Seriously, they could make some pretty decent sours with whatever strain got in here. It doesn't excuse the fact that this was supposed to be a barrel aged stout though. Tough beer to score, rating to style I'd give it an awful grade but I actually enjoyed the sour flavors that developed. So take that into consideration in my score, poor version of the style, but decent tasting beer.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to billab914 for sending me my favorite style

This beer pours what appears to be a rather viscous murky dark brown, that when in the snifter can appear black. Under close observation it is far from that. There is no head what so ever to speak of, in fact I fear that this beer may be flat. The aroma however is rather pleasant. Strong bourbon barrel aroma, which includes bourbon, oak, vanilla predominately the bourbon however. The other notes are caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate malt. The taste provides some roasted malts along with a strong bourbon taste, all of which smoothed by the vanilla from the barrel. The mouthfeel while I initially assumed it flat actually does have low volumes of carbonation soluble in the beer. The viscous nature allows it to be smooth, but I still would have liked it to have been more carbonated. This beer has made me buzzed already. I can't believe I attempted it by myself. It's a very good beer, but I'm also fond of the style so take it for what it's worth.

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Photo of robwestcott
2.37/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

thanks to hopeinhop for this one. i had a couple of these - the first i popped a couple months ago and it was a serious gusher. over 12 ounces all over the kitchen - walls, floor and ceiling. it was with a bit of trepidation and a trip out to the back porch that this one was opened.

opened carefully and several little pries of the cap to let in the O2 a little at a time - even then, the bottle foamed a bit in the neck, but this time around, no gushing.

poured cold and black as night to a founder's brewing goblet with a super foamy and long lasting dark tan head that's leaving lace to the rim after each sip.

subtle bourbon and oak aroma, with a hint of cloying sweet, overripe dark fruits in the wayback.

this one isn't putting forth a big, prominent flavor - it's more of a non-descript blend. bourbon is certainly present, as is bitter black truckstop coffee (unfortunately), and dark fruits.

medium bodied, big carbonation, cloying sweet.

drinkable - nope. pretty disappointing - maybe this is one to have fresh or not at all (?)

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Photo of maximum12
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to ksurkin for this beer; I hope it's as good as the brothers & sisters it arrived with in that box. Half-and-half in two glass for my wifey & I.

Black. I am unsure how many different ways I can say that, so I'll say it again. Black. Low evident carbonation. Bonus points for a cool name. Chocolate, vanilla, & bourbon come off the surface veneer, with an undertow of dark fruit that doesn't seem to quite fit.

Minor Dementia, I'm not sure I'm groovin' to you tonight. Immediate shot of bourbon, which ducks down while the other flavors shake hands, then comes back with throat-searing intensiy on the finish. The chocolate in the nose is, well, just up my nose & no longer in the glass; can't place it at all. The sinister fruits are hanging out, & fairly strongly, figs, raisins, cherry pits, the like, & I'm not a big fan of fruit & bourbon in my RIS. There's a shot of bittering hops, too, or a roastiness, I can't tell which, it's limbs are all tangled with the bourbon.

Decent enough, but this is a plain-jane offering in a category full of Klums. Nothing doing to rise above the mob.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.26/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter.

5.0 A: Exceptional appearance. Dark, very dark brown color. Two plus fingers of super creamy head with great retention and glass coating amounts of lacing.

4.0 S: Primarily bourbony with some coffee and roasted barley notes. Bourbon is strong without being overwhelming and brings along lots of oak, leather, and vanilla. Good here.

1.5 T: The taste is pretty disappointing. It's a mixture of cloyingly sweet, super bitter, and boozy. Yes, it's both too sweet and too bitter at the same time. Somehow the two flavors didn't cancel each other out. Anyway, there's a ton of astringency coming out of this as well, which is strange because I didn't pick up any in the nose. Fairly strong smokiness. Bourbon contributes no good flavors, at least none that make it past the astringency. There's some chocolate in there, but the dominant unwanted flavors all but cancel it out.

2.0 M: Super cloying without being particularly creamy. Good moderate carbonation. Not smooth at all from the astringency.

1.0 D: I don't drainpour beer, ever. However, if this was any less drinkable, I would.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've been disappointed by the other Blue & Gray stouts. Hopefully this one will be different. It pours a solidly opaque black-brown topped by nearly a finger of burnt sienna foam, which dies away quickly. The nose comprises oak, darkly roasted malts, whiskey, black cherries, dark chocolate syrup, and molasses. The taste follows, with the bourbon barrel effect really coming through nicely without being overpowering. This is one helluva tasty barrel-aged stout. The body is pretty hefty, with a very light carbonation and a thick, chewy feel. Finally, a strong stout from the boys down in Fredericksburg. They need to make more of this.

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Photo of jojomdma
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I have been wanting to try this since i got it. So when i opened the bottle and poured it into my 24oz New Glarus glass, I was amazed by the not so thiok, dark bourbon barrel aged stout! Very delicious looking and tantalizing. Great head on this as for I let it sit and as the head died down,it left that caramel colored ring 2 fingers deep. After 10 minutes gone by,I took my first sip. As i was sipping the smell of boubon enters my nose, wow!! Very up front on the alcohol. As it started to flow, I got bourbon,vanilla,wood, caramel,and spice all in the drink. Creamy yet not over the top of thickness.I was expecting dense, rich, but got a lighter, smoother version.As time went on and it warmed up,I found myself not able to finish my glass. Maybe it was me, but this is one to spend a couple hrs on and call it a night.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.49/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a present from a friend in Richmond, now living in upstate NY.
Poured an obsidian black, watery-thin with almost no head. When held up to the light it could maybe pass a little light through the body appearing a very dark brown.
The aroma was coffee, dark roasted malts, dark fruits and chocolate. Smoky and sweet, very good.
The taste was wonderfully complex, with roasted malt, burned coffee, anise, brown sugar, oak and a touch of alcohol, all blended near perfectly. Excellent.
Unfortaunetly it kidna misfired in the feel, with the bitter acrid feeling from the roast and burned coffee tanic feel overwhelming the sugary sweetness, but it was a small price to pay for the taste.
Overall very good, especially considering the 13% abv, which was only noticable in the after effects, not the taste itself.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Picked this up randomly at Rick's, my first Blue and Gray beer. An easy pour results in thin looking deep cola brown color with a dense, light than head. Quickly fades to a ring of bubbles with with surprising, yet obviously thin sheets of lacing. Mild aroma, lacking complexity but pleasant. Strongest notes are bourbon, vanilla and light dark fruit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with light carbonation, not overly viscous or chewy, etc as expected from some other examples of the style. Relatively dry finish, lingering vanilla sweetness, black licorice and light booziness. Flavors, like nose, aren't very complex, dominated by fruity sweetness, milk chocolate and bourbon notes with mild alcohol (without any burn). Overall this beer is very smooth and drinkable, with balanced mild flavors, but lacking any real depth to distinguish this from other barrel aged stouts. Nice beer for the price, but I don't think I'd be that interested in aging this or seeking it out.

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Photo of HopeinHop
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a creative Fredericksburg collaboration between B&G and the Bowmans distillery. These two are even in the same business park. It is cool that they share their barrels for this beer.

A: Opaque, deep brown with one finger beige creamy head

S: My olfactory glands enjoyed the boozey, sweet malt, faint hops, honey-ish smell.

T: The burbon oak aged-taste is well balanced with roasted, chocolatey malts and an alcohol kick.

M: Creamy feel with dry finish

D: This beer is a heavy hitter at 13% but can be enjoyed in quantity.

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Photo of Deuane
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg, VA

A-Deep, brownish tinged black with a small tan head that reduced to a thin film of retention and left spotty lace.

S-Bourbon soaked raisins and some dry oak. Not overly complex but certainly enjoyable.

T-Leathery, oak dryness, dark fruit, bitter chocolate and spicy hops notes all combine to a mostly astringent drying finish. Not much, if any, sweetness at all. Rather complex.

M-Medium-heavy bodied with a dry finish and long lasting flavours.

D--A different kind of RIS with lots of dry, dark fruit and minimal sweetness. Almost like drinking the barrel! A good job doing something different!

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Photo of joepais
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Bboyshatter for sending this one along in the under 100 BIF. Bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass produced a finger worth of tan head that turns into a thin lace around the glass. The color is of course a typical stout black with some light tan highlights when held to the light.

The bourbon barrel ageing comes threw in the nose, vanilla and oak come out in the aroma rather quickly. Then the chocolate and coffee come out as it warms. A huge amount of bourbon flavor also comes thru before you get to the typical stout offerings of roasted malts and dark chocolate. I also found some black licorice flavors that were quite pleasant. It is a tad warm but at 13% I would expect so. Heavy in the mouth with a slight carbonation tingle on your tongue.

A sippable brew not one you would go back for more than one glass at a sitting. Not a bad offering from a lesser known brewery

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice. Thanks to hopsleeroy for the local hook-up!

Pours a translucent, ruddy coffee color with a surprisingly well-retained head for a 13% beer. Nearly transparent at the edges, where the body fades to amber cola. The light tan head recedes somewhat quickly to a wispy central patch surrounded by a ring of bubbles. Black cherries and golden raisins dominate the aroma with a slight hint of oxidation beneath a caramel-chocolate backbone. Not much bourbon, unfortunately, but there is a tinge of ethanol that gives the aroma an effervescent quality.

As well hidden as the booze was in the nose, it makes no effort to disguise itself taste-wise. Harsh fusels and dried cocoa powder engulf the palate, followed by a more pleasant blend of red grapes, fig, and spicy hops. Finishes hot and overly carbonated, and the medium-thick body is too acerbic and rough around the edges to score well in the mouthfeel category. Could use a few more years in the cellar. Not a great effort, here, Blue & Gray should stick to mastering "smaller" Imperial Stouts in the 8-9% range before taking on one in the upper stratosphere of ABV's.

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Photo of jsp2
4.41/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a growler of this beer from the gift shop of the brewery. Pours a thick black with very little head as I would expect from a 13% beer. Aroma of vanilla, wood, and roasted malt. Really nice flavor profile with vanilla coffee flavors, a litlte bit of hoppiness and lots of toasted malt. Quite a nice flavor from the wood that is complex and tastes of bourbon. A little bit sweet. The alcohol is suprisingly not too present. Low carbonation but appropriate for the style. Nice rich body and viscosity.

What a great stout. Whenever this stuff is available, I will think it worth making the hour long drive south on 95 to get some of it.

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Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.