Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout - Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BarrytheBear:
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +20.1%
Bomber into a pint glass.
Appearance: Somehow this isn't opaque and takes on an almost hazy red-raspberry color effect around the edges of the glass. Very interesting, maybe because of the bourbon having a huge effect, and would score points for me if I didn't have to pour it from what seemed like a foot above to get some head on the brew. Usually with that there's too little carbonation. We'll see. But quite a singular color to the brew which I've never really seen before.
Smell: Aromas of wood, vanilla, heady booze, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and whiffs of coffee emerge. The booziness is heady and balanced and goes well with everything else, letting a lot of flavors creep through as it warms.
Taste: One of the most intriguing things about this beer is the smoothness at 13% ABV, which is getting into DFH experimental territory, though of course many other breweries have brewed such high alcohol beers. Still, the booziness is there, but again, it's smooth, and as much as the flavors could be more complex, the balance is wonderful, with everything from the aroma coming through quite well. The malts are also more roasted than burnt-seeming, with the woodiness and vanilla and wood from the barrel aging coming on as complimentary instead of overly-pronounced, which can sometimes happen with such aging. Also the typical dark berries flavor is there, but again, it's complimentary rather than out of whack or too strong. A lot to admire here, and worth the time it almost forces you to invest in it.
Mouthfeel: Maybe the bourbon on the barrels, and maybe not, but there's just a tad too much slickness and a tad too little carbonation. It's not really taking away my enjoyment, and somehow almost makes it easier to drink, but it's noticeable, yet somehow it's really not cloying at all, and feels more medium than full-bodied, which is why it gets a bump higher in rating, as there's nothing worse than a flat beer of this style that's interminably cloying.
Drinkability: I've liked what I've had from Blue & Gray so far, even though this is my first review. And this one could've been off the charts, and still has the potential to be if there's some tweaking. But wow, what an experience. A boozy, heady, and delicious beer overall, and something I'd like to see more breweries working with, as I can't get enough of the bourbon barrel aging. Porters. Stouts. Anything dark with bourbon and barrels has major potential all around. Also: hard to find if you're not in Virginia, but if you are and you see it, snag a bottle.
01-14-2009 04:54:12 | More by asabreed
4.68/5 rDev +30.7%
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.
02-05-2012 01:36:59 | More by zaphodchak
3.88/5 rDev +8.4%
22oz bottle, rarity lugged my way by blackie himself
appearance: solid mahogany-ebony bodey with light garnet highlights in my snifter, light tan cap with very little retention
smell: immediate punch in the nose of bourbon, vanilla and oak chips, sweet dark chocolate, char and dark roasted malt, clearly going to be a bourbon bomb
taste: this one is pretty fierce - stinging bourbon bite that dominates any of the memories of the base stout...i get a lot of oak and bourbon soaked fig and dark fruit, lots of roasted malt, smoke and char, dark chocolate and lots and lots of booze
mouthfeel: fierce and robust, but not overly complex
drinkability: a bit off - i would have preferred this be in a 2 x 12oz format
01-31-2009 02:07:44 | More by dirtylou
4.08/5 rDev +14%
22 oz bottle split with fellow BA Dueane at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA) on 2/8/09. Poured into a snifter.
Pours a deep dark brown (almost black) with some rusty amber hues coming out towards the bottom and a finger of creamy yet smooth mocha colored head that's got a bit of a burnt edge to it. Big creamy flareup when swirled, that leaves a frothy cascade down the sides of the glass that settles into a spotty lacing that sticks. The aroma starts out with some nice strong Bourbon (and to a lesser extent, woody oak) character in the nose that is dominate but not overbearing, allowing some additional Stout qualities to come through as well. Chocolate and roast, with a sharp tinge of dark fruits.
The Stout takes up the bulk of the taste profile up front, with big chocolate sweetness, followed by a roasty bitterness, before into some dark fruit tang and Bourbon in the finish that leaves a nice, dry, lingering feel on the tongue. The mouthfeel is BIG, with a rich and creamy feel that sits on top of a oily slickness that runs underneath. Very dry overall. Considering that this is 11%, the only real alcohol feel I'm getting is some heat from the Bourbon, although a bit of a sting does emerge as I'm getting ready to finish the glass.
This wasn't the greatest example of a Bourbon-Aged Stout that I've had but I still really enjoyed this. Nice balance between the barrel-aging and Stout character and the feel of this is great considering the ABV that's at work. I wouldn't hesitate to grab some more bottles of this if I saw them on the shelf.
02-17-2009 18:00:49 | More by Kegatron
4.09/5 rDev +14.2%
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.
02-17-2013 18:38:55 | More by jfmorey
4.1/5 rDev +14.5%
a: removing the cap gives only a small release of pressure, into my Piraat snifter it goes, minimal carbonation shows in the dark, chestnut brown colored beer
s: I immediately pick up on a very distinct well oaked bourbon aroma, providing a prickly alcohol on the nose and waves of vanilla with spicy oak, perhaps (or equal to) the strongest bourbon-oak nose I've come across in a beer...much like what you'd expect from a watered down glass of the pure thing, the malt rolls in just behind with smooth dark roasts and toffee, semisweet cocoa, bourbon soaked figs, cola, moderately sweet, hops minimal, the stout seems to play a supporting role in this beer, and it works quite well for a bourbon lover, not terribly complex but highly aromatic and a great showcase of the effects of barrel aging
m: delicately light carbonation and a medium-full body
t: bittersweet chocolate roasts and toffee malts immediately interrupted by a penetrating woody (flavor), smooth bourbon sweeps in, various flavors of dry cocoa and dark fruits, turns astringent/bitter in the finish with a lingering flavor like sucking on a piece of fresh-cut oak, then there's the soothing warming sensation and the dry woodiness that's left following a drink of whisky, earthy hops kept light, yum
d: a good beer to enjoy over the course of an hour or two, or more...overall, a little more malt character would really set this off, at present the malt complexity falls within the standard stout range, and isn't quite up to the needs of a barrel aged imperial stout
bottle picked up at the brewery, stopped by on a Friday after a week in Hampton...barrels were freshly sourced from the adjacent A. Smith Bowman distillery
early January 2010, sampled one of my cellared bottles now over a year old - great stuff, the bourbon has mellowed nicely while retaining its character
early January 2011, last cellared bottle, has taken on a muddled roast character, dried black fig, not much sugar in the back, even glimpses of sour in the finish, bourbon even more subdued but present, interesting at least but past its prime
12-18-2008 03:51:00 | More by blackie
3.53/5 rDev -1.4%
appearance - Dark brown, no lace, no head. Looks like it tries to leave some lace, but not here.
smell - Chocolate, roasted malts, and some alcohol.
taste - Has a chocolate taste up from with roasted malt that then hits the tongue. Finished off with an alcoholic taste.
mouthfeel - Medium body, kind of chewy.
drinkability - This is a sipping beer,taste a little better on the cooler side, not the cold side.
02-03-2009 01:50:58 | More by auxiliary
3.53/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
02-12-2012 03:26:51 | More by gopens44
2.13/5 rDev -40.5%
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.
11-02-2010 00:49:39 | More by DavoleBomb
District of Columbia
3.43/5 rDev -4.2%
From 22oz bomber to CBS snifter on 1/9/12
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.
01-24-2012 23:24:36 | More by Rhettroactive
3.75/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
05-24-2013 23:08:32 | More by Rifugium
4.28/5 rDev +19.6%
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.
06-30-2010 23:31:12 | More by TMoney2591
3.7/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
04-20-2010 15:59:56 | More by jojomdma
2.33/5 rDev -34.9%
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 (?)
03-27-2011 19:07:46 | More by robwestcott
4.2/5 rDev +17.3%
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!
09-13-2009 23:12:41 | More by Deuane
1.61/5 rDev -55%
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.
07-02-2013 07:23:03 | More by harrymel
4.43/5 rDev +23.7%
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.
03-15-2009 21:50:29 | More by jsp2
4.53/5 rDev +26.5%
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.
02-24-2010 18:57:22 | More by sinistrsam
3.98/5 rDev +11.2%
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
08-30-2009 20:23:07 | More by joepais
Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.