Pig In The Wood - Finch's Beer Co.

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Pig In The WoodPig In The Wood

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82 Ratings
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Ratings: 82
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.15%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Finch's Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 04-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Red Ale aged 6 months in whiskey barrels from Koval Distillery.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by SportsandJorts:
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep blood red almost brown. a finger of a tannish head that fades slowly to a small lacing. just about opaque but lets through quite a bit of light. gives an almost orangish glow when held to the light

Smell: very strong whisky right away. a slight spiciness that almost seems more like a rye whiskey, mostly due to the lack of other flavors, though i don't think rye barrels were used. oak vanilla and alcohol make up most of the rest of the smell

Taste: whiskey, oak, booze. a malty sweetness balances out the booziness and intense flavors but fails to make a strong enough presence. not quite as much spiciness as the nose. malts are sweet caramel and fairly weak and in the backend

Mouthfeel: too light for the strength of the whiskey, the sweetness of the malts does a nice job of not leaving the alcohol astringent. lots of warming alcohol

Overall: i expected the bourbon to be a little weaker with a much stronger malt and possibly hop profile. close to being overly boozy and astringent but still slightly disappointing. it would be interesting to age this one out to see what happens but i would have to get a super deal to jump on it again

More User Reviews:
Photo of JMS1512
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hard, two-step pour into a basic pint glass.

Aroma: Whisky, whisky, and a hint of whisky. NOT a bad thing. But this bad boy certainly is more brash and brazen than its pot-bellied piglet relative, of which I reviewed last NBS.
Appearance: When held up to natural light, I perceive a sienna or burnt sienna hue, bordering on burnt orange. Beige head that will leave dense, fine-filter, collanderish looking lacing.

Taste: Caramel malts greet me at the door and provide me a nametag; a bit of hops sit me down for small talk in the middle, rye deftly changes the music on the playlist. By the end, the oak and whisky are debating me in a philosophical discussion of rationalism versus imperialism. Being a heady type of guy (look what I did there) I’m definitely a rationalist, and the beer, considering I have to taste and smell, and look at it, says I’m dumb for being a rationalist AND a beer drinker.

Mouthfeel: Tiny bubbles, medium to medium-heavy coating, especially on the front on my tongue. I get a little bit of a syrupy feel going down, but nothing that turns me off.

Overall: I appreciate the difference between this and the non-wood version, each in their own right. I also like that though it’s aged in whisky barrels, the abv has remained the same, and Finch’s didn’t try to imperialize it. 8% abv at this size offering (650 mL) is quite enough. The booze is pretty well hidden, but you taste it in the end. It does not assault you from the moment you walk in the door for the party. Truly enjoyable and altogether drinkable of a pleasant, if hot, NBS in NWNJ.

Photo of larryarms847
3.24/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a thick cloudy amber-orange that looks sticky and sweet.

Smells immediately of whiskey, very malt forward with close to no hop character.

Wheeewwweee!!! Straight whiskey burn right down to my stomach. Nothing but whiskey. This needs at least year or two on it but didn't taste that great toake it worth while.

Mouthfeel-Whiskey burn

Overall way too hot for me, some age may make this taste better but honestly not worth it.

Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter.

Out of the bottle a deep orange amber, hitting the glass it comes with a deep red garnet color, almost like a Belgian dubbel or quad. The head matches in character a bit, creamy tan, a small one finger but very fine, and all together and slowly settles to a thick collar. Quite nice.

Good whiskey notes of caramel and soft oak, and quality butterscotch to go with it. Subdued sweetness and taffy quality. There's also a sense of American barleywine character this with some hop spice and matching sweetness. Pretty solid.

Definitely more of that barleywine and imperial amber character coming out more on the palate. Sharp hop and stinging mild bitterness, with a large pine aftertaste on the finish. Caramel sweetness and warmth in the mid palate, but also a bit thin as well. Thin quality has some playful carbonation, but also doesn't make the flavors hold or last. Spicey quality as well with hints of burnt embers as well.

Kind of a fun brew, a bit light on the palate, but it also makes for easy drinking. Hint of booze though and warm in the stomach also, it drinks well though.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My first bottled beer from Finch's Beer Co., and I will begin this review by saying that I have not yet tried Finch's Beer Co. Fascist Pig Ale, so I can't compare.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours one finger of soapy doughy khaki tan head on top of a very dark amber-ruby-mahogany colored body. Some active carbonation rushing topside. Head recedes fairly quick, but leaves nice thin sticky strands of lace.

S - The smell is very nice. Caramel malt, vanilla imparted from the barrel aging, candied raisins / figs / dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and some earthy / herbal / vegetal hops remaining. Maybe just a touch of booziness.

T - Taste follows the nose - caramel, vanilla, toffee, earthy woodiness, mild whisky alcohol warmth, & some remaining herbal / piney hop bitterness. Sticky, bitter, and almost sort of roasty on the finish.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with moderately crisp / coarse carbonation, but it goes down nicely. Moderate green apple bitterness / stickiness lingering on the palate.

Overall, I thought it was a delicious barrel aged amber ale. Very drinkable, and slightly warming, but the 8.00% abv is well-masked. I look forward to more from Finch's Beer Co. Highly recommended.

Finch's Beer Co. Pig In The Wood ---4/5.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty brown color with some reddish hints, good sized head that sticks around for a long while, bottom of the pour produces a fair amount of floating sediment.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with a slight woodiness, alcohol notes are quite present to the snout.

Taste starts out with a strong caramel malt front, a decent woody aspect creeps into the flavor with a strong alcoholic touch, a bit too strong for this strength so it may need additional age to smooth it out since it's too whiskey for me, smooth body with a nice creaminess to it, soft but ample carbonation throughout.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Finch's Pig In the Wood a couple months ago for $10.99 at The Lager Mill. I've had Fascist Pig a couple times at some beer festivals and I thought it was a pretty solid Amber and i'm interested to see how takes to some barrel aging, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- the label looks nice, it's got the same pig from the Fascist Pig label with a wood barrel like background and it has some nice and in depth information about this beer, I've never seen a beer list it's SRM and I had to look it up to find out that it's a scale for the color of the beer. I thought it was a little eye catching. It poured a nice mahogany brown color that took on more of a crimson and ruby color when held to the light with a finger and half worth of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and spotty lacing behind. I thought this was a very nice looking beer, i had a pretty nice color and the head, lacing and retention were all very nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that has a brown sugar like aroma to it and it's followed by the whisky barrels being the first to show up and they they impart a distinctive whisky aroma with some great caramel and vanilla like aroma coming through. Up next comes some caramel malt and sweet malt aromas that are followed by some nice dark fruit aromas with some fig and raisin aromas coming through. I thought this beer had a pretty good aroma, the whisky barrel seemed a little dominating, but it didn't have a real boozy aroma to it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with lower amount of high sweetness that had a light brown sugar like flavor to it and it's followed by the whisky barrels being the first to show up and they impart all those nice aspects that they did in the aroma with the vanilla and caramel flavors coming through nicely. Up next comes the malts which impart all the same malty aspects that I got in the aroma with the sweet malts and caramel malts still sticking out the most and it's followed by those same dark fruit aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time I think the raisins stick out a little more. On the finish there's a little bit of alcohol that is more warming than I expected and it's got a lower amount of bitterness with a caramel malt, caramel, and vanilla like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, it was a little warming for 8%, but I really like the flavors that the barrel imparts.

M- Fairly smooth, creamy, rich, a little sticky, a little warming, on the lighter side of full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, I thought it worked well with this beer, but if it was a little less warming it would make it smoother.

Overall I thought this was pretty good beer and I thought it was a pretty good example of a Barrel Aged Amber, the barrel was a little dominating, but it imparted some nice flavors and I like that they went the whisky barrel route instead of the typical Bourbon Barrels, I was a little skeptical at first since sometimes I think the Whisky barrel can impart too sharp of a flavor, but they worked out well in this beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, creamy, a little sticky, rich, a little warming, fairly filling and that taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think this is a nice beer to sip on and I think half the bottle is the perfect amount for me, i think the sweetness and warming alcohol might wear on me if I tried to drink the whole bottle to myself. I think it makes for a nice beer to enjoy in the cooler months and I think it would be nice to take to a bonfire in the fall. What I like the most about this beer was the whisky barrel aspect, I thought it imparted some nice flavors that worked well with this beer. What I liked the lest about this beer was the warming alcohol and the higher amount of sweetness, if those were both toned down a little it would be a very nice beer. I would buy this beer again, but it's not the kind of beer than I need a lot of, a couple bottles in the cellar is fine with me and I would like to see how it changes overtime. I would recommend this to people who like barrel aged beers and if a barrel aged amber peaks your interest you should for sure give it a try. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer. One thing that I don't understand is how this beer says it has the same amount of alcohol that Fascist Pig has, but I found it the alcohol to be more noticeable in the barrel aged version and it had a warming alcohol sensation that the non barrel aged version didn't have, it's also noticeably sweeter. This is up there as one of the my favorite beers from Finchs and it's up there as my favorite barrel aged Amber Ales. Good job guys. this was a pretty tasty beer, keep up the good work.

Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small head but it leaves a combination of streaky and blanketing lace. The liquid is a dirty amber-brown color. Lots of haze.

Smell of pre-brewed crystal malt. Mild sweetness with a caramel overtone. Little to no hop present.

Dark molasses with a light black pepper hop taste. The body is chewy with a decent amount of carbonation. There's a treacle flavor in the aftertaste with enough bitterness to bring balance. In a word, bittersweet.

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but was released recently. Pours lightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, orange zest, grapefruit, toast, vanilla, oak, clove, whiskey, floral, grass, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, hop, and barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, raisin, orange zest, vanilla, clove, oak, whiskey, floral, grass, and toast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of floral/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, raisin, orange zest, vanilla, clove, oak, bourbon, floral, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and barrel flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barrel aged imperial red ale. All around good balance and complexity of malt, hop, and barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of breakingbland
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured as slightly cloudy, golden tan into a pint glass. Nice bubbles on the side of the glass and in the column. There was virtually no head as the foam settled into a ring.

Aroma: Fairly typical for a barrel-aged beer: a strong sweet candy aroma with strong vanilla, bourbon and oak aroma components. There were little or no hops or malt aromas.

Taste: The taste followed as a mild version of the aroma with the addition of slight smokiness as well as roasty malt up front. A slight hoppy bitterness lingers. The malt/hops balance was good.

Mouthfeel: The body of this beer is a little on the light side, although it has a slight feeling of syrupy thickness. The carbonation was on the low side.

Overall: The flavor is the best part with the aroma being almost overpowering, although this doesn't really detract from the beer too much. A little more body would have been nice to stand-up to the strength of the aroma and taste.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%

Bottle. Pours a clear, reddish Amber color. Not much head. Aroma is of the malty variety with oak barrel influence. Caramel, toasty malt, oak, vanilla. The barrel character is quite noticeable. It also affects the flavor very much. Oaky, woody, vanilla. Behind the oak is a standard Amber/Red Ale. Sweet without much hoppiness. I don't necessarily think that this one holds up to the substantial barrel flavors that have been added.

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours very dark hazy red with minimal head.
Smells very nice, can pick up the whisky and caramel and roasty malts.
Taste is amazing. Vanilla, and whisky and spice and cloves and caramel.
Mouthfeel is spot on.
I was pleasantly surprised by this nice beer. Full, big flavor and enjoyable.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Body is a dark,muddy, brownish-red hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger slightly off-white head that fades quickly to a thin collar. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Translucency is dynamic with fog swirling about the beer.

S- Notes are strong of caramel, plum, and whiskey. Oak and vanilla are there too. The nose is more sweet than anything else. There is a faint hint of old, stale hops in the distant background as well as some alcohol overtones.

T- Upfront is a mild whiskey flavor with earthy hop overtones. There is a nice caramel background with hints of oak, dark fruit, and whiskey sweetness. The finish is a bit boozy with more caramel and a sticky sweetness coming through. Left to linger is a mild hop bitterness, and a big, boozy caramel and whiskey sweetness.

M- Medium carbonation and a body that medium weight, slightly astringent, and slightly sticky..

O- Overall this is a rather unique brew that has a nice balance of a whiskey barrel and a malt and fruit forward red ale. The unfortunate thing, as with most BA hoppy beers is that the hops are faded. Good to try-especially if you are into different kinds of barrel aged beers.

Photo of rangerred
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy dark reddish brown with barely a tiny off-white head. No head retention at all and really no lacing either.

Aroma is full of bourbon. Tons of vanilla and oak along with a bit of toffee and caramel. It is a bit one dimensional but I love bourbon so it is ok with me.

More vanilla and oaky bourbon notes in the flavor but quite a bit of bitterness to limit the sweetness. A touch of fruitiness is the the background but the bourbon really dominates. Bitterness is on the higher side with a slightly chalky mouthfeel.

Overall, I like this beer but it doesn't have much depth. It is a bourbon bomb which isn't a problem if you love bourbon but if you are looking for a deep, balanced beer, you might be disappointed.

Photo of sidetracked
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a deep burgundy with a thin light cream head that dissipates quickly. Head lingers around the edges before disappearing completely.

Great aroma--light whiskey, wood, vanilla, toffee, molasses, and a light alcohol presence.

Upfront taste is whiskey, wood, toasted malt, toffee. Slightly sweet. Some hoppiness from the base beer begins to come through ever so slightly. Lots of wood and toasted malt at the finish mixed with light whiskey flavor. Lingering wood with hints of whiskey. Light sweetness throughout. Wood flavor is a bit harsh and the whiskey presence lacks the smoothness of most barrel-aged beers.

Medium body, somewhat watery. Clean finish, moderate to low carbonation. No real alcohol heat despite the prevalence of whiskey in the taste.

Overall pretty good. Could use a more robust body. Loses some complexity as it warms (originally served at 50 degrees). Worth a try for the price ($9.99). A huge improvement over Dirtier Bird and a step in the right direction for Finch's barrel program. The use of Koval barrels is cool since their a Chicago-based spirit producer, but may attribute to some of the harshness in the flavor and dominance of wood over whiskey since the barrels are only in use 1-2 years. Very little of the base beer comes through the barrel treatment.


Photo of Snuff
2.76/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very strong after taste, ok overalls

Photo of thecheapies
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy medium red-brown. Looks chestnut in color. Head has some longevity.

Brown sugar, whiskey, Scotch ale malts, dried fig, kiss of smoke, and thin vanilla. Caramelized and malty. Picking up a lot of the base Fascist Pig.

Bourbon notes spill with toasted coconut, oak, and burnt sugars; and the hops have decomposed into papery herbal notes and spice. The smoke is implied, but not really there anymore. Firmly, a whiskey aged hoppy red, but the hops are weaker after the time spent in the barrel. I would almost describe the newer English flavors as those of an old ale. Dry finish is bolstered by a late carbonation burst. The body is medium to medium-thick. A worthy ale, considering what they had to work with.

Pig In The Wood from Finch's Beer Co.
82 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.