Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Vanilla Barrel-Aged FraminghammerVanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

85 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 794
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 6.91%
Wants: 224
Gots: 183 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Resuin on 05-02-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 85 | Hads: 794
Photo of Sheppard
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It certainly looks and smells the part. There is a lot of roast and burnt tobacco in there with an injection of vanilla. It is very boozy and rough, which hasn't always been the case. I would like to know what barrels were used year to year as I remember it being more cohesive before. I am a big fan of the regular Framinghammer, but the barrel and the injection of vanilla have brought some uneven-ness that I do not enjoy as much.

 433 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Perryman for this trade!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and a half worth of cinnamon colored foam that dissipates into a quarter's worth of khaki foam after 1 minute. Black in color with orange tint. Rising bubbles are very small and are nearly non-existent. Lacing is thin and high.
SMELL: Strong aromas of bourbon are up front. Beneath them lie strong aromas of vanilla, mild aromas of sweet chocolate, molasses, and bitter roasted malts and hints of oak.
TASTE: Inital taste is of very strong vanilla flavors that entangle with mild bourbon flavors (I'm glad the bourbon doesn't taste as strong as it smells). Mild sweet chocolate and molasses flavors enter right after. Subtle bitter roasted malt and oak flavors finish off this amazing symphony of taste as vanilla flavor fade to strong, but all other flavors persist.
FEEL: Full-bodied (love it) and subtly carbonated (I'm in heaven right now). Goes down smoother than a Key Stone, but finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: I'm not a bourbon man, but the vanilla really balances it out. A spectacular job on Jack's Abby's behalf. If I lived where they distributed, I would be drinking this every weekend.

 1,219 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 9/16/15

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with some medium brown clarity around the edges - pours with a small, light beige head, fades fairly quickly to a few wisps on the surface of the dark liquid - maintains a small collar and leaves some streaks of lacing

S: The ever-burly aroma of Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, mediated by some serious vanilla - big malts, roasty, burnt, to lightly charred - chocolate malts - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, semisweet chocolate - some caramel, burnt sugar, and maybe some molasses - sweet vanilla, which helps both round out the roughness of the burnt malts and mixes well with the woody bourbon aroma - still woody

T: Burnt chocolate cake with a vanilla frosting - roasty and burnt, which is to be expected with Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, but some of the burnt/boozy harshness is reduced thanks to some smooth, tasty vanilla - chocolate malts, roasted malts - generally roasty and burnt, with some char - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, overcooked brownies - caramel, caramelized malts, burnt sugar, and toffee - vanilla extract and vanilla beans - light sweetness overall - lightly spicy - plenty of bourbon flavor, but not as much as the standard (or the Coffee Barrel-Aged Framinghammer) - woody - some booze in the aftertaste, which is acceptable

M: On the light side of heavy, very smooth, low carbonation, dry, woody finish

O: Vanilla, apparently the secret to all barrel aging

Framinghammer, Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, and Coffee Barrel-Aged Framinghammer are quite memorable beers. But thanks to this beer, I probably won't seek out any of them again. The use of vanilla here both adds depth and helps mitigate some of the harsher qualities of the base beer. I am actually quite surprised how good this is.

 1,771 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks really great. Medium tan head and it looks pleasantly dark.

smells like a world class baltic porter but I'm rating it 4.25 because the barrel character doesn't really come through.

Vanilla is lightly sweet but starts at the beginning. The great baltic porter carries all the way through but the barrel character starts towards the middle and goes until the finish. Not a lot of toffee or caramel or vanilla from it but the added vanilla at the beginning helps a lot.

Mouth feel is near perfect. Wish I could get more.

 529 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The vanilla in this beer really just picked up the vanilla in the oak from the barrel. I didn't get a lot of pure vanilla flavor but it was well integrated and did add to the experience.

 187 characters

Photo of chefbrady
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The vanilla while placed in with great restraint takes something away from the base beer. I think you lose a lot of the barrel character gained in the base beer.

 161 characters

Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark brown with almost no head. Vanilla is strong in both the nose and taste. Gotta let this one warm up a bit before all the flavors start coming through. Bourbon Barrel qualities, roasted malts and vanilla, on top of vanilla. This will do well with a little age!

 306 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a Jack's Abby snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Pours a deep brown body with a fluffy 2 finger light espresso colored head that reduces very slowly, leaving a layer of foam after 30+ minutes. Some lacing, high retention.

Aromas of vanilla beans, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, and light chocolate. Very nice on the nose.

On the tongue comes sweet chocolate, vanilla beans, caramel, and a roasty finish that compliments the nice vanilla notes that this beer imparts. Really well done. Carbonation is medium-low with a medium body.

A great sipper, nicely balanced and the vanilla really added some positive character to regular barrel aged framinghammer. Recommended.

 708 characters

Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with brown clarity around the edges and a thick khaki head resting atop.

The smell is sweet with vanilla then roasty coffee and chocolate. There are some mineral elements also present but its not distracting in the grand scheme of things.

The taste is roasty chocolate with sweet vanilla covering up most of the barrel nuance. Some minerals and alcohol evolve with a bit of earthiness.

This is medium bodied with modest carbonation. Overall a sweet roasty treat but im missing the barrel character behind the slight overload of vanilla.

 598 characters

Photo of TK5150
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


A- Pours dark brown with a small beige head that recedes quickly and leaves a thin layer of head. Some lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet maltiness with cocoa, quite a bit of vanilla, and an almond-type nuttiness. The barrel is not very prominent when chilled, but comes out more as it warms. The bourbon-y booze comes out as well.

T- Taste is better than the aroma, and more potent. Sweet malt and caramel with hints of chocolate in the background start off at the front of the tongue, then this beer EXPLODES with vanilla on the finish and in the aftertaste (mostly from the vanilla beans, maybe some from the barrel). This is a sweet beer. The only balance here is the light barrel component, and the light heat, which lingers going down the esophagus.

M- Smooth and on the heavier side of medium-bodied, yet still has a bit of a prickly carbonation to it at first. Carbonation fades as it sits.

O- Overall, a better beer than the Lager-Ness Monster I had a few months back from these guys. A very nice "Americanized" version of a Baltic Porter. Could have some more body, if anything.

 1,103 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle. 2015 vintage. Pours a pitch black color with dark ruby hues and an inch of khaki colored head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is boozey with chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and caramel. The taste is a nice mix of the chocolate syrup and Bourbon with nice vanilla notes. Molasses, raisins, and some roasted malts. Finishes with the woody Bourbon and some vanilla. Medium body. Solid variant of an already awesome beer, but I think I prefer the regular Barrel Aged version over this one.

 499 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a light brown head. This beer smells of light coffee, and a heavy vanilla bean. The taste is like the nose, vanilla with slight coffee hints. There is a definite alcohol taste in this, I bet with time under it, this will be a great porter. Looking forward to trying another one over the winter.

 328 characters

Photo of beerfootfreak
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black as night, oily slick mouthfeel. Stands up with all the bourbon aged stouts but I must say I love the addition of vanilla, it smooths out the warmth from the bourbon. Absolutely scrumptious aroma. Sip after sip, all I want is more.

 236 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark blackish brew with purple hue. Moderate dark brown head with OK retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma matches that of the base BA Framinghammer; any added vanilla is difficult to separate from the barrel characteristics. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, and banana notes are all prominent, along with coconut and vanilla.

Flavor also matches the "regular" BA Framinghammer, with a very noticeable added dose of vanilla. Very smooth throughout. In this variant, vanilla and roasted barley really dominate vice the bourbon, which instead complements. Earthy hop and roast bitterness.

Smooth and full mouthfeel without quite coming across as thick, although it's damn close. No hint of the 10% ABV. Quite a bit of foaming.

Having had Framinghammer, BA Framinghammer, and Vanilla BA Framinghammer, I think this is hands down the most drinkable and balanced yet. Really fantastic brew where the base beer and the vanilla take center stage.

 942 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 vintage. 160z. bottle into Night Shift stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a luxurious .5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is pitch black but not too dense. Lacing is stringy and spotty with low stick. Legs are oily, slick and rich. Pretty nice.

Nose is vanilla, roast, smoke, cocoa powder, liquorice, brownie and booze. Robust and thick. Flavors together are aromatic but each component is pretty mellow.

Opens big, creamy, sweet vanilla notes that descend into flavors of chocolate, roast, smoke, liquorice and cocoa powder. Some brownie and booze sweetness in the middle mixed with hints of coarse burnt malt. Ends more vanilla and boozy sweetness. Same aftertaste. DRINK FRESH! The vanilla presence is huge in this one and it'll only fade with time.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Chewy and smooth on the palate and goes down rich with some bubbles at the end. Accented finish with a long, lingering aftertaste. Solid.

Certainly a unique vanilla-based imperial beer if only due to the fact that the vanilla flavor is so prominent throughout the experience. Drink this one fresh to really get a feel for what vanilla can do for the flavor profile.

 1,206 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a stout/porter glass.

Pour produces a thick, cushion-like coffee-with-milk-colored head. Persists well. Shows good carbonation. Body seems pitch-black but has hues that lean towards darker brown. It's a fine looking brew sitting in a glass.

There's a potent order surging from the glass and I get something Dr. Pepper-like and certainly reminiscent of vanilla. Dark chocolate thickness and sweetness have me thinking of brownies. Dessert anyone? A tad of alcohol is detectable but mostly this is appealing to the nose.

Brownies still seem an appropriate descriptor for this brew as I'm getting abundant sweet, almost gooey, dark chocolate with a lingering vanilla finish. It tastes a bit boozy, but not so much as the PB&J which was almost undrinkable booze-laden. It's a bit oaken and somewhat suggestive of bourbon, but I'm again left thinking of brownies, albeit boozier ones.

As with the PB&J, there's a boozy heat that seems in need of toning down, but it's not nearly as harsh and unpleasant here. I can roll with this one because enough creaminess and sweetness are present to offset the booze.

Of the three Framinghammers I've had, this one seems to have the most character. I like it. I have a few more I have to try, but this may be the winner. It isn't flawless, but a year or two of age could change that.

 1,357 characters

Photo of MLR1013
4.91/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers around. These guys are killing it. I have yet to have a beer from them that I disliked and this one is my favorite. The regular barrel-aged one, the non-barrel-aged one, and the coffee barrel-aged one are all excellent beers, but this one is it for me. The imperial stout-like Baltic Porter lager, mixed with the vanilla sweetness and the slightly boozy notes from the bourbon barrels make this a perfect fit for a cold New England night, although I also enjoyed a few of these during hot New England summers. Drink it, age it, but buy it if you see it!

 591 characters

Photo of mackeyse
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look,feel,smell are impeccable. I don't really get the hit of vanilla but do taste a little sweetness at the end.
I taste the alcohol and while I know it's a hefty 10%, it tastes heavier...not an apt comparison but BCBS runs 13-14% and hides the alcohol better.
A little cloying aftertaste knocks it down a peg for me. Price per oz doesn't make this a regular purchase by any means but I'd recommend it if it's a "want". You won't be disappointed.

 449 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was black in appearance with bubbles along the sides of the glass.

Smell - Ironically, chocolate is the dominant scent.

Taste - Vanilla begins the taste with notes of black licorice in the background. Strangely, there is a hint of root beer in the taste. The taste stays fairly constant in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The vanilla creates the impression of smoothness. Carbonation is low.

Overall - In a horizontal testing, Vanilla won 66% of the vote as best framinghammer.

 500 characters

Photo of brianmandell
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 6/6/14. Dark brown almost black pour with no head.

Smells of sweet molasses, chocolate, vanilla, oak, booze.

Flavors of sweet chocolate fudge, vanilla and oak. The barrel aging leaves a bit of astringent bitterness.

Thick, silky mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation; very nice.

Overall, a very good beer with luxurious mouthfeel and some great sweet dessert flavors.

 386 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversize wine glass

A- pours a dark, nearly opaque black color with a small fizzy khaki colored head that disappears rather quickly, leaving a few alcohol legs behind

S- toasted marshmallow mixed with milk chocolate bar & toasted coconut up front, spicy rye-like whisky notes with a hint of oak barrel, dried vanilla bean mixes with fresh whipping cream, caramel malt & burnt brown sugar, very nice

T- lots of malty dark fruit notes initially, with notes of fig, prune & even black cherry. Spicy whisky notes kick in with underlying tones of charred oak & toasted coconut. Chocolate malt sweetness mixes with brown sugar & caramel. The vanilla kicks in near the finish, although pretty subtle. A bit of booze as it closes with more whisky linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a warming, slightly sweet finish

O- a nice sipping beer that showcases the barrel aging. The vanilla is there, but not as prominent than it is in the aroma.

 1,010 characters

Photo of mynie
3.86/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A half liter bottle purchased direct from the brewery and then consumed the next day.

Pours opaque black with a small brown head. Smells aggressively of bourbon. Even as it warms, and even after several sips, no especial vanilla nodes are present.

Tastes a bit smoother and more complex. Bourbon starts things off, moving into a middle of burny chocolate, finishing on fiery porter barley.

It's good, yeah, but not quite what I was hoping for--the whiskey and alcohol nodes override everything else and the vanilla is barely noticeable. I'm going to let the other bottles age a while in the hopes that they mellow out.

 627 characters

Photo of AirBob
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Notes from 10/30/14

A - One finger of dense chocolate milk colored head. Deep black/brown body. Good lacing. Head dissipates rather quickly.

S - Same as the base Framinghammer, but with slightly more vanilla notes and zero booze. As it warms there's a hell of a lot more vanilla.

T - Wow. Tons of vanilla throughout. No booze at all. The deep chocolate ice cream flavors come through big in the finish. Very little bitterness or coffee notes. As it warms, more of the Framinghammer comes out and the vanilla takes a major role in the finish.

M - Silky. Low carbonation.

O - A lot more distinctive than the coffee variant and more bold than the all three variants.

 680 characters

Photo of SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Pours black as night, pours a thin layer of frothy, brown head that quickly dissipates leaving a very thin layer of lacing. zero carbonation evident within the pitch black beer. Aroma is dominated by vanilla bean rich, sweet malt, Biscuit, and a hint of coffee beans.
Taste is vanilla upfront, followed by Biscuit, Molasses, and milk chocolate. Very, very smooth flavor. the 10 percent ABV is completely unnoticeable.
in the mouthfeel there is a subtle punch of carbonation, and then the beer hits you with it's full body and oily texture.
overall this beer is rich, warming and delicious. Perfect for a cold autumn night.

 623 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured 500ml bottle into chalice. Bottled 6/6/14.

A- Dark brown body with a thin tan head that fades into a slim ring. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Vanilla and a chocolate cola aroma from the porter. Notes of bourbon, wood, and plenty more vanilla grace the glass.

T - Starts out with a hefty bourbon flavor along with the Baltic porter base. Plenty of vanilla, soft chocolate truffle, hints of wood, brown sugar, caramel, with a touch of chocolate cola and molasses. The finish is more vanilla and porter notes.

M - Medium body with just enough carbonation to keep in lively on the palate. Smooth and creamy with a touch of heat.

O - A delicious Baltic porter that any vanilla lover should seek out. It would good, but I have a feeling that this would be best if consumed after aging 6-12 months. It would mellow it out just a bit more.

 856 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.