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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer - Jack's Abby Brewing

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

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90 Reviews
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 820
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 21.25%
Wants: 234
Gots: 173 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 820
Photo of ThickNStout
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle from 7Sport (thanks man!). Bottled 03/26/15 (I'm relatively sure- admittedly the date was smudged). Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours deep, near-black brown with two fingers of fluffy khaki head. A bushy halo lingers but very few tiny spatters of lace cling to the glass.

Smells of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and bourbon. While it may not seem all that complex, everything I'm looking for is in there and it is mighty nice.

Flavors of bourbon, vanilla, slightly charred caramel, oak, brown sugar, chocolate, molasses, vague roasty coffee and a swift kick of booze. There is something just a bit strange about the vanilla but it still imparts some good flavor to the already excellent base.

Smooth, creamy, medium full feel with softly tingling carbonation. Bourbon, vanilla, roasty malts and a little brown sugar linger on the palate in the finish.

Jack's Abby has really dialed in the right stuff for their Framinghammer series. This was my fourth variant and there simply hasn't been a Framinghammer that I have not thoroughly enjoyed.

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Photo of Tim_kast
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized snifter. Appearance: near black, creamy tan head recedes slowly, nice ring of lacing with a thin film on top. Smell: French vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate fudge. Aroma is perfectly balanced with some light sugary sweet notes and bourbon on the back end. Taste: dark bitter chocolate, some smokey roasted malt, oak is pretty prominent, earthy tobacco, molasses, bourbon. Vanilla is less prominent but still well incorporated with the rest of the flavor profile. Pleasant heat. Feel: velvety and smooth, slick on the tongue. Overall: teetering right on the line between an awesome dessert beer and an awesome boozy sipper. Dope beer either way!

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Photo of pagriley
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into snifter

Pours a bit thin with a tall fluffy white head
Smells of barrel, but not a lot of vanilla coming through
Taste is the same - hot and boozy even at room temp - tastes like the barrels had a solid few bottles of bourbon left in the bottom
Lighter bodied but solid

Overall just an okay barrel aged beer - nothing special, and no vanilla to be found...

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Photo of sittinggc
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass...proper glassware has broken lol.

Look: Black. Not pitch black. Translucent as poured. Brown head which dissipates quickly.
Smell: Tons of bourbon on the nose. Also caramel and roastiness.
Taste: Lots of bourbon up front, as in the aroma. Also get espresso, burnt roastiness...do not pick up much vanilla.
Feel: A bit thin and a slight prickle from carbonation.

Overall: A good BA beer. Though the flavor is a bit dominated by bourbon, there is enough other flavors to complement it. Glad I got to taste this one.

Edit: As the beer warmed, I got a lot more bourbon heat. A bit harsh.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of Myotus
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of chefbrady
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The vanilla falls off quickly. "Fresh" bottles have an almost fake vanilla flavor. It's a decent option for the New England market, but regular barrel-aged version is better. The other variants are the same price and are worth seeking out over this particular version.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of TK5150
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of -Rick
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of beerfootfreak
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Roguer
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of MLR1013
4.91/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

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Photo of mackeyse
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.33/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.