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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer | Jack's Abby Brewing

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged FraminghammerVanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Resuin on 05-02-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 850
Photo of robroc
3.67/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one was a letdown. I paid about the same price for this 16.9 oz bottle as I do for a 4-pack of the base beer. I think the base beer tastes better. The bourbon barrel taste isn't very noticeable, and neither is the vanilla.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.94/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown body with khaki colored head

Smell - chocolate, vanilla, fudge, oak

Taste - vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, some barrel characteristics

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, lower level of carbonation, slight sweetness upfront from the vanilla and chocolate, barrel characteristics are not as prominent as other beers in the category, finish is of vanilla and chocolate fudge , not very boozy

Overall - a slight letdown, barrel is not very prominent, but the other flavors work well. Worth a try

Price Point - $ 8.99/16.9 oz bottle

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Photo of Pahn
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a 2 inch tan pillowy head with great retention and lacing (lace wall). Pours black / very dark brown.

Smell: From the bottle and after first pouring it, surprisingly smoky, meaty aroma. I remember Framinghammer being sweeter. Big vanilla note comes out quickly and begins dominating the aroma, with smoky highlights. Eventually some cola and caramel emerge, but it's still mostly vanilla.

Taste: First sip: tons of vanilla, like the smell of homemade vanilla extract; it's not a one-note flavor, it's sweet ice-cream-like vanilla along with those luxurious, rounded, darker vanilla flavors. The dead metaphor 'vanilla', as in "Install a vanilla copy of Windows, ie one with nothing added to it," is shown to not really be accurate by these flavors. The booziness of Framinghammer amplifies the vanilla flavors. With time, some cola and sugary pastry flavors come out.

All told, rather smooth. The vanilla almost threatens to be too much, but as I get deeper into the glass the impression I'm getting is "smooth, dangerously easy drinking beer with lots of vanilla tones and some boozy malty notes." Lots of heat in the finish, but so easy drinking.

Flavors get welcomely more complex with time, but it never strays far beyond the light roundedness described above.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Creamy but light; more "smooth/silky" than creamy I guess. Slight, pleasantly dry finish. Not as hot in the mouth as it is in the chest.

Overall: This beer doesn't soar, but it's very nicely made. Way smoother than you expect, and probably too much vanilla (I suspect I'll enjoy the other variants more), but high quality. Love the mouthfeel; subtly dry, light for the style but not watery, hot but not oppressive.

I'm not in love, but I'm not disappointed either. Would I buy it again for $7~8? Yeah, I would. I'd put it away and hope for the vanilla to fade a bit, but I'd repeat buy this for sure.

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Photo of beantown_hopster
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L - Same as all the Framinghammer series, jet black, milk chocolate head that dissipates to a ring around the glass.

S - Strong vanilla nose when opened, once poured the nose was somewhat boozy, more bourbon and the vanilla faded.

T - plug, fig, dates. the fruit really come forward on this one for me. the back end has that oaky/bourbon finish that makes the regular BBA Framinghammer such a hit for me. I'm not getting as much vanilla as say, a stone smoked porter w/ vanilla beans used to offer, its more subtle, on the back end with the bourbon.

MF - Rich, full, low carb. My favorite part of the series. So velvety and smooth. The finish is not as warm as the base is, likely due to smoothing out of the vanilla.

O - Hard to miss because the base is such a fabulous beer, but for me it fails to distinguish itself from that base enough. That being said it's wonderful. I may be too much of a dunce to pick up on the nuance.

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Photo of FFreak
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the Bevie, price forgotten. Poured into a tulip glass.

A typical dark, dark brown/black, with a tiny bit of translucent red on the edge. A short, frothy dark mocha head appears and quickly dissipates, leaving no lace or ring of bubbles.

Aroma is straight up bourbon, with just a hint of vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste is also heavy on the bourbon, but not in a bad way. A nicely complex blend of dark flavors accompany the bourbon.

Mouth feel is excellent, not too viscous, easy to drink the entire bottle, very low carbonation.

Overall, a delicious barrel-aged Baltic porter.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chocolate color. Has a boozy aroma. Flavor is vanilla forward with a little booziness and nice chocolate note. Has a nice finish and overall delicious.

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Photo of LeRose
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Could almost take the review from the non-flavored variant and copy it here, but there are some differences.

Appearance in the snifter is black coffee with red tinting. There's a small, initially lively head that dies and leaves floating rafts of condensed bubbles, some lacing and coating of the glass.

This is still borubon forward on the aroma, but the vanilla is definitely amped up. It is boozy, the chocolate and dark fruits are a bit covered up, but the date/fig aromas are still present underneath the bourbon and vanilla.

The flavor - the vanilla for me was intense. By having more vanilla notes, the bourbon and some sweetness seems to come out a bit strong. The alcohol is not hidden here, and the flavor comes in layers yet is dominated by the vanilla. The chocolate I found in the unflavored variant is there but doesn't emerge as much.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. The alcohol is present but not overwhelming. Surprisingly clean finish for all the flavor the beer packs in there.

This is an very good beer, and very drinkable. The vanilla is a little heavy for my personal taste, but it takes the base barrel aged porter and amps it up another notch. Well done.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
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 +6.2%
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 -14.8%
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 -5.6%
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 -3.7%
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
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Perryman for this trade! Consumed on 26Sep15.
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. 4.0
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. 4.25
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. 4.5
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. 4.25
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.
2016 Batch, New Label, "Vanilla Bourbon Barrel-Aged"

Poured semi-aggressively at 48°F from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. Allowed to warm up to 50°F before reviewing. Consumed on 21May16.
LOOK: A fingers worth of cinnamon colored foam transforms into a khaki foam head within 10 seconds. At minute, the foam head halves itself. Black in color with an orange luster. Rising bubbles are small in size and are very subtle in number. Lacing is moderate in quantity and thick.
SMELL: Strong aromas of sweet chocolate entangle with mild bitter roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and molasses aromas. Subtle aromas of bourbon, toasted coconut, and oak suggest that this batch wasn't barrel-aged for too long.
TASTE: A balancing sweetness strikes the palate as strong sweet chocolate flavors combine with mild bitter roasted malt and bourbon flavors to create the intial flavor. Mild vanilla, molasses, and coffee flavors immediately follow as bourbon flavors fade slightly. Vanilla flavors grow slightly stronger as mild oak and subtle coconut and spicy hop flavors make their debut while all other flavors maintain.
FEEL: The thickness of the beer lies somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation levels are moderate. Goes down smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness.
NOTE: I personally enjoyed last year's batch more. This year's didn't have nearly as much vanilla. Like last year's, the bourbon in this one was just as balanced, which I absolutely loved. With all that being said, this still remains a great brew.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
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 +3.5%
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 -2.3%
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 +1.2%
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 +4.6%
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 -7.4%
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 +5.6%
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 -8.1%
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 +1.6%
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 -2.1%
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 -5.3%
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 -1.9%
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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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.