Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged FraminghammerVanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer

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749 Ratings
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Ratings: 749
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.16%
Wants: 218
Gots: 185 | FT: 45
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 749 | Reviews: 84
Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from Adams Hometown Market, Monson, MA.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head skims rather promptly, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is roasty dark grains with ample alcohol and sweetness.

Taste is sweet vanilla and dark maltiness to start, dark fruits in the middle, and then cruises to the close with vanilla and alcohol. Slight numbing after swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is easy. Nice subtle changes here.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black body with dark chocolate colored hues beneath the thin, mocha-colored head which dissolves to leave only a thin ring of lacing around the glass.

The bourbon is right there in the nose and immediately hits you. Traditional Baltic Porter notes of smoky roasted malt and oats are there following and the vanilla shows up more as it warms.

The flavor is a really neat combination of sweet and roasted. There are sweet bourbon notes immediately followed by the rich roasted and smoky malt of a Baltic Porter and as the beer finishes a vanilla coating is left about the palate.

On the lighter side stylistically for a porter, but still plenty to chew on with subdued carbonation and a semi-sweet vanilla-y finish and just a hint of bourbon on the throat.

A unique brew for sure. When I started the beer I thought the vanilla/bourbon notes really overruled the porter aspects but as I sat on it the combination really worked.

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a finger width light brown head. Not as quick to dissipate but when it did, it left a tiny ring around the edge. Strong bourbon and vanilla aromas come through up front. A touch of chocolate comes through as well. The taste is just the same. Bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolates shine throughout. Full bodied and full of flavor. A bit light/thin on the tongue with some carbonation. Overall, a great variant of an otherwise great BA Baltic Porter!

Photo of johnnnniee
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Andover Liquors,
solid black color with a smallish tightly bubbled tan head that quickly dissipates to wisps of foam on top. Aromas of chocolate chip cookie dough dominate with hints of brown sugar, earthy oak and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is sweet chocolate and vanilla frosting up front but the barrel wood and spirits come in quickly to squash that. The finish is a lingering brown sugar roasted grain and vanilla affair. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy silky syrupy mouthfeel. I love this beer! Complex clean and extremely flavorful. Too bad there wasn't more than one on the shelf when I was shopping!

Photo of brureview
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a snifter.

This is my first variant of the Framinghammer Baltic Porter. There are only a few reviews on this Vanilla variant, so the beer appears to new this year.

I am a fan of the Framinghammer, and I have tasted the barrel aged twice on tap and once in a bottle. I personally liked last year's more due to the stronger Bourbon presence. The brewer now uses Four roses Bourbon Barrels and not Willet Bourbon barrels which were used in the initial brew.

Color: the same, very dark chocolate brown with a 1/2 finger head.

To fully appreciate this beer, serve it warm. Start at 50- it's best at 58F.

The full aroma doesn't come through until the beer is warmed up: vanilla, oak,
milk chocolate. Not much Bourbon presence.

The mouth feel is carbonated- perhaps more than the regular non-variant Framinghammer.

Taste: exceptionally complex. Deep chocolate, vanilla, oak, nutty, a bit overshadowed by the very strong alcoholic finish.

Overall- a different taste profile than the barrel aged Framinghammer: stronger alcoholic finish, vanilla, and less Bourbon.

An excellent beer- but don't expect the same beer as the barrel aged Framinghammer- it's quite different. Savor the differences between this variant and the original.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Pete for this awesome extra!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 1 finger of beige head.

Smell: overall a fairly sweet nose. Vanilla and bourbon. Hint of bakers cocoa. Slight spicy and boozey like vanilla baking extract.

Taste: Vanilla, milk chocolates, and hints of bourbon. Well balanced. Fairly sweet just like the nose.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Rich and sweet. Slightly thin body. Smooth beer.

Overall: Nice barrel aged vanilla baltic porter. Not many examples of a bourbon barrel baltic porter with vanilla beans. Jacks Abby continues to impress me.

Photo of Jwale73
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage served at 50 degrees in a tulip. Pours slightly darker than cola with a half-inch, khaki-colored head. Some swaths of lacing with decent legs. Big bourbon notes in the nose, as well as a sightly vinous quality and a suggestion of toffee. Taste is incredible - the vanilla really comes out in the flavor profile, followed by cocoa and finishing with bourbon. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a pleasant carbonation falling just shy of lively and a silky texture to the mouthfeel. There's also some residual heat present at the finish. Overall, what a fantastic beer! Not much to add beyond that.

Photo of alaimoa
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle from brewery. Note to self: these ba framinghammers shine after warming up if they were cold.
A: usual jet black not nearly as much mocha head vs coffee. Mainly some offwhite soapy ring bubbles
S: bourbon notes, vanilla, chocolate
T: vanilla up front into a boozey chocolate heat. Could see people complaining it's a bit hot but I think nice complexity and not turned off by the heat
M: silky, creamy

Photo of woosterbill
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks Brian!

A: Black body under an inch of creamy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Gorgeous.

S: Rich vanilla, bourbon-soaked oak, lively spice, and faint dark fruit. Terrific.

T: Hmm. Vanilla starts things off well enough, but harshly astringent roasted malts combine with booze on the rough finish. The aftertaste is a little better with some dark chocolate and whiskey, but overall it's a bit of a chore to drink.

M: Creamy, soft, and substantial. Great.

O: The vanilla is a big help, but still can't entirely compensate for the rough edges of the regular BA version.


Photo of smcolw
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Moderate beige head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves a ring of lace after each sip. Deep ruby brown color where light passes through the base of the glass only.

The aroma is of cream and dark toast. The vanilla is very subtle, almost not present to the nose. There's a bit of dark cherry in the background.

Very creamy in both flavor and texture. The roasted malts come through and taste a bit like almonds. Again, little distinct vanilla flavor, but combination of flavors is quite rich--a bit like a fudge brownie. The carbonation is low which enhances this. There's a bit of alcohol warmth in the swallow. The aftertaste is short but features a lot of chocolate.

It would be hard to have two of these--a real dessert beer.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pitch black pour. A half inch of khaki colored head eventually settles. Lacing is thin, spotty, and delicate.

S: Cocoa powder, milk chocolate, chocolate sauce, malted milk balls, vanilla pods. Vague whiff of stone fruits. Subtle barrel aromas of woody oak, caramel, and bourbon.

T: Milk chocolate, vanilla, milk balls. Big wave of chocolate fudge sauce. Plum and cherry fruitiness for just an instant. Tamed toasty flavors. Bourbon flavors pick up on the back end, but they don't get hot or overbearing. Soft wood and some caramel from the barrel.

M: Thick and weighty in the mouth. Slick and very silky smooth. Low carbonation. Some bourbon warmth and a very subtle drying oak feel.

O: The vanilla addition smoothes over some of the roasted flavors with its sweetness. Gun to head I think I preferred the coffee variant, though this is certainly no slouch. Well worth a drink.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Pours a very dark brown. Body does seem to be clear. Head is a finger-high mass of tan bubbles. Head bubbles off to an outer ring of foam and a foamy island in the middle of the glass.

S-Aroma is really appealing. Lots of bourbon in the nose. A bit coconutty, which I love. Definitely getting vanilla in the nose. Roasty and chocolatey, of course. Swirling my goblet and sticking my nose in there is a very pleasurable experience. Quite an enticing aroma.

T-The vanilla is even more prominent here. The bourbon is also powerful. The spicy bourbon has infused itself well in the beer's base. Beers that use vanilla often come up short; the vanilla usually doesn't pop in the flavor. In this beer, the vanilla just coats the palate. French vanilla coffee, toasted coconut meat and fudgy chocolate. A pleasant heat that goes well with the bourbon.

M- The feel is rich but far from heavy. It drinks with incredible ease. The heat is a guilty pleasure here. For a high gravity Porter, this is almost too drinkable.

O/D-Delicious. But I will say the regular Barrel Aged Framinghammer is still essentially just as tasty, easier to come by and cheaper. Regardless. This was $10 well spent and a great excuse to visit the brewery. Now on to the Coffee variant.

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with very little head. Leaves a nice creamy tan film on top, with bubbles clinging to the side. Smells a bit sweet. Vanilla dominates, with chocolate and bourbon. Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth. Vanilla is the dominate flavor, of course. Chocolate and bourbon take a backseat to the vanilla but they all mix really well. Really happy this isn't too sweet. Really great beer.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

this is elite level beer, versatile, flavorful, uncompromising, and its a freaking lager people, yes, a lager. indeed, lagers can be wonderfully rich, esoteric, and brilliant beers, and jacks abby continues to demonstrate that with each brew they gift us with. this is a special one, and the most remarkable thing is that its 10% abv, it drinks like 4.2%, no kidding. dark brown but not pushing black in color, lazily heady, white and smeared all over the rim of the glass. vanilla is more subtle than expected in nose, but chocolate malt and oak char are really out front. the smoothness of flavor is unparalleled, with bakers chocolate and vanilla both contributing, but being so secondary to good old fashioned barley and yeast, both of which are familiar and comfortable, but put together in a way only a master can do. its smooth of course, but its also really clean and drinkable, almost refreshing, the imperial stouts mixed with fresca sort of vibe, a paradox, confusing, but exceptional. its bubbly and even refreshing, which is odd for a strong beer like this, and its lagered, thats what we need to remember here. without a ton of yeast finish, i get a clearing sort of oasis of cocoa and bourbon as it washes down. i like that vanilla is real backround, so many beers these days abuse the mighty bean, but not this one. its near perfect is so many ways, especially feel. lets lager everything ans see what we get. its certainly unconventional, but its a brewing philosophy that has yielded nothing but remarkable beers, and this may be the benchmark for all of them.

Photo of orangesol
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I brought the whole 2012 set to our monthly tasting.

A - Pours jet black with a decent one finger tall tan head, slowly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small webs of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of strong vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, coconut, coffee and smoked dark malt. The vanilla is strong, but not as strong as the coffee version is, while still being well balanced.

T - Starts off with plenty of sweetness from the vanilla and chocolate malt slowly being joined by the dark roast, day old coffee, toasted coconut, cream and warming woody bourbon. Finish is pretty roasty with some nice vanilla sweetness, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, sweet feel with some mild roastiness to balance it out. A bit of booze creeps in as it warms up but it never gets in the way of the other flavors.

O - It is tough for me to choose between this one and the coffee, I give the slightest edge to the coffee because it integrates so well with the other flavors but this one is just as good. I would love to have this one again in the future.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black but no real head. Thin collar. Nothing else.

Smell - Roasty malts, but it isn't really strong. No real barrel, but vanilla comes through.

Taste - Much more barrel. Vanilla. Bourbon. Roasted malt. Some bright flavors come through. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Maybe too thin.

Overall - Better flavor than any other aspect. Tastes good, but it would probably be better as an ale.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is opaque and near black with a half inch of mocha colored head. Outstanding aroma, featuring vanilla beans, oak, booze, coffee, dark chocolate. The vanilla bean character really begins to emerge as the beer is allowed to warm. Absolutely delicious. So much going on here. Complex and wonderful. Medium to full bodied with relatively low carbonation. Smooth on the palate with minimal alcohol presence. A terrific beer. I would love to have this again.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to starrdogg for this beer, thanks Matt. March 2013 version.

Pours some a dark dark brown to black color with a nice off white to tan ring of head and some nice lacing.

The smell has all the signature Baltic porter smells, the burnt earth, cocoa, and some nice malt backbone. Maybe the slightest bit of vanilla but not nearly as much as I expected, tiny bit of coconut. The taste however explodes with vanilla bean, almond, and coffee with cream sweetness, a very nice burst of flavor. Also some nice chocolate fudgy brownie type flavors in there as well....this would be a nice beer to pair with a rich dessert like a thick chocolate cake or even a lighter plate.

Th feel is nice and thick with appropriate carbonation, rolls over the palate nicely. A nice brew overall.

Photo of cbutova
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times now, finally reviewing my last bottle. Really doesn't need any age and I don't see it benefiting from more. Notes taken over weekend.

A- Pitch black body with a light mocha head. Silky and creamy texture to the foamy cap with one finger height and decent retention. Spotty webbing of lace coats the interior walls of the glass.

S- Fairly sweet dessert chocolates and bourbon smoothed out superbly by toasted oak, relaxed whiskey and of course vanilla. Roast grains and coffee hints.

T- Vanilla bean really opens up and comes out here as compared to the aroma, it adds just what is needed to put this into a higher class. Smooth oak and whiskey from the barrels layered with decadent chocolate, roast grain and caramel. Like a great brownie.

MF- Thick bodied with low-medium carbonation and a nice creamy texture. There might as well not be any alcohol in this because it drinks so smoothly.

Love the vanilla layered with the chocolate and whiskey barrels. Everything just blends together nicely and it makes me confident that more world class beers will be coming out of Central MA in the future.

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

More of a cheap vanilla extract flavor than true vanilla

Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Ryan for sharing this one during a thrilling Hawks OT win. Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving behind specks of lace. Very dark brown body.

S - Loads of vanilla bean, spicy and earthy whiskey, light oak, and the similar coconut and marshmallow notes I got from regular BA Framinghammer. The vanilla overwhelms some of the more subtle flavors, but it's pretty delicious.

T - The taste is quite similar, but with the vanilla dialed down a tiny bit. Loads of coconut, chocolate fudge, roasted malts, and minimal alcohol. Quite excellent. albeit not to the same degree as the aroma.

M - Similar feel to the other variants, although the coffee and vanilla versions were a bit more tannic than the regular versions, presumably from the adjuncts. Still quite smooth in texture, with light residual stickiness and no obvious alcohol.

D - I liked the vanilla version the best out of the three, although they're all pretty excellent. Looking forward to drinking this one again, as I think I could easily tackle an entire 500ml bottle.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Awesome 500ml bottle from Dope (thanks!) poured completely into my CBS snifter and enjoyed over the course of the afternoon.

A: Opaque brown with a huge tan head that fades pretty quickly - lace is minimal.

S: Big vanilla and lots of caramel in the aroma - very dessert-y & rich...some boozy alcohol esters rise at room temp. Decadent chocolate and brownie batter, and underlying oaky bourbon takes a complimentary role, just like the other Framinghammer variants.

T: More of the same here, which is a darn good thing; loads of vanilla and caramel, straight-up creme brulee at times...oaky smoothness, very rich...creamy caramel-chocolate finish, followed by a flash of char/bitterness and a smattering of dark fruit. Faint alcohol is a reminder of the barrel aging, but serves to cut down on the sweetness. Certainly this beer isn't quite cloying, just dessert-sweet.

MF: Medium-full body, silky and smooth with appropriate carbonation.

O: Very good stuff; at room temp this is a pleasant dessert sipper. As with all of these Framinghammer variants, the barrel is complimentary and serves these beers well. This version is somewhere between the regular and the Barismo Coffee version, for me.

Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 06/02/13 notes. Got to try this side by side with the BA Coffee and the normal BA versions. All 2013 vintage, 0.5L bottles, poured into taster glasses.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. All 3 variations look exactly the same, pretty nice.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, cream, coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malts, sweet bourbon, caramel malts, oak, and toasted malts. Very good nose; a decent amount of coffee to it still but a lot of vanilla shining through up front. On par with the nose of the coffee version, just swapping more vanilla than coffee.

t - Tastes of vanilla beans, cream, iced crewam, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, and light earthy notes. Taste has a lot of vanill beans up front; kind of reminds me of vanilla bean iced cream. Great taste, I could drink this all day. Best tasting of the three for me by far.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with no real heat. Very easy to drink for 10% ABV.

o - Overall I really liked all three versions, but this one was definitely the best in my opinion. I love vanilla, moreso than coffee, and the taste of this one was just perfect for me. Super easy to drink and a great nose and taste, I'd love to get this one again.

You can't really go wrong with any of the three; my girlfriend liked the normal BA verions the best, and I liked vanilla best. The BA version is very good, but if you really like coffee or vanilla, you'll probably like those 2 versions slightly better.

Photo of Damian
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint .9 fl. oz./.5 liters bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
March 2013 vintage
Served in a snifter

A tight, foamy, mocha colored head topped the deep brown/black liquid. The crown faded rather quickly to a thick ring of froth. Sheets of lacing initially coated the glass with every sip. Later, the lacing dissipated to some spotty drips.

Roasted malts and a crisp, smooth, lager-like yeasty quality came through in the aroma. Sweet, chocolatey notes, which reminded me a lot of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, appeared as well. Not a super complex nose, but pleasant. With time, the vanilla came out in full force. Incredibly fresh and intense, like whole vanilla beans. Some brown sugar sweetness was also noticeable.

The flavor profile unfortunately lacked the intensity and the smoothness of the aroma. Lots of deep, dark, roasted malts up front. Hefty amount of char. Some astringent woodiness in the center. Touch of brown sugar-like sweetness. Subtle vanilla notes appeared on the back end and in the finish. Hints of bourbon. A bit of alcohol heat was detectible but, at 10% ABV, it was quite well buried. As the beer continued to warm, the vanilla flavor became more apparent.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied for the style. Creamy, smooth and slick but slightly thin for the style. The liquid contained a moderate amount of carbonation.

After tasting and reviewing all four variants of Jack's Abby's Framinghammer Baltic Porter, it seemed that this beer fell somewhere in the middle of the pack. While it lacked the charred, astringency of Framinghammer and the booziness of Bourbon Barrel Aged Framinghammer, the vanilla did not "wow" me like the coffee flavor did in the Barismo Coffee version.

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'm an absolute sucker for barrel aged vanilla beers. Thanks tehzachatak for scoring me a bottle! Bottle from March 2013.

A: Like the other variants, the vanilla version pours a very deep brown with reddish edges and with a large, foamy, persistent tan head that lingers and laces. Excellent.

S: A decent amount of vanilla, but not overwhelming. Vanilla's combined with dark roasted malt and dark chocolate. Not getting a lot of barrel.

T/M: Nice vanilla bean flavor upfront, more prominent than on the nose. Dark chocolate and roasted malt. Some bourbon from the barrel, including some oaky vanilla distinct from the vanilla bean upfront. Charred brown sugar. Not much booze. Like the other variants, the mouthfeel is practically perfect. Silky and rich and smooth, creamy, gentle carbonation.

O: I don't know the reason, but the vanilla Framinghammer seems more balanced than the other variants. My favorite of the three variants that I've had.

Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 749 ratings.