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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer - Jack's Abby Brewing

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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 stephens101
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

WTF! I'm only the second person to review this? That's a tragedy.

This exceptional brew starts with a bubbly, tan head that pops all over the place before settling into a dense covering of the pitch blackness.

Smells of milk chocolate, brown bread, dark fruits and vanilla. Rich and dessert-like of course.

Smooth with a nice alcohol bite at the very back. More milk chocolate, a subtle bitterness, tannin, vanilla extract, some sugar, graham cracker, a hint of spice, and even less vinegar. Flavor is unique in it's own right, which is an added bonus.

Complex yet tight. A notch above the Baltic Porter. I have the Coffee up next, but it's going to be hard to top this one.

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

A - Pours pitch black with a finger of light brown head that receded to a thin layer.

S - Rich milk chocolate, bitter roast and sweet vanilla. A very nice nose.

T - A great balance of bitter roast, milk chocolate and sweet vanilla. Dangerously smooth and drinkable for 10% ABV.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

According to the label it just says Vanilla Framinghammer, but my understanding from the brewery, it was just a label error and this is the BA version (a non-barrel aged vanilla hasn't been brewed and distributed to date). 1 Pint .09 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. Coming out of the bottle the liquid is slightly darker than a cola brown and gets darker as it accumulates and rises in the glass. Liquid eventually gets to the point where you can't see through it, not really even any highlights. Huge frothy and foamy head with large bubbles, really not much in the way of lacing though and it goes away fairly quickly. Still a really good looking beer.

Smell is really good, just the right kind of sweet. Smells of burned sugar, caramel, and butterscotch. Vanilla certainly present, but more of a french vanilla medium roasted coffee. Hints of weak smoke and some nice vanilla oak wood, barrel noticeable but not over bearing.

Taste is a little more boozy than the nose, but for some reason better to me still. Still large malt backbone here, but vanilla is certainly far more prominent in the flavor profile than the smell. I mentioned vanilla roasted coffee in the nose, there are coffee flavors, but weak in comparison to the flavor, the vanilla is much more prominent. Sort of a chewy caramel or butterscotch that got burned on a cast iron pan smokey sweetness. Barrel present again, provides nice vanilla sweetness and some woody bitterness, great tasting barrel aged beer.

Mouthfeel is really good, and it grows on you the more you drink it. I'd say it actually doesn't feel very heavy, sort of a thin medium feel, but the lingering flavor of a full bodied heavyweight. Nice carbonation level, and it's hot but not too hot, I guess we'll say warm. While being hot, it's still close to silky smooth with a nice woody and earthy finish. Great balance between bitter and sweet. Another great beer from Jack's Abby!

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Photo of KornWallace
4.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Date: 3/29/14
Location: Cambridge Whole Foods
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: Black to Dark Brown with a brown carbonation which quickly evaporates. There is a small viscous ring at the edge of the beer.
Aromatics: So many wonderful smells in here. The bourbon, some woods and grains. The vanilla with coffee makes my mouth water.
Flavor: The bourbon has a big presence with the vanilla. Still getting a lot of wood flavor. The mouthfeel is very oily but great.
Finish: The alcohol plays a part in the finish along with the oil and carbonation left on the tongue.
Notes: This beer is dangerously drinkable. Before I knew it my glass was empty, then the bottle and I nearly considered opening my second bottle.

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Photo of portia99
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a goblet.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown in color and displays some mahogany highlights around the edges with some seemingly very good clarity. Minimal head formation that falls immediately leaving behind only a thin, uneven collar of grayish bubbles.

S - Quite roasty up front showing lots of coffee, firm caramel, some burnt sugar and some molasses...light smokey charred aroma, faint barrel character with light vanilla, really only as a highlight.

T - Barrel is much more noticeable in the flavor than the aroma. Alcoholic and boozy up front followed by a rich vanilla character that takes over and begins to smooth things out. Roasted malts, dry and bitter cocoa, a bit of char, burnt sugars, and a firm caramelly sweetness behind it.

M - Boozy up front with an alcohol warmth that hits immediately providing a good tingle on the lips and tongue and finding its way to the back of the throat. A medium body with a lowish carbonation level give this a pretty silky smooth feel, a bit oily too.

O - Another well done barrel aged version of Framinghammer. Great base beer only made better with the barrel treatments. Vanilla is noticeable for sure but not dominant. Everything works together pretty well here - lots of candy bar flavors in here make this a bit of a dessert beer. Jack's Abby keeps putting out really great beers and this is no exception.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage

A - Pitch black

S - Roasty, coffee, chocolate. Vanilla is a sweet smack in the face

T - Oh yeah. A roasty, bourbon taste. The vanilla taste is huge, especially on the finish. It lingers for a while.

M - Pretty damn thick for the style.

O - These Framinghammer variants are the real deal. I love vanilla in my beers and this one is one of the best uses.

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Photo of GJ40
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 500ml bottle. Thanks surge1311!

Deep brown with some light at the edges. Minimal head. Aroma is big vanilla with bourbon and oak close behind. Firm and inviting. Flavors follows with bourbon slightly edging the vanilla in this area. Loads of flavor but it works well. A creamy and silky feel with a low to moderate carbonation.

This is a tasty, proud beer.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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