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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 n2185
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with no lacing.

S: Vanilla dominates here with roasted malts, sweet cocoa, and creamy milk chocolate.

T: Roasted malts here as well with strong flavors of vanilla, cocoa, and semi-sweet chocolate. There is a light char flavor as well before a moderately boozy finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer could use a little creamier body to smooth over the boozy finish.

O: An enjoyable beer, overall. Not terribly complex, but lots of nice chocolate and vanilla flavors going on.

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

Bottle opened on 3.22.14

A - Pours a dark brown with a nice fluffy dark tan head with good retention.

S - Roasted malts and tons of vanilla notes.

T - Tons of vanilla, some slight roastedness.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Tons of flavor with very good vanilla without it being overly sweet.

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Photo of jbwimer
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opened this up with some good buddies over a game of Settlers of Catan. A great past-time of ours. Glad to be back at it now that we've all graduated. Poured a few ounces from the bottle into a Voodoo Barrel Room tasting snifter.

A- Looks like an imperial stout. A small mocha head disappears into oblivion before 30 seconds have passed. Deep, dark color with a little light getting through on the edges. Not much lacing, but that is to be expected on a beer such as this.

S- Mostly getting chocolate with some roasted malt. Also, brown sugar. There is certainly some vanilla, though not the same as vanilla beans. More like tannins from the barrel. Understated bourbon adds to the mix. A delightful aroma, though it leaves me wanting for more vanilla. Still quite delicious.

T- Just about the same as the nose. Dark chocolate, roasted malt, brown sugar, faint bourbon and vanilla sweetness that balance out the other flavors wonderfully. Faint alcohol flavors are actually quite welcome here. Not harsh at all, but blend well with the overall smoothness of the beer. Excellent.

M- Great body on this beer. Medium-full with low carbonation. Velvety smooth with an enjoyable warmth from the alcohol. Coats the palate with great, rich flavors.

O- Great beer. As mentioned above, I only wish that it had delivered more vanilla flavors, as I think that would have taken this beer to the next level. Still, it's a phenomenal brew, and is right up there with the top BA imperial stouts/porters.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pitch black maybe with a touch of brown on the very edges. a half finger of a tan head that when poured aggressively. fades to a small lacing. completely dark and opaque.

Smell: lots of vanilla, some bourbon, brown sugar, very small porter/stout notes peak through.

Taste: lots of vanilla up front. some bourbon and alcohol come in behind. some dark fruit and brown sugar. ends with a slight roasty and coffee/chocolate note.

Mouthfeel: heavy, sticky and some strong slightly astringent and warming alcohol.

Overall: great barrel aged beer. good vanilla character and lots of other flavors coming through. I think its just a notch below the regular barrel aged framinghammer but still great.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours out a dark, glossy black, with a quarter inch head, and no lacing.

Smells like rich dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, and creamy vanilla
I could've thought this was a chocolate and vanilla variant, but it was just a vanilla one. Unbelievably smooth vanilla beans and chocolate, creamy and nice, with some chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of oak. Very smooth, the smoothest variant that I tried tonight.

Medium bodied, slightly sticky. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Very low carbonation.

An amazing variant, great vanilla flavor.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla bean, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, vanilla, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice mix of vanilla and bourbon aspects all around.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is dark brown, almost black, caramel to light brown head. Nose smells like it was barrel aged, wood and bourbon notes up front with a pleasant light roast and some rich malt goodness. A bit of caramel and some chocolate cake notes with just a hint of vanilla. Flavor has bourbon up front, quite nicely balanced. More vanilla in the flavor, well carbonated, some fudge notes and touches of caramel. Never gets sweet, has a light roastiness through the finish. Good stuff!

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this under the BA vanilla framinghammer listing as per previous listings assertions that plan ol' vanilla framinghammer hasn't been brewed in a while. That being said I'm pretty darn sure the beer I am currently drinking never saw a barrel. Either way... black, its black. Coffee colored head, tight bubbles, scant lacing, nice looking porter. Aroma is of cacao, milk chocolat, and vanilla, its a clean aroma. It is an assertive aroma. Incidently I always find beers with vanilla to have a bit of a plastic-y quality in the aroma and taste. Taste complements the aroma. Roasty cacao married o vanilla, like mexican chocolate. Appropriate bitterness is lent from hops and roast. This beer should be more chewy, but it has a dense body and a relatively clean finish with a slight bitter chocolate lingering around the tongue.

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Photo of stephens101
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
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 +6%
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 +0.5%
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 +12.7%
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 -3.2%
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 +9.7%
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 -1.9%
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%
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 -2.1%
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 +2.5%
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 +1.4%
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 -2.1%
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 -2.8%
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 +3.7%
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 +7.6%
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%
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 -4.9%
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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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.