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Before The Dawn - Steel Toe Brewing

Not Rated.
Before The DawnBefore The Dawn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 7.32%
Wants: 82
Gots: 39 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Steel Toe Brewing visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  13.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. Before the Dawn is a fusion of a Barleywine and a Russian Imperial Stout. Layer upon layer of complex malt character is what makes this beer so special. Caramel and toffee give way to molasses, coco and roasted malt. This rich and warming beer underwent a lengthy aging process in bourbon barrels which lends a wonderful oak and vanilla character followed by moderate tannin in the finish.

(Beer added by: claaark13 on 06-28-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by StlHopHead77:
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4.5/5  rDev +3%

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black and super viscous. A thin dark fudge colored head sits atop the brew but dissipates quickly. Thick, oily legs coat the sides of the glass. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little stick. Awesome.

Nose is roast, raisin, molasses, booze, chocolate, fudge, and sweet soy sauce. Deep, rich and delicious.

Opens sweet soy sauce, raisin, chocolate, fudge, and molasses. Super sweet and heavy. Boozy in the middle with a bit of smoke, roast and tobacco. Finishes liquorice, cocoa, fudge, and more molasses. Really sweet and decadent. Like drinking a cocoa-dusted brownie.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Warm and viscous in the mouth and goes down boozy, sticky and rich. Finishes messy with a sticky, sweet aftertaste. Amazing.

I'm very impressed by this huge beer. Certainly up there as one of the more memorable barrel-aged beers. Worth trying.

Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with hardly any head and minimal lacing

S: Malty, boozy; some bourbon and dark fruits; man, that smells good

T: Not too complex but tasty; bourbon, oak, and dark fruits blend together nicely

F: A touch thin but creamy enough to create a decent mouth feel on the finish

O: A very nice, boozy and yet not-too-complex barrel-aged barley wine; I wish it tasted as good as it smelled but I will take it nonetheless--it's a nice beer

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very dark body. Nearly black. Almost no head.

Smell - Molasses and whiskey. Lots of dark brown sugar.

Taste - Very sweet. Strong oak. Whiskey isn't that strong, but it complements the malt character well. Intense molasses and chocolate malt. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Medium heavy.

Overall - Excellent. I like the molasses component.

Photo of stpjames
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of thagr81us
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by caSSino during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured black with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel hop, and dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly great brew. This was definitely the highlight of the tasting this evening as I was really wowed and shocked at what I found upon first investigation. Everything was really well balanced and all the flavors and aromas were spot-on for the style and with all the right intensity. I could have easy pounded a full bottle of this with no problem, but sharing is caring unfortunately. An absolute must try without a doubt as this was one of my biggest surprises of the year so far.

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of morimech
3.46/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

From the second release a day after picking it up at the brewery.

Dense, dark, thick black fluid with half a finger head that stuck around for good long time. The chocolate colored head settles to a thick cap. A lot of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Bit of a weird aroma and not at all what I was expecting. Chocolate protein shake, wet lumber, vanilla, and lightly roasted malt. No significant sign of alcohol.

Not that whiskey forward but the barrel does play a significant flavor factor. I get more vanilla and woodsy flavor, then the whiskey. Some roasted malt with notes of chocolate and coffee. I could swear they put some lactose in this beer. Slight alcohol flavor and heat in the finish.

Thick and rich body. Very nicely carbonated gives a silky smooth, big beer feel.

I know the beer was originally brewed to be an imperial stout. I honestly do not know why they would go away from that style descriptor as it has better stout qualities, such as viscosity and luscious mouthfeel, than a lot of big stouts. I do not think barleywine when I drink this. The Bourbon barrel did not come through that well and this beer has some bizarre flavors for a barleywine or imperial stout. Huge letdown.

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of claaark13
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork and caged 75cl bottle served at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip. Schlais is the man. This is a "Black Barleywine" aged in rye whiskey barrels.

A - Nearly black pour with a 1" creamy mocha head. Turns into some nice lacing. Looks more like a RIS. Seems to stick relaly well to the sides, but the legs don't remain too well. It looks fantastic, but I'd expect this out of a RIS, not a barleywine. Confusing?

S - Loads of caramel upfront. Dark malts, some spices. There is some barrel as well. Smells like a regular BA Barleywine.

T - Carmel, some vanilla throughout. Mild spices come through. Very smooth, vanilla finish. Some woodiness comes around as well as some mild booze. A little bit of roast starts to come through. The finish shows the slightest dry character mixed with creamy roast. Spiciness from the rye barrel is present. Minimal alcohol present considering the ABV%. Mild hops in the middle show as bitterness. I find a little coffee as well.

M - Somewhere between medium and thick. Feels pretty thick and creamy on the tongue.

O - It seems like the roast is what differentiates this from a regular American Barleywine. This is a great beer. Really tough to compare it to the Barleywine style. The spices from the rye barrel are a bit light, but the caramel/vanilla is nice. The roast gives it some RIS characteristics, but the Barleywine seems to still dominate. Don't age this, drink it now. I need another one. This is very interesting.

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4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Steasy66!

Appearance. Pours pretty much black with a finger of thick tan head.

Smell. Dark malts, caramel and a little chocolate, molasses and a bit of licorice.

Taste. Whiskey and molasses, vanilla and chocolate, dark roasty malts and maybe a drop of coffee.

Mouthfeel. Full body, warm booze, smooth low carbonation.

Overall. Nice stuff. Wish I had noticed the abv before I decided to solo this. Should be interesting anyways....

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Before The Dawn from Steel Toe Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.