Before The Dawn - Steel Toe Brewing
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2013 vintage- Thanks Rouse!
Pours a thin black color. Has the look of a dark colored barleywine. Thin head of khaki foam and a bit of lacing.
Lots of bourbon/whiskey in the nose. Vanilla, light roast, oak and toffee with a hint of alcohol.
Even after a year, the barrel notes are intense. Not overly so, just very up front and delicious. Loads of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel and some roasted malt. There is a bit of coffee that comes out in the aftertaste. Slightly boozy and warm.
Heavier end of medium bodied, very smooth and mildly dry.
I can't imagine how hot this must have been fresh. At this point, it could benefit with some more age, but it is damn delicious as is. Teeters on the line of stout and barleywine, but I think the latter is more accurate. Packs a punch in abv and flavor and is amazing in the barrel aged beer category. Great job Steel Toe!
Serving type: bottle
03-31-2014 13:40:21 | More by jera1350
4.45/5 rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Luckily, I was able to make the release party, so my first taste of Before the Dawn was right from the Steel Toe Taproom.
The pour was dark and opaque; almost black. There was a finger of light tan head on the pour. Chocolate and malt came across on both the smell and the taste. Although the barrel could have been stronger, I enjoyed the more subtle, almost sweet, rye barrel flavor. That taste of rye really made the beer stand out from all of the other bourbon-aged beers that I've had. Although this was billed as a barley wine, it was much more stout-like in character in my opinion.
Serving type: on-tap
03-31-2014 12:33:43 | More by DAThompson
3.46/5 rDev -20.6%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-30-2014 21:30:18 | More by morimech
Before The Dawn from Steel Toe Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.