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The Hammer - Barrel Aged - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Hammer - Barrel AgedThe Hammer - Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

37 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Smooth with oak and smoke notes, this special version of the Hammer is aged in Bourbon barrels, yielding a more mellow version of the Imperial Stout.

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 01-16-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pudoo
5/5  rDev +23.5%

pudoo, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of schnarr84
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

schnarr84, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of ChuckGnarly
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

ChuckGnarly, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of sclitch
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

sclitch, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

IanSpindler, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of canucklehead
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The barrel aging really adds another flavour element to the Hammer with out being OTT. I have always liked the Hammer and when you look at the price point ( about $7) compared to Singularity this is a great beer. The barrel adds some oaky notes which seem to meld seamlessly with the big chocolate and coffee notes of the beer. The lower than usual ABV of an RIS make it very drinkable ( It will cellar nicely but there seems to be little need).

canucklehead, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

chickenm, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Kmat10, May 20, 2013
Photo of ericj551
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

ericj551, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of Larz_73
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Larz_73, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of LampertLand
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillip's "The Hammer" Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout @ 8.3% , a 650 ml bottle , that's been in the cellar for only 10 months , needed to make room and review
A-pour is an oily black with a quickly dissapating small tan head leaving a minimal lace ring along the pint glass
S-mellow roasted barley malt
T-smooth tasting RIS , mellowed by the barrel aging perhaps , no alcohal bite
MF-low carbonation , viscous , should be full bodied (it's a bit thin) mellow on the palate
Ov-this one goes down easier than non Barrel Hammer , very much a smooth sipping beer , another yes

cheers LampertLand

LampertLand, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Bottle_Conditioned
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark. Doesn't get much darker. 1/2" head with med bubbles. Head dies off to an 1/8", hangs-on.

S: Dark roast. A bit of vanilla.

T: Dark roast, vanilla, raisin aftertaste.

M: Carbonated, dark roast-burnt-sweet, alcohol dryness becomes apparent.

O: Have to give credit, enjoy a beer that can achieve strong dark-roast flavours without using... coffee. As with a few imperial stouts tasted; even if a bit of alcohol is apparent, still sneaky.

Bottle_Conditioned, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stop ...Hammer time.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a thin, slightly bubbly, espresso foam head.

Smell. Beautiful roasty malts and vanilla and nice toasted oak. Smells really good.

Taste. Roasty malts and coffee, a hint of licorice with a nice vanilla, woody, and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation

Overall. Maybe not the big sipper one would expect from the intimidating name, but a really nice stout that drinks easy and tastes great. The barrel flavours really improve on the regular version which is already good stuff!

Rutager, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of BDTyre
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will start off by saying I can't say that this is 100% honest review as unfortunately the bottle I bought was not sealed properly. I laid this down in my fridge and when I opened the fridge several hours later, a small pool of stout had formed on the shelf and their was dried up foam on the neck of the bottle. When I poured this the beer was still carbonated so it should be good...but I can't say for sure that this is fresh....

Identical in appearance to The Hammer. As to be expected. Coffee, dark chocolate and brown sugar scent. Slight whisky (bourbon) scent. Almost like on of those liqueur chocolates.

The bourbon scent is kind of lost in the taste...taste very similar to what I remember of The Hammer, but with a very very faint bourbon presence. A little bit bitter - the bourbon barrels maybe - but definite chocolate and coffee.

I'm rating this the same for mouthfeel as I did for The Hammer because although this is light and thin, I did have a faulty bottle and hence can't say whether the thin mouth feel is the beer itself or the fact that, at some point, this started leaking pressure.

Like The Hammer, this is a very tasty and very enjoyable beer. I really hope to grab another bottle that's sealed properly.

BDTyre, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of Converge
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into a 13.5oz tulip. This will be my first barrel-aged imperial stout, so if I end up going nuts over what is considered a somewhat mediocre BA RIS, that might be why.

A - Pours pitch black and extremely viscous, with a big rocky head of brown foam that dissipates quicker than I would have liked and doesn't leave much to look at on my new tulip. One of the darker beers I've ever seen, for sure.

S - Big, dark and roasty. Roasted malt upfront, with some smoked malt, resinous earth, and oak. Not as much coffee as I had anticipated, but more-so sweet with cocoa and dark chocolate. Rounds out with hints of anise, vanilla and molasses. As it warms a bit more I start getting some fruity notes, with raisins being the most prominent.

T - Opens up big and dark, with roasted barley and lots of dark malty goodness. Cocoa powder and dark chocolates fill the mid-palate, giving it a short lived sweetness, before it opens up to a long-lasting finish of smoke, roasted malt, oak, anise, vanilla and a touch of molasses. Roasty bitterness and subtle coffee grounds lingers long after, along with a touch of alcohol warmth. While this beer boasts an undeniably big flavor profile, and offers a variety of flavors and respectable complexity, it feels a bit underwhelming overall.

M - Thick and full, with low carbonation and big body, keeping it nice and smooth. This one also wastes no time getting sticky on the lips, but doesn't feel syrupy or oily at any point. I expected a bit more bite at the back of the palate on this one, but it feels smoother this way.

D - I don't have a witty metaphor like biboergosum to justify why I'm drinking the BA version of this brew before the stock one, but my reasoning is the same; I've simply never seen it. So it should go without saying that with no prior experience with BA stouts, and not having tried the original Hammer for reference, I have little context when it comes to these ratings. That being said, I still found this one to be a bit underwhelming. It definitely lacked a certain bite I was anticipating. Overall it was still an excellent beer and one I hope to try again.

Converge, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of papat444
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wordemupg for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours one of the darkest bodies i've seen in recent memory but the dark brown head barely makes it over a fat ring and dissipates a little too quickly.

Smell: Espresso beans, roasted coffee, vanilla notes, raisins. Doesn't let up and real nice.

Taste: Real strong espresso coffee followed by some baker's chocolate, very roasted with some creaminess, a bit nutty, hint of metallic finish at some times.

Mouthfeel: Tad high carbonation but the body is robust and drinkable. Finish loses a little as it warms but still solid.

Overall: Wished it had better head and retention because it would have ranked higher. Not complex but tasty and worthwhile.

papat444, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from wordemupg, 650ml into a tulip.

Black with a light brown cap. OK retention, leaving a ring and some light retention. Nose has loads of chocolate, cocoa, oak, light bourbon but generally features a sweeter vanilla/oak character. Taste has chocolate, oak, mild bourbon, light roast in the finish. Sweet on the whole. Medium full feel, lower carbonation which suits this beer perfectly. Simple, but satisfying for a BA'd stout.

liamt07, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, more weird Soviet-era workers' imagery on the label, with the beer name's font conflating the diacritics and alphabet of at least two different Eastern Bloc languages. All is forgiven, though, for the mention of 'roshambo' in the marketing spiel on the side...

This beer pours a completely solid black abyss, no highlights, no how, with two fingers of tight fizzy, puffy mocha head, which leaves a low ebbing wall of painted lace around the glass as it slinks away, under cover of, erm, dark.

It smells of strong roasted caramel malt, bitter dark chocolate, espresso, demerara sugar, and some mild, woody alcohol. The taste, up front, is more slanted to the dark chocolate than the caramel, but together, they add up to one big malty Ivan Drago punch to the palate; this is all quickly flattened out by a dry, toasty wood edge, aided and abetted by a strangely vodka-like booze warming, with some anise notes flitting here and there.

The bubbles are quite reserved, but not entirely AWOL, and lend a hand in rendering a medium-full, silky smooth body. It all finishes nicely balanced, some sweet choco-caramel malt going the full count against the barrel's wood astringency and simmering booze heat.

Having the wood-treated version before the stock version of such a big beer is a bit like seeing the movie version before reading the book, but, hey, my bookstore doesn't carry the 'regular' Hammer. Mixed metaphors aside, I do rather enjoy this - while not as full in weight as one could imagine, that just means that you can put it away that much more readily, marveling at the various players vying for your attention.

biboergosum, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

A: 1/2" brown head that dissipated quickly over black liquid.

S: Toffee, coffee, roasted malt.

T: That string bean/peanut malt flavour similar to the flavour of the malt in the Trainwreck Barley Wine came out first. There was some toffee, coffee and roasted malt as well. The oak of the barrel is lost in the taste of the other malt, as well as other flavours the barrel may have influenced.

M: Medium to thick viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Despite the great appearance, again I am disappointed with the flavour of the malt that is used by Phillips. A number of their beers are so close to being great beers, that unfortunately this aspect keeps them back. I am no brewer, so I don't know if it is the malts they use or part of the brewing process; but if they changed this one aspect their beers would be much, much better.

DaftCaskBC, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of DaveJanssen
4/5  rDev -1.2%

DaveJanssen, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Derek, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev -1.2%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks again for the brews man!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, mocha colored head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Jet black body with almost zero carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking beer.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark chocolate and whisky notes. Vanilla, sweet cream and iced cappuccino in there as well. The whisky is bold enough and works well with the light coffee, cappuccino and chocolate aromas. Really nice stuff.

TASTE: Roasted notes, with some wisky and vanilla flavors up front, then dark chocolate and coffee at the swallow. Milder but lingering finish of iced cappuccino, coffee, dark chocolate, and then some whisky, vanilla and sweet cream from the barrels. The barrels are mild, but the sweetness works and makes it taste like a desert beer. Easy to drink as well.

PALATE: Medium, lighter body with a touch higher amounts of carbonation. A little light on the palate, but creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Could be a little heavier and mouth-coating for the style, but passable.

OVERALL: A really nice beer for sure. The nose was fantastic on this one, but the flavors would need to be a little bolder for top marks there. Moreover, the palate needs to be a touch bigger to help carry the flavor a bit more. In any case, this is a good beer that's well worth the effort. Thanks again Rutager. Another good Phillips beer.

Jeffo, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: roast, molasses, sweet, malts

taste: molasses, sweet, roasted malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body

overall: very nice well balanced imperial stout. didn't get much flavors from the barrel but still was enjoyable.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -1.2%

schopenhauerale, Feb 12, 2012
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The Hammer - Barrel Aged from Phillips Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.