1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Hammer - Barrel Aged - Phillips Brewing Company

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

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

36 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Larz_73

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

07-04-2014 05:17:31 | More by Larz_73
Photo of ZachT

British Columbia (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -9.9%

A: Black as your mother's soul, three fingers of thick, dark amber head
S: Malty, smokey, rich vanilla and subtle fruitiness, strong alcohol presense, get a wee bit of oakish notes in the background
T: Very rich and smooth malt flavour, hints of vanilla, slightly smokey oak flavours, leaves a rich, bitter but malty flavour behind
M: Medium-heavy body, smooth, but not as smooth as other barrel-aged beers this season, nice bitter-sweet finish
O: Really nice imperial stout, not as harsh as other similar styles, quite drinkable, the barrel-aging adds a nice complexity compared to the regular Hammer version. I had very high hopes after trying the regular version, and although this was a fantastic brew, it wasn't quite as "exceptional" as I was hoping. But still a damn good beer.

01-26-2014 03:51:43 | More by ZachT
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1.2%

12-23-2013 03:42:29 | More by Derek
Photo of Bottle_Conditioned

Alberta (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev +3.5%

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.

12-01-2013 04:15:01 | More by Bottle_Conditioned
Photo of Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

05-20-2013 04:43:31 | More by Kmat10
Photo of sclitch

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

03-28-2013 15:07:13 | More by sclitch
Photo of 604growler

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

03-06-2013 14:03:57 | More by 604growler
Photo of IanSpindler

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

02-27-2013 21:03:27 | More by IanSpindler
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

02-11-2013 15:41:35 | More by ericj551
Photo of schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

02-01-2013 07:36:03 | More by schnarr84
Photo of CookstLiquor

British Columbia (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a typical blackish brown with little in the way of brownish-tan head. Nose has a little smoke and dark malt notes. Taste offers some nice sweet vanilla and coconut notes as a result of the barrel aging. Overall feels a little thin, more like a Baltic porter, maybe. Certainly not poorly made, just doesn't have the heft and booziness we've become accustomed to in this style.

01-21-2013 03:24:50 | More by CookstLiquor
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.44/5  rDev +9.6%

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).

01-19-2013 02:11:15 | More by canucklehead
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%

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

12-09-2012 07:29:10 | More by LampertLand
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

11-02-2012 11:08:18 | More by papat444
Photo of Jeffo


4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

09-20-2012 19:46:14 | More by Jeffo
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

09-08-2012 15:50:23 | More by liamt07
Photo of ChuckGnarly

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

08-06-2012 05:27:13 | More by ChuckGnarly
Photo of shagal

Alberta (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

05-04-2012 20:03:39 | More by shagal
Photo of Converge

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

04-29-2012 01:17:57 | More by Converge
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma consists of vanilla and wood with some light dry roasted malt. Taste is also a solid mix of vanilla notes with light woody notes and some black chocolate. Body is below average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and quite enjoyable though a fuller body would have been better.

04-10-2012 16:55:07 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of IllNate

British Columbia (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours the blackest beer I've ever seen. With a finger of mahogany head. Subsides quickly to lacing. Immediate impression of smoke in the nose. I would be surprised if this is due to the smoked oak entirely and I think it likely there is some smoked malt in the recipe. Along with the smoke come coffee, cocoa, currants and oak. The palate follows with cocoa, nutty coffee, smoke and currants. Mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol is well hidden. Overall a great imperial stout. But I've had better.

04-01-2012 03:08:25 | More by IllNate
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

03-10-2012 21:23:12 | More by chickenm
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

03-05-2012 01:31:26 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of mmurphy525

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

02-28-2012 17:12:45 | More by mmurphy525
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

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!

02-14-2012 14:13:39 | More by Rutager
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
The Hammer - Barrel Aged from Phillips Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.