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Legend Of The Liquid Brain - Bull & Bush Brewery

Not Rated.
Legend Of The Liquid BrainLegend Of The Liquid Brain

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

115 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 55
Gots: 30 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bull & Bush Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-28-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 29
Reviews by mentor:
Photo of mentor
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled this 750 ml bottle out of my cellar to enjoy a special beer on Thanksgiving night, 2011. I had waxed the cap some years ago and, upon removing the wax, discovered that I had written 2007 GABF on the cap. So, this was a left-over bottle from the 2007 GABF judging that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. This is probably the 2005 vintage of Legend of the Liquid Brain.

Pours a silky finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells rich chocolate, bourbon, oak char, ashy roast, cherry sour, strong clean alcohol sting, anise, cinder blocks, oxidation caramel, clover honey, bright fig. Nothing stands intense, but overall there is enough ummph for the aroma to be engaging.

Tastes wet with playful bourbon and alcohol sting. Bitter chocolate, roast, fig paste, prune, vanilla, coconut, nougat, cherry, and dark brown sugar. Salty, but not beefy soy as is found in some aged dark 'big beers'. Delicious caramel/cherry/sherry oxidation from age. Great balance between malt sweet and drying alcohol.

Light, yet creamy, in the mouth and finishes very light, leaving drying bourbon and charred oak over faint vanilla in the aftertaste. Modest carbonation allows the flavors to roll around a short while before they shuffle out in the finish to lingering bourbon, vanilla, and cherry alcohol. Could be considered the younger brother of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout. Not as sweet and a bit bigger hit on the alcohol.

More User Reviews:
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to ablackshear for this bottle!

500ml bottle sealed with red pressure cap. Most recent vintage; I believe this is 2014.

poured into Assassin teku.

Appearance: black bodied beer with thick brown cap that drops down to an very thin yet uneven cap. Spotty lacing and heavy booze legs noted after each sip.

Smell: sweet yet balanced barrel forward nose. Earthy oak, spicy bourbon, sweet vanilla. Mellow bitter chocolates to balance the nose.

Taste: Nose is almost identical to the flavor profile, but more complexity in the flavor of the beer. Its a barrel forward dessert beer. Lots of oak, bourbon, and vanilla that really are balanced nicely. Hints of that great umami richness, semi sweet chocolates, and graham crackers. Tobacco notes and a slight leather note to help mellow the sweetness in this beer. Great balance considering the huge barrel notes of this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Its slightly boozey, but it improves the overall effect of the beer in my opinion. I could see myself tackling a 500ml bottle over the course of a 2 or 3 hour session with several different food pairings. It is a really great beer to drink slowly, sip, and savor.

Overall: This beer is what BCBS tastes like fresh with that mellowness that only a properly aged bottle of BCBS brings to the table. I wish this wasnt a limited release beer. This is also my first Bull and Bush beer. Hope to try Royal Oil some day because Bull and Bush really know how to barrel age beer!

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

05 aged in Burgundy Oak barrels. Top tier stuff

A- Midnight black, no lacing; not that I expected it.

S- The burgundy wine mixed with the base stout comes off first; then the barrel, following by fig and dark fruit.

T- Incredible. The complexity of this is top tier. Two hours after drinking the glass I have Burgundy Oak Barrel Aged 05 RIS in my mouth. The wine barrel has done amazing things with this beer coming off as the first thing noticed; then the mellowed out BA stout peaks its head about 10 seconds after.

M- Very smooth, not creamy. No carb. I llke

O- I did not expect to have what I had, and I am a moron for not getting another pour

Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown glass bottle with appealing label design and branded pry-off pressure cap purchased at the Bull & Bush a few weeks ago and reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Expectations are sky high given the recommendations of trusted friends (schlimenhaumer and Duff27). Served cold into an Adelbert's stem-tulip.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Quarter finger wide head of khaki-tan colour recedes to nothing within 10 seconds, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it looks pretty typical of the style. Far from unique or special, but generally appealing.

AROMA: Heavy bourbon is present, but might overwhelm the base. Bold notes of vanilla, oak barrel, still more rich evocative vanilla, toastiness. Dark malts, chocolate malts. Sweet, but seemingly not overly so. As it comes to temperature a bit, a kiss of barrel char emerges. Marshmallow. Cream.

Overall, it's quite evocative, and the bourbon character is fantastic. Moderate to high aromatic intensity.

No yeast character, booze, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Marshmallow, toasted white oak, faint barrel char, white oak barrel sugars, dark malts, chocolate malts, fantastic bourbon-derived vanilla. Cream. The bourbon is well-married to the base - never overwhelming it - though the base is a bit wanting in terms of complexity and intricacy. Has a good depth of flavour. Nice duration and intensity of flavour.

Well-balanced and built, with good complexity (though as above-mentioned, the base alone is lacking) and subtlety. The bourbon is the star of the show, easily.

I'm really liking it. The flavours just melt together, lending it a beautiful cohesion. But the bourbon doesn't find its match in the base, and as a result this isn't quite a gestalt build.

TEXTURE: Smooth, creamy, wet, medium-bodied, soft, supple, aptly carbonated (if slightly overly so), and moderately thick. Overall presence on the palate is great. This texture really accentuates the marshmallow and bourbon well. It's a bit gooey, which works. Slightly syrupy. There's obviously some custom-tailored of texture to taste. Very well-executed.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable. It's a lovely imperial stout, and has a wonderful bourbon barrel presence. Easily the best beer I've ever had from Bull & Bush (and I say that as a Colorado native). I'll savor each sip; it's a real treat of a brew. Not even a sipper it's so drinkable. Easily one of the best imperial stouts brewed in Colorado. To quote another tasting attendee, "This is good as shit." I concur, sir.

B+

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Quite a delicious beer right here, folks. I'm not sure which barrels they aged this version in, but I believe it to be Wild Turkey...maybe Evan. Anywho...

A dark cola pour that settles to a nice black color in the glass. A small off-brown head remains a collar, and is probably the only downside of this beer.

Aroma is rich. Sweet caramel and dark chocolate. Toffee. Some wet coffee beans...or unripe ones. Molasses is light and subtle throughout, but does hang in there. Dark fruit..black plum, raisin. Vanilla. It's all there. Complex but not an over-thinker.

For 12% abv this thing drinks amazingly well. Fantastic beer

Photo of Duff27
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cap and collar, light beige in color. Head is lasting awhile, great especially for a high ABV barrel aged stout

S- Evocative vanilla tones, slight oak aroma.

T- Medium roastiness, brownie batter. Barrel notes are outstanding. Warming alcohol finish but would guess less than 12%abv because it hides it so well.

M- Super smooth mouthfeel, creamy. Low, fitting carbonation.

D/O- Everything comes together wonderfully. Nary a flaw. Bull and Bush really impressed me here, and they have my attention. Thanks a ton for this "should want" kojevergas!

Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bull & Bush Pub. Served cold into a tall goblet glass.

Legend of the Liquid Brain is a very dark brown color, nearly black, with creama colored head. It settles slowly and leaves some nice lace.

Aroma is rich and malty with a little boozy bourbon.

The taste is excellent with great depth of flavor. It has the roasted malt, bourbon, and vanilla. I'm not sure it's bourbon barrel aged but it definately has the same qualities of those that are.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and incredibly smooth. Silky, creamy and delicious.

Overall a really great imperial stout. If only it was in bottles.

Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Retired my ass, served in a goblet. Poured mahogany/black with 2/3" tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Bigtime bourbon, booze, vanilla & a whiff breadyness & choclate

T: Huge bourbon smack up front to include the warming alcohol, then dryness & vanilla. I catch a little chocolate & roasted grains as well. Finishes dry sweet & warming

MF: Rich, sticky & chewy with adequate carbonation to being out all the flavors

Man this was quaffable, a bit heavy to session on & the intial alcohol heat could be a little more subtle. I wanted to take a jug home, but alas they wouldn't sell it by the jug, sigh

Photo of sterstar1
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a great brew. It's kind of a Royal Oil-Light. Well, it's not light by any means but not as thick as the Oil. Not a lot of carbonation so the mouth-feel is pretty smooth. What I get from the taste is cherry twizzlers. It's so sweet and yummy. When ever they have this on tab, i have to get two at least. :)

Photo of Mongrel
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours much thinner than expected for a 12% stout. There's a nice khaki head though that actually sees some nice lace retention.

Smells like sweet, boozy caramel. Big nose on this one with plenty of bourbon barrel. Some rye-like spice in the background, along with dark fruit.

Taste mirrors the nose -- big, sweet and caramel-y up front, with some cocao and dark fruit in the middle and dry, spicy finish. There's also brewer's licorice and just a little minty astringency from the booze when it's all said and done.

This imperial stout's relative thinness, makes for a uniquely long, dry finish. It also makes this big beer dangerously drinkable, more like a porter.

Overall, this is certainly one of the most flavorful impy stouts that I've had the pleasure of trying. Despite its smell, it's thankfully not as sweet as BCBS. The beer's thinness is a gift and a curse, while the bourbon barrel does its job really nicely. I agree with many of the other reviewers here - this beer is SMOOTH.

Photo of rallison
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes during my GABF 07 trip (had at the brewpub itself).

2005 Vintage.

Ridiculous lacing. Subdued chocolate, bourbon and vanilla aroma.

Creamy. Milk chocolate, sweeter coffee. Bourbon is nicely in the background. Some vanilla.

Excellent balance. Rich, yet somehow light on the tongue. Low carbonation. Ridiculously drinkable for 12%!

Photo of waltonc
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled five varieties of this last night at Bull & Bush. They varied quite a bit. My favorite was brewed in 2003 and aged in Wild Turkey Rare Breed barrels for two years. One of the best stouts I've had. Dark brown, possibly black in color without much head. Smell and taste were outstanding: smooth whiskey, vanilla, brown sugar, light notes of dark fruit, absolutely no heat at all. Fairly thick bodied, with relatively low carbonation. Would be great to see a regular Liquid Brain offering on the B&B menu.

Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.57/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From the 2010 GABF week tapping at the Bull & Bush.

A: Liquid Brain is deep brown, but not quite black, with mahogany highlights and a rich, tan head with quite a few large bubbles. Right after the chalice was served, all of the big bubbles migrated to the rim, opening up the middle of the glass. For the first half a minute, they popped, sending little shockwaves of cream towards the center. I've really never seen anything like this. Ethanol "legs" stick to the glass like you'd see in a typical mega-strength beer.

S: The nose of LLB packs sour cherries, LOTS of apple, raisins, plum, a hint of roasty espresso, Scotch whiskey, and faint wood. Apple dominates the profile.

T: Acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde. More acetaldehyde. The flavor is overwhelmingly apple. This is awful. I was really looking forward to trying a WBC gold medal winner, and this is clearly not one. I have to believe that this particular keg was tainted, because there is no conceivable way that gold would be awarded to a beer with such a glaring fault.

Attempting to detect flavors hidden behind the overpowering Granny Smith taste, I can find some roast malt, whisky, a distinct hot burn, and slight phenolic taste.

M: Thin and puckering from the tartness. The carbonation is low-medium, and perfect for the style.

D: Low, maybe medium-low. While it's clear that Gabe struck a nice balance between dark, roast character; subtle, earthy hops; and oaken whiskey, the acetaldehyde makes this beer all but undrinkable.

Photo of emmasdad
3.87/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark, bottomless black, with nary a head to speak of. This one looked a lot like used motor oil and smelled like straight booze. I like straight booze. Huge bourbon aromas, along with some dark chocolate and vanilla. The bourbon is very well integrated into the beer, and never overpowers. Nicely balanced, and dangerously drinkable.

Photo of cextreme
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Very smooth.

Photo of chugalug06
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very small release of bottle carbonation. Head barely pours one-finger thin soapy/foam mocha. Brew is super dense jet black. No lacing. Great, yet fast legs.

Damn nice aroma. Tons of Vanilla barrel. Raisin, dark chocolate, orange zest, ginger, bready, medium roast coffee...nutty and salty.

Whoa. This is a super complex brew, much like the aroma. Lots of (well) mixed flavors. Nutty, smooth, robust 68% chocolate, forward wet strong sweetness shows the best of the beer, nearly over "doing" it. Vanilla from the barrel, Nuttyness from malt, and (light) hop balance to boot. Wet, quaffable, bitterness doesn't linger, rather draws you in for another sip of (near) greatness. Carbonation is super light and well placed; if anything too much. Coffee flavors are very mild and not to be considered forward or rounded. Finish is VERY dry and modestly salty.

Simply a great beer. This is by far the best beer I've had from B&B. I was about to give up ever seeing this brew in bottle...until. It was well worth the wait and definitely worthy of the *hunt*. A great tick. Highly recommended @ whatever price I paid...$13/16.9oz bottle. Pure genius. Now, get some damn brew space and grow some legs!!!

Photo of pml0904
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just recently moved back to the great state of Colorado and have to say I did miss the great beers brewed here. I spied this brew and was thoroughly impressed. I had the 2008, 2006, 2003 and a few sips of my friends 2009. All were amazing. I liked the scotch aged the best so my review will reflect that one.

A - Super dark and opaque no light could ever get through this beer. I was disappointed in the way it didn't have any head. I know, I know, its high alcohol, but I missed it all the same
S - ooh boy. You can definitely tell this was aged in a scotch barrel. Crazy strong scotch aroma as well as those dark fruity undertones that come with most imperial stouts. I happen to love scotch almost as much as beer so this was a great smell to me.
T- The smell was very indicative of the taste. Great scotch taste as well as cherries and plums. Reminiscent of Bell's Batch 9000 beer with a sweet finish. It almost had a wine-like taste. Loved every drop of it.
M- coated the moth very well. It was a little thinner than I was expecting but still great.
D- This beer is potent. The alcohol was masked pretty well but you could definitely taste it.

Photo of benito
3.74/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub; served at room temperature in a chalice for $6.50. Pricey, but worthwhile.

A: Opaque, jet black with a not-too persistent, tan head.

S: Muted aromas of syrup, coffee, and sweet cream. Little to no hop aroma; no off aromas (diacetyl) or strong esters. The bouquet neither stands out nor offends.

T and M: Smooth, creamy mixture of chocolate, sweet cream (this is almost like an imperial sweet stout), coffee, tobacco, and stwed fruit. Very well balanced with enough bittering hops to keep it from being overly sweet; though overall the sweet, liqueur-like flavors are the star of the show here.

D: Very smooth for an RIS; the 11% ABV is very well hidden, and there's only a trace of the warming at the end of each sip.

A very good, well-balanced (read: not too hoppy, not too aggressive) interpretation of the RIS. I get the feeling this is what most imperial stouts would have been like before American hops entered the picture. This joins Redfish's Blackalicious, Rock Bottom's Kick'N Chick'N and Pumphouse's Backdraft as one of the most enjoyable only-on-tap impy stouts in Colorado. Seek it out if you're in Denver.

Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not sure what vintage, possible '05? Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head.

The nose has chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, oak and roasty malts.

The taste has lots of dark roasted malts and bitter hops, but is well balanced by dark pitted fruits, wood, vanilla, cocoa and whiskey.

Thick, creamy body is delicately carbonated. Great stuff from Bull and Bush.

Photo of IAmJacksHopTongue
4.98/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate. Vanilla and marshmallow barrel flavors coming through also, but mostly chocolate. First time having this beer. What a pleasant surprise. I cannot think of another BA imperial stout that I'd rather have right now.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a 2005 vintage on tap at the Bull and Bush. It was black as night and had a serious whiskey/bourbon smell going on. The taste had more bourbon, thick, coats your mouth. This is pretty darn good and it must certainly be barrel-aged. It kinda reminds me of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout which is a good thing. If you like RIS or barrel-aged brews, try this one. Oh, and the bartender told me it was 12% ABV.

Update 2014 bottle, outstanding aroma, chocolate, sweet, bourbon, yum.

Photo of Crosling
3.62/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draught @ the Boulder Strong Ale Festival. Lovely aroma of bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee and roast. Unfortunately, the flavor was a bit of a let down. The barrel seemed to only contribute whiskey flavors, not vanilla or coconut or other nuances. The body was also disappointing.

Photo of grumpy
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The Legend continues, apparently, retired or not. It was on tap over the weekend before Memorial Day at the pub. The stout I tasted did not particularly strike me as being aged in Bourbon barrels. The Royal Oil that I slammed afterwards was a Bourbon bomb, but that’s another discussion.

This was a top notch Imperial Stout, but of a style that won’t please everybody. Pretty sweet, medium-bodied, balanced hops (at most) and moderate in its bitter roastiness. Alcohol burn was minimal. Flavors of chocolate, licorice, raisins, toffee, and molasses. Aroma was mostly chocolate and molasses. Carbonation was muted. Very… no, make that “too” easy to drink.

Now, why were they not open on Memorial Day, so I could go quaff another??

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW. i had the 2010 vintage, aged in buffalo trace barrels. holy moly, this one poured a midnight black color into a snifter with a one inch dark brown lacey head. smells like fine whiskey, vanilla, wood, booze, espresso, tobacco, burnt malt. the nose is amazing, i was smelling this one for awhile, just so enticing. flavor is equally layered, starting with the woody booze complex and moving into a gentler vanilla coffee sweetness finishing a little bitter from the heavily roasted malts. feel is massive, this beer is a stand alone item, as im not sure what kind of food could do justice here, maybe just a dollop of french vanilla ice cream. lower carbonation and a massive body combine to make this one a slow sipper. i cant imagine a more mature and well aged brew than this, a real treat!

Photo of rhinos00
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Bull & Bush a couple days before GABF. Served in a snifter. 2005 vintage; aged in french oak burgundy barrels.

A- Pours a dark chocolate brown. Produced a fingers width of mocha colored head. Quickly reduced to a thin ring around the glass with minor lacing.

S- Wine dominates the nose! As a beer lover, I would love to see more balance, but I'm also a fan of wine, so this was extremely pleasant. Immediately and without warning, the aroma of freshly pressed grapes just infiltrate the olfactory senses...very intoxicating. While it's hard to detect, underneath it all you can pick up on bits caramel, chocolate and molasses. A little bit of oak in there as well.

T- As expected, a deep merlot flavor jumps forward. Serving as the background, the stout base offers some complexity through the chocolate malts and bits of caramel. The beer finishes with sweet, vinous notes and a bit of alcohol. Complex, but a little heavy handed with the barrel aging.

M- Medium bodied. Would have liked to see a little more viscosity to bring out the stout aspects of this beer. This was probably the only thing holding the beer back from being absolutely mind-blowing.

D- Very drinkable. The intense barrel flavors automatically make you think you're drinking a fine wine.

Overall, not very balanced, but with this beer it's an absolute good thing. The flavors brought out from the barrel aging process was pretty remarkable. Excellent stuff.

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Legend Of The Liquid Brain from Bull & Bush Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.