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Legend Of The Liquid Brain | Bull & Bush Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
35 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
35
Ratings:
142
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.29%
 
 
Wants:
84
Gots:
35
For Trade:
5
Legend Of The Liquid BrainLegend Of The Liquid Brain
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bull & Bush Brewery
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-28-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 142
Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.57/5  rDev -40.8%
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.

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Photo of Crosling
3.62/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of benito
3.74/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
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+

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Photo of kscaldef
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, minimal head, thick sheeting, splotchy lacing. Chocolate and caramel aromas, but also a vegetal undernote. Thick chocolate milk. Lighter in the mouth than you'd expect for 12%, even with minimal carbonation.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the falling rock 15th anniversary edition. They say it may be 17%.

A - for a cask, not bad. Only a few bubbles. Deep dark brown body. Coats the glass nicely in alcohol/syrup.

S - tons of oak, vanilla, and alcohol. Also caramel and only the slightest hint of red wine. Burns from all the alcohol.

T - oaky, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, alcohol, red wine is much more present, and some chocolate/coffee.

M - only the slightest hint of carbonation. Body is thick and very drying. Still burns from the alcohol.

O - a nice beer but a bit over the top. A lot of competing flavors/aromas. Still, I should have expected it.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark black color. Tan head that is light. Aroma is a smooth mixture of leather, vanilla, toasted malt, raisins and figs. Nice sweetness up front, boozy vanilla throughout with a nice lingering flavor. A delicious stout, dessert!

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Photo of Mongrel
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of grumpy
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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??

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 500ml (16.9-oz.) bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter
From: Beer Advocate’s ucsbmullet
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on April 16, 2015
Consumed: Aug. 21, 2015
Misc.: Bottled in 2014

Thanks, Nick!

Poured a black color with two fingers of fizzy, tan head. Average amount of uneven foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Above average retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled chocolate syrup, toffee, caramel, Rolos candy, warm brownies, faint bourbon and light oak. Very nice. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste followed the nose, getting chocolate syrup, rich toffee, caramel, Rolos candy, brownie mix, rich chocolate malts, chocolate milk, barrel wood, dark fruit, faint tobacco and dark plum. Alcohol was extremely well hidden. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Slick-to-sticky texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.50)

This was an awesome Imperial Stout. Would love to have it again. (Overall - 4.25)

4.36 | 97 | A

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Photo of sterstar1
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
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. :)

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Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of zonker17
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle consumed 12/29/15. Very dark, near black. Little head and some linger. Toasty malt, vanilla, and oak on the nose. Good burnt malt flavor along with barrel with a bit of booze and cream. Medium body and mild carbonation.

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Photo of rallison
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
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%!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle into a Snifter

L: Inky black with a hint of ruby, minimal beige head dissipating quickly to a persistent collar
A: Caramel, toffee, oak, some heat, chocolate
T: Dark fruit, lingering malt, chocolate
F: Thinner than expected, but no big deal
O: Been searching for this one for a long time, worth the wait, will seek out again

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thank you bluebleefer for.leaving this for me after a bottle share, enjoyed from a tulip.

pours black as night w an off white cap that left a thin skin of bubbles on the surface. nose is decadent chocolate and booze soaked wood. really comes alive lb the first sip. rich lush decadent chocolate and bourbon. the barrel is front and center with a big wood presence. reminds me of black ops. VERY tasty BA stout. worth hunting down.

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Photo of spoony
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 500 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a thin, dark-brown head that fades quickly to a collar. The head leaves no lacing. The beer has an oily sheen on top and leaves some nice legs on the glass as I drink. It is ebony in color and opaque. It looks thick and syrupy.

S-The aroma is an intense bourbon barrel experience. I detect vanilla, toasted oak, burnt sugar, toffee, cream, and a bit of chocolate. There is a bit of burn in my nostrils from the alcohol, but it fits well with the booze-forward aroma. Perhaps the aroma is not as complex as some and it is a touch sweet, but if you like bourbon, this is a great smelling beer.

T-The taste tracks the smell closely. This beer is like a bourbon-infused dark chocolate milk shake. Vanilla, caramel, burnt sugar, cream, cocoa, dark chocolate, and toasted oak are all there in great balance. It is hotter than some beers, which is to be expected at 12%, but the alcohol burn doesn't detract anything from the flavor.

M-The feel is medium to full body with a lower than average carbonation. There is just enough bubble to keep it from feeling syrupy.

O-This beer is for bourbon lovers like me. It is an example of really letting the booze come through in the beer and I enjoyed it immensely. It may lack some the roasty complexity that other barrel-aged stouts possess, but the purity and intensity of the flavors here are tough to match. I would put this up against BCBS any day.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16.9 fl oz 2014 bottle; into a snifter.
Appearance - shadow black; very thin, tan head that leaves weak lacing.
Smell - brownies, dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, bourbon and perhaps a hint of black licorice!
Taste - follows the nose; so much going on here, it's hard to detect the 12%!
Feel - remarkembly smooth at 12%; complex with a touch of toffee sweetness, dark chocolate bitterness and some vanilla and oak booze!
Overall - superb barrel aged imperial stout; great complexity, balance and flavor!

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Photo of chugalug06
4.47/5  rDev +3%
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!!!

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Photo of mentor
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, quite a treat! Arrives a deep rich dark opaque black color with a 1 finger brown head, good retention and lacing. The nose is a bouquet of chocolate, oak, vanilla, and dark fruit with hints of bourbon and alcohol hear, very warm and inviting. The flavor is full of huge chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, roast, caramel malts. Sweet but not overly so with a complex bourbon and malt sweetness that meshes well with a mild bitterness. Full bodied and creamy and smooth and delicious. Well carbonated. Overall, this is one hell of a beer. It's a pleasure to be able to enjoy some whenever the brewery puts it out. Highly recommended.

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Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
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

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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: 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! You could call this the Bourbon County Stout of Colorado. I actually like this slightly better than Bourbon County Stout!

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Legend Of The Liquid Brain from Bull & Bush Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.