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Paw Paw (Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Barrel) - Country Boy Brewing

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Paw Paw (Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Barrel)
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37 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 6
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 7.78%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Country Boy Brewing
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 11-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 6
Photo of cjgator3
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Country Boy Brewing out of Lexington, KY

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4/5  rDev -8.5%

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4/5  rDev -8.5%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Party Town (Florence, KY) in a Country Boy pint glass. Very dark mahogany pour with a layer of foam that, while thin, exhibits some good retention. It's difficult to gauge the nose out of this glass, but I definitely get some oak, vanilla, marshmallow, and of course, bourbon notes.

The beer has a full body and lots of great bourbon flavor. Up front are heavy notes of toffee, caramel, treacle, and brown sugar. At mid-palate, here comes the bourbon! Really nice flavors of vanilla, caramel, and (yes) booze. There is a fair amount of bite here without being boozy. The sweetness is met very well by the bite and, although it's not what I would call refreshing, it is drinkable, tasty, and goes down quickly. It is not over-hopped and that is one of its strengths. It's all about malt and bourbon flavor without being too substantial. Color me impressed.

I've very glad I had a chance to try this beer (among several others) from Country Boy. I had heard about them and they certainly lived up to their reputation. This particular beer (for me) was very reminiscent of Backwoods Bastard, only with less sweetness and a bit more ``bite''. I honestly expected to be turned off by a bourbon-barrel-aged amber ale. I anticipated an unpleasant clash of hoppy bitterness and bourbon sweetness. The fact that the brewer did not go overboard with the hops tells me they are on my wavelength. I hope to see their offerings around here more often.

Photo of chinchill
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub in Lexington.
Small, weak off-white head over a dark red-brown body.
Smells great, with high-end whisky, some vanilla, burnt sugars and a touch of dark fruit. The taste follows, with a very well calibrated dose of whisky barrel treatment, and the high-end whisky shows. Lightly sweet.

Low carbonation and near medium body.

O: Excellent. Well hidden ABV. Best barrel aged amber/red I've ever had.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And the barrel age program at Country Boy Brewing begins! The roll out of an American red ale, brewed to 7.5% strength goes into the twenty year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels and a whole lotta wholesome goodness comes out.

With appearances of port wine, the deep maroon hues of red are shared by the tawny bronze highlights that are obvious contributions from the barrel. Mild carbonation ensures the full appreciation of flavor and silky smooth weight, while releasing a light cream colored head that regenerates with a gentle swirl. Low on lacing, the beer instead delivers brandy-like legging when tilted toward the light.

Sultry aromas of maple syrup waft over the olfactory senses from the cumulitive notes of matures malts, caramel, coconut, and weathered oak. Nutty cashews and butterscotch keep the mouth whetted in anticipation of taste.

The masculine whimsy of port wine, fine sherry, and maple sweetened bourbon resonate on the palate like few do. The tase of Pappy Van Winkle is alive in taste as it complements the malt sweetness with its own caramlization as the wood sugars further seep into the beer. Light toasty flavors of graham crackers and buttered toast keep the savory complexities comming. Low in hops, the beer seems to achieve as much balance from oak tannin as it does hop bitterness.

The beer rounds out beautifully in mouthfeel as the creamy-sweet textures have a marshmallow effect early on. The bourbon alcohol penetrate the creamy feel and glide the beer across the palate like silk. The beer concludes with an extended powdery wood texture and lightly vinous cherry alcohol warmth.

I keep drawing comparisons to finer tawny ports, bourbons, and cognac as many of those savory aged notes of oxidation and and tannin make the beer wonderful instead of a distraction as they do in most other beers. That's the intangible character that makes this beer among the best red ales I have yet to try.

Photo of KYGunner
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most gorgeous beers I've ever seen it has deep mahogany color with a thick creamy head and tremendous lacing.

The scent is robust with thick barley grains over tell tale barrel aged notes. Coconuts and vanilla start a creamy caramel malt finish and it has hints of bourbon and oak.

Sublime creaminess lends to feel and taste as caramel, chocolate, barley, bourbon, oakey woodiness, slight char and thick toffee all come together in a full, viscous swallow.

A lot of hype surrounding this but it combines so much in its aging that it almost redefines the genre of amber.

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Paw Paw (Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Barrel) from Country Boy Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.