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Uncle Jacob's Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Uncle Jacob's StoutUncle Jacob's Stout

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

267 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 267
Hads: 1,967
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 3.43%
Wants: 547
Gots: 819 | FT: 120
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  16.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emmasdad on 04-08-2012

In the quest to create a collection of barrel-aged beers to be reproduced annually, Avery Brewing Company is releasing Uncle Jacob’s Stout, the second member of its Annual Barrel Series. The collection began with Rumpkin rum barrel-aged pumpkin ale in the fall of 2011, and now continues with this 17.4% ABV stout that was aged in first-use Bourbon barrels for 6 months. While the Avery Barrel-Aged Series features one-time-only batches, such as the recent Muscat d’Amour and Récolte Sauvage, the Annual Barrel Series features a selection of cellarable barrel-aged beers that fans can return to and get to know every year.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 267 | Hads: 1,967
Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.12/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2013 Vintage

L - Pitch black with ruby red on the edges. A finger of tan head.

S - Lots of charred oak. Hot bourbon and roasted malts. Alcohol sting is noticeable - when inhaled, the aroma burns the eyes. Maybe a hint of dark chocolate too.

T - Bourbon is sweet and a little cloying. I pride myself on not picking up any alcohol in high gravity beers when others claim they are too "hot", but I'm sorry, but this is is just overpowering with the alcohol taste. Not even in a good, smooth bourbon or spirit flavor, this just stings from beginning to end as if you're drinking gonorrhea (I exaggerate for effect, but still, this is just pure alcohol). Aside from that is some of the aforementioned chocolate, but is more like Hershey's syrup, which is nice. Like the aroma, there's a lot of oak and char.

F - It is thick and luscious like it should be. Alcohol presence and burn is significantly more noticeable than other BA stouts. Some cloying bourbon and alcohol.

O - Cloying bourbon and a pure alcohol feel has prevented this from being great. I imagine whatever base Imperial Stout used might be a good beer, but the barrel-aging has just infected this beer with too much pure alcohol smell and taste. Other characteristics such as roasted malts and chocolate are faded in the background. It's a 16.53% beer and it tastes as such. (1,339 characters)

Photo of wellsnb
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 version. All in all this is a very good BA imperial stout. It's not quite the level of BCBS, but this has very similar qualities. The 16+% is hidden very well. (164 characters)

Photo of VikingBeer
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Beautiful rich, black color, lovely, persistent head and lacing. Smells of rich bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, with hints of vanilla and a faint spiciness from the hops. On the palate, it's rich, thick, and with enough carbonation to make it smooth and almost chewy. Flavors begin with a big blast of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, and carob chips all at once, followed closely by fruit (cherries, plums, raisins), malted-milk balls, a hint of vanilla, and a nice, subtle whiff of spicy, herbal hop flavor on the back end. Finish is off-dry, heavy on lingering malt and bourbon sweetness, yet with a drier, more bitter element of coffee; like a chocolate-covered bourbon-soaked espresso bean. This is just a damn fine beer, complex, rich, and dangerously moreish for its very high ABV. Another great limited release from Avery. (844 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz, gold foil capped bottle (dated Feb 13, 2015), procured at the Yoke's across the street from my hotel in Ponderay, Idaho earlier this month.

This beer pours a solid, light-absorbing black hole, with the teensiest of brown basal edges when held to the (un)healthy glow of the computer monitor, and one measly finger of weakly foamy, bubbly, and somewhat creamy tan head, which leaves a few instances of streaky sea plume lace around the glass as things very, very slowly recede.

It smells of thick, gooey chocolate fudge, grainy caramel/toffee malt, kind of sour black orchard fruit, acrid whiskey barrel notes - estery wood, vanilla, and spicy rye and corn booze - reduced brown sugar, a whiff of vegetal smoke, faint day-old coffee, marzipan, and a leafy, weedy, and piney hop bitterness. The taste is once again big on the heady chocolate confection up front, embiggened by the large and almost in charge caramel and toffee sweetness, with some lessened woody, vanillan, and spicy hooch barrel astringencies, a cinnamon-adjacent warm spice thing, muddled dark fleshy fruit that have indeed seen the Yuk-a-Flux, subtle peat smoke, sugary coffee, and a now rather retreated piney, leafy, and faintly citrusy hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite light and unobtrusive in their plainly underwhelming frothiness, the body a stocky medium-full weight, and pleasantly smooth, with a more testy creaminess, but s'all good, man. It finishes on the sweet side, from the already enumerated cast of characters, but somehow moderated, like one might be expecting...daaaamn!

Oh yeah, another big-ass, big-booze, and big-flavour offering from Avery, who seem to be attempting to corner the market on such things (I acknowledge that they do have some competition, both at home, and abroad), to much acclaim. The Bourbon barrel doesn't even really have that much apparent effect here, only adding its two bits' worth to the morass, which is already over-funded in the first place. Great fucking stuff. (1,995 characters)

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dont get me wrong, this an excellent beer but it just seems excessive.the price and the abv.smells of caramel and bourbon, great colour and feel but its HOT!!a sipper, but as far as bourbon barrel stouts go, its good but is of bourbon county?....no and the price of it annoyed me.overall a very good beer but dont think its worth the price. (340 characters)

Photo of W_Des
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 version On tap at Avery. Pours pitch black and the nose contains strong bourbon with some coffee, chocolate and oak to round it out. The body is very bourbon forward with an espresso finish. This is something that could definitely use to age to mellow out the bourbon. (273 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: totally black with a beautiful finger of creamy brown foam atop. Very nice.

Smell: rich, sweet and very fruity with undertones of chocolate and a little roast. Fruity and complex -- they way I love a good imperial stout.

Taste: dusty, dark fruits up front: plum, cherry, dates, plus the requisite moist tobacco. Then there's a big alcoholic heat with more fruitiness and a pretty strong bitterness to hold it all together. Rich, complex and absolutely giant -- what more do you want?

Mouthfeel: big body with a good, well-integrated carbonation and a wonderful, silky-smooth creaminess. Just fantastic.

Overall: this beer comes together wonderfully. What a treat! (728 characters)

Photo of carmike813
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was a thick and vicious beer that is very unique. I was expecting a boozy bomb of bourbon but the alcohol is well masked in the thickness of the beer. So very well balanced and creamy in texture. On the nose is dark chocolate bourbon warmth. As stated the pallet is fully absorbed by creamy bitter dark chocolate with a nice warm bourbon balance.

In the high ABV barrel treated big stouts category such as Black Tuesday (and variants), World Wide Stout, Tweak and Brewdog's versions this beer really stands out at the top. I really like the deep motor oil thick stouts, and it didnt disappoint. For a beer that is this complex, i feel that it is a tad underrated.

Seek out and enjoy! (691 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 version

Pours an octopus ink black with a decent brown head of tiny bubbles that settles back into a thin, broken up layer on top.

Smells like bourbon, oak, chocolate, carmelized sugars, roasted malts, and molasses.

Lots of bourbon taste. Fairly hot. Then a burnt brown sugar/molasses flavor with a hint of vanilla sweetness. A bunch of chocolate and some expresso follow along with the oak. The bourbon is there throughout.

Fantastic silky, full body for a barrel aged beer.

A world class beer, but I would like to see what a little age does for it. It seemed to pick up quite a bit of bourbon from the barrel and that heat is there the whole time at any temperature. I have had some others in this abv range that mask it better, so that would be my biggest knock. (779 characters)

Photo of jmasher85
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Totally subjective, totally biased, totally going against a fair rating, but as far as I'm concerned, this is my favorite, and therefore the best, beer. First of all, I only tried it because I'm an Uncle Jacob myself, and even if it was $12 for a taster at Snallygaster beer festival, how could I not?? Met my expectations, hopes, dreams, and more! Even my girlfriend who is normally content with Miller Lite liked it (too much, actually. It's expensive and I'll be damned if I'm sharing any!).

But seriously, if you are willing to pony up big cash, then a million scent and flavor spirits will inhabit your body and feast upon your soul. Best was to describe it is a barrel-aged, Belgian quad-style imperial stout. It's got smoke, cocoa, chocolate, oak, stone fruit, spices, sweet, bitter, it's rich, thick, boozy but less than it's ABV would suggest. It's everything a megabeer should be. I'll add more description the next time I have some, if I can get off the floor long enough. (994 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 2/13/2015 - Batch. No. 4: Pours a black as night with a 1-2 finger foamy light brown head that was full of bubbles that were popping as it dissipated, dropping slowly and settling into a thick layer of foam on top that stuck around for quite a long time. Nice lacing coated the sides and left rings as it went down. I didn't expect much of a head or looks in general from a 16.9% ABV brew, but Uncle Jacob brought his "A" game and looked great for such a big beer.

Smells of bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, rum, red wine, oak, peat moss, caramel, bakers/dark chocolate, espresso, brownie batter, toffee, piney hops, sherry, cocoa powder and soy sauce. It seems like it should be too sweet with that list of aroma's, but it works perfectly as the barrel aging seems to have blended and mellowed everything so they work in harmony - a very impressive feat with only 6 months of aging.

Tastes like it smells with sweet bourbon, molasses, brown sugar and toffee up front, followed by rum, red wine, oak barrels, peat moss, caramel, Hershey's dark chocolate, espresso, maple syrup, toffee, piney hops, sherry, cocoa powder, charred wood, black licorice, tobacco and soy sauce. The bourbon and candied sugar aspects are bordering on too sweet and yet manage to tame the heat which hits with the first sip and make this extremely complex and flavorful. It's like an amped up BCBS where the volume goes to 11; very similar in most ways, but the heat and ABV are more extreme with Uncle Jacob's Stout but not over the top and offensive. The smoky, tobacco flavors that linger remind me of a fine Cuban cigar dipped in cognac.

Besides the heat that is always present, this beer is smooth - a slick, creamy feels that slides across your tongue, a medium body that is chewy and viscous, almost cloying sweetness that fades at the right time to let the malty and sugary sweetness kick in and counter the bourbon and oak barrel influence. This is very dynamic and extremely flavorful, by far the best Avery beer that I've had to date. A high recommendation, drink this if you can get your hands on a bottle, it was outstanding. (2,126 characters)

Photo of Dominic_jones
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Dark chocolate up front followed by a dominating molasses sweetness. A touch of oak and quite a bit of bright bourbon are present as well. However, one of the few bourbon barrel stouts that Is better cold, in my opinion. Alcohol is well hidden. (244 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into nonic pint

A: black ink with a very small off white head

S: bourbon, tobacco, leather, chocolate

T: Lots of bourbon with toffee, vanilla, leather, and tobacco not too sweet booze is hidden well for being such a high ABV

M: Fuller in the feel with a slick high alcohol feel

O: This beer is dynamite its got a great nose and feel and the taste is amazing. It might be expensive but its something you should treat yourself too. Its robust boozy and velvety! (487 characters)

Photo of Mattygross44
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

For all these babies on here who say its to hard to drink its "un drinkable" stick to your sours then. Cause this beer is for big boys only. It gets better as it warms up and that nice lil burn at the end is what most bourbon drinkers saught after like myself. Avery did a amazing job again and never lets ya down. Go find this beer and drink it!!! (348 characters)

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Whoa doctor! Definitely in Utopias territory, but only a little more than half the ABV.

Feb 2014 bottling into Guinness stout glass. Definitely would share this with someone next time because 12 ounces of 17% ABV is a lot of goodness.

Lots of bourbon, vanilla up front and chocolate on the finish. Really good taste. Very thick feel. Balance is a little off. Maybe 1 1/2 years wasn't enough aging.

You do get the alcohol afterburn on this. Maybe another year or two of aging would have helped. Will keep that in mind if there is a next time. (544 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, bottled Fed 2013

A- pours a opaque black color with a small creamy dark tan head that eventually reduces to a thick ring around the edge, leaving no lacing behind

S- strong and rich aromas of nutty chocolate fudge, espresso, charred malt, chocolate cake batter, bourbon alcohol, caramelized brown sugar & a hint of vanilla

T- there's a big whipping cream sweetness that hits the palate initially, notes of dark chocolate follow and mimic flavors of chocolate cake batter. More sweet notes of molasses and burnt brown sugar kick in, followed by rich espresso, sherry & smoked wood. The bourbon flavors carry through to the finish, adding some caramel and vanilla flavors. Some alcohol on the linger with more rich dark chocolate

M- heavy viscous body with low carbonation leads to a thick and oily mouthfeel that coats the mouth and lasts long after the finish

O- this drinks remarkably easy for nearly 17% ABV. There's a sweetness to it that seems to balance out any harsh alcohol notes, and compliments the bourbon and chocolate nearly perfectly (1,090 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with one finger tan head that left little lace patches on glass. Aroma is milk chocolate, vanilla, some woodiness along with bits of roasted and coffee malts and possibly dark fruit (swear I'm getting raisins or figs). For a beer with a large ABV percentage, the alcohol is not really present in the aroma nor in the beer itself (kudos to Avery). A rather easy drinking beer considering that it is sticky and heavy, a tongue coater, that is medium bodied and strikes a wonderful harmony between woody smoothness, some vanilla and bourbon sweetness and strength, and some roasted malts along with a smattering of chocolate. In summation, it has a little bit of everything and overall I found this beer to have a dry finish that complements a rather easy-drinking sweet beer. Worth the price (which was a lot). (837 characters)

Photo of stumac
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So this is it. My 1000th beer on Beer Advocate. Not my 1000th beer in life but on this website for sure. Pretty amazing to have come this far in the world of beer. A quick rundown of important events that led me here:

I was young once (underage) and I drank 40s and Busch Light to get drunk. I turned 21 and got a job at a liquor store (Spec's). I befriended the head of the beer department, he taught me everything he knew about beer, he moved away, I became head of the beer department. I became friends with one of our beer sales reps and he gave me my first "alternative" beer. It was the Belgian beer Delirium Nocturnum. I was hooked! I became a Craft and Belgian beer salesman after that. A buddy gave me a homebrew kit for my 23rd birthday. I dabbled with brewing until it wrapped its loving arms around me and I got hooked. I've been brewing at least twice a month for some 6 years now. I volunteer at Thirsty Planet Brewing and me and my gal Amanda (my Corndog) are moving to Portland in 4 weeks so that I can pursue my passion for brewing professionally and hopefully one day start my own brewery.

Now for the review:

Pours black as ever, no light shines thru, a little bit of dark brown bubbles hanging out on top. The nose is milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon in the background, caramel, just intense. Chocolate is the biggest player in the aroma. The taste....big sticky chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate chip cookie, brown sugar with an accent of salt, very rich. Getting a little bit of alcohol burn in the finish but I'm surprised its masked so well. Its like 17%!!! Big ass body. Redonkulous.

Glad I could make this my 1000th beer on this great site. I have been a fan of Avery since I knew what craft beer was and they never disappoint. Cheers everyone and happy brewing/drinking!!! (1,815 characters)

Photo of Dikfour
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Thin tan head dissipates quickly and leaves a nice ring around the edge of the glass. Pitch black liquid doesn't allow any light through.

Smell: Chocolate and booze up front. Nice vanilla and oak notes. Caramely sweetness.

Taste: Barrel aging has not mellowed this beer at all. This boozey monster has some dark chocolate, dark fruits, mild caramel, and a whole bunch of bourbon. Small bit of vanilla on the finish.

Feel: Chocolaty cream and a real nice hot alcohol sensation.

Overall: Really, really good. Totally worth the $13 and I have another stashed away for a rainy day somewhere in the distant future. (619 characters)

Photo of imstimpy
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm writing this as I try Uncle Jacob's for the first time. It has been stored in my 41*F fridge for four months now.

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated Feb 13, 2015 into a snifter. The pour is a semi-translucent brown, not nearly as dark or thick as some stouts, with a subtle tan head that quickly disappears. Once in the snifter it sits black with a tan ring around the edge of the glass.

The scent is predominantly chocolate, maybe a bit of licorice or bourbon overtone.

The taste is delicious. A very balanced stout base blended with chocolate and a subtle bit of bourbon. It tastes thick and smooth, but doesn't coat the tongue, then tapers slowly into a malty roasted chocolate finish. The booze in this 16.9% beer is hidden really well. A Mephistopheles or Pump[Ky]n needs time to mature but the flavor in Uncle Jacob's seems refined immediately. (855 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle poured into a 15.5 oz brandy snifter.

Look: Black and opaque body. Fine, darker, mocha head. Smooth running curtains and legs.
Smell: Bourbon, fresh baked biscuits, or dough. Vanilla. Dark chocolate, dark malts, molasses and sugar.
Taste: Decadent. Alcohol kick up front. Bourbon, dark chocolate, dark malts, molasses, sweetness.
Feel: Thick body. Low carbonation. Sticky.

Overall - Very well put together. Smooth finish. Nothing overpowers. Everything is peaceful and in place. A big, bold, brute, with class and style. (553 characters)

Photo of pagriley
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4, bottled feb 2015

L - Dark with good head for such a big beer - lacing and a nice dark mocha foam that hangs around for a moment. Heavy legs - expecting a sweet beer
S - Heat and booze up front, with some roast and chocolate struggling through. Overall the alcohol is dominant
T - Again, a lot of heat and booze, not a lot of depth even when left to warm to room temp... disappointing
F - heavy and rich, as it should be for a big beer. sweet, but not overly so

Overall a hot mess. Like smelling a gas tank. Hopefully a few years in the cellar will tame this, but it I'd too hot and too raw right now (612 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, the sun did not even come through, creamy mocha colored head, got a lot of lacing, not very carbonated, looks pretty thick and oily.

A: Lots of bourbon for only six months of aging, there's a sweet toffee, caramel aroma, lots of alcohol on the nose, this just has a lot of aroma in it, a little overwhelming.

T: Bourbon, chocolate, toffee, caramel sweetness, coffee bitterness, finishes with a lot of alcohol, almost does feel like a shot of bourbon, like the aroma, this has lots of flavor.

M: Thick, creamy, oil like, dry finish with alcohol burn.

O: This is a big beer, lots of aroma, flavor, big mouthfeel, but its very hot. I remember having this beer last year and thought it was a little messy but I think Uncle Jacob's would be a great beer to cellar as the alcohol is a little too much. Definitely going to pick up some more bottles to cellar and see what its like in 1-2 years, but this is a world class stout despite the intense heat. (968 characters)

Photo of jacobdunne
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It had a delicious taste! Honestly, I couldn't handle the other half of the beer. It was very strong. It felt like every sip I took was a shot haha..BUT it was very delicious and I appreciated it for what it was. (212 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A truly outstanding example of a bourbon barrel aged stout. It's as thick and viscous as it looks.. which is ominous. Rich vanilla, blackstrap molasses, semi sweet chocolate, dark cherry, raisins, figs, smooth smooth smooth bourbon. Big bodied, velvety, smooth, rich and creamy. Excellent all the way around. 16.9% ABV? Says who? Oh..yeah. (345 characters)

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Uncle Jacob's Stout from Avery Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.