Uncle Jacob's Stout - Avery Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

256 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 256
Hads: 1,912
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 540
Gots: 790 | FT: 121
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: 256 | Hads: 1,912
Photo of beergoot
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes dated 12/7/13 during the 1st annual BA Winter Warmer Pub Crawl: Denver Style. Todd split a 12 oz bottle between eight of us at the Lucky Pie in LoDo. I lucked out and had two small pours...

Opaque brown body with a thin brown head. Aroma of chocolate, molasses, oak, dates. Flavors mirror the aroma with the addition of a big booze note and sharp hop bitterness. Rich, thick, heavy mouthfeel with lots of residual sugars.

An eye-opening, big beer. A must have for the adventurous lovers of large, complex dark beers. (536 characters)

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 release
Exactly 5 months old (since bottled)

Been sittin on this puppy for a while in order to let that 16% mellow JUST a little bit. I think our post-Thanksgiving feast is a great way sip this and digest away for hours.

Black as night...no light passing through it...yada yada yada...same old bullshit description everyone gives.

Now, the aroma is where this thing makes a name for itself. BIG blast of sweet, chocolatey bourbon. Alcohol is so tame for the huge ABV. Coffee grounds and dark chocolate are at the VERY back of the aroma with a little tobacco and caramel coming through once it warmed up.

Flavor is very similar to BCBS in that it is not too shy on the bourbon as well as very very sweet. Even though I am a big stickler for sweetness done the wrong way, this beer is bordering cloying, but it makes for a nice aperitif after that GIANT turkey feast. Same characteristics as in the aroma: a lot of coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, and a little chocolate syrup about mid palate that delivers the intense sweetness.

Not sure what this beast was like the day it was bottled, but I can only imagine the alcohol presence is a little smoother now. This was a real treat and even though my folks don't appreciate beers like this, I don't mind not sharing and tackling this bad boy myself. (1,315 characters)

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This was bottled on 06/27/2013 which is about 4.5 months ago.

Appearance: Pours black and thick and leaves less than a half finger of really dark brown head that fades quickly. The head might be the darkest I've seen.

Smell: Big bourbon, dark chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, char, raisins, figs. Lots of big flavors in the aroma.

Taste: Milk chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts, dark fruits, oak, mild coffee, licorice. A very nice balance of sweetness and bitter for the style. Well balanced and surprisingly drinkable. Starts sweet and finishes a bit bitter.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a big, slightly sticky, creamy body. The carbonation eases this one down and it finishes smooth with the alcohol really well masked.

Overall: A quality big, bourbon stout. Tons of flavor yet definitely well balanced. With the alcohol masked so well, this one could be a bit dangerous, but the mini 12 ounce bottle takes care of that. (990 characters)

Photo of MRLMedic
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

So I figured I'd review this brew as my first. I first had this as the first beer to kick off a weekend full of Phish shows. Beer was poured into a solo cup and drank almost instantly. I enjoyed it so much, I went back to the spot of purchased and bought all of them off the self. I'm reviewing my second time enjoying this brew.

12 oz bottle (Bottled 6/27/13 Batch #2) poured into snifter

Classic dessert beer here. Pours dark black, beautiful 2 finger head, smells amazing.

Initial taste is bourbon, after taste is best described by creamy dark chocolate and some toffee and caramel. Goes down so smooth for a 16.53%.

FULL BODY - Mouth feel is excellent. Well worth the $15.99 i paid per bottle. Really looking forward to having this again next year after it's been in the cellar a while. A+ double stout that I highly recommend. (837 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 355 ml bottle (review is based primarily on a bottle dated June 27, 2013, but I also had a 2012 bottle) into a snifter. Reviewed from notes date November 25, 2013.

A-The short walnut-colored head drops quickly into a collar. The head leaves some oily legs on the glass. The brew is opaque and espresso brown...almost black. Pretty standard stuff.

S-The aroma is an ultra rich mixture of dark and milk chocolate, cream, molasses, vanilla, and caramel. There is a slight twang of boozy heat, but it fits well with the brew and compliments the caramel and vanilla smell. Really inviting.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. I get dark chocolate mousse, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon-y, boozy caramel and brown sugar, and some graham cracker. The alcohol is not completely buried, but for nearly 18%, the heat is moderate.

M-The feel is thick, almost chewy, and dense. Carbonation is below average.

O-This is close to my favorite beer ever and easily my favorite stout (or imperial stout). It is complex, big, decadent, rich, but never harsh or overblown. The beer literally oozes flavor and character. I was particularly surprised by how little the 2012 had changed compared to the 2013; they were nearly identical in flavor and feel, which suggests both that this beer is great fresh and will hold up for a while. I could just sit and sip on this for hours. (1,363 characters)

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

bottle into a FW snifter. 3/27/12

dark black pour, beige head is slight. smell is boozy and has that avery smell...raisiny..you know what I mean. taste is a ton of caramel and no way the ABV is 17.5, wow!! full bodied, low carbonation..

OMG, extremely impressed! love it and deserves the praise. (297 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Beer Advocate’s ucsbmullet
Price: N/A
Purchased: Received it on Oct. 10, 2013
Consumed: Oct. 19, 2013
Misc.: Bottled June 27, 2013; Batch No. 2; 16.53% ABV

Thanks to Nick for the chance to try this.

Poured an almost pitch black color with 2-to-3 fingers of bubbly brown head. Very good amount of uneven thick espresso lacing along the sides. Good retention all the way down.

First smell was bourbon and it was definitely pretty thick. After some more searching I got toffee, caramel, solid European dark chocolate, bitter coffee beans, brownies and fudge. Most of that is just noise though. The bourbon is what you really get here and it’s wonderful.

After the first taste, all I could think was magnificent. Just full of deep, dark flavors. Those bourbon flavors were all around the toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, brownies, fudge, chocolate syrup and port wine. The scary part is that the 16.53 percent ABV felt about 6.53 percent.

Full body. Thick texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. Alcohol is still hidden all the way down. Such a great drinkable beer.

Just an amazing double stout. It may be the only one I ever try, but I would love to get some more. Wow. (1,245 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (bottled June 27, 2013 - 16.53% alcohol) poured into a Throwback snifter.

A - Pours an inky, oily pitch black color with a thin cap of dark khacki foam that fizzles away quickly leaving a foamy, thick collar...very sparse lacing.

S - Buttery toffee, rich caramel, sweet vanilla, coconut, smooth bourbon, molasses, touch of booze. Surprisingly devoid of roasty aromas. Smells like a candy bar.

T - Big bourbon up front, sweet, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, touch of astringency, roasted malt, tobacco, a bit smoky.

M - Super thick and syrupy. Sticky with sweetness...leaves a sugary coating on the lips after every sip. Variety of sweet flavor character. Medium carbonation - a touch tingly. Warm booziness that is kept under control but is definitely noticeable and part of the overall feel of this beer.

O - A stout that is balanced far towards the sweet, sticky candy-like aspects of the style. Roasted character is minimal and in the background of the flavors. Definitely a sipper...the high alcohol content, warm alcohol burn, and prominent sweetness keep this one a slow goer. A bit out of the ordinary...definitely enjoyable - a dessert beer for sure. (1,202 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2

A: This poured an opaque pitch black with moderate dark tan head.
S: It smelled like rich dark chocolate and lots of coconut and vanilla, with oak and coffee and molasses and alcohol.
T: It tasted like sugary sweet molasses and chocolate and vanilla, with some coconut and oak and coffee. It had a sticky sweet aftertaste with significant alcohol warming.
M: It was very thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. Excellent huge body.
D: This was a huge brew, with a complex scent and taste. A little sugary for me, but still delicious. The body was great, but the finish was super hot, so it must be sipped. A few years or more would likely do this beast some good. Nice fresh, but pretty crazy. (705 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.77/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from March 27 2012, batch #1. About a year and half old at this point. Poured into Gandhi Bot snifter. 17.4% abv.

A- Pours a thick very dark black with pretty much no head, maybe just a slight mocha head and some very light lacing on the sides. Not a whole lot in terms of carbonation, I guess that's a welcoming sight though after the '08 Mephistophles that was over carbonated.

S- Lots of bourbon, some oak, raisins, booze, a tiny bit of dark chocolate. Decent aroma but the high abv definitely makes itself known. Not a ton of complexity at this stage but I think it could develop.

T- Port soaked rasinis, bourbon, licorice, dark fruits, chocolate fudge, finishes with just a hint of chalkiness, smooth bourbon, and creamy dark chocolate. Overall taste is a little bit more complex then aroma, booze isn't overally harsh, in my opinion the taste isn't anything extraordinary though.

M- Very smooth for the abv, there is some burn on the back end, fairly low carb, overall a pretty nice feel considering the abv.

O- This was the second time I've had this beer, I wasn't overally impressed but considering the style and abv Avery did a decent job- still this remains a gimmicky beer to me based on the high abv. There was a nice complexity to this beer but there are plenty other stouts that I'd rather drink. (1,327 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle pour @ Lucky Pie

Deep, dense ebony body - minimal head. Heavy on the bourbon, charred malt, lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, dark fruit, torched espresso. Very over the top - definitely thrilled to have this without dropping $17 on a 12oz bottle. A fine elixir - heavy, decadent and full of boozy complexity (315 characters)

Photo of intensify
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on June 27, 2013. Batch number 2. Obviously still a very young stout but I had to crack it open after tasting it at GABF.

A- Dark as could be. The small head it poured sunk into the darkness of this huge stout. Stir the beer and it'll leave thin legs of alcohol on the sidewalls of your glass.

S- Charred coffee beans, vanilla, cocoa, roasted malts, licorice. Slight booze aroma.

T- strong licorice throughout the sip. The coffee and roasted malts along with the vanilla give it a complex balance. everything in this stout works. nothing overwhelming and a boozy finish reminds you that you're drinking a 16+ abv beer.

M- nice a full body. creamier then I imagined.

O- For such a big, young stout I am very impressed with what Avery has done here. Give it a year or two in the cellar and it would be a perfect stout. Buy 2, one to age, one to drink right away. You wont be disappointed. you might even catch a slight buzz from 1 bottle. (950 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The bottle being reviewed is a 2012 vintage.

A - Typical stout pour - pitch black, opaque, and a thin toffee colored ring around the top of the snifter.

S - Very bourbon forward, oak, small traces of dark fruit, molasses, and dark roasted chocolate.

T - Follows the nose - extremely bourbon forward with noticeable alcohol warming on the way down. Bourbon, oak, light molasses, a hint of vanilla, some char and oak, and minimal dark fruit in this beast of a sipper from start to finish - a little medicinal on the end.

M - Heavy medium body, sticky, slick.

O - Very well done and I enjoy big barrel aged beers but this one is a little overbearing because the alcohol masks a good portion of the flavor. If it weren't for the alcohol killing the complexity I'd score it higher. (782 characters)

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

Tasting again on 7/31/15. This bottle has about a year of age on it. It's fantastic. Like a bourbon soaked piece of molasses candy with a little soy sauce in the finish (umamI), and some lovely raisin notes. I found this way too boozy when fresh but now it's a beautiful beer. Time to seek out more for the basement. (321 characters)

Photo of B-29Pilot
4.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is hands down one of my absolute favorite beers. I have purchased several over the course of a few months, (2013 batch) and I have shared a few of them with my friends. I have a few stashed aside for aging, and I plan on doing some side by side comparisons as future batches are released.

Appearance: Deep dark black with a nice tan head that leaves a beautiful oily coat on the glass.

Aroma: Slightly boozy from the bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruits (dates/plums).

Taste: Toffee, dark fruits, bourbon (light), chocolate creme.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and full bodied.

Overall: This is a beast of a beer. At a 16.53% it goes down more like an 8%. I highly encourage that you split a bottle with a friend if you open it. It is always better to share, and you won't have to try to get the license plate of the truck that ran you over if you drink it alone. The quest has begun to get a few bottles of 2012. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle (946 characters)

Photo of AdamF625
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Jacob

A- dark brown to black. thick creamy brown head with great retention and lacing
S- sweet bourbon, honey, toffee, caramel
T- strong bourbon, charcoal, charred wood, bakers chocolate
M- thick and creamy as it hits you mouth, then harsh alcohol bites your tongue. Low carbonation.
O- very hot at first but as the beer warms the alcohol settles and it opens up nicely. It molds into semi sweet chocolate bourbon liqueur. Well done. (434 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Bottled June 27th 2013. abv on bottle given as 16.53.

Pours motor oil thick, jet black, with a very nice coffee with a couple of dashes of cream colored head, about 1 1/2 fingers, thick and foamy. If you look closely, the ring around the edge of the glas is white, quite interesting. After a few sips, the head diminishes to a thin covering, thicker around the edges of the glass. Halfway through it disappears altogether. Very little lacing early on, none by halfwy through. Didn't find much carbonation.

Nose is delightful. Faintly roasted malts, sweet,
dried fruit, chocolate, some vanilla. the booze aroma is there, but not overpowering.

Taste was wonderful, not sure I can adequately describe it. "It tastes great" was my impression. The bourbon booze was there, but quite gentle and warming. The stout bitterness also there, but leaving only faint bites around the edge of the tongue. Buttery and chocolate tastes are there, and the dried fruit, but there is something else I cant quite put my finger on which seems to pull it all together.

Mouth seeemed a bit on the thin side of medium, which was a little surprising. A little over half way through the 90 minutes of sipping, the beer seemed to diminish quite a bit.

Overall, certainly enjoyed this sipper of a beer. Might be one of the most quaffable high octane beers I've ever had, and had to make a deliberate effort not to take a few big mouthfuls. Would certainly reccomend it for anyone with a sweet tooth, and a passion for smooth soothing stouts.. (1,556 characters)

Photo of McAttitude
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep, dark black with a dark brown head. Super carbonation especially for the amount of alcohol!

Aroma: Coffee, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, caramel.

Taste: Nutty, buttery, bourbon, wood, vanilla, caramel, toffee, alcohol!

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. thick creamy, full bodied.

Overall: This is a superb beer now and can only get better with time! Glad I have 3 more aging! (386 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours pitch black with a thick, mocha head. I want to try and float a bottle cap on it. I bet it would hold.

S: Huge chocolate notes. Caramel, bourbon, vanilla. Light roasted notes. Really opens up as it warms.

T: Wow. Big cocoa sweetness, with a bourbon punch. Vanilla and caramel are prevalent. Sweet, hot, boozy, roasty and just delightful. Reminds me a lot of 2012 BCBS. Which is a good thing.

M: Thick and viscous. Almost syrupy. Warming. A pleasure to drink.

O: This beer really took me by surprise. I was expecting good, but it is spectacular. I love big, boozy, flavor packed stouts and this one stands up with the best of them. To some it may be too strong or too boozy. That's fine, leave it on the shelf... more for me. (737 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.48/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: inky black, dark brown fing head, dissipates to a frothy ring.

Aroma: vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, buttery, caramel, charred wood.

Taste: buttery, bourbon, wood, vanilla, caramel, toffee, booze. Burns the throat.

Mouthfeel: thick and chewy, full bodied.

Overall: nice flavors and aromas, but its hot. I split the bottle, don't think I could have put away the whole thing. (388 characters)

Photo of jsboots21
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2 bottle poured halfway into the ol' Lakewood Snifter.

Appearance is perfect. This beer is dark as a starless, moonless, flashlightless night. Surprising 1.5 finger head rises from the beer and leaves a dark khaki ring on the glass's edge. Bubbles are fine and consistent throughout.

Aroma is muted at first, then opens dramatically. Lots of roast, almonds, coconut, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and, not surprisingly, booze. I originally rated the aroma lower, then realized that it became wonderful as the beer warmed.

Taste is decadent. At first, bitter roasted coffee overwhelmed the taste buds and made the beer unenjoyable. Then amateur hour ended and I let the beer warm to an appreciable temperature, which resulted in a completely different beer. Unfortunately, the first perceivable note is booze. From there the taste improves to feature unsalted caramel, bitter dark chocolate, mid-shelf bourbon, figs, strong vanilla. There's still booze on the finish, which takes the taste down a notch.

Mouthfeel is totally full-bodied. Alcohol is pervasive and cuts through the body, but there's enough body to last a lifetime. Carbonation is visually present, though minimal on the palate.

In summary, this is a great beer. Delicious, robust, and well-made. Quite the beer that Avery has produced. Even more impressive that Batch 2 is on par with Batch 1! (1,371 characters)

Photo of Prince_Casual
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz poured in a burgundy style wine glass

Splashy pour gives a 1/4 inch head that recedes into a thin film of 'mocha' foam. A bit more carbonation than I was expecting, very nice.

Powerful milk chocolate, cinnamon notes, backed up by some coffee and even less vanilla. Compared to other beers that have spent time in bourbon barrels this had a notable 'largeness' or whatever you think the opposite of "subdued/muted" might be.

Toffee + chocolate + bourbon-y excellence. Bourbon on rocks is a very spicy experience for my palate, and this stout captures that much more than others like bcbs, for example. Either there's less vanilla+butter, or the spices just take the lead, but this was really, really great.

The carbonation+alcohol really differentiated this from other examples of this style. Instead of feeling like motor oil that enveloped the palate, this was lively and used the extremely high alcohol to fill out the mouth feel. Bit of burn going down was perfect.

A superb example of the style. I'll look at other bourbon barrel aged beers differently after this one... and won't be fooled by huge vanilla and oak... that's not ALL that bourbon tastes like. I payed a pretty penny for 2 bottles at a shop, but I can't say I was disappointed in the first one I opened. I don't think I'll buy any more but it's worth trying if you like BCBS, aged boris, dark lord, etc (1,386 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bombardier quality!! AKA: the shit! What a nice barrel aged beer! Awesome job by Avery! I am thrilled to be drinking this beer, but at the same time sad because it was limited to one bottle per customer at my local beer haunt. So very extremely smooth for such a high ABV beer. Toasted notes of chocolate, bourbon, and the smell is awesome...with a nice heat from the alcohol at the finish...very, very, very nice!!!!

Overall: Awesome...period. (445 characters)

Photo of RyanCave
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: pitch black, small amount of golden toffee head, good lacing but even after agitation there is no head

N: Coconut, boozy (could use some years to soften this a bit), chocolate, dark fruit

T: boozy, well carbonated which helps cut some of the booze a bit.. definitely can use some age

M: very full and rich, thick,

O: excellent, very boozy though and can use some age to tame it. Looking to opening up my other in a year or two (434 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sky-high expectations for this one given its current ratings and position as #207 on the top 250. 16.53% according to my bottle (bottled June 27th, 2013). 848 cases of this batch were produced. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing straightforward label art and foiled over (with branded foil; I don't often see that) pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop for $11.99 and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. I love that this is just a 12 oz bottle; I'm tired of breweries putting out these massive stouts in giant bottles. "Stout aged in bourbon barrels." Reviewed as an imperial stout.

Served chilled; I don't like good stouts to be too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Opening the bottle yielded a crisp carbonation hiss - a good sign for a beer of such high ABV.

A: Pours a fucking gorgeous head of three finger width and rich dark mocha-brown colour. Fantastically creamy. Excellent thickness. What real astounds about the head is its superb retention for the ABV; this one sits for a good 8 minutes at least - that's damned impressive. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is your usual opaque solid black; it's dark but not quite jet black. Due to the opaqueness, no yeast particles are visible. No bubble show here.

Overall, it's a superb appearance and within style conventions. No flaws are obvious. It's certainly special, but I don't know that it's unique.

Sm: Rich bourbon, with notes of real vanilla (not vanillicin or extract, but also not quite wholesome vanilla bean) and woody oak. Not getting much in the way of toasty character, but otherwise the bourbon is nice, and above all it seems well integrated into the base beer. This isn't the barrel aging that decimates the base; it seems to complement the stout at the heart of it.

I also pick up some roasted barley, which is buried beneath sweeter dark malts and chocolate malt. Cocoa powder as well. Chocolate is nicely milky and sweet, lacking any discernable bitterness. Some espresso, but no roasty coffee. Cream/mocha. I also get a very subtle red wine note with accompanying buried fruits, but this note is extremely hard to find. A complex aroma that somehow never betrays its alcohol content; wow. That said, it doesn't have the exquisite richness or added dimensions of better aromas in the style; I definitely want more roast - both in terms of coffee and barley, as well as rich java. I'm also wary of the apparent sweetness. Still, it's an undeniably pleasant, appealing aroma of moderate strength.

No yeast character or hop profile is detectable.

T: Hm. The open greets the drinker with sweet milk and Belgian chocolates as well as sticky molasses, chocolate malt, and a kiss of raisin. As it opens into the body, more of a creamy second act emerges with notes redolent of chocolate cake or brownie batter as well as a well integrated almost seamless bourbon presence. Oak undertones are present, but while they provide sweet realistic vanilla, I don't get any toasty character or complex woody character. Dessert wine notes are introduced in the third act, which is an unexpected welcome surprise. I do get hints of dark fruit as it warms; perhaps caramelized sugarplum. I don't know how they hid the alcohol so well here, but it drinks like it's maybe 10%. Decadent and rich, but never too sweet. It's definitely a sipper, though.

Quite balanced, but I do want more complexity and subtlety.

Flavour intensity and depth are pretty high - even compared to others in the style. Flavour duration is above average.

No yeast character or hop profile comes through.

Mf: Velvety and silky smooth. Soft, luscious, and creamy as hell. Wet. Unrefreshing, but nourishing and comforting. Complements the flavour profile quite well; there's a mastery at play here that obscures any alcohol burn until the light kiss of heat right on the finish. It does warm the stomach, though. Lightly syrupy. Thick from the molasses. A biteen chewy. Never vinous or dry - even though there's a raisin note in the flavour profile. Lush. Slight overcarbonation. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the monstrous ABV, but still nevertheless a sipper. It's certainly a rather impressive offering from Avery, but it's far from perfect and there are better beers in the style out there. I'd like to age a few of these to see if the bourbon and oak seep in a bit more over time. I'll easily finish this bottle alone, and I'd definitely want another, but I doubt I'd go out of my way to get it. I'm by no means disappointed, but it's not a mind-blowing beer. Just a damn solid high-ABV offering. I can see why it's in the top 250. Recommended.

The well-hidden ABV is a highlight characteristic. Their ability to conceal it this well confounds and humbles me.

Lowish B+ (4,959 characters)

Uncle Jacob's Stout from Avery Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.