Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable - Stoudts Brewing Co.

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old AbominableStoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

69 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 199
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phatz on 12-18-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 44
Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown color with some light highlights of orange and red around the edges. Small off white head rises up and settles quickly with only minimal lacing and a bare top is left after only a few minutes. Aroma is rich, caramel, toffee, light hops and hints of oak all coming through fairly easily. Nice balance here but not getting that overwhelming barrel aged aroma I was hoping for. Warming does not do much now either as it just seems to bring in more of the hop and hints of boozy alcohol. Light carbonation masks the medium body and leaves the flavor to work its magic now. Smooth, even malts are stealing the show. Rich caramel and earthy tones round out a lightly hot flavor. Almost a popcorn like flavor coming through for me mid palate, buttery and creamy with a boozy finish that was slightly dry

Photo of russpowell
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Massive kudos to Zrrbrt for this one!

Pours an efferevescent caramel/amber with 2 fingers+ of sand colored head. Super head retention & lacing

S: Doughy, oaky with vanilla raisins (sic), rum, bourbon& general goodness!

T: Bready, fruitty, oaky & yummy up front! Dates, rum, & charcoal follow. A slight piney hop bite follows with some toffee

MF: Chewy/bready with low carbonation & great balance

Drinks like original sin, love this to pieces! A great barley wine; I could drink this all night or till I go to sleep! This is my shining example of barleywine!

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through a trade with Northertimber.

Chill hazed medium reddish brown colored beer with a small tan head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with lots of fig, plum and cherry scents. Chocolate and light vanilla and a trace of Bourbon, for a barrel aged beer this one is quite restrained in the whiskey department.

The taste starts out fairly sweet with a substantial brown sugar flavor like a Belgian brown ale. No over powering bourbon flavor here just a slight trace in the aftertaste. Doesn't taste boozy but the burn in the chest suggests otherwise. Slightly smoky but not that much and there is a little bit of oak tannins present.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not a bad beer but not one I would buy again either. Nothing wrong with this but now that I have tasted it there are many others like it out there that are better. Worth a try once but not good enough that I would seek it out again.

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 765 mL bottle purchased at the brewery approximately one year ago. This has been sitting around so long that I realized I need to check it out.

A: The barleywine is deep amber color, a shade or two lighter than the bottle it was served in. For the record, the bottle is a darker-than-normal amber. The ale appears crystal clear with only a thin strand of carbonation appearing. The head was sizeable, even in this Sam Adams glass and laces nicely all around the mouth.

S: The aroma is barleywine, thick with grainy malts that have a vegetal/tart aroma. Only on deeper searching do some vanilla notes emerge that suggest barrel aging.

T: The first sip is a bit of a disappointment. Despite the evidence of carbonation in the head, the flavor lacks the kick that carbonation would deliver. Getting over that, the barleywine has all the calling cards of some time spent in the barrel. Vanilla notes appear prominently, adding a sweetness to the already sweet barleywine body. As the ale warms the lack of carbonation situation improves, revealing a soft bourbon flavor. The ale is far more bourbon than barleywine, leaving a corn mash finish long after the sip is gone.

M: The sweet bourbon has done wonders on the beer, even with the distinct lack of carbonation. This is a great sippin' beer, one that Stoudt's should repeat regularly.

D: The 9% abv is well hidden within the beer. The mixture of barleywine and bourbon is a nice pairing and this beer does it right, preventing either flavor from dominating.

Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle from hopdog via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Corked and caged.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 3/4" dark beige head above the almost clear reddish amber brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, especially for a BAed BW, with plentiful lace. Aroma is moderate sweetness with an oak presence. Taste is lightly spicy maltiness upfront, which mellows on the tongue, and vanilla and oak notes come on at the end, along with an alcohol warmth. If it wasn't for the end, I'd wonder if it really was barrel-aged. Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated, although looking past that the drinkability is superb. If they could tone down the bubbles on these BA brews, we'd be pretty near ideal.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received from DIM quite a long while ago.. I shared this one on Saturday at the Pennsylvania vs. Ohio beer tasting.. Thanks a Ton Dan... Probably my most favorite trader ever.. no shit.

Poured into a big balloon wine glass.. good head and lace.. the brew is a crystal clear amber... pretty..

The nose is nice and very balanced.. caramel with toasty malts.. once it warms up a tad, there is a bunch more wood and vanilla blossom

More "English" than American for sure.. fruity esters really are present with some toffee and perhaps too much lite caramel.. a really firm pale malt essence is present from the beginning to the end... the wood is much more "American".. slightly tannic and just enough vanilla.. The body seems a tad light.. maybe the carbonation is a touch high.. but the flavors and the aromas are very very pleasing... Sam seemed to think that I was being to hard on this one.. ehhh.. maybe.. This is actually a 750 that I could probably finish over a couple of hours and never really feel sorry for not sharing.. it takes some time to really open up.

Thanks Dan for the incredible trades... I truly appreciate the sentiment... a good man and a better BA.

Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of todd1. Thanks!
Clear, tawny brown with a fine beige cap. Good head retention, a bit of sticky lace. Aromas of caramel and vanilla, a little wood, citrus and grass, slightly cheesy. Moderate bitterness, citrus and orange hop flavour hit up front, followed by caramel sweetness. Nicely balanced with some alcohol, oak, and toast. Full bodied, lowish carbonation that gave it a creamy texture, warmth, dry from wood tannins. Solid overall.

Photo of Viggo
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy. 750 ml bottle provided by biegaman.

Pours a cloudy orange, light brown, thick off white head, lots of lacing on the glass, settles to a very thick layer and doesn't want to go away. Smell is neat, toffee, lots of wood, fruits, vanilla, rhubarb, apples, some spice, bread, very cool. Taste is very woody, dates, toffee, lots of fruit, vanilla and oak, bread, spicy bitterness, very oaky finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low, soft carbonation, very smooth. The wood is pretty well integrated, this was quite a treat, thanks a ton Jan!

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle corked and caged, poured into an imperial pint

Pours deep ruby in color with a two finger light tan head. Head was big and foamy and left some moderate lacing. A mild amount of active carbonation is visible.

The smell is dominated by the barrel aging, Whiskey, oak, figs, plums, raisins, vanilla, cherries, brown sugar, and some lightly toasted toffee. Very broad nose.

The whiskey hits you off the bat then settles to a bready, brown sugar flavor. The fruits, figs/raisins and warm vanilla leave a lingering sweet finish. Very mellow and a little boozy. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I really warmed up to it.

A medium body with a big, silky feel. The vanilla, cherries and plums really allow for a warm, creamy mouthfeel. A decent amount of booze in the finish.

This guy drinks like a 13%'er. A definite sipper, but very enjoyable. I'm keeping my eyes open for this guy again.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dirty brown with a little reddish tint. Big head with left a little bit of lacing behind.

S - Caramel, toffee, sweetness. The barrel aging is evident in some vanilla notes.

T - Woody barrel influence comes through strongly with strong vanilla and bourbon taste comes through and then is mixed nicely with the caramel and sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Feels a little sugary.

D - Fairly drinkable, although I find barleywines get hard to do fast.

Photo of mynie
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright! A fresh EBW. See what all you limeys have been talking about...

Slow pour, but it's still a little wildly fizzy. Nice head, deep amber that's very opaque.

Smells of smooth aging in a whiskey barrel. Like "whiskey aging," not like whiskey. This is kinda how rotisserie became a flavor back in the 90s, instead of just a way of cooking chicken. This has the woody smoothness of whiskey aging but not the burn of whiskey. And there's not all that much else there, actually. (EDIT: As it warms it gets gorgeous)

Tastes great, though, much more complicated than the aroma. The firmness of an EBW is found in its strong malt profile, which is woody (even without barrel aging) without being thick or syrupy. This is balanced--not raped--by a firm blend of noble hops. Here, thankfully, the hops are a wee bit more aggressive than your average English barley, but not enough to ruin the spirit of the style. And when you smooth everything out with whiskey burn it's just heavenly.

Photo of woosterbill
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a mini-nonic; shared at a tasting.

A: Cloudy brown body with a moderate off-white head that sticks around for a while, eventually forming a nigh-solid cap.

S: Malty and spicy, with caramel, ginger, and raisins. Simple and delectable.

T: Starts out smooth and sweet, gets slightly hoppy, then finishes with smooth spice. Awesome.

M: Medium-full with ample carbonation.

D: Amazingly easy to drink for a barleywine.

Notes: Great beer, but where's the barrel? I didn't get any oak or whiskey at all, try as I might. This fact was only highlighted by drinking a Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine in the same tasting - both great beers, but you couldn't get farther apart in terms of bourbon influence. Big thanks to Knifestyles for bringing this one.

Cheers!

Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks goes out to Dim for sending over this rare treat.

A: Pours an orangish hue with a full one finger head. Good retention and lots of floaties in this one. Nice spotty lace all the way down the glass.

S: Nice sweet caramel malt up front. Darkened brown sugar, toffee, and resinous pine with a touch of barrel goodness.

T: Barel comes through nicely in flavor. Nice sweetness from the malt. Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar duel equally. Nice fresh oakiness with a touch of vanilla and a boozy burn.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rich, with great carbonation.

D: Damn fine Barleywine!

Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good grief, been sitting on this BW for years - sent by zrbrrt (wow, he hasn't been on BA for a year now 
In the Get Bombed BA club. MANY THANKS JOSH!

Crisp and clean mahogany brown from the cork and caged 750ml, thin ivory head jumps up but dies quickly. The high alcohol is holding down any lacing.

Woody and resinous barleywine (perfect English style), the orange liquore taste has really mellowed over the years. The barrel aged sherry hints sneak in and add to a marvelous brew. No way this is a 9% brew, way to light tasting.

A great day for this great brew, this sipping brew went down way too easy and quick.

Photo of Deuane
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, dark copper color with a medium off white head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Rich biscuit malts with a touch of vanilla and oak. Upon warming spicy/herbal hop notes poke through

T-Rich, chewy biscuit malt and prominent vanilla notes. With warming strong bourbon notes start to dominate with more alcohol and a dry oak finish.

M-Medium bodied, VERY smooth...a real "sippin" beer! Nice lingering flavours and a dry finish.

D-Well done BBA BW...not too much againg, not too little. The bourbon augments and compliments this, good to start with, barleywine. The right way to take a good beer and make it even better, well done Stoudt's!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A snifter filled (several times over) from a 750ml bottle; I pulled this from the dusty clutches of the cellar, a bottle saved for 3+ years from one of my earliest trades. Needed a strong SEPA brew to soften the shocking blow that comes with learning that one of my best friends from high school died today (he was killed by a car while riding his bike in his adopted hometown of Philly ~ a toast to Russ).

The goofy 'Abominable' cartoon made me smile on an otherwise somber day...

A: Lovely and leathery, an alluring chestnut/garnet, barely translucent. No signs of yeasty bits nor other fatigue from the years in captivity. Starts with about a finger of fizzy but firm khaki cream. A slow droop, then a small break in the topping, then a crescent ring. Slick speckles of lace.

S: Sweet and nutty, toffee and candied fruit - er, fruitcake. A 'buttered rum' quality, but little notable woody/oaky aroma.

T: The requisite toffee, mellowed fruit form a dreamy, dessert-worthy concoction. A little butterscotch (or creme brulee?). Fruity apple pie, something a little brandy-like. Oak, though tame, still holds a fair vanilla bean and charred woodiness. Very well balanced.

M: Velvet, pure velvet...sweetly coating. Modest carbonation and trace amounts of lip-smacking stickiness. Medium thickness. Easy on the tongue, as they say...

D: Love the beer, hate the occasion for opening it. Definitely worth saving, as it's damn delicious and oh so drinkable. Wish I had another; cherish it while you can. That goes for beer and life, both.

Thanks to zrrbrrt/jyoungsbcp, aka Josh for sending way back when...

Photo of Floydster
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle acquired in a trade with mymrngjckt, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this brew, shared with Drake last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter

A-Medium brown with dark red highlights, 3/4 inch creamy off white head that stuck around for a few minutes, some retention and no lacing

S-Faint whiskey, figs, plums, cherries, raisins, toffee, vanilla, oak, some chocolate, sweet malty aromas, sugar, bread, and caramel

T-Started off with a fairly strong bourbon taste, then mellowed into some brown sugar and bready malt, the finish was a bit watered down and weak but fortunately it was not hot and boozy, beer got a little sweeter as time went by with some dark fruit and milk chocolate coming to the surface, oak and vanilla could be faintly identified in the aftertaste later on, finish had a little more whiskey in it once the liquid fully warmed, nicely balanced overall and mellow for a barrel aged barleywine

M-Smooth mouthfeel, some warming going down but not too hot on the tongue, thin to medium body, taste lingered, lots of carbonation surprsingly

D-Could have gotten close to drinking this whole bottle by myself, pretty light for a barleywine, booze are hidden well, goes down easy, subtle

Did not like as much as the Barrel Aged Fat Dog but this was still quite good, one of the better beers I have had from Stoudt's, would definitely drink again, recommended

Photo of DIM
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a clear, ruby/mahogany color. It poured with a huge, craggy, sticky, off-white head.

s: Plenty of tannins from the barrel and whiskey in the nose. I also got some well done toffee.

t: Lots of whiskey and tannin tobacco here as well, more of the latter. There is a pleasant charred quality here that I guess is from the barrel. Sweet toffee and a hint of vanilla.

m: This has a good texture from gentle carbonation. The lingering, slightly boozy, oak is nice.

d: Stoudts does barrel aging right.

Photo of mcallister
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with a mahagony touch with slight redding, a very cloudy mideval look. Head is tan and tightly wound, pours at about a half inch and fades into some very spotty lace.


Quite the nose on this and the reason I love barley wines. That big sweet toffee caramel malty goodness. A very nice toasty oak aroma sticks out laced with vanilla, than a hint of bourbon. From the nose seems Stoudt's barrel master did a really good job of integration with this one. Sweet candies prunes, rum soaked raisin, dried smyrna fig, and more of that vanillan oak. This is a damn fine aroma.

This is just a damn good beer and an excellent example of barrel aging and what it can do. Really tamed this barley wine and brought everything to a land of calm serenity. Milk chocolate covered raisins with malted milk balls, brown sugar, and a maple fig reduction. Caramel blended with vanilla and a slight bit of diacetyl. The toasty oak flavors tamed the sweetness and made the drinkability of this as good as I've ever seen for a barley wine especially a barrel aged one. Only minor flavors of bourbon that bring out the toffee, caramel tones.

Very feminine in style and full of finesse. SLightly creamy yet a little thin mouthfeel but it fits this beer to a tee.

Thank God I have another bottle of this. Not sure how well this one will hold up for the long haul but looks like my other will be getting drunk sooner than later regardless as I really can't see this beer getting any better.

Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. at least two years old.

pours slightly hazy reddish brown with a small dense tan head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. big caramel. light alcohol. vanilla and bourbon, but nice and mellow. everyone else is mentioning rhubarb, but i don't really get that. bit of cherry.

taste is great. big caramel. bread and biscuit malt. light alcohol. vanilla and a hint of bourbon. nice mix of fruit - date and dried cherry. low bitterness level. hazelnut.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. fairly mellow. seems that this one has flattened/mellowed with time, but it's very nice. glad i got to try this one!

Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone - don't remember who - at DLD. Thanks to whoever it was.

Pours a clear medium reddish-brown color with a small off-white head.

Aroma is very nice: sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, oak, whiskey, and slight fruity notes.

Flavor is also great. Way better than the non-bal aged version, but then again, what isn't? Barrel aging is the best invention since...I don't know...the Sun or something. Sweet caramel malts and toffee - but not too sweet - with brown sugar, candied dates, coconut, oak, whiskey, and vanilla. Very complex. Just the right amount of barrel.

Medium-full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

A great barrel-aged barleywine overall. I am impressed, Stoudt's.

Photo of jampics2
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for the bottle. Opened at the perfect time on a perfect night and split with great friends.

Pours a dark copper color with nice head.

Smells of bourbon, hops, and a wonderful toasted malt.

Taste follows but is sublime. Carmel, bourbon, molasses, hops, everything dancing wonderfully together. A bit hot, but not young - this has got to be getting near its peak flavor. Everything melts together.

Mouthfeel was good but a little too carbed for my liking. But enjoyable and good body.

My buddy (who has caught the beer bug after a solid few years of my urging) said "this is it. The single most complex and challenging beer you've ever served me". Certainly something for brave, this is highly recommended. Great stuff!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice deep brownish red color. POured with a massive 3 fingers of white head. Incredible lacing.

S: Nice spicy malt nose up front. A nice smell from the whiskey barrel.

T: The barrel really complemented this beer well. Nice big hop blasts tempered by the malt and barrel.

M: Really nice and smooth. Almost had a cask mouthfeel to it.

D: Really incredible beer. Nice and smooth. Not in love with the $20 price but we were on vacation and at Capone's so...

Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle courtesy of urwutuh8, vintage unknown - 2007, perhaps? Thanks! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A foggy, smoky ruby, crystalline, not hazed but dark enough that it's practically impenetrable. Direct light - you know, like, with a flashlight - reveals numerous streams of dancing bubbles, lively and frisky, racing up with such an energy that they don't even bother following the path of least resistance up the sides of the glass, instead zipping straight to the surface with the utmost haste. Lacing on the sides of the glass leaves a little to be desired, clinging in only a few places and then only halfheartedly.

What's most remarkable about this beer, however, is the height at which the head levels out to and how long it stays at that height. From an initial peak of about two inches, this one began to gurgle and foam downwards, and I assumed it would fade quickly in to oblivion as so many high-abv%/barrel-aged barleywines do. Not this one. Settling down in to a gorgeous one finger of sandy, raw ecru, the surface of the crown is fine and uniform but not without its imperfections, sort of how a freshly fallen snowfield looks on the coldest of mornings. I presume it's being continuously replenished by four years of pent up carbonation in a thinned out body, but: 1) I can't tell due to the opacity of the body, and 2) who cares? It looks great.

Aroma: Plums, raisins, cherries, all glazed in an abnormally springy brown sugar and macerated with 30-year-whiskey. A very cola-like nose, equal parts prune juice and Dr. Pepper, with hints of vanilla, cocoa, stone fruit, coconut, and cinnamon oil mingling with herbal hops and wet cardboard oxidation.

Taste: Dry and vinous, malty and fruity, spicy and smooth, this is a beer of contrast and dichotomies. This one's all over the place in a good way (that's another way of saying it's complex). First, speaking to style, it's decidedly English - strong fruityness, roasted and toasted malts, and a lightly bitter and herbal hop backing provide a great palette for the whiskey. But more on that in a moment.

The malt base is dry but robust: glassy, dark toffee is halfway between caramel and toast and bookended by both of the aforementioned, along with hints of raw and brown sugar. The fruit sugars are even more fantastic - the interplay between yeast esters, hops, and malt sugars gives suggestions running the gamut and hitting every stop in between. Plum, apricot, cherries, and the slight tartness of figs are some of the most prominent notes, but definite raisins bring up the rear. Sherry-like oxidation weaves in and out of the fruit notes as well as the whiskey and barrel overtones, a masterful if inadvertent side effect of aging this one for what I believe to be about four years now. The barrel adds plenty of vanilla and coconut, though the spice, heat, and burn of the whiskey has certainly faded with age - it's now a well-refined tingle, with the spice mingling well with the aforementioned flavors. It's almost cola-like at points, maybe reminiscent of root beer

Mouthfeel: A little overcarbonated at the beginning and a little undercarbonated near the end for too long, this one spends a little too small a block of time in that nice sweet spot. The body itself is generally not that sticky, fairly well attenuated, with a tad hint of slick oilyness contributed by the hop addition, perhaps. I imagine it's also thinned out slightly by the barrel contribution.

Drinkability: An interesting bag. My one biggest complaint was that - after 4 years - despite what this one had gained in mellow smoothness and maturity, it had lost a lot of its bang, its flavor, its panache. It's at a good point now, though I'm not sure it's at a great one, and I can't tell in which direction it ought to improve (i.e., if it's past its prime or coming in to it). I'm inclined to say past its prime, due to the relative lack of intensity contributed by the whiskey and the slight oxidation and high attenuation of the base beer. As it stands, it's a 9% abv English barleywine - with no hint of heat, and only slight spiciness and hints of estery alcohol notes suggesting its true alcohol content - that's not all about the whiskey, though it may have at one time been. If you got 'em, I'd say drink 'em now - it's likely not dropping downhill quickly (as it's still quite good), but it may get there eventually.

Photo of Phatz
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It poured a deep amber ruby color beer with an attractive frothy cap that lasted throughout the entire duration of the beer.

Smell: Divinely sweet caramel, lightly toasted malts and sweet gently grapefruity English hop character filled the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The taste and mouthfeel ran together. The beer was so remarkably silky smooth it was heavenly. It was so easy, relaxed, quaffable, I couldn't imagine a better tasting (or feeling) Barley Wine. The tastes were all so magnificently balanced it is almost hard to describe. There a lightly toasted sweet malt base on which a fruity citrus hop character flowed. It was almost like a bit of grapefruit juice in some apple juice. The citrus was mild (muted) so that is was not cloyingly tart. Just a gentle nibble of tartness on the tongue. Then it had a smooth clean finish with very little aftertaste. At 9% ABV I couldn't tell at all. The alcohol was totally masked.

Drinkability: This is certainly not a chugger, it is a sipping beer but that said it is remarkably easy to drink! Each sip is so smooth and enticingly silky it begs another one. After one glass (which took most of dinner to sip)I could have easily had another. Truly exceptional! Well done Stoudt's!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable from Stoudts Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.