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23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.05%


Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  12.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-03-2012)
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by aasher:
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a medium bodied, somewhat cloudy dull amber in color with a one finger off white head. The nose is nice and bourbon forward, without being boozy. There is initially red fruits up front with a moderate amount of oak, vanilla, and caramel. I really like the nose. The flavors too are bourbon forward. The barrel shows itself off, showcasing plenty of vanilla, toffee, oak and bourbon. I dig it. It drinks like a lighter bodied barrel aged barley wine. The lighter body increases drinkability and appeal in my opinion. I could see how that would also turn some people off. Overall this is a really nice beer. It's enough to satisfy the barley wine fanatics that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 22:49:53 | More by aasher
More User Reviews:
Photo of madtowndmb1
madtowndmb1

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -2%

01-04-2014 04:46:08 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

01-04-2014 04:44:47 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

12-17-2013 21:42:11 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of AirborneBeer
AirborneBeer

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

11-24-2013 06:04:32 | More by AirborneBeer
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a half-pint chalice.

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with a fine peripheral ring of off-white bubbles. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rich treacle laced with candied orange peel and heady spirituous vanilla.

T: Begins off-dry, with caramel and mild dark cherry fruit. Bourbon is featured in the middle, only slightly oak-influenced, but so is an assertive breadiness that seems entirely driven by English malt rather than yeast. The finish is booze-soaked, showing some fruitcake that seems ester-driven in the high alcohol presence.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: A fine (and rare) old ale by a West Coast brewery, it generates an interesting mix of traditional malt-derived qualities as well as a fair amount of barrel influence.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 00:51:25 | More by beagle75
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

07-22-2013 01:58:02 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Kelrel9
Kelrel9

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

07-10-2013 02:09:02 | More by Kelrel9
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the 23rd Anniversary Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company out of San Diego, California.

Score: 92

February 2012 vintage bottle served in a tulip taster glass and enjoyed on 03/01/13 from a bottle I brought to the Beer Temple to share with the store's customers. Review is from iPhone notes

Appearance: Bourbon caramel color. Virtually no head off the pour, and what little head there is quickly and totally settles. Minimal lacing, but the brew leaves oily streaks on the side of the glass. 3.5/5

Smell: Very smooth, no booziness. Vanilla, caramel, stale hops, and smooth/sweet bourbon notes. Some oakiness too. 3.5/5

Taste: Taste is much better than the nose. This brew practically smacks you over the head with delicious vanilla flavor with notes of caramel, cocoa and smooth bourbon. Less sweet than the nose led me to believe, but it's still a "sweet" (but not cloying) malty brew. I love the bold vanilla/caramel flavor of this brew! 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, viscous, with minimal carbonation. Nice maltiness and a little stickiness. 4.25/5

Overall: The aroma and appearance were not anything particularly special, but the taste was divine. While not the most complex barrel aged beer, I loved how bold the vanilla and caramel flavors were. I think this is drinking about as perfect as it will get (in act, the nose was a little stale from the faded hops), and I do not see this benefiting from further aging. It tastes like how 100% Cuir is currently drinking with less complexity. Open your bottles now!

Cost: $12 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 16:19:39 | More by jegross2
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
SanDiegoBeerLove

California

4/5  rDev -2%

06-07-2013 02:05:29 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

05-26-2013 19:23:38 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

05-26-2013 06:40:30 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of SDStoneEnthusiast
SDStoneEnthusiast

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

05-25-2013 05:55:13 | More by SDStoneEnthusiast
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a couple ounces of this at a tasting a few months back & it zoomed towards the top of my most-wanted posters. Then while engaged in trade discussions with the generous Kyle2k10, he noted my interest & offered to throw it in in exchange for two green socks. 22 oz. bottle opened up with my lovely, lovely wife.

Curtain up: the pour is a dark, clay-court red with minimal carbonation. Nose is a bit hard to pick out, but there's bourbon, carmelized sugar, heavy dose of sweets.

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary an alcohol spike to the forebrain. Hot, sweet booze oozes out into the mouth & lays tracks down the centers of reasoning & coordination. Plenty of 12.3% caramel & toffee, along with the beginnings of oxidation. Bourbon presents itself as more vanilla & heat than straight hard alcohol. Nice butterscotch, too. Lack of carbonation limits the drinkability, that & Earth's gravity.

Not the category-killer I remember from our first brief encounter, but nonetheless a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 03:48:41 | More by maximum12
Photo of imyourhero21
imyourhero21

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-27-2013 02:10:14 | More by imyourhero21
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle from Shane. Thanks!

A: Caramel coloration with a creme head that's content to rest around the edges. Surprisingly light on its legs.

N: Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and malts. Honey at the edges, and plenty of deep oak.

T: Tasty bourbon mixed with ample vanilla and honey. Caramel and toffee make for a sugary treat. Still balanced, I get some bitterness of hops and a hint of dried pineapple.

M: Rather light for an Old Ale. It doesn't ruin the beer, but it could use some further heft and stickiness. However, it does drink far too easily for a 12.2% beer since the alcohol is shockingly absent.

O: A well-rounded beer. Balanced and enjoyable; Drink it soon, I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 03:35:14 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2%

03-10-2013 19:51:31 | More by spycow
Photo of dbone_has_biers
dbone_has_biers

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-05-2013 05:17:33 | More by dbone_has_biers
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

01-30-2013 04:42:05 | More by atone315
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Stakem for the share. 22oz bottle into a few glasses. Deep copper with thin off-white head. Rich spotty lace. Straight up vanilla in the nose with additional oak and candied sugars. Hot smelling alcohol as well. The taste is caramelized sugars, oak, vanilla and not much else besides some blinding fusel alcohol flavors. Super sweet with burnt finish. Full bodied, sharp on top and chewier underneath. ABV is in your face. Glad others had luck with this beer. Just too much booze and sweetness for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 20:05:50 | More by Kegatron
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

01-08-2013 22:49:07 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this one. Served in a mini snifter. Pours a moderate brown color with a short head. The nose carries a good dose of bourbon along with some oak, vanilla, and a big of fruit. Flavor hits toffee and caramel notes alongside bourbon and an underlying oaky vanilla character. Moderate sweetness and fruit character. Medium body without the amount of booze that the ABV would indicate. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 19:03:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ezperkins2
ezperkins2

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

12-15-2012 06:34:33 | More by ezperkins2
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
AWolfAtTheDoor

California

4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Need some room in the fridge, decided to crack open this guy open. Had I known it was a 90 point beer, I may have saved it for more special of an occasion.

Pours a nice dark tree sap amber color into my tumbler. Crystal clear. White rocky head from a semi-vigorous pour. It recedes fairly quickly. Line of foam around the beer with very little lacing.

Vanilla and oak bombard the nose. Nice sting of alcohol rounds out the scent.

Smooth oak and vanilla on the palate as well. Hint of diacetyl? This beer is incredibly smooth. Alcohol is present, but is pleasant and not solvent-like. Would not have guessed in a million years that this is a 12% ABV beer.

Is there such thing as too smooth? This beer is it. Carbonation is moderate to low, which aids in the smoothness of the beer. I would rate the body as just a bit past medium. Doesn't quite have the body that I'd expect from a 12% ABV beer.

Overall this is a pretty incredible beer. I think it's a little too well attenuated and smooth for its own good. I'm kind of left wanting a little something else.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 07:59:54 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

10-17-2012 02:41:54 | More by t0rin0
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23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.