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

Not Rated.
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

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 48
Gots: 29 | FT: 2
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

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Photo of beenitty
beenitty

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -26.3%

05-17-2012 19:34:17 | More by beenitty
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Reddish amber body, no head or lace.

Nose is rich with oak, vanilla and light coconut. Not a thick nose, but a very good one.

Taste is impressive-- bourbon character, but without the heft of a stout. Nutty a bit, with ample oak and a trace of burn. This is unique in that it provides all the characteristics of a bourbon barrel beer but is neither overbearing nor overstated. Nice and dry, but not bitter-- toasty.

Relatively light, almost frothy, not bright, but it really breaks up the taste in a good way.

Doesn't taste like an 'old ale' in my opinion, but fantastic beer-- basically what an Innis and Gunn or a Barrel-Aged Human Blockhead *should* be.

03-17-2012 02:59:09 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep amber. Not much of a head. A few chunks around the edges.

Smell - Simple nose. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and caramel.

Taste - Again, it's simple, but nice. Bourbon, vanilla, toffee and brown sugar. Dries out quickly with an oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Astringent and boozy. Oaky in the finish. Medium body.

Overall - It certainly isn't a complex beer. Lots of barrel and some caramel malts to back it up.

06-15-2014 16:43:15 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -18.9%

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.

01-22-2013 20:05:50 | More by Kegatron
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BethelLight

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

04-27-2012 06:20:44 | More by BethelLight
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AirborneBeer

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

11-24-2013 06:04:32 | More by AirborneBeer
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

Thanks Kevin. Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip. I really need to start using one of my other glasses for tasting. Nah.

A - Comes out as a dark orange with a touch of brown/red. Bubbly white head turns into lacing. Looks a little light for the style, but otherwise nice.

S - Lighter malts, candied fruit, oak presence.

T - Caramel and barrel take over almost immediately. Some candied fruits, malts, and some woodiness. Finishes a tad dry with noticeable heat, but nothing unpleasant. I'm not sure about the base on this one, but the barrel really takes hold of the beer. Favorable barrel notes are present from start to finish. Remarkable that it isn't hotter. There is almost a creaminess to it.

M - Medium body with some prickly carbonation.

O - Really a good beer. Not sure if aging will improve this beyond toning the heat down a bit and possibly merging the barrel more with the malts.

06-08-2012 22:04:55 | More by claaark13
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jdougherty

California

3/5  rDev -26.3%

02-25-2012 06:06:21 | More by jdougherty
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HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

05-26-2013 19:23:38 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
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scubahood

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.7%

05-04-2012 18:06:54 | More by scubahood
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

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

California

5/5  rDev +22.9%

02-26-2012 21:33:09 | More by CEDAMA
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Thanks, Shane.

Pours a dark brownish-amber capped by a finger of head that settles to a collar pretty quickly. Nose is fairly good, fruity, grainy and sweet with a good amount of barrel coming through that lends a bit of heat and nicer notes of caramel and vanilla. Palate is also solid if unremarkable. Big caramel and dark fruit flavors, some boozy astringency, a touch of vanilla. Body is medium, perhaps a bit thin for the style and ABV. Solid stuff overall, a fine offering for a good price.

04-19-2012 23:35:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

12-17-2013 21:42:11 | More by mendvicdog
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SalukiAlum

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

04-29-2012 02:37:47 | More by SalukiAlum
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TeamUgly

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

02-06-2012 05:13:41 | More by TeamUgly
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DarthKostrizer

California

3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-19-2012 00:09:59 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

07-09-2012 22:49:53 | More by aasher
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14%

06-03-2012 23:50:00 | More by ygtbsm94
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atone315

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-30-2013 04:42:05 | More by atone315
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SDStoneEnthusiast

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

05-25-2013 05:55:13 | More by SDStoneEnthusiast
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -17.7%

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.

12-15-2012 19:03:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

huge thanks to egrace84 from bring this beer to a tasting! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes taken on 5/23/12.

Appearance: brilliant and clear copper orange bodied beer with 1 finger of white head that drops to a ring.

Smell: Big caramel and toffee notes with a splash of bourbon mixed into the beer.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, butterscotch. Oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied beer with low carbonation. The beer is slick and sticky. Its a warming and spicy booze thats fairely mellow.

Overall: This beer is what Founders Better Half should have been! A really nice BA Old Ale that also has some overlap in the BA English Barleywine style. I really enjoyed this beer alot!

05-28-2012 04:24:09 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Kelrel9
Kelrel9

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

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

California

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Consumed February 10, 2012 at Karl Strauss, Universal City.

Beer is a murky caramel brown with no head at all (the waitress filled my 12 ounce snifter to the very brim).

Aroma is sweet with caramel, vanilla and bourbon notes.

Flavor follows nose, with the addition of modest alcohol heat and a white-cake pastry sort of component. Maybe some fleeting toffee and maple, but maybe not. Not terribly complex, but delicious.

Thicker than water? Enough to notice, but not much more. Beer has almost zero carbonation, but it is a little dry on the finish and that goes a long way towards cutting that sweetness at the end of each sip.

Overall, not the best old ale I have ever had, but deadly drinkable and unexpectedly good for a Karl Strauss brew.

02-11-2012 21:48:12 | More by charlzm
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23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.