23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
4.93/5 rDev +21.1%
Pours a dark golden brown with some lively froth on top. First whiff of this is vanilla coconut with warm oaky bourbon. Sipping this, the palette is immersed in again, vanilla and coconut, and a surprisingly strong dose of bourbon. Besides the coconut flavor, and some figs and brown sugar, the bourbon really sings here. Not sure what barrels were used, but the bourbon taste is distinct and you can really suss out its flavor, which is very good. Halfway through my glass I am just swooning in vanilla and coconut. This beer so outstanding, you find yourself puzzling over how a brewery of such low regard can produce something so delicious. This is a truly phenomenal beer that would be one of those ridiculously sought after whales if it was produced by goose island or bells or founders, etc. Seek this out, but don't expect any of my help. I went around and gobbled up all the bottles I could after trying this and really, this beer is too damn delicious to trade. If this isn't my favorite beer of 2012 then I can't wait to taste whatever gem supplants it.
03-11-2012 22:50:52 | More by GhettoFabulous
4.58/5 rDev +12.5%
Shared a 1 PINT 6 FL.OUNCE. Bottle of this w/ Keir @ the Royale in St. Louis, MO. Poured from the "Fake" Barrel Brand Labeled bottle w/ Black Foil over the cap into a 12oz Shaker Glass. Has no freshness/bottle date to be found.
Aroma- A strong single malt aroma starts this one off. This includes bourbon, oak, and malt. Very beautiful!
Appearance- Poured very aggressively and still no head. What gives? Has a copper colored body with great clarity. Leaves a few suds behind.
03-19-2012 17:59:03 | More by DCon
4.48/5 rDev +10.1%
On tap at Karl Strauss Sorrento Mesa in front of the majestic coy pond. Old Ale aged in Bourbon barrels for 12 months with no backblending, so 100% barrel aged. Served in a snifter.
A: Dark reddish brown with a slight orange tinge. The head is an inch of white foam.
S: Robust brown sugar, bourbon, and maple notes. To the aforementioned aromatics add a fantastic toffee note and a touch of butterscotch. Fig blends with date and prune. Citrus is faint and redolent of oranges, adding a pleasant twist to the darker fruit. Vanilla meets oak and molasses.
T: Very sweet, with pronounced maple and brown sugar notes. Bourbon presence is strong throughout, accompanied by vanilla, oak, and a firm booze profile which is not harsh or out of place for 12.3%. There's a lot of toffee, and molasses is notable. Fruity esters remind me of prune and dried fig. There's a light sherry-like oxidation accompanied by earth and an upper low to lower medium level of bitterness. The finish is bourbon toffee.
M: Upper medium body with lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, silky, and somewhat viscous. Alcohol warming is pronounced.
Overall: It's big, sweet, and English, with a bold and unapologetic bourbon profile. A stellar Old Ale with excellent barrel characteristics. This is the most complex thing I've had from Karl Strauss. Definitely try this.
02-03-2012 22:54:02 | More by HopHead84
4.47/5 rDev +9.8%
Had the opportunity to try this on tap at their Changing of the Barrels event last week.
Appearance: Amber brown with faint ruby hues
Smell: Huge dose of warming bourbon in the nose. Generous amounts of toffee, molasses and hints of toasted oak
Taste: Follows suit; prominent but appropriate bourbon character upfront followed by a generous dose of toffee, sweet molasses and toasted oak. quite complex
Mouthfeel: this beer is a hugeee 12.3%. Pleasantly smooth for a brew of this octane.
Overall: An amazingly complex beer. Unabashedly strong and bourbon-forward, yet smooth and well balanced given it's strength and intensity. Snatch one up, this is well worth the quaff my friends.
02-06-2012 19:09:35 | More by crvcac
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
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
4.43/5 rDev +8.8%
On tap at Toronados
A: Dark brown in color with a light tan cap.
S: Lots of caramel, booze, bourbon and coconut. Pretty nice aroma overall.
T: I have to say, I've never been a big fan of Karl Strauss beers. Their 22nd Anniversary was one of the worst beers I've ever had and their year round lineup is nothing I'd go for unless the pickings were epically slim. That said, this is a great beer. The old ale didn't really shine through, but the flavors of this beer were pretty solid. Big notes of coconut and caramel with some vanilla and huge bourbon notes without being overpowering. I'd definitely get this again.
02-20-2012 05:16:35 | More by notchucknorris
4.33/5 rDev +6.4%
Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head that leaves some splashy lace behind
Smell: A boozy blend of caramel, oak, Bourbon and a hint of vanilla
Taste: Caramel, up front, with the oaky Bourbon elements developing by mid-palate; the boozy Bourbon flavors dominate the finish, with the vanilla lingering in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet
Overall: Though it lacks some of the complexity I would expect in an Old Ale, this is still a fine beer and very tasty
06-03-2012 22:22:40 | More by brentk56
4.28/5 rDev +5.2%
A brown, barely murky look starts out the beer, which shows some red when held up to the light. A large tan head which is bubbly and lively fills the top of the tulip, and sounds like rice crispies with all the bubbles snapping, crackling, and popping.
Smells huge of the bourbon barrel, so much so the first whiff made me cough. Booze are present and a sweet caramel malt joins the party.
Tastes upfront of the barrel, following the nose pretty closely. Fortunately, not overpowering the rest of the beer. A hint of smoky vanilla with the sweet malt. Dark fruits in the finish/aftertaste.
Texture is luxurious. While alcohol is present, it doesn't feel like 12%, until you get near the end of the bottle, and even then, it's only in your head. There is a thick viscosity to the beer, with good carbonation to lighten it up. I like the beer, I will get more.
02-26-2012 18:58:34 | More by Drinkerofales
4.28/5 rDev +5.2%
Pours a slightly hazy copper brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a thin film on top of the beer. Random thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, toffee, toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and alcohol that sort of muddles all the smells. Taste is of brown sugar, toffee, caramel, toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and big bourbon flavors. There is a definite alcohol kick and warming in the back of the throat after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a somewhat thick and full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged beer that is an absolute steal at $6.49 a bottle.
02-22-2012 04:38:11 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.28/5 rDev +5.2%
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.
12-02-2012 07:59:54 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.