23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -7.9%
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.
04-27-2013 03:48:41 | More by maximum12
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
3.84/5 rDev -5.7%
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.
08-02-2013 00:51:25 | More by beagle75
3.9/5 rDev -4.2%
Amber in color with a thin khaki colored head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and dark fruits. Plenty of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar to go along with it. Perhaps a hint of molasses along with some light oxidation. The beer tastes great. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and bourbon are the primary flavors with vanilla, oak, and dark fruits such as plums and raisins playing a role as well. The only knock I have on this beer is the body, which is quite thin.
08-05-2012 02:27:41 | More by womencantsail
3.9/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
03-23-2013 03:35:14 | More by Sarlacc83
3.94/5 rDev -3.2%
2012 vintage bottle from Shane. Thanks! Served in a snifter.
A - Off-white foam settles to pretty much nothing. Attractive transparent amber body. Could have stood for a bit more head, but not terribly offensive for the style and ABV.
S - Lots of bourbon and oak, bread and toffee malts. Even though the barrel presence is heavy, the beer is surprisingly mellow. Fairly restrained sweetness for the style; a bit more burnt than cloying. Perhaps a touch of marmalade.
T - Taste is a bit more simplistic. Heavy emphasis on oak, with light whiskey and a fairly neutral bready malt backbone. Perhaps a bit simplistic; really needs a bit more sweetness to balance the barrel notes.
M - A bit thin for the ABV, but still decidedly medium. Tannic, dry, with a hint of lingering stickiness. Not much alcohol presence at all. Lower carbonation.
D - About what I expected; a solid barrel-aged old ale that has a few shortcomings. Still, it's easy to drink and one of the stronger offerings I've had from this brewery.
08-25-2014 23:41:18 | More by MasterSki
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
4/5 rDev -1.7%
Pours a thin head that dies quickly. Collar left. Translucent caramel brown/orange color.
Very sweet smelling beneath the barrel notes.
A mix of sweet caramel and bourbon. Noticeable alcohol burn. Toffee! Would put this right at states ABV.
Average to above average carbonation which adds bite.
High abv but very smooth and drinkable.
First of all let me say, great price point. Nicely integrated old ale with the barrel aging. Thanks egrace84.
05-24-2012 01:47:35 | More by Duff27
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
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
4.1/5 rDev +0.7%
1135th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
Purchased for 8.99 @ Bevmo's Chino Hills
App- About the color of orange juice and fresh caramel out of the pot, with a one finger khaki colored head. Left zero cling and had a bit of a swirl on the top.
Smell- I really got nothing from this that was wowing. Wasnt overly aromatic even when it warmed it was minimal. Notes included, bourbon, oak, vanilla and citrus. Very light.
Taste- So the taste makes up for the app and the nose. It was very smooth without being burning and a bourbon bomb. Well layered with some notes of bourbon, oak and citrus. The citrus flavors layered with a matched malt backbone to create a well drinking beer.
Mouth- A lighter medium body with a medium carbonation with a smooth residual bourbon and cream type of flavor.
Drink- I enjoyed this beer better than 22nd Vanilla stout because the vanilla was too small. This beer seemed to be just about right. Well crafted, layered and smooth. Glad I have one to lay down, but then again might need to find more to just drink.
03-12-2012 15:18:48 | More by FosterJM
4.16/5 rDev +2.2%
Reviewing the 23rd Anniversary Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company out of San Diego, California.
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
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.