23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
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
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
3.75/5 rDev -7.9%
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
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
3.68/5 rDev -9.6%
At the time of this review, this is #12 on the "Top Beers - Old Ale" list served in a snifter. Beer is dark yellow / light amber with a mild haze, a little white head, decent retention, no lacing, low to moderate carbonation.
Aroma is strong, boozy, a little overwhelming.
Beer is medium in body, thin on the front with the booze and alcohol, sweet, lacking that classic old ale character of depth. This is a good beer, a little hot, pretty strong but not overwhelmingly good. I don't think I'd have it again.
05-23-2012 15:13:05 | More by drabmuh
4.22/5 rDev +3.7%
Gigantic and boozy beer with a vast vanilla and woody flavor. Thoroughly fragrant with that vanilla up front. Hops are just moderately bitter. This is not so sweet after the first sip. It tastes more like Scotch liqueur than beer, but it thats not a bad thing. Fairly dry as you sip for a while but full of malt flavors. Seriously powerful and more complex and austere than most barley wines. I don't get the old ale taste so much, but it's quite a mouthful.
On tap at La Jolla location. Definitely will pick up a few of these for savoring in the year to come. So hot with alcohol it should last nicely, and not much residual sugar for the bacteria to nibble.
02-11-2012 02:25:46 | More by mactrail
3.55/5 rDev -12.8%
Bomber split with friends and poured into a snifter. The brew appears a burnt copper color that is lighter to mahogany with a bit of an orange hue. A tan cap about a finger strong sits atop and leaves some stringy lace on the glass. A swirl revives a yellowish tan froth back to the surface.
The smell is solid with caramelized sugars. Hints of vanilla, oak, orange marmalde and an overall sugary candy quality fills the nose. As it warms up, there is a faint floral to citrus component mixing with minerals but overall the aromatics are all about the sugary quality of this brew.
The taste is caramel to toffee sweetness. Vanilla is present from the barrel aging mixing with fruity and floral elements. Big sticky sweet aspect to this brew with a bourbon burn trying to cut through. Oak and booziness persiste into the aftertaste with a mild orange zest aspect.
This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a big and boozy sipper with a cloying amount of sweetness and not enough alcohol or hops to cut it. Quite unbalanced and was a chore to try and get through my glass. As an after diner sticky sweet dessert, this might be more fitting. Not something I would care to have again though.
10-04-2012 17:43:13 | More by stakem
District of Columbia
4.18/5 rDev +2.7%
Bottle donated by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!
The beer is copper hued with a thin, light tan head. Upon tilting the snifter, a nice sheet of lacing coats the sides of the glass.
The aroma offers oak, vanilla, bourbon. Smells strong and bold. nicely done.
A bit sweet, though certainly not lacking in flavor. Loads of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. A bit of heat in the finish. A nice beer to sip and savor. Best in small quantities, or enjoyed over a prolonged period of time. Recommended.
08-10-2012 02:19:47 | More by Huhzubendah
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
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
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%
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
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.