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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)
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

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

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
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 -7.9%

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

California

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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 +4.4%

10-17-2012 02:41:54 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one in the cellar for a year. It is time...

Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter. That's good karma already.

A: It actually poured out a bit lighter in color than I was expecting, but still, it was a beautiful, caramel color that was uniformly murky and inviting. Not much head, but that's not what this is about anyway.

S: Buttery, coconuty, bourbon flair that was just the right strength to my mind. Lots of dark fruit as well: figs, raisons, and dates... all wrapped up in toffee.

T: First of all, I was awe-stricken with how smooth this one was. The coconut hit the palate first, then the molasses, and dark fruit, with none of this really sticking out of the pack.

M: Not even a trace of booze on this and it was utter perfection in that regard. Actually, I would have preferred a bit more heat, but that is just personal preference and a minor quibble. The carbonation was fine and this wasn't syrupy or sticky in any way.

O: 12.2% ABV? Really? REALLY? This was my first Karl Strauss brew and I'm already a fan.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 23:25:55 | More by Chaney
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 17:43:13 | More by stakem
Photo of BeerHunter76
BeerHunter76

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.7%

09-12-2012 21:23:00 | More by BeerHunter76
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

09-12-2012 00:05:41 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

09-12-2012 00:01:47 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

08-11-2012 02:22:50 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 02:19:47 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 02:27:41 | More by womencantsail
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
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
Photo of drewskie1123
drewskie1123


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

06-16-2012 00:43:11 | More by drewskie1123
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2012 22:04:55 | More by claaark13
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -1.7%

06-04-2012 14:18:23 | More by nmann08
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14%

06-03-2012 23:50:00 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 22:22:40 | More by brentk56
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

05-27-2012 09:49:02 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

05-24-2012 11:09:17 | More by Exiled
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 01:47:35 | More by Duff27
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 15:13:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of beenitty
beenitty

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -26.3%

05-17-2012 19:34:17 | More by beenitty
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.