23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.23/5 rDev +3.9%
A: Hazy brown pour that hints towards orange at the very edge. As the beer settles, the haze disappears and the color focuses more towards red. Really much lighter a pour than I expected from such a big beer. Initially a few fingers of off-white head builds up beautifully, but it doesn't stick around for too long. Spotty lacing shows up down the sides of my New Belgium Globe.
S: The aroma on this is no where near as harsh as I expected after smelling the pour right out of the bottle. A sweet, but balanced blend of aromas greets my nostrils. Very focused on the barrel, which is right up my alley as I'm not a huge fan of Old Ales. Bourbon, sure, but mostly vanilla and oak with undertones of Old Ale and booze.
T: The taste is a tad light, but oh so decadent. Mellowed bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak are the forefront. I do wish the old ale played a larger role, and that the overall taste was a bit stronger, but the taste that was there was phenomenal. It has a faint malt base, but it's completely focused on the barrel.
MF: The mouthfeel is very thin with a lower than average carbonation. The drinkability, however, is very high. The ABV isn't noted at the level I expected and the taste is wonderful I can't stop taking sips.
O: This was a really nice beer, but it just fell short of top notch. If the overall characteristics were stronger I would think this was all 5s. It's delicious, but not quite there. I paid a decent price for this in Washington DC, and I'm glad I did, but I probably wouldn't get it again.
03-30-2012 23:59:40 | More by russwbeck
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
4.43/5 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
4.18/5 rDev +2.7%
A- Very dark ruby color in the pour, I was surprised how light color this beer was. Final pour you get a glowing brown and red, little head retention.
S- Smell is very nice, get the solid Bourbon barrel smell. Lots of oak, and layers of vanilla in the background. I get some cheery from the bourbon aging. Despite the lighter color, you still get that solid imperial stout/barley-wine smell.
T- Get a lot lots of charred oak up front, some very sweet malt. There is a lot of wisky and scotch, I feel like i'm drinking a rich smoky islay scotch. I also get some caramel and charred brown sugar. A little to sweet for my taste on the malt profile, I wish the bourbon barrel would mellow out some of the sweetness.
M- A little more carbonation then I would want. The mouth feel is velvety. There is defiantly burn down the way on the throat.
T- Overall good anniversary beer, I wish Karl Strauss would do more big beers, to bad they can only do it once a year to get away with it.
03-13-2012 03:27:17 | More by Dlish
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
4.2/5 rDev +3.2%
Pours a slightly hazy, amber color with a nice red hue. Small off-white head. Scent is heavy with dark fruits...a bit of toffee as well. Great aroma on this beer. Lovely bourbon with nice oak and sweet figs/dates. Some vanilla as well. Taste is...wow, more well-balanced than I was expecting. I've never been a fan of Karl Strauss, but this beer is outstanding. Immediately I get sweet, burnt sugar cube flavors. Immediately followed by amazing date/fig flavors. Awesome bourbon flavor...very smooth. Tons of toffee with hints of coconut and vanilla. Great balance of malt/dark fruit/bourbon/oak. Alcohol is noticeable and slightly warming, but not nearly as hot as I was expecting. Mouthfeel is somewhat odd...very creamy, yet fizzy at the same time. Medium-full bodied. Drinkability is high. Overall, if KS continues to make beers this good, I will forget that I ever dislike them. Awesome beer!
03-12-2012 06:37:21 | More by DovaliHops
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
4.25/5 rDev +4.4%
Pours a dark amber red hue with flashes of sunset orange. Forms a pale beige head of a finger and a half at the apex with poor retention. Spotty lacing but shows some good stick.
Brown sugar, toffee, oak and red fruit. Huge amounts of bourbon along with a distinct alcohol aroma on the end, quite sharp. Bourbon barrel is huge on this beer.
Sweet malts of caramel, molasses coupled with dates and a bourbon and oak wood complex that smooths this out on a long sip. Releases nicely with vanilla and bourbon at the tail end, touch of herbal bitterness.
Plenty of sticky malts are lightened up with a thin body with average carbonation. Releases pleasantly with less harsh booze than on the nose.
I think the brewers achieved exactly what they were setting out to accomplish on this one. Highlights big bourbon and barrel character accompanied by a wonderful malt escort. Not very complex but tremendous value and a slow sipper.
02-29-2012 03:22:12 | More by rawfish
4.2/5 rDev +3.2%
A - 3.5 Dark raw cider, only thin film of head. Spotty cling lace.
S - 4 BOOZE. Malt. Slight fruity/cidery characteristic.
T - 4.5 Deep caramel and hot. Bourbony booze. Hops cannot contain the sweetness.
M - 4 Heavy body, good carb, balance errs to the sweet. Pretty boozy.
D - 4 Very tasty. You could get hurt with this one.
02-29-2012 01:19:14 | More by srandycarter
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
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.