23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
District of Columbia
4.18/5 rDev +2.7%
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.
10-04-2012 23:25:55 | More by Chaney
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
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
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
4.08/5 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
4.33/5 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
4.45/5 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
4/5 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
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
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.