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Barrel Aged Wreck Alley - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Wreck AlleyBarrel Aged Wreck Alley

Educational use only; do not reuse.
no score

Awaiting 10 Reviews
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Reviews: 8
Hads: 45
Avg: 3.28
pDev: 63.41%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 03-11-2013

When we tasted the first batch of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, we knew barrel-aged versions were in the cards. The only questions were when and how often? Batch #1 answers the first question, and as for Batch #2, you’ll just have to wait and see. Brewed with the same darkly-kilned malts, Tcho cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Batch #1 was aged three months in American oak barrels. The resulting brew is a dark, unblended, and richly flavored union of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 8 | Hads: 45
Photo of rawfish
1.29/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours cola brown, very fizzy with just about the same watery viscosity.

Sour tart cherries and fruit. A vinegar-like sharp note that is reminiscent of pickle juice. No semblance of chocolate, coffee or roasted malt.

As expected from the nose, infected! The bourbon and woody tannins come through, hot and free floating but the malt presence has gone replaced with a vinegar and lactic sourness. No integration of barrel to the remaining beer. Finishes tart, alcoholic and lasting forever unfortunately.

Over carbonated, thin, a stout that barely holds the ABV.

I don't usually review infected beers but 3 strikes and you're out. Karl really needs to get their QC department together and fix this. Alot of their bottled offerings from barrels end up soured if you don't drink them immediately. So far that's BA Wreck Alley, BA Vanilla Wreck Alley & 25th Anniversary (2 bottles) that have had this issue.

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Photo of maximum12
1.4/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to XXX for knocking this off my wants list & into my welcoming arms, along with a bevy of friends. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The pour is black because, you know, it's a stout. Nose sends shivers of trepidation down my spine - the expected coffee & chocolate are only found through a far-looking glass, no vanilla or woodiness, but a lurking bout of fruitiness is the strongest flavor to be found. Please, no!

Barrel Wreck Alley, I ask: where's my barrel-aged imperial stout? What say you? Sweet malts up front are immediately fouled with what tastes like aged smoke, & further lanced by a sharp, lactic tartness that smacks of cherries. As it warms the fruitiness increases & sticks to the tongue, glue-like. Coffee, chocolate, oak, all MIA. Mouthfeel? Not terrible, but I'm going to give the drain a chance to judge the rest of this one.

Yuck. Really enjoyed the 23rd Anniversary, but something has gone seriously wrong here, with a bad taste like none I've experienced; I think it's settled into my tonsils. Going now for the Wheat Thins, steel wool, & drain. And not in that order.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a finger of dense light tan head that fades somewhat quickly to a collar around the glass
S: smells intensely of chocolate and coffee, very cafe mochaesque with a bit of alcohol, some roast malt and just a hint of vanilla
T: chocolate on the front with some light coffee flavor, a bit of roast malt, slightly grainy, woody oak, a bit of vanilla, a slight caramel sweetness and some more coffee and chocolate. swallow is a blast of dark roasted malt, chocolate and coffee with a bit of caramel sweetness. alcohol starts to be more apparent than just a slight warming sensation as the beer warms
M: lighter than I'd expect with soft carbonation and a bit of a dry finish
O: It showed promise but lacks in execution. good flavors but lacking in barrel flavor. decent balance but lacking boldness

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This was the Thursday cask tonight at the downtown San Diego location. Served a little warm in the pint shaker. Dark and inky in the glass with an anemic bit of head.

The bourbon taste is quite strong. Lots of dark malt but more roasted than charred, in spite of the black appearance. This would be better with a little creamy carbonation. The warm cask serving didn't show it off much either. This is one barrel-aged beer that is fine on the colder side, with plenty of boozy flavor and a lighter mouthfeel. In any case it neither tasted nor felt anything like 10% ABV.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Almost black brown with slight reddish hue. Head collapses to ring quickly. Some spot lace.

S - Chocolate milk, general cocoa and sweet malt.

T - Pretty standard, if not light tasting, stout.

M - Medium to light body, good carb, fine balance.

D - Basically, very mild and not very impressive.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


Snifter at Karl Strauss 4S Ranch.

Black in the glass with a finger of beige foam.

Lightly roasted grains with a whisper of licorice and big vanilla notes. Oak blends with the suggestion of bourbon. Espresso notes are well integrated but not as strong as I'd like. Cocoa is pervasive. There's a touch of smoke in there but no idea where that stems from.

Subtle espresso flavor with prominent vanilla tones and some oak. Pleasant milk and dark chocolate flavors blend with cocoa. Lightly roasted grains with a soft licorice presence. The mouthfeel is sticky and dry with upper medium carbonation. Lower full body.

The beer is very well balanced, but I think too much restraint is shown. They're using high quality Bird Rock coffee, so let us taste more of it. There is not enough coffee used in this beer. They aged it in barrels, but only for 3 months so there is little bourbon character. Age it longer. Once again Karl Strauss takes an amazing sounding recipe and manages to make the end product a notch below what you'd expect. Overall, a good beer but it falls short of what it could have been.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.96/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best way to describe this is "coffee soda". It's sweet, smooth, rich and loaded with fresh dark roast coffee and mocha flavors.It is not terribly complex, and the smell and taste don't really go to far beyond mild bourbon+coffee+chocolate, but it works very well. Finish and aftertaste are reminiscent of chocolate covered acai berries and very subtle smoke. Terrific dessert beer. Malts are fairly mild throughout. Most surprising to me was the body; it was not thick, sticky, and syrupy like I was expecting out of a 10%+ ABV Imperial Stout, but was lighter bodied, with lively carbonation.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to No1Smitty for this! One of many extras!!

A - Pours a near black into my over sized DFH signature glass. Head is a massive (~2 finger) light chocolate color. Retention is ok, lacing is decent.

S - Smells amazing! Roasty coffee, sweet chocolate, mild vanilla and oaky aromas. Pretty serious cocoa!

T - Quite bourbony!! This is absolutely fantastic! A quick initial hit of espresso and rich cocoa almost immediatly transition into a hefty sweet bourbon/vanilla/oak flavor. The bourbon lingers a bit with the chocolate through the finish and aftertaste. Kind of wish the Espresso hung around a bit longer but a really tasty, relatively bourbon intensive libation.

M - Definitely a lighter bodied brew for the style, medium bodied or less overall I'd say. Super smooth and relatively refreshing. One of the most drinkable 10%ers I've ever had.

O - Very delicious, well balanced but bourbon forward, smooth, drinkable BBA Coffee Cocoa stout. So good!

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Barrel Aged Wreck Alley from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
- out of 100 based on 8 ratings.