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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

411 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 411
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.57%


Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
3rd Release - 2013 (9.6% ABV)
2nd Release - 2011 (11.4% ABV)
1st Release - February 2009 (10.5% ABV).

After its initial release in February 2008, this Imperial Stout was aged for about 10 months in Bourbon casks from Kentucky.

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 02-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 411 | Reviews: 256 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to black13 for sending me this one!

2009 vintage. 10.5% ABV.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to a thin film. Small thin streaks of lace form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is very nice with bourbon, wood, and vanilla up front and dark roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate if I search for it. Taste is of dark malts, cocoa powder, vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors. There is a very slight sour flavor to this one as well. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. This beer has a bubbly level of carbonation with a smooth but slightly watery mouthfeel. There is something in this beer that dries the palate as well. Overall, this is a a good RIS with a better smell than taste and the drying effect this has on my palate is weird.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 23:27:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blacker than black with burnt orange along the edges of the glass. Barrel-aged beer with a double digit ABV doesn't usually have such a thick and creamy crown. Two fingers of caramel nougat colored foam is melting extremely slowly. More than a token amount of lace is a definite positive.

The aroma is pretty much as expected given the ingredients and the aging parameters. The combination of roasted malty stout and bourbon whiskey is right on the money and is impressively powerful to boot. If the flavor is anywhere near as good, this will be another winner from Full Sail.

Black Gold doesn't taste or feel as good as it smells. Maybe not even as good as it looks. For starters, it doesn't have enough malty guts for the RIS style. Then again, extended barrel aging tends to break down body. In the end, my love for big stouts and bourbon will probably be enough to earn it some good scores.

What barley is present (think 7.0% porter) is nicely roasted-charred and is bittersweet chocolate-like. There's also a ripe fig fruitiness that one doesn't often run across in a big stout. Other flavors contributed by the barrels include caramelized sugar and a good bit of vanilla. Hints of molasses and black licorice are noted as well. Boldness is not an issue. Lack of depth is.

Although the mouthfeel firms up a little with warming, it could still be more burly. There are certain expectations that come with the 10.5% RIS territory, after all. Well-buried bubbles add to ease of drinkability. Here's hoping the final quarter of the bottle isn't borderline flat.

It has been too long since I reviewed Full Sail Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) for any valid comparisons to be made, but it looks like Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout has received shockingly similar scores. Bourbon barrel aging may have helped the nose, though that's about it. Despite all the grousing, this really isn't a bad bourbon-soaked brew. Drink it soon if there are any bottles in your cellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 15:32:11 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one that I can cross off the bucket list, was nice to be able to finally try this one.

The pour was about what I would expect from a year old barrel aged stout. Dark as night, and abyss in a glass with a short lived dark brown head that sat on top for just a few moments before settling down into a thin lace around the edges of the glass. Aroma of vanilla, chocolate, hints of molasses and a touch of booze. Warming through opened it up and some nice notes of oak start rumbling through the air as well as a nice touch of coffee that really complimented it quite well. Smooth, well layered body was not too thick, but enough viscosity was there to allow the palate to absorb the rich flavor. Smooth, decadent chocolate notes were layered with tons of vanilla and oak, nicely done I have to admit. As is coats the mouth hints of brown sugar and coffee and a touch of an earthy, oakey flavor start to come through for me. Rich, warming and full of life the final sips leave a coating of vanilla on the tongue.

Overall this was not the best ba stout I have had but left an impression. Very glad I was able to try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 20:04:20 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brewmaster's Reserve 2011

Appearance: A somewhat disappointing appearance, with very little head to cap the dark chocolate colored liquid; rather leggy, however, with dripping dots of foam speckling the side of the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and dark chocolate, with woody overtones

Taste: Dark chocolate and bourbon, up front, with a woody, vanilla character developing by mid-palate; some sourness developing after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation with some warmth in the gullet; the mouthfeel is really thin for the style

Overall: Rather one-dimensional and, with the thin body and hint of sourness developing after the swallow, I have some concerns about how well this will age

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 02:10:22 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of bourbon and sweet creamy barley without too much alcohol ester. Taste is a complex mix between some sweet roasted malt with creamy barley notes and some dominating bourbon with light vanilla touch. Bourbon is very present but without any alcohol ester. Which I very much appreciated. Full body with good carbonation. Very well done and something I would have more often.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 02:34:14 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Promoting the sense of roast, Full Sail's larger-than-life Stout employs the full gamut of tools to heighten the sense of roast- from its dryness, to its carbonation, its spices and its bitterness all work hard in that direction. Balance has very little place in this beer.

The expected black beer layers into the glass with a slow and steady separation of foam from ale. Its dark body is nearly black as garnet highlights penetrate its edges. Its creamy cap of foam shows long-lasting retention and well defined rings of lace.

Highly roasty aromas couple with medium bourbon notes for a dry coffee and caramel scent. Burnt wood, espresso, walnuts, cocoa and campfire all sing the praises of the beer's tremendous roast. The alcohol scent gives a sweeter and spicier tone to balance the roast scent while light hop presence of burnt grass comes out to play.

Its taste is fully roasted- burnt caramel and toffee, burnt dark fruit, burnt wood and grass all create a strong roasted coffee and cocoa taste. Its bourbon flavor is dry, spicy and boozy just ahead of its bitter finish. Burnt hops, coffee-like bitterness and alcohol bite easily balances the dry malt taste and gives its finish a mild taste of burnt embers and ash.

Full bodied, but the beer's high level of attenuation gives dry impressions immediately. With little malt weight to support the roast, its dry and rough edges poke and prod at the soft tissues of the mouth with spicy pangs of astringency from wood spices, roast grain spices, sharp hops and prickling alcohol. Further exacerbated, the beer's high carbonation provides an arid texture that promotes ash qualities in aftertaste.

Full Sail's Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Gold is a a fantastic Stout, but you gotta lik'em roasty as hell! Everything about the beer reinforces the taste of all-things-burnt. Any balance from malt sweetness is hard to come by, but this allows for a surprisingly high level of drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 18:24:05 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that slowly died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles across the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: Moderately strong flavors of bourbon stand out, although these are well incorporated into the taste and are not overpowering. There are some hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink for the style because the alcohol is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 13:16:44 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a khaki-colored head.

Smell: Do you like bourbon? If the answer's yes, just wink at me.

Yes, it's bourbony, baby. Full, redolent notes of vanilla, brown sugar, and toasted oak eclipse the lesser hints of dark malts and chocolate.

Taste: Dark malts, chocolate, and a simple syrup sweetness expertly integrated with the bourbon characteristics. Chocolate syrup and a few flecks of coconut on a finish that is very warming, but never hot.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Quite warming.

Drinkability: Very nice. So nice, in fact, that it has a noticeable calming effect. Personally, I put on some relaxing music, sat quietly, hands clasped together on my lap. I'll finish the rest of my glass before retiring to the den to read for a spell before going to bed.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 17:57:18 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to AleWatcher for sharking this bottle!

We apparently did not have enough beer already on deck, so we cracked this bottle as well. Fair enough. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of rather light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate syrup, bourbon, light oak, vanilla, and caramel. The taste holds notes of light roasted malts, chocolate syrup, light mandarin orange syrup, bitter dark chocolate, light lemon zest, very light vanilla, and very light coconut. The fruity notes really don't do it for me, and things are exacerbated by the cloying sweet notes from the chocolate and whatnot. Not my cup o' meat. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly watery feel. Overall, a pretty disappointing impy stout, one that goes too far into sweetness and fruitiness and doesn't try to bulk itself up for me. I've had worse, I just am not too big a fan of this.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 20:16:29 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours mahogany/black witha 3 fingers+ mocha colored head. Very good lacing and head retention

Smell: Oaky, vanilla, & bourbon notes

Taste: Bourbon notes, vanilla, slight nutiness, slight grainy bitterness witha dry fruitty finish.

MF: Rich & creamy woth perfect carbonation levels

Super drinkable for the strength. I love this style & this easily one of the best I've tried. Enjoy

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2006 05:52:00 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt with a lot of bourbon whiskey notes. I get some oak, as well as some alcohol and maple.

The flavor is more complex. In addition to the oak and bourbon notes, I get a lot of chocolate, brown sugar and a little bit of dark fruit. The roasted malt is also present but takes a back seat to the chocolate.

Thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A very nice barrel-aged beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 21:17:11 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage.

Pours a quite dark colored foamy head that barely covers the beer and fades fairly quickly, spots of lacing, over pitch black thick beer with decent legs too.

NOse brings tons of chocolate, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, melting Belgian creamy chocolate, then into barrel with lots of nice vanilla, little caramelized oak sugars, and even some straight up bourbon, with a bit of dark caramel and sweet characters, faint hint of booze.

Taste brings more nice bourbon stout characters, starting with a nice mellow bourbon actually, smooth and oaky bourbon with plenty of vanilla again. Then the malts take over, nice chocolate and cocoa powder, baker's choc, a bit of a creamy dark melting chocolate, light roast and coffee but not really acrid. Woody esters come through behind the malt wave, as well as a creamy thick almost nougat like taste, some caramel, and a bit of warming booze as well. Powdered slightly chalky cocoa taste too and a bit of minerality. Finish is drier but a bit sticky, bit more hot booze warmth, more powdered chalky cocoa and some caramel, but also a nice bourbon flavor and bit of vanilla barrel as well as bit of wood flavors all lingering in a complex finish.

Mouth is fuller bodied, lighter but decent carb, thick and creamy with a milky feel, bit of warming booze.

Overall not bad, a nice bourbon barrel character, nice chocolate malt characters, light roast but not a lot, a bit of booze warmth but expected, carbonation could be a little more, but overall decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 02:18:46 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Bottling; Sampled May 2009
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, nicely brown stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color, though it has a touch of a brown tint to it if you look closely. The beer remains quite opaque if held up to the light, though it might pick up just a touch more brown. The nose leads with notes of toasted coconut and vanillin, lightly spicy bourbon and roast malt back this up quite nicely, but the first two are definitely the dominant note. After digging a bit deeper some notes akin to a burnt nuttiness, others that distinctly remind me of a chocolate liquor and a sharp, slightly acrid, dark roast coffee in the finish. There is perhaps a touch of burnt vegetal notes in the aroma as well. Not a bad aroma, though it can be a touch harsh at times.

The beer hits my tongue with a touch of a lush texture, not quite creamy, but definitely with a substantial heft. The beer has a light sweetness to it, much of the sugars here seem to be well roasted such that they don't contribute to a simple sweetness. The roast character adds a sharpness to this beer in the middle and moves towards a roast bitterness and a touch of acrid roast character in the lingering finish. After a bit some burn acidity is also noticed in the finish.. The Bourbon barrel induced flavors are not nearly as ripe and inviting as the aroma was. Here the barrel influence adds a spicy, slightly hot note to the finish, though there is a touch of buttery oak and maybe a hint of vanillin, but the lush coconut character seems to be entirely lacking. The roast, burnt malt character does have a touch of nuttiness to it in the finish, but it is mostly dominated by the sharp roast notes.

This beer ends up being a bit too harsh, I wish it maintained the richness and balance of the nose in the flavor, but it just gets a bit too harsh in the end; there is just too much of a dominating, sharp, roast character in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 20:10:12 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this!

22 oz. bottle - Brewmaster Reserve 2009 - poured into a tulip glass:

Pours opaque black. A thin tan head forms and holds up reasonably well for abv/style before slowly vanishing. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of bourbon and vanilla/oak over a roasty coffee/chocolate stout character.

The taste is sweet and boozy. Oak and bourbon/vanilla dominate, with very noticeable alcohol. It has a roasted dark malt undertone with dark fruit and licorice. There is an alcohol dryness in the finish.

It hits full-bodied, with laid-back carbonation.

A nice sipper. Strong alcohol and strong oak/bourbon characteristics dominate.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 04:56:27 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin light tan head. Nose is bourbon vanilla tones and wood. Flavor is bringing more bourbon than anything. Boozy tones with touches of vanilla. I mean this is like drinking a rough Bourbon County Stout. Feel is thicker on liquid abd carbonation is lower. Overall nice. You'll need to appreciate bourbon to appreciate this one. But overall it's nice enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 00:58:41 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a black color with a short wispy head.

Smell: bourbon and vanilla are up front and pleasant.

Taste: roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, prunes, alcohol, and a moderate bitterness make the main flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Dryness arrives late. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a slow drinking beer that is a bit boozy. The bourbon flavors are pleasant but a bit more roasted malt tones are needed here. The stout qualities are a bit mild.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 20:31:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown in the big globe. Modest head with nearly nonexistent lacing. Not a bad nose of vanilla and lots of wood. Fairly flat mouthfeel. Woody flavor, as in seriously barreled. Clearly 10 months is too long. The stuff seems to have lost aromatics and every trace of sweetness.

Certainly drier than nearly every Imperial Stout I've tried. Tastes like they used alcohol to leach out the malt flavors. 2011 version from Royal Liquor in Encinitas. Astoundingly overpriced at $14.99. There are so many booze and barrel flavored beers these days, and most of them are a lot better than this.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 05:27:03 | More by mactrail
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a small brownish head, smells of bourbon and vanilla..it tastes like heaven. The oak, bourbon and vanila is prominent, chewy and it will kick you in the balls. Mouthfeel is plenty of kick. The vanilla and bourbon is just down right great! Best Imperial I have ever had..second is oak aged yeti

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 03:36:48 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruits. A tiny bit hot.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.

d - I enjoyed this one a lot. It was a bit hot but the taste smelt great. Would definitely have again.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 01:44:05 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had to do some googling to make sure I was reviewing the correct beer. My bottle does NOT say "Black Gold"; it simply says "Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged" on a black and gold label. I've confirmed that this beer is indeed Black Gold - albeit an alias thereof. Brewmaster Reserve 2013. Price was $10.99 at a local SoCal beer store. 9.6% ABV. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black pressure cap served into a flared tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I'm not a fan of Full Sail - but then I've only had their Trader Joe's beers for the most part.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of decent cream, decent thickness, and poor (<1 minute) retention. No lacing on the sides of the glass. Body colour is a solid dark black. Nontransparent; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style, but nothing stands out. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt or obvious flaws. Generally appealing.

Sm: Light vanilla and buried light oak - but they come off somewhat artificial; this is not good bourbon barrel aging. Cream. Dark malts. It's shockingly bland for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. An average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: I like the simple vanilla notes. Unobtrusive dark malt foundation. The bourbon aspect is nice, but it's rather one-dimensional and simple for a bourbon barrel stout. Where's the complexity and subtlety? Some cream. No real oak. It's balanced, but it's unbelievably simple. I like it, but it's wanting. No yeast or alcohol comes through, though my stomach does get a bit warm after consumption. Any hopping is minimal.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit of cream. Decent body. Decent carbonation. Good thickness.

Dr: Very drinkable for a barrel aged imperial stout, admittedly. But it has none of the complexity or subtlety I want from the style. It's as neutral, muted, and simple as an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels can be. This would make a great introduction to the style, but it's not for those of us who have had the greats. Overpriced for what it is. Comparatively, it may be Full Sail's best beer - but that isn't saying much. I might try it on-draught if there's no better option, but it's rather forgettable stuff. Still, it's better than I expected. ABV isn't well hidden. Overall, this is about as mundane a bourbon barrel imperial stout as you'll ever find.

Low C+

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 05:06:20 | More by kojevergas
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A foil-wrapped 650 mL bottle courtesy of a Fall 2006 trade with liverletdie.

A: The stout is midnight, dark as a night without the moon. The lack of head further accentuates the darkness of the stout.

S: The nose is stout initially, dark and foreboding with a strong boozy warmth. Chocolate and dark breads lead the way. As the stout warms, bourbon emerges with an impressive strength. Vanilla and alcohol round out the nose.

T: Initially, the stout is just that. Dark flavors, chocolate and nuttiness, emerge with no indication of the strength of the barrel. In warming, the stout takes on a whole new dimension. Vanilla, pepper and corn booze emerge, complimenting the chocolate stout elements. When the stout reaches room temperatute, it's full potential is reached. The bourbon is firing on all cylinders, overpowering the stout in an alcoholicd delirium. For a stout with two years under its belt, wow!

M: This one goes neck and neck with Dark Hollow. The bourbon is slow to emerge but when it does, make sure that you aren't in the way.

D: The alcohol is hidden (if that is possible in a bourbon stout) until the temperature increases. Near room temperature, this one'll knock your socks off.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 03:32:46 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Full Sail, Hood River, OR

Whew, loved this one. Had this during a visit in 2011, but the board listed the ABV as 10.5%, so I'm taking that to mean that this was a vintage keg. Either way, it was great, and one of the better beers I sampled during my week in OR.

Poured a dark black with brownish tints, and a ring of delicate bubbles on top. Aroma thick with bourbon and toffee. My eyes bugged out...I knew this was going to be good. And it was. Taste loaded with toffee, bourbon-drenched oak, and big time vanilla, especially from mid-palate onward. Dark malts and baker's chocolate as a subtle afterthought. Just under full-bodied, alcohol warmth, and quite simply a highly savorable brew that I could sip on all night.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2012 09:51:06 | More by Rifugium
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a sticky bubbly tan head that fades to a sheet after a bit. There are a few microbubbles that can be seen through the dense body of this beer.

S- The dark sweet malt aroma has notes of raisins and graphite with fresh sweet oak and a slight vanilla note to it coming through. There is a peaty bourbon note that comes through as the beer warms a bit. The notes of sesame seeds becomes part of the malt aroma and Kleenex tissue becomes part of the oak aroma as the beer warms.

T- The black sweetness has some sweet oaky flavors to follow with prune and dried fruit flavors underneath. There is a soft roasted flavor without any bitterness in the finish that turns inky as the beer warms. There is a soft alcohol flavor that combines with it but is not fusel.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slightly slippery texture and a very mild alcohol warmth on the exhale.

D- This is a big smooth great sipping beer that is not really heavy and doesn't have much bitterness to balance the sweeter flavors, but that is ok as the inky flavors come through and the malt isn't overly sweet in itself. This beer starts of with big complex flavors but as the beer warms the flavors and aromas tend to get a bit washed out.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 20:04:03 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Brewmaster Reserve
22oz. Bomber
Gold Foil/Capped

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy tan head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, very nice oak/bourbon notes, chocolate/toffee, vanilla. The taste is very nice, sweet, malty, lots of bourbon/oak/chocolate/toffee, and a nice touch of vanilla. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, recommended.

2009 Brewmaster Reserve
22oz. Bomber
Gold Foil/Capped

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy tan head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, very nice oak/bourbon notes, chocolate/toffee, vanilla. The taste is very nice, sweet, malty, lots of bourbon/oak/chocolate/toffee, and a nice touch of vanilla. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 00:00:48 | More by Wasatch
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corby112

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque even when held to a light source and a two finger creamy dark beige head. Very good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring and cap.

Very oaky bourbon aroma with a lot of roasted chocolate malts. Hints of toffee, roasted coffee bean, toast, licorice, alcohol, dark chocolate, lactic cream and lots of bourbon. Also, a good bit of vanilla from the oak.

Chewy viscous mouthfeel with a prominent bourbon alcohol heat up front that is quickly countered by a deep roasted chocolate maltiness. Hints of silky dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, slight lactic cream, licorice, burnt toast, and some earthy oak notes with a good bit of vanilla. Alcohol warmth and bitter hops in the finish. The bourbon is very prominent but doesn't overpower the other flavors, allowing the complexity of the roasted maltiness to shine through. Delicious and very quaffable. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2009 16:05:12 | More by corby112
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