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Wooden Hell - Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Wooden HellWooden Hell

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

150 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.29%
Wants: 579
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 04-29-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

GABF 2006 Strong Barrel Aged Bronze, Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Barleywine
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 89
Reviews by hopsbreath:
Photo of hopsbreath
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I guess it's about time I reviewed this. Review taken from literally three lines of notes tapped out on my BlackBerry. Thanks to HoppyMeal for bringing a bottle of this to the pre-Hair of the Dog bottle share earlier this month. He committed to bringing this and a J&J Blauw and suddenly the bar was instantly set. An insane tasting and a great time.

A: Pours a hazy prune/tan with a small beige head that quickly recedes to a glass ring. Moderate legs show the heft of the body. 4/5

S: Brewbro000 said something along the lines of "I'm going to give myself a nose bleed because I'm sniffing this so hard". That about sums it up for me. Warm vanilla, rich toffee, and mellow bourbon. 5/5

T: Sweet caramel, creamy fruits, and smooth bourbon. The richness was only barely delved into from my small pour, but it had great depth. 4.5/5

M: Moderate body with a silky texture. No alcohol burn. 4.5/5

O: This was a superbly aged bottle. Its equal I've never experienced. I'll likely never get the chance to drink this again but at least now I see what all the fuss is about. Worth whatever it takes to trade for a bottle. 4.5/5

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the old timers I've always wanted to try. Took me a few years to finally find one of these, so a huge thank you goes out to cpferris for providing this through a reasonable trade. Very happy to finally be drinking this long-time want. Shared at my house with the crew last weekend. Good times boys!

From a bomber into a mini-snifter
Woodford Reserve barrel aged
Drank this along side Fireside Chat and BA Hi-Fi Rye batch 2

APPEARANCE: Pours a ½ finger, off-white head that quickly vanishes. Lousy retention. A clear, deep mahogany red in color, basically the same as the other two, with no carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring, both of which remain the whole way but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on this one, with oak, coconut, sweet vanilla cream, toffee and caramel on the nose. Very bold and impressive, with lots of oak and bourbon with a solid caramel, toffee base. No sign of oxidization at all.

TASTE: A slight touch of cardboard in the flavor initially, but that quickly recedes, leaving a really good blend of oak, bourbon, caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Barrel sweetness into a finish of coconut, sweet vanilla cream, toffee and caramel, bourbon and some light notes of red fruit from the age. A bit of alcohol lingers as well. This is still extremely tasty and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: I really didn't know what to expect here. I'd heard reports that there was a lot of bottle variation at this point, which would make sense given its age, so perhaps I kept my expectations artificially low. While this bottle has started to show the very beginnings of going grey, the age hasn't stopped it from performing like a champ. This was excellent, and even in a blind tasting it would hold up. As the bottle sat, the slight signs of age took a back seat to the still wonderfully flavorful and balanced barrel aged barleywine with all the elements that make for a world class brew in the style. This was way better than I'd honestly expected, and it may have been my favorite of the three Flossmoor b-wines we drank that evening. Thanks again for the bottle cpferris, and cheers again gents for helping me drink it.

Photo of byaeger
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Homebrepalo for the great BT!!

A - Almost blood orange, lighter than expected, decent lacing.

S - Bright like homemade caramel with kick from bourbon and oak adding desired complexity.

T - Also brighter than expected from year-old bottle. Fresh figs and touch of prune, buoyed by vanilla from the oak. Surprisingly hot for 9.5% ABV.

M - What you'd expect from a barleywine that's been aged in a spent barrel: smooooth, low carb, almost hate to swallow it down.

D - As someone who isn't all about the barleywine and never drinks a whole pint or bottle by himself, this one I'd want if charged with the task of downing it solo. Luckily had the pleasure of sharing with deserving company.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.13/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to metalgdog! Brandon is the man! Never in a lifetime thought I would taste this.

Pours out a cloudy reddish, orange, brown color. Murky looking in a way. A light beige colored head, decent retention.

Aroma is a bit off from what I expected. Seaweed and very earthy. A sweet caramels bourbon BW base is lost somewhere in the back.

An exceptional taste, different complexities come with each sip. The seaweed and earth from the aroma is there, perhaps from oxidation, but compliments the beer much more nicely. Lots of sweet caramel/ burnt sugars, tons of oak and fig like dark fruits. Just a bit of bourbon, but whatever booze was there seems to have mellowed very nicely with age. Sweetness all over.

Very smooth and easy drinking for what it is. Fairly thick bodied, and just a bit light on the carbonation.

I'm super excited for trying a beer I never thought would even be a possibility. But I had it, and despite the whale status, I'm a bit underwhelmed. The seaweed earth aspect, especially in the aroma, wasn't very welcomed, still the taste was pretty amazing. So happy in got the opportunity, thanks again Brandon!

Photo of rudylaw
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't begin to thank Joe1510 enough for cracking this open at that insane tasting... one of two beers I made mental notes of that night.

Pours a brownish-mahogany tone with a tiny rim of head.

There's a lot going on in the nose... coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, caramel, macaroon... sweet goodness abound!

All of the same in the taste. It's like a boozy butterscotch sundae with a hint of spiciness on the back end. Rum raisin, some maple... Jesus Christ, it's got everything I like in it.

Low carbonation but this is as smooth a barleywine as I've ever had. There's just the slightest hint of booze here. It's mellowed out very well. Just ungodly.

I love Perfect Storm... but this beer is everything PS wants to be. It's a damn crime this will never be made again. Perfect to the last drop!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a ton of people who traded with me for this one. I consider myself very lucky to be able to open and share one of these and still have another to cellar if I wish. 4oz. pour from a 22oz. waxed and capped bomber into a brandy snifter. Shared at a tasting on 2/19/11. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields an clear, amber colored brew with no head and no lacing. Nice legs though. A bit dissapointing but considering the age and style, not unexpected.

S: Very subtle overall. Sweet brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and some toffee notes. Slight bit of booziness here and there that sprinkle the other flavors rather than masking them. Not the most aromatic but very enticing and appropriate.

T: Opens very subtle brown sugar, caramel, and molasses that comes in step by step. Incredible balance and each and every flavor that surfaces complements the whole experience perfectly. Honey with a subtle, amber-maple, sappy hop bitterness towards the end. Brown sugar and toffee notes at the finish with a slightly accented tickle of booze. Aftertaste is sweet but very quickly gone.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with a slight tickle of booze and bubbles going down. Heat is present but it's complementary the whole way and never overwhelming. Slightly spicy finish with a clean, almost evaporating aftertaste. Very nicely done.

D: Is this beer worth the hype? Yes. Absolutely, one of, if not the most subtle and balanced barrel-aged beers I've had to date. Having said that, is this the best english barleywine I've ever had? Probably not... with The Perfect Storm edging it out slightly. Still though, if you're lucky enough to come across this, you're in for a real treat. An astoundingly well crafted beer.

Photo of beertooth
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I brought a bottle to a little tasting today. It was poured into various tasting glasses.

This beer pours a wonderful ruddy amber. There's a finger of darkish off white head that fades to a thin collar.

The nose is excellent. Tons of burnt sugars, dates, dried stone fruit, mild oxidization, mellow bourbon, vanilla, musty oak and coconut. It's quite fruity.

The taste follows the nose. Complex sugars, oak, bourbon, raisins, caramel, vanilla, some more oxidization. It's extremely well balanced and the alcohol is really well hidden.

The mouthfeel is rich, full, and creamy with a low level of carbonation.

Excellent, excellent beer. I'm really happy I had the will power to cellar this. It's aged gracefully and I'm glad I had some great BA's to share it with.

Photo of mikey711
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Going through my sock draw i happened to find my notes for this and Deviation! What did you find in your sock drawer. This was enjoyed at some point over the summer, late june i believe

A: Deep mahogony with a faint layer of carbonation, decent lace and slightly cloudy

S: Heavy bourbon with hints of graham cracker, vanilla, some dark fruit (raisins and prunes). there is also a touch of smokiness and a slightly leather compenent. very complex and enjoyable

T: The bourbon is very present and somewhat sweet like a rye whiskey. big vanilla notes that blends nicely with the graham cracker

M: Thinner than i expected and there is a slight bit of harness

D: overall this was a great beer that i was very happy to have been able to try. personally, khuhnenn BBBW is a bit better but i would jump at the chance to try this one again

Photo of nickd717
4.62/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber very generously shared by bring - thanks, Barry! Copied again from notes after earlier rating was deleted.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown color with some tan foam and decent lacing.

S - Awesome aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. This already seems like it's going to live up to the hype.

T - Similar to the aroma, with a great sweet caramel/toffee malt background, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits. There really is a lot going on in this beer.

M - Amazing palate - smooth creamy, and a little syrupy with medium-full body.

D - Way too high. This just keeps you wanting more. Overall this is a phenomenal beer.

Photo of GuruDel
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm... Never thought this would happen, but it did.

Bottle poured to Bruery Tulip.

Many thanks go out to Jazz, Steve and James for making this happen.

A: Dark golden brown, like liquid caramel, little bit of bubble from the pour but no head at all.
S: Amazingly complex, vanilla, bourbon hints, oak and sweet caramel. The nose on this beer is amazing, the group sat around and smelled it from 5 or 6 different glasses, each was unique but still fantastic.
T: There was no oxidation, no off flavors at all, it was pure awesome in a glass. Sweet caramel, oak, vanilla and a hint of booze but in the best way possible.
M: This was basically a still beer with no detectable carbonation, but it was still fantastic. It was not overly thick or sticky, but it still coated the whole mouth.

Again many thanks to Jazz, I owe you one.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep murky reddish brown body. Small welling of khaki bubbles. A very thin collar.

Smell - A little oxidized. Kinda cardboardy. Bourbon. Brown sugar. Boozy.

Taste - Better bourbon flavor. Better all around. Still a little cardboardy and oxidized. Some dark fruits to it, too. Lots of brown sugar. Woody finish. Almost spicy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Oxidized in the back end. Boozy.

Overall - So this is getting old. The oxidation is becoming overwhelming.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to James for picking this up for me all that time ago... Poured into a Two Brothers sniffer @ cellar temperature, while listing to Beastie Boys.

A- Clear, rich amber body with a good finger of head with little retention or lacing. Attractive, very attractive.

S- Butterscotch, vanilla & pepper lent from the bourbon barrels play off the rich caramel malt aroma excellently. Mild esters and alcohol really allow the aroma to feel focused. Might not be the most complex aroma, but man is it savoury!

T- Alcohol is much more assertive in the mouth than in the nose. Rich caramel, big spice, butterscotch, mild tropical fruits and oak tannins combine with the warming alcohol to present a excellent start to the beer. The flavour profile seems to clean up in the midpalate, with caramel and butterscotch really shining. The finish is spicy, sweet, long, and fantastic. Again, big and fun,

M- Full bodied and viscous, but not too much so, with excellent carbonation levels. Really wouldn't change anything here.

D- This might not be the most complex barleywine of all time, but excellent drinkability, fantastic barrel aging and a fun American brew.

Photo of GRG1313
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I have over 3,500 personal reviews, this is my 500th review on Beer Advocate. Figured I'd make it a "special" review.

Thus, thanks to Jer for sharing this one at our Whale tasting at his housewarming party. I'm going to do this review like I've never done...I hope no one is offended.

"Wooden Hell" - take the best bottle of whiskey you've got, maybe a big 23 year old Pappy's. Mix in a gang full of rich molasses, fresh brown sugar, thick rich carmel, bitter and sweet toffee, big dark chocolate, perhaps a bit of fruity scotch, some rich roasted coffee and then just reduce the hell out of it. The sweet, malty, rich, thick, wonderful extract that's left?...that's Wooden Hell. Wow.

Photo of trodersark
3.6/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a Tulip.

A: Pours a hazy light amber, with no head whatsoever.
S: Smells of caramel, light vanilla notes, some oak, and slights hints of bourbon
T: oxidized. oxidized. I can't really taste the bourbon anymore. I taste some caramel, a touch of spice, some vanilla, toffee, and definitely a lot of oak.It tasted really similar for a really old bigfoot. There was definitely a lingering aftertaste that stuck with me long after every sip.
M: flat, no carbonation whatsoever, though drinkability is quite smooth, not hot at all.
O: overall, I thought it was a good beer. Do I think there is good reason for the hype? hmmm. I definitely do believe that if I had tasted this beer a year or two ago, my review and thoughts would have been quite different. If you have a bottle of this, drink it, trade it, do what you will, but it definitely does not need any more time. In fact, I feel as though this beer is definitely on its downhill curve. But don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for getting a chance to try this whale, and I definitely think it's a brew you should 110% try if you have the chance. I just don't quite think it lived up to the hype it still holds.

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A snifter glass served at the brewery on the day before Dark Lord.

A: The barleywine is very dark, a deep ruby red that could easily be mistaken for black (and therefore a stout). Only the whitish colored head confirms that it is in fact not a stout.

S: The nose is incredibly sweet, thick with malty wetness. Candi sugar emerges, but unfortunately not a lot of bourbon character does.

T: The mouth is just as thick as the nose would lead you to believe. The malts are concentrated such that they are fruity sweet. Some darker fruits emerge to provide sweetness that is brushed with a hint of candi and brown sugars. Even in the mouth, the bourbon does not shine as much as I'd want it to. Perhaps it is just blending into the overall sweetness of the beer. Oh yeah, the alcohol is quite evident.

M: The mouthfeel is a good drink, full of flavor with mere kisses of bourbon.

D: A very good drink. Dinner at Flossmoor turned out to be a brilliant idea.

Photo of emerge077
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Justin for sharing this the other day...

Wooden Hell pours a murky, woody mahogany tone with a slim dollop of tan foam. Heavenly whiff of toffee, brown sugar, with some toasty coconut & vanilla notes from the barrel aging.

Super rich and malty, tons of caramel/toffee/butterscotch, with traces of sticky maple syrup on the lips. Some tobacco/leather spice from the bourbon barrel. Elements of sweet dried fruit, mostly raisin. Fairly low carbonation. Some spice/heat from the abv, but not what i'd consider hot. Mellow and rich. A sweet, fruity, syrupy confection.

Sadly i've traded all mine away, and it won't be made again... thanks again to señor beertooth for the sample.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one the night before Darklord day.

Body is a ruby brown that hosts a shore skim of light tan head. Nose is laced with raspberry tart and wheaty red licorice. Includes a slight hint of sherry. First sip greets you with dark over ripe fruit notes and warming alchol. Smooth and thick mouthfeel is spawned by the dark chocolate candied dominence. Cough syrup meets chocolate liquer is the palate tone you get here, but in a good way. Drinks nicely even as it warms. Alchol content is high, probably around 10%, but doesnt show in the taste. A nice sweeter after dinner beer. To bad it was a one and out.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 provided by Ditmier at the Friday the 13th tasting.. Eric is the man.. there is no other way to describe it... Mondo huge appreciation for providing such a super rare beer. Poured into my Delirium goblet.

Crystal clear lite amber brew... great off white head and tons of lace.

Aroma is vanilla with lite caramel and some bourbon cherry essence.. woody and pretty wonderful.

Flavor has more tannic elements than I was expecting.. but very rich.. again.. lighter than expected caramel, but the maltiness is pretty heavy and when combined with the barrel aging, makes for a great BW.. vanilla and bourbon elements are just about perfect... there is a drying oaky tannin essence that really is the tie that binds this one together.. the body is on the thicker side for a BW.. but the carbonation is nearly perfect making me want more.

Eric.... I owe you for this one... I don't know how yet, but I will get you back... You're a good BA.

4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5

Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can you believe I got a chance to try this one? I seriously was amazed to see it sitting in my fridge last night, so much so that I just had to grab it and open it up. Selfish I know to indulge by myself but there are a few out there that I really just need to. Served at around 55 degrees and poured into a new CCB glass( thanks Greg), this one was consumed on 10/15/2009.
 
The pour was perfect, well everything about this one was perfect but we will get to the rest of that later. Rich dark brown in color with a neat little head of light tan that reached a height of around it that really just sat there, looking at me in the glass for what seemed like forever, never really fading much at all. Just sublime and evil looking, but that was before I tried. Now I have had a good many different Barley wines and Barrel Aged offerings in my day but this just takes the cake as far as those two categories. Superb. Rich notes of butterscotch and vanilla just oozing off of this, filling the room with their essence. Warming brings out just that much more, insane the amount of aroma here. Notes of wood, candied sugar and touches of caramel and toffee, unreal. It was like it was made for this moment, just for me. Each sip bringing more and more subtle flavors, things I did not think could even be brought to the table are dominating my palate. Then it hit that sweet spot at around room temperature, that rich toffee, butterscotch caramel, fusion of a flavor that I seek out in all but the greatest of barrel offerings, here it is in all its glory, and I melt into the glass. Long finish of sweet caramel and brown sugar flavors dripping from every sip, warm vanilla and woody notes swirling around, dancing on the tongue, every ounce is savored, relished, and appreciated.
 
Sipping for the next two hours becomes a lesson in pure relaxation and self gratification. I have become comfortably numb.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at a recent tasting, can't remember who shared this, but it was pretty good.

Hazy brown pour, it sits in the glass nearly opaque, topped with a thin off-white head. The nose is full of caramel and dates, sherry-like oxidation, vanilla, bourbon and wood. This has oxidized in a great way. I get similar flavors on the palate; rich caramel and fruity sweetness balanced by a light boozy kick, subtle oxidation, tobacco and tannins. The finish is borderline dry, almost vinous. I'd love to sit down with a bottle of this to myself; my small glass was entirely too easy to drink.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.6/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A huge thanks to treyrab for sharing this at our second epic tasting of 2010, and third overall. Poured my share into a tulip glass.

Colored deep brown and glowing with ruby highlights, a vigorous pour produces only thin and wispy bubbles. The body is crystal clear. This is pretty much right on for a barleywine, though the consistency looks a bit thin as it cascades into my glass.

The aroma is phenomenal. So often bourbon barrels impart too much bourbon for the character of the beer, but this is artfully done. The first impressions are of caramel, toffee, and the classic nutty maltiness of a barleywine. These give way to the barrel notes...oak, vanilla, and bourbon, in that order. There is also a prominent dark fruit aroma characterized by dates that comes around for the finish to round it all out.

The taste continues to impress, at least initially. The bourbon strengthens on the palate and joins the caramel up front. These then give way to nuts, vanilla, oak, and the dates. Unfortunately, this dark fruitiness is also accompanied by some not-so-graceful or flavor-enhancing oxidation that imparts some off and cardboardy flavors on the palate that linger after the finish. There are some alcohol esters, but they are neither overwhelming nor offensive in any way. This is a very good American barleywine, but it doesn't blow me away. And given the barrel-aging, this is only average, as there are far better out there.

The appearance of low carbonation is misleading, as this is still packed with fizz that makes me cough on my first sip. The balance of flavors is phenomenal, with the bourbon highly evident, edifying the flavor profile while remaining subtle. Too bad it's oxidizing...this coulda been really good. The texture is just a touch thin for my liking, but this is good beer. Age will likely not be kind to this, based on the oxidation that is already evident.

Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for sharing this bottle...
Appears a dense, murky toned chestnut with a small, light tan head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of wood, caramel, raisins, sourdough, toffee, cocoa, and cake.
Taste is sweet with bourbon in the flavor with some toffee, and rich butterscotch pulling through.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, oaky, sugary, and warming.

Photo of jimjim123
4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with some tan foam and decent lacing. Awesome aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Flavor is more of the same, with a great sweet caramel/toffee malt background, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits. Amazing palate - smooth creamy, and a little syrupy with medium-full body. Overall this is a phenomenal beer.

Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a copper-colored wax sealed 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to pop for trekking down to Flossmoor to pick these up with me. Extra special thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Review # 666!!!

A: Pours a murky & muddy caramel-brown color with a small, light-brown head. The head retains for awhile and then gradually recedes leaving behind some spotty specks of lace.

S: Heavenly aromas of vanilla, bourbon, coconut, caramel, toffee, dry oak, and spicy hops. Incredible nose on this one!

T: HUGE slap of caramel and vanilla with sides of hot boozy bourbon, coconut, hops, and sweet toffee. Heat is tamed by the immense sweetness.

M: Big, sweet, and slick with a fine bit of dryness brought about by the oak and a wonderful spicy hop bitterness. Finishes sweet & peppery and very sticky.

D: Unbelievable! How can something be this big and yet, so easy to drink? Expertly balanced.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I nearly took this off of my "wants" list because I assumed I wouldn't have the firepower to trade for it. A million thanks to Steve for letting me have the opportunity!

Pours a cola brown with tons of bubbles shooting to the top, and a one finger head that leaves a collar parked in its wake.

Smell is lusciously thick caramel malt, dark fruits, hints of oak, citrus hops, and a tad bit of alcohol volatility.

Although the smell is nice, it doesn't quite set the bar too high so that the taste can't live up to it. My first sip mesmerizes my lips with a deep caramel malt profile, lots of citrus and earthy hops in the background. Surprisingly, there aren't a ton of barrel notes coming through. I think the hops underneath overpower some of the subtleties that would normally come with barrel aging. I do pick up hints of oak and vanilla, but they really need to be hunted for. In fact, I could have easily been fooled into believing this was just a regular American Barleywine. If that seems like I am slighting this beer in any way, understand that it is not my intention...because there really aren't any flaws here at all.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with good carbonation levels. Although 9.5% isn't really too crazy of an ABV for a barrel aged barleywine, this still is a sipper strictly due to the thick maltiness. And a great sipper it is. I can't say that this lives up to style standard set by The Perfect Storm, but it comes close to matching my other favorite in the style (Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine).

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Wooden Hell from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.