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Owd Mac's Imperial Stout - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Owd Mac's Imperial Stout
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 38
Gots: 1 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This very special beer was brewed as a double strength imperial stout with an original gravity of 27.5P/ 1118. The hopping level is very hard to define. Though there are enough hops to achieve 100 IBUs in a smaller beer, this beer still has a distinct sweetness due to a high percentage of unfermentable sugars. After fermentation, this beer is aged in old whiskey barrels from the McCormick's bottling plant in Weston, MO, hence the name Owd Mac's ("owd" being a British regional colloquialism for old).

(Beer added by: marc77 on 01-26-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by acelin:
Photo of acelin
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured into a snifter, on tap at the brewery.

Pours a dark, dark squid ink black, but more amber-dark brown when held to the light along the edges. Medium tan head that leaves huge lacing.

The nose is hit with roasted barley, bourbon, spice, alcohol, and more alcohol.

This brew could do better in the taste department, but some amazing elements come through. I much prefer the normal Iron Man Stout. This barrel aged stout has far too much bourbon coming through, not enough malt, and far too much oaky-booze character.

Mouthfeel is nice, thick, syrupy. Just great. Carbonation is spot on.

acelin, Dec 23, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Huge thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this growler. This is rating No. 1700 here on Beer Advocate.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights and no head. There are a few bubbles. The aroma is dominated by the chocolate and roasted malt - exactly as it should be.

The flavor is heavy on the chocolate. I also get some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. There is little, if any alcohol detectable in the aroma or flavor, making this big stout extremely drinkable.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

An outstanding stout that definitely lived up to the hype. Thanks again Eric.

Mora2000, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of rudylaw
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

On tap @ GTOM

This was my most anticipated beer of the weekend. 2005 blend served to me twice at 4p.

A very dark brown with absolutely no head to speak of.

I get a ton of dark fruits and booze in the nose. Lots of vanilla and rum. I can't believe how hot this still is after 4 years. Way too hot for me. I can pick up plums, figs wood and raisin but nothing is competing with that bourbon. It's very slick and smooth but I have to say even though this is a well-crafted stout, I'm a little let down.

rudylaw, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Gonzoillini, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Several samples of this @ the 2009 Great Taste of the Midwest on 8/8/09. Vintage 2005.

Pours a dense black (although some ruby does make it's way out across the bottom) with a thinnish bubbly head of burnt mocha colored foam. This fizzles down pretty quickly, eventually leaving a solid plain of darkness that almost seems like it is taunting you to come investigate. The aroma is quite deep smelling with dark chocolate, burnt roast, and coffee. The ripe dark fruit character of cherries and plums pulls up the middle, before working itself into the tangy sweetness of brown sugar and molasses. Vanilla and oak are much more subtle in the nose, and any whiskey feel seems to be melding into the emerging warmth of this.

The taste is fantastic, being rich, smooth, and tangy, with vanilla, chocolate, toffee, molasses, dark fruit, and sweet brown sugar. Pervasive roast, hops, and coffee run throughout, but seems to be nicely smoothed out by a couple of years here, adding dark support to the profile but still allowing the thick sweetness of this to shine. Woody oak, roast and tang combine for quite the memorable and intense finish. The mouthfeel is thick and gooey, with a viscous chewiness to it that falls right in line with the heavy sweetness. There is some heat here, much of which appears to be whiskey character, but it seems to be more relegated to the back of the feel, where it dwells with the big flavors and finish, helping cover any sting up.

Pretty rock'n little BA-RIS here. Rich and gooey flavors, with some age really helping take the edge off any intense bitterness, and allowing both the flavors and barrel components to flow together beautifully. I had heard a lot about Free State and had been wanting to try some of their stuff. Let's just say that this left a very favorable first impression.

Kegatron, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of bditty187
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%

Totally black in hue, glossy, the liquid was obviously dense, I could tell that as the snifter sat on the table but I decided to hold the glass to a light anyway. Opaque. The head was beige in color, it was served with just a thin cap of foam and this turned soapy, quickly. It looks very attractive in the little snifter. Subsequent lacing was spotty but very prevalent. The nose was roasty and very alcoholic. There are some secondary fruity aromas but the bouquet is really a complex array of alcohol and malt. It comes across velvety smooth with near equal parts of chocolate bars, espresso, a very rich mug of mocha coffee, and a blast of alcohol. While the alcohol is raw it is wholesome with bourbon, vanilla-oak chips. Warm. Fruit is secondary, cherries and raisins… whisky soaked fruitcake anyone? The bouquet is tantalizing; it is complex and intriguing. Somehow it is both raw and refined, loud yet mysterious. Inviting to say the least. I want to drink! The palate is fantastically rich; it is oh so creamy! I love the rich milk chocolate and the sugary, oat-like sweetness. It is just dripping with residual sugars. Deep, wide, roasty flavors from start to finish. But in the middle the combination of iced-espresso, mocha coffee, chocolate candy, roasted wood, oak, restrained smokiness, vanilla, and bourbon soaked raisins and cherries. Wow! Amazingly tasty. The finish has just a tickly of hops, but the end is really the playhouse of the sweetness, it is kind of dry, surprisingly, in a coco-powder way. Almonds too. Alcohol is in play from the get-go, it is restrained enough but plenty tasty. I couldn’t help but sit back, sip and savor. This Imperial Stout is as good as I’d want one to be. Full body. Creamy, very filling mouthfeel, I really love the bulk on the tongue. It is like drinking a heavy cloud. Low carbonation. This beer is just begging to be enjoyed as a nightcap but that is hard to do since they don’t allow growlers of it. What a shame. The mouthfeel is perfect, absolutely perfect for the style. Amazingly drinkable, sure it needs to be savored, but that is only proper! I bet this beer would go great with many, many foods but I think this needs to be enjoyed all by itself. It is that complex (and big). Too bad this beer is only available at the brewpub, which is in Lawrence, KS. This beer is a real treat; I hope all local BAs (Kansas City, I’m talking to you!) make the trip to quaff this one. There is a hotel only two blocks away. Highly recommended.

bditty187, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of likestoswallow
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Hand bottle shared by Wetherel at the BA Alesmith Old Numbskull line tasting last month.

A: Pours a viscous motor-oil black with no head.

S: A big rich nose, that screams drink me... now! There are elements of dates, figs, whiskey, vanilla, oak and leather.

T: Pretty much the same as the aroma, but the flavors mentioned above really come alive and kick you in the ass and mouth. Its an unbelievable explosion of flavors that you will not soon forget. There is well aged bourbon, brown sugar, leather, and ripe prunes, all set in a malty backdrop, with a gloriously long finish.

M: Smooth and full, almost chewy; but near zero carbonation.

D: I loved this, It compares favorably to the best impy stouts in the world. Highly recommended.

likestoswallow, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of sammo
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

sammo, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev -3.4%

theminutemen, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of rallison
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Huge thanks to wetherel for bringing this to the epic Sea Of Floydster tasting! 2005 vintage hand bottle - held up very well.

The 4 years of age did present a touch of oxidation in the nose. Aside from that, the 4 years age have treated it well.

Smooth milk chocolate, hints of berries and tootsie rolls. Thick, rich and decadent. Beautiful.

Great beer, and one I will surely seek out in the future. Anyone want to send me a growler?

rallison, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of oline73
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%

Poured from the growler into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown color with a mild layer of off white head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Roasted malt sweetness up front with some dark fruit, caramel, and a dark chocolate note.

Taste: More roast here than there was in the smell. You can taste the sugar here along with a dark fruit notes from the barrel. There is a strong bitter presence from the roast that reminds me of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with lots of tingly carbonation and a really dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the roasted malt/dark chocolate notes but I would say that the beer was only alright. I'd have it again.

oline73, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this 2005 vintage...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a thin collar that floats along the edges. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, black grapes, prunes, cut wood, rum soaked & flambeed bananas, vanilla beans, and light oxidation.
Taste is of the aromas with ripe, dark fruit pulling up the rear in a raisin, and pruning plum flavor.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick, and hot with noticable abv.

weeare138, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of marc77
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Jet black and opaque. Creamy, dense, well retained tan head. Belgian lace remains. Bittersweet chocolate, coffeeish roasted barley, rum and pepper laced alcohol in aroma. Static aromawise-- no change occurs as the beer breathes. Velvety smooth, rich milk chocolate rolls over the tongue at first, then yields to notes of bourbon soaked raisins, carob and vanilla like oak. Mellow butterscotch undertone. Full bodied, viscous and oily. Hop bitterness is overrun by intense chocolate driven malt. Finishes long, w/ pronounced, butter and toffee laced residual sweetness lingering. Soothing alcohol warmth emerges late from mid esophagus. Truly delicious and outstanding. The only missing quality preventing utter greatness was the understated aroma. With the overall depth of malt profile and richness that can be overlooked. Owd Mac's is akin to an "imperial" Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. Original gravity of 27.5 °P/ 1.118 Big, bold, delicious and a worthy dessert beer or aperitif. Worth travelling for. I pleaded to no avail to have my growler filled up with this fine beer. Too much alcohol, they said. In the beer or in me?

marc77, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of Rope
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

This was a '04 bottled by special request from Sam, who generously shared some Dark Lord Day.

Appearance-
Good dark black pour, with a copper yellow head.

Smell-
Raisins and plums, followed with the crispness of the stout.

Taste-
Definitely preserved fruits, plums of front and then raisins toward the end. There is a slight peppercorn to the whole deal as well.

Mouthfeel-
Thinner than I was expecting, not sure if it was due to age. The carbonation held up well though.

Overall-
Very pleased to try this one, and it did not disappoint.

Rope, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ygtbsm94, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Thorpe429, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev -1%

Thanks to mreusch for sending this one my way! 2005 Vintage.

Poured a dark black color, with brown edges, and almost no head. What little that poured was tan in color.

Upon the first whiff, I knew this was going to be one 'big' beer. Aromas of chocolate, molasses, earthy, woody, nutty, and bourbon. Some new hit me with every smell I took.

Tastes of bourbon/whisky, chocolate, raisins, plums, vanilla, and some wood. Light to medium alcohol in the finish. Softer body.

hopdog, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of PPOmaha
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%

Aroma: caramel, vanilla, and barrel. Think caramel ice cream or caramel corn. No DMS, light diacetyl. Not a ton of roast is evident.

Appearance: dark brown with red copper highlights. Low off white head that dissipates quickly. No legs.

Taste: Burnt caramel and tannins, but pleasant. Vanilla and cream. Not much hop flavor. No DMS, no diacetyl. Roast is there in the finish not up front.

Mouthfeel: medium high body very creamy which adds significantly to the overall quality of this thing. Like a tiny bit lighter bcbs. Finish is med dry.

Overall: pretty damn good on tap, at least the 2013 version. Barrel/whiskey is balanced very well.

PPOmaha, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of jrenn
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

jrenn, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of Deuane
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%

Several samples at Great Taste of the Midwest 2009. Vintage 2005.

A-Deep black with the faintest touches of burgandy along the edges. A thin dark tan head disappates to a whispy veil of foam.

S-Rich and robust aroma of dark roast, dark chocolate and coffee with undertones of dark fruit in the form of prunes, raisin and even a touch of tart cherries. Bourbon notes of vanilla, oak and a touch of turbinado in the background.

T-Rich and robust flavours erupt onto the palate with a roasted, creamy, tart and dry explosion of flavours. All of the expected flavours in the aroma profile come through with the additional pressence of earthy bitterness, oak astringency and a touch of alcohol heat in the finish.

M-Medium-heavy bodied with a luscious smoothness and a nice drying finsih. Good lingering flavours.

D-This one was locked on my radar to try as it is a rare beast to obtain. I believe they have made this brew but once so.... Nice for them to haul a keg along to GToM to give the masses an opportunity to try. As good as, if not better, than I hoped it would be. LOTS of complex flavours without going overboard with the barrel againg. I am sure that the 4+ years of mellowing has aided this brew greatly. Great job Free State, Brother Epp would be proud!

Deuane, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

2005 Vintage on tap at brewery on 2/23/2008.

Black opaque, no head. Big aroma full of Treacle, vanilla, oak, and hints of raisins and bourbon.

Initially sweet like molasses with vanilla and burnt oak. Finish is dry with lingering raisin and licorice flavors, alcohol is barley noted.

Thick mouth feel with no carbonation. Alcohol slowly warms the belly. Slow sipper. An acquired taste, but very good. I'd like to see more carbonation.

SafeAtFirst, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of JEdmund
4/5  rDev -3.4%

JEdmund, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of Ristaccia
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Ristaccia, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Goliath
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours black and opaque through the center with some light amber hued edges. A large cascading light brown head leaves a nice frothy 1 inch head with excellent retention, leaving sheets of lacing behind.

The aroma is awesome. Sweet fruit, kind of floral, big chocolate notes, just really nice.

The taste is great. Big roasty malts with a nice bitter dark chocolate leading the way. I get a good bit of whiskey on the palate as well. Some raisin, potentially other fruit, a floral thing, and some booze. Fairly complex.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy, like a milkshake. It's also lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is high. It's a great beer, good flavor, awesome feel, and the booze is noticeable but pleasant, not hindering the experience at all.

Goliath, Nov 10, 2008
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Owd Mac's Imperial Stout from Free State Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.