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Rackhouse Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Rackhouse Ale
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.38%


Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 10-27-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 36 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap down in the cellar of the brewpub during the bourbon event.

Served in a 5oz. snifter. Notes.

A: Pours a cloudy, murky golden peach color. Decent sized pearly white, somewhat frothy head. Some retention and a bit of lacing.

S: Plenty of bourbon and woody notes. Surprisingly there is a lot of citrus, pineapple and mango. Some lighter malts but they're mostly dominated by the bourbon and oak.

T/M: More of the bourbon and barrel flavors. Plenty of the citrus with pineapple and mango and even some tartness. Not a bunch of bitterness, though. Body is medium or so with good carbonation.

D: Higher ABV and gets a bit too sweet as it warms up. Interesting, though.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2009 02:06:18 | More by pwoods
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a golden apricot shade. It is moderately cloudy, with light carbonation visible throughout. A good, solid ring of white, watery lacing skims the top of the beer and leaves behind light spots of lace on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is really complex and pleasantly mouthwatering. It is a little tart and almost wine-like with hints of grapes and herbs and a slight pungency that reminds me of tannins. There is a lightly toasted malt presence along with warm, earthy oak.

Taste echoes the aroma. It is slightly tart, slightly bitter and heavy on the alcohol. The fruity sweetness of tart, chewy cherries or apricots underlies a toasty, oaky grain and slight hop presence. There's an initial stickiness that fades with the heat of the alcohol to a dry warmth. The weight is moderate with a brightly carbonated finish.

This beer is incredibly drinkable, to a fault. It is really tasty and unique, and it goes down much too easily.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 08:13:40 | More by kels
Photo of drgonzo3705
drgonzo3705

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to Thank myself for cracking this one open. I truly am generous beyond all belief. From Mr. Stewarts noggin:

A: Beautiful deep amber color with a light head with thin ring around the edge.

S: Woody sweet vanilla bourbony goodness. Enough said.

T: Vanilla and wood smack your palate as a pleasant sweetness rides underneath.

M: Medium body with just enough carbonation to keep me happy.

D: I still have to finish this growler, and I'm definitely not dreading it. I'm glad this is a once a year pub exclusive because I think it makes it that much better.

Serving type: growler

10-17-2009 03:51:56 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of Bagman007
Bagman007

Texas

2.75/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on tap in a sampler glass at the brewery.

A- Dark amber coloring with a little bit of head.

S- Has a very strong whiskey scent to it.

T- Definitely has a whiskey type taste to it, but not too strong to where you start to think it's not a beer anymore. Has a bit of a smokey flavor as well.

M- Kinda strong tasting and heavy. Kind of like taking a mild straight shot of whiskey.

D- Might be very drinkable for some people, but definitely not for me. The fact that it is so strong also hinders it's drinkability.

Overall a very strong whiskey tasting beer. It tasted better than the waitress made it sound, but I still couldn't have too many of these.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 21:51:27 | More by Bagman007
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Great Lakes Brewery...served in a snifter.

A- Clear amber in appearance. Off-white head formed at the top and then reduced to a ring as the beer was consumed.

S- Strong smell of bourbon with a subtle hint of sweet caramel on the finish.

T- The sweetness really took me by surprise, I loved it. Upfront the sweet caramel hits the palate and settles in, then the bourbon flavor just wipes it out for a nice strong finish.

M- Smooth with some carbonation. Had a medium bodied consistency.

D- This is definitely a sipper. At 10.5% ABV is was still really drinkable, but just slowly.

Overall, very happy I got to try this on-tap. Really stood out as for as bourbon flavored beers go because of the unique sweetness that accompanied it. Highly recommended for those that enjoy bourbon barrel aged beers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2008 15:23:43 | More by rhinos00
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Hazy, turbid yellowish tinged amber with a thin white head that vanishes quickly in a plume of alcohol flame!

S-Whoa! Sweet luscious bourbon, heat and a bit of caramel sweetness.

T-Initial caramel sweetness that is quickly overwhelmed by a tidal wave of bourbon. This is like the beer equivalent of a bourbon shot! Dry oaky notes finish things off.

M-Medium-heavy body and super smooth. This is so thick, creamy and smooth it's like a burbon milkshake. Decadent!

D-A bit too hot in the end but overall a very interesting brew. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to taste this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2008 06:59:03 | More by Deuane
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - while enjoying the bread pudding, my server gave me a shot of this. In the tiny glass it looked fairly golden but now, in the 10-ounce goblet, it has a decidely reddish burgundy cast to it. Just a thin collar of light tan foam.

Aroma - loads of whiskey notes with a sweet fruity bend. Not much else but I ain't complaining!

Taste - the strong ale presents itself as sweet and grainy, malt liquor-ish. The fruitiness from the nose is here as well. While that is pretty good by itself, the oak barrels add a good complementary dimension. Smoky, charred flavor from the depths of the oak, peaty and a bit hot. If they would bottle this, what could *this* develop into after a few years of cellaring? The finish is warm and whiskey.

Mouthfeel - a little heavier than average. Restrained carbonation, let's the flavor come through unhindered.

Drinkability - takes a little adjusting, but smooth (and potent) sailing after that.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2008 21:42:55 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark amber color and a modest head that, nevertheless, laces the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and a bit of caramel

Taste: Starts with a sweet caramel flavor that builds in intensity and then, whoosh, the bourbon arrives at mid-palate and provides an oaky bourbon-filled sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Very subtly handled; just enough bourbon to make things interesting but you can still taste the beer

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2007 03:18:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of cabsandking
cabsandking

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark opaque brown with a creamy, beige, fine bubbled head that fades to a fine lace. Oak barrel aromas all over, tobacco, sweet bourbon, and vanilla. The bourbon barrel is pretty clear in this one, candy sugar, big vanilla, lacto-bourbon and cloying. Fruity flavors are to be found but hard to put my finger on particulars with such strong bourbon character. Smooth body and a descent zip to creamy carbonation on a medium mouthfeel. Finishes with more bourbon and some prickly heat that cleans up considerably well. The taste is fantastic...if you love bourbon...if it’s difficult to pick out beer-ey-ness for the oaked bourbon is potent.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 17:34:08 | More by cabsandking
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the GLBC last night as it is another of their on-tap "pub exclusives." Served in a snifter. This beer is a a deep mahogany color. Very little head and lace from the get go on mine and my buddy's. Strong malty and fruity aromas are present as well as the oaked bourbon as the beer is aged in oak bourbon barrels. Sweet malty flavors and dark fruit such as cherry and perhaps plum are also present along with some caramel. The taste is rounded out the the bite that can only be present when a beer has been aged in oak bourbon barrels. I love it! Has a crisp, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Much more drinkable that I would have anticipated given the high ABV. Another winner from Great lakes. I hope to drink this again before it is gone until next year.

Eric

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2007 00:23:26 | More by neenerzig
Photo of Osiris9588
Osiris9588

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the brewery. Pours a deep mahogany color with a creamy off-white head that shows solid retention and ample lacing.

The smell offers plenty of malt, fruit, and a strong bourbon note. The taste follows, along with caramel, toffee, and a bit of dried cherry--the bourbon characteristics are present to an amazing degree. I like bourbon, and I also really liked this beer.

The mouth is full and complex, sweet yet well carbonated and robust. The hight alcohol does limit the drinkablity a bit, but it's time well spent with this ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2006 00:34:30 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of dustylong
dustylong

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer at Greak Lakes brewpub. Pouts a dark color with a reddish tint with a decent head and some lacing (on-tap into a snifter). This is a very strong beer. Period. The smell is strong. Very alcohol...reminds me of barleywine a little bit (which I think someone else noted, and I agree with). Aged in bourbon barrels, which is very evident. Has a very strong taste it...Once again very alcoholic, with a bourbon flavor to it. Felt kind of rough in the mouth..not an easy beer to drink...Overall a very tasty beer, but a little much, even for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2006 04:04:20 | More by dustylong
Photo of Bones54
Bones54

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a wierd one for me. After having the Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackout Stout I couldn't wait to get up to the brewery and try a bourbon aged ale. I wasn't sure what to really expect. Poured in a snifter this brew has an amazing appearance. A dark ruby beer, with a practically no head. The appearance of this brew is intimidating and mysterious all at the same time. The taste... Yup, there is the ale taste-it's present. But wow, taste that bourbon. So smooth and sweet. Get comfortable because this one is going to take a while to finish. Overall, to the weekend "lets get hammered warrior" this brew is going to taste like a watered down bourbon. To the more refined tastes, this is a brew that will be enjoyed and respected- yet the bourbon seems to overpower. Great brew, but I'd rather GLB used the bourbon barrels for the blackout stout.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2006 05:09:00 | More by Bones54
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovey shade of amber/mohagony. Off white head is rich and creamy with very good retention and some sticky lace left behind.

Rich sweet caramel malt, rediculous amounts of sweet toffee, toasted oak, coconut, brown sugar, candied fruits and dried fruits, fig especially. Also a hint of butterscotch on the ending.

Lush, sweet, palate coating mouthfeel. Very sweet and malty. Toasted oak, with a vanilla, toasted coconut edge. Bourbon is nicely integrated. Brown sugar, fig, other dried fruit round out the flavors. Many nutty flavors in here as well especially chestnut and even some hazlenut. The overall RS level of this does hurt the drinkability however. A sipper for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2006 16:28:08 | More by mcallister
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask conditioned and on tap at the GABF.

The beer had a nice medium amber color with a small off-white head.

The beer was billed by Great Lakes as an American strong ale aged in bourbon barrels.

This beer had and outstanding and truly unique aroma. It was like a fresh whiff of sweet bourbon with notes of maple, vanilla, and malt in the background. No hops on the nose.

The flavor of the beer followed suit of the aroma. A rich caramel maltiness was mingled with a predominant bourbon flavor. The beer transitioned between flavors of malt, vanilla, maple, and bourbon with aplomb. The were a very slight amount of hops to prevent things from getting too sweet although the beer seemed perfectly attenuated. The beer was advertised as 9.5% abv with a scant 12 IBUs.

The carbonation was fine and tight. The mouthfeel was delicately creamy, which further added to the tremendous balance of complimentary flavors.

This beer was truly unique and outstanding. I'd never had a bourbon barrel aged beer until this and I'll never forget it. As an avid fan of bourbon brands like A.H. Hirsch and Van Winkle, this beer had some of the finest and purest bourbon accents.

Serving type: cask

10-05-2006 14:57:40 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this on-tap at Great Lakes on 10/23/05. This was served only from the pub, so I was told. Presented to me in a chalice glass, very dark color brown, almost a red shade of black. Thin wispy head on top, almost non-existent.

The aroma was strong old ale, or alcohol-laden barleywine. Very powerful and a little bit scary. The flavor was very full, very rich, and burned my throat. It was hard to believe it was beer. I would have guessed brandy or something of that sort. The after-taste was chocolate, but I douldn't detect any burnt malt flavors.

I had to rate kind of low on drinkability, because it's hard to finish one chalice. The flavor was great and all, but my lord it was too strong in alcohol burn.

Try it if you see it. But be careful.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2005 20:00:45 | More by TurdFurgison
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Rackhouse Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.