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Olde Rabbit's Foot Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2009) - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Olde Rabbit's Foot Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2009)Olde Rabbit's Foot Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2009)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 192
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.13% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This is a blended collaboration beer from Foothills, Duck Rabbit, and Olde Hickory brewing companies. All three blended their versions of a Russian Imperial Stout and then aged them in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels.

(Beer added by: cvstrickland on 12-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beertooth
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wil for sharing this bottle(#631).

This beer pours a rich black with a thin mocha head.

The nose is very delicious. smoked almonds, bourbon, oak, baker's chocolate, vanilla. There is also a note of oxidization coming through.

The taste follows the nose with tons of nutty notes, cocoa powder, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, mild bourbon. Some more oxidization, but it's really balancing everything out.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy.

I could've finished the bomber by myself. I'm glad I had the chance to try this.

beertooth, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of afausser
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep dark brown, in fact almost pitch black, with about a finger of chocolatey tan head comprised of incredibly miniscule bubbles. The head slowly fades and the remaining bubbles are relegated to the edge of the glass--though there aren't enough of them to quite form a ring. Incredible lacing for a 10%.

S: Candy, honey, butterscotch, and caramel are the most easily identifiable notes in the nose at first. It's also quite creamy--I'm initially getting a dark roast coffee with cream and maybe even a hint of chocolate covered cherries that blend to fuse very nicely in the nose. There's also a smoky note--I wouldn't classify it so much as burnt coffee as I would burnt cocoa, oddly enough. There's also a very strange hint of soy sauce as well as an even more mild barbecue sauce. Very smooth.

T: Dark roast coffee and excellent bourbon., as well as some well developed earthy and smoky notes. Chocolate covered cherries are again present, as are hot fudge, and honey (as noted on the label). Not so much a molasses taste as a heavy brown sugar. A decent amount of anise-y heat, and also a hint of strawberries.

M: Very fine carbonation bubbles, but they pop to an amazing extent, bringing the flavors to the top very nicely. Calms down a bit as it warms. Very slight aftertaste, but it's bourbony and warm.

D: Goes down very smoothly and easily, and honestly like a much lighter bodied beer than it is. Extremely drinkable. I've been waiting to have this one since the release a while back, and was a bit worried it might have been over-hyped. I'm glad to not have been disappointed.

afausser, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Olde Rabbit's Foot, shared at the January C'ville tasting. Bottle #239 of 694, poured in to a 12 oz. snifter.

Appearance: A pitch-black inky masterpiece, thick-looking but obviously light enough to yield a pleasant one-finger, cocoa-hued head. Light sneaks through around the peripheries, but only barely. The head has impressive staying power for a beer of this abv%, sticking around for a good two to three minutes and leaving a thick and slightly foamy collar, as well as a relatively persistent dusting. The lacing on this one is also fairly impressive for the style, particularly a barrel aged example of the style - both the head fade and the agitation swirl leave nice blobs, runny in places but also swath-like in others, blobby and glittery but sticky. A fair amount of internal carbonation - visible along the curvature of the glass - keeps the collar alive for quite some time.

Aroma: An earthy, deep cocoa note is very obvious as it warms, melding well with the toasty notes, but there's also a fairly bright, golden note, slightly spicy and sweet - though perhaps I'm just knowing what to keep my nose open for given what I know this beer's additions were. The base beer(s) is(/are) pleasant - toasty, slightly smoky, with a fair amount of earth but also some flourishes of dark fruits - and provide a really solid foundation for an old, mellow, smooth bourbon. It's fair to consider the bourbon the star of the show here - it isn't hot, it isn't spicy, it's just amazingly mature. It almost doesn't smell beer-like in some places with the manner in which the oak and subtle bourbon melds with the esters and faint, well-attenuated maltiness. But it's swell nonetheless, with no burn at all.

Taste: Fooled by the appearance, this is actually an amazingly light beer. It's not heavy, or chewy, or thick, and it's reasonably well-attenuated, despite the chocolate and honey additions - that is, it provides an amazing base for the barrel notes and bourbon, more on that soon. The base beer is full of light toast, strong, pure bitter (and bittersweet as it warms) cocoa, honey, dark and slightly tart fruits, faint earth, and a few light barrel notes, mostly slight coconut, woody (not green) oak, and a few barrel sugary notes ... as well as that amazing bourbon note. As mentioned above, the bourbon isn't nearly as spicy or as hot as many fresher bourbon barrel-aged beers are, and it's not because the barrels are dry or the beer wasn't aged for as long either ... it's because this is a damn, damn fine bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Much more assertive - carbonation-wise - than many beers of this style. I think that works wonderfully well with the earthy, light quality of the bourbon, however. It's even, but not creamy ... but I wouldn't want this one to be creamy. It's moderately thick, but not crazy thick ... and I wouldn't want this one to be crazy thick.

Drinkability: I can see why some people would not like this beer. It's not over-the-top complex, it's not a thick, chewy maltbomb, and it doesn't jump down your throat. What this beer is is a subtle, well-made, sippable base beer that showcases an amazing bourbon. It's a marriage of two (or four, really) simple components that work amazingly well with one another, and in this union of simplicity emerges an amazing complexity - anything heavier, sweeter, or thicker would have drowned out the bourbon, and any fresher, hotter, or younger bourbon would have wreaked havoc with the base beer. Nothing that's 10.13% is gonna get a 5.0 on drinkability, but it comes close. An excellent brew, and a true shame it's a one time release - I'm very fortunate I got the chance to try it.

CrellMoset, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
2.4/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First bottle: shared by Craig (corby112) at a tasting.

Second bottle: shared by nickd717, lover and worshipper of the -bal. I had a better experience the second time, and scores have been upgraded a bit.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black in the glass. It reveals itself to be a translucent light brown as I drink, and this is especially apparent at the honey-colored edges. The foam is a short-lived beige cap that dies quickly and leaves no collar or lacing.

S: The first bottle was very, very hot. I got a hoppy aroma of wet dirt and substantial roast that is borderline ashy. The second one has cooled off some in only a few months. It is still boozy, with an aroma of bourbon, honey, chocolate, espresso.

T: Definitely cooler than the first bottle, but it's still hot. It is dominated by bourbon, but the caramelly sweetness is balanced by the bitterness of espresso up front. The mid-taste introduces flavors of honey and molasses, with earth and a dry/gritty presence of cocoa nibs (which are way overdone, in my opinion). The first bottle had a roasty, ashy cigarette taste that pervaded the flavor and pulled into the aftertaste / exhalation. The second bottle did not have that, and it was dominated by gritty cocoa nibs instead. Looking over some reviews (some people say this is bourbon-dominated, others say it is balanced?), I am just writing it off to poor blending or bottle variation.

M: It's just shy of medium bodied. I bumped up the score a bit since the booze has cooled off, but it's not nearly as smooth as it could be, and it compares unfavorably to others in the style.

D: My second experience was better than the first, but I just don't care much for this beer. In fairness, at the second tasting one guy really liked it and the rest seemed to think it was all right -- but in my eyes it's nothing special, especially now that the market is saturated with barrel-aged stouts. Definitely bottom-half in the range of beers in this style.

Arbitrator, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of Proteus93
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Contributed to a tasting by CrellMoset. Thanks, Chris!

A: Deep black, with a nice 'milk chocolate' coloured head, modest, but with a decent retention.

S + T: Chocolate is one of the predominant aromas and flavours I get from this beer. The cocoa nibs add a massive note on both elements, The honey intrigued me on the bottle, but I don't pick up on a lot of it outside of the cocoa. I suppose it is a more delicate note to add to it, but I don't know if it really got to have its place as it does in brews like Hopslam. The bourbon barrel aging added a lovely note to it, smooth and warming.

M + D: Actually a touch light in body as far as imperial stouts go, but carrying a robust enough flavour to carry it through. A little more creamy and I would be in heaven with this brew.

Proteus93, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of corby112
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to khiasmus for hooking me up wiith this rarity.

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black and completely opaque with a one finger tan head that quickly fades into a thon lasting ring. Very sporadic spots of lacing.

Slightly roasted chocolate malt aroma with a shit ton f bourbon. Perhaps the bourbon presence is a bit too strong because it overpowers the pleasant silky chocolate notes. Not picking up much vanilla or oak.

Very roasty and smokey with subtle silky chocolate notes underneath and a massive overpowering bourbon presence. Very hot at this age and needs a long time to mellow out so the other flavors can shine. A bit thin in the body with subtle honey presence but not very viscous. Again, not much vanilla and oak. This beer needs some time to mellow out and it's just too harsh and one dimensional right now.

corby112, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of craytonic
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed again, curious how this was labeled as "Olde Hickory Brewery" as it was a collaboration of three breweries but released at Foothills. I did not make the release but a kind soul did swap me for one bottle.

Appearance: Nice head and lacing, much better than I expected.

Smell: Extremely rich, largely I would assume thanks to the 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels used, probably the best and "softest" bourbon currently in production. On top of that there is cocoa, fudge, vanilla, and caramel.

Taste: Chocolate with the addition of the softest bourbon. Perhaps a bit too much cocoa. Nice addition of honey, also some vanilla, fudge, sweet molasses (not blackstrap), prunes, and dark fruits. A bit hoppier than I like my imperial stouts.

Mouthfeel: Oh so smooth and soft, perfect cabonation which I did not expect from a collaboration of three different beers, most people can't get one beer right, much less three mixed together.

Drinkability: Not a problem finishing this one.

---

THe above is from a 1/9/2010 review; I recently had this side by side with the 2010 edition and was blown away by the new one, scores for this one adjusted slightly

craytonic, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of PretzelCity
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to bhalter8 for this one! Poured dark and rich with a creamy brown head. Chocolate nose with a nice bourbon background, slight play dough scent. Super rich with a medium to full body but not too sweet. Chocolate is up front in the taste with nice smooth mellow roasted malts. Very drinkable as the alcohol is concealed nicely. Bourbon takes a back seat to chocolate in this one, a quality that I enjoy. I prefer the barrel to be more of a spice then a flavor and this nailed that for me. Really glad I had a chance to try this one, it's excellent.

PretzelCity, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of waltonc
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CrellMoset for this tasty brew. Pours nearly black with generous tan head. The aromas of bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, and tart cherries stand out here. The bourbon is very prominent, but does not go overboard. Taste follows - bitter chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and more dark fruit. Very nicely done. Remind me a bit of barrel aged Yeti. This isn't a molasses/soy bombs like, say, Dark Lord. Body is fairly thick, but may disappoint syrup junkees who demand that their beer be viscous as maple syrup. Plenty of carbonation here. It's on the higher side for a bourbon stout. Overall, a great brew. Very glad to have the opportunity to try this.

waltonc, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jim. Bottle received a few hours ago, chilled, and now ready for consumption. No point in cellaring this puppy!

Pours black with a finger of mocha brown head that drops down to a thin layer and nice collar and camps for a while. Bits of lacing here and there.

Smell is nice and big, with a nice complexity to it. The bourbon barrels are immediately noticeable, however they don't really provide much in terms of boozy heat which is a big plus. Just a nice bit of vanilla, oak, and toffee. The honey sweetness is definitely there, as well as some dark chocolate. Seems to be a good amount of floral hoppiness present, as well as bit of a metallic note that is the only detractor.

The taste is very roasty, with tons of bitterness from the dark chocolate and hops. The metallic notes seemed to carry over to the taste at first, but with a bit more warming they begin to disappear. Wow, this thing is freaking hoppy! Wasn't really expecting this much...I'm talking Yeti levels of bitterness (maybe more). Pretty nice. Cocoa powder, rye bread, marshmallow....subtle, refined bourbon notes....almost the blueprint for how an imperial stout should be crafted. If the chocolate or the honey came out more in the taste I probably would have given a 5, there does seem to be something missing to put it over the top.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with tons of carbonation, perhaps a bit too much prickle. I like my stouts full and creamy and soft, and this beer gets the first two right but not the third.

Drinkability is pretty damn good here. If it wasn't for the fact that the bitterness is destroying my palate, I probably would have given a 5 in this category.

Overall this is a damn fine stout. Probably not world class, but definitely on the next tier down.

alcstradamus, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of beavers
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing Vandubs!

a: Pours a thick dark near black with creamy espresso head that sticks around for a while leaving some sticky lacing on the edges of my oversized snifter.

s: Big aromas of earthy, woodsy bourbon barrel on top of bakers chocolate, vanilla bean, molasses, and tart dark fruit (can't really decipher).

t: Beautiful integration of rich roasty malt and bourbon barrel. Cocoa powder, vanilla bean then hit some subtle tart sweetness of bourbon-macerated cherries and brown sugar. Bourbon barrel roastiness is left on the sides of my cheeks.

m: Medium approaching full bodied with moderate carbonation. I kind of want the body a touch bigger for a barrel aged RIS...but it's almost there.

d: I shared this bottle with a few friends but could have easily finished an entire 22.

beavers, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of ROBORB
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours a dark opaque black with a moderate 2 finger head. The cocoa colored head dies after a few minutes and leaves moderate lacing throughout the glass.

S: I was using an oversized snifter for this beer and the aroma was fantastic. It consisted of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, heavy malts and dark fruit. I couldn't stop myself from smelling this beer.

T: The initial taste has roasted malts and a touch of vanilla. As you finish it turns to cocoa and then a sweet vanilla/honey taste. As the beer warms everything seems to blend very well together. A very tasty and fantastic collaboration so far!

M: This is medium bodied and I couldn't detect much heat. I could go through a bomber of this in no time and not feel the effects.

D: I didn't have any problems finishing this beer. I enjoyed letting it sit and trying to figure out which taste profile would change. I highly recommend this beer.

ROBORB, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Kegatron.

Pours black with one finger of creamy tan head and a sharp, slim ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet bourbon, molasses, heavy dark fruit, prunes, sugars, cocoa, and a hint of alcohol on the end.

Taste of juicy dark fruit, dry oak, vanilla, spicy alcohol, and cocoa. Not quite as good as it is hyped to be, but a more than competent Barrel Aged Imperial Stout nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and very smooth with a small bite of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of mikey711
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank with fbm115

A: It pours a very thick and syrupy black that no light can get through. The head is fluffy and mocha colored and retains very well leaving gobbs of webbing behind with each sip.

S: At first i couldnt smell too much, but then I got this wiff vanilla followed by brown sugar and chocolate. The bourbon is very mellow in the nose and the wood notes provide some earth tones to the beer,

T: It started out with lots of roastiness like burnt coffee and bitter chocolate followed by some sweet chocolat and vanilla then some barrel woodiness with a hint of before before a marshmellow sweetness at the end. lots of complexity going on here all of which worked well together.

M: Nice and thick without any heat and a good amount of chewiness. Exactly what you are looking for in a stout

D: Very high for such a big beer as it went down faster than it probably should have but it was very well balanced and highly enjoyable

mikey711, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this at a christmas party, thanks guys.

poured into a pint glass, pours very dark, opaque, with a this tan head. couldnt see any light through it. smelled right off of bourbon with hints of vanilla, roasted malts, and chocolate. the taste was of roasted chocolate aged in bourbon barrels. nice flavor, smell lead me to believe there was more bourbon bite. very creamy feel to it, silky. great beer, glad to have tried it

Anthony1, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Crittervision
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really dark, opaque brown with medium brown edges when held up to the light. very light tan head. tiny bubbles with a group of bigger bubbles collecting in the middle. as each bubble in the middle pops, it slowly releases a dark teardrop into the mist of smaller bubbles, a testament to its thickness. like watching the movement in a lava lamp. a lava lamp i can put in my body. mmmm. beautiful.

smell alternates between wood and bourbon separately dominating. sweet, sweet bourbon. there are then notes of roasted malt, maybe toasted barrels, and while the bourbon is apparent at every whiff, it integrates wonderfully with everything else there. to smell these notes without the bourbon would leave one yearning for the melding of bourbon again. the beer shows itself within the bourbon, which is near-perfect to me.

is it roasty or toasty? i cant quite discern. bourbon soaked toasted oak, hints of dark fruits, sweet cola. after each swallow, cocoa and cream hang around. the bourbon really is a part of the beer. bourbon and beer... holding hands.

the mouthfeel is creamy but spicy, carbonated a little more than i like, but the taste makes this aspect quickly forgettable.

delicious. the alcohol is noticeable, but thats a hard thing to separate from bourbon, even by connotation alone. a complex beer and a high-quality bourbon working together as one. two great things together making an even better "thing." outstanding.

Crittervision, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Hophead101
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on 12.29.09 with mikereaser. was very surprised when this box showed up on my door from kkipple. thanks Dan - you da man.

gave the beer an aggressive pour into my chalice beer glass. it donned a superbly wonderful cascading head (much like Guinness) that was beautiful tan in color. it was very frothy, bubbly and bountiful. the beer itself was basically black not letting any light shine through. and to top it all off - there was great lacing to further appeal to the visual senses.

The smell of this bad boy was all about bourbon. some faint vanilla and chocolate - but bourbon takes center stage and basically kicks everyone else behind the curtain. almost too much in my opinion.

the taste of this beer was very delicious. thankfully the strong bourbon nose didn't overpower the taste. first get hits of roasted malts and chocolate with bourbon flavor wrapped all around. it was a little hot in the finish in a good way - almost a bit peppery - assuming that is all coming from the bourbon. this beer drinks very nice. crisp clear taste - flavors mix well and the bourbon provides a good balance.

what a nice opportunity to have been able to drink this one time collaborative beer.

Hophead101, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a taster glass.

A: Pours a sooty black that lets nearly no light in. Decent head on the pour with some lasting retention. Decent lacing.

S: Pleasant bourbon that doesn't overpower. Nice barrel aromas of dank earthy wood and lighter sweet vanilla and molasses. Light roasty malts and a kiss of hops.

T/M: Very tasty. The bourbon comes out a little more but doesn't get hot. More of the barrel and pleasant sweetness. A bit more roasty in the taste but under control. Body is medium full to full with a smooth carbonation feel.

D: Manageable ABV and tasty.

pwoods, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of libbekat
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was fortunate enough to have company visiting from out of town , who doesn't drink beer, so I had her buy 4 bottles and I added those to my allowed 4 bottles. I am so happy that I convinced her to wait in line for over 3 hours in 23-27 degree weather. Pretty risky to buy beer at $20 a bottle and not know what it taste like. It was so WORTH IT!
This beer smells like bourbon on the nose, I personally like that so I don't find it a detractor. The color is dark with a beautiful caramelized brown sugar colored head.
The mouth-feel is heavy but not as thick as a Guinness but hefty nonetheless. The taste is exquisite: hint of dark chocolate giving it a slight bittersweet taste, bourbon without choking on alcohol and overtones of coffee.
This is very drinkable now and probably will be even better with a little age on it.
My husband thinks this is equivalent to Founders' KBS. I have to concur with him on this.

libbekat, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally getting a chance to post this from my blackberry notes from last week.
HUGE props to BHalter8 for bringing this bottle to share. Great BA and trading partner.

Needless to say I was excited to try this and as you will soon see, I was not disappointed at all.

The main descriptive from the visual is that there is only a tiny bit of head that forms, then vanishes. No lacing to speak of either. Shiny black in color. The lighting was low in the room we were in so I can't comment on he exact shade of color. Suffice to say, it was very dark and quite glossy.

The aroma initially reminded me of Hershey's syrup from the can. As you continued to explore it the bourbon notes came out and there was nice vanilla and a touch of depth from oak. Smelled great.

This is a beer where every sip provides some different combination of flavors. Chocolate syrup (sweet), cocoa (unsweet), honey, vanilla, some dark fruit.. mostly date. What's interesting is that the consistency front to back while you drink it. I'm not saying it tastes like KTG (not similar at all) but it drinks like it, in that the flavor is so smooth and even through the process of drinking it. (I mean this as a big compliment) Just fantastic.

Velvety and smooth with almost no carbonation. It coated your tongue and attacked your taste buds. Medium to slightly bold body but not syrup like. At first I was warned I might think that it was too thin. I did not perceive this to be an issue. (it's nowhere near as thick as Dark Lord or Abyss)

Supremely drinkable. Thank you sir, may I have another! A special treat to have this one. Just awesome.

Reagan1984, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

650 mL brown bottle #19/694, enjoyed on Christmas Eve. Pours with about one finger of thick light brown head. Seemingly black in color at first. Little to no lacing to speak of, though fairly good retention ends up with swirls of microbubbles on top and a ring around the edge of the glass. Eventually the head does completely disappear, revealing the edges are not as much black as they are dark brown.

The nose boasts a near excess of chocolate syrup and cocoa powder up front. Bourbon tickles the nose soon after followed by date pudding, honey, and tootsie roll.

The taste follows the same general direction with a forward assault of cocoa and chocolate malts. Honey sweetness is present along with touches of dark fruits, figs and dates. The sweetness on the midpalate precedes a medicinal herbal quality that pops up in the beginning of the finish. The finish brings plenty of bready, doughy qualities with a final lingering sense of dark chocolate and cookie.

Overall quite delicious. The honey adds somewhat over the top sweetness, which may be unpalatable to some, but it worked for me mostly. The medicinal quality is faint, but somewhat distracts from the high points. Finally, the bourbon does have a presence, and while well tempered I was somewhat saddened by a lack of barrel flavors like oak and coconut.

The mouthfeel matched all of this nicely, chewy and thick with an easy low-medium amount of bubbles. The beer is not bottle conditioned though, and at "only" 10% this certainly would have improved the beer. In the end, a delicious, chocolate syrup bomb of an imperial stout. If you don't dig sweet imperial stouts though, this would not be for you. My sixty year old Dad typically does not like "dark beers" but thought this was probably the best one he has tasted. Really good.

vacax, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20 hours and 1100 miles later... Done as part of a blind tasting with capra12 and schen9303 so that our grades are not slaves to hype. Also... its my 100th review!!! turns out that I couldn't have chosen a better beer here.
Poured from a bomber numbered 124/694 into a Brooklyn Brewery Snifter.

A: A moderate pour yields a 2.5 finger light, milk chocolate colored, fulffy head with excellent retention. Brew was opaque and thick as motor oil just as expected. Lacing is frothy, thick, and ruler-like though this dissipated with time.

S: Bourbon is strong in the nose. Also hints of licquorice, sweet soy sauce, dark druit, oak, and a bit of nuttiness. Can't help but think this smells more like an RIS than an IS.

T: Speaking as unbiased as possible, this really lives up to the hype. I wanted to grade down on this but it just never gave me an opportunity to do so. Strong licquorice, dark fruit, roasted prunes, sweet soy sauce. Bourbon is apparent but very subdued throughout. Finish lingers a faint roastiness and a slight sourness.

M: Medium to full bodied and oily, silky, and astoundingly smooth. This is everything that Dark Lord is not in terms of mouthfeel. Finish is wet, sticky, and messy, leaving a lasting trail in my mouth.

D: Incredibly complex and with the body to tie it all together. This one really lives up to the hype. As a side by side, I gotta say that I felt it was better overall than Abyss, and that's saying a lot. An outstanding brew and definitely worth the wait.

SpeedwayJim, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of scifan
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm super excited to review this as this very special one off brew will be my 100th review. Hope the chilly wait in line proves to be worth it. As I pry off the gold cap I am greeted by a nice hiss, and some hints of the lovely aromas that are to come. Pours what you would expect from an imperial stout. Pitch black with a big nice fluffy head. For a while this is as pretty as a beer I've ever seen. The head stays awhile but quickly settles leaving some lacing along the glass. The first thing that hits the nose is dark chocolates, you can definitely pick up those cocoa nibs. The bourbon notes are very balanced, not overpowering at all. Light oak and vanilla linger in the background. The first sip reveals rich dark chocolate followed by a nice bourbon finish. However I'm left with a lovely chocolate aftertaste after every sip. Very smooth, creamy with perfect carbonation. This one is a sipper but this beer is very balanced and not overpowering in anyway. I will enjoy every ounce of this amazing beer.

scifan, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of BS68280
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a very cold but enjoyable 4 hours in line with some fellow BAs and and a supporting girlfriend my anticipation for this was rather high, and it did not disappoint me. I wish now after tasting it, that i was able to acquire more than i did.

Poured from bottle 391 into a snifter.

A: Poured a dark black. About a 1/4 of a dark brown / dark khaki head that fades pretty quickly. You can tell from the pour that this is a well carbonated beer. Not much lacing.

S:The most up front sent for me is the bourben, I can also smell hints of the honey. The dark roast and cocoa make themselves well known and make your mouth water for the first sip.(and all the sips after)

T: The bourben is there but not as in your face as the smell would lead you to expect. It is balanced very well with the taste from the cocoa nibs. Up front there is the delicious bourbon taste from the Pappy barrels. The bourbon becomes more apparent as the beer warms. The bourbon taste subsides and leads to an amazing taste of rich malts and a hint of the honey and vanilla. All this leads up to an amazing cocoa ending which lingers in your mouth long after you have swallowed your sip. This is one of my first beers in this style, and i was very blown away by the amazing complex flavors, yet how well they all blend together and build off of each other. After all that i just realized the 10.13% is very well hidden and if i didn't just stop to think about it i wouldn't know it was there.

M: The carbonation in this beer is perfect in my opinion. It is full bodied, but thinner than i was expecting if that makes sense to anyone but me.

D: While the 10.13% doesn't make it self apparent with the taste, it does in this area. The bottle went down amazing, with part of a glass shared with my family. While i would absolutely love to, i don't know how wise it would be to try to tackle more than one.

BS68280, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Olde Rabbit's Foot is the result of the collaborative efforts of NC Brewers Guild members Olde Hickory Brewery, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, and Foothills Brewing. Brewmasters Steven Lyerly, Paul Phillipon, Jamie Bartholomaus and their respective brew-crews really outdid themselves with this one. This isn't the hype-train, folks, and I have none of these for sale nor trade... that said...

The 22-ounce bomber bottle numbered 67 of 694 yields its golden crown with a soft hiss, and when poured into my D-R snifter ORF is a true thing of beauty. The brew is clear with an impossibly dark opaque heart, and is trimmed with a twinkle of smoky garnet at the edges. A thin, oily, sticky cap of dirty khaki-colored foam fluffs up before receding, leaving an extremely fine-bubbled smattering of lacing and ribbons of sticky legs clinging to the insides of the glass.

The aroma is rich, black, and bourbony; the 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels employed in the project really shine through the darkness. Underneath the spiritous aromatic fireworks show lies a layer of bakers' chocolate spiked with vanilla beans, all grounded in a touch of burnt caramel dusted with a liberal sprinkle of dark roast.

The taste is mouth-filling dark chocolate goodness incarnate with plenty of oak, vanilla, and Pappy. I didn't know that premium bourbon-filled dark chocolate truffles now officially existed in a liquid state, but I was uninformed, and as proof of same, I have a really kickass example sitting right here on the table in front of me. The flavors are rich, sweet, and savory with just enough dusty cocoa and expertly-crafted alcohol onboard to keep the chocolatey sweetness under-the-top. I'm damned stingy with "five" grades for flavor, but I just don't know how it could taste any better, so as a dedicated a lover of well-crafted beer, fine liquor, imported chocolate, and products from my home state that rock, I'll give Steven, Paul, and Jamie's brew that five... with a bullet.

Likewise in perfection is the expertly-carbonated full body. It has heft without stickiness and a super-fine tracing of bubbles in solution that make it so. At 10.13% ABV, Olde Rabbit's Foot isn't something you could drink all day, but I'll put it as simply as I can, friends-- in a perfect world, my kitchen faucet would have three taps... labeled with the abbreviations "H", "C", and "ORF". It's truly sublime.

cvstrickland, Dec 13, 2009
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Olde Rabbit's Foot Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2009) from Olde Hickory Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.