1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale - Cold Spring Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
John Henry 3 Lick Spiker AleJohn Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

389 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 16
Gots: 33 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cold Spring Brewing Co. visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Three Lick Spiker Ale is brewed with three different roasted malts creating chocolate flavors and full body taste. After fermentation has been completed with our top fermenting ale yeast we infuse our brew with bourbon oak aged chips and let the extended aging process take over. Hints of bourbon and vanilla from the oak come through the aroma and flavor.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-02-2009)
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JamesMN:
Photo of JamesMN
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black with decent clarity even though you can't see through it because of the color. Thin light brown head with some nice froth around the edges.

Aroma: A lot of nice characteristics here, all slightly subdued. Vanilla, oak, roasted malt, char, caramel, and a touch of pineapple.

Taste: Starts with lightly roasted malts that really aren't all that special. The special part of this one is all in the finish. Right away after each sip there is a warmth on the palate and then a smokey flavor emerges that is quite interesting. A mix of smoked oak and alcohol. Not getting too much bourbon flavor. Very moderate bitterness here. I think I'd file this one more under Imperial Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin for 9.1% ABV but that lends to an ease of drinkability. The effervescence can be a bit much. I would not session this as one is plenty.

Final Thoughts: For what it is and the price point ($8.99 for a four pack) it's not a bad deal. It would work well as an introductory beer for someone just getting into oak aged ales. However, it doesn't pack the bourbon punch that was expected and lacks in body. Would I drink it again? Let's put it this way, I wouldn't seek it out.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a super-dark brown with a nice tan head that showed good retention.

Smell - I poured this in my Arrogant Bastard glass and it showed some similarities to the classic AB. The malt is much sweeter though like fresh caramel right off the stove. There are actually some hops in this nose as well which again reminds me of the AB.

Taste - The roasted nature of the malt comes out more at the taste and the woody bourbon, which I picked up at the nose but failed to mention, comes on very strong in the mouth. It would be too much in most beers but the malts here are so roasted that it seems to balance.

Readers of my reviews will note that I am not a big fan of wood, but here this works exceptionally well. It's one of the few occasions where I think it is appropriate because the malts are so substantial. The stiff vanilla, which again normally offends my taste buds, seems right at home here. This is a big, aggressive flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - This is close to full-bodied and hides well the 9+ ABV. The giant flavors balance each other out so it goes down dangerously well.

Drinkability - I usually hate the idea of a woody, oaky, vanilla-laden ASO with this and the oak-aged AB being the exception. This is a quality ale, done right by no accident, that stands apart from the pack.

Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with loads of heavy, ruby highlights and a somewhat thin, light khaki-colored cap that recedes to a thin sheet atop the dark brew within a minute or so. Aroma is very reminiscent of a winter warmer or a BSDA Christmas-time specialty. Sweet vanilla, burnt and toasted brown sugar, molasses, sweet dark fruits; figs, plums, booze-soaked raisins. Some spiciness comes out, maybe with ginger or a touch of cinnamon. Heavy oak and wood aromas tie everything together. The taste isn't too far off, starts out sweet with dense, heavy fig and anise flavors that come hand-in-hand with a high level of sweetness; brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup. Booze is a bit heavy and noticeable, along with the musky presence of oak and wet wood. Very malt heavy all around, very little hop presence to be found, if any at all (I can't detect it). Some vanilla hangs around in the dry, warm finish, along with a faint woody flavor and a mild sweetness. Medium-thick body, silky and smooth with relatively low carbonation.

Didn't have high expectations for this one, but I actually enjoyed it. Nice flavor, though the alcohol won't hurt to be toned down just a bit.

Photo of WuAnquo1
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of BrandonDZ
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of sm007thie
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- deep dark brown with nice thick creamy tan head that dissipates leaving behind thin lacing and a solid ring. thick and viscous pour.

S- smells sweet with a strong oaky odor. hints of vanilla, coffee... come to think of it, it smells a lot like kaluha.

T- taste (to me) is cloying in many ways. cloyingly sweet, cloyingly oaky and cloyingly fruity in general. granted, it's well advertised for it's bourbon barrel aging, so i shouldn't complain too much about the oakiness. doesn't seem well balanced to me though. after about 4 oz, i was over it.

M- the sweetness mixed with the thickness didn't work well with me. it's like drinking an alcoholic syrup.

D- like i said, 4 oz and i was over it. if i stuck to a 3 oz serving, it would have been more enjoyable.

Overall: Not a horrible brew by any means--just not my shtick. I can definitely see how other people can enjoy this. If you prefer your beers on the sweeter side and/or are an oak junky, 3 Lick Spiker is worth a try.

Photo of jefftuck47
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out somewhere in between light brown and dark gold, 1/16" head, dissipates to nothingness, not much cling, lace or retention, really looks like a glorified homebrew. Smells strongly of alcohol moreso than bourbon, didn't really pick up the wood, the sweetness may be some kind of syrup or molasses.

Taste, heavy alcohol, the bourbon wood chip thing seems to be a cover for just adding hard alcohol straight from the bottle to your beer, yeah, sanitize, let soak etc. . .but all I get is a beer with too much hotness, lacking depth and without the body to take it all in with a requisite semblance of enjoyability for the drinker. Some pruney dark fruit bitterness, although maybe the prune reference is just because of the high alcohol heat a la pruno made in a jail cell.

Some toffee, vanilla and caramel, not enough two row in this though. Comparing this to something aged well in a bourbon barrel is not fair.

Photo of schoon
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Oelschlager
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of mbunje
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Never hear of this. Saw that it was aged on bourbon oak chips. So I will give it a shot.

A - Dark, dark, brown not a hint of light gets through. Thin head dissipates quickly. Nice lacing of bone white foam.

S- Smells like a porter...roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and hint of wood. I don't smell the bourbon.

T - Sweet but not syrupy. Mild bourbon flavor and wood. Mild bitter flavor, finish is a tart wood.

M - Much more carbonated than I thought it would be. A bit lighter bodied than it appeared. Slick and leaves a bit of a soapy coating on the tongue.

Overall - very interesting. Not really something you could box into a particular style. I would say it is an Imperial Porter aged on bourbon. Nice attempt but could be refined a bit more.

Photo of nicnut45
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Can barely see through it as I pour. Jet black in the Duvel tulip. A slight tan minimal head. Settles to a wispiness with a thick creamy ring on the side.

S-Not much fragrance here. What there is smells like burnt meat, dark roasted coffee and bitter sweet bakers chocolate.

T&MF-Delicious burnt smokey flavors with a touch of maple syrup sweetness. Has a striking similarity to corn beef. The burnt flavors tone down as you drink and the pleasent malt sweetness takes over. Would expect a bit more fullness to this beer. Alcohol is well hidden.

O- I was suprised by this beer. Its very well crafted and a lot better then most other bourbon barrel attempts.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bourbon beer that wasn't bad, its like a black beer. Malts, including chocolate malts, made it pretty drinkable. aged just under a year. Black body, with a nice licorice spice.
Medium mouthfeel, and understated carbonation.Bottle from Flanders Ned.

Photo of whatname
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of let8it8grow
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove, MN. Poured a dark brown body with a short tan head. Based off of reviews I've read, this is probably the best thing coming out of Cold Springs. It's just a mellow bourbon ale that relies almost entirely on the bourbon and wood aging for it's character. There's a hint of dark malt in the background, but that's about it. It drinks without a hint of alcohol and is thin enough for me to suspect adjunct sugar was used. However, if you're looking for an affordable beer with bourbon character, this is it.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thin head on a pitch black body.
The aroma has a strong oak and burnt wood smell, which is rounded out by a caramel and chocolate note.
The taste is not as great as the aroma. It is a watered down version of what should have been burnt wood, roasted malt and dark chocolate.
The texture is borderline sticky with low carbonation.
Try it, you may like it.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. I have been sitting on this one for a while. Like a year and a half.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with no head at all. A little transparency around the edges, but nothing else. No lacing.

Smell - Oak all over. Fruity aroma. Figs and raisins. Bourbon is an afterthought, but it's there. A nice aroma. Very oaky, though.

Taste - Falls short of the smell. Caramel malts and astringent oak. The fruits don't translate. A little bit of hop bitterness in the finish. Faint, but earthy. The tannic oak character is overwhelming in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Dry and astringent in the finish. Makes it tough to drink. I don't think it's that boozy, but there's a bite.

Overall - Lots of things going for it in the aroma, but the taste falls flat. Tough to drink. Not something I'd drink again.

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to MarcatGSB for this, thanks for the extra! Above average head retention & good lacing

Pours ebony with a fnger+ of brown head.

S: Oaky, smokey & vanilla notes

T: Follows the nose, nice caramel notes as well up front. Warming booze wraps around the edges as this warms up, vanilla & oak are hanging in there fine. Finishes dry, oaky with dark fruit & faint figgyness

MF: Medium bodied/chewy with a bit too much carbonation, nice warming effect to this...

I liked this. This is easily the best beer I've had from these guys by far. Would hapily buy this again if it makes it down this way. God knows enough of their cheap crap doea...

Photo of emalc
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of reyolb
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of jmerloni
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Absolutely jet black. Jet black the whole pour. Head is moderate and lacing is moderate as well. Totally black. Kind of impressive.

S - Buttery chocolate smell. Hops as well.

T - Follows the nose on the dot.

M - Slick like oil. Not a dry finish at all but a lingering milk chocolate one.

D - Not real drinkable. Pretty mammoth and intimidating and intense. Probably wouldn't get this again, but a pretty good beer overall.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.