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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

399 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 399
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 16
Gots: 32 | 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:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-02-2009

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 399 | Reviews: 169
Reviews by scubazook:
Photo of scubazook
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: Very deep brown almost black opaque. A thin tan head faded quickly. Leaves some lacing

S: Rich bourbon roasty malty aromas. A hint of sweet chocolate and plum raisin-like dark fruit characters. A slight alchol heat. No hop aromas.

T: Sweet oaky bourbon chocolate flavors with a touch of dark fruit characters, raisin plum. Roasty malty rich tastes as well. Nice complexity.

M: Medium full body. Medium carbonation.

Very rich sweet malty strong ale with aromatic bourbon characters and a touch of dark fruity esters. Nice to sip in front of a fire place during cold seasons.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.57/5  rDev +23.2%
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
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
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 pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: bourbon, malt, vanilla, no hops, Appearance: Dark brown, ¼” head that quickly dissipates. Flavor: rich malt flavors, slight chocolate, caramel, some vanilla with bourbon in the background. A touch sweet but balances the malt and bourbon flavors. Mouthfeel: moderate body to moderate full, moderate carbonation. Overall: the bourbon flavor is very well done and the rich malt goes very well with the bourbon barrel aging. The alcohol is there but is not as noticeable as 9.1% alcohol would suggest. It is very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of sm007thie
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
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 Beerandraiderfan
2.62/5  rDev -29.4%
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 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
4.08/5  rDev +10%
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
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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 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
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
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
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
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 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.

Photo of bashiba
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep clear brown with dark ruby highlights, a light creamy tan head.

Has a sweet caramel and chocolate nose with a touch of oak. Good just a bit mild.

A nice mixture of chocolate and caramel malts, a bit sweet with some light touches of oak and vanilla.

The mouthfeel has a nice silky creamy quality to it.

A pretty drinkable strong ale, drinks like a nice imperial vanilla porter to me, has more chocolate and vanilla qualities than it does bourbon, but the oak does come through a touch.

Photo of hdelavega
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sent as a bonus by Baldo, thanks bud.
Pours a deep rich brown with a thin light tan head that settles toa thin film. Very little lacing.
Nice aroma, has a barleywine like sweetness to it, I defiantly pick up some bourbon and wood, I also get some candy sugar, tobacco, and sweet dark fruit.
The taste is lacking a bit compared to the nose. I get more of the tobacco and some leather. I am getting brown ale like maltieness, some bourbon, defiantly some more sweet dark fruit, a bit of prune, a bit more bourbon on the finish.
I the nose really lead me to believe there would be more body to this guy. There are a lot of great flavors to this beer but the center is hollow. The taste is thin on the front with a decent center and a big finish.
This is a pretty good beer but could really be improved if it was a little more balanced. I feel the body was the most lacking part of this beer. I don't know if that is fixable without negatively changing the flavor. Overall worth a try, another good American Strong Ale from California.

Photo of morimech
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a stout like black color with a small tan head that settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Not that impressive looking but considering its high ABV, it is good. Has a rich malt aroma of mocha and roasted grains. Hints of vanilla and bourbon from the oak chips. You can definately sense the 9.1 % ABV before you even taste this ale. The bourbon charactor dominates the flavor. There are hints of vanilla, espresso, and chocolate. Great flavor up front but it all disappears even before the ale leaves my mouth. Very dry and slightly boozy. Medium body with a chewy texture. Nice carbonation that compliments the flavor. I applaud Cold Spring for brewing this beer. Please bring us some more beer of this caliber.

Photo of drcarver
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hmm... I want to start by saying I was really excited by this beer. I've had Innis and Gunn's bourbon aged beer which is phenominal! Not what I was expecting. I reach for the opener and to my disappointment realize that I didn't need it... twist-off.

A - Way darker than any other strong ale I've ever had. Black as night with a thick heavy light brown head. Head fades quickly with little lacing.

S - Smoky, more of the smoked meat kind of aroma not campfire smoke. A dry dirt smells as well.

T/M - The flavor is forced. Very sweet with a smokiness that hangs at the back of the throat. A bit of char and earthiness as well. Not bad but there is an unnaturalness to the flavor that I can't explain. It may be due to the thick syrupy body.

D - Definitely taking my time with this one and not having another.

Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw a six pack for the first time while visiting San Diego and I had to try it at 9.10%, if for nothing else.

Pours thick and black with a nice tan head. Good looking.

Rich sweet dark chocolate nose with hints of vanilla (the oak). Hints of smoke. A most welcoming nose. I was delighted and hoped the flavors would match the nose.

Creamy mouthfeel and flavors of mocha, creamed sweet coffee and sweet dark chocolate flavors. Flavors are full and rich and delicious while very being very straightforward. Flavors are rich while a bit shorter than a big imperial stout. This like a rich "baby stout" to me. I generally need 3 "sips/tastes" before I get the full character. This one starts off slow but on that third taste really came through.

Can see this with a variety of foods, as well.

Very attractive and drinkable. Worth seeking out if you're a stout fan or just a fan of beers that taste good!

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

The nose is relatively light with coconut and chocolate. The flavor has light malt and grain but a stronger chocolate and coconut mid palate to finish. This isn't particularly complex, strong or even interesting but it's a good drinking beer and that's all I'm in it for.

Photo of Bung
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. This was actually listed as a stout where I had it, glad to see it's listed differently.
Not a terribly dark brown pour, few whispy bubbles of off white is about it.

Aroma, molasses, caramel some bourbon soaked oak.

Taste about the same. Mostly toffee and boubon booze. The oakiness lingers.

Solid medium body, more carbonation than in the appearance. Pretty warming. Actually reminded me quite a bit of New Holland Dragons Milk.

Photo of deadbody
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good offering from Cold Spring. Pours a good dark color, with a small head, my bottle had a thick yeast residue at the end of the bottle. Very boozy smell, has a bit of a malty undertone to the smell, but booze is the strong characteristic which makes sense in a beer with 9.1% alcohol. Taste is very good, roasty and dark, with a bit of a booze aftertaste. Mouthfeel is what you expect from a dark ale. A bit thin but not bad. Drinkability is great. Easy to drink. Would be really easy to drink a couple of these too quickly and get pretty drunk pretty quick.

Loved it and I will be buying more.

Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of bourbon, somewhat sweet. Taste is also bourbon up front, considerable malty sweetness, a touch of alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall was a unique and enjoyable beer and worth giving a try.

Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Luckily stumbled across a single of this for $1.99.
I'd heard it was alright, but never bought it to try considering the source. Consider this Cold Spring's surprise hit. Shoulder printed "JACD 0801", which I have no idea if its a Julian date or not. Early 2011 if it is... meaning over a year old.

Dense reddish black in the glass, hints of dark brown and red in the pour. Huge and creamy tan head that dwindles quick after the first couple sips.

Caramel, oak, vanilla cream nougat, nice mix of smells happening here, though the bottle may be a little old, and possibly muted.

Light but creamy feel, some overt oak and vanilla notes lead off. Chocolate and nougat in the middle. Lingering oak and chocolate notes in the dry aftertaste. Body is a little thin, and the oak is the main flavor, though its a good effort. Would drink again, though they don't seem to be pushing this one... its a resounding homerun against their regular lineup of quasi-craft mediocrity.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like molasses, vanilla, dark fruit, oak and chocolate. It tastes like oak/wood, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and some molasses. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. The bourbon character seems stronger in the aroma as compared to the taste. I liked this brew, but I wish there was a little more of a bourbon kick. Still, for $7.99 a bottle it's certainly worth trying.

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John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.