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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
83
good

169 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 169
Hads: 404
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
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:
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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Reviews: 169 | Hads: 404
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (251 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruit, cocoa, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with distinct roasty and soy sauce flavors as well. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a good aroma but the flavor just doesn't match up. (530 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
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! (906 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a dark shade of gold almost a brown color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer was malty, rich and roasted, not much of a hoppiness there. The taste of the beer was decent, as it warmed up there were some really interesting vanilla flavors that came through. The mouthfeel of the beer was average to me, it had a good body but I just felt it was missing something. Overall I was a little bit surprised by this beer, I was glad I tried it. (478 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought this one over for xmas eve dinner at the parents house. Served chilled and poured into a snifter2, this one was /consum4ed on 12/24/2009.

The pour was about what I would expect given the style. Nice color, rich dark brown, near black with a light head of tan that comes up and caps the top of the glass nicely. Aroma is dominated by aromas of oak and vanilla, which meld seemlessly into the chocolate notes that become ever more present as time goes on. First sip is wonderful, more carbonated then I typically see with barrel aged beers, with a nicely lively presence and rich, velvet like carbonation. First sip is loaded down with oak notes, hints of bourbon and vanilla start to come out as I dive further into it. Suble at first but then it starts to build. Nice backbone of chocolate coming through as well as a light touch of smoke. Nicely put together I have to admit. Smooth, with the alcohol all but absent from the profile making it for a smooth, sublte, and wonderfully complex nightcap.

Overall I have to say it was outstanding. I was not expecting much but was more then happily suprised with the results. An outstanding barrel aged beer. (1,162 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some black cherry sort of highlights when held up to the light. Very little head formation, just a thin ring of tan bubbles.

S: The nose starts off with some sweet vanilla notes followed by a definite dark fruit aroma. Strong notes of prune, plum, and raisin along with a moderate booziness.

T: The flavor is sort of flat and not as intense as I would have expected from the nose. Some tannic oak character on the back end along with a sweet malt base and caramel coming closer to the front.

M: The body is medium with a low but smooth carbonation.

D: The nose and mouthfeel are nice, but the flavor falls way short. Even after letting this one warm up a fair amount, it was still pretty plain and woody. (747 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Tried this in my pre-reviewing days and enjoyed it, so I figured I'd give it another go and get a tick while I'm at it. It pours a seemingly opaque black-brown topped by a finger of ecru foam, which settles out into a ring momentarily. The nose comprises bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, butter, and plenty o' booze. If it weren't for the last blast of alcohol, it wouldn't be so bad, but instead it burns us a bit too much. The taste holds notes of bourbon, wood, chocolate, and roasted malts, but these are singed away by that pesky alcohol. Boo. Some cedar lingers in the aftertaste. The body is a hefty-feeling medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, way too boozy and uneven to work properly. It could have turned out okay, but, alas... (808 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours very dark, like a muddy brown pond water (in a good way) but flat, no head at all, thanks to the stupid screw cap.

N: Lots of malts! Very malty, with dark malts, some sweetness, little syrupy, slight barleywine-ish, some barley, some fruits and raisin, etc. Touch of bourbon with all that.

T: Very barleywine-esque again. Lots of thick malts, slightly syrupy, some fruit, raisin, little brown sugar, etc. Then comes bourbon. Quite a bit of a bourbon flavor, nothin in particular just a generic bourbon flavor. WIth that comes a little oak too, as well as a hint of vanilla, molasses, and some type of syrup I can't put my finger on.

M: Medium to heavier body, slightly syrupy, with almost no carbonation.

F: THe booze starts to show a little towards the end. It gets a slight boozy taste as well as some alcohol warmth and tingle. It's still sweet on the finish, with a little more barley, more syrups, brown sugar, etc. Also the bourbon sticks around through the finish and lingers on the tongue. More molasses as well on the finish. No real oak here though. (1,073 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black malt and toasty flavors. Raisiny and roasted, like a dark Belgian. A pleasant boozy smell with a nice whack of vanilla and whiskey. Rich mouthfeel but not viscous. Slightly sweet but has a fruity tartness and maybe a little sour from the burnt barley. A bit of a winey character. Not tasting overly strong of alcohol, the chocolate malt and woody flavors seem to make it play well. An interesting turn on the black beers, kind of a free spirit. You could call it an Old Ale, as it has that hint of rusty flavor, but somehow different from the big stouts. (560 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
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... (646 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Light head that settles to a single bubble layer. Any lace that appears slides down the the glass, leaving none. The color is near black where no light shines through.

Dark malt aroma, slightly sweet. No apparent alcohol or hop. Mildly toasty.

Relatively tasteless on the initial sip. That gives way to a strong molasses, toasted malt flavor with a powerful alcohol content. Very thin body for the style with an equally low carbonation. (438 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage received in the Birthday BIF from jyounger30; thanks Jay!

a - Pours a deep brown color with two inches of tan head and light carbonation evident. Head lasts for two to three minutes.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malts, caramel malts, cream, and chocolate. Smell is amazing and not too hot. The vanilla/cream comes through a lot, which I really like.

t - Tastes of oak, very light bourbon, light cream and vanilla, and bready malts. Taste was good, but a big step down from the nose. Seemed a bit faded and maybe watered down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy body; quite nice.

d - I got to try about 3 oz's of this a few months ago and remembered liiking it, so I was really glad to get a bottle of this to review. I remembered it having a great smell, which it lived up to. Lots of cream and vanilla mixing with chocolate and caramel malts, with nice bourbon and oak added to it. Unfortunately the taste seemed a little flat and faded, though it was still decent. A nice beer I would like to try fresh sometime. (1,129 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours almost pitch black color with a nice 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, prune, molasses, toffee, vanilla, toast, bourbon, oak, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Nice and enjoyable aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of big caramel, molasses, raisin, prune, toast, toffee, biscuit, oak, earth, herbal, and light bourbon. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, earth, oak, and light bourbon on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; the bourbon and oak flavors compliment this very nicely without being overpowering. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very nice creamy, thick, and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all after the finish. Extremely smooth and easy to sip on. Overall this is a damn nice bourbon oak aged ale. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to sip on for being over 9%. Very enjoyable stuff. (1,161 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to morimech!

Pours a murky-ish (but hidden enough by darkness) dark brown. Head is relatively well-retained.

The smell is of molasses and carmelized brown sugars. Some oak chips - giving a vanilla touch - comes through. Not particularly bourbon-y - more of oak chips dipped in bourbon.

The taste is of molasses, carmelized brown sugar, vanilla-ish oak chips. Woody but with a dark maltiness. Starts sweet, finishes dry. Rather abrupt finish, with a touch of a tingle from the carbonation.

Alcohol is well-integrated. Oak chips come across strongly. Sweet, turns dry quickly. Little to no aftertaste, an enjoyable enough brew - not quite as rich or bourbony (more woody) than expected. The sweetness fades to a dry finish. Wish that taste lingered on more (and was fuller), Still-in-all a respectable strong dark ale with woody/bourbon-ish notes. (856 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Pours 1/2 finger dark tan head. Not very good retention. Leaves some slight splattered lace. Color is a deep black, very opaque.

Aroma: Oak, honey, bourbon/booze, caramel, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. A big malt bomb. This is a great smelling beer from Cold Spring, not saying too much.

Taste:Oak, bourbon/booze, chocolate, coffee, big roasted malts, honey, I love the barrel aged aspect of this beer. Very great tasting beer from Cold Spring.

Mouthfeel: Bourbony and smooth. A tad creamy. Leaves a big bourbon malt aftertaste. Full bodied. Lower level of carbonation but it's alright. Lots of oak feeling across the palate.

Overall, I am very fairly with this beer. They need to make more beers like this and less beers like their normal offerings. Boozey but good for Cold Spring. (828 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

My thanks in this case to a college chum, David, who sent me a box of beer recently. Cheers!

From the bottle: "Ale aged on bourbon chips".

Well,despite and aggro pour, I still only managed less than a finger of deep-tan head that quickly became wisps. Nose was boozy, bourbon?, if they say so. Color was a deep, dark-brown with cola highlights at the edges. Mouthfeel was dense and hot, like pudding with an extra sumpin' sumpin'. Whew! The taste was chocolate, bourbon and toffee. Rather sweet for my taste, but still not bad. The finish was where the bourbon chips really asserted themselves and combined with the inherent heat of the beer, I felt like I had been drinking spirits. I am a beer drinker for a reason - I can usually realize my limit and ramp back or stop but liquor for me is like standing on the edge of the abyss and looking down. When I drink liquor, I break out in handcuffs. This was a novelty and a once-and-done for me. (945 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head that break apart immediately.

Smell: roasted malt and bourbon is easy to detect.

Taste: roasted malts, bourbon, oak, prunes, and a bit of chocolate are most notable. Alcohol and a moderate bitterenss rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long lasting bourbon and alcohol flavored aftertaste.

Overall: this beer was decent but the flavor profile seemed a bit disjointed to me. Worthy of a try. (479 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.1/5  rDev -16%
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. (831 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weird little bottle found on the shelf at Julio's today. Looks like a macro in micro clothing to me, but I'm a sucker for oak aged so the bottle made its way home with me. Pours a solid dark brown/black with a thinnish tan head that dissipates almost instantly. Smells of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, earthy and woody. This is listed as a strong ale, the website describes this as an Imperial Stout, it smells like a cross between a Belgian dark strong and a porter. There isn't much roast in the aroma or in the taste for that matter. Taste is sweet and malty with dark sugars and fruits dominating the taste. Slight alcohol and earthy hop in there as well. Bit of a roasted grain ash in the finish. Medium body and level of carbonation, with a slick watery mouthfeel. Decent brew, but really nothing special here. I have my doubts that the Cold Spring Brewery actually exists, but I won't lose much sleep over it. (929 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear black colored beer with a small brown colored head that doesn’t last.

Smell is sweet with scents of raisin, vanilla oak and whiskey. Not much more to it than that just not a lot of subtlety.

Starts out sweet with a strong raisin flavor. Little bit of fig in the taste. Mildly bittersweet taste. Not that complex though.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall this is just OK. No real reason to buy again. (407 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7/15/2011

Bottle shared by Javier, thanks! After taunting us with ph1 and Veritas 007, he settled on John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale. A cruel man.

A: Very dark brown with a frothy light brown head. 

S: Lots of oak with chocolate and light bourbon. There's a little vanilla, as well as caramel and brown sugar.

S: Light chocolate with faint oak and bourbon. Moderately roasted malt and a low earthy bitterness. Faint alcohol. 

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation and a smooth, sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: A better than expected oaked strong ale. (560 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger brown head that fades slowly leaving traces of lace. Brown/black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Nose is bourbon, flavor is a mellow oak bourbon. Higher ABV is hidden. $2.65 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma. (288 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Thin layer of tan head on top of a very dark brown beer. below average head retention but decent enough spot lacing.

S- Smells boozy up front. Dark fruits perhaps.

T- Rich caramel malts. "Buttery vanilla". Sweet boozy finish.

M- Medium to medium-heavy mouthfeel. Slick and creamy.

D/O- Pleasantly surprised by this one, didn't really know what to expect when I picked up a single. Had always saw ads for it in beer magazines and it looked interesting enough. Would drink again. (485 characters)

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John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.