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.

361 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 361
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 14
Gots: 28 | FT: 3
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 (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 361 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JTSbeerislife


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, code on bottle but no freshness date, purchased 12/2011 from a local bottle shop.

Poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Pours a rather thin head which rapidly reduces to a very thin film.
Black opaque color

Has a malty, black roasted aroma to it. Molasses and yeast. No noticeable wood but there is soom bourbon. It’s good.

Nice crisp entry on the palate, followed by malt and molasses, after some warming the bourbon/oak kicks in, but is relatively tame compared to its peers. The 9.1% ABV is never noticeable.
Full mouth feel with mild balanced carbonation.

Overall a good drink but not anything exciting. Needs to be at least 55 degrees for anything meaningful in the aroma or taste to come forward.
I am glad that I tried this brew, but that being said it’s not one I will search for.
It’s enjoyable enough, if priced right. I paid $11 a 4/pack, which is fair.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 23:14:30 | More by JTSbeerislife
Photo of karait95


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a strong dark beverage, even the alcohol is high is not disgusting as with some beers with high content.

A: Color looks very dark it is a dark brown almost not translucent, body looks thick, carbonation is not too rich, the head is poor as could be and dissipates a little fast not leaving enough traces behind, the color is a medium brown.

S: The bourbon oak container where this one was aged is very present, the malts are also present, toasted barley of course.

T: The flavor of this one is good, showing barley character and of course all the tasting of the oaks or bourbon like, the malts are toasted and the alcohol is well blended in the mixture.

M: Not the easiest beer to drink but the character of this one is good enough for enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 04:00:01 | More by karait95
Photo of emalc


3/5  rDev -18.9%

12-18-2011 02:03:31 | More by emalc
Photo of heresy22


3/5  rDev -18.9%

12-17-2011 16:29:45 | More by heresy22
Photo of bitterbeerguy


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My dad shared this one with me about 3 months ago- decided it was time to give it a shot.

Pours a very dark brown color- the only touch of light that makes its' way through is at the very top, which has a dark orange tint. Bubbles showed up and left very quick.

Smell is absent. Being that this is aged in bourbon, I expected there to be a burst of aroma. Maybe the slightest hint of bourbon and chocolate, but that is pushing it. Definitely a little disappointing.

Taste has notes of the oak right off the bat, which I really liked. With that said, the flavor after is flat- slightest marshmallow and marmalade jam notes. Surprisingly, there is not much alcohol flavor, which really surprised me.

Overall this is a brew that could do with with some age. I was very surprised how aroma was missing from this brew. Anyone who likes oak, might enjoy this brew.


Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 02:24:08 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of gregy55902


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3 Lick Spiker ale, 9.1%, bottle poured into brandy snifter

A - Pours a very dark brown into the glass with minimal head on a gentle pour. Sitting in the glass, it almost looks like an (under-carbonated) imperial stout.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, oak. The smell warns that this beer may be overly sweet.

T - Follows the nose with an almost syrup-like quality. It's like they added a dollop of liquid molasses to every bottle. That being said, the alc is hidden incredibly well.

M - Decent but a bit low on carbonation. Doesn't really have the staying power of many other strong ales.

O - Good beer but not great. Could really benefit from the full treatment of barrel-aging, instead of just aging it with oak chips. I support MN microbrewing best I can, but I usually have to look to a company outside the state to find something I can really enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 22:47:43 | More by gregy55902
Photo of codynevels


3/5  rDev -18.9%

12-05-2011 05:35:26 | More by codynevels
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +8.1%

12-05-2011 01:49:33 | More by nmann08
Photo of whatthehull


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted sept. 17th 2011 (from notes)


A - super black/brown, hardly any deep tan head and some lacing

S - lots of sugar, alcohol, toasted, smells like a black lager or imperial stout a bit, bourbon, molasses, very bright smells, fresh and lots of oak and earth

T - very oaky, alcohol, tons of huge malts, lots of sugar, toasted everything, very earthy, some bourbon and more alcohol

M - full bodied, low acidity, nice complexity, well balanced and long finish

D - for having a high abv and lots of flavor. This is a very drinkable beer. Every malt head should love this unless they don't like tons of alcohol

Final thought - 9.1 abv is nice but the price at $11 a sixer is not my fav

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 08:01:29 | More by whatthehull
Photo of hdelavega


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 02:43:51 | More by hdelavega
Photo of bacher468


3/5  rDev -18.9%

11-19-2011 12:18:32 | More by bacher468
Photo of DoctorB2B


4/5  rDev +8.1%

11-19-2011 02:26:35 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of FreshmanPour77


4/5  rDev +8.1%

11-18-2011 18:28:46 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of 3Hops


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

11-16-2011 23:00:00 | More by 3Hops
Photo of millelacsmark


4/5  rDev +8.1%

11-16-2011 00:10:06 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of danwho


4/5  rDev +8.1%

11-15-2011 22:25:23 | More by danwho
Photo of zoso1967


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3 Lick Spiker ale pours a very dark woody brown color. When held up to a light it shows off some nice walnut hues, but it is dark enough that one could mistake it for a porter or even a stout. The head is tan in color and fades pretty quickly, but it does leave decent lacing.

The aroma is very nice with a ton of vanilla and oak as well as some bourbon notes that mix well with a caramelized and toffee malt backbone. I also detect a bit of chocolate and some slightly chalky aromas.

The flavor is pretty well balanced with the same vanilla and bourbon notes mingling quite well with the sweet and malty backbone. Some dark fruit flavors, a bit of cocoa and some alcoholic heat are also appreciable. Molasses and just the lightest touch of smoke round out the flavor.

The body of this beer is medium in size with a bit more carbonation then I would generally care for in this style, but it is far from out of control. The finish is well balanced with some lingering sweetness as well as a bit of hop character that is really only present at the bitter end.

My wife picked this one out and I have to say she did well. It is a well put together and tasty brew. if I remember correctly it was also fairly affordable. I would definitely consider picking up a bottle or this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 22:09:01 | More by zoso1967
Photo of dcook11


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured in to a pint glass.
A- Stout dark. Large initial head that fades into a pencil thin head (which also disapates leaving only pitch black beer). Lacing is poor.

S- Stout like. Suurprisinglu no abv apperant from the 9 percent. Chocolate, vanilla, malt, and just the faintest touch of soy sauce are present.

T- Malt, chocolate, vanilla, and just a very very slight bit of hops at the finish.

M- Surprisingly light bodied. For 9 percent, the abv is not apparent at all.

O- A interesting, balanced beer. It certainly has its place among some of the more extreme strong ales, but no risks are taken. Enjoyable none the less.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 02:40:23 | More by dcook11
Photo of brew3crew


4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged by about 6 months

A-pitch black with a ran head that quickly disapates

S-slight bourbon and malt hints to it

T-get aloy of the bourbn but in a mellow way. nice aftertaste.

M- medium body and smooth

O- very good beer. Nicely drinkable and delic

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 22:41:48 | More by brew3crew
Photo of Ghenna


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark color, cola colored head, decent retention, low lacing.

Now that that is done, Nose is malt sweet, roast, and booze. Booze is a little overpowering on the palate ,but under it I get a bit of citrus hop and roast hop.

Nice beer, good roast flavor- will probably get better aged.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 03:48:42 | More by Ghenna
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 23:51:22 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of mactrail


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 03:19:11 | More by mactrail
Photo of JDizzle


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

It's a deep brown to black color with a brown head that chills around the glass like a fresh brewed coffee would.

It smells pretty good, malty with a little bit of oak. Promising?

Here is where it lets you down. It has a good bit of oakiness that makes you think it's special, but the it doesn't deliver as a oak aged ale should. It's hoppy up front with a big carmel backbone but just doesn't deliver. It's bitter and has a good plum taste to it with a smokey malt feel, but comes up short.

Drinkability is good considering a 9.1% abv. It's priced good as well-$9.99 4-pack

Overall, I would seek this out again if I had nothing else close in the sto that compares. It does not leave a lasting impression, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 01:49:03 | More by JDizzle
Photo of cindiwindi1025


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- dark chestnut color, no carbonation retention or lacing at all

s- right off the bat was booze, then oak

t- burnt carmel, coffee, oak, bourbon booze warming...it does not taste boozy like it smells

m- smooooth. very drinkable. the carbonation bubbles are very, very tiny and just the right amount.

o- a very good beer, i will be getting this one again

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 23:41:52 | More by cindiwindi1025
Photo of pBRale


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes on 8-19-11

Appearance: This beer pours a deep brown to black color with a light cocoa head that slowly condenses and has great retention, leaving a thick lacing down the entire glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, hint of cocoa, faint hint of alcohol on the nose.

Taste: Heavy roasted character, strong hints of an earthy/oaky taste and a prominent alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light, a medium-bodied feel that goes down very smooth considering abv.

Overall: A tasty brew with lots of character, surprisingly drinkable, and a must-try from Cold Spring Brewing Co.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 03:59:26 | More by pBRale
John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.