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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

375 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 375
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 15
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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

smcolw, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of felipe2toes
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a creamy tan head that dissipates into a thin crust.

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, smoke, and wood. There's also some dark chocolate and coffee on the nose as well.

Taste is cloying and sweet right up front. I found it to be too cloying and sweet actually. Everything from the nose is lost to sweetness, very disappointing. I'd say it tastes more like kahlua than bourbon.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, which would be fine, but I'm still distracted by the sweetness of this beer.

Would not want to drink more than one of these at a time, maybe as a dessert beer.

felipe2toes, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of slayer3604
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 9%er for $2.50 a bottle, so damn, thats a deal right there...lets see how she drinks...

Pours a khaki head, over a ruddy dark brown almost black body, with some lacing.
Smells like chocolate, and some odd rusty thing going on....Thank god for the chocolate or it would have just been rated lower....
OH NO! The weird rust thing followed into the taste. Borderline drain pour....hmmm..Maybe its just this bottle but no bueno.
Has a tight little body to it, though, but I can't detect ANY oak aging in this thing.
Has some drinkability for the ABV, thats about it.

slayer3604, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

jmerloni, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of jzeilinger
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an almost black to very dark brown color with no head, and a consistent cream lacing ring with moderate carbonation. Has some tan colored floaties in the bottom of the glass.

S - Light bourbon, a little bit nutty, traces of vanilla and smokiness with mild expresso.

T - A very generous amount of caramel sweet malt with a huge bourbon character, very cake-like and woody with some smokiness. All the flavors blend evenly and immediately, staying constant throughout the entire sip. The caramel flavor nips the tip of the tongue while the dry smoked oak bourbon flavor sits in the background with a small amount of vanilla mixed in. Not overly deep or complex, just very one dimensional and up front. Also has some expresso and bittersweet chocolate. Coats the mouth with a bitter sweet chocolate and mild coffee bean coating.

M - Dry. Medium light body with mild carbonation on the tongue, moderately clean finish.

D - Very good, but not sure I'd buy this again.

jzeilinger, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of JLeege
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a free throw in on my last trip to the beer store. Lets give it a whirl.

Appearance- pours deep brown w/ tan head. Little lacing.

Smell- roasted malt, some vanilla, some soy.

Taste- dark fruits, roasted malt, a bit of bourbon from the oak chips, caramel. The alcohol is hid nicely. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel- much thinner than i was expecting.

Overall- Not bad. Fairly complex actually, but just didnt do much for me. I wouldn't spend my money on this, but for free I'm glad I got to try it.

JLeege, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of SykDoc
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a dark brown, opaque when held to the light. A less than 1/8 inch dark tan head forms and reduces to almost no lacing.

The aroma is quite good with a blend of dark fruits and caramel malt sweetness. Almost soy sauce without ruining the other scents.

The taste is a sweet blast of caramel malt and dark fruit with some brown sugar making it feel like syrup. Again just a little like soy sauce.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied but has a unique denseness to it. The carbonation is lacking a little to balance the sweetness. A lingering dryness hangs over.

Overall, this is an okay beer and I can enjoy it but would not want a whole lot at any given sitting. Some alcohol presence, but not too much.

SykDoc, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very murky brown (almost black) with almost no head with no retention and little lacing.

aroma is of oak, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, a bit of teriyaki and soy sauce and a touch of chocolate.

taste follows the nose nicely providing vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak and caramel flavors to produce a very sweet brew. brown sugar, dried sweetened dark fruits, and molasses add to the sweetness as well as add some distinct flavors. hops are not apparent. a tiny touch of booze adds another element. seems like it wouldn't have been a good beer without the barrel aging, but with it, its pretty damn decent.

medium bodied with barely any carbonation with a bit of a syrupy sweet finish, but some bourbony burning on the back end.

drinks rather well for a beer that skirts any style guidelines. Decently complex, but not terrific. I would definitely try this again, as it was a complete impulse buy... if you put the words bourbon and aged on a beer label, price it under $10, and I will try it. This didn't let me down, though it didn't quite wow me either.

silentjay, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  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.

jlindros, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours out black but not a black I would call pitch, it seems like some light can make it into this one. The head builds up to one finger but quickly dies down to nothing but a puny ring. No lace here either.

S- Notes of soft bourbon, oak and vanilla, the trifecta. Besides that, there is a definite smoke character and roast malt aspect to this beer. Slight caramel malt as well, good strength aroma.

T- I like where this is going. The bourbon is there and is subtle enough to be very well balanced with the other flavors. The barrels also lend oak and vanilla notes. There is a slight smoke taste here that probably comes from toasting the barrels. I get some fruit, cherry would be the closest comparison. The roasty malt profile balances this beer very well. Some whiskey graininess as well. Hops are there but do not make a huge presence, just some earthy, grassy balance. VERY well hidden ABV.

MF- Very creamy, heavy body. The carbonation is pretty high but makes the beer feel more drinkable instead of a sludge. A coat of roast bourbon oak stays on the palate.

DB- The oak flavor here is the best thing about this beer. The whiskey is somewhat subdued but works in this case. I think this beer is fairly underrated. I would have to say it is the most drinkable bourbon influenced ale I can think of, nice job. I could session this thing, great price too. It is a shame its looks were so weak.

cbutova, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of sm007thie
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

sm007thie, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub and Herb's. Never knew Cold Springs could make such a good beer.

A: opaque, jet black
S: slight bourbon nose - sweet, vanilla
T: very, very good - vanilla with great caramel roasty - well-balanced, excellent overall
M & D: amazing, incredibly mild for a 9.1 ABV beer

wisrarebeer, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of drpimento
2.45/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aack. Whoa, totally unexpected! With an aggresive pour got a smallish tan head that quickly subsides. Color is an opaque very dark brown. Aroma is vanilla, chocolate malt. Flavor is massively cherry. And then a few other components - vanilla and.... man, I just cant get away from the cherry. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor. Could cook with it. Or give it to someone who likes dark cherry beer. But it's definitely not for moi.

drpimento, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass, small amount of tan mocha head that leaves a nice film layer on the top. Unfiltered hazy dark brown body look, just what I like in a brew.

The smell is actually quite refreshing to me, I get chocolate and caramel malt, roasted as well; a freshly dampened deciduous forest in smell, dark woody scents and vanilla as well.

The flavor profile is very different than the smell, it's heavy and thick with a solid alcohol bite in the end. The oak wood really comes through and the vanilla from it is present along with it, small amount of chocolate, not much in the roasted category but I do get some caramel and crystal malt smoothness in there too.

The mouthfeel is solid, malty and thick this bad boy lets you know he's in there kickin some taste bud ass. Overall I think this is a quality brew, rivals the oaked arrogant bastard to be honest and the price was better too, I will definitely be buying some of this again.

dwilson01, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of hardy008
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a 1 finger tan head with decent retention. Smells of oak, vanilla, booze, and caramel. The aromas are not very strong.

The taste is just like the aroma, oak, vanilla, booze, and caramel. Not very strong with flavor, but decent for what it is. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Nothing to get to excited about. Decent drinkability.

hardy008, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dzyneguru for this one. Poured into14oz glass. Poured a slightly translucent black, with just a thin cap of tan head that had no retention or lacing.

A sweet, malty aroma has a bit of bourbon in the background. On the tongue the bourbon takes an upfront spot and borders on overpowering the rest of the beer. The sweet malts are pushed to the back and there is just a trace of hops apparent.

The body was a bit too thin for a beer this strong and flavorful. Drinkability was pretty good for a beer this size, although the bourbon can be a bit powerful and could affect how you view drinkability. Overall, a pretty good brew, worth trying if you see it.

beertunes, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of DrewHodges
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4/12/10 tasting; poured from bottle to Darkness tulip.

A-inky jet black, with light brown foamy head that settled to a thin line

S-chocolate malt and roasted coffee bean aroma, whiskey, oak

T-same taste as smell, with nutty caramel and strong bourbon sweetness, vanilla, definitely opens up as it warms

M-medium carbonation, silky and smooth mouthfeel

D-a little strong for a session, but easy to drink the bottle

DrewHodges, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of BastardKing24
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this looked interesting when it first showed up at my local store, so I gave it a try. I enjoy oaked beers so it caught my attention quickly. Never heard of this brewery before so its my first impression.

Looks cola like, as I can faintly see through it when held up to light. Dark brown color, off white head that starts 2 fingers and settles to a film with plenty lacing as I take sips.

Smell is very sweet with chocolate, whiskey, some vanilla, a mild lactic smell.

Taste is quite nice, super intense flavors all around. Vanilla aspect seems just huge, also wood, dark fruit, bourbon, caramel, chocolate. I cant detect the 9% in this.. Lots going on. I love this stuff!

Mouthfeel is also good, nice carbonation, creamy texture, but not too thick.

Drinkability is just ok since its strong in alc. and flavor per sip.This might be offputting to some, but I could put back 3 of these easy. Personally I give it a 4 cuz its so darn tasty

BastardKing24, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into my Duvel tulip at 50°F

A - Poured a dark chocolate brown with mahogany hues in the light. A decent 1" light tan head that reduced soon after to a creamy ring. No lace in the glass. 3.5

S - Caramel is the most pronounced in the nose, followed by vanilla and bourbon. Light plum and chocolate notes round out the rest. Altogether rather muted. 3.0

T - Heavy on the caramel. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla is quite pronounced and gladly bumps the flavor points up a notch. Faint roastiness and plums in the finish, complemented by the lingering bourbon aftertaste. Much more satisfactory than the nose leads it to be. 4.0

M - Medium/light bodied, somewhat slick with very crisp, pilsener-like carbonation. Surprises me with a somewhat dry finish. Interesting. 4.0

D - Decent, the alcohol is noticeable, but to me the real culprit is what the heck is this beer trying to be? It has the alcohol of a barleywine or a strong ale, has a very crisp carbonation, but the body is a bit light for a stout or porter. Despite its identity crisis, I still enjoy it. I may grab another bottle to age.

DmanGTR, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of eamays
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Listed as an ale, but more like an imperial stout (at least so claimed by the distributor at a local beer tasting). The bourbon barrel smell and taste overcomes the beer for such a "mild" abv (9.1%) for a bourbon aged ale. However, if you bypass how they label it, this is actually a decent high alcohol sipper in a brandy glass, especially for Minnesota offerings. Also, very nice when you get near the last 4 oz. of your snifter and you aggressively swirl it to get that bourbon scent moving.
Also, when it sits in the glass for 45 minutes, the last few ounces go down better than the first, so this is probably better served in the 45-55 degree range as an after dinner ale.

eamays, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown, almost black in the glass. Nice light brown head forms immediately, and sticks around for a while. Aromas of milk chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla. On the palate, I get muddled versions of the above mentioned flavors, mostly milk chocolate and vanilla. Drinkable, but not all that impressive.

emmasdad, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

jwc215, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark mohagany--almost black--with a one finger tan head that quickly dissipates, leaving a ring around the perimeter that remains. I'm surprised at how dark this is--looks like a stout.
Smell is subtle toffee, with caramel and rich malts. Little bit of booze is detectable as well.
Rich, malty body, with whiskey tones, as well as some of the caramel following on a creamy finish.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Little bit of alcohol heat in the back.
Good drinkbility. Alcohol is well disguised, and it's smooth and tasty.
Excellent beer from this brewery, which hitherto hadn't made any sort of substantial impact on me. I'm a little more interested now...

Parrotbeak, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the bottle it looks like an AB clone. No date, unfortunately twist off.

It pours a dark black/brown with beet red hues. The head is medium dark tan, foamy, and big and lasts for a while.

This has a huge bourbon oak presence, with bourbon and vanilla, the hops are there but in the backseat. The malts are butterscotch and caramel like. Reminiscent of Oaked AB.

The taste is a big letdown there are roasty malts, and some slight bourbon/oak. But it is watery and bitter, the mouthfeel isn't that great, the taste/mouthfeel shows that this was from a second-rate craftbrewery.

Overall it is a good effort for the brewery but nothing too special go with Oaked AB.

crossovert, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of jjhbrfdds
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in Cold Springs for reasonable price,pours deep brown with a solid head,Nice winter warmer has done well with a little age,robust oaken ale taste,solid alcohol finish,a great deal at this price,I have had many a beer that are more expensive and in now way as complex in taste,solid job by cold spring.

jjhbrfdds, Jan 24, 2010
John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.