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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

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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)
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHead84
3.6/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of LambicLion
3.6/5  rDev -3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of d_cook_roc
3.6/5  rDev -3%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours dark black with an inch of dense tan head that holds on tightly. The nose is faint alcohol (that gets hotter as it warms), coffee, oak, aluminum (also much more pronounced when warm), and caramel wood sugar. The taste brings forward more of the yeast's fruitiness, which i expected to find in nose. There is some subtle roastiness in the beer's finish that dries out the beer's semi-sweet, medium body.The bourbon/wood doesn't carry through to the beer's taste as I would have preferred, but it's very smooth and drinkable nonetheless. Although this beer is labeled as a strong ale I would have compared it to a strong porter or stout instead. The lacking yeast character/full-bodied sweetness brings this beer down to being slightly better than average, despite its drinkability.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. 9.1% ABV, no date.

A - Clear dark brown through the pour but black in the glass, 3 Lick is topped by moderate tan foam with ok retention but great sheets of Swiss-cheese-looking lace left over.

S - Toasted, bready malts fill the background with a pleasant molasses aroma. Notes of mocha and vanilla come through with the smooth bourbon oak chips. Mellow hops help balance in the background.

T - While there's a decent bourbon oak chip flavor going on that imparts mocha and vanilla notes, the beer the chips are added to is a bit thin. Toasted malt and woody, earthy hops are balanced nicely but don't really come to fruition.

M - Medium-bodied but for the aroma, the beer feels pretty thin. Somewhat smooth though and medium carbonation is nice but the body feels slightly lacking. Warm alcohol finish.

D - The alcohol is hidden well in this. It's got some good aspects going on but seems to be lacking something. Decent drinkability though.

Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark black color with a slight garnet hue with a black cherry 1 finger head that dissipates fast with almost no collar or lacing

S- was oak and light smoke with earth and dark fruit smells a touch of whiskey ans sweet caramel a dash of vanilla bean

T- was sweet with an oak chip and wood taste mixed with smoked malts,in the middle dried currant fruit like plums and raisins were present some earth and spice with a smoked bourbon finish

M- was full with medium carbonation lots of boozy woody malts it was a tongue coater

O- could only drink one of these both for ABV and thickness and robust taste its a tongue and palate coater but a tasty one

Photo of brutusmuktuk
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown ale with a light brown head. Has a bourbon aroma and a strong bourbon flavor, with some toasty malts in the mix. Sits nice and warm in the stomach. The bourbon, for me, is a touch overpowering. Highly recommended for those who love the taste of bourbon. Still, I find this a good brew overall.

Photo of JRhode
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown with tan, short, quickly dissipating head.

Aroma of bourbon, brown sugar, oak/vanilla, a little boozy.

taste is similar. I hope I was not predisposed, but I couldn't help but feel like this is what a BMC bourbon barrel aged beer would taste like. Take Amber Bock and throw it in some bourbon barrels? Not bad at all. Maybe a little artificial tasting?

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected. Abrupt finish too.

Drinkability isn't bad at all. Although I could feel the 9.1% abv after finishing one bottle.

Not a bad beer at all considering the $6.99/sixer sale pricetag.

Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of Flounder57
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a minimal head that reduced to nothing quickly. It is a pitch black color with no clarity, but you can see bubbles coming up the top of the snifter.

Smell: bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, molasses, sweet aromas, and oak.

Taste: A nice blend of above flavors. Some lingering bitterness in the end and the boozy alcohol is hidden well too.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, and a warming feeling on this cold winter day.

Overall: A nice ASA that does well with the addition of bourbon oak chips. Some slight off flavors, but still a good beer overall.

Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Soneast
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown to black in color. Nice and clear, growing a quarter inch sized, brown colored head that dissipates quickly, leaving minor lace.

Aroma is decidedly malt forward, with some mild roast character, chocolate and maybe a hint of toasted marshmallow. Certainly not much bourbon character, if any.

The flavor starts out with mostly chocolate and mild roast character. Then I start to pick up a bit of wood and marshmallow, and right when I expect a bit of bourbon, I get let down. This beer has no bourbon character that I can detect. Sure there are some "woody" notes, but certainly no bourbon.

I dunno, I mean John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale is a pretty good beer overall, rather stout-like, I'd say, but there is next to no Bourbon character, to me it tastes more like a lightly-hopped RIS than anything. Good, but not as advertised, is my final assessment. In the beer's defense, there is next to no booziness making it pretty dang drinkable.

Photo of B33R501
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good little beer aged on bourbon oak chips? Could benefit from the full barrel aged treatment I suppose. Good, not great, had just the one single, included in another reasonably priced 4 Pak. Pretty similar in quality to Weyerbacher Heresy.

Black, good head, carbonation. Mild aromas of oak, bourbon, little smoke. Taste follows, very nice dry, tart finish that lingers awhile.

Very decent, I would have no problem at all with an entire 4 Pak.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So crazy a bourbon oak chip aged beer would be a twist off. I press on.

A - A very dark brown black so deep must be the darkest strong ale I ever seen. Head is a 1/4 inch that settles to just a lace ring.
S - Not very much bourbon in the smell but it's not barrel aged just chips so its not going to be heavy. Mild sweet malts, some caramel malt, and a mild twang of oak in the smell.
T - Ah yes the taste does in fact have some bourbon in the taste. Then some chocolate sweetness followed by your typical caramel and toffee taste you expect in a strong ale with no oak though.
M - Medium bodied, silky smooth, easy drinking.

Overall far from the best bourbon ale but quite a steal at just $2.69 a bottle. Taste is smooth!

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 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 tone77
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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 Chaz
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, ruby-amber in color topped with a medium-dark tan head which falls after a couple of minutes, leaving a small, thin cap in the middle of the glass and a rather fine ring of sticky lace. When held to the light there are some golden-orange highlights to this one.

A hint of smoke, along with broader bourbon and oak on the nose. In fact, this bourbon/oak presence is fairly strong, as I can smell it from a few feet away -- not bad at all if you like a slightly-smokey, oaky/whiskey barreled strong ale! Slight tangy on the nose, too, perhaps indicative of some funk and yeasty-beasties left in the wood -- either that or the wicked barmy Cold Spring house yeast strain.

Smokey, woody, and bittersweet on the first sip, this one is also livelier on the palate than I recall from earlier visits. As the carbonation is only average, the liveliness makes me wonder: could it be spontaneous bottle re-fermentation? Seems to be rather full-bodied on the first sip, but in fact it's closer to medium-bodied, and aided with the aforementioned liveliness makes this bigger beer a dangerously-drinkable sipper!

The bourbon barrel treatment almost eliminates some of the lighter fruit characteristics, but they are there in fits and starts: pear and golden apple, along with even lighter fig and plum. There's also a very mild tartness here than somehow adds an element of dryness toward the end of the palate -- impressive.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both fairly good here, and overall this is an above average beer, even for such a broad and diverse style as "American Strong Ale". Indeed, this is one of the best beers to ever pass through the doors of the brewery at Cold Spring -- no matter what name ultimately graces the package. VIVA LA JOHN HENRY!

Served chilled, in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter : )

NOTE: Bottle code -- JCBJ 0915

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.

Photo of ckollias
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a thick black hue with a fluffy white head that slowly dissipates leaving a decent trail ending in wispy lace.

S: Strong bourbon scent with a malt backbone.

T: Sweet bourbon and malt flavor that has a smooth middle and finishes on the dry side of boozy.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid brew – nice bourbon malt mix.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Oelschlager
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.