Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 102 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.33/5 rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks opens to a sweet, fruity nose bearing loads of fruit esters, including very nice bits of plum, fig, orange, grape, and berry, as well as a touch of raisin and prune. These aromas – especially the darker ones – mix well with a light overtone of vanilla, oak, and bourbon from the barrel aging, lending the beer very strong tawny port overtones. In fact, in a blind smelling test, this could be easily mistaken for a light, sweet port, with just a faint hint of extra-vanilla-laden bourbon about the edges. The grains also bring in supporting layers of pie crust and floury baguette, as well as touches of multigrain toast crust, to help offset the sweetness, and touches of brown sugar and amber agave nectar add further dimension to the sugars. As a whole, the nose here is very nice, bearing little in the way of beer aromas, but boasting a full-bodied port-like aroma that is very enticing. The nose can be almost too sweet at times, the fruits coming across like Jolly Rancher candies, but there’s just enough darkness and breadiness to prevent it from becoming cloying.
On the tongue, the beer’s bourbon barrel aging is immediately obvious, the opening notes being a shot of heavily vanilla-laced bourbon that mixes almost instantly with a huge array of fruits, including plum, cherry, berry, orange, fig, and prune, lending the beer an immediate cocktail-cum-tawny-port overtone that is quite delicious. Further sugars make themselves known after a few seconds, including brown sugar, agave nectar, wildflower honey, and even thin threads of super sweet confectioner’s sugar. These sweet notes are lightly held in check by woody overtones from the barrel aging, as well as toast crust, cereal grain, biscuit, and yeasty rising whole wheat dough, though the bready notes occupy much less than half of the flavors. There is an alcoholic vapor that hangs over everything, but it mainly passes off as bourbon – though it can border on vodka. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, with a stronger bourbon vapor presence, lingering on the tongue in fruity, alcoholic goodness for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, this is a very nice Barleywine, and the bourbon barrel aging has added a nice layer of complexity that was sorely needed in the basic Below Decks version of this beer. There is perhaps a bit too much sweetness in here (admitting that such a profile fits with the style), and the alcohol vapors do get very strong after a few sips, but on the whole this is very worth trying.
Serving type: bottle
06-19-2013 00:14:53 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
3.61/5 rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
2012 vintage bomber poured into a central waters snifter. had several different varieties of this beer, including the base beer and have all been good so I have high hopes for this bottle. thanks again runner440 for the good trades over the past few years.
a- dark ruby brown in color with very little light showing through. a little darker than the average barleywine. not a ton of carbonation as the slightly off-white head fades quickly.
s- lots of bourbon booziness and oak character on the nose. a bit of fruit, maybe raisin. a bit of caramel and vanilla.
t- follows the nose. lots of bourbon barrel initially followed by a tinge of fruitiness. some caramel, breadiness, a bit of bitter hops then the boozy bourbon on the finish. really tasty but seems to lack a little bit of balance. booze is just a tad overpowering
m- slick feel really sticks in the palate. very little carbonation. some boozy tingle at the end.
overall, a little disapointed because it didnt reach the heights i was hoping it did, but overall a pretty good beer. perhaps i need another one to lay down for another year or two and see if the booze mellows a bit and try it again. anyone want to trade :)
Serving type: bottle
11-10-2013 02:52:03 | More by crewfan16
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.