Winey Bastard
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Winey BastardWiney Bastard
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #430
Ranked #11,998
3.99 | pDev: 11.03%
Oct 15, 2022
Dec 02, 2012
Very Good
Winey BastardWiney Bastard
Notes: Nickel Brook took some of the best Pinot Noir barrels from the Niagara wine region and tossed their Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout in it? I mean, what have they done to the soft oak and subtle, earthy fruit notes from the barrel? Their Imperial Stout has WAY too much chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavours for the delicate notes imparted by the barrel-aging process. I don't know what they think they're doing. So what if it's delicious? Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures. A votre santé!

70 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of acurtis
Reviewed by acurtis from New Jersey

3.09/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
2018 bottle, infected. Pours thin with an aggressive head. Nose is brown butter and dark fruit, taste is tart pinot barrel, raisons, dried fruit. Was pretty sure this was going to be a disaster but the infection is mild, likely from the barrel. Dried fruit / grape type of sweetness
Oct 15, 2022
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

3.01/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Pours a foamy fizzy 1/2 finger brown head with moderate retention, fair lacing, very dark almost black color

Nose is quite fruity, super fruity wine, grape, but also has that sour fruit infection like character, sweet rich chocolate under that, with some vanilla, cocoa, a bit of caramel

Taste is very rich, again some sour infection notes, not super sour but definitely on the way there with infection, tart red wine and general fruity characters from the infection, a bit of cocoa, dark chocolate, some mocha, vanilla, a bit sweet, flemmy tart, funky acidity, flemmy finish with a bit of alcohol

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, med foamy carb, light alcohol, fair acidity and flemmy

Overall it could have been quite nice, but I'll never know due to infection that ruins the beer
Jun 03, 2022
Rated: 4.46 by DruC4 from Michigan

May 28, 2022
Photo of TheHammer
Reviewed by TheHammer from Canada (ON)

3.39/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Appearance: Poured with a thumb of head that didn't lace or stick around very well. The body is completely opaque and as black as night, revealing little else.

Smell: Winey is right, as Wine dominates the nose. I'm not a wine expert, so I can't tell what kind, but the bottle says Pinot Noir barrels, so likely that kind. It's certainly the three grapes I frequent (them being Shiraz, Cab. Sav. and Sangiovese). I think I catch a little bit of dark chocolate malt in the background, but the Wine is overtaking it.

Taste: This tastes more like drinking wine then drinking beer, about the only beer parts I'm noticing coming to play here is there is a bit of chocolate malt at the start, and a bit of Cascade hops and more chocolate at the end. Apart from that, it tastes like carbonated wine/spiked grape juice, and I mean deep, rich Wine.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation seems completely unfit for this beer, it's aggressive, not creamy and serves just to bring out more of the wine, which is already the strong note here. The transitioning, is again more like wine then beer as you get the grape notes, the touch of dryness at the end. Fair clean, mild wine aftertaste.

Drinkability: Well the one of the things the beer lends the wine is in the body, as this is thick, as a stout should be. That thickness gives it a texture that deepens the richness of the wine. The problem is, I don't want to drink wine flavored beer, I want some kind of beer that has wine accents. It's surprisingly refreshing and not quite a sipper, but it's not my cup of tea.

Final Thoughts: I picked this up, having had a good track record with Nickel Brook's Kentucky Bastard and Cafe El Bastardo and because I looked at this, saw my track record with wine aged beer and decided this would be the last shot before I put wine barrel stuff aside for a while. If anyone can do it right, it would be Nickel Brook. Sadly, the couldn't for me, as this stuff is too wine forward, and it forces me to ask why would I not just drink wine instead? In this case, the answers are some chocolate notes, a thick texture boosting the wine richness and some out of place carbonation. Maybe I'm sounding like the name of the beer itself (being a Winey Bastard) but I don't drink bourbon aged beer because I want to drink bourbon. I want it to impart itself to the beer, not to dominate it like this stuff does, and frankly, looking back at my track record of wine barrel aged beer I've had, every one of them produces the same complaint. Too much Wine, not enough beer.
Dec 29, 2021
Photo of pardavis
Reviewed by pardavis

3.31/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
Nice dark color with a foamy dark head, but head quickly dissipates. Smell is grape like, with subtle malt character. Taste is a little “off” from what is expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. Seems overly carbonated for a barrel aged stout and more sour than anticipated. Even with the carbonation this stuff is smooth and goes down good, makes the face nice and warm. While not my favorite barrel aged beer, I still get this every Xmas and look forward to it.
Dec 26, 2021
Rated: 4.16 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Apr 14, 2021
Photo of the_nudge
Reviewed by the_nudge from Canada (BC)

3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
A: Pours a very dark opaque purple, with thin violet-brown head, minimal retention and polka-dot lacing
S: marked vinous character with chocolate, strawberry, plum, raisin, licorice, and some port-like sweetness
T: cocoa, coffee, molasses, pinot noir in the middle, charred barbecue chips and smoke on the finish
M: Quite light for a 11%, very drinkable and not overpowering or too chewy
O: honestly I’m a little disappointed. the stout characteristics of are quite muted, and replaced with not much more than a winey pinot flavor followed by a smoky finish. An okay beer, but definitely my least favorite of the bastard series.
Jan 15, 2021
Rated: 4.55 by Electros from Canada (ON)

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of janubio
Reviewed by janubio from Spain

4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Bottle at Las Buenas Pulgas, served in a snifter glass. Big beige head with long retention, creamy dense lacing. Aroma of wine, chocolate, dried fruits, plums, coffee. Medium body, creamy texture, not much carbonation. Bitter finish. Taste matches the aroma, with soy sauce notes. Very good.
Jul 03, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from an cellared bottle, one year of age. The abyss of darkness black body with a light brown tight but active head. Huge vinous grape with plum and fig aromas plunge into dark chocolate, oak, char, and caramel. Taste reminds me of napa parabola but with less complexity and more sweetness, but still damn good. Add slight funk, significant char and red wine vinegar to the list from the nose. Smell delivers the combination more clearly than the taste. Feel is sneaky bright, vinous, earthy, and lighter than one would expect from such a rugged complexion, ending with a grape/wine bite. These fellas north of the border continue to surprise me
Jun 22, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by Mack from Canada (QC)

Oct 01, 2019
Photo of LampertLand
Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Nickel Brook Brewing 'Winey Bastard' @ 11.0% , 2018 vintage served from a purple waxed 500 ml bottle
A-pour is black from bottle to glass with a small tan head leaving a minimal lace ring along the tulip
S-BA Pinot Noir , nice not overly pungent
T-smooth , big , feel the ABV , Pinot Noir on the swallow
MF-warming , mild carbonation , full bodied
Ov-good beer , not great , should be listed as Imperial Stout , not Russian
prost LampertLand
Sep 07, 2019
Rated: 3.56 by DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

Jul 30, 2019
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
Reviewed by TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Medium: Capped and waxed 2018 bottle @ 11% in tulip glass.
Opacity: Almost opaque, very slight copper hue.
Color: Almost black, very dark brown.
Head: Slightly creamy brown 2 finger.
Legs: Average but good swirl reaction.
Smell: Pinot noir barrel/Cocoa/Vanilla/Stone fruits.
Taste: Cherries/Raisins/Molasses/Coffee/Herbal/Wild yeast.
Feel: Earthy/Roasted/Syrupy/Chalky/Woody.
Body: Full creamy and milky.
Carbonation: Fluffy and extra crispy.
Overall: Deeply warming, decent appetizer while easy to drink it all and not too vinous. Proper style strength and feel, yet extremely sharp like a Belgian. So I really enjoy this interpretation, superb quality stuff.

Visual 6/10 - Flavors 9/10 - Sensations 9/10 - Balance 9/10 -
Freshness 6/10 - Intensity 9/10 - Complexity 9/10 - Appreciation 9/10
Mar 10, 2019
Rated: 3.89 by Samact from Vermont

Feb 03, 2019
Rated: 3.35 by I_Like_Beer from New York

Dec 05, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by Nunya from Ohio

Oct 05, 2018
Photo of grover37
Reviewed by grover37 from District of Columbia

3.09/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
500ml split into wine glasses at Scott/Sasha's house.

Clearly infected. Very thin, dark fruit nose and flavor. Little roast, no creaminess. Just at thinned out infected stout. Gross.
Jun 07, 2018
Rated: 4.01 by gobuccos from Ohio

Apr 27, 2018
Rated: 3.05 by Bammer21 from Illinois

Jan 04, 2018
Rated: 3.85 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Jul 24, 2017
Rated: 4.96 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Jun 29, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Jun 25, 2017
Photo of superspak
Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
750 ml bottle into snifter; 2017 vintage bottling, listed at 11%. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lightly tart cherries, raisin, plum, fig, date, berry, currant, red wine, toasted oak, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toffee, and dark bread; with light notes of pepper, coffee, smoke, vanilla, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity/funky yeast, and wine barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big lightly tart cherries, raisin, plum, fig, date, berry, currant, red wine, toasted oak, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toffee, and dark bread; with light notes of pepper, coffee, smoke, vanilla, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/roasted earthiness. Light-moderate roast/char bitterness and light yeast/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of lightly tart cherries, berries, dark fruit, red wine, toasted oak, milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toffee, dark bread, light leathery funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity/funky yeast, and wine barrel flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet and yeast/oak spiciness balance; with zero acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast bitterness and yeast/oak spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Very minimal warming alcohol for 11%. Overall this is an awesome wine barrel aged Belgian imperial stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity/funky yeast, and wine barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV. Pretty much perfectly balanced between all flavors. Very similar to most sour stouts I’ve had in the past; but far less acidic/funky, with more malt and barrel presence. Impressive Brett complexity for the young age. A really enjoyable offering.
Jun 03, 2017
Rated: 4.08 by nullbort from Canada (ON)

Apr 07, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by Simon212 from Canada (ON)

Apr 03, 2017
Rated: 3.88 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Nov 13, 2016
Rated: 4.35 by ikidunot from Canada (ON)

Aug 23, 2016
Rated: 3.81 by Jerk_Store from Canada (QC)

Aug 12, 2016
Photo of Jeffo
Reviewed by Jeffo from Netherlands

3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Got this one from peensteen a while back. Cheers!

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2014
IBU: 70
Yeast: Dry English and Brett
Aged in Tawse Point Noir barrels

APPEARANCE: Black pour, almost opaque, comes out rather thick and yields a 3+ finger, medium-thicker looking, creamy tan head with great retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident.
Head slowly fades to a full cap and leaves lots of lacing down the glass as it fades. Splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. Solid look.

SMELL: Definite red wine on the nose with brett, tart cherries, barnyard stuff and plenty of oak. Some chocolate and vanilla there as well, but more brett and point noir, tart lemon and cherries as well.

TASTE: Lots of brett and red wine up front. Tart lemon and cherries as well, with a bit barnyard funk too. This is very wild; no doubt about it. Oak notes too. The finish is bold and lingering with lots of funk, brett tartness, wood, red wine, grapes and a touch of chocolate under it all. This is definitely a wild ale first and the stout isn’t really around much any more.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Sourness lingers.

OVERALL: This is a solid beer for sure but there isn’t very much stout about it. It’s black and looks like a stout, but the brett and wine barrels have taken over the show here. I appreciate the style and enjoy it for sure, but don’t think of this as an imperial stout on wine barrels, but think of it as a wild ale. Regardless, this is well made and certainly enjoyable. Look forward to next year’s batch if I can find one. Thanks again peensteen. Cheers!
Jul 05, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by Ultra-Plinian from Connecticut

Jun 11, 2016
Rated: 3.92 by HopBelT from Belgium

Apr 15, 2016
Rated: 4.44 by Ultrarunner100 from Canada (ON)

Apr 02, 2016
Rated: 4.86 by Anterothewight from Canada (ON)

Apr 01, 2016
Rated: 4 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON)

Mar 27, 2016
Photo of thehyperduck
Reviewed by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 mL wax-sealed bottle from the LCBO. This is the 2015 version, listed at 9.3% and served at cellar temperature. This one has eluded me for a few years now, but I'm pumped to finally try it - one of my oldest wants from an Ontario brewer.

Inky-black pour, capped with a half-inch of frothy, tan-coloured head. It holds itself together nicely for a few minutes; a foamy collar is the eventual remnant, surrounding a few bubbly islets floating atop the surface. Par for the style visually, but the aroma perks the ol' eyebrows up - subtle yet unmistakable Brett funkiness comes through nicely, along with red grape skin, cherry, oak tannin and wine. Slightly tart, too; I like the nose, but its roasted malt elements are mostly obscured by the barrel, wild yeast, and alcohol.

Well, it comes as advertised - the wine barrel is the star of the show here, so if you don't enjoy red-winey flavours of tart grape must, sour cherry and plum, then this big bottle will be a long slog for you. Myself? I don't think there'll be any issues. Oak wood and grape tannin flavours vigorously permeate the profile. Light notes of molasses and dark chocolate come through mid-sip, with a touch of vanilla and some earthy hops preceding a tart finish with some horse blanket. Light notes of coffee grounds in the aftertaste, with lingering suggestions of oak tannin and grape skin that slowly fade from the palate. Medium-bodied, with low carbonation levels and a smooth, slick, oily mouthfeel; the alcohol is pretty well-integrated, but still a factor.

Final Grade: 4.1, an A-. Winey Bastard was a nice treat, but it's definitely more of an acquired taste than the Kentucky variant (which I prefer). I still feel that the base stout isn't allowed to shine through adequately - the barrel, tart grape and Brett flavours just overwhelm it. Winey Bastard bears only a passing resemblance to Bolshevik Bastard, and will not necessarily appeal to fans of that beer. I do like this and might pick up another bottle, but given the high price tag and potential for disappointment, I would only recommend it to BAs that dabble in oenophilia, or at least those who already have experience with WBA beers.
Mar 21, 2016
Photo of kevinlater
Reviewed by kevinlater from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
purchased feb 28 2016 from the LCBO, consumed mar 19 2016. 9.3%. pitch black with nice dark brown head. full-on onslaught of fruity red wine in the nose (plum, grape, strawberry). taste follows the nose, but with a really high level of tartness. just way too tart and wine-dominant for me -- i can barely taste any stout flavours. medium feel. needs more balance!
Mar 19, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by fredmugs from Indiana

Mar 14, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Jotora from Canada (ON)

Mar 05, 2016
Rated: 4.08 by al_al1357 from Canada (ON)

Feb 29, 2016
Winey Bastard from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 81 ratings