Winey Bastard
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Winey BastardWiney Bastard
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #577
Ranked #10,035
4.02 | pDev: 10.2%
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
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
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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the_nudge from Canada (BC)

3.7/5  rDev -8%
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
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janubio from Spain

4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
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
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
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
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LampertLand from Canada (BC)

3.98/5  rDev -1%
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
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TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

4.38/5  rDev +9%
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
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grover37 from District of Columbia

3.09/5  rDev -23.1%
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
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superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +2%
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
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev +2%
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
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kevinlater from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
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
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Bcarlos from Canada (ON)

4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers, plain and simple. The base of Winey Bastard is Nickelbrook's Bolshevik Bastard, a much boozier Russian Imperial. The aging smooths out the sharpness of the base, and the pinot noir is very prominent. I am not much of a wine drinker, but I love how this beer evokes a chocolate and dark fruit combination. I've aged 2014's and sampled them throughout time, and so far, this beer only gets better with time.

Feb 11, 2016
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tomghiley from Canada (ON)

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the best imperial stout ive ever had. the initial flavor is almost entirely of the stout, but it finishes strong on the pinot noir flavor. this beer is a perfect hybrid, well worth aging for a couple of years as well!

Oct 14, 2015
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml waxed bottle served fairly cold into an Innis & Gunn glass. Purchased for $14.95 CDN from the LCBO. I'd been storing this in a fridge for about 4 months since purchasing. Advertised as 9.3% ABV.

Appearance - Gentle pouryielded and ominous jet black colored beers, blotting out all semblance of light. A small layer of tan foam rests on top and gradually dwindles down leaving behind a small ring of lacing.

Smell - Tons and tons of grapes right up front, even when cold which gives the beer the aroma of wine more so than beer. A steady leafy hop aroma whirls in behind upon repeated sniffing. Vinous with champagne characteristics.If you didn't see this beer, it could probably be mistaken for a spin on wine, so strong is the grape and wood barrel aroma. Some plum aroma comes out as it warms.

Taste - Plenty of grapes and a little more plum with a dash of figs thrown in for good measure. Leafy hops follow it up and a coffee latte finish, reminding us that the base beer is a stout. Mild to strong bitterness levels are most detectable at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth mouthfeel, oily and slick, with just a bit of spritzy feel and good carbonation. Despite the grape barrels involved it's not a dry finish. Flavors stick to the mouth nicely.

Overall - Certainly an interesting one-off beer, the cost to enjoyment ratio isn't quite high enough to be a repeat purchase, but it certainly is a unique stout. I've never enjoyed a beer that had this much grape barrel flavor mixed in with an already potent stout, but because of that the barrel aging is actually just a bit overdone here. Still worth a try and glad to see the experimentation at one of Ontario's more prolific craft brewers.

Edit - Revisited this April 29, 2018. Still as grape forward as ever. This rendition is 11%ABV. Smooth drinking but not quite as inviting smelling. Costs have gone up this was a serious discount at $11.20 CD for a 500 ml bottle.

Aug 03, 2015
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown color head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt is offset by some vinous notes with light oak flavours. Taste is also a great balance mix between some vinous notes offset by dry roasted malt notes with some black chocolates notes also noticeable. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I am not a big fan of aging imperial stout in wine barrel but I must admit I was quite impress by this mix.

Mar 23, 2015
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Luisc94 from Canada (ON)

4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Full Black no light coming through this fucker, Mocha Head with little retention.

S: Chocolate and cherries combined very well, Nice Wine (Pinot Noir) Smell with the Oak. There is a prominent tart smell, like a sour feel, probably because of the wine. There are some plumbs and other dry fruits with light roasted malts in the background.

T: Chocolate and wine hits the tongue, followed by coffee and roasted malts. Malts are a bit more noticeable in the palate that the nose. Not much tartness and some dry fruit undertones. After all this barrage of flavors there comes a slight bitterness followed by a light dryness in the end.

M: Nice full bodied, heavy looking, with low carbonation, just how a barrel aged should be. The sour and dry note of the wine creates a tingling feel in the mouth, almost like heat (not quite like). Despise of everything is incredibly smooth and flows easily.

O: Very nice beer, huge array of flavors, I would of preferred less coffee and more chocolate mix with the wine. Overall good solid beer, worth picking up.

Mar 22, 2015
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got on trade! Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a ton of head that lasts. Watch the bottle as it foams for a half hour LOL. Super dark and rich looking

S- Lots of Pinot here. Oodles of wine. You can't imagine the grape goodness on this one.

T- Fantastic! WOW this is fanominal. Never thought that a wine barrel aged beer was this good. This gives me ideas. So impressed. Will buy on sight every time I see it.

M- Dry and tart like a Pinot Noir. No booze at all.

O- WOW I like this one. So good. Looking forward to all wine BA beers I can find now just to see what they offer!

Food Pairing

This one I saved knowing it had to be good for...... Roasted lamb head with rosemary, garlic, hot pepper flakes, salt pepper, parm cheese, parsley and olive oil. WOW this was great. Rub these ingredients down on the head and throw in the oven at 400deg F for 1.5hrs then take some potatoes, slice them 1" thick from the center in wedges, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning then pitch them in. Cook 30mins longer then here you go!


Feb 16, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, spice, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity and roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice red wine barrel aging that works well with the base beer.

Serving type: bottle.

Dec 02, 2014
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml, purple wax capped, sturdy-ass bottle, 2013 edition, @ 9.5% ABV. Wow, what a supreme pain in the ass to open - yeah, I tried using a knife to remove the stubborn as shit wax, and even considered bringing in fire. Fuck. Great name though, for, well, anything.

This beer (eventually) pours a solid black abyss, with the barest of dark cola basal edges, and three chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and certainly rocky dark beige head, which leaves some incredible honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of tart red fruit - maybe some bing cherry, and perhaps the suggestion of wild strawberry - a bit of sour rhubarb, gritty roasted caramel malt, dark chocolate powder, edgy barrel staves, a bit of free-agent yeast, and a plain earthy bitterness. The taste is blended candy bar chocolate/caramel sweetness, with strong notions of raw cherries, green strawberries, a generic fruit wine booziness, subtle cold coffee, more than a bit of vanillan woodiness, and an agreeably supportive, yet weak floral and slightly perfumed hoppiness.

The bubbles are pretty sublime, or maybe just AWOL, the body an adequate medium weight, given what the barrel treatment often does to thin out the base style, and smooth, sure, with a heady tart fruit caveat. It finishes off-dry, but mostly just muddled in a pleasant enough way - chocolate, wan caramel, and coffee, all dosed with a big hit of woody red fruit.

Nice to see, really, a Pinot Noir barrel having such a noticeable effect on a big beer like this - not that I've ever had the opportunity to enjoy the particular Niagara escarpment wine responsible for the aging here - but it must be some good stuff to render such a secondary product. Overall, very red wine-forward, with the underlying stout present and accounted for, sure, but subservient all the same. Great to try, especially given the intra-provincial and inter-booze-production co-operation going on here.

Nov 07, 2014
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with a ring of tan head,decent retention, some lace but not a whole lot. Smell is dominated by wine and fruit up front , oak and some slight roasted malt, wine is pretty heavy in the nose though. Tatse follows the nose big wine flavours up front, fruity and a bit tart/sour, roast is more aparent in the finish, bit of chocolate in the aftertaste as well. Lightly carbonated, medium body, pretty decent feel. This was interesting and pretty good overall, perhaps a bit too much wine to make this something to come back to but certainly worth a shot though.

Feb 07, 2013
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liamt07 from Canada (ON)

3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What, again into a full pint glass (side by side with the Old Kentucky).

Dark brown with a tan head. Nose is winey, tart dark fruits in the blackberry/currant vein. Some chocolate, oak and vanilla. Taste has more tart dark fruits, oak, vanilla and sweet malt. Chocolate again and a tannic finish, with some red wine balsamic. Medium body, sweet but tart fruit in the finish. Low carbonation. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of wine BA's imperial stouts and this didn't do much to sway me. Best sip of this pint was the last, oddly.

Jan 17, 2013
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer is black with no head. Not much more to say about it.

Smell contains red wine. berries, oak and some cocoa. Nice but a little faint.

Taste is a real surprise. A serious red wine flavour throughout, along with loads of oak. Berries, tannins and vanilla. The stout flavours are actually hard to pick out- almost reminds me of a wild ale without any of the sourness or funk. There is a bit of chocolate and roast malt down there. Pretty unusual.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit sticky.

Overall, a very unusual beer. The most wine-like beer I have had, the barrel just dominates this thing. I expect that this would be a very divisive beer. Personally, I quite like it, but it would not be for everyone.

Jan 12, 2013
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bolshevik Bastard aged in pinot noir barrels for 12 months.
On tap @ Bar Hop. Served in tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of bubbly medium brown head.

S - Oak and red wine up front - stronger barrel aroma than expected. Some roast and char are present in the background.

T - Tart grapes dominate up front with a big oak presence. Mid-palate adds roast and hints of chocolate. The finish is bitter and tart with vinous fruit and oak. The base beer is definitely overshadowed by the barrel characteristics. This drinks almost more like a wine than a beer.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - A very interesting beer but for my tastes this was aged in the barrels for too long. The pinot noir and oak dominated the base beer, which is normally a robust and flavourful imperial stout.

Dec 29, 2012
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rappmann from Canada (ON)

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at bar volo, served in a tulip.

A - Pitch black reddish head, no lace

S - Lots of sweetness, almost like a concord grape, off the bat you can tell the barrel did a lot to the base beer

T - Sour and dry much more like a wine, lots of stone fruit like cherry and sour apricots very interesting

M - Nice, a bit carbonated for my liking

O - Interesting to say the least, enjoyable but I don't see how much of this stuff I could put back....far superior to the base beer

Dec 17, 2012
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Amsterdam charity event. Wine colour. Big pinot noir flavour that overwhelms with some Imperial Stout and chocolate in the finish, not astringent. Some cherry.Big mouthfeel. Flavourful, more of a wine, it can win a wine medal. Interesting and worth a try, bit not a great IS.

Dec 02, 2012
Winey Bastard from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 75 ratings