Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) | Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

very good
62 Ratings
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Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)

Brewed by:
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Sammy on 12-02-2012

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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.8/5  rDev -5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of dmorgan310
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of drewone
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of fredmugs
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spinrsx
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattmarka1
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of dgilks
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of deonreds
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of Whatup14
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jeffo
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
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!

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Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 2,184 characters

Photo of yancot
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BenBreeg
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | 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 fogs 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.

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Nickel Brook Winey Bastard (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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