Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) | Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
150 Ratings
THE BROS
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Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
nickelbrook.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Bolshevik Bastard kicked up a notch. We age Bolshevik in Kentucky bourbon barrels for over a year. The rich chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavours from our imperial stout are married together with the vanilla, oak and warming alcohol from bourbon barrels.

Together as one, the result is an incredible blend of aroma and taste.

Drink today, or cellar for years as it matures.


Added by MasterSki on 12-29-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
150
Reviews:
45
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
56
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of Sabtos
1.99/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Holy mother, there is some strong bourbon here!

Really, this is bourbon, with a shot of stout in it.

This is a prime example of exactly why I don't like barrel aged beers. Just too hot, and too overpowering of the base beer.

 226 characters

Photo of dipso123
2.6/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

on tap
the 2012

15 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.71/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

Appearance: Your typical stout jet black, capped with about two fingers of dark brown foam that fades to nothing, not even a ring.

Smell: Bourbon. Straight bourbon.

Taste: This beer opens fiery with ABV, and does not relent. Bourbon dominates the flavor profile, all oak, smoke, char, and caramel. Some very faint chocolate appears, as does a tinge of cold black coffee, but mostly, this is bourbon that has a tinge of beer to it.

Mouthfeel: Thin for what one would expect for an RIS, and with blistering alcohol heat.

Overall: Given the ABV heat, and the preponderance of raw bourbon flavor, this is not a favorite of mine. Perhaps it calms down a bit with age, but drinking a 2015 in March 2016 was not one of my favorite BA RIS experiences. Bear in mind, I love drinking bourbon - I've done quite a bit of the bourbon trail, and I love a nice glass of bourbon neat. But when I have a beer aged in a bourbon barrel, I'm looking for beer first, bourbon second. Not the reverse.

 1,034 characters

Photo of wwwagainsttimeca
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Flavors very much a standard stout with the exception of a warming alcohol. However mouth feel is syrup not pleasant. Not much for head. Expected something more for a 14.5% abv. Wouldn't repeat.

 194 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of Long813
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of jmkoscie
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of valianes
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Big_Dude_Likes_Food
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Very very dark pour with very little head. So little head I worried that my bottle had gone flat. Boozy nose, boozy mouth and a boozy finish. You can really taste the Burbon, Actually it’s overpowering. Maybe if I liked bourbon more it would be different. Besides that there’s some nice stout bitterness and hints of dark chocolate.

 336 characters

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not a beer to my palate but very well made. This one will bring you to your knees after the first sip. Sup it carefully for the power is strong with this one. The bourbon is not to my liking but one has to try this anyway.

 222 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.31/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery. Poured in to tulip.

A - Poured deep black with one finger of dark cocoa brown head. Good retention.

S - Heavy roast aroma up front with some chocolate. The barrel attributes are very muted in the nose with only a touch of bourbon and vanilla present. The barrel is very much secondary in the nose.

T - Heavy oak flavour up front with an astringency accompanying it that is off-putting at first but eventually becomes less noticeable (although still present). Bourbon is subdued but is present with a hint of vanilla also coming though. The base beer is well integrated with the barrel, adding roast, chocolate, char and a touch of coffee.

M - Medium, almost full body with a massive chew. Silky smooth. Light carbonation.

O - I expected this to be a bourbon bomb after having the Pinot Noir barrel version that tasted more like a wine than a beer. But this was the opposite. Unfortunately, the biggest component of the barrel that came through was an astringent oaky flavour that was distracting throughout.

 1,041 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of smartassboiler
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nullbort
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of bigox420
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Volo. Dark and below middling mouthfeel. Chocolate, roast, and woody from the barreling. Glad it wasn’t substantive bourbon. On the flip side it looks like they kept this to pleasing more people and not going to any extreme of passion in making it. Might be livelier on tap, less watery in the bottle. Drinkable but a fair IS at best.

 347 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $13

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a light brown large size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also a lot of dark fruit taste.. berries/plum, and only a touch of bourbon.

Overall - Needs more wood/bitterness/coffee/chocolate sweetness and less fruitiness. The bottle mentions the cellar possibilities, but the flavour is already muted - I can't see how aging would help. It was much better after it warmed.

 738 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was lucky enough to get a batch 1 and batch 2 from Hopsolutely this past summer. Cheers guys! I originally didn't like batch 1 at, as it was simply too alcoholic and had an off-putting cleaning solvent quality to it. I rated it a 2.84, and that was perhaps too generous. Happy to try both batches of this side-by-side.

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2014
Batch #2
IBU: 70
Drank both batches side-by-side and will add notes for comparative purposes. Scores are for batch #2.

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy tan head with good retention. Head eventually fades to a full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. Black body with no real carbonation evident. A faint splotchy wisp and thick ring remain until the end and leave some decent lacing down the glass. Batch 1 is exactly the same.

SMELL: Nice nose here. Bold with lots of bourbon, oak, toffee and sweet vanilla. Coconut and butterscotch with light notes of milk chocolate as well. Solid stuff for sure. Batch 1 has some similar qualities but there's more wood, some green apples and a definite perfume or cleaning solvent character. Definitely off-putting.

TASTE: The flavor on this one is nice as well. Bourbon, lots of toffee and butterscotch up front, with more bourbon and wood at the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of bourbon, booze, sweet toffee and butterscotch, biscuit notes, and some sweet vanilla. The bourbon is pretty raw and it's boozy for a listed 10%, but the flavor and character works. Batch 1, much like the nose, has lots of green apples and perfume. It might not be as bad as it was fresh, but it's still bad.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A little lighter on the palate for the style perhaps, creamy enough, goes down with a scratch and burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers. Batch 1 is mostly the same.

OVERALL: Batch 2 is pretty solid stuff. The barrel aging is a little raw, meaning there must have been a lot of bourbon left in the barrel, as it comes across as though someone dumped a couple bottles of decent bourbon in the batch. Still, this one is enjoyable and has plenty going on. Compared to batch 1, it's a complete turn around as well. The first batch is still rather nasty and suffers from a lousy green apple, perfume-like solvent flavor that is just off-putting. It might not be as bad as it once was, but it's still not worth touching. Batch 2, however, it worth the effort for sure. Thanks again hopsolutely! Much appreciated.

 2,523 characters

Photo of Coorsy
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gretsky96
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of liamt07
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

On cask at C'est What, into a full pint glass to the dome.

Almost black body with a deep brown head, rocky retention and good lacing. Nose of brown sugar, oak, vanilla, bruised banana. Bourbon isn't overt. Taste has chocolate, brown sugar, caramelized bananas, watery bourbon, oak and sweet malts. Heat on the back end with roast into the finish. Sweetness is almost overwhelming. Medium full feel, low carbonation which feels appropriate for the beer. Odd flavours, and not really what I look for in the style. Wasn't confident the base beer was a good candidate for barrels to begin with.

 591 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark with a moderate but handsome brown head. Lots of fine spotty lace as you go. Good looking beer.

Sweet and boozy on the nose. Quite clearly has spent art of its life in a barrel. Mouthfeel is full, unctuous, heavy, syrupy.

Lots of bourbon to taste. Chocolate, wood ash, licorice, plums. Really nice vanilla finish. Tons of flavour happening, a very sturdy beer, not for the light of heart. Drying bitter finish.

Quite boozy, so stay seated and drink this at home. A decent brew, but just a touch heavy handed. Kudos however to Nicklebrook for the variety of interesting brews they've been working lately.

 617 characters

Photo of Yoozeo
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 150 ratings.
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