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

Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard)
BA SCORE
83.8%
Liked This Beer
4.05 w/ 154 ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,911
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
154
Liked:
129
Avg:
4.05/5
pDev:
11.6%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
54
Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
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 Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml, reddish-brown wax sealed bottle - the name here sez it all, really. Oh, 2016 edition, @ 14.5% ABV.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of scant basal 'edges', and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves a bit of awkward Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bittersweet hot cocoa, lightly roasted caramel malt, some biscuity toffee, fairly strong Bourbon barrel notes (vanilla and spicy rye whiskey, mostly), musty black licorice, day-old cafe-au-lait, hints of a dark orchard fruitiness unrequited, and some testy and not so charming estery alcohol. The taste is milk chocolate, bready and doughy caramel/toffee malt, some free-range ashiness, sharp Bourbon County essences (vanilla, wood, rye grain, but above all, booze heat), salted anise candies, gritty brown sugar, ethereal black stone fruit, stale coffee grounds, and a bit of generic perfume.

The carbonation is understated in its merely supportive frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and sort of smooth, as the guest barrel treatment always has something to say, even here, right? It finishes off-dry, yet not nearly as sweet as this sports fan might have been expecting - wood and alcohol the 'salve', it would appear.

Overall, this is indeed one big and brash version of the style, the Bourbon treatment elevating, and at the same time evening out the sweetness of the base brew. Maybe almost too much, as it feels like some of the heady stout character gets overridden by vanilla, wood, and alcohol alike. At any rate, an appropriate enough offering, for when we are just about to sink into a serious deep-freeze - hello, January.

 1,711 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of vanilla, butterscotch and bourbon are quite dominant and pretty enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by a well-balanced mix of bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch with some light roasted malt notes. Quite a bit of residual sugar can be found in here as well. Body is full enough with an oily texture and good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Very enjoyable beer that I would gladly buy again and share with friends.

 546 characters

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, and molasses; with lighter notes of smoke, char, licorice, and dark fruit; with roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Light booziness appears as it warms. Taste of huge milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, and molasses; with lighter notes of smoke, char, licorice, and dark fruit; with roast/oak earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, molasses, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with great roasted bitter/sweet and oak spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness for roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spice as well. Light carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish, with minimal booziness. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged Russian imperial stout! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering all around.

 1,847 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ZEB89
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdfb79
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong.

7 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ejimhof
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of smartassboiler
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liamt07
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
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 Eziel
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Even pouring entirely upright couldn't produce even a finger's worth of head. Still, what's there is a cappuccino brown colour and surprisingly resilient given the beer's strength. Less of a shock is Kentucky Bastard's opaque, coal-black colour - this has the complexion of a charred barrel.

The nose on this beer is such that even the most complex single-origin chocolates in my possession are jealous. It has the sooty, earthy, lightly roasty but sweetly vanilla-laced profile with similar hints of burnt toffee, coffee and currant, but provides an overall richness that you can't find in bar form, at least not in the grocery stores I shop at.

The first sip is far more mellow than the initial impression let's on; all that vanilla character actually helps to mellow out the tobacco, cigar, and charred notes of the bourbon barrels. (Those notes are all present, mind you, but made far more palatable by a dosage of demerara sugar rum-like flavours.) Light custard, maple syrup, creme caramel, and molasses notes are there too.

It might all be too sweet except for the fact that it's all imposed onto an inherently bitter, phenolic backdrop; this beer is stronger than it is sweet. There's a certain mellowness to it, don't get me wrong - provided you can stomach the alcohol - and it drinks with more grace than many others in its category, but it's undeniably a tough beer.

It should be obvious what you're getting yourself into when popping a 750ml of Kentucky Bastard... While a bit more approachable than other bourbon barrel-aged offerings in its weight class, this is still a heavy-hitting imperial stout that'll leave a taste that could last days. And the contents of an unopened bottle, they could probably last for years.

 1,742 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour, viscous on the glass, soapy thin toffee lacing ring.

S - Cocoa and chocolate.

T - Bourbon, oak, oak tannin, boozy, chocolate is buried, vanilla, toasted brown sugar.

M - Medium body, no carbonation, silky, boozy effervescence.

O - This beer is better than the rating.

 294 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
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 wordemupg
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Nickel Brook Old Kentucky Bastard (Bourbon Barrel Aged Bolshevik Bastard) from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83.8% out of 100 with 154 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.