Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate | Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

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Barrel Aged Sexual ChocolateBarrel Aged Sexual Chocolate

Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
North Carolina, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout brewed with organic cocoa nibs.

Added by LilBeerDoctor on 07-14-2009

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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 1,217
Photo of tewaris
3.06/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing... I can't remember exactly but I think it was Nils. Poured into a tasting snifter.

This is one beer I am not going to chase, ever! Looks lightweight, tastes weak, and feels thin. Perhaps it was the palate destruction but many seemed to agree that it was unremarkable in more than one way. Garnet-brown as opposed to black with some bubbles here and there (in its defense it was a small pour).

Contrary to expectations, the notes of chocolate/vanilla were weak. Taste was alright but what is the average barrel aged stout it should be compared to? I wouldn't even recall drinking this had I not taken notes, thoroughly ordinary.

4, 3, 3, 3, 3

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Photo of yourefragile
3.2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes, on draft at BASC 2011. I'm don't like regular SC, loved BASC 2010 so was optimistic about trying BASC 2011 (PvW barrels! woo?)

Pours a near black with a thin cream head, minimal lacing. Aroma is dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, tangy dark fruit, lots of booze, and roast malt. Generally very mild and bland. Flavor follows the nose, fruity and bourbon with charred and roast malt that isn't well blended with the barrel. Sorely disappointing after the 2010 sample I had, this reminded me more of some of DuClaw experiments at barrel aging stouts than a world class, refined example of the style.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle was from the September 2014 release.

A: Pitch-black pour. Tall, frothy medium brown head. Head dissipates pretty quickly.

S: Caramel and bourbon/oak aromas are there for sure.

T: VERY disappointed. I get none of the aroma in the flavor. Kind of bitter.

M: Med body. Wish it was thicker. Some alchohol.

O: SO disappointed with this. I expected alot of flavors that I didn't get. very underwhelmed by this.

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Photo of nicks6217
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage serve into a Bruery Tulip

A. Poured a dark cola like color with visible carbonation and mocha head

S. Vanilla, bourbon, baker chocolate and sweetness

T. This is were there was a major disappointment., The baker chocolate and char that I come to like from the base beer was not there and the barrel presence felt like a coke and jack that has been sitting over night.

M. Thin body and prickly cola like carbonation.

In my honest this opinion this was a notch above ba people porter which doesn't say much

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Photo of AgentZero
3.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a brown head. Didn't stay for long, some minor spots left on the sides.

S - Nice smelling beer. Touch of bourbon, decent chocolate smell, a bit of roast, vanilla and oak. Smells nice.

T - Taste is not as nice, it's too light on the chocolate, has a carbonated/coffee taste, and too much wood. It's somewhat boring as well a

M - Mouthfeel is too thin, beer is overcarbonated, not a positive aspect for this beer.

O - Not a great beer at all. Maybe the 2011 PVW version is better, but this is an average RIS at best. Didn't care for it, and not interested in acquiring another bottle.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very excited to try this beer and just as excited to share it with my buddy irishcolonial, as he takes a break from his bar studies.

A: Poured aggressively into a snifter. A half finger tan brown head quickly fades to a quarter inch ring around the glass. Wow, this beer is dark. Inky black. Impenetrable. Brown lacing coats the glass. This brew looks thick and cloying and I have a hunch it will be delicious.

S: Sweet, sweet bourbon! I feel like I'm sitting in a Pappy barrel right now. Wave after wave of bourbon emanates from my snifter. Delving my nose in further, I pick up faint coffee and an assertive dark chocolate presence. Creamy vanilla oak from the aging provides a nice foundation for the other delicious scents.

T: The bourbon isn't nearly as strong as the nose indicated, and leaves me a little wanting. Baking chocolate, roasted coffee, and a ripe dark fruit. The fruitiness is definitely a standout from other BA stouts I've had, but not sure it adds much here. This beer is thick and chewy, coats the palate and lingers. There is an odd tang to the beer, a tannic quality that really stands out as the beer washes over the sides of the tongue. Not overly acidic, but definitely an odd presence for this one, and not from the bourbon.

M: A little flat. Carbonation could use a step up. The tannic qualities really overwhelm the bourbon and the chocolate, flavors are more readily apparent in the aftertaste than they are when it initially hits the palate. Not bad, but could be improved.

O: Honestly, I've had better. I've recently tasted Parabola, Boris Royale, and Great Lakes BA Blackout Stout, and all were significantly better than this one. By no means is this a bad beer, but it's not particularly memorable, except for the hype that went with it. Eric said it best when he said "it's good, but even if this were available at the Total Wine down the street, I'm not sure I'd go back to get another". A disappointment, both in hype and in style. Try it if you can, but nowhere near worth what people are asking for it. I'm not one to judge other people's opinion, but the A rating this carries surprised me. "Tasting the rare", indeed.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.32/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at Sexual Chocolate 2011.
Pours a deep brown color almost black with a thin brownish white head and a little lacing. Smells of dark cocoa and coffee and roasted malts. Tastes like regular Sexual Chocolate with a little wood added in. Like big coffee and roasted flavors with hints of bitter chocolate and dark fruits with oak or some wood. Mouthfeel is oily and a little odd. Drinkability is okay. No better than regular Sexual Chocolate and not anywhere close to being as good as its hype.

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Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Opened a 2010 bottle a little while back. From notes.

Pours a very dark, black, with little head. The nose is very dark chocolate and some acrid burnt something or other along with the oak. The tannic quality of the oak and some sort of charred malt or baker's chocolate is ruining the flavor for me. Not enough of a sweetness to balance the bitterness. All of the group I was with apparently had this beer before and remember it to have been better. Regardless, there is some chocolate, oak, roasted malt and some mild bourbon/vanilla character. Big rich mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. I might be overstating it above, but this beer lacked that 'chocolate punch' the name would seem to imply, going with more of an acrid, bitter (not hoppy bitter) character from the barrel or overroasted malts or dark chocolate or something. The sweetness mentioned in other reviews was not present for this bottle, but would have been welcome. Didn't work for me, but maybe fresh its better.

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Photo of s1ckboy
3.51/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with about 6 months age on it.

A - almost pitch black, 1-2 finger brown head.

S - bourbon, hint of chocolate, coffee

T - bourbon, some chocolate, roast

M - Thin for the style, almost watery. Too much carbonation it washed away all the flavors. Dry finish

A bit of a disappointment after hearing so much about it. This is just an average BA imperial stout. Mouthfeel was too thin and it was over carbonated.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for sharing this, bottle into a Bells glass. Will people please stop hyping these damn Foothills beers? Sexual chocolate was not any good, barrel aging it certainly did not improve it much, if any...A super dark black pour that is lacking most carbonation...The aroma gets this off to a nice start that makes me think I finally found a good Foothills beer. The aroma is a touch to light but shows complexity that you'd think would be tough with some a chocolate dominated base, light bourbon, a touch of canilla, a chocolate all come through really balanced; the taste not so much. The taste is all wood, I might as well be licking a piece of fresh coat oak. All sweetness is gone, as well as the complexity.

Another let down.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.55/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the release event, July 16, 2011.

Pure back in the glass with a thin, creamy and cream colored head.

Soft bourbon in the nose. Bourbon is dominant but not abrasive. Also oak and roasty coffee and chocolate.

Like the nose, the flavor is very bourbon forward, although the bourbon is very smooth and gentle and not rough. I wouldn't call this a bourbon bomb even though bourbon is the primary flavor I get from it. I assume that's the effect of the 23 year Pappy barrels. Some other common BA stout flavors like oak, oaky vanilla, roasty dark malt, coffee, etc., but these flavors are all well mannered and don't jump out at me, nor do they greatly impress. Unfortunately these flavors fade into a weird aftertaste of medicine or cleaning fluid or something. Maybe this is due to the intermingling of various flavors on my palette and not just the beer, but no matter how much I drank, or how much water I drank, I still got the weird aftertaste. Sans the aftertaste I'd give this a 3.5 instead of a 3.0.

This is a decent barrel aged stout but it's nothing special really. The bourbon notes are very well integrated and gentle, which is good, but the base beer just doesn't stand out as anything special. When you take a pretty average imperial stout and age it in cool barrels, you still only get a pretty average barrel aged imperial stout. Some people seem to really love any stout with big/good bourbon flavors, but I want a lot more than that from a bourbon barrel stout. If I just want bourbon flavors, I've got plenty of top shelf bourbon in my liquor cabinet. I want a balanced beer with other great and interesting flavors, and aside from some nice vanilla and oak, I'm not really getting that here--it's good but not great.

EDIT: Based on other reviews and feedback from friends, I'm guessing the weird cleaning fluid aftertaste I was getting was more due to what I had been drinking before this beer and not the beer itself. I've raised my ratings a bit accordingly.


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Photo of dragonWhale
3.56/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

big thanks to my man for hooking it up. a necessary beer for the Wood Aged Weekend, and on short notice, it came through.
beautiful and black, writing suggestively in the glass. i eagerly await to devour her.
big chocolate, some vanilla, and a lot of fusel alcohols - bourbony. the chocolate totally dominates this beer and then the bourbon kicks in. I was actually hoping for more vanilla, kind've a bit more of a swirl mix bringing some heat, but it was not the case. Not bad, just not as insane as I thought it was going to be here. A good barrel aged beer.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.62/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

The pour is dark brown in color, but it is noticeably thin from the pour. A light brown or ruby meniscus.

The aroma is full of dark chocolate and Pappy. The aroma blends well together, the sweet dark chocolate and the dryness of the oak and Pappy is an interesting effect.

The flavor starts sweet, with lots of milk and dark chocolate. As the sip continues, the Pappy comes into play, adding a warming sensation to the stomach. Roasted malt, some espresso, and a bit of vanilla add some depth. The chocolate and Pappy really control the flavor, though.

The body is a little bit lighter and more watery than I would like in my barrel aged imperial stouts. Overall I felt it was fairly smooth, with a proper medium carbonation and an alcohol presence that stayed in the background.

Overall I found this to be an above average beer. When compared to other top tier barrel aged beers, though, it does not compete.

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Photo of Treebs
3.7/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage. Thanks to jportillo for the share. 22 oz bottle served in a Firestone Walker mini snifter.

A: Pours a dark black color with a dark tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves some splotch lace down the glass.

S: Smooth bourbon with a just a touch of heat. Sweet caramel barrel notes with some dark chocolate. There is some minimal char in the periphery as well.

T: The taste wasn't as nice as the nose. The chocolate notes weren't as prevalent. The bourbon was upfront with an oak backing. Light roasted malts as well.

M: Medium light bodied with a smooth and medium carbonation. Slightly charred oak finish.

O: A little thin and light on the flavors. Overall it was nice, but slightly overrated in my opinion.

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Photo of beagle75
3.71/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with less than one finger of diminishing beige foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Oatmeal and raisins are identifiable. Qualities of the smell are familiar and endearing at first, but get repetitive. Slight coffee is also detected, but alcohol is not.

T: Begins off-dry, with dark chocolate, bourbon, and lesser dark fruit. Moderate acidity develops into the middle where dryness increases while spirit fades before much oak can emerge. The finish is moderately bitter, with lingering dark fruit.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly acidic and warm on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Pleasant in its chocolate quality, but without much bourbon influence beyond the initial burst of flavor to distinguish it as the value-added version of this imperial stout. Not the most well-rounded representative of its style, but hardly a dessert beer.

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Photo of fredmugs
3.71/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 version. After wanting to try this for several years I was greatly disappointed. Very little barrel. It's decent enough but certainly not worth waiting in line and paying $20 a bottle for.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/22/2009. Draft. Pours black with a tan head. Aroma of bourbon and chocolate. Flavor of bourbon initially with a fudgy chocolate finish. Pretty good for a barrel aged beer with a mellow bourbon flavor that blends well with the base beer. Nice beer.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottled June 26, 2011. Served at cellar temperature. Thanks to Ryan for working out a trade for this sought-after beer!

Pours dark brown to black with a one finger brown head that recedes to a wispy cap and small ring leaving some spots of lacing behind.

Initial aroma starts with bourbon, vanilla & charred oak, and a strange vegetal/cherry tomato kind of smell. This, luckily, doesn’t last long as soon it opens up to include dark fruits of cherries, dates, raisins, plums and figs, also some roasted malt, chocolate, cola, grassy/herbal hops with some mustiness. The one constant is that the bourbon is the star and it’s some good stuff too. Very good strength.

Flavor is vanilla and chocolate, oak, bourbon, some toffee and caramel, cherries and dark fruits, some smoke/char, citrus hops towards the finish, some bourbon warmth at the end. Moderate sweetness. Also kind of has some Cherry Coke-like qualities.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied but a bit thinner than I expect for an Imperial Stout, rather sticky with very active scrubbing carbonation.

A good barrel aged Imperial Stout, but disappointing none-the-less due to the hype/availability. Ultimately comes across as a bourbon barrel Chocolate Cherry Coca-Cola. Kind of. I dunno. This is sort of all over the place as at times it is great, other sips are good, and then sometimes smells/tastes/feels mediocre. I don’t think I’ve ever edited/tweaked/changed a review so many times before.

Glad to have tried it but I’m also glad I didn’t get up at the wee hours of the morning and stand in line for it. Good, if not very good, but not in the top-tier of barrel aged brews.

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Photo of HeartofMiami
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage, kept refrigerated. Pours dark brown with thin tan head. Smell is chocolate malts and bourbon. Taste is simple dark malts, bourbon without much heat and hints of wood and molasses. Not complex although slightly better as it warmed up. More carb than I like in a BA stout

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Photo of HopHead84
3.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


2011 vintage. Bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black with a big creamy tan head. Lacing is left all over the glass.

S: A blend of milk and dark chocolate with brown sugar. The bourbon smells really good, it's not overpowering or feeble, it's well integrated and just right. Vanilla wafts from the glass with each swirl. Malt is charred.

T: Dark chocolate with an earthy bitterness. Oak melds with bourbon and brown sugar. Malt has a prominent roasted profile. The flavor doesn't match the quality of the aroma, but it's still pretty good. The finish a bit boozy and charred.

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is chewy and sticky.

Overall: The aroma is really nice, but the flavor doesn't match that quality. By no means is it bad, rather it's a bit muted. Okay to try but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 9/17/12

With much appreciation to PDXHops

2011 Vintage

A) A dark brown that looks black in the glass. I was able to get about a finger's worth of foam easily, but it doesn't hold long. Wispy retention and a few strands of lace.

S) I like the aroma on this one; it smells close enough to s'mores (at least initially) to tickle my fancy. Roasted chocolate is held in check and there is a decent crackery grain note that blends in with damp oak. I reckon the vanilla overtones from the barrel account for the marshmallow notions. Actual bourbon tones are faint.

T) Bourbon leads things taste-wise but it is a very tangy kind of bourbon that is not front and center for long (though some carries over to the finish). Charred oak comes next leading to a tangy roast. Chocolate comes in with some dark roasted grains.

M) The body is almost velvety smooth; a medium sort of feel. However, carbonation is too high for such a calming feel to be realized fully. Slight graininess on the finish.

D) Overall, this one is pretty solid. The barreling seems a bit on the young side, though.

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Photo of fiver29
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Josh. Thanks! Pours black with tan head. Aroma was chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and coffee. Medium mouthfeel. Flavors followed the nose and all seemed subdued. They were there but not what I was expecting. I wonder how long the beer aged on the wood. It could have used more time.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by nickd717. Thanks Tick.

A: Pours a translucent, maybe even clear, cola brown with very short-lived beige head. It vanishes literally in seconds, making me wonder if the cap leaked and the beer lost carbonation in transit.

S: Very aromatic. An emphasis on caramelly bourbon and cocoa, progressing into tobacco / smoke (just a hint of cigar, really), toast, oak, vanilla. The barrel trappings are there without being too dominant, and the result is a vivid bouquet.

T: The taste falls short of the very promising nose. Here, the emphasis is on smoke, tobacco, and earth. It doesn't have the thrilling caramel / bourbon / vanilla combination that made the nose so wonderful. Roasted malt, chocolate, maybe a touch of anise are noted.

M: This is the beer's biggest flaw. The regular Sexual Chocolate is on the thin side for an imperial stout, and I just don't think thin stouts fare well in a barrel. The result here is a beer that lacks viscosity (not necessarily a dealbreaker) and also presence (a dealbreaker); it falls quickly off the tongue and vanishes from the palate. Carbonation is low, so it's not the scrubbing power of the bubbles to blame.

D: I think these guys know their way around a barrel; if they put in a heftier beer, I could see this being top-notch for the style. I like this one but I'm more impressed by the promise than the execution.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An awesome installment of Tuesdays with Doopie a couple weeks back. This was great man. Thanks for breaking these babies out, and cheers to John for sending them over.

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2011 PvW barrel
Note: Drunk right after the base beer. Comparisons drawn.

APPEARANCE: Black pour yields a one finger, medium looking tan head with decent retention, fading down to a wisp and ring. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Same as the base beer, but a touch less visible carbonation.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on the nose. Oak and vanilla, bourbon, and some faint chocolate notes. A bigger nose on this one, but it’s quite barrel heavy. Nice, but the chocolate notes are a little outgunned here.

TASTE: Very bourbon heavy again. The PvW barrel has come out in full effect. Bold flavors with lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla. The barrel dominates right though the middle into the finish, with a touch of caramel at the swallow. A bold and lingering aftertaste is almost all barrel with a touch of bitterness and some pure chocolate well after the swallow. The flavor is great, though it is now quite one-dimensional with very little of the wonderful base beer to be found.

PALATE: Same as the base beer. Medium body, lighter on the palate for the style, and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a burn after the swallow and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Fine, but a little too light on the palate for the style.

OVERALL: This is definitely a great barrel aged imperial stout. It is not, however, a great barrel aged Sexual Chocolate. If that makes any sense. The great story the base beer told, what with the sweet and roasted beginning and the bitter, chocolate overloaded finish, just gets totally drowned out here by the bold and albeit wonderful flavors of the PvW barrel. They could have put any base stout into the barrels and it would have turned out the same, so they should have bottled more of the base beer and got it into more hands. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of PvW barrels, you will love this beer. I loved it for sure, but wish it had been more of a barrel aged Sexual Chocolate. This was an awesome beer night though, so thanks heaps for making this happen Doops. Thanks to John again as well.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the "King of Beers" Todd for sharing this one.

Poured into a 5 oz. taster glass. Not a proper vessel for reviewing appearance, so my rating for this category is adjusted to create an accurate overall score.

Pours a deep brown with a crimson hue. The aroma is bakers chocolate, oak, vanilla, and a bit of lip gloss.

The flavor is rich and chocolaty with vanilla and toffee. Some metallic notes.

The body is thin and there is high but appropriate carbonation.

I hate to say it, but could this be a bit buggy? I don't know, but the thinness and light metallic notes definitely detracted. Nonetheless, it was quite solid overall.

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Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,217 ratings.
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