George! Bourbon Edition | Mikkeller ApS

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George! Bourbon EditionGeorge! Bourbon Edition

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.12%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by crnipeter on 01-08-2011

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 107
Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beddachedda shared this one, I think?

Pours a syrupy pitch black, not far off from Mikkeller's dozens of other imperial stouts. A finger of dark tan head forms but doesn't last.

The aroma is heavy on charred, burnt malt, soy sauce, oak (but not necessarily bourbon) and black licorice. There's a faint smokiness in the background. Bourbon is integrated, somewhat buried beneath malt and oxidation.

Palate is acrid, burnt and oxidized. Quite a bit of soy sauce and oak, a touch of bourbon, dark fruit, some smoke and vinous notes. Oily, full mouthfeel. Smoky, acrid finish with a fair amount of booze.

Overall not exactly the most offensive Mikkeller beer, but not particularly enjoyable.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.22/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by Evan, I think (?). Thanks!

A: Pours an opaque black in the center with a light ruby translucence at the edges. Mocha head dies quickly into a small ring of bubbles that leave no lace or curtains.

S: This is a massively bourbon-dominated nose. Oak, vanilla, a touch of spice that makes me think of whiskey. The base beer shines through as a combination of roast, some soy, and coffee. Very European in the nose. I generally don't go for that, but it kind of works in this one.

T: European stout flavor, as well: it's very roasty, with a touch of soy oxidation, smoke, and dry baker's chocolate. Bourbon flavors come through later, without blasting through the base beer. It's only my bias against this particular approach to imperial stouts that prevents me from rating it higher. Plus, it's Mikkeller.

M: Low on carbonation. It's oily, slick, and it has a coating finish with some residual soy flavor.

O: The best part of the experience was hanging the bottle to largadeer and asking him to read the name out loud. He just took it and stared.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.67/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small dark tan head.
Nose shows bourbon, oak, spicy hops, roasted malt, cocoa and some booze.
Very similar flavours, more bourbon, roasted malt, espresso and booze. Pretty full on. A little brash.
Very syrupy body.
A bit too much booze.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.69/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to Kris for the bottle. Snifter.

A: This is an impressive looking beer. The body is as black as black can get. The hard pour yields three fingers of dark brown sea foam that linger for many minutes. Lacing is all over the glass. There are some alcohol legs left behind as well. This is about as good as a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout can look.

S: Lots of wood with a subtle spicy note. Bourbon blends with chocolate and roasted malt. There's some licorice in there and a dash of molasses. Roast is the most notable characteristic in the aroma, but the dark chocolate comes out as the beer opens up. I get a faint note of smoke as well. Strangely enough, there's an insistent oxidation note that reminds me of cardboard. There's a little milk chocolate as well. I'm starting to get some raspberry, which is unexpected but welcome.

T: Boozy dark chocolate with a moderate earthy bitterness and a little astringency. There's an earthy note in there with a little cardboard-like oxidation. Roasted grains and dark malts are dominant. Bourbon is restrained, hardly there really, but I get a decent amount of oak. The finish is full of booze, bitter dark choocolate, and roasted malt.

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, chewy, and smooth.

Overall: A beast of a beer. It's good overall, but doesn't stand up to the better barrel aged Stouts made in the US. It comes off as excessively roasted and a bit acrid.

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Photo of thepeter
3.74/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to MlhopeTC for bringing this to our tasting.
A - Poured a very dark Brown with a small but pretty brown head that left a little bit of lacing.
S - This is where the beer shined! Sweet brown sugar, vanilla, and Bourbon dominate with undertones of wood and a hint of smoke. There is a very subtle spicy booze aroma at the end as well.
T - First hits your lips with not all that much flavor. Some wood, and smoke, not too much to write home about. Then in the middle of your taste you get all the Bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla, truly wonderful if only for that brief moment. Then as it goes down the flavor all but disappears leaving a dry nutty after taste with a hint of tang in your mouth that is not overly pleasant. Mostly just not what I am looking for with the style.
M - another disappointment of sorts as it was much thinner than I would have guessed or wanted. medium bodied, decently carbonated but nothing to write home about.
O - A more than decent beer that just can't live up to others of the same style. My expectations were high and were not met. would i drink this beer again, Certainly! But I would not spend the money (which I did not have to in the first place, thanks Matt!) on it.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle poured into Surly Darkness tulip. I believe this is from the old batch that was bottled in '11 before it was ever imported. Consumed right after '14 imported version and '10 Swedish bottling.

A- Pours a motor oil black that appears completely opaque, a thin (<quarter finger) dark mocha brown head appears that quickly recedes, carbonation in between '14 imported bottling and non-BA '10 bottling.

S- Some light dark fruits, faint hints of bourbon, some light milk chocolate hiding in the background. Overall I think oxidation has gotten to this aroma and it isn't very aromatic, noticeably less aromatic then the '10 non-BA and doesn't quite have the barrel presence or complexity I was hoping for.

T- Smooth milk chocolate, hints of bourbon although blends in with the milk chocolate and doesn't make it's presence known too much, light dark fruits of raisins + cherries, finishes with noticeable oxidation, a slight paper taste, and a decent oak presence. Overall still contains some decent complexity although could be a little bit more flavorful with a more defined barrel presence.

M- The thinnest of the three so far, not much carbonation, has a similar slick feeling as the '10 non-BA bottling, very drinkable.

O- The '11 bourbon barrel-aged George was a slight disappointment, it seems like oxidation has gotten the better of this brew over the past three years. Any barrel presence has just about disappeared and oxidation notes have taken over even worse then the '10 non-BA version. This was still very good but it is my least favorite of the three bottles so far.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of bourbon and creamy black chocolate is quite powerful. Taste is quite dominated by bourbon notes with some semi-dry black chocolate and some light roasted malt. Body is extremely full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol per say thought it can somewhat be felt. Very tasteful and well brewed though bourbon is a touch too overpowering.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.01/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not a fan of the regular George so a little hesitant to try... the nose here is better as the regular was really too sweet, the bourbon really helps balance this out... the taste is also pretty balanced and balances out the bitter on the first with some nice vanilla and alcohol... much better than the first but not a world class ba stout

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Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex! Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, mocha head, thin collar, thin cap, spotty lacing.

S - Smells pretty okay, not much bourbon, chocolate, burnt sugars, yeasty sweetness.

T - Slight char but not off-putting, chocolate, slight booze but well hidden, slight bitter chocolate finish.

M - Full bodied, rich, smooth, creamy finish.

O - Very well done and much better then the regular George, I must say. Would def have this one again in the future. Recommend.

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Joint review with Brez07.

A: Dark all the way through. Small amount of cocoa head sits on top for about a minute before spreading out to a ring [oily thickness clings to the glass but killed any chance of lacing]

S: Barrel aspects come through in the form of oak, caramel and some bourbon. Dark chocolate, nuttiness. Distinct dark fruit (fig) notes [Very much a European/Belgian stout here, almost tart fruit notes, very very slight amount of soy, barrel treatment worked very well for the aroma]

T: Starts with chocolate with a nice underlying fig sweetness. Pretty roasty with some light coffee flavor. There is a little caramel in the finish to go along with roasted coffee [A bit oxidized along with some coconut flavors from the barrel]

M: Full bodied. Very smooth and creamy. Light roasted coffee lingers after each sip [Body is so thick carbonation is hardly noticeable, that said, it wasn't flat]

D: Super easy to drink. Very well balanced, very smooth. Alcohol is basically non-existent. Loved this beer, although it seems a bit tough to trade for [In a bigger bottle at a lower price, I'd probably try and drink this a few more times. But, Mikkeller being Mikkeller, this one is an ass-sore to acquire, glad I got to try it at least]

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Freud for setting me up with this gem. 25cL brown glass pry-top bottle. No date and no English on the label (imported into Quebec).

Pours super fucking thick...woah...with very little dark brown head. Nose is crazy dank and dark, whiskey, charcoal, smoked meat, soy, moss/earth, and straight-up smoldering wood.

Palate is hugely roasty and bitter from the hops, wood and presumably black patent malt. Charred earth, wood, tree bark, soy, umami, over-aged bourbon, black vanilla bean shells, roasted beef, black pepper and blackstrap molasses all over the palate. Finish is long but the bitterness keeps it from being cloying, just really smoky.

Notes: Wow, this is a hell of a beer. Reminds me a lot of Palo Santo Marron tastes like and I wonder if they -bal aged Palo if it would be similar? Glad this is a small bottle, this is a BIG fucking beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%

2011 bottle poured to Mikkeller gold rimmed Teku at Kulminator in Antwerp. Pours pitch black and thick with a small dark mocha head on top. Aroma of chocolate, anise, lots of roast. Flavor is chocolate graham cracker and lots of anise--more than I’ve had from other variants--some cardboard and roast. Very low on the bourbon flavor, but very smooth and easy. Smooth and rich bodied with low plus carbonation. Very nice brew, though don’t like this one as much as the cognac or base version.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to bman1113vr for sharing.

Pours an inky dark brown with half a finger of dark aburn/beige head. Massive coating legs.

Smells of raspberry, licorice, charcoal, hints of coffee, spearmint, toffee. Quite unique.

Taste follows smell. Raspberries, figs, black currant, licorice, spearmint, a nice peppery spiciness, good smokey notes, and toasty oak. Just lots of rich dark fruits and an interesting mintiness.

Mouthfeel is epic. Huge, rich, thick, viscous, nicely carbonated.

Very unique imperial stout. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bucketboy for cracking an 11.2oz bottle of this today during a really impromptu bottle share with shadesofgray and me. Poured into a tulip.

Pitch black, I can tell that this is thick and syrupy just by watching it pour. A very thin hot chocolate colored head forms and disappears into wispy bubbles very quickly. A swirl kicks up a dark oily film that remains on the glass and doesn't recede into the beer. Every sip leave a parabolic pattern of foamy bubbles suspended in the dark film.

The aroma is very muted, even with this beer barely down to cellar temp. A lot of tannic character here; mainly oak, along with some coffee, and a touch of peat with only a hint of American-style whiskey. The flavors are far bolder and more well-rounded than the characteristics of the aroma. Bitter chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasty notes all come through, balanced by bourbon that was hidden in the nose. This is definitely a sleeper of a beer.

The feel is thick, syrupy, full, and resinous. Only a little bit of carbonation to cut the texture lightens this up. Overall, the nose is a real disappointment, but the rest of the beer does what it can to pick up its slack. This beer is going to explode. Glad to have been able to try this one! Thanks, Joe!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viscous black pour with no head.

Heavily sweet roasted malt, strong dark fruits, caramel, smoke and some heavy oak in the aroma. Full of depth and richness.

Thick-ass mouthfeel. Dark acidic cherry and dark chocolate. A tolerable level of soy sauce. This beer is very rich and robust. Smokey barrel flavor. Loads of raisins, figs, and prunes. Leathery and tobacco-y. Alcohol doesn't come out that much. Extremely decadent, no wonder why they give you such a small bottle.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe, thanks! Served in a snifter. At the time of this review, this is #32 on the "Top Beers - American Double / Imperial Stout" list and #7 on the "Top Beers - Scandinavia" list on

Beer is black with a thin dark brown head of small bubbles, haloed, pulled to the glass, some lacing, low carbonation, low retention, it looks heavy in the glass.

Aroma is smoky and sweet with a mild spice to it.

Beer is oaky and smokey with a nice grain bitterness finish from a lot of roast. The barrel is a little lost in here but this is a big complex beer. Lots of chocolate and smoke with a nice finish. I"d have it again.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black into a snifter with a sensible, rich mocha head. Nose is some, light roast, some very rich, dense dark fruits, peat. Roasty and a little bit hot upfront, a nice coffee really opens up in the mid palate and more alcohol heat comes through on the back. Fairly sweet and quite rich. Bourbon influence definitely on the finish. Perhaps a savory, salty note to play with the rich, sweet flavors. Barrel-aged figs. Good stuff, thanks Chris!

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Photo of ImperialStoat
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque black with an inch of mocha head that quickly dissipates to half of that.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, alcohol, fermented bananas.

Taste: Bitter chocolate and tannic oak, followed by a rich vanilla-chocolate sweetness. It ends on a warm breath of alcohol. There's also a subtle vinous quality throughout.

Mouthfeel: Thick with minimal carbonation.

Overall: There's none of the intense bourbon character found in the more decadent American BA stouts here, but this is a very good, and surprisingly balanced, imperial stout.

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Photo of rarbring
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black and oily, a really brown head, a high head, leaving little lacing but with heavy curtains.

The smell is very vinous, a dry pea presence, dark forest fruits, soy sauce an a dash of coffee.

The taste is sweet brown sugar, coffee and dark chocolate, and some spicy coconut.

Light carbonation, oily, thick and soft, a light dry finish.

This is a stout with everything extra added, but it does not cross the line.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to dgilks for trucking one of these up for an in-person trade at the Portland International Beerfest. What an appropriate setting for a Denmark beer to be exchanged by an Australian to myself. Loved the Tactical Nuclear Penguin t-shirt you were wearing Dave. Split three ways with TulipSnifter (my wife) and black13 (who hosted us one afternoon) and enjoyed on our host's back patio during some gorgeous slightly overcast Portland summer weather. Paired with some great oatmeal chocolate chip cookies baked by black13's wife. Back story aside, onto the review.

A: Black body with very dark brown edges. A solid thick cappuccino cap with larger bubbles at the edges. Moderate lacing is surprising given the high ABV and some glass staining is evident too. It actually reminds me of Hunahpu. I gave Huna the perfect score here, so... 5/5

S: Heavy on the dark fruits. Raisins are readily apparent as well as some sweet cherries. Nice secondary characteristics include some of the Bourbon, Belgian yeast esters (banana, clove, fresh bread), and rich dark chocolate. 4/5

T: Very we'll balanced mix of plums, earthy cacao, cinnamon, sweet caramel (Misty mentioned Riesen candies), good Bourbon, and again with just a hint of banana. Nothing dominates here. Just a few days prior I had Stone's BA IRS. That was all about the barrels but this is all about depth and complexity. It's interesting that two beers can be in the same category but vary so widely. While I freely admit that I have a typically American palate and prefer my BA stouts to be more barrel forward, I do have to appreciate just how nuanced and provoking this is as well. 4/5

M: Thick but not too thick, low carbonation but not too low, appropriately long finish for a beer this size. I have no qualms here. 5/5

O: Very good beer. As far as Belgian styled stouts go, this is among the best I've had. It cost $20+ for an 8.45oz bottle. Is it worth the money? Probably not, but money aside, I'm truly glad to have had the chance to try it. 4.5/5

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Photo of danieelol
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Motor oil.. Midnight black body, the head looks like chocolate milk.

Smell is a lot of gingerbread, honeycomb. Lots of chocolate. Bit of goat cheese. Tiny bit of roast coming through. Shiraz. Yer, definitely get the barrel.

Taste is massive doses of chocolate. Red wine and bourbon. More gingerbread and honeycomb. Roast and sweetness. Mouthfeel is nice- roasty and bitter and a bit thin and dry. Dehydrating in a wine-like way.

Overall a highly complex beer which accomplishes all it claims to.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stemless globe.

Huge thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

One of the more entertaining labels I've seen in some time. The beer within pours a bleak black-brown topped by half-finger (at best) of dark-ish tan foam. The nose comprises oak, whiskey, roasted malts, light char, and plenty of dark chocolate. It coats my nostrils in such a pleasant way... The taste brings in more of the same, with more roast, more cocoa, and a slightly bitter touch of coffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a damn fine barrel-aged stout, one that drinks way too easily for such a small and hard-to-come-by bottle. Good times.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again another stellar brew sent over from MrKennedy. This beer poured out as a rich oily black beer with a thin creamy looking brown head on top. The retention lasts for a little while but faded by mid glass. There was an in brown tinge that the beer leaves on the glass after each sip. Incredibly thick looking beer. The smell of the beer is boozy, it's loaded with rich roasted malt aromas as well has some bourbon and even some maple sweetness in there. The taste is rich, it's heavily roasted, with some sweet burnt sugar notes as well has chocolate in there too. The mouthfeel is like syrup, it's sticky, and sweet, gently carbonated and heavy. Overall this is a massive beer and it's very impressive, the flavors just linger on your tongue for so long. It was very enjoyable.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, with glints of colour up to the light. Head is a good, deep umber, like whipped milk chocolate. Dense and creamy in consistency, leaving lacing that looks great. Dark, brooding and wonderful.

Smells spicy and roasty, with a good belt of a tartness as well. Nutty caramel, peppery shiraz and a minerally note as well. But yeah, that syrah note is really prominent and adds a massive boost to an already pleasant spicy, stouty aroma.

Taste is similar, but it seems a little weaker. Roasty and sweet for the most part, with some dark caramel and malted grain, that develops dark, charred wood and peppery spice, a hint of capsicum and a touch of sumac. Then on the mid-palate gets that organic fruity note, a touch of syrah, but it has more of a late-harvest character now, more sweet but at the same time a touch more refined, as if it's gotten pure fruit character in there with less fermentation. All very enjoyable, though, but I do feel it could still use more grounding. Sweetness is a very big part of this.

Full, complex texture, with nothing too thick. Does get quite dry at the back, and there's an unavoidable boozey note as well. Good, though.

Sweet, but with a great spicy dimension added, giving this a dynamic, enjoyable quality. Excellent beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mulder1010. This bottle has had a seriously long route getting to me, starting in Norway, eventually ending up in Australia and then finally arriving in Chicago. Served in a Närke tulip.

A - A half-finger of angry dark reddish mocha foam settles to a very thin cap, thin collar, and leaves behind spotty lace as well as a Hunahpu-esque brown film. Body is black. Quite similar to the base beer, but with a bit less head volume and retention.

S - The aroma was quite surprising. The fruity berry notes have carried over from the base beer, but the rich milk chocolate hasn't. Instead there is plenty of oak, candi sugar, dark fruits, dark chocolate, light smoke, and moderate bourbon flavor, but thankfully little in the way of overt alcohol. There's some light anise as well when it warms up as well. The barrel character is quite unique and very atypical of "bourbon-barrel" beers - I'm curious what type of barrels were used here.

T - The taste is also not what I anticipated. The first flavor that came to mind was smoked bacon. However, unlike some other Mikkeller offerings the flavor comes at the front of the palate instead of in the finish. As it warms up the smoke character is joined by dark fruits, vanilla, fruity ale yeast, roasted grains, and a hint of espresso bitterness. Finish is more barrel-oriented with tannic oak and a light whiskey bite to it it.

M - Full-bodied, well-hidden alcohol, chewy and viscous. Lower in carbonation but appropriate for the style. Some light warmth, but less than expected for the listed ABV. Lightly tannic and dry in the finish.

D - A very nice brew, although I'm not sure I greatly prefer it to the base. They're both such vastly different experiences that it's hard to make direct comparisons. I found the barrel-aged version to actually be more drinkable, as it blunted some of the signature Mikkeller char and burnt flavors from the finish. I could easily drink a bottle of this on my own (even though I shared this one with a friend). Definitely one of Mikkel's strongest offerings.

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George! Bourbon Edition from Mikkeller ApS
4.34 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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