Big Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel
Voodoo Brewery

Big Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy BarrelBig Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel
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American Imperial Stout
4.18 | pDev: 10.77%
Voodoo Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Big Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy BarrelBig Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 174 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PHBoiler
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with minimal head. Love the Apple Jacks forward nose on this beer. Some licorice and coffee roast alongside the oak and apple notes from the barrel.

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

Maybe it was the bottle but it had good flavor but it was a hot mess, tomy taste, it was quite unbalanced. Glad I only got a small pour when it was fresh but I'm sure it would've calmed down a bit by now.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caramel coated apple, chocolate underlying and some booze. Very interesting. Haven't had many AB barreled beers, but the slight fruitiness takes this into a different direction.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.11/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle.

Pours a still motor oil black body with a fizzy light tan head. Nose is dominated by brandy, light oak, roast and a touch of molasses. Body and flavor starts off well enough, with a silky soft mouthfeel and an initial sweet brandy fruit punch but then quickly thins out into a woody, harsh roast horror show. Much of the base stout is lost in translation here and even that would be ok if the liquor notes of the barrel wouldn't quickly become consumed by acrid roast and wood. Not good.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Just lighter than pitch black, no carb that shows. This one gums up the glass in a minor way. Actually is lacing, but so minimal to the eye.

S- Earthy malt backbone upfront, then the AB barrel shows, some toffee in there. Not really too complex here.

T- Kinda bland; like there is a void where some stout characteristics should show. The AB is present; I have seen people say that it is hot right now... dunno that I would say that, but I like my stouts hot when barrel aged. The apple brandy brings all of the flavor.

M- Pretty smooth, kinda harsh going down your throat; like a hot/warm feeling from a shot of bourbon. A little short on carb.

O- It was pretty good, I am glad to have tried it. I always love to see what AB does to stouts.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the Ithaca Luminous release, thanks stillmatic2232!

Pours opaque black, no light could go through this one, with a quarter inch of foamy, fizzy head. Lots of lacing in my travel coffee mug, ha.

Smells quite boozy, with lots of apple brandy, roasted malt, and chocolate.

Similar flavor. The apple brandy barrel flavor overpowers everything- luckily this flavor is quite good. Some roasted malt and chocolate flavor left, as well as oak and vanilla. The alcohol is fairly prominent, making this a pretty slow sipper.

Medium bodied, creamy, smooth mouthfeel, boozy and sweet finish. This probably would have benefited from additional aging. It was quite good, but a little boozy for my tastes.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.37/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this three bottle set as a complete surprise from hotpipes a while back. Thank you very much for putting this together and sending it over. Awesome of you!

From a bomber into a snifter
Bottled 25 January 2013
Bottle #425
Drank the Trace, Brandy and Pappy on consecutive nights.

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, fluffy, light tan head with very good retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a slight faint wisp and foamy, bubbly ring. A splotchy wisp and bubbly ring remain with some falling dots of lace down the glass.

SMELL: Brandy with vanilla, oak, caramel, butterscotch notes and some milk chocolate on the nose. Not boozy at all, and the butterscotch notes from the barrel work great in the bigger picture. Smells nice.

TASTE: Brandy, oak with vanilla notes up front, then some caramel sweetness and alcohol into the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of brandy, oak, caramel, some butterscotch and milk chocolate as well. Some alcohol and touches of ethanol as well here, but certainly not as rough as the Buffalo Trace variant. Solid.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Somewhat creamy on the palate, but a touch prickly as well, goes down fine and finishes relatively sticky. No burn at the swallow, but some heat lingers for sure. A touch light and prickly perhaps.

OVERALL: Much better than the Buffalo Trace version, but not quite as nice as the Pappy variant. None of these are world class, but this one is good. The butterscotch quality is what sets this apart from the other variants, and even the other Apple Brandy BA stouts on the market. Worth checking out, even if the full set isn't of interest to you. Thanks again hotpipes. Good stuff here.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.07/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle shared with Kyle and courtesy of Alex....thanks kindly to an awesome BA.

Look the part

Smells predominantly of apple brandy and booze and the taste follows suit. As someone who appreciates the base beer, there's not much here that's salvageable. What's here is boozy sweet apple brandy that's disjointed and haphazard and does nothing to even attempt at playing nice with plain jane ole' BBVD. Instead it flexes its barrel muscles and bullies its way into your glass and tasting places.

In a few words...really terribly disappointing. A decent and unique base beer that's rendered impotent and lifeless by a barrel that should, for all intents and purposes be a nice soul mate, but instead goes all Michael Keaton Pacific Heights-y. How do you like them apples Matty Modine?

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is brownish black with a light brown tight head. Nose is big, lots of brandy and wood with chocolate and some light malt sweetness. Brandy makes a hint sweet but nice nose. Body is thick but thins in the finish, creamy and a hint slick on the back of the throat. Flavor is roasty, gets a touch acrid, sweet whiskey and a fair amount of barrel.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looked much like its companions, opaque black in color, topped with a half finger of brown head that sank to a wispy layer of bubbles, dotting the glass with random lacing. Roasty aroma, dark malts, cocoa, toasted oak, light herbal and fruit scents. The apple brandy was a bit subdued, which I think worked well for this particular beer, balancing out whatever roastiness was present, flavors of oak and cocoa, with a slight twist of apple. Body on the fuller side of medium, mouthfeel not quite as robust as the Pappy variety. Nice overall, and I think all of these have aged enough...the time to drink them is [arguably] now.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 278.

Appearance - Viscous black. Not much of a head. A few bubbles at the edges.

Smell - Lots of apple brandy. Chocolate. Oak.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Sugary brandy. Bitter chocolate. Extremely oaky.

Mouthfeel - Sweet and very oaky. Kinda harsh.

Overall - The barrel doesn't improve upon the base beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.17.15
#005 1-25-13

A - Pours a very dark brown with a dark tan head that fades quickly to the edges.

S - Boozey heat, sweet, dark fruit, barrel.

T - Brandy, oak barrel, smokey, slightly sweet finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Sweet brandy, barrel tones, more mild on the tongue then expected.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz, Bottle #782, Bottle date 1/25/13
Mini snifter

A: Pours black as night. Very dark. Initially a thin layer of light tan head. Alcohol feet are there.

S: Dark fruits. Light on the Apple Brandy compared to Gran Met. Basically the roast had taken over that aspect. Smells of oak and dryness. Barrel.

T: Up front, roasted malts. Getting some of those dark fruits. Dark chocolate. Not so much vanilla or caramel due to AB barrel. Finish is dry. Lingering dark chocolate.

M: Bigt full bodied and chewy.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Amazingly, I found this beer on the shelf at a local bar! This was bottle #383, bottled on 1/25/13.

I poured this beer into a snifter glass. As expected, this beer has an opaque black body like an inkwell, with a sudsy, khaki-colored head that shows large bubbles, about 2 fingers high. No lacing is apparent, and the head disappears after a minute of crackling away.

The aroma of this beer is commanded by the barrel character, clearly exhibiting the apple brandy. This comes across as a sweet, fruity apple smell, mixed with powerful hits of alcohol. There really isn't much beyond this smell, even after it warms up to room temperature.

On the palate however, is a strong coffee-like roasted grain flavor, which is the dominant flavor. The apple brandy contributes a certain booziness to the flavor, and shows itself mostly in the finish with a signature brandy, vinous note. It finishes with some heat on the breath. The body itself is full (of course) but maintains good carbonation and never becomes cloyingly sweet. Towards the end of the glass, the beer becomes slick and smooth on the tongue.

This was quite enjoyable to drink, but I think that is because I like barrel-aged stouts. As far as where this ranks in the barrel-aged beer category, I think this is somewhere in the middle of the pack. The apple brandy barrel is an interesting choice, but in this case I felt the barrel character was TOO strong, and totally dominated the malty, roasted aroma of the base beer, and on the palate. Not a bad beer, but not something to seek out desperately.

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Photo of Davihaw
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opening this one for my 29th birthday! Poured into Bourbon County Snifter

A - Dark brown almost black with nice half finger brown head upon pouring. Head disappears and leaves nice little ring around the glass.

S - Molasses and chocolate. I can smell the booze in the nose as well.

T - Chocolate was the first smell and taste I had when sipping this beer. The alcohol is blended well with the flavors in this beer but it is still present. It is very sweet and I would love to see what another year or two would do to this beer. As the beers warms up the fruit characteristics become more prominent.

M - creamy and rich as it coats the entire mouth.

O - This beer was great! This is my first try on anything in this series. I will be seeking out the other variants!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, almost black. No head to speak of... small ring. Light amount of cling lace.

S - Boozy, soy sauce, wood notes.

T - Thick, chocolaty, soy sauce, alcohol pretty well hidden. Almost light smoky finish at very end.

M - Creamy, almost cloying, thick as all get out. Fair balance.

D - Enjoyed it. Can't do more than one. Not sure I can even do one. Overwhelming and high ABV.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pitch black, 1 finger of medium brown head. Good retention and lace.

Arms: booze, brandy, oak char, vanilla, dark fruits, cocoa.

Taste: brandy booze, plums, oak, chocolate , coffee, roast, vanilla.

Mouthfeel: chewy, full and rich, creamy.

Overall: a bit boozy smelling, but not as much in the taste, especially as it warms up.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz green waxed bottle (# 864) into a Brooklyn brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Heavy pour yields a 1.5 finger dark, coarse mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is pitch black with thick, oily legs. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent stick. Pretty.

Nose is booze, fudge, chocolate, ethanol, vanilla, and a bit of cocoa powder. Pretty aromatic but the Apple Brandy characteristics are all but missing.

Opens cocoa powder, roasted malt, chocolate, and a huge boozy bite. Some fudge sweetness in the middle with notes of prunes, sweet soy sauce, and raisins. End is bitter roasted malt and smoke. Finishes hot as hell. Aftertaste of cocoa powder and roast. Good complexity but this one's not sweet enough and its way too hot.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and slick in the mouth and goes down viscous and hot. Finishes super boozy with a lingering, course, sticky aftertaste. Super hot.

A decent beer overall but the flavors don't quite work here and the roast and odd bitterness really take over the experience. Again, good complexity but I really don't see this one getting any better with time. Even if the booze drops off.

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Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to browniewithnuts for shipping me a couple of nice Voodoo bottles. The Gran Met was astoundingly good, & the Black Magiks have been even better - now we go BBVD. The base beer is excellent, so I have high hopes. Green-waxed bottle #653, dated 1/25/13 on that cool, medevial-looking label, split with my lovely & tolerant wife.

Pour is VCR black with a next-room whisper of carbonation that's quickly gone. Nose is akin to a 1920's still, just a bam-boom of alcohol that kisses with a liquid fist - wow. Underneath the raw spirits is a fruitiness that I'll presume is the barrel, touch of chocolate, deep, wicked malts. Smells big, beastial.

Big Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel Aged is one of those beers that requires some thoughtful study to tease out what, on the surface, appears to be a black paint thinner. Breathes a lot bigger than 12% ABV. Hot alcohol backed by more alcohol from the apple brandy, which is subtle but welcome shot in the middle of the beer. Heat gives way to a bed frame's worth of oak, oak, & more oak that massages the tongue mid-palate. Ends with thick cocoa & the roast finally shows up. Viscous & heavy; its best attribute is feeling it lounging in my mouth. Thought I might want to take this bomber all by myself, now I'm glad to have a wing-woman.

Overall this doesn't live up to the others in the series, but that's only because they're all close to perfect, & that's a hard roe to fish. A very good beer that might benefit from some time in the corner to settle down.

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Photo of Zbeetleman
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks drbenzo for sharing.

Appearance - the color was dark and not much light getting through this puppy. Thin lacing of tanish bubbles.

Smell - so nice on the nose, vanilla, oaky, apple, a hint of chocolate maybe. Very nice smelling.

Taste - such a good flavor through all parts of the mouth. From front to back palate. Smooth, sweet, apple hints, mild on the boozy flavors. Well done.

Mouthfeel - nice and smooth, the bubbles were good for a barrel aged beer, not too much not to little on the carbonation.

Overall - it is a super great drink. I wish I had one more to age.

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Photo of mcgwire756
4.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

Dark as night with little head but a decent lacing. The smell is of strong barrel with apple and bourbon/brandy. Also has the smell of the standard Voodoo Daddy with strong chocolate but the hops have all but vanished. Near Perfect. The taste is exactly what I want with the barrel matching perfectly with a light chocolate batter cake taste. Honestly this is one of the best tasting beers I have had. The mouthfeel is cramy but not too thick. Again spot on. I would highly recommend this beer as long as you are not put off by the strong barrel characteristic in the smell which I prefer. One of my favorite beers that I have had.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber into a matching Barrel Room Collection snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin couple bubbles and spotty lavc. No head retention other than a thin film. A swirl brings back nearly a finger that is quick to dissolve.

The aroma is earthen with some notes of raw oak. Midway across the nose is cocoa, ash, char, roast and a solvent inclusion of alcohol. A faint brandy note evolves as the brew warns up. Overall a pretty pleasant smelling brew.

The taste is bitter roast. A plethora of baker's cocoa, oak and vanilla. A neutral sort of solvent alcohol is preset mid palate. The aftertaste has a minor note of pear or apple skin mixing with a hint of fruity alcohol that gets more intense as the brew warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It has a raw, nuanced barrel character but is overall nicely done. The neutral alcohol aspect is unfortunately solvent instead of the expected flavor of the type of barrel it was aged in. These BBVD treatments are subtle in their difference. It almost seems like they could have been aged longer to perhaps pick up a deeper or more concentrated barrel character. Regardless, these are worth trying.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

First bottle opened from the Barrel Room Collection release!

A: After removing the green wax and popping off the cap, the beer pours out black in color. The body is a bit more thin than I expected, and I can see through the beer at its edges. After a hard pour of around 5oz, a small amount of brown head builds up, but nothing remains after a minute or so. 3.5

S: The alcohol is really strong on the nose, much more so than I expected. I do get some apples, but overall it's a fruity sweetness that makes this beer distinct from its bourbon barrel aged brethren. Chocolate hides underneath, but this is all about the barrel. 3.5

T: The taste really improves as the beer warms, which I expected would be the case. The chocolate base is there, but isn't strong enough to carry through the brandy. The fruit is definitely prominent, as is the alcohol, but nothing really steps up and takes control of the beer. These somewhat disjointed flavors throw off the balance a bit. Certainly not as robust as Black Magick. 3

MF: The main issue with this beer is that it's too thin. It needs a more robust body to hold up the high amount of alcohol. The BBVD flavors seem to have dissipated sometime during the 15 months in the barrel. The carbonation was also a bit low. 2

O: This was a good beer, but not the level of greatness I was hoping for. I suspect the Apple Brandy Black Magick is going to be amazing though, as it should clear up the body issues I have here. 3.5

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Big Black Voodoo Daddy - Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel from Voodoo Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 174 ratings