Bad Knees Blanton Barrel Aged Old Ale | Cambridge Brewing Company

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28 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by u2carew on 05-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the barley wine festival. Reviewed from notes. 2011 vintage in Blantons

A - Poured into a snifter a hazy dark chestnut hue, thin head that fades to leave a light thin halo.

S - Aromas of big dark fruits, raisins, leather, bourbon, nice caramel, light barrel and vanilla.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, good raisins, earthy, nice bourbon, good caramel, vanilla, very nice sweetness balanced by oak. Nice dark fruit and leather.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, creamy mouthfeel, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this was a well crafted to the style with great bourbon notes. Well done.

Serving Type: On Tap

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Kmlund
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Jslay013
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Gushue3
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of lucas1801
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of chugalug06
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of pcarney8
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Reagan1984
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ctrevino
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of woosterbill
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at the brewpub.

A: Cloudy plum body, only a thin ring of tan head. Average.

S: Huge bourbon presence - whisky, vanilla, oak, and spice. Some almost tart dark fruit underneath. Excellent.

T: Opens with gigantic whiskey - rather raw - and closes with lots of fruit: figs, grapes, strawberries. Hugely boozy finish. Harsh, but flavorful as hell.

M: Lively , almost spiky medium-full body. A bit much.

O: As much as I enjoy big bourbon-barrel Old Ales, this one was just over the top - too fruity, too boozy, not terribly well integrated. Still enjoyable to drink due to its abundance of flavor, but not as good as many other examples of the style.


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Photo of aorloski
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Auror
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of GuidedByBill
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Pahn
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beer is a hazy ruby red-brown color with a finger of off-white head. The head fades down super sow leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of dark fruits, brown sugar, and oak. There is also just a touch of subtle hops and lots of rich caramel.

T - Starts out with lots of rich dark fruit flavor and rich caramel. There is also some brown sugar as well. Through the middle, stronger dark fruits and some oak and vanilla flavors come through. The finish is a mix of rich caramel and dark fruit with a bit of booze that lingers.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels thick and kind of syrupy. The beer also warms the mouth as it finishes from the booze.

D - Very drinkable. Heavy, rich, and complex, but still very well balanced. The booze and barrel flavors are nicely mixed in.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CBC 6/3 (and again 6/5). This one was served in a snifter.

Bad Knees pours a deep brown color that's reminiscent of tobacco. There's about two fingers of khaki colored head that dissipates rather slowly and leaves some thick rings of lace clinging to the glass. The nose is a malt lover's paradise, it's redolent of brown sugar, vanilla, and marshmallows. The flavor takes all that and manages to up the ante. There are additions of toffee and a wonderfully delicate note of bourbon. Maybe it's the integration of the brown sugar, but the marshmallow flavors tastes slightly toasted. I'm a sucker for English Barleywines and Old Ales, and this one has easily the best flavor of any I've tried. I'd give it a 6 out of 5 if I could. The only chink in the beer's armor is the mouthfeel. The body isn't as rich and full as I'd like to see from such a big, malty beer. At the same time the carbonation is a bit too much, actually becoming a minor distraction at times from all the wonderful things this beer has going on. Despite the mouthfeel issues, Bad Knees is one of my absolute favorite beers, and one I can only hope CBC decides to bottle at some point in the future.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at CBC, served in a snifter

A: Dark brown, very thick, about a half inch of off-white frothy head. No lacing.

S: Rum, dark fruits (dates, raisins, plums, etc), toffee, slight chocolate. Very boozy nose.

T: boozy rum immediately destroys the palate and as it settles down the other flavors come through. Tons of dark fruits with really nice depth (not often do they all seem separate, yet blended). Huge toasted malt base with a lot of toffee, caramel and some chocolate. There's a good bit of oak and some vanilla. Tiny floral hop character near the finish. Very sweet and boozy finish.

M: Thick and creamy, low to moderate carbonation, coats the palate nicely.

O: I really loved the depth and complexity of the flavor profile, but it was just too boozy up front. It was literally straight Rum on the front end that faded to an awesome collection of flavors. If the heat and rum-flavor were toned down a notch and it wasn't quite so sweet, It would probably be an easy A. As it is, it's just a little too much. It's almost frustrating, I know there is an awesome awesome beer in there, but you have to work through all the booze and rum to get there.

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Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid offering from CBC during the 22nd Anniversary Party.

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown black with minimal crown in my sample glass but some lace.

Smell: Dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, and some Buffalo Trace notes.

Taste: Same as nose. Solid.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick and on the heavy side of medium bodied.

Drinkability: Fairly sessionable considering it is strong enough to give you bad knees on the walk home.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bad knees pour a cloudy brown, and is topped by a thick, brown head that fades to continuous film coating the side of the glass with lace. The aroma is very boozy with woody, and vanilla notes. There are sharp notes of fruit, and swirling brings out the malts: caramel, dark fruit, and molasses. Smells very nice.

There's a sweet malt backbone throughout that's reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel. Dark fruit predominates, with some caramel, and molasses. The finish has a bit of booziness, sharp fruit and a bit of warming alcohol. A little sweet overall. Bad Knees is medium to full-bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

I though that this beer was decent. Overall it a little too sweet, though the alcohol was well hidden.

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Photo of F2brewers
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at CBC

A: Approximately 1/2 finger of tan/off-white bubbly (as opposed to creamy) head that settled out to a fine layer of continually refreshing fine bubbles in 2-3 minutes. Clear deep brown body with some lighter elements around the edges when held up to the light. During consumption, this left only a faint lace which slides down the side of the snifter and back into the body of the beer.

S: Huge malt on the nose up front. Hints of caramel and toffee in the background with perhaps some chocolate. This beer was aged in used Utopias barrels which may have contributed to those scents.

No noticable hop smell which is consistent with the style.

Aged in Buffalo Trace barrels which, in my experience, do not lend the strong, overbearing bourbon nose so often found in barrel aged beers. The nose from these barrels is balanced with the rest of the beer.

T: Strong sweet malt up front which fades to rich dark fruit (plums, figs) and the same toffee/chocolate flavors suggested by the nose.

The barerl aging lends a fine level of complexity to this beer with a number of different layers of flavor that play together well with only a hint of bourbon. Although the beer is not hot, the alcohol is present in the taste.

No hop presence is detectable, but there is a lingering slightly astringent aftertaste

M: Carbonated slightly more than might be expected for an old ale given that it is on draft. This lightens the body a bit (still medium/heavy body) and brings out more of the smell and flavor as the beer warms. This beer left a slight, plesant slickness on my tongue.

D: A fine example of this style of beer. A sipper for sure and not a beer you would normally drink more than one/two of given the generous serving size. That said, would I like another? Sure...

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Photo of CaptYellow
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, at CBC, 27May2010.

Next to no head; leaves whisps around the edges. Reddish in color with brown. Smells malty, strong and high in alcohol. Medium-full mouthfeel. The beer is delicious making it highly drinkable- one sip at a time.

I'm reviewing this to mention that my parents also tasted this and thought it was great- perhaps the best beer the had ever had. I toured breweries that week and this may have been the best beer I had among the thirty or so. I'd like to seek this one out the next time I'm in Boston. And the brewpub was good too.

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Photo of bceagles39
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at CBC on Monday May 10, 2010.

Dark brown color. Head went away quickly but still left good lacing.

Vanilla / woody smell.

Super sweet taste. Light and almost chocolately. Reminds me of a barleywine.

Highly drinkable and very enjoyable.

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Bad Knees Blanton Barrel Aged Old Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 28 ratings