Smuttlabs The Stallion Red Wine Barrel Aged | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
4.2/5
Exceptional
81 Ratings
Smuttlabs The Stallion Red Wine Barrel AgedSmuttlabs The Stallion Red Wine Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
smuttynose.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged in red wine barrels

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,121
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
81
pDev:
5.24%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
7
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of CraftFan5
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of EMV
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tall bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. 2016 edition cellared for nearly 2 years.

L: Inky black pour with 1 finger of brownish head. Falls fast... modest solid rim of lacing. A bit of burgandy around the edges as you hold it up to the light.

S: Dark fruit and red wine. Mild tartness and roast.

T/F: Roasted grains... strong red wine presence as expected. Oak and slightly tart. Not a lot of sweetness which isn't a bad thing. Dark fruit and mild cocoa. Medium to thick bodied.. becomes fuller/richer as it warms. A bit boozy but not overpowering.

O: A solid red wine barrel aged stout... a big sipper... good flavor and the red wine works well with the beer. Still super after 2 years in the cellar.

 733 characters

Photo of LeRose
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in January 2016.

Pours thick, oily, and as close to black as can be. The head was soapy - big bubbles that fell to a mocha-colored ring and a few floaty rafts that lasted for the duration.

The initial smell was rich, fruity red wine. This was quickly complimentred by coffee, chocolate, sweetness like brown sugar, tobacco, vanilla, oak. Very interesting combination and pleasing.

The taste flips that a bit. Opens more with the coffee notes, but the wine characteristics roll right in with the fruitiness and tannins, a bit of tartness. Swett...yep...but not overly so. A bit of vanilla, and a swett/bitter chovolate on the end as the taste fades. Nice lingering flavor.

The feel is not as heavy as the visual suggests. It is drying, but it also leaves a bit of tingle on the sides of the tongue. It us just a bit sticky on the lips. Minimal cabonation, but what there is gives just enough snap.

This is a very well-constructed stout. Layers of flavors wash back and forth and the wine character is certainly not in the back seat. This beer is worthy.

 1,065 characters

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Damian
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint .9 fluid ounces bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

Impressive appearance. The fuller bodied, dark brown/black liquid was topped by an immensely tight and creamy, finger-plus tall cap of tan colored froth. Solid retention. The head fell to a thick, lasting collar. Odd shaped patches of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was really interesting and unique. Powdered cocoa notes came through strongest. Big red wine and raisin presence. Fairly sweet. Aged port came to mind. Moderate amount of roast. There was a tart twanginess as well, which apparently was from the wine barrels. Lots of oakiness too.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was also very unique. Big roasted malt presence up front. Loads of red wine character and fruity tartness as well. Strong oaky barrel notes. Fairly tannic. Cocoa came through in the center. Some dark fruits too. Raisins were apparent. Touch of cherry. Notes of bitter roast lingered in the finish. Slightly ashy.

Nearly full bodied, frothy mouthfeel. Super creamy and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, moderate, tongue blanketing effervescence. By the drink’s end, the sugars in the beer left a sticky film on my lips.

Many of the infected barrel-aged stouts I have encountered in the past had a fruity twanginess to them, and The Stallion definitely reminded me of some of these. That said, this is a really interesting, boundary pushing imperial stout by the folks at Smuttynose. No matter the fate of the brewery, I really hope they still keep making this.

 1,589 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Tcsox
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mjw2808
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Greeneye
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Was given a bottle - thanks Krista!
This big beer pours thick and dark with a tall, thin brown head. The nose evokes wood, wine, toast and caramel. The taste is balanced and less boozy than I expected. Not as sweet as a Founders or a Fullers, this is a big beer that tends to the dry side. As you drink it, the alcohol comes to the front along with lots of chocolate and a little coffee bitterness.
All around pleasant, but, more of a sharing bottle than a solo pint.

 468 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to SawDog505 for this bottle!

A - Pitch black pour with a dense toffee colored lacing ring.

S - ALOT of sticky red wine/red grapes in the nose, almost dominating with some chocolate, delicate smoke, and char.

T - Red wine presence is significant right out of the gates and stays around until the very end where the char, oak, light smokiness, and chocolate takes over. Finishes with a lingering delicate smokey chocolate goodness.

M - Big and full bodied, silky, viscous, lip smacking sticky. Top of the tongue is incredibly dry while the sides of tongue water profusely.

O - This beer is way better than I anticipated. Would definitely try this one again.

 676 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheDoctor
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle
Date: Jan. 2016


A:
Pours a thick jet black with a lazy finger of soft brown head. Meh retention; a bit of lacing. (3.75)

S:
Roast malt and some wine barrel meatiness in back. Chocolate, molasses, winey oak, tobacco, cinnamon and brown sugar. (4.25)

T:
Rich coffee and toffee mixture, otherwise along the same lines as the smell. (4)

M:
Full body with light carbonation and a sticky finish. (4)

O:
Very nice stout.
It is sweet and big and thick. The wine brings something extra but doesn't overwhelm. As it warms the finish gains a little red wine which is nice but kinda changes the feel. There is a really nice toffee quality to the flavor and a nice roast profile to the nose. Nothing too spectacular, but still a little different and extremely enjoyable. (4)

 785 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Game of Thrones glass not sure when it was bottled near room temperature.Pours near pitch black with a 3 plus sticky light brown head, that leaves gorgeous wisps of lace behind as it slowly settles into a thin ring of tan bubbles.

Smell is cocoa nibs, roasted dry coffee beans, toffee, oak, vanilla bean, pipe tobacco, and a deep Red Zin.

Taste follows dark chocolate, roasty expresso, toffee, Oaked vanilla, pipe tobacco, and a very large hit of strong and dark red wine.

Mouthfeel is a slightly bigger than medium, moderate amount of life, definitely a touch dry, and drinks very easy for 9.7% ABV.

Overall this is a very nice and crazy drinkable Stout that really is complex and just an excellent all around Stout, that is extremely layered, only wanted a little thicker body.

 797 characters

Photo of Bogdawg
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ajdemma
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lobos62
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of FriedSlug
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, opaque brew with a short cocoa brown head. The aromas are amazing. Tons of chocolate, oak, red wine, toffee and coffee. Very sweet and lots of bitter coffee, dark chocolate and red wine with a woody taste. There is a nice bitterness at the end. This is a tasty brew.

 272 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Colter Bay in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a a fairly dark black, with a small light brown head, and no lacing.

This smells really tannic and oaky, with sweet red wine soaked chocolate, some light espresso, etc.

The red wine barrel works really quite well here, as the base stouts seems quite chocolatey, and the sweet fruity red wine works really well with that fudgy base. There's a lot of oak here, and it dries out the beer fairly nicely. This does feel a bit boozy, but nothing exceptionally distracting.

This is medium bodied, with a silky and creamy mouthfeel. This doesn't feel particularly "thick" but it's not thin, either.

I wish we saw more well done red wine BA imperial stouts- it's a combo that can produce some tasty and interesting results.

 771 characters

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This imperial stout aged in red wine barrels pours a deep pitch black color with a thin tan head. The smell is potent with dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso, alcohol, and a significant red wine scent as well. The taste is much the same, bold and pretty great, with dark roasted malts, earthy red wine, and dark chocolate as the primary flavors. Subtle espresso and alcohol notes also make an appearance with the latter lingering with the red wine flavor a bit on the finish. The alcohol presence isn’t remotely overwhelming and its presence is not surprising considering this is a big 11% beer. The body is of course heavy. I didn’t know how much the red wine barrels would influence the stout and the verdict is quite a lot. I don’t think red wine barrel aging will replace bourbon barrel aging for stouts any time soon, but with the latter becoming commonplace, I have to give this imperial stout props for creativity and for creating something that really works also. Not surprising since red wine and dark chocolate is a classic combination. The only stout that I’ve personally had that is remotely similar is Allagash Red Howes, but even that has quite a few differences. Maybe it’s not quite on the level of the best imperial stouts I’ve had, but it is one that I would love to have again.

 1,318 characters

Photo of N1Nkasi
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigSmooth12
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GregSemenza
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Smuttlabs The Stallion Red Wine Barrel Aged from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 81 ratings