Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #70
Ranked #1,000
4.33 | pDev: 8.08%
Apr 16, 2022
Jan 24, 2010
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: This hauntingly good brew in your hand is rife with dark complexities. Seven malts were used to create deep flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. A hint of bitterness and herbal character from carefully selected European and American hops help support the monolithic maltiness. After conditioning in stainless steel, the beer was transferred into bourbon barrels. For 8 to 12 months, Dark Apparition waited patiently in oak barrels until the time was right to spring forth with its ghostly gusto. A truly decadent brew that is intended to be poured into your favorite snifter and given time to warm up from it's dark and cool resting place.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Snowcrash000
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Snowcrash000 from Germany

Pours a pitch-black coloration with a small, fluffy head. Smells of slightly roasted, caramel malt, chocolate and distinct dark fruits, with notes of raisin and fig, as well as lighter molasses and Bourbon-soaked oak. Taste is a good balance of slightly roasted, caramel malt, milk chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit, with notes of raisin, fig and date, as well as well as lighter vanilla, licorice and tobacco, with a distinct presence of Bourbon and oak coming through as well. Finishes bittersweet, with a medium sweetness and some chocolate, dark fruit, brown sugar and Bourbon-soaked oak lingering in the afteratste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and light/ medium carbonation.

This makes for a rather a rich and complex Imperial Stout with distinct Bourbon accents, which is quite a bit too sweet and boozy for my personal taste though. The distinct milk chocolate, molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit notes all lean towards the sweeter end of the spectrum, while the much lighter roasted malt, licorice and tobacco accents are not present enough to balance this out in my personal opinion, while there's quite a bit of sharp, boozy bourbon in the aftertaste as well. Overall, after BA Oro Negro, this came as bit of a disappointment to me, not being well-balanced to my personal taste despite making for a rather rich and complex brew with a full body and mouthfeel.

Apr 16, 2022
Photo of augustgarage
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25
by augustgarage from California

2021 vintage - 13.8% ABV. Poured from a 375mL bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Seal to Van Dyke brown liquid with a rapidly dissolving tan cap. No lacing, thin legs, poor retention.

Toffee, vanilla, roast malt, and treacle aromatics. Maybe some faint cocoa as it warms. No fusels.

Dense, compact, chewy palate entry suffused with fudge, pipe tobacco, dates, and demerara sugar. Sweet, thin, with a bittersweet, earthy finish. Low hop presence. Neutral yeast.

Vaguely oily, not light yet thin, low carbonation, well concealed alcohol.

Delicious beer, a little sweet, with restrained barrel character. Has some qualities of a much older vintage than it is.

Mar 18, 2022
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

Dark Apparition – Bourbon Barrel Aged from Jackie O’s. 12.7 oz bottle purchased online (no record of from whom or when). Stored at 40 degrees after purchase. Reviewed 6/2/21. Note that I use DD/MM/YY protocol.
Bottle stamped on rear of label “2020”. Served at 49.1 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 56.1 degrees.
Appearance – 3.5.
First pour – Ruby Brown (SRM 24), opaque.
Body – Deep Brown (SRM 30), muddy and opaque. When rear-lite, same with precipitate, but top edge is olive and bottom is ruby.
Head – Tiny (Maximum 0.5 cm, aggressive center pour), mahogany, fizzy and no retention, disappearing in seconds leaving a 0.5 mm ring of bubbles and no cap.
Lacing – None, but at 12.8% ABV lacing wasn’t expected.
Aroma – 4.25 – Dark chocolate and ethanol predominate, no hops, no malt, no yeast.
Flavor – 4 – Dark chocolate is much weaker than the nose suggests, but still predominates. No hops, no yeast. Weak ethanol (12.8 % ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma. Mild gastric warming occurs. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl.
Palate – 4.25 – Seems thin for a RIS, smooth but short of creamy, barely noticeable carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4 Looks like a typical RIS or Impy stout. Aroma is mostly dark chocolate with some mediocre bourbon present. Tastes of dark chocolate and bourbon, not bad but not particularly desirable. Both aroma and taste seem simplistic for a BBA RIS. Cap seemed weak and flimsy, like it had been used previously.

Feb 06, 2022
4.27 by EdFed from Illinois on Jan 29, 2022
4 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 27, 2022
Photo of Sandis
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Sandis from Minnesota

2020 version poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a KBBS tulip glass. This beer is on the thin side but not to an extent where I'd downgrade much on that element. Lightly sweet with nice bourbon flavor. To me this beer tastes similar to some regular BCBS years but with flavor slightly more muted.

Jan 26, 2022
4.1 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey on Nov 10, 2021
4.52 by Ox8840bo from Illinois on Oct 02, 2021
3.8 by Resistance88 from California on Sep 22, 2021
Photo of oldmankoch
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by oldmankoch from Tennessee

Lots of incredible flavors. Really love this straight forward BBA Stout. I'm picking up cherry cola, fig, honey butter, peanut, chocolate, coffee, fluffy nougat, caramel, little bit of soiled earth, and char.

I've had many barreled beers over the years and this one makes the upper echelon.

Jun 25, 2021
Photo of zonker17
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by zonker17 from Texas

Great! Only issue was lack of carbonation. Very dark brown, no head. Nose of vanilla, bourbon,. Taste carries and adds coca nibs, booze, mild molasses. Big body and sweetness balances the booziness.

Jun 01, 2021
Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ThisWangsChung from Maryland

13.8% ABV.

Pours a very dark brown color topped off with a khaki-colored collar. The aroma is exactly as expected - the nutty, roasty, chocolaty, and slightly fruity character of Dark Apparition melds with the buttery oak and vanilla qualities of a decent bourbon barrel stout. However, the defined bourbon notes help it stand out from some of its more middling counterparts, without overpowering the base. On the palate, the barrel notes (again) do a good job of tasting like bourbon and not just generic oak. Vanilla, corn, and a little coconut open the flavor profile nicely, while the base notes (nuts, roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits) show up around the middle and end. There is a slight boozy kick on the finish, but hey, it's 13.8% and not overtly sweet. The alcohol presence is notable without being overwhelming. In general, it's a tasty and well-balanced barrel-aged monster. It's creamy and soft on the palate, and finishes dry when leaving the palate. In terms of body though, it's a hair on the thin side. Not enough to be distractingly insubstantial, though. All in all, an excellent barrel-aged brew. The only thing I can complain about: it's not a significant improvement over the regular version. Still, it's different enough to be worthy of anyone's time, and worthy of being sought after.

May 16, 2021
Photo of SawDog505
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by SawDog505 from New Hampshire

Poured into a 16 oz tulip glass vintage 2021 and 13.8% ABV this batch. Pours midnight black, with a finger brown head that settles fairly quickly leaving a few thin wisps of lace. 4.25

Aroma deep dark chocolate, char, back strap molasses, vanilla, tobacco, and oaked bourbon. 4.5

Taste follows dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla, char, tobacco, and a healthy dose of woody bourbon. 4.5

Mouthfeel is pretty big, soft gentle carbonation, a tad dry, and at 13.8% it is a sipper, but very complex and makes you want to sip it faster than you should. 4.5

Overall this one is very impressive. Reminds me a lot of BCBS but possibly even better. Thanks @jzeilinger for this amazing bottle. 4.5

Apr 26, 2021
4.17 by BeerBeast from Florida on Mar 14, 2021
4.43 by Jcoleman4 from Ohio on Feb 02, 2021
4.33 by GaryM6 from New York on Jan 28, 2021
4.47 by wroywel from Massachusetts on Jan 14, 2021
Photo of damndirtyape
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by damndirtyape from Ohio

12.7oz bottle, 2020 bottling, served in a snifter.

Appearance: Slow pour left some sediment behind. Black and letting no light through with a very thin tan ring of foam that died back. Some small strands and islands of lacing noted that would slide back down slowly after each sip.

Smell: Bourbon mostly, with some underlying hints of dark chocolate, oak, and a wee bit of metallic / bourbon sour mash.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt bitter finish. Yum!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy with just about no carbonation. There was a weak carbonation release when I opened the bottle. Warming from the alcohol at the finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Once again Jackie O's shows their strength at bourbon barrel aging, and the underlying stout is not lost with the aging. A definite slow sipping and savoring beer which I had all by itself, but, this would pair really well with grilled meat or a roast, and with several deserts. The alcohol, for as high as it is, is fairly well hidden. You can smell it and get a little bit of it in the mouthfeel, but otherwise the stout character remains. Well done.

Dec 12, 2020
Photo of rex_4539
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by rex_4539 from Greece

L: Jet black color, minimal head and lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Bourbon, oak, alcohol. Niiiice!

T: Bourbon, oak, chocolate, alcohol. Very good!

F: Medium to full bodied, fully flavored.

O: Superb Russian imperial stout.

Nov 28, 2020
4.5 by Mickt465 from New Hampshire on Nov 15, 2020
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
by VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

Bottle. Haven't grabbed a decent barrel ages stout in a while. This beer pours very dark. It pours quite viscous as well. Thin head, that is tan in color. Not much lacing. Nose is rich. The bourbon barrel character doesn't stand out very much, which ids definitely a negative. I want an immediate oaky, barrel element and it just isn't there. Aside from that, the aroma is very solid, though. Flavor is of rich cola, vanilla, some BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, dark chocolate, and coffee. Just a wink of bourbon. Obviously full bodied. Carbonation is soft. I think I have begun t outgrow this behemoth beers.This one was decent but the barrel was lacking and you pay extra money for that shit.

Nov 14, 2020
4.03 by hophugger from Virginia on Nov 11, 2020
Photo of trevormajor
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by trevormajor from Ohio

2017 Vintage, 12.7 oz bottle poured into a snifter. I took the bottle out of my 53 degree F cellar cooler 45 minutes before opening.
L - black, with a hazelnut head that rapidly disappeared
S - Molasses and lesser notes of bourbon, fig, raisin, very faint malt aroma
T - bourbon on the nose along with molasses and fig flavors. This beer is definitely 3 years old. the malt flavor has faded and is being replaced with a sweet sticky molasses taste
F - very nice mouthfeel, barely any carbonation
O - a good beer, although I prefer younger vintages of this Dark Apparition
The longer I drink this beer, the better it gets as it warms. It is getting very balanced. I should have started at near room temperature, and this may be a thing with beers at 3+ years

Oct 09, 2020
4.4 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on Sep 26, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by stortore from Illinois

375 ml bottle into a snifter. 2020 edition, had 9/16/20.

Pours a dark brown, mostly opaque, with a brief flash of a head and light soapy cling. A little oily looking. Aromas of bourbon, oak, medium roast malt, dark chocolate, char, brown sugar, some caramel as it warms, some raisin, light vanilla and molasses, tobacco as it warms. Smells great. Flavors of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, light roast malt, some caramel and tobacco, some raisin and char, light molasses, a hint of licorice. Smooth, a good but a little thinner body for the style, appropriately carbonated.

This has an interesting profile, with the chocolate and brown sugar being the most prominent. The barrels certainly bring out a plethora of great aromas and flavors. The thin feel is a slight negative, but overall this is delicious and really well done.

Sep 24, 2020
4.75 by jwat from Pennsylvania on Aug 13, 2020
Photo of WunderLlama
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

Bottle poured into a snulip

One finger brown foam cap quickly recedes to a ring over a dark brown motor Oil liquid

Aroma is roasted malts, licorice, dark fruits, bourbon

Taste is roasted malts,dark fruits, Bourbon, hint of chocolate, slightly sweet

Low sudsing, chewy, roast malt lingers but is not bitter, 10.5% abv is invisible

Good beer

Aug 10, 2020
4.16 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado on Aug 03, 2020
4.5 by MTKATL from Georgia on Jul 27, 2020
4.25 by C_Adams from Ohio on Jun 15, 2020
4.35 by Vonerichs from Colorado on May 30, 2020
Photo of beersampler6
3.81/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by beersampler6 from Michigan

This one was disappointing considering how highly rated it was. No date listed on bottle. Pours a thick black syrupy color with just a little tan head and very scant lacing. Aromas of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, roasted nuts, malt and some brown sugar. Also a trace of raisin. Taste follows the nose, fairly well balanced but not as much depth as I would have liked. It seemed thinner and less powerful than the high ABv would’ve suggested. Even as the beer warmed the flavors didn’t come out very much. Smooth, very slightly thin mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Would probably not try it again.

May 29, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by REVZEB from Illinois

Pitch black, light brown head. Smell has huge caramel inside the bourbon, wood, dark chocolate and malt laden body. Taste leads with the barrel, then caramel, vanilla, chocolate and molasses abide for most of the sip before bourbon booze warms to the finish. Feel is malty, warm with booze, smooth and viscous. Simultaneously more classical yet sweet in that vein

Apr 16, 2020
Photo of Wasatch
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Wasatch from Colorado

12.7 oz. Bottle
2020 Vintage

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, with a nice quick small tan head, which leaves a pretty nice medium size oil slick, and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with a pretty nice dark chocolate/toffee, pretty nice dark fruit complex (figs, cherries, dates, prunes, grapes), bourbon, oak, nice touch of vanilla, some licorice. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, with some dark chocolate/toffee, really nice dark fruit complex (cherries, figs, grapes, dates, prunes), nice bourbon/oak note, vanilla, licorice, really nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden very well, a really nice complex brew. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Nice to see it around here.

Apr 16, 2020
4.48 by cmrncrzy10 from Ohio on Apr 06, 2020
Photo of kevanb
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by kevanb from Illinois

375ml bottle, poured into 14oz brandy snifter.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, viscous, inky, khaki head rises about a finger high with no retention and sticky lacing. The aroma is great, tons of bourbon barrel character, rich and woody, strong heat, roast and charred oak, dark bitter chocolate, light vanilla, a touch of coconut and vanilla, linger stone fruits and a nice grain character. The flavors are great, rich chocolate, bittersweet, brownie batter, light vanilla, brown sugar, toasted coconut, light stone fruits, lots of oak, smooth bourbon, nice spice, mild heat and a lingering graininess. The mouthfeel is great, super thick heavy body, incredibly coating, rich, smooth and velvety with a warm finish.

Verdict: A delightful barrel aged stout, excellent complexity, tons of depth and a great barrel barrel character.

Apr 05, 2020
4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois on Apr 05, 2020
4.31 by Blogjackets from Ohio on Mar 20, 2020
4.5 by paulish from New York on Mar 14, 2020
4.25 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Mar 01, 2020
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 837 ratings