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

Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #32
Ranked #592
4.35 | pDev: 8.05%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
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.
Reviews: 192 | Ratings: 807 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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
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kevanb from Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

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
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Released 1/10/20; drank 1/30/20 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

An even pour yielded a small tan head; decent lace.

Oak, dark chocolate, cream & mild bourbon heat notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Oak, tart cherry (going bad?), dark chocolate, cream & bourbon heat flavors.

The cherry note concerns me, especially considering Jackie O's history...but this was drinkable, if a bit basic.

Jan 31, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12.7 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
2019 vintage
Served in a snifter

The beer poured nearly pitch black but somewhat thin for the style. A thick, bubbly mass of khaki colored froth topped the liquid and soon fell to a lasting collar. Tiny dots of lacing trickled down the glass after each sip.

The nose was super bourbon forward. Punchy and boozy but also surprisingly smooth. Vanilla notes were apparent. Some brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness too. As the beer sat, the booziness mellowed and dark chocolate notes appeared. Dark fruits came forth as well.

The flavor profile was very similar to the aroma. Again, the bourbon presence was intense. The beer was anchored by a rich, roasted malt backbone. Espresso-like notes were also apparent. Touch of burnt sugar sweetness. Bit of vanilla too. The finish contained a big, boozy, bourbony kick and some lingering, bitter roastiness. A hint of leafy hops came through after the swallow. Like in the nose, the booziness eventually mellowed and the sweetness intensified.

In typical Jackie O’s fashion, the mouthfeel was fairly thin for the style. Oily and slick on the palate. The liquid contained a super fine and subtle yet spritzy effervescence.

While Jackie O’s stouts are always enjoyable, they usually seem to be lacking in both complexity and mouthfeel, and this beer was no different. Given their price points, there are a number of other beers that are much better values.

Sep 30, 2019
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agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a relatively thin burnt brown. Hues of crimson and beige in the head.

S - yes, that's bourbon. Cherry cola, oak, and hazelnut coffee. Bit of paint thinner thanks to the ABV. Toasted caramel and vanilla.

T - sweet bourbs. Woodsy, barrelly, and dark chocolatey. Spices and herbs. Basil, anise, and tobacco. Fresh and almost minty. Finishes with a touch of cane sugar and splenda.

F - on the thinner side, but nice carb levels. Dissipates quickly which isn't great, but it begs another sip. And another...

O - strong nostalgia from my EBF days. The bourbon dominates much like other Jackie O's bourbon-based beers. Can be a bit one-dimensional at times and lacks the body to truly stand out. Solid and drinkable all around, though.

Aug 25, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2019 Bottling

Pours the darkest shade of brown possible, with a slow-rising finger of bubbly beige head which fades as quickly as it forms; light strands of stringy lacing are left behind, alongside a slowly fading bubbly collar.

Aroma shows a straightforward duet of sweet vanilla and bourbon upfront, deep and detailed; a myriad of notes follow, including burnt sugar, milk chocolate, tobacco, molasses, chocolate-covered cherries, and some minor booze; the barrel contributes a huge depth and a genuine sweetness coursing through the bouquet.

Taste is a bit heavier on the bourbon, while the vanilla is not far behind and includes notes of raw cacao nibs for a more chocolatey, earthy depth; toasted caramel, burnt sugar, tobacco develop on the background of the palate over time; roasty char and wood on back end; great balance between nuanced flavors, and only loses points with me as it slightly fades to an amplified booziness over time.

Mouthfeel has a medium-light body and is especially thin for a BA stout; low carbonation gives way to a roasty char, which contributes and unexpected dryness and thus a low-level palate-coating; absolute minimal, near-unrecognizable astringency, and finishes with only minor hints of alcohol on the palate.

Another quality BA stout from Jackie O’s, this one only falling short of their typical roundedness in the mouthfeel department; even with its thinness, it packs a bourbon-infused sweetness and depth that’s to be respected.

Apr 30, 2019
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CaptainHate from Ohio

4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 12.7 ounce bottle pulled out of my cellar fridge (at first pulled out a 2018 I didn't know I had; nice cellar inventory control). When I popped the cap, a boozy barrel smell immediately was detected. Poured into a DFH tulip, there was almost no tan head topping an inky brown body.

Smell is just gorgeous with caramel and molasses over the previously mentioned pleasant aromas. At the first sip I got a brown sugar taste blast which quickly faded as the stout warmed up. Then I detected an unpleasant bitter alcohol taste which made me think WTF, but that too went away with the warming. Still I'm wondering if maybe I've sat on this too long and it's developed some off tastes; I'll try that discovered 2018 in the near future. With further warming I'm detecting some malt char which was buried earlier. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I was expecting; not bad but still thinner.

This was obviously a positive experience but I'm not sure that the barrel aging made that much of an improvement over the base stout, which I enjoy a great deal. Further testing required!

Apr 14, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grossly underrated, give it a few months in the bottle and you'll never forget it, powerful transfer of bourbon to the olfactory and a good bourbon at that. This delivered also with cacao nibs, oak, leather, and caramel notes! Must try.

Apr 13, 2019
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sticking a beer doesn't always mean it will turn out better. For the Dark Apparition though, it works wonders. I enjoyed the BA version significantly better than the standard.

Apr 12, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Fairly dark shade of black, although some light passes through. Small light brown head produced with aerated pour. Sudsy retention and minimal lacing
S -- Bourbon, vanilla, oak, smokey caramel, prune, fig, raisin, dark chocolate
T -- Bittersweet chocolate, charred oak, light grapeskin-like tannins, bourbon, herbal hop, campfire ash
F -- Big mouthfeel, medium- carb. Some light silkiness. Good amount of boozy heat
O -- Not quite as outstanding as the other BBA stouts from Jackie O's that I've had so far, but still quite well made. They're definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to this style of beer

Feb 14, 2019
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

EBF Last Saturday Inky Black with a good sized tan head that persists. Roasty earthy chocolate with bits of brown sugar set against a sweet bourbon oaky vanilla Very tasty beer.

Feb 10, 2019
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle
Served in a Jackie O's snifter

This beer pours black and has no head.

The first thing I smell is caramel and vanilla. Then I get some chocolate.

The taste starts out with vanilla and caramel up front. Then I chocolate through the middle with coffee in the finish.

Full bodied with viscous, smooth mouthfeel. Very low carbonation

This one has aged well. It has a dessert beer taste and smell with all the sweet treats that are sensed. It is also very warming due to the alcohol content. A great beer for a cold winter evening.

Dec 20, 2018
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ktr5010 from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - pitch black with nice lacing that is mocha colored
S - sweet, bourbon, dark chocolate with some vanilla
T - hints of black licorice, molasses, bourbon, and browns sugar
F - good thickness
O - First time having anything from Jackie O's and this was great

Oct 12, 2018
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L- The beer pours black with a thin half centimeter mocha head. The head recedes quickly to a thin ring leaving no lacing.
S- The nose is dark chocolate with bourbon washing over and receding to reveal the chocolate once again.
T- Like the nose the chocolate is first out to the box. Mid palate the bourbon arrives in full force. As the bourbon recedes you are left with a touch of lingering brown sugar sweetness and vanilla from the oak.
F- The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for a stout, but it still posseses a slickness which coats the tongue. Carbonation is quite light which helps mask the thinness.
O- Not perfect example of the style, but the flavors and complexity really elevate this brew to must try. Recommended.

Jun 24, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 1/4 inch tan head over an almost black body with some lacing. Small head dissipates to a ring in a few minutes. Nose of bourbon with notes of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coffee, and oak. Taste mirrors nose with the bourbon taking a backseat to everything else. As it warms the bourbon comes forward a bit, but not overly so. Nice feel, although a tad thinner than I had hoped. Overall, a real nice BBA Imperial Stout. Cheers!

Jun 10, 2018
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Eddieeight from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thick dark opaque brown. I got zero head on the pour. No lacing, nothing.
Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla.
This is a smooth tasting beer. Goes down like liquid chocolate. I've got notes of nuts, coffee, vanilla, burnt caramel, all swimming in a bourbon bath. As advertised on the label, it's heavy on the malt. Also heavy on the alcohol at 12.5% but that's all right with me. Overall a delicious beer although a bit pricey at $11.99 bottle. However it feels good as an ohioan to drink local.

May 03, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark and a bit on the thin side, minimal head. Big bourbon barrel aroma, ample chocolate. Taste is: huge bourbon barrel presence, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, touch of vanilla, light espresso finish, absolutely delicious. Rich and creamy, suprisingly medium to full bodied. Overall this is a great bba brew, completely different from its non-bba counterpart. Would buy this any time it's available.

12.7 oz, 2017 vintage
4.5 rating

Feb 06, 2018
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woemad from Washington

4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12.7oz bottle courtesy of WesMantooth. 2017 vintage.

Poured into an Imperial glass (don't know what else to call it). A moonless midnight black in color. Thin, mocha colored head that dropped fairly quickly. Spotty lace. Perhaps not a great looking beer in terms of lace or head retention, but it's 11.5%, so I'll cut it some slack.

Rich nose to this. Bourbon and brown sugar dominate, as expected. There's also a nutty aroma, reminiscent of the walnuts from Oil of Aphrodite, but no mention is made of any such adjunct on the label.

Whoa, this is smooth! Not nearly as "hot," booze-wise, as I was expecting. Also, not as sugary as I feared. Glad this is not the version brewed with vanilla. There's enough of such a flavor coming through from the bourbon barrels. Not much hop flavor. If in the mood for a bitter take on the style, I might look elsewhere.

Creamy mouthfeel, but also a little thin in the body.

Delicious. This is a sweet and hearty big stout. Boozy enough if you dig bba-beers, but not so hot as to require multi-year cellaring to become approachable. I'm really enjoying it's flavor and drinkability on what is essentially the drinking day of my birthday. Thanks, Corey!

Jan 28, 2018
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been sitting on this after getting it in a trade for about a year. Not sure if it’s the aging or pouring it at a great temperature but I like it a lot more than the current rating! Nitpicking to find anything wrong with it!

Jan 26, 2018
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coming in way low on my score - just too sweet for my tastes. I was curious whether the brown sugar would push this beer into sticky-sweet-country and, unfortunately for me, it did.

Looks like liquid onyx out of the bottle. Dark pour with a thin cardboard colored head that fades to wisps of leftover foam.

Aroma let me know that it was a sugary-sweet beast: big molasses, burnt sugar, roasted malts and bourbon. Molasses dominates.

Taste is sweet molasses, cane sugar, booze, oak and dark roast coffee. Hint of umami. Robust and overpowering.

Sticky mouthfeel, not too hefty. Not too hot but the booze is present.

Just not a good fit for me.

Dec 24, 2017
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xtonytx from Connecticut

4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage poured into a snifter.
Appearance blackish brown. Very little head that faded quickly
Smell of bourbon, brown sugar, cocoa, dark fruit
Taste is sweet, cocoa bourbon similar to the nose
Feel was thick, perfect mouthfeel.
Overall a fantastic beer that I will always want more of

Sep 22, 2017
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BEER88 from Bahrain

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle that was solo domed. The pour was jet black but a thin head that disappeared almost immediately. The smell was rich of toffee, bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, dark fruit, subtle coconut. The taste mirrored the smell but just a little more char mid palate. Feel was thick and full coating the mouth, it even stayed that way when it warmed up. Overall a very good BA stout that I would definitely purchase again.

Aug 27, 2017
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Daktyls from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks and pours like a classic stout. Virtually no head, slick black.

Aroma has notes of molasses, brown sugar, and definitely some bourbon in there.

Taste is absolutely wonderful. Woody bourbon notes, light molasses and brown sugar, some mild chocolate and maltiness. Feels nice and slick, not a lot of carbonation, quite drinkable.

Jul 22, 2017
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle. Black body. Strong bourbon aroma. Vanilla. Some roasted malt and a little chocolate. Tastes of strong bourbon as well. Oak, vanilla. Chocolate malt and a roasty back end. Aggressive bitterness and even more aggressive bourbon in the finish. Wasn't sure what I thought of this at first, as the bourbon is really aggressive, but the base beer is clearly top notch.

Jul 20, 2017
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 807 ratings