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

158 Reviews
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel AgedDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ffejherb on 01-24-2010

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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 675
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

Bottle 188 / 384

The beer appears a deep, dark shade of brown, bordering on blackness. The beige head is nearly a finger thick and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bourbon and roast, with additional notes of oak, chocolate, and vanilla - very nice.

Delicious tasting beer, with bold flavors of chocolate and vanilla. Bourbon is quite present as well, but the beer doesn't come across as overly boozy. Terrifically balanced, this is an excellent barrel aged stout.

The feel is rich, buttery, and creamy. Alcohol content is there to a certain degree, but the beer never comes off as hot. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the beer.

Overall, extremely well done. I'd really like to have this one again. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for bringing this one; thanks Mike. Bottle number 188 of 384.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, light vanilla, and

t - Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, chooclate, roasted malts, and caramel. Vanilla is huge in the taste which I loved.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, super smooth and creamy body. Very easy to drink and not a lot of heat.

d - Wow, what a great beer. I've had the Kopi Lowak version and enjoyed it quite abit, but this version is even better. This version has a lot more vanilla as opposed to the coffee. Would love to try this one again sometime and really makes me want to hit a Jackie O release.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Eric for this beer. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a color that is nearly black and has a pretty good light mocha head that sticks around for a bit before falling to a thin collar. The nose brings some really nice bourbon along with oak and a fairly-strong vanilla presence. Light chocolate lingers in the background along with some hints of roast. In the end, however, this is all about the bourbon. The flavor is quite nice. The bourbon permeates everything and is incredibly smooth. I really like what this has done to the base beer. Good, thick body that is supremely smooth without any hint of the 10.5 ABV. Overall, a great beer that really has me looking forward to the next Jackie O's stout release.

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

Pours very very dark with a good amount of head. Very thick like a good RIS should be! Haven't had the non barrel aged in a while so its tough to compare but I think it has more of a reddish tint to it. Smells strongly of bourbon and coffee. I remember a lot more buttery scents on tap but there are not many on the nose out of the bottle Taste is overwhelmingly coffee heavy. Again, not something I remember from having it on tap. The bourbon profile is wonderful. Thick solid mouthfeel.. drinkability suffers from the strength but still a good sipper

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this one in a great trade from normyk.. William seriously hooked the Boise peeps up... Thanks a ton buddy.

Bottle #169/384... deep dark brown head... great lacing and retention....

Nose is amazing.. rich chocolate and well integrated bourbon... very complex with everything meshing on the near perfect level.

Flavor is fudgey bourbon soaked brownie batter.. coffee... rich cherry esters... tons of vanilla and still some how more roasty than I was expecting.. awesome mid palate.. very rich and coating.. wave after wave of goodness coats the palate.. Verging on an all "5" brew... but my attempt to get to it "fresh" demolished that. Very good right now.. will be EPIC with 6 months.

Great body and a smooth everpresent carbonation.. almost creamy... finishes more dry than the nose and the initial taste would lead you to believe.. awesome.. just awesome.

The RIS tasting was just stupid cool, but I caught this bottle a couple times with big pours and I would love another.... I figure that ship has sailed. Normyk was a stallion in this trade... I (and the Boise crew) truly appreciate it.


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Photo of earthboundagain
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours almost black with a thin mocha head.

Ok we have bourbon, roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, and brown sugar.

Ok the taste is much more bourbon then the nose, but it is mixed in with roasted malt, caramel, and some nice fig flavor.

Ok the beer is full bodied and creamy but not super thick.

The booze is hidden but this is still for sipping.

From Notes:

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Photo of Tripphop
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, creamy tan head. Aroma is very faint but the bourbon is there. Not overly present in the taste either, the bourbon kinda creeps in on the finish and mingles with smooth roasted malt and chocolate undertones. Very well done, the base Dark Apparition is great and all of the variations are as well.

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Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 1, oct 8/2010. Jw347 contributed this one. thanks john!

12oz bottle, compared against the rye barrel and base versions.

pours opaque black with a few very fine brown bubbles of head. no lace. same as the rye version.

aroma is great. lots of bourbon. vanilla. dark chocolate. whole wheat bread and biscuit. cracker. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. a bit earthy.

taste is good. a bit one dimensional - doesn't have nearly the depth of the rye version. much like the aroma with a strong bourbon character dominating and masking some of the depth. dark and bittersweet chocolate. bit of orange and tangerine. just above low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body, thinner than the rye version. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. not quite as deep or well-balanced as the rye version, but still pretty nice overall.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.52/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Ryan011235, poured into an oversized snifter. Dark and oily with wispy layer of creamy foam on top. This sticks around with an occasional swirl and leaves a bit of scattered lacing.

Bourbon is assertive in the nose, but not overpowering. A bit of roast, but it's chiefly a sweet-smelling beer- milk chocolate, vanilla custard and caramel with a dash of cocoa powder.

The bourbon flavor is fairly strong, a warming presence from sip to lingering finish. Rather thick and smooth, and plenty sweet. Lots of oak in there with the chocolate/caramel/vanilla confectionery combo. Some brown sugar threatens to send this into 'too damned sweet' territory, but a nice little undercurrent of bitterness keeps it from becoming cloying. Burnt and dark roasted flavors aren't a steady presence; they seem to dance in and out.

Overall impression: I'd be interested in trying the base beer, as I suspect I'd like it better than the barrel-aged version. It seems to me that the sweetness of bourbon and oak work much better with drier/roastier stouts than those that are pretty sweet to begin with. Still, this is a beer that's definitely tasty and worth a try.

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Photo of stakem
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goryshkewych for the chance to try this brew! Shared at CaptinRedBeard's tasting on 1/22/11. Bottle #316/384

Poured into a sniffer, this brew appears black in color with some clarity around the thin edges. It displays some lighter brown around the sides and a finger of brown head appears and quickly fades leaving spotty and leggy lacing on the glass. The faint resemblance of a head holds tight to the sides of the glass. A swirl revives the cap back to a fingers strength.

The aroma includes notes of whiskey and an earthy component that is roasty. A little bit of tangy hops mixes with the alcohol before blending into a sweet scent of vanilla that is very pleasing to the nose. Before even taking a sip I am enjoying this brew, I love the way it smells.

The taste is roasty with a bitterness similar to strong brewed coffee, bitter chocolat, tangy whiskey and smooth vanilla melded together perfectly throughout. It has an earthy aftertaste with a bit of citrus hops that comes out as the brew warms.

This is a medium bodied offering with a modest amount of carbonation. As it warms, more alcohol comes out in the flavor and warmth. A smooth easy drinking brew yet it has bold flavoring and an exceptionally fine beer. I found myself not wanting to take notes and just sit back and enjoy the brew without thinking about it. I would love to get more of this. I'm pretty sure opening this bottle has made up my mind and I'm going to attend the next bottle release at Jackie O's.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/17/11

The bottle number remains a mystery...

Scorched brown/stained mahogany color; pretty much jet black in the glass. One finger cap of tan-brown foam thins to 1/8th inch after two or three minutes. Thin layer of smooth foam remains. Pretty good swaths of drippy lace.

The nose is loaded with heavy, sugary malt notes; there is no doubting the potency. Solid chocolate presence of the semi-sweet variety; molasses & other dark sugars; hints of coffee bean & toffee. Overtones of vanilla & wood; bourbon heat is minimized (well, until it warms up).

Bourbon heat hits first, lasting until the end, albeit in moderation & quite proportional to the rest of the beer. That is to say, the malts come bombarding in almost as quickly as the bourbon, pushing much to the peripheries. Lots of roasted chocolate, molasses & to a lesser extent, caramel. Nice balance of sugars & near-burnt notions, though it starts getting a bit too sweet as it warms. Modest hop bitterness picks up toward the latter half, blending with charred oak & culminating in well-rounded earthiness.

The feel is very much full, viscous, slick & coating. This beer carries with it a heavy burden. That the carbonation is so low it only accentuates how much of a monster this beer is. While there is some appreciable alcohol heat, it isn't over the top. Chewy, sugary residuals embody on the finish with a lingering booziness.

Despite the near-devastating feel & the rather high abv, drinkability remains pretty good. By drinkability, I should denote "sippability." This is a slow process, I have finished about a third of the bottle & palate fatigue seems eminent. I reckon I'll do as the label suggests & pour the rest into my favorite snifter.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/24/10- Review of a 22 oz bottle number 63/384.
A: Black with red hues with a tan film and collar with lacing.
S: Sticky molasses caramel and espresso with a nice mild vanilla bourbon. Excellent, with bananas, dark cherry, and graham crackers.
T: Nice chocolate espresso with clean bourbon alcohol presence. There is a very good cigar earthiness, and an awesome combination of bourbon with the stout.
M: Thinner, but good for a barrel-aged stout.
D: Good.

Overall, this reminds me of The Abyss with a more prominent bourbon character. This is an awesome example of a bourbon barrel-aged RIS.

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Photo of portia99
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared at jlindros recent impy stout tasting, provided by nonstick. Poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anny snifter.

A - Clear, very dark brown/black in color. A thin, dark tan head forms and lingers briefly leaving behind a thin collar and no real lacing after it falls.

S - Six people tried this beer and every one, said "whoa!" on the first sniff. Buttery, oaky/woody, bourbon, coffee, milk chocolate and vanilla. This smelled very good.

T - Oak flavors are very noticeable and up front in the profile. This is complemented with some milk chocolate, a bit of bourbon, slight boozinesss, vanilla and toffeee. Rich and complex...the barrel aging was well done in this beer.

M - Medium bodied (not as thick as I'd expect), low/medium carbonation, creamy, minor alcohol warmth/booziness.

D - Very good barrel aged beer. Very smooth drinker. The barrel aging provided interesting character without being overdone...complemented the beer instead of taking it over.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Warren (Lazerlobe) for opening his home for the Syracuse Area Tasting Appreciation Night (S.A.T.A.N.)!

Date: 18 December 2010
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX Snifter
Type: Provided by Warren (Lazerlobe), 22fl oz bomber

Pours with no head, no lacing. Color is black, stricken with crimson. Aromas of well-balanced bourbon, pecans, hotness of alcohol, a touch of smoke, maple, and perhaps a spice but that could be the booziness. Taste of sweet milk chocolate, smooth bourbon, delicious dark malts, and slight molasses. The bottle says that it's brewed with brown sugar but maple covers the palate with intense sweetness. Thanks again, Warren!

Drank this beer side-by-side with Jackie-O's Dark Apparition, and found the Apparition to be sweeter, while the Yeti was more intense with chocolate.

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Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Ryan011235 for hooking up this tick.

Pours black and thick with a lasting one-finger tan head and good lacing.

The aroma is pretty nice, with oak and bourbon as well as great base stout notes of roast and dark chocolate.

Great complex flavor. Bourbon, oak, and bourbon- soaked dark fruits, along with coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla. Complex and very tasty.

The mouthfeel is better than Oil of Aphrodite, smooth and not too syrupy with softer carbonation.

Great stuff, really impressive and better than expectations.

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

Thanks, Nick.

Moderately viscous opaque black with a thin tan head.

Strong aromas of brown sugar and molasses, musty oak, toasted coconut and chocolate syrup. Bourbon is present but integrated, and there's a berry-like fruit character. Alcohol is noticeable too, though it's not harsh. While it smells good, the barrel doesn't seem to gel as well as it could with the base beer.

Bourbon, earthy oak and chocolate flavors hit the palate first. Coconut sweetness, sharp alcohol and berry preserves. Full bodied, but not as viscous as Oil of Aphrodite. Finishes with mellow alcohol and chocolate-caramel candy sweetness. This is pretty impressive.

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Photo of genog
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Jackie O's 5th anniversary celebration. Really loved this one. This was handed to me without any head it was just an inky black beer. Aroma was incredibly rich with oak, whisky type boozy aroma coming through. Some coffee and dark licorice but mostly the oak. Taste was rich dark chocolate malty goodness that lingered beyond the oak that stayed up front while the dark flavors continued on through the palate. The slight sour notes started to take over as well. Mouthfeel coated my tongue with a thickness that made this a very nice sipping beer.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'09 BA DA 4-5 oz sample.

A- Body is a very dark brown, nearly black hue. Served with virtually no head-but with a think off-white collar that remains thin but lingers on for awhile. Hints of vibrant red can be seen when this brew is held up to the light.

S- Nose is classic BA RIS- Notes of anise, plum, chocolate, mochoa, bourbon, and just a hint of oak barrel. A mild fruity sourness also is in the background of the nose.

T- There is a good amount of bourbon initially in the flavor-with light notes of plum, anise, coacoa, and oak. The finish offers a lot of bourbon with its assicoated heat-and a balance of the intitial flavors. The bourbon heat is moderate (not overpowering) and lingers on for quite awhile.

M- VERY well done. Thick, viscous, and very smooth. Low to medium carbonation.

D- This is a very good BA stout overall. The bourbon characteristics are certainly noticable and add a component of alcohol heat but provide a compliment to and do not overpower the other components.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Courtesy of mothman. Bottle # 231/384. Pours a very dark brown/black color with minimal head that only slightly collars around the glass. Giving the glass a swirl generates a brown sugar colored coastered head. Dark fruits, molasses, bourbon, and caramel. Slight tinge of leather. Slight lace on the glass after being swirled. Medium mouthfeel. The taste starts off with an almost sweet start that then transitions to a leathery bitter roast flavor followed by the warmth of the bourbon notes. Also get some dark chocolate residual flavors. The bourbon is nice but a little hot and you feel the warmth all the way down. Not bad but I'd like to see a little heavier mouthfeel.

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Photo of mothman
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Poured into Founders snifter. Pours a thin layer of mocha tan head. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: The bourbon is up front with this beer. Reminds me a bit of whiskey. It has roasted malts and coffee with some chocolate notes. I also get brown sugar and molasses. Has some dark fruits. It has a very inviting aroma.

Taste: Whiskey/bourbon up front in a warming way. Has some vanilla with the oak as well. Then the roasted malts, coffee, and cocoa/chocolate hit. This is all followed by a wave of dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied; no where near as thick as I was expecting. Low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends warm, roasted, and a bit dry.

Overall, a decent -bal aged stout. It has some quality flavors, but lacks in the mouthfeel. It is pretty drinkable and I like the additional flavors, but it just lacked a little depth in the taste. Still, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of csmiley
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 206/384. Purchased at the brewery.

A - Pours nearly jet black. Some very dark brown shows around the distant edges of the glass. It looks a little thick coming out of the bottle. The tan head a little short topping out at less than a quarter inch in height. It compact and sticks around for a minute or two before receding to a medium sized ring around the glass. Medium amounts of lace stick around as the pint disappears.

S - Pretty easy to pick out the bourbon influence in this one. It comes across as hot and sweet initially. Fortunately, there are several other aromas that balance things out well. Lots of chocolate starts the show off. It's complemented by a heavy sweetness that I'm having problems putting my finger on. I'm guessing a combination of maple syrup and molasses. Vanilla get introduced at this point but it only plays a supporting role to everything else. Bourbon heat and some very light dark fruit notes on the back end. Excellent.

T - Again, bourbon through and through. There's a nice amount of heat and thick caramel sweetness that just lets this brew shine. Chocolate comes through strong just like the aroma would have you believe and stays on the bitter side which works well here. Midway, some vanilla and light wood are present with vanilla easily dominating. Cherry and cooked caramel show up as well. There is just a faint hint of coffee on the tail end that is hard to pick out over the other flavors.

M - Medium bodied at first. As it warms the body starts to thicken up and become creamy. Light carbonation that is totally appropriate for this brew. Finish is sweeter than expected. It's warm, but mostly sweet.

D - Drinkability for the BBDA is quite good. Bourbon is strong but all the other aspects of the brew balance very well with it. At 10.5%, you'll want to take your time with it. That shouldn't be an issue for any seasoned beer drinker and the rewards you see after it warms is well worth the wait. This is my second time trying BBDA and both times it has been impressive. No issues here finishing off a bomber by myself. Highly recommended if you get a chance to try it out.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. Served at room temperature. Bottle #343/384

A - Pours a dark, chocolate brown. Produced a fingers width of mocha colored head, quickly reduced to a thin ring around the glass. Little to no lacing.

S - Very potent. Great combination of molasses, vanilla and chocolate bourbon. Infiltrates the nose...the alcohol makes the nose hairs tinge. I could sniff this for hours.

T - Was not expecting this at all. This beer aged wonderfully in the bourbon barrels. Upfront a sugar sweet molasses flavor comes forth. As the beer sits on the palate, chocolate bourbon notes become more prominent. Finishes with a sweet, vanilla bourbon flavor. Lots of oak in the finish as well. Just a perfect combination of flavors.

M - In between medium and heavy bodied with good carbonation. The finish is rather dry and leaves a bitter oak taste on the palate. My only complaint is that I think it could have been slightly more viscous. Then again, I like my stouts to resemble motor oil.

D - Definitely a sipper, but the flavors make this beer very hard to put down.

Overall, probably one of the best offerings I have had from Jackie O's. Probably one of the best examples I can think of that displays a great balance between a base beer and bourbon barrels. Kudos!

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The release for this was my first bottle release party, and it was awesome.

A- Poured into my trusty Delirium snifter. Really no head, just little patches of deep tan bubbles. The beer is a deep black with some red.

S- FANTASTIC. The brown sugar plays a big part in this beer. Nice rich,sweetness countered by,deep roast and bourbon.

T- Even better than the smell. This is one of the very best BA stouts out,there. The brown sugar is what,sets this apart. Rich toffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, bourbon.

M- Full and rich. Very low carbonation. Its a sweeter beer but surprisingly its not too sticky.

D- I really want more of this.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a total delight. Bottle 144 of 384.

The pour is a dark black oil color that produces a cocoa brown head. It is a thick beer that leaves its mark on the sides of the glass. The head doesn't stick around for long, but the beer itself reminds me of a dark hole or abyss.

The smell is delicious, starts the salivating. It has a great sweet bourbon smell followed by cocoa beans, earthy grain, hints of caramel and molasses.

The taste is divine, a real winner in my book. Strong notes of sweet milk chocolate with caramel and toffee. It has a great bourbon flavor, nice sweet touches of booze and vanilla. Delicious.

It is a thick beer, great for warming up the palate. It coats the mouth with oily residue and makes the drinker feel like they just finished a seven layer chocolate cake. Delicious beer that is worth getting a hold of.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Jackie O's barrel aged fest, another unbelievable beer from this emerging powerhouse. The beer pours dark brownish black with a thin creamy head the color of milk chocolate.

This beer's nose is really good, full of all kinds of flavor. First off is the bourbon, darkly sweet and mouth-watering (if you like bourbon). Behind that there's evidence of a large malt bill, from the ample chocolate and roasted malts, and also a good deal of dark fruits and caramel, like a bourbon-soaked brownie.

It tastes, if anything, better than it smells. The bourbon is present from the start of the sip through the lingering aftertaste, but it's complemented by all the rich flavors hinted at by the aroma. Roasted malts, caramel fudge, plums/figs/raisins, even a little vanilla (maybe from the barrels). The body is thick enough to match the robust blanketing of the other senses, this was really really good.

As a testament to the wide breadth this brewery has, I'd say that this excellent beer was only the 3rd best I tried at the festival, behind Bourbon Barrel Sweet Chocolate Love and Oil of Aphrodite. This is a brewery to keep an eye on.

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Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 675 ratings.
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