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

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148 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 645
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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Photo of IPAescotch
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. decent pour. Tan head, exquisite lacing, looked like a dalmation. Bar was dark, but the beer appeared boldly black.

Whiskey smell.

Tastes full bodied n carbonated. Creamy bourbon chocolate. Not really the flavor for this beer, but reminds me of rum cake (if it was saturated in makers mark).

Mouthfeel is perfect, thick and creamy but not too syrupy, and with none of that trub you sometimes get in the bottle, maybe im just not used to drinking from a tap.

Drinkability is low just because this is so damn strong. Delicious, but i would never exceed two of these a night.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Kan for bringing Brad, brewmaster at Jackie O's to our Sunday afternoon tasting. This was an awesome sneak peek that is making almost drive for the release...Black with some really nice light tan head...The aroma here is awesome. Its super sweet with tons of honey, maple syrup, chocolate and vanilla. A perfect combination that you would think would be too sweet but somehow isn't...The taste is almost as good, brings back all the sweetness of the aroma but brings out some of the wood here, which we got none of on the front. Lots of honey, vanilla, raspberries in the middle and wood. I really like it, would be perfect if a little more balanced with either some bitterness or light hop finish...Easy drinker can't believe what the abv is.

This is an awesome RIS. Its sweeter so as long as your like sweet stours you'll love this.

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

Thanks to Brad from Jackie O's for bringing this by on Sunday. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours with a quick-dissolving tan foam that settles to a thin ring and light film. The body is nearly pitch black, with a hint of brown at the fringes.

S - Honey, dark bread, vanilla, and light oak that emerges more as it warms up. There's also some caramel, fudge, maple, and s'mores character.

T - The taste is more barrel-influenced, with healthy amounts of vanilla and butterscotch complementing the honeyed date and fig malt character. The oak and barrel tannins do a good job at keeping things from being overly sweet and cloying.

S - Very smooth, creamy full body, with low alcohol heat. Nice dry, tannic finish that helps change the pace a little.

D - Uh...yes. This was quite a bit better than the Highland Weasel we had immediately before. With the honey and maple characters it reminded me a tiny, tiny, bit of Kaggen! and Imperial Eclipse - good company to be in. I think those that score bottles in a few weeks will be quite happy with this one.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unlabeled bottle, shared by Brad Clark, brewmaster at Jackie O's. 2010 version which it's released yet but will be shortly. Thanks for sharing, Brad!

A - Pours black, tan head, lacing sticking along the sides of the glass and some bubbles on top.

S - Chocolate, honey, caramel, oak, slight alcohol but very well hidden. I really dig the honey notes on this...reminds me of Kaggen! a bit and I think that's partly why I fell in love with it. I dig honey, I guess.

T - Chocolate, honey, some dark fruits, oak, slight alcohol. Lots of stuff going on here that I really like. The honey and chocolate notes are wonderful and the alcohol is so well-hidden in this that I couldn't believe the ABV when Brad told me.

M - Full, rich, velvety, semi-dry finish.

D - Didn't really know what to expect, this being my first Jackie O's beer ever. Well, color me impressed by this beer. Brad did it right with this beer. Outshined Double Barrel Zhukov and the Bourbon and Brandy Old Stocks, IMO. Recommend.

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Photo of rye726
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to George for the hook on this 1L swing top.

Pours near black with a silky tan head.

Nose has big bourbon notes up front followed by vanilla, oak, chocolate, espresso, dark roasty malts, plums, figs, dates and molasses.

Taste is very well balanced. Perhaps a bit raw, but better that than dull. The bready yeast really comes out here. Cocoa, dark malts, ripe pitted fruits, whiskey, wood and vanilla.

Medium full body is nicely carbonated. A bit thin through the finish. Tasty beer, but could have used more time in the barrel. But then again, what beer couldn't?

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Photo of Kegatron
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Liter swing-top growler into several glasses. Thanks go to FooFaa for bringing this one to the party.

Pours a dense black, with a 1/2 finger covering of burnt mocha head. This stays quite frothy around the edges, leaving a big creamy cascade of heavy lacing behind. Just a good RIS look and the retention held up pretty well for a BA Sout. Chocolate is very rich smelling in the aroma, along with notes of roast and coffee, which give this some crunch in the nose. The Bourbon is very assertive here, with vanilla and woody textures helping smooth some of the more aggressive aspects of it out but make no mistake that this is a huge part of the monster bouquet on this.

Chocolate roast is just as huge in the taste, giving this a rich chewy sweetness. The Bourbon character is no slouch either, giving the profile a big boozy and dry feel. This finishes with lingering roast, a smack of vanilla, and a deep tannic dryness which literally sucks all of the moisture out of your mouth after each sip. The mouthfeel is VERY much on the full bodied side, with a huge chewiness to it that then gets much slicker feeling the more it sits in the mouth. This appears to handle its large ABV rather well, with most of the warmth coming from the barrel.

I really dug this for the most part. Very deep tasting with a complex strength to it, the only thing really holding this back is the aggressiveness of the Bourbon itself. This is one best enjoyed in smaller quantities as a sipper. I couldn't imagine tackling a large quantity of this by myself.

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

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this hard to get mini-growler of this up and coming Ohio brewery.

A-Black with reddish capped dark tan head that reduced to a thin veil of retention and left next to no lace.

S-DEEP bourbon notes overlying dark chocolate and roasted malt. Subtle notes of vanilla and coffee. In the end the bourbon wins out and this one ends up a bit hot, but still impressive if you are a bourbon fan, like me!

T-Deep, rich dark chocolate and roasted malt get caught in a tidal wave of bourbon. This one is impressive but the bourbon take a hold a bit to strongly.

M-Medium-heavy bodied, a SUPER smooth sipper. Bourbon notes dominate your palate by the secnd sip in. Finish becomes quite dry with impressive oak notes.

D-There is no question this is well crafted brew but ultimately the bourbon aging is too aggressive and dominates the other attributes of the beer. I enjoy bourbon immensely but in beers such as this I like bourbon WITH my beer not beer WITH my bourbon. Maybe we enjoyed this one too young and it could use some more aging to smooth things out. Good effort but a bit too raw for my liking.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler on 1/23/10.

A - Emerged black as a charred lung with a creamy, burnt tan head that reduced to a thin film and yielded virtually no lacing on the glass.

S - Smells like a bourbon-soaked brownie with subtle vanilla and chocolate notes. Ultimately, the aroma is quite hot and boozy with a huge waft of alcohol attacking the olfactory.

T - Rich and chocolatey yet extremely warm and boozy with a dominant bourbon presence and a hint of woody astringency. Finishes with a somewhat boozy bourbon character amidst plenty of earthy, woody notes.

M - Super slick and smooth with a very oily texture, allowing the stout to slide down the throat with ease. The warm alcohol presence provides a moderate burn on the palate. Finish is quite dry with a hint of astringency and lots of residual sweetness.

D - Dark Aparition is quite tasty despite its warm, alcoholic bite. Still, this RIS retains its drinkability fairly well, although it is quite rich and sweet. Very good effort overall.

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Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 645 ratings.
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