Heart Shaped Box | Oakshire Brewing

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19 Ratings

Brewed by:
Oakshire Brewing
Oregon, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jampics2 on 05-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a unique barrel aged stout here, and another winner from oakshire, i am so glad these guys have made it stick in colorado, for the most part i have adored their beer, and this one is a lot of fun. the base stout is creamy and rich, packed with the sweetness and vanilla character of the bourbon, mellowed by the barrel, not boozy at all, and sporting quite a lot of earthy darkness both from the charred oak and from the dark malt and roasted barley that this is built on. the adjuncts are awesome here though, cherries and vanilla and coffee and cocoa, all of which work well with the base beer and well together. for me, the vanilla is the most forward in both aroma and flavor, owing in part to similar characteristics in the whiskey, but the vanilla bean is natural and sweet and well timed in the trajectory of this. the cherries are a little desserty, faintly medicinal, but well restrained, adding a jammy and baked quality here in the middle, but not making this over done at all. cocoa nibs are brilliant with the dark malt, bitter and rich at the same time, brownie batter and soil elements to them, a smart add. coffee is light here, i smell it more than i taste it, but i think it serves to unite some of these elements, and balance some of the sweet. overall a really nice layering of flavors, super chocolate forward, and awesome barrel character to it. did this get bottled? id love to see how this ages...

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Photo of johnnyboy76
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of VashonGuy
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of jason_nwx
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of JoeMans
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tjcamm
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of jbakajust1
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of HoppyToday
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of John_M
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station yesterday (the beer selection at the station during OBF week is flat out killer).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing a boatload of coffee grounds and tobacco (cigar, in this case). The coffee flavor comes through very well on the palate as well, with some light chcolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is surprising light in this fairly dry stout, yet the beer still has a very long, soft and creamy finish. For the abv., this beer really delivers a lot of flavor. Not surprisingly, the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and the beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the palate.

Very nice stout from the folks at Oakshire Brewing.

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Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station, $2 for 4 oz small glass 7.27.11.

Dark brown opaque body, no visible carbonation, cocoa brown head, quick dissipation resulted in thin sheet of head, not much lacing. Nose is pretty complex, coffee up front, a bit of chocolate, some vanilla notes from the barrel aging, small hint of cherries once it warmed significantly. Taste mirrors nose, certainly a nice version of barrel aged Overcast with some cherries added, the stone fruit added a nice subtlety to the experience but didn't overwhelm the palate. Mouthfeel a wee bit on the full side of medium, fairly dry finish (oats). Maybe the cherries have faded a bit in this keg, but I found this beer wasn't up to the snaps the PDX BA crew had laid out. Worth a try, but not earth-shattering.

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Photo of ccrida
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the Bier Stein, Heart Shaped Box is black with a tan head leaving creamy lace.

Smell is surprisingly muted, mostly caramel and dark malt, and diacetyl.

Taste is crazy complex. It's a coffee stout. With (a hint of) bourbon, oak, vanilla, and (a hint of) cherries. Lots going on, but balanced and restrained, very well executed. There's a little diacetyl, butter pop-corn, that is the only knock.

Mouthfeel is on the still side, dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a really stimulating barrel aged stout that is modest enough in alcohol that you can reasonably contemplate it's complexities over more then one glass. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Map Room. This one kicked but the bartender still have enough left to give me a nice pour, which was very cool of him. Poured into tulip.

A - Pours black, light tan-colored head, thin collar, large bubbles, no cap.

S - Huge coffee, roast, dark chocolate. I don't get a ton from this one, but I enjoy the nice coffee notes and roast.

T - Coffee beans, chocolate, oak, touch of cherries (?), slightly roasty bitter finish. Not nearly as good as the nose.

M - Light to medium (a bit too thin), good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Besides the dark chocolate and coffee, I don't get a whole lot from this one. The thin body hurts this one as well. Not all that exciting.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Map Room. Thanks to Matt Van Wyck for hooking us up with some of his barrel-aged experiments. Served in a tulip glass.

A - A finger of creamy tan foam settles to a thin ring and a few wisps, leaving plenty of splotchy lace. Near-black body with a big of red-brown coloration at the bottom of the glass.

S - Huge coffee - you can tell the espresso stout was the base beer. Plenty of vanilla bean, light chocolate and dark fruits. Not getting a ton of overt cherry or cocoa nib, and the whiskey character is quite light other than some oaky vanilla - I'm not 100% sure I'd have realized this was bourbon barrel-aged.

T - Taste is quite similar, but the vanilla beans move to the forefront leaving bitter espresso and light notes of dark chocolate for the finish. A bit of tart cherry skin flavor pops up, but it's arguably more textural than it is flavor. Not much barrel presence, but I guess it was only aged for 6 weeks. Gets a bit saccharine after 6oz, but still quite enjoyable.

M - Body is quite light, although not totally inappropriate for a regular strength stout. Moderate carbonation, and a fairly clean and neutral finish.

D - Pretty flavorful stuff, particularly for the lower alcohol. Drinking multiple glasses might be a bit much with the caffeine and high sugar content, but it's also refreshing to have an intense beer that won't put me to sleep. Hope this becomes an Oakshire regular.

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Photo of emerge077
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Described as a bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout aged with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, espresso, and bing cherries.

Draft serving into a tulip glass, review from notes.

Black body, dark tan mocha foam. Spotty lace clings to the edges, and the foam eventually dissipates in the center. Foam has a creamy texture, and the foam is sticky on the lips.

Huge espresso coffee aromas, very rich and deeply roasty, blended with the soft sweetness of vanilla bean. Minor brown sugar sweetness as well.

Deeply roasty and bitter, dark chocolate, fudge, double espresso shot, intense waves of roast and chocolate, rounded by a mellower vanilla character. Earthy dry roast lingers into the aftertaste, with a hint of barrel character. Medium to light bodied with supple carbonation. Surprisingly light in feel compared to the intensity of smell and taste. Very rich and packed with flavor, though the relatively low abv makes it deceptively easy to drink. Thanks Matt for sending this to Chicago!!

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Photo of Beertracker
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get to try this one on draught @ 3F DLD11! I don't normally review beers from festivals, but this was my first beer of the day and it so impressed me that I have no trouble reviewing it from memory. Oakshire's Heart Shaped Box pours up with a moderate effervescence which creates enough carbonation for a low, but sustainable tannish-brown colored head above the deep mahogany-reddish black body. The head retention isn't great, but there's some good lace that clings to the side of the glass. The aroma is very complex for a "smaller" beer with notes of bourbon bread pudding, dark chocolate, cordial cherries, marzipan, mocha, rumcake, toasted marshmallow & vanilla wafers. Really incredible! There's maybe just a touch of spiciness from a late hop addition? The flavor starts off with a wonderful coffee character sustained by a lovely roastiness followed by a touch of nuttiness (almond/hazelnut) complimented by some caramel sweetness which is superbly balanced by a moderate bitterness which creates an off-dry, bittersweet & somewhat fruity (blackberry, cherry) finish. The overall flavor isn't quite as complex as the aroma, but still very good for its strength. The middle body is a little chewy, but creamy & smooth overall. I'm not a big 'stoutfan' but this one wins with "Aces & Spades!" Definitely worth seeking out for any stout lover!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of psiweaver
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a full shaker pint at the hellshire I release. The perfect beer at 8am in the morning for breakfast.

pours a rich dark black with a soft brown/white head that very quickly dissipates into lacing of the same color.

bourbon, oats, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and a bit of cherry on the end. The nose on this one was pure deliciousness.

taste followed that nose perfectly with a symphony of flavors on the palate, great chocolate, oat and bourbon flavors followed with a hint of cherry at the close, very creamy tasting.

fantastic carbonation and very creamy mouthfeel, i'd have liked it a bit thicker, but thats the only complaint i can raise.

overall a fantastic beer that i'm excited for them to bottle at some point in the future.

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Photo of Phelps
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the guest taps at Dark Lord Day ’11, poured into and enjoyed via a 10-ounce plastic pint.

Super-dark burnt coffee brown with some mahogany highlights. A puffy, one-finger mocha latte head becomes a fairly thick, silky top layer.

Tons going on in the nose. It’s like a walk down the coffee aisle, with notes of roasted beans and heavy hazelnut mixing it up. Hints of dates as well as other dark fruits and a nice smoky maltiness add interest.

Hey, wait. I’ve got a new complaint. Compared to the incredible and complex nose, it’s disappointment in a glass. It’s like a weak porter — some coffee and sweet marshmallows are noticeable, while acrid burnt malt grips the tongue before the slightly sweet finish. Absolutely no follow through.

Medium, electric carbonation, lightly fizzy and tongue-numbing. The body’s a creamy medium with just a hint of alcohol heat.

If I could smell Heart-shaped Box all day, I would. But that’s where to fun stops. For a beer that’s supposedly "espresso stout aged for 6 weeks in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels with organic cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and bing cherries," I just don’t get much of any of that in the flavor, where it really matters.

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Photo of jampics2
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ DLD. Served in a 10oz plastic cup for $10 then transferred to my snifter.

Described as "Overcast Espresso Stout aged for 6 weeks in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels with organic cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and bing cherries. Only 100 gallons produced."

This beer looks great in the glass. There's a dark colored beer here, almost pitch black but with just a touch of brown around the edges when held up to the glorious Munster sunshine. The light brown colored head sticks nicely and leaves good lace. A great start!

The smell is really pleasant, just falling short of the high mark of perfection. I instantly get a ton of vanilla and coffee, almost making this border on dessert beer territory. However, on furthur examination, notes of cocoa, cherry and oak (and perhaps some mild bourbon). This is really nice compared to the bourbon bombs many turn out.

The taste is also very, very good! There's a great chocolate and coffee start to the experience, followed by some nice additions from the vanilla beans, oak, bourbon and cherry. The vanilla and coffee balance each other out well, and the barrel has added nuances and hasn't dominated the tasting profile. A roasted malt note emerges right as the sweetness hits, finishing this beer in fine style. Can't say I got a ton of cherries, but I certainly enjoyed this.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but the carbonation helps make the beer creamy. There's no booze here at all, save for the bourbon tones. A very, very well-done barrel aged beer from Oakshire.

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Heart Shaped Box from Oakshire Brewing
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 19 ratings