Double Barrel-Aged Chocolate Cherry Imperial Bourbon Stout | Blue Mountain Brewery

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Very Good
2 Ratings

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CrellMoset on 12-23-2008

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Ratings: 2 |  Reviews: 1
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Photo of VeganUndead
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CrellMoset
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Hollow, aged in Pollak Vineyards Pinot Noir barrels with cherries and Mexican cocoa nibs. 9.5% abv on nitro tap.

Appearance: Very similar to the Dark Hollow. That is, it's dark, deep brown, essentially completely opaque, with an amazing cocoa-colored nitro head of fantastic structure and retention. Lacing is similarly gorgeous, sheet like, solid, thick.

Aroma: Tart cherries and oak are the first things that hit your nose, followed in short order by vanilla, that distinctly barrel-aged type. Give it some time to warm for the cocoa to come through, but it's more of an "essence" of chocolate thing than anything. I was told by the brewery's co-owner it could be that the chocolate was settling into the kegs and that the glasses poured nearer their ends would be more chocolatey. Oak becomes stronger and maple syrup emerges as it warms further, and - particularly near the end - an estery alcohol note peaks through. Where it comes from - the beer, the wine, the bourbon, or some holy combination of this triumverate - is uncertain.

Taste: Incredibly complex. Again, the cocoa comes through as more of an "essence." There are definite wine tannins in the finish that come through very green apple- and grape-like. Cherries meld well with these fruity notes as well as with the cocoa essence. There's also still a definite hint of bourbon, and its interplay with the cherries is one of the more interesting aspects of this beer. It essentially tastes like precisely what it's billed as - Dark Hollow, plus some cherries and chocolate, minus a few of Dark Hollow's more pleasant enjoyable notes.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than the Dark Hollow, with minimal carbonation. Strange that this one would feel like this with the nitro feel, though perhaps that's what double barrel aging will do to a beer. I'm instinctively more harsh on rating the mouthfeel/appearance of a nitro-tap beer if I'm not blown away by it. I sort of equate nitro-tapping a beer to a baseball player on steroids - if he doesn't blow every other player out of the league while he's enhancing, then without the enhancement I imagine he'd only be sub-standard.

Drinkability: Perhaps a little less than the sum of its parts - I think the Dark Hollow lost something of itself in that second barrel aging, or perhaps it's just well-buried. That's not to say it's not a fantastically complex and rich beer - it is, and I really enjoyed it a lot. Blue Mountain continues to impress and push the envelope.

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Double Barrel-Aged Chocolate Cherry Imperial Bourbon Stout from Blue Mountain Brewery
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 2 ratings