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Bourbon Barrel Aged Insidious | Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

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Bourbon Barrel Aged InsidiousBourbon Barrel Aged Insidious

Brewed by:
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bigfnjoe on 03-05-2011

For Trade:
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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 82
Photo of sjverla
4.39/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rich thick chocolate. Vanilla. Bourbon is present, but not encompassing. Really enticing and well-balanced.

Appearance: Pitch black. No head. Minimal lacy.

Taste: Rich vanilla first, then hints of bourbon. Gives way to oak and dark chocolate. Finishes semi-dry. The 9% abv is well hidden.

Overall: This beer is great! Rich and flavorful and incredibly well balanced.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a pitch black with 2 inches of tan foam that just seems to be sitting on top and crossing its arms and refusing to go away. As I drink through the glass the oily lacing is very nice and just sticks to the glass.
S - Nice roasted malts aroma with some coffee, hazelnut and a good bit of smokiness. The smoke only seems to show up when you take a really deep sniff and isn't overly present.
T - Initially the flavor is a lot of the roasted malts with a bit of lactose sweetness, I was wondering where the bourbon was. Then all of a sudden it hits you, not too hard, but the bourbon creeps in along with the smokey, ashtray flavor that I was picking up in the nose. As I drink through the glass the bourbon becomes more present but more as a sweetness than a booziness.
M/D - smooth and creamy mouthfeel, though a bit thin, I like that the booze isn't overly strong, but still noticeable. This is fairly drinkable but I think it could stand to have a bit more body to it.

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Photo of DIM
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Balck body with a short lived tan head.

s: Appealing bourbon barrel aromas of vanilla, plenty of wood, and sweet booze. The stout is all but gone.

t: Here as well the barrel takes over, which is fine except for the overdone char at the finish. Very nice vanilla notes though.

m: A bit barrel thinned.

o: Not bad, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of yamar68
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I hope I'm reviewing the right beer...
Label says "Bourbon Barrel INSIDIOUS Imperial Stout Ale"

Poured from 12oz bottle to pokal.

Pours a very stubborn black with a finger or two of soft brown head. On the nose there are bits of bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet malts - really just an approachable BA stout. The taste offers some creamy milk chocolate with a nice toasted hoppy afterburn with some metallic clutter. A very smooth drinking beer though. In between swigs I’m left with a sweet, roasty, woody presence. Solid beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle courtesy of Soonami. Pours one shade shy of black with a rocky, 1.5 inch tan-colored head embedded with tiny pinpricks. Nose is somewhat subdued - I get dark malts and a slightly vinous character. Taste expresses bourbon notes, a slightly tart quality, toasted malts and a hint of cocoa. Mouthfeel is light-medium (somewhat thin for the style) with an even carbonation that falls short of lively and a slightly silky/creamy texture. All and all, easy drinking and fairly complex but not a big BA stout by any means. I personally found this beer somewhat average; however, many of the people in my tasting group really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle. A telltale sticker betrays the devious countenance of the imperial stout.

A: The stout is dark, a pitch black oily ale. Midnight. A brown hued head, caramel-looking, is thick, a nice compliment to the darkness of the ale.

S: Vanilla and coconut, a strong bourbon aroma that stands out against the dark, imperial stout backdrop. Dark roasted aromas, well-burnt, stand out but the strength isn't as intense.

T: Bourbon is strong, a little stronger than I'd prefer up front. A boozy head, plenty of alcohol, as things get started. After the first sip, the stout settles down, allowing both the imperial and bourbon sides to come through. The stout is dark, chocolate and coffee alongside burnt toast. The bourbon brings vanilla and coconut, along with a warmth, to the ale, cutting off the sharper edges of the stout. A decent barrel aged stout.

M: The mouthfeel is reasonably mild, a good streak of bourbon cutting through it. And pretty cheap too (under $10 for a dinner bottle).

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Zeno's.

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of light brown head

S - Vanilla, oak, chocolate, bourbon. Very robust nose with the barrel aging very apparent.

T - Vanilla, oak, bourbon, roasted malts, cocoa. Extremely robust.

M - Medium body. A touch watery at times.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black appearance with a mocha 2 finger head that disapates into a 1 finger steady head. Aroma is similar to bcbs. Oak and bourbon, vanilla and slight coffee/chocolate. Taste isnt as strong as aroma, not as complex as expected, great bourbon but not the best stout behind it. Smooth and lighter than the average stout. Not bad, especially for a bottle under $10, it's not bcbs but it's not bad either.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had heard from my friend Jeff that they had a barrel aged Incidius on tap a few months ago and had wanted to try it. I found myself at the brew works one night and ordered a glass. This beer comes out as black as anything. The head was tan and laced the glass pretty well. The smell of the beer had some bourbon aromas but nothing too wonderful coming off of that. The taste of this beer is pretty good, heavily roasted and some hints of vanilla in there. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Overall it's a pretty good stout and worth looking into.

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Photo of stakem
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle that boasts the same packaging as the base version except for a gold sticker that is added to the label. I remember when this brew was first released, I had it on tap at the brewpub and enjoyed it. I am anxious to open this up.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with slightly more than 2 fingers of dark tan head that is creamy. Pretty solid retention to the cap, as it slowly recedes it leaves patches of lace work on the glass. When held to the light, this brew shows some dark brown clarity around the edges. Unfortunately the looks of this beer are it's best feature.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a scent of dark fruity character mixed with caramel and vanilla sweetness upfront. If we stopped just there, this brew would smell great, however as more sniffs are taken this brew starts to fall apart. The alcohol is fairly bold with a bit of a fusel touch that pierces the nose and brings out more of the barrel aged properties smelling very woodsy almost like a sawmill. The background of the nose has some citrus hops that come across almost a bit herbal mixed with something quite sulfuric. As the brew gets warmer there is a spiced aspect about the nose that is intriguing and a bit out of place. The more I smell this brew, the more tangy with alcohol it gets.

The taste of this brew is dark and roasty with a flavor that immediately turns to dark fruits laden with alcohol. The flavor residing in the mouth is that of raisins mostly before turning a bit oaky. The tannic nature of the barrel aging process is very bold in this brew. The flavor of oak creates a contrast in flavor with the dark fruited alcohol flavor that doesnt mesh all that well. Each sip brings forth more of the alcohol flavoring and mildly chalky burnt grain flavor. The aftertaste of this brew includes some herbal hops that collectively make this brew taste like medicine. I have had a lot of brews that taste medicinal but this is honestly the first stout I ever had that gave me that impression.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The rich fullness one would expect for a barrel aged imperial stout is nowhere to be found. The alcohol seems much more bold than the listed 9%, even enjoyed at colder than ideal temperatures, the alcohol still is bold by all accounts and warms you up. It is a peculiar arrangement of flavors in this offering that never quite settle down and come together. This is one example of where barrel aging and the tannic flavors of oak really clash with the fruity base brew. The aftertaste makes me feel like I have been chewing on a toothpick all afternoon.

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Photo of Thanby
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque mahogany with a huge foamy brown head that sticks like glue.

Nose is big on roasted chocolate malt, smoky, barely noticeable hops and not too extreme in any one direction.

First taste is very smooth chocolate malt body, thick to the point of being almost chewy. The malt is very balanced and seems to be aged properly, with a little hint of the bourbon barrel that's not overpowering.

Thick body and very smooth, this is a very easy to drink stout and a pretty good example of the style. Hops are a little light, but it still turns out well.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at kraftwork in philly

Pours a deep blackness with a froth of brownie colored head. Long lasting retention and lacing on the glass.

Kind of subdued in the nose with chocolate, bittersweetness, roasted malt, and very faint bourbon/vanilla.

The profile is a little better, roasted malts with dark chocolate up front. Some sweetness with warmth, lighter nutty and coffee tones. The bourbon barrel is pretty light, some hints of booze and vanilla. Finishes warm and a bit sweet.

Fuller medium body, well carbonated, a little chewy. I've tried a bunch of beers from this brewery and I still haven't found one I really like. This isn't really what I'm looking for in a barrel aged stout.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to pvequalsnrt for this generous bottle

This beer pours a very foamy dark brown, appearing black in the snifter. The aroma, has the good smell of roast and the not so good smell of laundry detergent. The taste is very roasty, I get more oak wood than I do any bourbon what-so-ever. That having been said this is a very acidic mouthfeel which isn't too uncommon, but by no means is it what I would consider desirable. The thing is that as it warms up it grows on you a little bit, but it wasn't all that great to start with. It's a good beer, but not really all that great.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Three Floyds tulip pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

Didn't see this brew coming, but I'm always game for a new barrel-aged stout these days. This one pours a a straight onyx topped by plenty o' dirty tan foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, oak, bourbon, molasses, dark chocolate, and a vague sense of roasted malts. The taste holds notes of oak, cedar, cheap whiskey, roasted malts, light coffee, dark chocolate, and molasses. If the wood up front wasn't seemingly drenched in some bad bourbon, this would probably taste much better. That's not to say it tastes bad, just that it could taste better. That's all. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda chewy feel. Overall, a fairly solid barrel-aged stout, though it seems to me the barrels could've been a bit better. Beyond that, though, this was a pretty enjoyable brew.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice pour from my boy onix1agr into a big ass snifter.

A- a steady pour yields almost three fingers of dark tan head that holds for a good bit before slowly settling to a cm thick cap. Completely pitch black in color.

S- chocolate and vanilla with some roasty malts and dark fruits. Barrel notes are light and mostly in the background save for the vanilla.

T- opens up surprisingly fruity with dark roasted malts. There some chocolate but less then the nose. Burnt nuts and some booze make there way in. Kinda all over the place.

M- about medium in body with a bit bigger carb that get aggressive with a good swish. Heat does do some warming of the mouth and the rest of the way down.

O- not the best of the style in my opinion. Rather thin and a bit too fruity to work with the rest of the flavor profile.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly close to dark black on the pour, the head was actually pretty fluffy and light brown. Left a bunch of clumpy lacing down the side of the glass on its way down.

S: Definitely getting the bourbon on the nose with some sweet notes of caramel, chocolate and toffee. Nice vanilla note as well with some rum extract type aroma. Cherries come to mind as well, which is a very nice balancing aroma.

T: Bourbon heat is there, smooth woody flavors with some tobacco. The only thing lacking here is the big, roasty Impy stout body. A bit too sweet with a shade too little bitterness.

M: Has a nice velvety feel to it, finishes like a sweet stout but with a heavier body and lingering alcohol presence. Enjoyable stout for sure and the barrel aging was definitely a plus for this one.

D: Just a bit underwhelming for a big barrel aged Impy stout. Nothing jumps out as horrible, but nothing jumps out as impressive either. Solid local barrel aged IS.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch color, with a foamy, dark tan head, lots of lacing
S: little bit of roasty, little but of barrel. Not as potent as I had suspected
T: Massive bourbon barrel flavor. Kind of too much. There are hints of vanilla, but the oak really shines. Not to much of the standard imperial stout flavors really, as it is overpowered by the bourbon flavor
M: Syrupy, but not in a bad way. there are various hints of flavor, but the bourbon mutes much of it
O: This is an interesting brew, the positives generally outweighs the negatives

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Photo of cavedave
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to acurtis for leaving this for me after a recent stout tasting.

Huge light brown head on this baby, billowing four fingers up to the top of my nonic above an opaque, black brew. Insidious look for sure! The head shrinks a bit, but stays around. Beer's best feature.

Aroma of bourbon, hints of coffee, chocolate, dark caramel, lighter hints of floral hop. Expected some more roasty or charry aromas from the look.

Sweet fronts the sip, sugary at first, turning to caramel and a bit of burnt sugar, then the bourbon kicks in- strongly. Coffee bitter joins, chocolate jumps aboard, and at last some roasty bitter comes along for the ride with hints of oak and vanilla. It is a medium strength taste, very basic for a barrel aged big stout, and ends with some hop bitter joining the increasingly charry roast and lingering sweet and bourbon for a semi dry finish. Not all that clean, or bright, or even that complex (despite how this sounds so far) flavor profile. 12 years ago I would have thought this was the best tasting stout ever. Now its competition stands above it in starkly superior contrast. Many better tasting stouts spring easily to mind.

Could be a bit more full bodied, has high to med. carb., is nicely viscous without cloy, and sports a decent finish.

This is a solid stout, but in America 2011, full of the best brewed bb stouts in world history, it doesn't stand out. I recommend it, but not heartily.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank side by side with the base beer. Obtained in a trade with ShadesOfGray.

A - Black beer, brown head, decent lace. They really looked about the same.

S - Beer seems to lost some of its roasty character to the bourbon, which I thought might have been its best feature. Some barrel smell (oak, vanilla).

T - I prefer the base beer to this one I believe. The bourbon is present, but there's a touch too much of it. Some vanilla and oak, but the barrel seemed to thin out the flavor a bit too much.

M - Feels the same as the base, carbonation is slightly too high.

D - Base beer is better, this is okay, but given the choice I'd take the non-barrel-aged version over this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for sharing this one. Sampled side-by-side with regular Insidious. Some of the notes will be cribbed from that review.

A - Pours with ample carbonation that forms a big tan foam that lingers and eventually settles to a thin cap, leaving plenty of lace. Body is appropriately black. Near identical to the base beer.

S - Bourbon and earthy grains. Some oak and light vanilla. Not getting much of the base beer, which I think I preferred.

T - Again, it's very bourbon forward, with vanilla and barrel character. Booze is fairly well-hidden in that it is mostly whiskey flavor and not overt alcohol. There's a slight off charred plastic flavor, but otherwise this isn't bad.

M - Feel is pretty similar to the base beer. They managed to keep it from thinning out too much, which is nice. Medium body that seems a bit light for 9%. Slightly overcarbonated, but nothing a few swirls of the glass a a bit of patience won't solve.

D - A fairly rare instance where barrel-aging the beer didn't seem to be advantageous - instead it lost most of its character and depth. Perhaps this needed less time in the barrels? I wasn't as interested in refilling my glass.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewpub into a snifter

A- pours black with a one finger light tan head that fades very quickly. Would have liked to see it stick around more

S- nice aroma of bourbon dominates the nose, with slight hints of chocolate as well

T- sweet, but not cloyingly so. Bourbon, chocolate, and coffee are the major tastes coming to me from this one. Not overdone at all

M- really chewy, just the way I like a nice bal-aged stout.

D- this went down pretty quickly, and it's not boozy at all. BrewWorks is great at hiding the booze in their bigger beers

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Insidious from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
3.71 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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