Big Gruesome (Aged In Bourbon Barrels Over Coffee Beans And Cacao Nibs) | Spring House Brewing Company

very good
10 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Spring House Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rifugium on 06-02-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 84
Photo of jaken0ss
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured on 8/13/14, beware all people sitting on or trading for this: THE COFFEE HAS GONE TO GREEN PEPPERS!

Appearance: Nice black, oily, but not too dense

Smell: Green Peppers, Green peppers, and green peppers

T: slight bourbon and green peppers

O: Very,very sad how this beer turned out. Aging this on coffee seems like it was a poor choice after only such a short time the coffee has turned to green pepper. I'm assuming they made a bad decision in what beans to use for this one.

On a side note, blending this with the original big gruesome resulted in a beer that was much more awesome than the two base beers.

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Photo of stakem
2.89/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Waxed 750ml poured into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a fizzy mocha head. The cap holds with a finger strength supported by constantly rising bubbles. As the cap fades, some spots and patchy lace stick to the glass.

The aroma contains notes of peanut butter and chocolate. A little earthen and the oaked aspect comes across like it is a raw or virgin barrel, not a spirit like bourbon. Taking more whiffs reveal more notes of peanut butter and slight roasty appeal. I dont get much in the way of bourbon or coffee as advertised on the label.

The taste includes notes of peanut butter before a bubbly carbonic character takes over tasting of minerals and carbonic acid. It has a mild tannic woodiness accent and a bitter earthiness in the finish. Like the nose, not really bourbon in the feel or much of any coffee which is a let down.

This is a light bodied brew with an effervescent amount of carbonation that is just too much to the point of being distracting. The alcohol is hidden fairly well. If you take the time to swirl and degas the beer, it really brings out the alcohol and hint of bourbon and helps the feel a little. Overall this offering is a disappointment. The concept and ingredients sound amazing but after drinking this, I would rather have plain Big Gruesome over this.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 22 OZ. Voodoo Snifter.
A: Dark Brown/ Blackish pour. Not overly thick or dark but not overly thin either. 2 ½ finger tan head.
S: Peanut butter dominated the nose and remains throughout. Very toasty, with coffee, caramel and slight oaky notes coming through.
T: Peanut butter again dominates the flavor even more so than regular gruesome. Coffee notes come through along with a toasty flavor. Oak and bourbon flavors are very light but come through more as the beer warms but still overpowered by other flavors.
M: A little thin for such a big beer but still coats the mouth with great flavors throughout each sip.
O: A more robust version of Big Gruesome which is a great beer on its own. Barrel notes are subtle but other flavors seem more pronounced. Each sip brought out a different element in this flavorful beer and as it warmed more barrel characteristics became apparent. Overall really good beer that is very balanced and really hides the 12.8 ABV.

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Photo of orangesol
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the share FooFaa!

A - Pours jet black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of strong peanut butter, chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted malt, oak and light bourbon. The PB is much stronger than normal but the bourbon is too light.

T - Starts off with the nutty peanut butter quickly being joined by the sweet flavors - mainly the chocolate and vanilla as well as some dark fruits - woody oak and very light bourbon burn. Finish is roasty and dry, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Roasty toasty feel with some mild bitterness. Light booze creeps in as it warms but I expected more with the bumped up ABV and spirit aging.

O - A nice rift on the regular version. I like the bumped up flavors but the bourbon is almost non existent. Not worth the price it's been going for but still pretty good.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired from the brewery. Refrigerated for about 30 minutes.

Spring House still doesn't have an appropriate glass for stouts yet, so I poured this into a Stone tasting goblet. (I'm hoping the BRS glass is a stem glass of some kind.) Basic stout appearance, solid black color, topped with an inch of foamy tan head, which retained well and left sheets of lacing on the glass. Seemed over carbonated. Aroma was nice, pretty close to regular BG actually, chocolate, peanut butter, bitter coffee and roasty dark malts. No bourbon notes whatsoever. In the taste, coffee and oak were the dominant factors, cocoa and some boozy heat coming through. Again, there was no bourbon whatsoever in this, and even the peanut butter took a back seat, with the coffee and roastiness taking over almost completely. Kind of disappointing. The peanut did come out a bit more as it got back to room temp, but not by much. Body was pretty comparable to regular BG as well, medium leaning towards full but never completely getting there, pretty smooth mouthfeel but with an expected alcohol burn to it, carbonation a bit higher than I would have expected. Overall, this was decent, but a bit of a let-down, too unbalanced with not enough bourbon coming through (aka none).

I actually prefer the base beer. And I'd imagine that drinking this at any stage other than fresh would be a mistake. But I'm still looking forward to trying the other BRS offerings.

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Photo of BradC
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black color, a nice 2 finger head falls to leave some lacing and a thin tan foam.

Peanut butter takes over in the aroma with a slight coffee aroma and some bourbon notes.

Flavors follow the aroma, peanut butter, some chocolate, I don't pick up not the coffee very much. The bourbon is subdued but starts to come out as it warms.

Pretty light bodied for almost 13%abv and easy drinking.

Overall, a well made BA beer, all the Flavors are there and it's surprising easy to drink. Can't wait to let my other bottle get some age on it.

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Photo of sabragg28
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Waxed bottle poured into a teku glass. Dark black body with a light rich head, smells of bourbon, peanut butter, chocolate fudge, and light coffee. All the flavors are present but combined perfectly so that there are many fantastic layers. Light to medium body with a light creamy mouth feel. Fantastic beer, thank you springhouse for allowing me to have this fantastic beer! Looking forward to the next releases.

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Photo of roysand
4.94/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Waxed and capped bottle poured into voodoo barrel room snifter. Pours black with a two finger tan head. Smells of coffee (huge), peanut butter, and chocolate, faint aromas of bourbon. Taste follows the nose: Coffee, peanut butter, and chocolate lead the way and slowly give way to the bourbon. As it warms, the bourbon becomes more pronounced and more up-front. Very complex and tasty brew. Unique; unlike any beer I've ever had. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, rich and velvety smooth. Overall a spectacular beer. I'm kicking myself for trading my second bottle away before opening this one. I would love to see how this beer ages.

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Photo of sandlansd
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, poured @ 50 degrees into a KBS snifter.

A: Deep black with a glorious 3 finger dark brown head. Head hangs around for a good while and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Huge bourbon and coffee bomb with good amounts of chocolate and peanut butter also present. Can't wait to dig in!

T: Exactly like it smells. Big time coffee, peanut butter, and chocolate, with the perfect amount of bourbon. Very smooth. Definitely can't tell it is 12.8%. Bourbon flavor becomes even stronger as the beer warms a bit.

M: Noticeably different than previous spring house stouts... in a positive way. It was a very good decision to "bump up" the base beer's ABV.

Overall: A good start to Spring House's Barrel Program. A very unique, and quite delicious brew... Can't wait to see what's next!

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Photo of ShanePB
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml waxed and capped bottle, served into a tulip.

A: Deep black body with a moderately sized dark tan/brown colored head. Hangs around for a bit and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Spot on look for the style.

S: Huge bitter coffee notes, chocolate, peanut butter and a slight bourbon character. The coffee really takes over the nose but the chocolate and peanut butter hang in there.

T: Peanut butter, coffee and chocolate again on the palate. The bourbon is noticeable absent from the taste, though undertones of the barrel do come through as it warms. Considering this spent 12 months in the barrel, I would have expected more of a presence. I think the adjuncts here took over (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

M: Creamy, thick yet dangerously drinkable. The 12.8% ABV certainly helped with this beer in the barrel and really drinks a lot lower than that.

A great first impression from Spring House for their barrel aged stuff. Very unique, plenty of flavors going on here, I just wanted more bourbon out of it personally.

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Big Gruesome (Aged In Bourbon Barrels Over Coffee Beans And Cacao Nibs) from Spring House Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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