Pappy's Dark | Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant

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Pappy's DarkPappy's Dark

Brewed by:
Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Brewed with six malts of Belgian & British origin. Bourbon in color with a very complex and interesting malt profile. Matured in 9 & 10 year old bourbon barrels for 2-4 months. Bright aromas of bourbon, fresh baked bread, caramel, and oak. Velvety texture, rich malt and bourbon flavours with an enticingly warm bourbon finish. 10% alc/vol 40 IBU's"

Added by seanthornton152 on 05-28-2010

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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 123
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Thanks to Oneinchaway for sharing this one.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, fruit, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is definitely infected but not all that bad as it is.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized malt with some bourbon notes and some woody notes. Taste is a weird mix between some woody notes with some bourbon some caramelized malt notes though not as much residual sugars as I would have expected. Body is about average with good carbonation and some warming alcohol. Disappointed by this beer which lacks the balance I was hoping for and veers close to the messy category.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, consumed July, 2014. Served slightly refrigerated.

Medium brown color, murky, with a small tan head that sank to a ringlet, leaving some random streaks of lacing and legs on the glass. Aroma was a little off at first (medicinal mostly), but after it breathed for a few minutes, it was fine. Notes of dark sugars, dark fruits, bourbon. In the taste, sweet malts, caramel, bourbon, wet oak, vanilla, brown sugar, figs, dates, some solventy booze. As the beer warmed, the bourbon/vanilla came out more, keeping the sweetness in check. Body was medium, mouthfeel was slick and unctuous. You definitely have to expect something different than a BA stout with this beer, otherwise you'll be disappointed. The bourbon was fairly smooth, lacking any major boozy heat, making the 10%ABV seem just about right, and making drinkability easy. Overall, this was an enjoyable beer. Not mind-blowing, but really everything was right where where it should have been.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

Copper in color with minimal head formation, perhaps some khaki foam. The barrel comes through a bit, but not as prominent as many barrel aged beers (a bit of booze and vanilla). There is a nice sweetness of toffee, brown sugar, dark stone fruits, and molasses. The flavor is similar in the malt profile. Excellent brown sugar and toffee flavors. There is a solid bourbon flavor and a smooth vanilla character. A bit more subdued on the fruit. Medium body with low carbonation.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer appears a murky shade of burnt copper with virtually no head. The aroma offers oak, vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt. The flavor is very malty, with tannic / vanilla notes. Perhaps a hint of citrus from excessive barrel character. Light in feel with low carbonation. Overall, this was ok.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a flat reddish brown body. No head. The thinnest of collars going on.

Smell - Bourbon, lots of caramel, vanilla. Not as impressive as I remember it.

Taste - Richer caramel, lots of barrel and vanilla. Finishes astringent and bourbony.

Mouthfeel - Mostly flat. Slight booziness to it.

Overall - Just a bland beer in a good barrel. This would be a nothing beer without the barrel.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage shared by Mike (AgentZero). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to wisps, a collar, and specks of lace. Opaque brown-orange body. Pretty solid considering the higher ABV.

S - Malt-heavy, with cherry brandy, dark fruits, marmalade, bourbon, and oak as well. Even with all those sweet flavors it manages to avoid being cloying - the oak and whiskey bite help in that regard.

T - A nice mix of fruity, toffee, and caramel malts yield to oak, vanilla, and bourbon in the finish. Notes of plums, black cherry, and raisins with some estery yeast as well - base felt a bit more like a Belgian Strong than an American one. Alcohol is very well hidden, and this went down fairly smooth for 10%.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Creamy texture that evokes liquid caramel. Lower but present carbonation and well-hidden alcohol. Not sure if this would have been as tame out of the gate, but it's quite ready at this stage of the game.

D - A solid malt-forward barrel-aged beer. Nothing mind-blowing, but enjoyable all the same. You'll definitely need a few friends on deck to tackle the 750ml bottle, but it's perfectly drinkable in small doses.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with burnt orangish brown highlights and a nice little thin head that barely left any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots out sweetness prsence coming out of the aroma consisting of caramel, brown sugar, hints of maple syrup, toffee and some woody notes. The bourbon barrel character was not as intense as I thought it was going to be and the booze heat was well hidden.

T: caramel brown sugar sweetness with a blend of woody flavor hit the palate frist with just enough booze that was well balanced to me, alongside toffee molasses accents, a touch of vanilla and good bourbon character,

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a bourbon boozy, sweet, slightly woody, sugary and silky finish.

O: it was a pretty decent beer all around but was a little let down on the taste cause I thought it be more rich in flavor; oh well.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler provide the first night of Inflatablechair's annual hair-cutting extravaganza. Seanthornton152 brought this gem over just for the occasion.... Very cool Sean... Glad you entered this one in before I did... I definitely didn't think "RIS" .... I think American Strong does justice.

Pours clear brown... nice off white head with okay lacing.

Nose is a plush sugary caramel conglomeration soaked in good bourbon. :-) Lite cocoa shows too, but that could be my smeller playing tricks.

Thick vanilla caramels... very malty and sweet.. not cloying.. just very thick.. decadent almost.. the bourbon plays pretty heavy too.. vanilla and lesser oak.. something that I pick up as spicy phenols... a bit solventy EtOH as it warms. Too sweet for my teeth.

Body is pretty heavy .... carbonation is lite yet ever present even on later pours.

Thanks again Sean.... I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around this one.... in a good way of course.


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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap during the Hop and Vine event.

The beer pours a tawny, cloudy brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. This beer has the look of a beer that has seen a bit of barrel aging in its time. The nose is intense and a bit unusual, as I pick up noticeable bourbon (of course), brown sugar, plum, light sour and vanilla. The bourbon does not overpower the rest of the aroma components in this beer, which I think is a good thing. On the palate, this beer is just a treat. The beer is fairly sweet and rich, but has enough bourbon and dark fruit to keep the sweetness from coming across as too much. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, rich, brown sugar and vanilla infused finish. This beer carries its 10% abv. very well, and is not at all heavy, hot or tiring on the finish. You can certainly tell it's up there, and I'm not sure I'd ever want more than a single glass at a sitting, but this is definitely a very nice beer that I wouldn't hesitate to order again.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Bottle thanks to writerljberg for the bottle. Poured into snifter.

A: Reddish amber with a small brown head.

S: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, coconut, date. Evident booze. Smells a bit like an old IPA with some barrel characteristics.

T: Pretty hot. Earthy hops, caramel, oak, toffee, and lots of booze. Low bitterness. Finishes dry, with pronounced booze and oak.

M: Upper medium in body with upper low carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and sticky.

Overall: An interesting beer. Somewhere between an old Double IPA and a Barleywine. Not bad, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks again to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a rather dark burnt sienna brown color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- A nice rich, almost spicy brown sugar and raisin profile. Subtle bits of vanilla, oak, and bourbon too.

(T)- A nice subtlety to it overall. Has an old ale-like malt profile with caramel and toffee with bits of vanilla, raisin, and nice barrel characters like a stout.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level and balance. Obviously barrel aged, but it is integrated very well and nothing becoming overbearing or boozy; very well balanced.

(D)- Quite the nice take on the style. Expertly balanced and well integrated. Well done.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of 2010 vintage from my cellar, poured into tulips

A: Dark brick reddish, loose 1 finger head, good lacing

S: Raisin, bourbon, leather are detectable from a distance immediately after pouring. More subtle notes of toffee, vanilla, and dark fruit.

T: Bready and toasty malt, very slight banana, boozy on the finish. Doesn't really live up to the aroma.

M: Low-to-medium carbonation, a bit thin for the style.

O: Good, but a bit underwhelming, particularly compared to my memory of it on draft a couple months ago.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this beer! Thanks Hollis!

reviewed from notes taken on 4/25/12.

750ml cork and cage format bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: medium brown bodied beer with 2 fingers high of light tan colored frothy head. Some fizziness in the head that quickly drops to ring around glass.

Smell: Really mild nose. You gotta really put your nose into this beer to get anything out of it. Caramel and toffee; oak, brandy, and dark fruits prominently figs.

Taste: Toasted coconut and smooth bourbon. Oak, caramel, toffee, and vanilla notes. Figs and brown sugar. Nothing really stands out the flavors all just meld together. Mild astringency and a dry quality to the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Smooth beer with a warming alcohol. Slickness to this beer, but it seem a bit thin.

Overall: This brew reminds me of Figgy Pudding from Block 15. I wish it had a bit more flavor.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jedwards for sharing this one. Pours the color of toffee with a hazy clarity. Head is just a soapy skim with a thin band around the edges. Nose is sugary and reveals toffee, citrus and a buttery quality. Taste expresses butterscotch, albeit it's a bit watered down, with just a suggestion of bourbon and a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-light in consistency with a sharp carbonation and a slightly oily texture; however, all and all, it comes off a bit watery. My overall impression of this beer is a thin old ale. All and all it's decent, but the mouthfeel makes it all just fall a little short for me.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle opened and split two ways on 4.7.13.

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a few dark tan bubbles that quickly move to the glass and leave lots of streaking lacing.

S - A bit tart, but lots of barrel notes, toffee, and wood.

T - Lots of barrel, almost a tartness, but more woody. Lots of toffee/carmel, and of course bourbon. One of the best.

D - Lower carbonation with a medium body.

O - A bit tart and woody, but a very nice bourbon influence. Pappy is always nice.

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Photo of maximum12
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kscaldef for sending me my first two bottles of Block 15, maybe the brewery I most wanted to try. This brew was on my let's get to it. C&C 750 ML bottle split with my wife from the 2011 bottling.

Nice label & good to see the eco-consciousness of another brewery. Pour looks like liquid caramel with redhead highlights. Smell unfolds as it warms. Great barrel notes, & enough hard malting to rival an old ale with that distinctive sweet caramel & booze. Very nice.

Pappy's Dark punches like a beer twice its ABV & makes my breath a fire hazard. Not only smells like an old ale, tastes like one too: big caramel & a brick wall of booziness warm enough to make me kick off my slippers & abandon my sweatshirt. Lovely goose of vanilla & gentle bourbon hit the bare midriff (bare because my temp is still going up). End-up is woozy boozy with a touch of toffee, slight breadiness coming in & oak causing a drought in my mouth. Could use a touch of carbonation, but hey, hairs, split, etc.

This is a low-fi bruiser that mimcs antifreeze (now I'm free of my pants, yippee!). If straight-up alcohol & complexity is your thing, you'll like this. Me? Love the complexities, very good beer.

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Photo of claspada
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 edition.

Pours a semi hazy medium brown colors with a small eggshell head that recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with some brown sugar, caramelized sugars, light maple and candy with some emerging bourbon more and more as it warms. There is also some light oak and toasted bread which emerges as well.

The tastes follow those nose with some toasted biscuity bread, caramelized sugars and light cocoa maltiness. The bourbon and oak complements the flavors and does not assert itself too much or overpower the base beer but works in harmony. Some vanilla and maple also emerges as it warms more and more.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with medium to light carbonation. Finish is decently sweet but no where near cloying thanks to what I assume is some Belgian yeast which adds some necessary dryness.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and probably the darkhorse highlight of our last group bottle share. It is a beast flavor-wise yet extremely balanced and drinkable compared to other offerings in this ABV level and style. Definitely worth seeking out if you ask me.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes taken from early 2012 (March?) from a bottle share i hosted with the local crew.

Thanks kindly to hannont for the trade.

surprising amber color with a thin head. smells like a strong ale...almost brandy like. smooth and easy drinker. sweet bourbon and malts. good vanilla with a hint of coconut. smooth, very smooth. kind of old ale, like curmudgeon's better half, but better better half. really nice beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at The Beer Stein, Pappy's Dark is chestnut brown with a small off-white collar that leaves no lace.

Smell is huge wet bourbon, not hot though, just the wonderful caramel/corn/vanilla notes, with a little bread pudding wafting out as it warms.

Taste is raisin and fig, bourbon, chocolate. A nice earthy BSDA with some phenols and a big, yet smooth punch of bourbon flavor, without the overt booze.

Mouthfeel is modestly dry, and surprisingly not to heavy, definitely bringing that Belgian style digestibility.

Drinkability is very yummy, well integrated, dangerously smooth and delicious. I love bourbon, and love how reminiscent this is, without being as bruising.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, split, hill farmstead glass

PAPPY BARRELS. A difficult beer to categorize or describe - pretty big bodied, caramel and toffee are the dominant flavors - bourbon is percolating, but not particularly refined. Brown sugar and molasses contribute additional weight and sweetness. I'm not sure about this one - some nice things going on, but kind of a mish-mash and the barrel aging really was pretty sloppy in my opinion.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton for sharing this, Justin.

A: Pours a dark raisin caramel color with a small light brown head that faded into a faint collar.
S: Very sweet smelling. I can definitely smell the Pappy barrel. Other scents include caramel, vanilla, marshmallow and an almost berry-like fruitiness.
T: Pappy smoothness and big bourbon notes all the way. The flavors follow the nose with big notes of caramel and vanilla, but the flavor is also very bready and grainy with notes of dark fruits. Bourbon consumes the finish, and there is that smooth Pappy butteriness in the aftertaste.
M: Bubbly carbonation made up of tiny bubbles, with moderate alcohol warmth, a creamy mouthfeel and smooth body.
O: A very solid beer. I love me some Pappy barrels, and this one did well with the treatment. Interesting fruit flavor for an old ale. Thanks again for the taste, Justin!

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Photo of Jeffo
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer night with Doopie many Tuesdays ago. Cheers for good times man!

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1½ finger, looser looking, fizzy, off-white head with decent retention. Head fades to a looser foam cap. Maroon red with medium carbonation evident. A stream flying up the middle of the glass. A nice foam cap remains with touches of lacing down the glass. Decent looking, but the intial head was lack luster.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramel and toffee on the nose. LIght red fruits in there as well, but this is mostly bold barrel and candy aromas. Pretty nice really.

TASTE: Sweet with caramel and toffee, then bourbon and oak notes into the swallow. Lots of fruit at the swallow, dark fruits mostly, with raisins, dates and grapes, and then more barrel, oak and spicy yeast linger nicely. Not boozy at all, but plenty of barrel flavors with caramel and fruity sweetness. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy-smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. A touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff for sure. Really enjoyable and complex. Lots of barrel flavors with plenty of sweet malt notes to compete. Good beers Doopie. Cheers man!

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A snifter (a paltry $3? what???) served at The Hop & Vine, one day after a big Block 15 bash. Thanks to Yetta for the pour, despite the bar side not opening for well over an hour ~ glad there was still some left on-tap, even after bottles were long gone.

A: For lack of a better descriptor, this looks like 'bourbon' - a deep brown-orange that shows very little carbonation through its slight haziness. Barely a a 1/4" of khaki cream breaks apart quickly; 'lace' is a polka dot scattering.

S: Plenty of woodsy 'barrel' in the nose, a toasty malt/crushed spice/candy-like note that screams 'BOURBON!' with a backing of hoppy greenness, kinda minty. Smells good an strong right, but something of a one-trick pony right now...

T: Notable flavors of richly sweet and amply spiced bourbon; it's very straightforward with the oak and the spice. A curious fruitiness (apple) with toasted nuts and a little toffee. Dessert-y sugars and something deeper and darker, light cocoa and charred wood. It's complex know, but you have to believe there's much more to this given some time to relax.

M: Has a little surliness to its fusel heat, but that can't detract from a refined smoothness. Medium-heavy build; not quite 'cloying' but definitely a 'lasting feel, due almost entirely to that creamy booziness. Nice, but could stand to simmer down quite a bit...

D: A beer with 'good bones', but not an entirely drinkable one right now. The potential is high in this one, given anywhere from 6 months to... oh, I don't know... a couple years(?) to mellow. Awfully warm right now, which makes it a sipper that warrants nearly an hour to finish. If you're lucky enough to snag a bottle, do yourself a favor and sit on it til at least next fall... or if you like a boozy bourbon warmth, go ahead and have it right now!

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of ramnuts. Thanks, Frank! I opened this without reading the label or beer description.

A: The cork was ridiculously hard to get out. The beer pours a murky (pond-water like) chestnut color with a thin head that consists of large tan bubbles. Retention is poor.

S: The aroma is not very strong; requiring some agitation to bring it out. It suggests some Belgian influence here; it carries notes of figs and raisins. Caramel, rye bread -- a bit of toffee behind mild bourbon and oak.

T: Woody, with toffee, caramel, and dark fruit (perhaps raisin and grape, or fig) leading the charge. I pick up mild spice that suggests a holiday character -- clove and nutmeg come to mind. The bourbon is present but not overwhelming, and it delivers a small vanilla accent in the finish. Brown sugar in the aftertaste. The beer manages to avoid being cloying by virtue of being [relatively] dry, the astringency of the oak, and a mild hoppiness. It is, however, a desert sipper.

M: Medium-bodied with low carbonation. The finish is clean and falls off the palate quickly, leaving some slickness behind.

O: I found this tasty enough, but it has a weak nose, and the flavors are too muddled to swim with the big boys in the style (assuming this is an English barleywine). It's good, but it needs some polish to shine. As always, I'm impressed by Block 15 and think they have potential.

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Pappy's Dark from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
3.86 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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