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Black Tuesday | The Bruery

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world-class
668 Reviews
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Black TuesdayBlack Tuesday
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 19.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our infamous Black Tuesday is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. Rich caramel, toasted malt, vanilla, burnt wood and anise are just a few of the many flavors in this rich, decadent imperial stout.

2009: 19.5% ABV
2010: 18.2% ABV
2011: 18.3% ABV
2012: 19.2% ABV
2013: 18.9% ABV
2014: 19.7% ABV
2015: 19.9% ABV
2016: 20.3% ABV

Added by OlieIPA on 07-18-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
668
Ratings:
3,759
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
9.84%
 
 
Wants:
3,243
Gots:
1,965
For Trade:
244
User Reviews
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Reviews: 668 | Ratings: 3,759
Photo of KVNBGRY
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle (quick notes)

Appearance - Black, with a ruby hue around edges. Little to no head. There is no lacing, rather legs, like wine. It looks intimidating almost.

Aroma - Raisin, bourbon (vanilla and burnt oak), prunes, and a touch of chocolate.

Taste - Chocolate, anise, raisin, prune, vanilla, oak, bourbon. The flavors all are there separately, and distinguishable.

Mouthfeel - Burn! Sweet, smooth burn!

Overall - This guy's HUGE! It's complex as hell, but intriguing all the way through. This was fresh as of a month or so. I think it needs at least a full year or two to mellow and mature.

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Photo of decadance
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to kzoobrew for bring this one to the tasting!

A - For a small (4-5oz pour) there was a significant amount of tan head on top of the dark black base. Head dissipates slowly, and then a syrupy viscosity coats the glass.

S - Booze. It dominates. Hints of chocolate and brown sugar. Overall, the tone is booze and sweet.

T - Highly bourbon, but shockingly smooth for the high abv. Some chocolate around in the middle, and some interesting fruit tones in the end that are a bit difficult to pick out. Wonderful.

M - Exactly what you want from a big bodied stout. Its entirely full and creamy, and coats the mouth.

D - My wife could not finish hers (too boozy), so my 5ozs turned to around 9ozs. After that much, I was done, but the booze began to dominate. I dinged it a couple points just because of that.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pitch black and minimal cream head. Booze/bourbon, chocolate aroma. Delicious taste. Chocolate, sweet, bourbon. Mouthfeel is syrupy, but just short of thick. Remarkably smooth for 18%, with a very bold chocolate smooth taste.

Black Tuesday is one-of-a-kind. That said, World Wide Stout scratches the same itch, IMO, and WWS is so much easier to get. But don't get me wrong -- Black Tuesday is without a doubt the superior beer. So incredibly smooth for 18%.

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Photo of dbossman
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Near black with no head and minimal, thin lacing--but pretty understandable considering the booze in this thing

S: Lots of bourbon, oak, booze, dark fruits, roasted malts; this smells so hot--so boozy and sweet and yet incredible

T: Wow, that is boozy--so much bourbon and oak and dark fruits but man does it all mingle so well together; this beer will probably age really well but it is so damn good fresh

F: Viscous, thick, syrupy, awesome mouth feel

O: This is an amazing beer--it is so boozy but some dark fruits and roasty malts do linger making this a world class beer: one of my favorites

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black Tuesday pours, well, black, with a thin and wispy beige head that recedes to a faint ring around the edge of the glass. Thick, vinous legs on this one, too. The aromas are intense: heavy, heavy alcohol presence that's a lot like straight bourbon (though the alcohol aroma settled substantially as the beer warmed up); dark red fruit like raisins and cherries; chocolate; and a very nice oaky vanilla. Flavors are a dream: sweet, booze-drenched chocolate; spicy alcohol heat; caramelized brown sugar; vanilla marshmallows; more vanilla and molasses; more of those dark red fruits; and a faint char or roastiness on the finish. There's almost a sherry- or port-like flavor to Black Tuesday, which transforms this beer into one fit not only for mortals, but also for the gods. Mouthfeel is not thin, but not as viscous as I was expecting. It's just smooth, substantial, and exactly right for what's going on with the flavors. There's definitely a bit of alcohol burn, but this seemed to dissipate as the beer warmed up.

Overall, Black Tuesday is one of the best straight BA stouts I've ever had, maybe slightly ahead of BCBS and slightly behind the king of the roost, Parabola. The flavors are rich, complex, and hard to capture adequately with words. If you're a BA stout fan, you'll love this one.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle pour at the Bruery Reserve Society initiation party at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, wood, and bourbon aromas. Taste is amazing and is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an exceptional stout with a fantastic barrel aged presence.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle of the 2010 vintage. It was allowed to warm a little bit, and was split between my Duvel tulip (first half) and Southampton snifter (second half).

Black Tuesday pours just like the name suggests. It might have been my imagination, but I'd swear the lights actually flickered when I cracked the bottle. The dark caramel head drew itself up to about three fingers in height, before fading away somewhat quickly, and not leaving anything in the way of lacing. I starting picking up the nose a little bit when I popped the cap and poured, but when I first leaned into the glass my nose got absolutely blasted. This thing smells rich beyond belief. It's the aroma of a decadent chocolate cake that had some bourbon added into the batter. It's pungent, and it smells great, but if there was a little bit more complexity it would be perfect. Ask and ye shall receive, because Black Tuesday absolutely crushes it flavor wise. That bombastic bourbon chocolate cake is still by far the centerpiece, but it's supplemented by sensations of dark fruit and molasses. There's a slight warming from the alcohol, but it's pleasant, and nowhere near how intense it should be for a beer its size (even after a year). The body is impossibly rich and creamy, and the carbonation is perfectly dialed in to prevent the beer from becominy syrupy, while maintaining its malt forward nature. I wouldn't change a thing. Holy hell does Black Tuesday live up to the hype. I grabbed two bottles last year, and cracked this one to see if it was worth trying to get more bottles going forward. The answer is a resounding yes!

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Photo of TWStandley
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my KTG Snifter. 2011 vintage.

Appeared black as night with a quickly dissipating small khaki colored head. Slightly oily in appearance.

Smelled of roasted/burnt malts, licorice, chocolate, booze-soaked plums and raisins, woods, and a bit of vanilla.

Begins with flavors of dark fruits, licorice and chocolate. Then comes in some of the barrel notes – vanilla, wood, bourbon. Finishes with some alcohol and more roasted malt flavors. Very intense, yet enjoyable.

Mouth feel is nice an coating, oily, slight carbonation. Alcohol is a bit warm but fits the intensity of this beer perfectly. Not one to be pounded.

I must say, this is fantastic. So complex, so much going on. At first the alcohol was a bit overpowering, but after drinking a glass of this you see that it fits in perfectly. I would like to try one of these with 3-4 years on it to see how it tastes a bit more blended. Wow…

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Photo of ridglens
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, poured cold and waited until warm (ok ok, i sneaked some sips!). I have had several '10 and one '11 before, so i will try and review it with a fresh mindset

A- Pours a thick dark brown, not black motor oil ish as much as a dark brown thick bourbon. thin head reduces to a thin ring that sticks around for a long time, looks murky and menacing. Thin bubbles rise to the top like swamp water.

S- holy rich bourbon. Loads of booze and vanilla, with definite spiciness as well. Loads of oak, a bourbon blanket over rich notes of maltiness and chocolate. a little coffee as it warms up, definitely a great smelling stout under barrel.

T- Bourbon fills the mouth and the nostrils, so much sweet vanilla and chocolate. the stout really comes out as it warms, too. the bourbon is forward and warming, but smooth and not too hot. dark fruits drenched in bourbon (like those bourbon filled chocolate candies, maybe osme kind of chocolate bourbon date?). This definitely has the potential to be better with age, but is phenomenal now, some complex cinnamon and dessert favor. so good.

M- Not going to lie, this thing is warm. not a biting hot, though, a once-you-swallw-your-throat-warms-up heat that is actually quite awesome. this beer is also much thicker than it poured, ans surprisingly smooth for the alcohol.

O- incredible. The crazy thing is, I think it will actually get BETTER with age, this really is a masterpiece. Probably my favorite beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The much hyped Black Tuesday shared generously by Shane. I also managed to score a bottle thanks to Weibull, thanks, Jason! While it took a while to finish this, it was anything but a chore.

Looking at this beer, I ask myself: How much blacker can a beer get? The answer, my friends, is None more black. A dense dark brown head is present, hanging around leaving some foam as it settles into a ring. Incredibly dark, this beer has gorgeous legs, the only way I was able to tell that the the alcohol might be up there.

What an exceptional nose! Rich and layerd with rich chocolate cake, vanilla and bourbon. Devoid of alcohol, this is really quite outrageous. Reminiscent of OADL. Even the chocolate character is outrageously rich - I get layers of milk and dark chocolate as well as some cocoa powder. The vanilla is exceptionally incorporated and the bourbon is outstanding. Very faint rummy character, with some dark fruit - raisins soaked in bourbon and rum. Malted milk balls are present too. I have to mention that this is sweet, but also balanced, much along the lines of Dark Horizon 1st Ed. World Wide Stout/Darkness, this is not.

The palate opens with a ton of sweetness, mildly sugary with a rich and delicious molasses character. A touch sweet for my taste, this is still very very good. A lot of the chocolate complexity appears early on, with dark and milk chocolate character. Nougat like with toffee, bourbon and vanilla appear mid palate. Oak is reserved and while present, it's whelmed by the sweetness. Big in body with soft and smooth carbonation, the finish is LONG lasting with plenty of flavor, vanilla, bourbon and chocolate. Every now and then, I get a touch of a meaty character too. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Evaluating the drinkability of a beer like this is difficult. While not quaffable, I have to admit that I drank 6oz of my 8oz pour in about 20 minutes and had to really hold myself back in the better interests of my sobriety. This really is a feat of brewing, thanks for sharing this with us, Shane.

**Edit 26 March 2011**

I shared a bottle of the 2010 batch at our Philly tasting.

The nose is a lot simpler - soy sauce and bourbon, brown sugar, booze, caramel. The palate opens with plenty of sugar, caramel, booze, brown sugar, vanilla, and all things sweet. Prunes, dates, raisins, rummy and bourbon are present. Intense. Sweet and moderately boozy on the finish, there's some port. Not as chocolate-like as the 09, there's a stunning lack of all things stout - no roast, no coffee, no chocolate. More of an American Strong Ale imo. 4.5/4/4.5/4/4

**Edit 23 Dec 2011**
Devin shared a bottle last night. Holy fucking fuck, is this beer a hot and boozy mess or what? It tastes like they dumped fucking Everclear in this, it's sinus-clearing boozy with plenty of chocolate and vanilla. Just too fucking intense, this vintage is nothing like the 2009. S/T/M=3.5/2.5/3

**Edit 26 Dec 2012**
Drinking a bottle of the 2011 release with my dad.

Hot, boozy, moderately messy, but a lot more enjoyable. Sweet caramel, vanilla and booze with some chocolate and dark fruit. The palate is similarly big and boozy, with plenty of vanilla and alcohol. Very sugary, this has some chocolate, but is mostly devoid of roast, chocolate and coffee. Enjoyable in small quantities.
3.5/3.5/3.5

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Photo of Duff27
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, mocha collar. Little lacing.

Boozy aroma, vanilla.

Smoothsmoothsmooth, first and foremost. Doesn't drink 18%abv at all! Roasty. Mmm. Mmm.

Thick mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

What a treat! Thanks GraniteSkunk and abecall98! One of the best beers I've had all year. Amazing you see these people with dozens of this beer and we're all in astonishment just having one in our presence.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

Appearance: Pours dark and thick, as an Imperial Stout should, with a small khaki head that collars quickly. Lots of alcohol legs, as expected.

Smell: Vanilla, Caramel, Coconut, maple syrup, Bourbon, tannins from the barrel, dark fruit, fairly strong scent of alcohol(shocker).

Taste: Amazing blend of caramel, vanilla and dark fruit up front with a bit of a Bourbon bite in the middle. The end is sweet malt with some roasty character. Though there is a bit of heat at the end as expected, I wouldn't have guessed the high abv; this definitely drinks smoother than how much booze it contains. It sure does warm you up going down, however, which is where you can tell how strong it is.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, silky and smooth. Can't see how this could improve.

Overall: Drinks very smooth for the abv and has an amazing combo of flavors, blended extremely well. I'd love to try some older vintages, but I don't see anything wrong with drinking this right now. Not a let down at all, must age amazingly.

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Photo of patm1986
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

a-pitch Brown. dark brown sugar hue. no head. very minor carbonation.
s-sweet tea, lactose, phenols, hershey's cocoa, choco coverd cherries, corn, cream of wheat.
t-heavily phenolic, sweet peas, sugar cubes, lipton tea, aunt jemima maple, butter, EPIC VANILLA.
m-rich, fatty
OVERALL: beast, beast, beast. for such a massive beer, it's smoother than most. the port qualities are abound, but this baby is barrel aged stout at its extreme best.
marvelous.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very good, very big stout. This was a tasty stout that is best enjoyed with friends. I could only handle about 6 ounces or so, but if you have four friends, that's perfect.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle '11 vintage.

A: Black with very little head. Big alcohol legs, practically no lacing.

S: Oh boy. Huge and intense nose. Barrel (bourbon, vanilla, oak) deep dark chocolate, alcohol soaked dark fruits, toffee/molasses. Surprisingly doesn't smell all that boozy. Probably the best smelling barrel aged beer and it's fresh!

T: Follows the nose nicely. Rich barrel with a bit of bourbon and plenty of vanilla and oak. Lots of chocolate, rum soaked fruits. Very sweet, lots of nougat, some licorice. Vinous notes on the finish. Extremely balanced. There's a little alcohol burn up front and again on the back of the throat as it goes down, but no where near what 18.3% is supposed to feel like.

M: Close to a full body, extremely smooth, light carbonation. Not quite as thick and creamy as some big stouts, but it's about as smooth and rich as a it gets at 18%.

O: Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. I was shocked how balanced and almost mellow this beer was fresh at over 18%. So much complexity and richness without ever being cloyingly sweet. This is going to be a perpetual top want of mine. It lives up to the hype.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Served at approx. 45 degrees or so and allowed to warm
Thanks goes to infestaxion for this one. He told me the night before DLD '10 that he'd share this with me the next day, then sought me out to make sure that I got a pour of it. I wound up getting three more pours of it throughout the day from other good souls, but Dave gets the credit, since he was first. Thanks goes also to the others who shared with me though, of course!

This appears to be black at first glance, but with a little backlighting it reveals itself to be a very dark brown color with red highlights. A small head of dark tan colored foam forms on top and then quickly dissipates, leaving a small surface ring around the edges. Lacing is minimal, but a few spotty pieces are here. The 'legs' on this thing are most impressive, though. A light swirl leaves an ample oily residue clinging to the side of the glass and slowly sliding back down to the surface of the liquid.

The smell is amazing! Lots of things are happening inside this glass. Big notes of oak and vanilla. Lots of chocolates are here, both of the milk and dark varieties. Good presence of dark fruits, especially dates and raisins. Nice hints of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee, with a big shot of molasses thrown in. Light hint of smoke. Nice espresso bean notes. Very good bourbon presence. Good shot of lightly roasted maltiness.
Maybe the most complex and intriguing nose that I've experienced to date. The booze is a touch to forward to give it a 'perfect', but it's nowhere near as prominent as I expected with a 19.50%abv. Still, I could just sit here and smell it for a long time, without drinking it, and I'd be happy.

The taste is so good! Almost everything that was spotted in the nose makes another appearance in the flavor profile. You also get a little tiny hint of licorice and some faint coconut notes. A touch of figs comes through with the other dark fruits. A little bit of yeasty biscuit quality is here. Some very mild spice notes are way down deep.
The overall taste is that of a sweet stout. If you like your stouts more on the roasty side this is probably not for you. While it is very complex, it is also suprisingly smooth and nicely balanced.
Worth the wait, as far as I'm concerned.

This one is quite thick and somewhat oily. It has a mild level of carbonation, which works very well for it. It's so silky smooth and easy to swallow. I'd give it a 'perfect' if it had some creaminess going on.

Okay, at 19.50%abv this is too easy to drink. Nothing this 'high-octane' should go down this easily. I'm sure that I'd regret drinking an entire bottle by myself, the next day or something, but I'd have a great time doing it, and don't think that it would be a problem to do so. It's so smooth and easy and delicious.

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Photo of MCain04
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Popped open this '13 vintage at a share, about an 8 oz pour around cellar temp.

Pours a near-black body with a thin mocha head, minimal lacing and retention, unsurprising given the abv.

Smell is of a sweet and roasty malt base with bourbon present and not overpowering. Nice notes of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel, and figs.

Taste is akin to the nose, with a roasty sweet base, medium bitterness, good bourbon flavor, and barrel characters shining through. Alcohol is noticeable but incredibly palatable given the insane abv.

Mouthfeel is thick, smooth, syrupy, sticky, low carbonation, very nice.

Overall, a phenomenal BBA stout worthy of the accolades it receives.

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Photo of beavers
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to jrallen24 for this beautiful bottle.

750ml split three ways. Snifter style.

Pours jet black with an oily and creamy dark brown head [note: I said that this was perhaps the darkest head I've seen...but was beaten later in the night by Marshall Zhukovs]. Looks like old motor oil. Head dies down to a blanket covering, but restores easily with a swirl.

Rich and decadent aroma of caramel, sweet dark chocolate, and ___ . Bourbon notes are present but are definitely secondary behind the sweet candied flavors. Fusel alcohol notes are also unsurprising existent and while they significantly increase as it warms, they are definitely in the back.

Taste is very sweet upfront (chocolate syrup, molasses, and caramelized sugars) and this sugary sweetness transitions seamlessly into sweet bourbon flavor and builds from there. The bouron barrel gives off nice earthy flavors of toasted wood, vanilla bean, and licorice. This really isn't an overly roasty RIS, and I don't really get coffee...and it doesn't bother me one bit. The alcohol is AMAZINGLY well hidden and the barrel perfectly integrated.

The mouthfeel is syrupy and viscous, and while I thought it would be too much, it is not where near cloying for me. This beer is huge in every way possible but is extremely drinkable considering the 19.5%. We all thought that it tasted much more like a 10% beer.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sweet chocolate cake with roasty malt in the aroma, along with bourbon-typical notes of vanilla and toffee. Taste is similar to nose, decadent and full bodied. Dark chocolate and roasted malt (probably from the charred oak barrel) dominate. Faint anise... actually more like molasses. The alcohol presence was surprisingly subdued for such a big brew.

- 2015 vintage (19.9%)
- Poured into tasting snifter off tap at the Tasting Room (Placentia, CA) on 30-Dec-15

- 2013 vintage
- 750mL bottle poured into wine glass on 22-Nov-14
Best tasting of BT so far.

- 2012 vintage
- 750mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 20-Oct-13

- 2012 vintage
- 750mL bottle poured into tasting snifter on 23-Nov-12
Only difference I noticed is that it's more balanced than the '11 bottle fresh.

- 2011 vintage
- Cellared on 26-Oct-11
- 750mL poured into tasting snifter on 31-Mar-12

- 2011 vintage
- Tapped @ Bruery Provisions (Orange, CA)
- Poured into tasting snifter on 26-Oct-11

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Photo of cptierney
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, we drove eight hours to Orange County for this bad boy. Big Ups to my main man eliottJW for getting an early allotment and sharing this experience with me.

Poured from a Bruery Champagne bottle into a Russian River Tulip.

The color on this is surprising. While black, there are still hints of light around the edges making a sort of deep brown appearance. A solid pour yielded a one finger width of quickly receding vibrant brown foam. Everything about the pour put any unease about a lack of carbonation at rest. As I drank the glass down there was no lacing left behind.

The nose on this beer frankly frightens me. It's that figgy pudding, ten loaves of bread in a bottle malt punch that I will forever associate with Goose Island's BCS, a beer I do not enjoy. There's the lovely bourbon hit too but it is swallowed by malts. In a nod to the subjectivity of reviews I will note that the smell is full and colorful with a blunt shape. I get a little of the bourbon and maaayyybeee some licorice but ultimately it's a blast of bread.

The mouthfeel is luscious. Velvety liquid coats my palate but doesn't get jammy in the process. The only note here would be related to the carb bite. I would have actually enjoyed an even more viscous brew especially as the bubbles kept reminding me of just how alcoholic this beer is. That said I'd rather take the bite than have a totally flat beer.

The taste on this beast is stupid, and should be illegal. After the abuse of the nose I was expecting the hottest alcohol hit ever, but was met instead by a sumptuous maiden of flavor. There are the dark fruits I crave in a RIS, some prune and maybe a hit of raisin like sweetness. There's also that wonderful Abyss like hint of candied sugars. But the thing that sets BT apart is the incredibly smooth and balanced flavor of bourbon that pervades the quaff. I have to force my tongue upward to taste any bittering on its sides and it is there like I expected, keeping a lid on an extremely sweet beer.

If this astronomically high ABV is correct I can't believe how drinkable this brew is. Clearly meant to be sipped and enjoyed like a distilled beverage, I have never wanted to drink so much of such a potentially dangerous beverage. Hats of to the Bruery. I count myself extremely lucky to try this rare treat.

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Photo of callmescraps
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The hype train is officially leaving the station. I am hopping on board.

Appearance - Black. A dark sky on a stormy night at sea. The absence of light. It has a very nice mocha colored head that even seems to have a little froth. The head sticks around and gathers at the bottom of the glass when finished. It looks fantastic. Of the RIS I've head, this might be the finest looking one.

Smell - Wonderfully complex. Lots of vanilla. A hint of bourbon as well. Also, it seems like a little oak and smoke. The slightest glimmer of coffee and roast malt. Definitely some chocolate. Finally, toasted marshmallows. I agonized over this score for about fifteen minutes. It's no worse than a 4.5, that's for sure.

Taste - Where to begin? Cherry. Also, lots of that vanilla. The oak and smoke makes the tiniest appearance. There is the bourbon as well. About a hundred flavors I'm not quite identifying. There is a real sweetness, it's like the sweet roasted marshmallow. I swear there's some honey in there. There is a tiny fraction of roast malt bitterness on the end that is less than desirable.

Mouthfeel - Superb. It's about the richest, creamiest, most decadent thing imaginable. It's like hot chocolate. But there is enough carbonation that it's not a flat mess. Coats the tongue. Lovely.

Drinkability - I flat out refuse to believe that this is almost 20% alcohol. That's half as strong as vodka. The only reason I might believe it is because I felt a little tipsy afterwards. This shit is lethal. Smooth as hell.

Damn. I wanted to not really like this beer, and here I sit. There are three things I really can't debate. 1: It looks great. Not quite sure how a RIS could possibly look better. 2: The mouthfeel is fantastic. Even the lady friend who never notices that sort of thing said, "you have to mention how great that mouthfeel was!" 3: It may be impossible to have a more drinkable 20% beer. If anything, I may be selling this short. I'm going to re-review when I get my bottles when there isn't so much hubbub.

But it's a hell of a beer. (Edit: It was obviously on-tap. I have corrected that.)

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've now tried this three separate times, and last night, in celebration of my college graduation (along with my roommate's as well) we had a massive bottle opening, with this being the first.

Appearance: Dark. Pitch black with amber-brown highlights that block all light even from a close source. Among the darkest beers I've ever had SRM wise, it's just darker than dark. Head is a little latent, cropping up at the end of the pour, and lacing thickly as it loosens up.

Smell: Whew, bourbon, chocolate, prune-raisin, cherry, roasted and toasted malts, and a hint of sweetness on the back-end, but predominantly bourbon and chocolate. Boozy character is there as well, but mostly just as more bourbon.

Taste: So, so much smoother than the smell gives the impression of. Bourbon is mellow and soft, accenting the big chocolate, roasted malt sweetness. The dark fruits come in strongly in the aftertaste, and finishes with an intensely complex dark bourbon sweetness. Whew.

Mouthfeel: Second smoothest beer I've ever had, only to its counterpart of Chocolate Rain, which I still think has a better flavor. Carbonation is nice here though, and all three times I've had BT I've appreciated the carbonation's presence in helping add some liveliness to the incredibly thick and heavy body. Still, just so smooth.

Drinkability: It's essentially 40 proof. It's not easy to drink more than a few glasses of this, that's for sure. In that way, drinkability is low. In the way of masking the ABV, seemingly clocking in around GI BCS' 13%, it's eminently so. Catches up to you quickly, too. Altogether, no doubt one of the best beers I've ever had, and I don't even really love bourbon barrel beer. It's not the hype that's made this beer world-famous, but the smoothness, complexity, and fantastic flavors of a beer that clocks in at almost 20% ABV.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage 19.2

A: Is not an incredibly dark beer - murky brown/ruby red tinges along the sides of the glass. Sits pitch black in the glass. No head to speak of at all.

S: Amazing! Incredibly balanced and not very boozy at all, really. Sweet vanilla, coconut, and bourbon caramel. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, some booze soaked fruits - plums and cherries. Some oak is present as well. There is a distinctive spiciness - cinnamon and gingerbread. Just a very inviting, strongly aromatic, brilliantly balanced.
-note: I'd give this a 5 but I want to see what CR brings to the table

T: Very sweet but balanced. The sweetness counters the alcohol so well. Rich chocolate, tons of sweet vanilla/coconut/oak, some booze soaked dark fruits, cherry juice, and some coffee at the finish. The spiciness from the aroma comes in at the finish as well.

P: Full, but not very viscous. Very smooth. There is a pop of carbonation that subsides with some swirling.

O: An astounding malt beverage. The impeccable balance and complexity makes for an exceedingly enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of AppaZappa
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 version poured into a snifter glass; color is rich and dark brown with no head. very nice lacing. smell is bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, alcohol, toffee, dark malt. overtime the alcohol smell fades, but its strong at first, which isn't surprising given the abv and the age. taste follows the nose here: bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, malt, alcohol burn that fades to sweet. massively drinkable considering the abv, yet this is a slow and steady sipper that was shared over several hours. mouth was the biggest surprise; thinner than anticipated with very low carbonation.

a stellar take on the style, but also a beast of a beer. glad i got to try it and glad i have another in the cellar to age.

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Photo of KeefD
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

*This review was a fresh bottle of '09.

Big thanks go out to Mauerhan, one of the most generous and fair traders on this site, for hooking me up with this bottle. Had this last night, shared with friends, took a few notes.

Strange thing happened. As I cut into the wax around the cap, I heard a fizzing sound before I even popped the cap off. That's odd. Poured a dark brown color when viewed in the light, but was completely black in the glass, no head or lacing. Not sure why/how the appearance on this one has been garnering so many 5's, but I digress.

This beer smelled exceptional. Those who know me well know I love bourbon, and this is the best smelling bourbon barrel aged beer I've ever come across. So much wood and bourbon, followed by dark chocolate, graininess, figs, light vanilla, and port. Yep.. This smells amazing. The aroma was easily my favorite part of this beer.

Upon first sip, when it was still a little cold, it tasted much like port, with plenty of chocolate and bourbon. It's a very sweet, complex combination of figs, brown sugar, caramel, and chocolate. As it warms up, the bourbon really starts to come out, especially after a few swirls of the glass, along with some cocoa powder-like chocolate. To me, it literally tasted like a liquid bourbon ball. Outstanding!

The mouthfeel was really great on this beer, really thick, viscous, light carbonation. The only complaint here is that it nearly became cloyingly sweet, and left a little too much of a sugary coating in my mouth and on my lips.

Drinkability really is lower for me on this one. For 19%, the alcohol is well hidden on the tongue, but it does have a good warming as it goes down, and the sweetness/richness is a little much after awhile. The 8-9oz pour I had was just enough, I think. I couldn't see drinking much more than 10oz of this at a time.

Great brew. Glad I got to try this one. No further comments.

Thanks again, Topher!

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Black Tuesday from The Bruery
4.47 out of 5 based on 3,759 ratings.
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