4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | The Bruery

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4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
183 Ratings
4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
4 Calling Birds was our 2011 winter ale - a spiced strong dark ale. We took inspiration from the traditional winter warmer for our fourth verse, integrating gingerbread spices into a robust dark ale. Notes of licorice & banana bread mingle with dark fruit, molasses and bitter chocolate for a perfect cold weather sipper!

This is the Bourbon Barrel Aged version of last years holiday seasonal! Spending a year in rich oak barrels, the beer has picked up incredibly deep and luxurious notes from the oak and bourbon, but has maintained it's original charm.

Added by largadeer on 12-26-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
183
pDev:
10.27%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
81
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of kylehay2004
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the Bruery Initiation Celebration held at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a clear crimson-brown with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is strong but tasty.

 500 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If regular 4 Calling Birds is 11%, this apparently gained 3.8% ABV from the barrel. Good lord.

Looks more or less like the non-barrel aged version: dark brown with a slight ruddiness and a fair bit of haze to the body. This version has less carbonation, but it's still decently bubbly.

The intricacies of the aroma at this point have been annihilated by the barrel, especially at cold temperatures. There's plenty of oak, caramel, and booze, but little in the way of spice or yeast. Tart plum-like dark fruit pops out as it hits warmer temperatures. While this isn't actually bad, it is comically barrel heavy.

There's a hilarious amount of booze on the palate. Harsh stuff, this desperately needs a few months of age to calm the higher alcohols. The base beer does peek through a bit more, mostly the strong banana note that was so prominent before barrel aging. The body is full, the mouthfeel sticky and rich. The finish brings even more astringent alcohol.

I can't say that I entirely dislike this, but I am a fan of big boozy bourbon barrel aged beers. That said, it's far from refined and definitely not ready to drink yet. I'll revisit this one in 6 to 12 months.

 1,174 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Little to no head with a clear, dark brown body. Lots of dark sugar and bourbon. Thick, but not quite syrupy. Pretty nice, overall.

134 characters

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There aren't many Bruery beers that I think are very good, but as I do like the base 4CB beer to some extent (rated 3.53), I was glad to get a chance to try this one as well. Dark brown pour, with a small ring of bubbles around the rim, and not much else in the way of a head, though the beer itself left some oily streaking on the glass. In the nose, molasses, smooth bourbon, cakey malts. More of this in the taste, molasses, smooth bourbon that has had a good amount of time to lose some heat, fruitcake, burnt caramel, I didn't pick up a lot of vanilla, but there was some, lending a bit of sweetness, Christmas spices took the back seat. Heavy-medium body, lower carbonation, alcohol was present for sure, but not too hot. A nice drinker overall, and I really think the barrel improved this one.

 800 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown. No head. Thin khaki collar.

Smell - Bourbon, brown sugar. Licorice. Quite boozy.

Taste - A little bit more Belgian character than the nose. Fruitier. Lots of licorice. Booze and bourbon. Slightly spicy.

Mouthfeel - Sweet and heavy. Boozy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Barrel is harsh, but as always, the Bruery makes some bourbony sugar goodness.

 420 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 02/16/13 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine glass, split with my girlfriend.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of spices, cinnamon, bourbon, bready malts, oak, dark fruits, nutmeg, caramel malts, and toffee. Nice nose and a pretty interesting mix. A lot of the spices and cinnamon from the original beer still come through, as does the bourbon. Not quite as bourbon forward as I was expecting, though it is there.

t - Tastes of cinnamon, bready malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, nutmeg, toasted malts, and coconut. More bourbon here than the nose, but the spices and underlying characteristics of the base beer still come through a lot. I like it quite a bit.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth, with some light heat. Pretty nice.

o - Overall I liked this one more than I expected to as well given some of the reviews. I was expecting the bourbon to dominate this one more than it did, and was surprised how much cinnamon, spice, and nutmeg came through still. I had a BA 2TD recently which was outstanding; while this isn't that, I have hopes it can eventually become that. If you like bourbon forward beers and the normal 4CB you should like this one, but if you only have 1-2 bottles I might hold off on this one. I look forward to opening one in 6 months, and then alongside a normal 4CB next winter/Christmas.

 1,486 characters

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4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 183 ratings