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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds | The Bruery

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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling BirdsBourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
183 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling BirdsBourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of powz87
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of siege06nd
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Jackie O's tulip...

A. Pours a dark tobacco brown, nearly black. It doesn't have much head to speak of, just some loose, soapy bubbles that ring the brew. Lacing is equally sparse, though this is a 15% bruiser so perhaps I shouldn't be expecting much.

S. Spice, spice, and then some spice with a touch of spice. I get a lot of cinnamon, some nutmeg, clove. Also hints of roastiness, stone fruit, and some chocolate shavings. The bourbon soaked wood notes clash a little bit with everything else going on here. They rip through the bouquet with this dry, boozy note that detracts every so slightly.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely with a lot of spice, some roasted malt, light chocolate, and a huge kiss of bourbon. Unlike the nose, the bourbon actually compliments the flavor profile nicely, though this is still pretty boozy. It's got some nice flavors and hits most of the marks for a strong dark ale.

M. It's pretty darn boozy, like munching on bourbon soaked dates. Strong tannic, drying notes on the finish from the barrel. Balance could certainly be better.

O. It's solid, but nothing remarkable. Not sure bourbon barrel aging does anything at all for this brew. The barrel isn't all that well-integrated, and I'm more intrigued by what the regular base beer would have tasted like. Not bad, but not memorable.

 1,346 characters

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of IPAyForHops
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JPortillo
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of CityofBals
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Indytruks138
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of brystmar
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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

Bottle opened on 8.16.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a fizzy brown head that is gone fast.

S - Tons of bourbon, spices, figs.

T - Strong spices and bourbon, fruity, fig, raisin finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Strong spices and bourbon, good and hits you hard. This one is built to age.

 313 characters

Photo of JosephThompson
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of scottiethebody
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Greenplastic615
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the Reserve Society
Pours a deep dark brown with a garnet bend to it and a smallish tan head that quickly dissipates to a cap on top that constantly dances as the carb stream tries to replenish it. Smells of gingerbread, molasses, ethanol, woody vanilla lots of brown sugar and ripe pitted dark fruit. This smells a lot better than the regular version, or maybe a year has done this wonders. Heavy alcohol in the nose. The flavor is sweet with lots of dark sugars and hints of fruit. That is quickly countered with a heavy shot of ethanol and some mild spices. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick bubbly mouthfeel. Wow that's still pretty hot, flavorful and definitely a sipper, but wow that's some heat in there.

 756 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thank you ObeMaltKinobee!

Appearance. Pours a dark cola brown with half a finger of light tan head that fades quickly.

Smell. Sweet caramel, nutmeg and licorice with some nice dark fruit, vanilla and fresh barrel wood.

Taste. Molasses and caramel, dark fruits, some woody bourbon and christmas spices.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. A decent big brew. Nothing unpleasant going on.

 411 characters

Photo of kspongeworthy
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to ObeMaltKinobee for this bottle...I think. This might be the first time in half a decade of beer trading that I've found a "Lost Record". I hang my Auditor head in shame & split this 750ML molotov cocktail with my wife.

The pour is dried blood brown-red, except liquidy. Close to completely still, with a federal minimum of carbonation; the second pour is even close to the activity of shaken water. Has that distinctive Bruery smell of black malts & wicked bourbon. Only a barely perceptible sliver of spices peeks out of the malt/bourbon monster.

4 Calling Birds - Bourbon Barrel Aged is a boozy belly-flop. Naked alcohol abrades the tongue & lights up the "designated driver" signal in my head - good thing I'm on my couch. Bourbon & booziness call the shots here. There's a lovely shot of spices, much more noticeable than in the nose, & I can buy the 'gingerbread' noted in the description, though i wouldn't have volunteered that. Background chocolate. Mouth is nice, sticky, thorough, thick. But half a bomber is looking pretty intimidating from where I am (thankfully) sitting.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but this is a low-complexity, big-bourbon beer. Not a bad way to waste an hour, but there's really not much to it. Good beer.

 1,265 characters

Photo of JMRSN
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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 djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a snifter. The brew appears dark brown with a khaki head. As the cap fades, it leaves spotty lace sticking to the glass. A swirl revives a finger that is slow to fade. Lighter brown is seen around the edges and more ruby through the body when held to the light.

The aroma includes a sweetness like belgian candy sugar mixed with vanilla, caramel and toffee. Some oak and chocolate grain to roast aspect blend with a mild hint of oxidation. Dark fruity alcohol evolves as it warms mixing with bourbon.

The flavor is like dark fruity alcohol mixed with chocolate, raw oak and bourbon with plenty of cardboard-like oxidation but not too much. Earthy with vanilla and caramel into the aftertaste that focuses a bit on the sweeter instead of boozy side of things. The spicy base beer is well represented but the barrel aging really takes it to the next level.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation and plenty of warming alcohol. It is quite boozy even at colder temperatures and strangely oxidized already for only being 6-7 months or so since its release. This was a very enjoyable offering but the already evident amount of oxidation has me questioning how long I will hold out on my other bottles.

 1,236 characters

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