Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds | The Bruery

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88
very good
31 Reviews
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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling BirdsBourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
181
Avg:
4
pDev:
26%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
84
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 181
Photo of DovaliHops
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark, murky brown color with a hint of ruby red. Small, light-brown head...mostly bubbles though. I let this one breathe for quite some time. When I pulled it out of the fridge, it was extremely cold. Now it's just a bit cooler than room temp. Scent is boozy at first. I just got smacked in the face with bourbon and Christmas-y spices. Lots of oak and vanilla. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and fresh pumpkin pie. Such an inviting aroma. The taste is shockingly sweet at first. Very boozy too. I would be lying if I said the alcohol warmth on this one is tame. Dark fruits, and Belgian-dark ale characteristics come through in the flavor, as they were not present in the nose. Lovely oak and barrel flavor. The nutmeg comes through very heavily in the flavor. Finishes quite boozy. Drinkability is fair to fairly high. Best in small doses. The drinkability will improve with age, as the booziness mellows out. This beer has so much going for it, just a bit hot right now. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very lightly carbonated...which suits this beer well. Overall, I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this...thought it may be too sweet. Although it is very sweet, the barrel flavors and Christmas spices go together oh-so-well.

 1,226 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured deep brown and settled black with a thin layer of light brown head that immediately disappeared.

S - Massive barrel notes dominate the nose - sweet bourbon and vanilla and toasted oak. Some spice and a light gingerbread aroma is noticeable.

T - Charred oak, sweet bourbon and a touch of vanilla are dominant as the barrel again really takes over the palate. Spice, hints of chocolate and a light gingerbread presence.

M - Medium to full body with very low carbonation.

 512 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a thin finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Dark caramel and chocolate malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, nutmeg, black licorice, Belgian yeast, dark fruits, and booze.

T - Dark caramel and chocolate malts, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, black licorice, molasses, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, banana, and booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Smooth with a warming, sweet, and spicy finish.

D - Big bourbon flavor, but the beer still feels somewhat balanced.

 595 characters

Photo of Trapist007
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

APPEARANCE - Dark brown with a little head, and a thin tan collar.

SMELL - Bourbon, brown sugar & licorice.

TASTE - It has a Belgian character with with more fruitiness and licorice, ginger bread spice, and oak notes. Then there's the warm BOURBON...

MOUTHFEEL - Medium carbonation, full and sweet.

OVERALL - Recommend. Very good beer overall. It was very enjoyable to drink.

 421 characters

Photo of Gfunk720
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, out of my Founders Snifter. Thanks as always to my trustee Scott

A- Pours a nice brownish/black, very slightly transparent. Starts off with a nice healthy head that quickly dissipates. After settling, it looks pretty mundane.

S- A stinging boozy scent hits first. I can get some hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon coming through. A little sweetness, but not nearly as much as most bruery beers.

T- Very smooth initially, then sweep in the spices and malt. Again some cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as some chocolate. The aftertaste is primarily bourbon and vanilla, with touches of spice. Much less sweet than many of the other bruery BA offerings which is welcome.

M- Nice and carbonated and no cloying sweetness. Plenty of body without being overwhelming. My only complaint if I could make one would be that it is almost too fizzy.

O- Overall, this is one of the best BA beers from the Bruery that I've had in a while. I expected it to be overly sweet and difficult to put very much down. However it was dangerous how easy this was to drink. The spices are evident but blended well into the beer, as is the bourbon barrel aging. This will be really good once it has time to mellow a bit more.

 1,216 characters

Photo of GregSVT
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice size off-brown head that fades to almost nothing with no real lacing. You can actually see some light through the beer as you sip so it's not super thick or anything.

S: The nose immediately hits you with big vanilla, molasses, and bourbon notes from the barrel. As it warms and settles down you can pick out the gingerbread and chocolate notes from the base beer. The barrel is crazy forward but the base beer is still there...I will admit to liking barrel forward beers though.

T: The taste actually has more barrel than the nose. Huge flavors of vanilla, bourbon, and molasses hit the tongue immediately followed by some gingerbread and chocolate on the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium with an almost dry finish.

O: The barrels they used for this must have been super fresh. It is extremely barrel forward but I love it. I had BA 2 Turtle Doves recently and thought it was amazing after 2 years of age. I think this one will be just as good after 2 years as well. It's a boozy beer...it was in the barrel for over a year and gained almost 4% from the barrel aging...just sayin.

 1,173 characters

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Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.
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