Bourbon Barrel Aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Fayston Maple Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kingcrowing on 07-16-2010

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 231
Photo of ehammond1
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

Black throughout with very dark ruby edges along with a surprisingly large 2-finger's worth of dark brown, small-bubbled head. Leaves the glass dotted with stick. Pretty and appropriate.

My favorite aspect of this beer is its aroma. While there's plenty of roast, dark chocolate, and enough bourbon, the maple syrup and oak steal the show, interjecting a very rich, sweet, earthy wood and sweet syrup component. It all comes together extraordinarily well, especially as the beer warms.

The flavor, unfortunately, just isn't quite as good as the aroma. The flavor, however, is a lovely combination of chocolates, roast, mild coffee, and distinct bourbon and maple syrup. Very nice. I just wish the bourbon and maple were even more expressive.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Love this beer, though I don't see it going anywhere good with age. Will open my next bottle asap.

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Photo of claspada
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled the Oak-Aged Fayston Maple, Original Maple and Bourbon Barrel Aged versions simultaneously.

Pours a black color with a thin tan head and some small bubbles that recede to leave some moderate lacing.

Aromas begin with a majority of chocolate and roast, light earthy bitterness and honey sweetness from the maple. As it warms you get a little more oak, sweeter milk chocolate and vanilla sweetness from the barrel.

The tastes follow the nose with some dark chocolate maltiness up front and oak, molasses, lightly roasted malt and light maple in the background, plus a bit of vanilla and milk chocolate as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is a decent mix between roasty and sweet.

Overall this the best varient of the 3 sampled back to back to back but still wasn't an amazing beer. The barrel aging added the necessary sweetness to balance the dry, roasted malts and bitter molasses flavors but once again for the rarity and straight-forward flavor profile, I won't be seeking this out anytime soon.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours nearly pitch black with a tan colored head that recess rather quickly. The smell is roasty with hints of bourbon and booze but not as much as I was expecting. The taste is roasty with a bit of booze but not that much bourbon presence. The mouthfeel was a little thinner than I was expecting but still fairly full. This beer is good but not as good as bcbs.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing! Poured into a tulip. The color is pitch black. There is a small medium tan head.

The aroma has a nice dose of chocolate, with some licorice and some nice oaky notes.

The taste has some nice bitter chocolate, with just a hint of chocolate malt sweetness. This is pretty dry for the strength. There is a lingering bittersweet chocolate taste in the finish that only hints at some maple.

This is full bodied with soft carbonation. This tastes good. It falls short of great. It lacks some of the strong bourbon flavor other barrel aged beers have. That might be good for some, not so good for others.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks a ton Alec for this one. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a black with about an inch of dark mocha head.

The aroma is slightly underwhelming. Faint with slight metallic hints and some bitter cocoa. Not enough though. The pallet is a bit more enjoyable. Nice mellow cocoa flavor with some faint bourbon lingering.

The body is medium with soft silky carbonation. Overall this one is a bit of a disapointment. Enjoyable enough but I had higher hopes.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Vermont Brewers Festival.

A - Black with a small amount of medium brown head.

S - Bourbon up front with maple syrup, oak and vanilla. Fairly sweet with some noticeable alcohol

T - Roasted malts, maple syrup, bourbon, oak, and a big sweet vanilla kick. Good balance overall

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is about what I expected, with a lot of roasted malt and chocolate, as well as some nice bourbon notes. The flavor is more of the same. The chocolate and roasted malts come through first, but there is some coffee and bourbon notes in the background, as well as some alcohol. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of mltobin
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This BA stout out of Vermont was served in a wine glass. Appearance is black with a small brown head. Its` nose has oak, bourbon, dark chocolate, very inviting smell. The taste is vanilla, chocolate, more of the bourbon and oak. A tasty beer, to be savored. Mouthfeel is medium, velvet like texture. All things considered, this is a fine imperial stout.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Waitsfield Farmers Market, Waitsfield, VT

(Replacing old review)

I'm officially willing to say that my first tasting of this was a bogus bottle. I recently sampled this, poured by Sean Lawson himself, into a Lawson's signature plastic cup. Dark brown-black color (thank you), with a small mocha head that retains well. A sharp hit of booze in the nose up front, dark malts, caramel, moderately roasty. Similar taste, dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, smoke, woody bourbon (more smooth than strong), with a touch of maple sweetness that just barely comes through. The alcohol heat is welcome. On the fuller side of medium-bodied, and quite nice overall.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL cork and caged bottle shared with Adam, Fred and Jeff. Sampled alongside a fresh bottle of Fayston.

Pours a near opaque dark chocolate with a frothy, retentive tan head. Thin wisps of lacing coats the snifter. Nose is barrel heavy, with vanilla, bourbon, molasses and light oak blending with a light berry fruit and trace amounts of maple. Body has a strong roast and chocolate malt backbone with a mild maple sweetness. The bourbon aging adds a welcome layer of complexity over the regular Fayston and finishes with a slightly fruity tang. Medium bodied with low carbonation and little alcohol presence. Rich and smooth, the bourbon barrel is much more well integrated than this was fresh. Seems like these bottles are hit or miss based on some of the recent reviews, but our bottle was well received.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JohnDoe8 for sharing this bottle

Look: Black and opaque with a 1/4 inch tan head and very good retention

Smell: Chocolate coffee bourbon oak and some maple

Taste: Bourbon upfront and it's quite nice backed up by some roasted malt vanilla and oak. Very nice but I'm missing the damn maple

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mildly carbonated

Overall: I really enjoyed the beer but it was missing the maple which was just a bit of a let down for me but overall a very good beer

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Photo of johndoe8
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 750ml. Shared with a # of people at a bottle share.
Maybe my palate has changed some, but I don't know if I'd still rate this beer a 4.78. The stout just wasn't as interesting to me anymore. The barrel character was very very subdued, and the stout had only faint traces of chocolate/maple/oak. It seemed slightly oxidized as well. Still enjoyable, just not as much so. I had previously rated this a 4.78, and I'm bringing it down quite a bit now.

The nose and appearance of this stout really hooked me. I knew I'd like this beer, and perhaps it was a little wishful thinking. It's not quite the body that I wanted in this style, but it definitely tastes good compared to others of this style.

Mouthfeel is excellent and it definitely hides the heat extremely well for an 11%, which definitely wins 5 s from me for mouthfeel and drinkability.

The taste didn't homerun with me, but its definitely good. Not quite good enough to score a 5 with me. I will finish this bottle easily.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1060th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 Ml


Thanks to Johndoe8 for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- Dark brown, almost black on the pour. A good amount of head that was a bit dark brown in color. Had about a 1/4” of head and then fell to a small pond layer of foam. Not much in terms of cling or lace either.

Smell- A very deep roasted note opens and then moves into a layer of vanilla, dark chocolate and finally the oaky bourbon. Very upfront of the booze and still smells a bit hot to me.

Taste- A good hot stout. The bourbon was very upfront as it was on the smell but the maple was very hidden. The chocolate and vanilla notes were a bit small in the middle and the wood notes came out on the end of the taste..

Mouth- A good bit of a medium body behind this one with a medium carbonation. Left behind a good amount bourbon, wood, vanilla and sweet.

Drink- Rich, You brought your A game at the tasting. I cant say thanks enough for the chance to try this one. This was a very good stout with a lot going on and it all seemed to work together but I did miss most of the maple I thought would come out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to johndoe8 for sharing this one at MrHirschybar's place!

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, maple, bourbon, and wood. Taste is the same with a very woody aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with a very nice maple and bourbon barrel presence in the smell and taste.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #6 thanks to sholland119

750 mL C&C bottle poured into my Hill Farmstead goblet, shared with my wife.

A - Pours obsidian with a one finger khaki head. Was not expecting a stout from a C&C bottle. Pretty nice lacing and tons of effervescence in the glass. 4.5

S - Vanilla, cinnamon, tree bark. Maybe a little coffee and smoke. Doesn't smell barrel aged yet. We'll see as it warms. Little bit of fruit on the nose makes me think we've got a little age on this thing. 3.5

T - (at this point, my wife takes a sip and says "good choice. this is exactly what I wanted right now.") Lots of caramel, and a weird funky finish. There's definitely some char on the finish as well. This is definitely a very bitter imperial stout. Still not convinced that there's any barrel aging, but it doesn't taste fresh either. Maybe just an imperial with a couple years of age? Might be some slight oxidation. I definitely get some tannins the more I drink, which I may be confusing with some really grassy hops. This is definitely a hopped American Imperial stout. 4.0

M - A touch of heat. Lots of carbonation, but actually works for this beer. Full-bodied but finishes very clean. 4.5

O - This is a solid, if unspectacular imperial stout. I tend to like mine a little sweeter and less bitter, but this one definitely works. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again, but happy to have it any time it'd be easy to get. Pretty sure there's not bourbon, but I wouldn't be surprised if this had oak chips or something. This is actually drinking incredibly easy and is very balanced. I'm guessing this is much higher ABV than it seems as we are both plowing through our glasses. 4.0

Final guess: An american imperial stout. I'd say Insidious, but I remember not liking that as much as this beer.

The reveal: Lawson's bourbon barrel Fayston (bottle #70 of 350)

Wow, Scott! Even though this wasn't listed, it's always a want. We were lucky enough to drink a bottle of this a couple months back and it was nowhere near as good as this one. Don't know if it was bottle variation or just a couple months of aging, but this beer is drinking fantastic right now!

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

42nd Review
750 ml bottle to snifter.
Bottle 117/350

From notes. Thanks to exitmusic00 (I think) for contributing this to the DL Variant + Others Tasting in Chicago back in October.

A: Jet black. 1.5 fingernail head on medium pour.

S: The barrels definitely shine here as the bourbon is in-your-face from the get-go. Hint of sweet caramel overthrown by interesting combination of vanilla, oak, and roasted coffee. I’m looking for maple as the name suggests, but can’t seem to find any. Weird.

T: First and foremost, the bourbon is not as pronounced as I anticipated based on the smell. There is an overwhelmingly distinct presence of chocolate up-front with some hidden vanilla characters coming thru towards the middle. The maple finally enters the scene at the back-end of the finish and that is very enjoyable.

M: Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Just right for the style and complexity of the beer.

O: This was a fun beer to try and I would be curious to see what the other variations are like. Very unique and quite enjoyable! Hard to differentiate based on all the other big beers of the days, but I could see sitting and drinking this beer on a cold winter night!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes taken on 11/11/2011. I brought this for a tasting with some beer buddies the night before FOBAB.

poured into snifter; approximate 8 oz pour.

Bottle number: 236/350.
Rare batch 185.

Appearance: black bodied beer with no head. nothing to exciting here visually. No lacing to speak of either.

Smell: Some very mild barrel notes of wood and bourbon. Bakers chocolate and cocoa seem to be a prominant in the nose.

Taste: The bourbon is there and its shows up right away with some woody barrel notes. Just as the nose implied. The bourbon is not sweet or robust, I guess it just seems a bit underwhelming. Decent amount of bakers chocolate or cocoa flavors is the best thing I can get as far as stout notes are concerned. Maple is faint and found at the end of the beer in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low carbonation. To me its a bit thin, but it works okay for this beer.

Overall: Really expected this beer to be world class beer, but I was underwhelmed. It is a decent beer, but I was hoping for more maple syrup notes, a thicker mouthfeel, and a more flavorful experience all around. With all that said, I would still like to try another Lawson's beer to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am not sure the beer is worth 30 dollars for a 750, which is the going rate for this beer.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a pitch black body with a finger of tan head that retains fairly well for an imperial stout. No lace is left, but the beer maintains a small collar during the duration of my drink.

S: Bourbon and roast are the dominant flavors here. This reminds me immediately of Parabola, which is why I'll make some comparisons in this review. Unlike Parabola, this isn't very hoppy; but it has some of the brash barrel similarities and a small heat in the nose. Oak, vanilla, even borderline char. If this beer is made with maple, it's not apparent in the nose.

T: Bourbon-forward, but the barrel character isn't overwhelming. The base beer contributes a roasted grain flavor with some milk chocolate and a touch of caramel. The barrel comes up again in the finish, bringing vanilla and mild oak to the party, as well as a small heat. The finish is lingering and sticky, with roast and caramel clinging to the palate.

M: Medium-plus bodied, with low carbonation. There is a mild heat that doesn't overwhelm the flavors of the beer, but it contributes some stinging sensation to the back end.

O: I was surprised by this one; I didn't expect a lot from it, but I wound up savoring the bottle. I enjoy this more than Parabola.

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Photo of koopa
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I shared this 750ml caged and corked bottle with friends at the Copper Mine Pub today.

Appearance: Pours black with a 1 finger dark khaki crown that displays medium retention and lace.

Smell: Great melding of fairly sweet bourbon and moderate roast with supporting oak and vanilla notes.

Taste: Hints of a vanilla bourbon over a neutral malt base with lesser notes of maple and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Thin and slightly over carbonated.

Drinkability: Goes down easy but the mouthfeel and flavor made it a bit of a disappointment for me. This beer has all of the ingredients for a classic but totally lacks finesse.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.29/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mulder1010 for opening this one up. Bottle #266/350 and poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

Appearance is black, even when held up to light, not super thick pouring. Had a nice, moderately dark tan head of foam that sat well at a centimetre after pouring at a touch more. At times it would look orange, in a jaffa sort of way when agitated.

Smell was initially of bourbon, then oak and vanilla. After a little while it became dairy milk chocolate and later on it was ash and char. Quite varied and preferred the smell in the middle and start as opposed to the end where the ash and char detracted. Only faintly picked up the maple.

Taste was of pretty well followed the path of the smell, just with toned down ash and char at the end. Nice bourbon, vanilla and chocolate flavour for the most part.

Not a super big beer, sitting about mid-range thickness for the style. Got the odd bit of vegetative bitterness, but otherwise, it was easy to drink even with the barrel ageing.

Decent, but disappointing at the same time when compared with expectations. Some good points were cancelled out with the char and ash that came in late.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kelp for the bottle. Much appreciated
750 poured into a Mikkeller tulip

A-- Poured black, nearly motor oil color. Not entirely thick looking though. No light penetrating the glass. One finger light brown head that faded to a good looking light brown film than lingered through drinking. Had touches of orange here and there. Good lacing through drinking and a bit of an oily residue when done.

S-- Soft as heck nose. Chocolate to start, changed to vanilla, bits of maple syrup, soft bourbon, dairy milk, and touches of licorice and char.

T-- Bourbon, chocolate, bits of vanilla, carmel and maple syrup. Nothing really huge though.

M-- Medium feel and medium carbonation. Good amount of char and ash in the finish. Really what stood out most in drinking this. Actually pretty easy to drink considering the ABV of this. Touches of harshness here and there made me slow down on this. Fairly slick and oily.

O-- Barrel did not do much for enhancing this. Expected more maple syrup than what I got. Not bad but not great at all.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottled in January of 2011. Snifter.

A: Flows out of the bottle like motor oil. The head is an inch of dark brown froth that lingers for a few minutes before forming a thin collar. Lacing clings to the glass.

S: The beer has a pronounced dark chocolate presence that blends with molasses and an upper moderate roast. I get some licorice and a good deal of oak. There's some vanilla and the bourbon is subtle. There's a little brown sugar and maybe a whisper of maple. Actually, I'm not convinced that I smell maple. I get a touch of smoke.

T: Bold oak notes accompany molasses and dark chocolate. Malt is roasted with a little char, and the bourbon is very mellow. There's a moderate earthy bitterness, as well as licorice. The finish is roasted, with lots of oak and dark chocolate. I taste a little maple, I think.

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and viscous.

Overall: A solid beer, but the barrel aging didn't add much depth. I wouldn't recommend seeking this out, but try it if someone offers you a pour.

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.41/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Review from notes. Thanks to Bobby/Andrew.

Pitch black. A bit of off white head. 3.5
Chocolate, char, dark fruits, and heat. 2.5
Char, alcohol, heat, cheap bourbon, dark fruits. Astringent. Yikes. 2
Pretty thick and syrupy. 4
Boozy, charred, astringent mess, not a fan. 2

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Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to FooFaa for busting this one out for us to try at our recent IPA day party. Wanted to try this one from the second I heard about it. Bottle #107/350.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head leaving small trails of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, sweet maple syrup, warming bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and some light char from the barrel. For having so much going on it is still fairly well balanced.

T - Starts off with a big dose of dark roasted chocolate malt quickly giving way to a mix of warm bourbon, maple syrup sweetness, vanilla, and some dry oak tannins. The finish is a mix of sweetness and light dryness, lingering for some time. Even with all the different flavors going on the creamy feel helps to keep everything in check. The booze creeps in at the very end but it never really gets to the point of being overpowering.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, creamy, feel with plenty of warm booze lingering on the pallet for some time.

O - Awesome stuff. The flavors worked very well together and the bourbon barreling only helped to bring all the flavors together into one great stout. Glad I finally got to enjoy this one, now if only I can track down the regular maple version...Thanks again Dan!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't expect to have the opportunity to enjoy this, thanks to FooFaa for sharing! enjoyed from the 750 in a tulip.

The color is black oily sludge with a shiny black opaque color and thick medium tan cap rides it with a tight bead. This has a great amount of retention for the strength and just looks great as it is poured with a viscous thick look. The smell wafts up in a way I was not prepared for with a potent pungent maple and bourbon combination -the maple is so intense you get the distinct impression this is a meaty beer with some smoke and wood joining in.The mild vanilla character from the bourbon barrel brings a lot with some cocoa tagging along for good measure. All in all it has so much pleasant sweet yet still has a substantial solid malt base to work as the canvas for the maple and bourbon goodness to adhere to. The feel is thick and viscous not subtle with the strength of a bourbon aged beer apparent yet it all falls in place with some creamy and slight sweet tinges backing with mild woody tannin and drying elements from the booze, but all in all a meal in a glass with chewiness very few can rival.

The Bourbon Barrel Aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout is everything I expected and more with rich roasted creamy and sweet chocolate malt blended with ample maple syrup flavor. The wood presence is deep with plenty of Bourbon making it particularly obvious what kind of barrel treatment the stout underwent. The great thing is that doesn't hold back any of the other elements which are very apparent -cocoa, toffee, coffee, vanilla and some mild earthy flavors which accent the wood and bourbon. The mild caramel in the background adds to the flavor providing some sweetness and balancing the drying and taste of alcohol. The maple presence is huge in this, so if you don't like the flavor of Maple syrup you probably won't be as into it as I am. I like the toasted flavors which blend and the combination of maple and bourbon is a match made in Heaven in my opinion. Overall possibly one of the best Stouts I have had with so much bourbon character and more maple than I though possible while still retaining the flavor of a seriously great base stout, One of the best maple/bourbon beers out there, thanks again Dan!

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout from Lawson's Finest Liquids
4.08 out of 5 based on 231 ratings.
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