Kalevipoeg At The Gates Of Hell
Cigar City Brewing

Kalevipoeg At The Gates Of HellKalevipoeg At The Gates Of Hell
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Porter - Baltic
4.32 | pDev: 9.26%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Kalevipoeg At The Gates Of HellKalevipoeg At The Gates Of Hell
Notes: Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 287 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly complex, powerful and deep, this even more imperialized baltic porter reaches the proportions to rival the character of barleywine and belgian dark strong ale. Cigar City certainly came out of the gates swinging with this bourbon infused monstrosity of ale.

Dark brown and with crimson and garnet ribbons of light about its edges, the brandy-like pour thwarts a zesty head that renders still soon after. Its scent is one of sweet toastiness, coffee, chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, earthen spice and an unmistakable waft of bourbon. Malty sweet and lavishly rich on the tongue, hard candy, toffee, molasses and toast make the beer's introductions to the palate with a surly, savory upstart.

Upon the middle palate, the spice of booze and the natural earthy flavors rise to offset small portions of rolling malt sweetness with peppercorn, oak, fennel, bitter orange and licorice. With its batter-like consistency, the added fruitiness of grape, currant and other dark berries all seem grilled while the taste simmers long and sweet with sherry and cognac.

Full bodied and unforgivably sweet and decadent, the beer's luscious malt body suggests that it's a slow sipping affair. As flavors emerge slowly as the beer warms and as the palate acclimates it its intensity, the tastebuds are rewarded with layer upon layer of complexity; heading into a long caldering warmth of bourbon, pepper and oak.

Jan 27, 2017
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a nice thick dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon and vanilla notes is quite dominant with some black chocolate notes also perceptible. Taste is also dominated by bourbon notes with some vanilla notes and light oak flavors. Roasted malt notes is light with some black chocolate notes and light residual sugar notes also perceptible. Body is full enough with good carbonation and some light warming alcohol notes. Very enjoyable even though base beer is a bit hard to distinguish through all the bourbon notes.

Apr 10, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Shared with Paul in a night of debauchery and palate assaulting. Black, opaque body with a viscous, oily, beige collar. Rich and delectable aroma. Chocolates, roast, oak, bourbon. So dark and full. Cigar City strikes yet again.

Aug 22, 2014
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timc100 from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very generous extra in a trade - excited to dive into this one.

Pours very dark for a Baltic porter, though from CCB I am not surprised. Creamy tight-bubble head for a barrel aged beer - light beige.

Incredibly rich and well balanced aroma of sweet bourbon and oak flavors - pronounced vanilla, light caramel and toffee, cocoa powder, 'wet' oak, slight bourbon and dark fruits. As it warms some sweet pipe tobacco and fresh berry notes come to the fore.

Incredibly smooth mouthfeel and light sweet finish.

Floored by this one - would love to do it side-by-side with BA Framinghammer. Hope they brew it again!

Aug 14, 2014
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a deep black color, thin brown head on top. The smell of the beer has a blend of bourbon notes as well as some roasted malt in there. The taste is good, subtle hints of bourbon with layers of roasted chocolate. Overall it's a damn fine beer.

Aug 08, 2014
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


750 received in trade a while back.. Shared tonight with the good fellas.. Pours a fairly thick dark brown, dark brown head rises up and dies back pretty quickly.. nose shows thick vanilla and barrel presence. Pretty odd spicy note makes me think of cinnamon that I know isn't really there.. Instead just a big clean dark malt bomb.. bourbon gets a little heavy as it warms up.


May 18, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

ive rediscovered lately how much i love the baltic porter style, it really works for me, with a slightly lighter mouthfeel being a lager, and all the richness of flavor in the world. this is a good one from cigar city, aged in bourbon barrels. velvety radiant black in color, dark dark beer, with a rising oatmeal colored head than rests easy. the nose on this is a little subdued compared to the flavor. big dark barley of course, but there is some great raw cocoa notes too, like those rainforest chocolate bars, this has that semisweet similarity. not much bourbon barrel in the nose. the taste is classic, lots of barrel early on, not a ton of vanilla, but lots of oak and must. i am impressed by how clean the finish is for such a rich beer, its just instant, it cleans up after itself really well. i also like the chocolate flavor too, its not dominant, but it really works with the malt here. its so smooth going down, you would never know how strong it is. a standout from a night of great beers.

Jan 02, 2014
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from urwithdave. Love boxes of CCB dude. Cheers!

From a 750 into a snifter
Kalevipoeg in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: A brown pour yields a one finger, thicker looking, fluffy, tan head with very good retention. Bistre brown in color, basically black, with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a faint wisp. A ring remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass. Pretty much the same as the base beer.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, sweet cream and caramel on the nose. Pretty bold with plenty of vanilla and oak from the barrel treatment. Nice stuff.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak, vanilla cream, caramel with some cotton candy through the middle into slightly tangy swallow. Bold finish of bourbon and woody sweetness, sweet cream, some milk chocolate and a touch of bitter cacao as balance linger on the palate. Very flavorful.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Lighter on the palate but creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes mouth-coating. Some heat lingers. A touch lighter than the base beer.

OVERALL: This was solid, and an improvement on the base beer. Lots of barrel on this one, but it's a tasty barrel and is not overdone. Complex with plenty to think about. A solid bourbon barrel porter and worth checking out if you get the chance. Cheers!

Dec 28, 2013
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Auracom from Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks so much to Al for sending this to me. 6 oz. poured into a FFF Rastal on October 26th, 2013.

A - Pours more like a scotch or brown ale than any other baltic porter I've had. Lightly bubbly but zero lacing or retention.

S - Overt bourbon, cashew, brown sugar, dates, and whole chocolate milk. It kind of reminds me of Bourbon Hi-Fi Rye but lacking a great deal of complexity.

T - Dark caramelized sugar, dark chocolate, no residual alcohol whatsoever. Again, it's straightforward.

M - Medium-body, not nearly as creamy-smooth as I'd hoped (compared to something more pedestrian like Topless Wytch).

D - It's just fine. Nothing nearly memorable, and in that sense I am greatly disappointed.

Dec 02, 2013
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

3.47/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1MAY2013. Poured in to snifter.

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head that reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Big oak aroma with lighter bourbon, chocolate and dark fruit notes.

T - Very sweet. Starts out with some noticeable bourbon and charred oak that accompany the flavours of the base beer: roast, chocolate and dark fruit with a touch of vanilla in the background. As the beer warms up and I continue to drink it the barrel notes seem to completely disappear and become almost non-existent leaving just a slightly over sweet porter profile without much personality.

M - Medium, almost full body. Light carbonation.

Nov 26, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice bourbon barrel aged presence that is slightly better in the taste.

Oct 01, 2013
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mhksuccess from California

4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into glass
is dark color not much head if any no visible lacing
smell is bold pleasing get a little chocolate
taste is smooth not hott at all not overwhelming bourbon
nice back end very enjoyable
mouthfeel is nice also not too thick but definite not thin
overall is a pretty solid beer that was enjoyable to drink

Sep 09, 2013
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DocJ007 for sharing this one with a whole bunch of us. Drank right after the non BA version.

A - Pours deep dark brown with a small half finger tall khaki colored head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light strings of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, dulled vanilla and chocolatey sweetness, light smokiness and only the faintest hint of bourbon. Right away I could tell this one wasn't right, I even re-read the description to make sure I read it right the first time. It has a really weird fruitiness and very little bourbon notes.

T - Taste is just like the nose. It starts off with the dark roasted malt and light sweetness and then things take a turn for the worse. There is a weird mix of smoke and light fruitiness that clashes with all of the other flavors. On top of that the bourbon is almost non existent, which is really eye raising. Finish is rather harsh with a bit of booze burn, combined with the thin feel it doesn't linger on the palate for very long.

M - Medium body with moderately low carbonation. The weird fruitiness combined with the thin, roasty feel is not helping things at all.

O - There was more than half the bottle left at the end of the night and nobody was rushing over to finish it. A bourbon barrel porter with no bourbon presence and a light fruitiness? I don't want to say this bottle was infected but it definitely wasn't right.

Aug 28, 2013
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into HF sherry glass, thanks Don for sharing this bottle. Reviewed from notes taken a couple months ago (finally found my notebook).

A- Pours a dark slightly reddish brown that appears fairly opaque in the glass with some translucency around the edges, slightly lighter with more of a reddish brown hue then I'm used to in Baltic Porters. Decent carbonation, minimal head, and slight spotty lacing.

S- Aromas of raisins, sweet bourbon, dark fruits, some light booze integrated in the background. Fairly pleasant smelling with a decent amount of dark fruits coming through, decently aromatic.

T- Flavors of raisins, dark fruits, well balanced bourbon, hint of cherries. More fruity then most baltic porters that I've had and less porter-like then most baltic porters I've had without as much dark chocolate coming through which makes this beer fairly unique. I think the barrels worked wonders on this beer integrating a nice sweet bourbon presence and bringing out the dark fruits of the base beer.

M- Medium bodied, fairly smooth, nice carbonation, lasting feel.

O- This was a very good baltic porter, although it might be hard to say it was my favorite. I liked how the base beer, which I wasn't overly a huge fan of, was really improved upon with the bourbon barrel treatment. Definitely a beer that I'd love to try again.

Aug 22, 2013
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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown along with a thin light tan head and lacing that lasts well throughout. Sweet vanilla oak bourbon, caramel, chocolate, and light dark fruits comes through nicely in the aromas. The flavors were brown sugar along with a delicious combination of subtle bourbon undertones, oak, toffee, cocoa nibs, roasted malts, vanilla, and caramels. Medium bodied and well-carbonated throughout. Man, oh man, what a hell of a porter and do I wish I could get more of this! Among one of the better porters I ever had!

Jul 29, 2013
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AltBock from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap in the Cigar City tasting room on July 21, 2013. They served it to me in a Cigar City Snifter. These notes are from that day when I was drinking this beer.

From what light I could gather in the tasting room, I quickly saw that looking at this beer in the light was going to help at all. This beer was so pitch black that light just bounced off the glass. On top of this barrel aged dark brew was a thick and creamy light mocha 1/2+ head of foam. This head of foam had great retention that left behind a large foamy string and some spotty lacing around the glass.

The aroma was thick with the rich scent dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, a few dark fruits like raisins, black cherry and plum, and a gentle whiff of roasted coffee beans. It was after the coffee where my nose stumbled upon the bourbon and the charred oak. It was a nice strong not over powering scent. The bourbon and oak didn't come in and kicked everybody out. It came in and settled in for the long run.

I thought it was a little odd that the taste kicked off with the dark fruits. My tastebuds found the black cherry, plums, figs, and bourbon soaked raisins. Following the dark fruits was the dark chocolate, a pinch of toffee, and dark roasted malts. Like the aroma, it was the bourbon and charred oak that rounded off the taste. It wasn't overwhelmingly hot and boozy. It had some power to it. Just enough power to let you know it was there.

This was a full bodied Baltic Porter that had a good amount of carbonation to it and a bourbon soaked dark fruit aftertaste. The black cherry, plums, figs, and raisins were just soaked with bourbon. I didn't really get any other flavor other than the dark fruit and bourbon. This warm and slightly boozy aftertaste only lasted a few seconds.

A very good and well balanced Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter. It loved the dark fruits as much as the bourbon and oak. The bourbon didn't control the taste with an iron fist. Now I'm curious how the bottled version tastes.

Jul 29, 2013
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle received in trade from MeadMe
Pours a solid black with a decent sized tan head that dissipates quickly to a ring on top. Smells of rich dark chocolate and brownie batter if you drizzled some bourbon and vanilla on it. Hints of brown sugar and caramel round out the nose nicely. The flavor is rich dark cake batter with hints of cherry and raspberry. Vanilla bourbon and oak flavor add a nice bit of complexity to the flavor. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet creamy silky mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this beer, its a bit alcohol hot but it tastes so damn good I can put up with it. I wish I had a bottle to age.

Jul 29, 2013
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: 2 May 2013

A big thanks to Finatic for sending this one over in a trade!

A: Pours a jet black with only slight areas of browning on the edges when held to light. Just under one fingers width of light khaki colored head dissipates down quickly. Leaves only faint patches of lacing.

S: Huge bourbon notes are what I get initially, oaky-vanilla, sweet bourbon, and boozy. Incredible! There is also a peat character that at times give it an almost scotch-like aroma. I also get chocolate and some dark fruit sweetness. Really excellent aroma.

T: Initial flavor I get is chocolate. This is follow by great barrel characters with raw oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Like the nose there is a scotch-like peat flavor. The malt base is pretty simple with chocolate and black malts being the main components I get from the base beer. Great barrel notes on top of a moderate base beer still make for a very good offering.

M/D: Smooth, very low carbonation which is great, no hint of the ABV, drinkability is very good. Full bodied but could be a touch thicker.

O: Overall, a great beer! Wonderful barrel notes. The base beer doesn't seem particularly strong but it doesnt have to be (although if it was this would be an epic offering). Really glad I got to try this one. Thanks again to Finatic for sending it my way.

Jul 01, 2013
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to moose3285 for this bottle...which I was thinking about all day. When the day begins to kick south at 9:30 AM, it's good to know you have an awesome beer to look forward to & share; loved the base beer. Big 750 ML bottle with some great prose on the label split with my wife.

The pour is pitch red, a bit darker than I remember the base beer. Nose is hard to pick up against the background fuzz; mild smokiness, vanilla, chocolate, with a bit more sweetness than anything else.

Gates of Hell: nothing subtle or quiet about the taste. The bourbon is strong but neither harsh nor overwhelming, but smooth & mellow. Complementary vanilla, of course. Half of Willy Wonka's factory backs the bourbon, just like the base beer; you could call this a chocolate stout & fool most of the learned population around here. Finish is more of the same. Feels nice & thick, which is Cigar City's apparent trademark. Not objecting to taking half a bomber of this one.

One of those times where the excellent base beer is actually better than the brew that emerges from the barrels. This version murders some of the lovely subtleties of the original. Still a good beer that I'm happy to have another several ounces of.

Jun 19, 2013
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle from the recent release, thanks to Raphael for this bottle. Opened up at Dustin's birthday bottle share, poured 6oz into a snifter yesterday 6.15.2013.

Aroma: Chocolate, bourbon, a little vanilla and oak. Not a particularly complex nose, but definitely a huge nose on this one. Smells very well balanced and mellow, while being super effervescent. Enjoyed sniffing this one. (4.25)

Colour: Dark, dark black body that pours really viscously with a nice 3cm brown head that slowly, slowly dissipates over a few minutes into a thin film, not much lacing. Looks great! (4.5)

Flavour: I remember this being mostly roast malt sweetness, a little smokiness and a LOT of bourbon. Not much vanilla or oak. This is a very chocolatey, boozy brew that somehow comes together very well. Very well-constructed beer that isn't too complicated but delivers. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, viscous beer that has fairly good carbonation for the style. The aftertaste is mostly bitter chocolate and sweet bourbon goodness. Aftertaste is mostly the bourbon and the barrel, clean and smooth. Smooth drinking, even at its 11% ABV it's not too boozy at all. Great stuff. (4.5)

Overall: Definitely one of the best bourbon barrel-aged baltic porters out there. It's not complicated with lots of flavour tones, but it does what it does incredibly well. Its very drinkable, and if I hadn't already had tons and tons of awesome beer leading up to this one, I'd have insisted on drinking more. Highly recommend trading for this one if you like baltic porters. (4.25)

Jun 16, 2013
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a Teku snifter.

Appearance - Black with a nice khaki head. Thin collar and a couple of bubbles on the surface.

Smell - When it's cold, it's all bourbon. When it's a bit warmer, a lot more caramel comes out. Still quite a raw bourbon character.

Taste - Bourbon bomb. Raw bourbon flavor. Caramel. Fudgy. Chocolate and caramel blend well.

Mouthfeel - Barrel hot. Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is really good. Masks the base beer with bourbon, but it's pretty damn good.

May 07, 2013
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MatthewPlus from Idaho

4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750ml bottle into a J Wakefield snifter.

deep molasses colored, just a little light shines through the bottom on the glass. garnet brown one finger head.

dark cooking chocolate and bourbon dominate the nose, bitter chocolate undertones.

Really delicious chocolate malt, espresso, and light notes of dark fruit. A ton of barrel presence, the barrel does a lot to modify a merely slightly-above-average base beer.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated, but i think little light to support the booze. medium long finish.

Surprisingly good! i was not a huge fan of the base beer, but this is MUCH better. as the other reviewers mentioned, i think this could benefit from some time in the bottle, but i have high hopes for this one in maybe a year. But it is still very delicious fresh...

May 06, 2013
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.01/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Peg's snifter glass.

A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque. One finger of brown head on top of more carbonation than most barrel-aged pours.

S: Bourbon hit up front - almost smells more like scotch. Bit sweet malts, unsweet chocolate, sweet woodiness. Maybe a little bit metallic, and it toes the line of smelling overly boozy.

T: Bourbon hit up front, then some cacao and coffee-roasted bitter malts. There just doesn't seem to be a lot else going on here other than the bourbon and nice maltiness.

M: Mouthfeel and body seem to be in line with the base beer. The impression I get is that it's a little thin, but I think I'm expecting Imperial Stout body, or at least big porter, with the flavors involved. Lower carbonation than I expected from the appearance. Alcohol presence is actually fairly restrained given the bourbon barrel treatment.

O: This is good, but it's not blowing me our of the water. Even though the degree of barrel-aging seems nicely restrained, I don't think the base beer is big enough to stand up to it. I will be curious what several months of again will do to this.

May 06, 2013
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Lare453 from Florida

4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A black, opaque, light tan/khaki head, head is small and leaves a crown with some islands and swirls. Nice lacing.

S big bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, peat, malt, light molasses, tiny tiny bit of black licorice, little bit of coffee

T big bourbon forward profile, other tastes are similar to the nose without the coffee. Milk chocolate, dark malts, dark fruits like fig and dates, oak, peat, molasses, tiny bit of lemon.

M a little thinner than I expected, but good. Full bodied. Light carbonation.

O I opened this two days after bottling,I think that this would definitely benefit for a few months of aging. I think it will boost the carbonation and let the other flavors come out more.

May 03, 2013
Kalevipoeg At The Gates Of Hell from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 287 ratings