Oak Aged Black Jack Stout | DuClaw Brewing Company

very good
32 Reviews
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Oak Aged Black Jack StoutOak Aged Black Jack Stout

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 01-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 85
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a small fizzy brown head. The head fades very fast, leaving a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of roasted malt and chocolate as well as some aromas of a sweet caramel and toffee. Other aromas of a cappuccino smell are there as well with lots of coffee, vanilla, and cream. A slightly oaky and bourbon smell are mixed with the rest to create a very robust and sweet dark smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with quite sweet cocoa and roasted malt flavor mixed with flavors of caramel and vanilla. The sweet and robust flavors are later joined by some coffee and cream tastes which bring just a hint of bitterness, but also enhance the roasted and dark flavors of the brew overall, making for a nice robust dark but creamy taste to be sensed. Some lighter notes of dark fruits of raisin and fig develop more toward the end of the taste along with a rather strong oaky and boozy rum like flavor. These flavors, along with a light flavor of some smoke, end up creating a sweeter, dark, and boozy warming feel to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is very low. The feel is great for the brew as it accentuates a creamy and thick feel which is nice for all the sweet, dark, and boozy taste of the beer, allowing all the rich flavors to coat the tongue.

Overall – A raosty and sweet, boozy brew. This is a nice slow sipper with tons of robust dark flavors. While not a traditional go too in light of its almost cloying sweetness, it is a great dessert brew when in the mood for such a style.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half finger head but it didn't last long on a jet black body with nice lacing. Aroma is mostly bourbon but it isn't overpowering with notes of chocolate and vanilla. Flavor follows with a nicely balanced stout with sweetness, bourbon and roast intertwined well. Sweetness from vanilla and a little from chocolate. The roast is the least represented but still there. Full, thick body and moderate carbonation. Oak is well represented late in the finish. An excellent beer. I sat on this one for a year and it was worn the wait.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is dark brown with a thin, oily, beige head. The aroma brings chocolate, roast, bourbon, oak. Milk chocolate flavor. While bourbon character is present, it's pretty mild overall. At only 8.2%, which is low for a barrel aged imperial stout, this brew is all about smooth sailing and less about bold, aggressive bourbon barrels and hefty roast. Medium bodied, though light bodied for the style. Low carbonation and smooth on the palate. Milk chocolate and/or chocolate milk. Pretty good.

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Photo of oline73
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet. This is a 2010 bottle.

The beer pours very dark with a cocoa head, but it's not as thick as I would expect for the style. The smell is very nice, probably the best part of this beer. It smells sweet with some nice whiskey notes along with vanilla and some oak. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but it's still quite good. More roast in the taste, but I'm also getting a strong oak presence. The sweetness is more in the background of the taste. The mouthfeel is on the thin side but the carbonation is nice.

This is really close to being an excellent beer, but the thin mouthfeel and lack of sweetness in the taste hold it back. I enjoyed it enough to want to try a newer bottle and see if they've tweaked it at all.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into snifter. 2010 bottling. Thanks a ton, Josh.

A: Pour pitch black and thick bodied beneath a thin layer of mocha colored head.
S: Smooth, creamy and rich chocolate dominates the nose with faint notes of whisky and mild oak barrel. Vanilla, caramel and leather are present. Smells smooth, mellow and delicious.
T: Extremely smooth and mellow. Rich milk chocolate is still the prevailing flavor, with notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, toast and finally whisky coming through. The finish has a slight dark chocolate bitterness and the aftertaste is full of whisky and toffee. This beer is not hot at all, nor does the whisky add much more than a subtle flavor to the beer. The after-aftertaste long after the swallow is smoky.
M: Very smooth mouthfeel over a full body and soft carbonation. Drinks very well.
O: Not much whisky or oak barrel as I was anticipating but I guess this bottle has a couple years on it. I would drink this often if it was available to me though. Very solid stout, could use a bit more punch though. Thanks again StormKing47 for sending me a bottle.

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Als of Hampden during the Duclaw welcome to PA party. Served in a snifter, the brew appears black in color with a finger of brown topping. Stringy fingers of lace stick to the glass as the cap fades.

The smell is roasty with an essence of coffee coupled with some raw woody oak elements. Tannins are the first thing that comes to mind mixed with a mild vanilla to caramel touch of sweetness. However, lots of raw oakiness is present through the back.

The taste is raw with oak and a little harsh compared what you might find in other takes of the style. It is very roasty and bitter from the darkness of the grain but some citrus hop elements come forward as well. The aftertaste is a bit ashy and burnt before going back to a flavor of raw woodiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall its a fairly decent take on the style and while ive never had it, im curious about trying the base version. The oak seemed a little disjointed in this and didnt blend well. But by no means is this a bad brew. If the harsher side of barrel aging is your thing, you might really dig this.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of chocolate, vanilla, light roasted coffee, hazelnut, and toast. Complex and pleasing.

Black as night with a mocha and cream head that just sticks to the glass like it's hanging on for dear life.

Big big big vanilla in this one, it's the first thing you taste like a punch in the throat. Lighter flavors of chocolate and bourbon in the mid-palate with a fine drawn-out hazelnut coffee finish.

Light carbonation and a medium-full body with a somewhat sweet and slightly astringent finish. This beer is actually quite drinkable like the description says, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Chaney
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I dug the regular "Black Jack," so I thought I'd give this one a try.

Served in an Olde Hickory undersized glass.

A: Poured black as the Ace of Spades, with a 1/2 finger mocha head that died down into a mere light brown froth within a couple of minutes.

S: Yep, I got the coconuty whiskey, along with some roastiness from the other ingredients. I got more than a hint of molasses in particular.

T: Man, this is a really nice whiskey infuse stout through and through. No pretentiousness here, just great brewing. I got the barrel-aging, which was well infused with the dark malt. The finish had a bitter, chalkiness that I'm personally fond of in many BBA stouts.

M: Thick and luscious, with the sweet notes tempered by the aging. The carbonation was fine for this style and the bitterness was perfect here!

O: Nothing too "Imperial" or groundbreaking here... just really solid stuff. DuClaw continues to be one of the better breweries available in my area....

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Photo of jjboesen
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is based on a sample tasted at Oktoberfest Beer Festival (during Baltimore Beer Week 2011) amid a blithering gaggle of drunken idiots.

It is pitch black in color with a tan head and moderate lacing. The nose detects intense notes of licorice and molasses while the palate is lathered with an aggressive blanket of cocoa powder and malt - all of it being supported by a large amount of alcohol.

The mouthfeels is somewhat tepid; in any case, this would probably be better in a snifter and not a plastic 4-ounce sample glass.

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Photo of ckollias
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bomber bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick dark brown 3-finger head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Strong malty aroma with a roasted chocolate and coffee scents with hints of whiskey in the background.

T: More sweet than bitter with a heavy alcoholic tone. Complex flavors of roasted malt
and chocolate. Some dark fruits and whiskey in the background.

M: Heavy chewy body and medium carbonation.

O: This beer a full bodied complex brews with great flavors.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black body with a thin mocha colored head.

S- Deep roasted malt aroma a hint of oak in the nose, but not overwhelming.

T- Smooth oak all the way through with the roasted malt in the back. Chocolate and coffee come through as well.

M- Smooth and creamy, not too thick. Good drinkability, but a sipper.

O- Very good and a step up from the regular black jack stout.

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Photo of beer2day
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour with 1-finger of dark mocha head. No retention, but nicely laced with thick strands all around the glass.

Nice bourbon aroma without overpowering. Many of the BA's I've had lately have really come on strong with the booze. This is more subtle. Roast coffee underneath, with notes of mocha.

Heavy coffee flavor, dark roast, with vanilla notes - even a shot of cream. Bits of toffee and a medium booziness that again does not overpower. Strong bitters, both from coffee and chocolate. Hop notes are in there, but masked.

Feel is just a bit lighter than I would like, but this would still be a heavy beer for most.

I would expect this to clock in at over 10%. 8.2% feels like you are cheating - and I can finish the 22oz bottle and not feel guilty.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thank you 321jeff! enjoyed from a portsmouth tulip.

a - the brew poured a pretty attractive solid black with a huge creamy foamy head that hung out pretending to be a this-or-that-accino fancy dessert coffee. quite attractive leaving chunks of lacing although truth be told the head essentially stayed forever. where it faded, the glass was coated.

s - bakers chocolate. hot chocolate with cream. a fresh cut oak chip presence is there in the mix. milk stouty on oak.

t - chocolate milk. oak is there, but more in the background. the whiskey gives it an almost fresh cedar taste. very soft. like a milk stout crossed with cream soda. interesting.

m - surprisingly thin, but in a good way. kind of like drinking a yoo hoo.

o - overall, different. i expected a thick dark monster and this was more like drinking a watered down chocolate milk with some fresh cut oak. this whiskey isn't overly present, but it is there as is the oak, but more of a glaze.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter glass. My first DuClaw brew, going big here! Let's see how she stacks up.

Not much head or foam is made off the pour, however it does provide some milk chocolate color with actually a real interesting orange to it strangely. Thin collar is left to sit on a dark walnut black body. A little see through from the edges.

First smell on the nose, seems to hint at barleywine, but disappears among the oak. Oak angle takes over giving some good cedar like quality sweetness, mixing with malt nicely. A real nice buttery and salted caramel comes out as well, with a salt angle hinting a jerky. When first examining the bouquet it doesn't seem that impressive, but really improves the more I examine it after time.

Palate hits and there as great large deal of highly charred action. Very carbon and dry tasting. Finish is arid mixing a large roast component, but none of the expected flavors on the nose really follow. Not sweet tasting, but also not hot or boozy either. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly and taking away some of the pleasure.

Overall, it smells like a good solid barrel aged imperial stout, but seems more like a basic regular non-barrel aged imperial stout in taste. It's alright, but not bringing everything together or really highly desirable.

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Photo of KMcG
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on Valentines Day I think. My review is from notes on my phone.

A: Poured without much head, but a nice half finger of kaki head developed on the onyx black stout.

S: The aroma is sweet and soft. There is vanilla and coco.

T: The whiskey hits upfront, a little, dark coco, then more whiskey, but a bit sharp - definitely getting the alcohol. Overall, the taste is a bittersweet combo of the coco and whiskey.

O: This guy a leaves a warm sensation. It's full bodied and strong. It also has a dry finish.

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Photo of Kendo
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 bottle received as a Christmas gift on 12/25/11. Consumed on 3/3/12.

A: Poured from the bomber into a Duvel tulip. Body is black, appears thick as it glug-glugs out of the bottle. A small light-brown head settles on top. No real lacing, though a touch od splotchy legs cling to the glass with each sip.

S: First impression is the bourbon. It doesn't seem overly hot, however, but it's tough to discern anything else beyond that.

T: Nice. Bourbon is still the first impression, but again, it's not overwhelming. Chocolate malt, coffee and vanilla are all noted. Finishes with the bourbony taste at the back of the mouth, but there's a lingering sense of chocolate - milk, not dark.

M: Drinks smooth, modestly creamy. Heft is not quite full-bodied, but close.

O: Fairly impressed by this one. The barrel aging doesn't overwhelm the beer at all, which was a concern when I saw this was so relatively low in ABV (bottle says 8% as opposed to the 8.2% that's listed here) - I thought there might not be enough malt to stand up to the booze, but it's fine. A nice sipper.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to KMcG for sharing this one. Cheers!

Opaque black with small tan head that leaves light rings of lacing. Vanilla and bourbon on the nose, with a bit of cocoa. Warm alcohol builds as the beer warms. Very smooth medium mouthfeel. Bourbon and vanilla right up front lead to a bit of bitterness from highly roasted malts. Relatively simple but well balanced and very drinkable.

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Photo of ms11781
2.56/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to oline73. 2010 vintage. 8%ABV per the label. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a fairly thick, solid black with almost no head. The beer has some amberish hues at the edges and bottom of the glass. A thin off white ring collects around the edges of the glass but even that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing is left on the glass.

The nose is really subdued. There are more than a few aromas that come across but none are all that strong. Some light oak comes across first. I wasn't sure if the beer was aged in plain oak barrels or bourbon because there was no hint of bourbon at first. As the beer warms a very slight bourbon note comes across. There is a bit of vanilla and a slightly buttery note as well. There is a little bit of roast as well. This beer probably has the weakest nose with the most going on in it that I have ever had.

The taste is about on par with the nose. The oak has a slight char to it and there is a more pronounced vanilla character. There is next to no bourbon coming through at all here. There is a bit of roast and each sip finishes with a with charred wood and a touch of bitterness.

The body is pretty full with very low carbonation. Due to the lack of carbonation the beer seems like it mellows out and something is missing at the finish.

This beer missed the mark for me. Nothing really stands out flavor or aroma-wise and the carbonation doesn't help. It is a 2010 vintage so perhaps it's a bit passed its prime and better enjoyed fresh.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this brew last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours near-black with a thin mocha head and a bit of lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose carries some oak to go along with roast and chocolate. Some faint coffee. Flavor is along the same lines but a bit more pieced together. Feel is nice and the oak adds some depth. Pretty good, but nothing too earth-shattering.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Chris! 22oz bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - Huge oak, perhaps a bit overly oaked, some roast, chocolate, and alcohol. I'm surprised there's so much alcohol in there for only 8% and the oak is simply overpowering.

T - Similar to the nose. Too much oak, hot alcohol, chocolate, light roast and char. Again, the oak is way too dialed up and the booze is pretty hot. Hurts the rest of the beer...

M - Full body, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Basically, an average Barrel-Aged stout...perhaps slightly above. The oak and booze hurt it and it needs to smooth out a bit, IMO. Like I said, slightly above average, nothing more.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12/31/11 notes. Been meaning to pick one of these up for a while, thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this one last night. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of very dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No real retention or lacing, but looks very nice for a RIS.

s - Smells of oak, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, very light coffee, and toasted malts. Ton of vanilla and oak and the bourbon is very present, but not overwhelming. Smells pretty awesome right now.

t - Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, light fruit, toasted malts. More bourbon than the nose, and a ton of vanilla again. Still very nice and enjoyable, though not as balanced as the nose.

m - Full bodied stout and moderate carbonation. Thick and creamy.

o - Overall I thought this was a great RIS; I was actually a little shocked how good it was. I thought the nose was amazing and is perfect right now. Taste is a little hot and bourbon forward, but I tend to like that. I'll certainly be picking up 1 or 2 bottles of this now.

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Photo of dtivp
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black with a one finger creamy beige head, fades slowly to a thin cap with moderate lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted malt, oak and dark chocolate.

Taste starts slightly oaky vanilla to a dark chocolate, burnt malt ending with a nice bourbon finish.

Mouth Feel was full body, light carbonation, smooth and gets smoother as it reaches room temperature.

Oveall a very nice oaked stout, I wish I had a bottle to cellar, I believe this beer would be great with a year of aging.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from cmurren in our Christmas exchange. Thanks Chad! Poured into Darkness snifter.

A - pitch black with an espresso-colored head on top. Not much lacing.

S - a moderate amount of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. All great aromas.

T - faint bourbon and oak, some vanilla, but also a kind of acidic tinge. I haven't seen any reports of infection but this may be the start. Otherwise, nice coffee and chocolate to round it out.

M - a little overcarbonated or it could be the beginning of infection.

O - a nice brew and one I'm glad to try. I hope the others aren't infected, but I'll be glad I cracked this baby if so.

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Photo of argock
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Served at 55F. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.49.

A: Black body with beige, almost light violet 1/2 finger of head that fades quickly and leaves very scant lacing.

S: Big aromas of oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, and black coffee mix with dark malt. Whiskey is faint but accents the overall aroma without a lot of booze but with a fair amount of vanilla.

T: There is a big blast of fudge first, followed by complex dark roasted maltiness with some char but mostly richness, followed by a very strong dark chocolate and oak combination which is really appealing and well done. The finish is mostly espresso and moderately bitter.

M: The above-average level of carbonation keeps this fine brew from seeming syrupy and the body is medium-full. This beer is pretty dry despite its depth.

O: I really was impressed by this beer -- it is tasty, smooth, complex, and with just the right body. A highly drinkable barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/10/11
*From notes

A: Damn, this looks awesome. Black as night. A confidant pour yields a cascading 2.75 head that's tight and bubbly. The retention is great, as are the gobs of lacing around the glass as it fade.

S: Bourbony vanilla. Toasty. You can easily detect the whiskey all over this, and I love it.

T: The bourbon hits the palate right up front, followed by a deep, rich char. It's boozy for sure, as it could easily stand a few months in the cellar, though it's drinking wonderfully as-is. The back side features a scrumdiddlyumptious layer of brownie batter. The only knock here is a slight bit of rusted copper from from the mid to finish, though it's certainly not the star of the show.

M: This packs a bit more carbonation then most barrel aged offerings. As it sits a while and warms, the texture really smooths out and feels signifigantly better. It's plenty creamy from top to bottom.

O: DuClaw's Oak Aged Black Jack Stout is a surprisingly delicious beer. It's solid as hell. I really hope that everyone getting into this brew share the love, as the folks at DuClaw really deserve a round of applause. A diamond in the rough, a needle in a haystack. Whatever you want to call it, fine. I just want more.

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Oak Aged Black Jack Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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