The PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Stout
DuClaw Brewing Company

The PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee StoutThe PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #706
Ranked #28,699
3.77 | pDev: 8.22%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Very Good
The PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee StoutThe PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Stout
Notes: Full-bodied Russian Imperial Stout with a complex mix of malt flavors, decadent chocolate, and a coffee nuttiness accentuated by caramel, oak, and bourbon notes. Brewed with Indian Monsooned Malabar Coffee and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

31 IBU
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 18
Photo of Lucular
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad barrel-aged stout, but where is the bourbon? Pretty much all I'm getting is sweet milk chocolate with a hint of coffee. Am I surprised that DuClaw failed to make a world-class barrel-aged imperial stout, or anything remotely close to that? Umm, no.

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Photo of BB1313
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Canned on 5/9/19. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a creamy khaki head that fades leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Lots of malts. Some cocoa, marshmallow and smoke. Not much coffee or bourbon going on in the aroma department. The flavors have some dark chocolate up front. More smoke and marshmallows. The coffee and bourbon is pretty subtle in the flavor department as well, although the coffee ultimately comes through. Solid bitterness. Malts do their thing. Finishes dry. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's sharp, fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is an alright brew. It's a solid stout, but it's "lackluster" for a bourbon-barrel aged coffee stout, in my opinion. It's fine for what it is.

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Photo of Roguer
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a solid, ~2 finger brown head, slightly fizzy atop a very dark cola body. Unsurprisingly, retention is so-so, leaving behind no lacing, and a slight sheen atop the body, paired with a thin ring around the edge.

Nose is fairly straightforward coffee RIS: roast, mild char, red grapes, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, cola, prunes, Baker's chocolate, earthy hops. The coffee adds depth, but doesn't particularly stand out against this background. Very mild mash from the bourbon you really have to dig to find, but is pleasant once discovered. Not as dark and deep as I expected.

Flavor falls flat in almost every aspect. Cola and prunes up front, yielding to a nice coffee tone, balanced against bitter chocolate wrapped in an oaky envelope with very mild mash. Dark fruit last throughout the entire sip, and paired with a very mild banana and stronger spicy earthiness from the yeast, gives the impression that one is drinking a Belgian, not an RIS. In fact, there's very little RIS about this at all. Coconut on the finish from the bourbon, along with a vanilla aftertaste. Otherwise, there is very little to suggest this had much time in bourbon barrels at all. Long finish, with coffee and bitter chocolate lingering.

Shockingly thin and watery, especially for a series named "PastryArchy." Sting that builds, but it's flat up front. It's a surprisingly thin mouthfeel that will have you thinking of Guinness - and at double the ABV, that's unbelievable.

I was very excited going into this beer: BBA Vietnamese coffee imperial stout! These are some of my favorite words thrown together! This under-delivers across the board. I can't imagine this is the product DuClaw had in mind. In fact, all analogues I have for this beer are stout/porters in the 4-6% ABV range.

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Photo of robotic_being
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown / black color with ½” of mocha brown foam, mild retention, no lacing. Nose of coffee beans, semi earthy hops, roasted malts, chocolate, hints of vanilla, mild molasses, woody-oaken barrel notes. Taste is roasty, robust coffee, dark chocolate, burnt toast, pinch of dark fruit, mild hop bitterness, slightly acidity from the coffee beans, and some bourbon barrel sweetness. Mouthfeel is slick, thin to medium body, with low carbonation and a dry finish, with lingering coffee and semi sticky chocolate + vanilla. Overall taste is pleasant, unique coffee selection, bold dessert beer, solid sipper. No aroma or taste of 8.5% ABV, well worth drinking.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan colored head that quickly died down, leaving wisps of lacing on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of coffee beans are present in the nose along with notes of bourbon from the barrel aging. Hints of molasses also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of coffee beans and dark chocolate with a slight bit of associated bitterness and sweetness. There are also some notes of bourbon, which are most noticeable towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little slick on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink for a bourbon barrel aged stout as it manages to hide nearly all traces of alcohol from the taste. However, it also hides a lot of the bourbon as well so it drinks more like a coffee stout with a little bourbon flavoring. The bourbon aromas and flavors were also a little more toffee-like and less vanilla-like than I was normally accustomed to seeing.

Serving type: can

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Photo of jrc1093
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 5/20/18

Pours black with a finger-sized tan head and a solid ring of lacing left around the surface.

Aromas of smooth baker's chocolate, dark cherries, fig (maybe even a bit of prune), toffee, vanilla, bits of lactose, and some toasty malts; smell reminds of an oatmeal raisin cookie, and is very balanced, bright, easy, and welcoming.

The taste brings solid notes of dark chocolate and light coffee with some dark fruit undertones; it's nicely-balanced and has a slight hint of roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and just slightly sticky, with some pleasant carbonation and an easy-drinking dryness to it typically uncharacteristic of BA stouts.

A solid go at a BA coffee stout. It's not blowing my socks off, but it's an easy drinker, has good flavor, and is just generally inoffensive; strikes all the right chords, just not to the level of a top-tier stout.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is the 4th edition in a limited release series, an Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee, canned 6/20/18...

Dark brown-black pour looks perfectly black in an over-sized snifter; center-pour kicked up a thin dark foam head that slimmed into a thin collar very quickly... Rather unremarkable for a "bourbon barrel Vietnamese coffee stout," which sounds like something that should be amazing... There are flavors and aromas of chocolate roasty notes, vanilla edged, and sweet, milky coffee... Additional deeper fruit flavors and nutty aromas are apparent as well, with a tannic/woody element, too... The body is relatively thin... Overall, mildly bitter, fairly smooth, moderately sweet, faintly carbonated...

There's nothing wrong with the stout, but there's just nothing exceptional about it, which, considering the number of bourbon barrel stouts, coffee and other, is disappointing. I prefer something thicker in body for sure, and I also want richer flavors - both from the bourbon and the coffee - but this is a rather mild brew, with a moderate abv... Worth a try, but not worth questing after...

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The PastryArchy: Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 18 ratings