Retribution | DuClaw Brewing Company

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RetributionRetribution
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
RetributionRetribution
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
duclaw.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied, Single Barrel Bourbon-aged Imperial Stout with rich aromas of espresso and dark chocolate, and smooth roasted malt flavor. Aged for 6 months inside charred Kentucky white oak bourbon barrels to add the natural vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors of the bourbon soaked wood to the beer. Each bottle run is drawn from a single barrel, making each batch a unique drinking experience. ABV from 10.5% to 11.5%.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#4,363
Reviews:
89
Ratings:
483
pDev:
10.44%
 
 
Wants:
79
Gots:
120
Trade:
10
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 483
Reviews by cjgiant:
Photo of cjgiant
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle in barrel 3/28/14, bottled 10/1/14:
Pours an opaque black with a modicum of deep tan head that layers the beer but fairly quickly dissipates. Strings of carbonation cover the surface throughout the pour, but the foamy edge lacing is the sustaining remnants from the initial pour. Lacing is good, and a quick swirl bring forth a froth from the edges. Nose has a bourbon note to it but is on the tart side of BA stouts, a familiar nose that I always have trouble describing. I am going to use cherry wood, knowing that it exists, but not knowing if it exhibits the tart, somewhat cherry-like scent I get.

The taste starts somewhat dark side of bitter - maybe bittersweet - chocolate. The bourbon taste comes in with a stronger tartness. Again this taste is familiar, but seems almost as if old milk was used to produce the chocolate (given that lacto- bacteria is used in good sours, this should not necessary be considered bad). The feel is medium at best, carbonation adding some feel. The beer does coat the mouth, but the core flavors don't linger, leaving a root beer like after-taste.

This is a decent beer. There are no obvious flaws other than I have found (currently) two styles of imperial/BA stouts, a more tart style (this, Black Butte XXVI; and a more sweet style, Evil Twin Doughnut Break got one). I prefer the sweeter style (Doughnut Break being a towards the extreme side), but I have run into this style enough to say its a decent version of the style, and if you can understand my likely made up substyles, use it as you wish. I think it's at least a beer worth trying to form your own opinion.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of atone315
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 vintage, thrown in barrels on 3-28 and bottled on 9-1. Definitely not a sweet beer, this was still a perfect brew for an after dinner desert. The roastiness was outstanding, usually that's lost in beers that are barrel aged....speaking of which, 6 mos was perfect match for this one. Just enough boozy kick to let you know it's there, but not so much that it overpowers the base beer. I was searching for this one for awhile, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Bainbridge Street Barrel House.

Solid black pour, with a finger of brown head that receded to a ring, good retention, dots of lacing on the glass. Everything I'd expect from a stout in the nose, dark malts, cocoa, coffee, along with some marshmallow sweetness, and barrel notes that were somewhat muted. In the taste, dark malts, fudge and creamy sweetness, coffee, dry oak, light notes of bourbon and coconut. On the verge of being a mess, but never really reaching that point, all elements just keeping themselves together enough for this to be a tasty brew with decent drinkability. Body was medium, mouthfeel was fairly smooth if a little syrupy, with some booze heat expectedly present.

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Photo of teromous
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(From the label)
Date in barrel: 03/19/2013
Date out of barrel: 09/25/2013

A: Dark black body with a pretty dark brown cocoa looking head. The head stands for a good amount of time but it took some aggressive pouring to get started. Some lacing.

S: Very strong bourbon scent. If I were blindfolded I would think this was just a glass of bourbon. I get the oak as well. It smells good. It's nothing but bourbon but that one element is strong.

T: Very strong bourbon, oak, and rich coffee. There are two elements that make this beer perfect. The first is the richness of flavor. It is right there, full of flavor. It's not watered down or muddy, it is bold. The second is that the flavors work well together without stepping on each others toes. The bourbon flavor is big, but the coffee stands up to it, without being too bitter or harsh. No "standard" alcohol flavors (11.5% ABV) so the only alcohol I pick up is from the bourbon. Very well at hiding the bourbon.

M: Perfect mouthfeel. Full, smooth, thick but not syrupy, very alive on the palate, and just rich feeling.

O: Overall I loved this beer. It's a freaking amazing beer. I will be looking forward to buying this one again. I highly recommend it.

 1,210 characters

Photo of Khazadum
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Jay and his wife Patty for grabbing this for me on their thanksgiving trip.

A- Perfect inky darkness, a finger of mocha colored head dissipating down to a thin collar. The lacing is very sticky and delightful to view. Jet black body as it should be.

S- A sharp ethanolic bourbon nature is the first thing I see. However, this is quickly overrun by the dark fruit, cherry and dates, a sweet deep and dank caramel. Molasses even. It is delightful to drink it in. The back end is the roasted body that isn't burnt but toasted.

T- You can tell this is a bourbon barreled beer right off the bat. This is all about a light spirit nature, alcoholic but very manageable and drinkable. It has the sweetness you come to love of bourbon, the malty nature, the dark fruits. It all blends into the base beer as well before you truly understand if this is a fine bourbon or a great beer. So sweet and yet roasty all at once. The finish is a glorification of all that is great roasted coffee. It embodies the taste you get when you walk into a fantastic coffee shop. When all is said and done and you give it a bit of time, a wooden flavor that must be oak smacks you in the lips.

M- Syrupy, creamy, velvety. Delicious flavors linger and drive you to want more more more! Dry finish with a bit of alcoholic bite occasionally. The heat never becomes something unbearable. Truly a point of contention for some, but for me I welcome it.

What a great beer. If this wasn't 15$ a bottle I may buy a case of this for my own enjoyment.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My First Review!

A: A deep dark black appearance. A thin brown lacing that dissipates pretty quickly with only a thin brown circle remaining.

S: Strong bourbon notes up front followed by dark chocolate and a hit of vanilla

T: Bourbon right up front dominates the palate. The burnt malts come through strong up front as well and lingers throughout. The roast flavor stays with you well after the sip. There is a hint of dark chocolate and vanilla as well but the bourbon and malt flavors dominate the sip.

M: It is thick but not overly thick or syrupy. It has a flavor that lingers in the mouth well after the sip. Though not overly thick, the flavor coats the mouth and throat. A great after meal drink.

O: Very solid value for a Barrel Aged Stout. The chocolate notes don’t dominate and the other flavors really distinguish it from a lot of bigger stouts.

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Photo of Pencible
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Barrel 20 of 20.

A: This poured a nearly opaque black, with some tan head.
S: It smelled like dark chocolate and coffee and licorice and brown sugar, with some oak and toasted oats and honey wheat bread.
T: It tasted like very sweet brown sugar and honey wheat bread and raisin, with some mocha and oak and toasted oats and vanilla. It had a lasting sweet aftertaste that was clean.
M: It was very thick and viscous with some carbonation. Huge body.
D: This was a nice bourbon stout, with very sweet scent and taste. It had amazing body with pretty well hidden alcohol, so it was fairly easy to drink. It could probably age well, but it was nice fresh too. Not the best example of the style, with less bourbon character and more sweetness than most. But it was still really enjoyable.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dark beige head.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of brown sugar.
T: The taste follows the smell but has stronger flavors of bourbon and brown sugar.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has lots of flavors of bourbon and sweetness from the brown sugar. It's tough to picture how strong the beer is because any traces of alcohol are very well hidden.

Serving type: can

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Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of DRBiser
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaymo18
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of boogercrack
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of bespin15
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jlang2012
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Paul68
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of xk6m6m5x
3.52/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of yourefragile
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, barrel 12, shared by Jeff, served in a snifter.

Appearance is syrupy and viscous, dark chocolate body with a quickly fading tan head. Cover the glass in legs and settles in a thin collar. Massive boozy and bourbon aroma with roast malt, brown sugar and milk chocolate. Despite having had this on tap and taking a good whiff of the aroma, I gagged on the sweetness the first time I took a sip from this bottle. It's intense. Bourbon and vanilla dominate the chocolate presence (which was stronger on draft) than the barrel in this bottle. Medium thick body, fairly robust and creamy, but unfortunately this beer crosses the line of being too cloying for my taste in the finish. I feel like there is more too appreciate here than just the initial barrel blast, but as this warms and becomes even sweeter I'm not the one capable of enjoying it. I'd like to try some different barrels of this and get some age on these; certainly impressed with DuClaw's recent offerings.

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Photo of Gww1864
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Robyn
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 483 ratings