Retribution | DuClaw Brewing Company

RetributionRetribution
BA SCORE
4.12/5
470 Ratings
RetributionRetribution
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / 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%.

Added by Kegatron on 10-14-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,078
Reviews:
85
Ratings:
470
pDev:
10.68%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
118
Trade:
10
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 470 |  Reviews: 85
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber of this with some friends. Had an interesting timeline on the bottle with date into the barrel and date out of the barrel. Very strong alcohol smell on this one, oh boy. Taste is thick, lots of vanilla and bourbon notes, with the burning alcohol taste. Finishes somewhat smooth, decent mouthfeel. Some decent chocolate notes as well. Definitely not one for the weak, a very strong in your face beer.. but has a pretty good flavor profile. Glad I tried it... but the booziness brings it down a notch.

 514 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With a sultry and ominous taste, DuClaw's stab at the Impeiral Stout is shrouded in a cloak of bourbon for intense warmth, wood spice and the thin caramel and vanilla tones that round out the roast and introduce a beautiful dessert-like taste.

Simply black in its appearance, the ale is completely opaque. As it settles into the glass, a slow rise of espresso-like creme floats the beer for a short time before the froth disintegrates and the ale trends brandy-like with its creep of legging.

Boozy to the nose, the unmistakable scent of bourbon springs to life with caramel, vanilla, charred oak and an almost vinous wine-like tone. But that is the wrapping for the dense espresso, bitter chocolate, walnut and heavy char that lies within.

Rich with chocolate covered espresso beans, the ale tastes sweet and roasty. Brownie batter and fresh ground coffee is the central flavor with bitter walnuts and chocolate awash on the palate. Savory and salty tastes bleed into the taste of charred fruit, spicy oak, and sweet bourbon to round out the taste.

Absolute fullness on the palate, the beer is creamy, lush and velvety up front, but as the alcohol sets in, the beer is thinned for drinkability as the carbonation is ushered aside and the sweetness dries slightly. High warmth and a numbing prickle provides lasting aftertaste and texture.

Retribution is a forcefully bourbon infused Stout that pulls no punches. Its whisky effects aren't subtle or nuanced. They make every bit as much impact on the palate as the massive Stout does.

 1,538 characters

Photo of oline73
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub during the release event. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with just a ring of dark tan head around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and quite roasty with notes of bourbon, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Taste: Follows from the smell. Extremely sweet and packed full of my favorite flavors. I'm getting bourbon, vanilla, maple, chocolate, dark fruit, and some alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick with aggressive but smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is very good. I guess the sweetness could have been toned down just a bit, but I really enjoyed it.

 634 characters

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 SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: Date in Barrel 03/28/2014, Date out of Barrel 10/01/2014

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that reduces to a medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of boozy bourbon, vanilla, and oak over the top of moderate aromas of roasted dark malts, bittersweet chocolate, and dark fruits (prune, fig, and raisin).

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted dark malts with a light to moderate amount of dark fruit sweetness (prune, fig, and raisin). That is followed by strong flavors of boozy, bourbon, vanilla, and oak from the barrel aging as well as a moderate flavor of bittersweet chocolate. Light to moderate amount of roasty bitterness which does not linger in the finish but the lingering flavor is bourbon.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Enjoyable but pretty boozy, definitely a slow sipper but it matched well with my breakfast for dinner tonight (blueberry granola pancakes, sausage, and cinnamon baked apples).

 1,343 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another split from rudzud as a trade helper. Still havne't really had anything I really like from this brewery, so hopefully this will break the spell.

Mild creamy dark head no lacing, very dark beer little legs.

Nose starts with dark malts, little roast, and bakers choc, candy syrupy, mild earthy herbal component, mild molasses candy.

Taste super sweet, candy syrup, mild super sweet choc, caramel molasses, little chewy caramel candy, little vanilla barrel and whiskey but barely. Finish is sticky and sweet, syrupy, chewy, little choc. Very sweet and syrupy, if not for that at least it would have been more drinkable.

Mouth is thick and syrupy, light carb, little booze.

Overall meh. Super sweet and almost undrinkable. Not a very good imperial stout.

 764 characters

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Put in barrel 3/28/14 taken out of barrel 10/01/2014.Pours ink black with a creamy deep beige head that leaves an almost full ring of lace as it settles into a frothy mass.Vanilla/bourbon in the nose along with alcohol soaked dark fruit,and mild roast.Bourbon is big in the nose along with brown sugar and dark fruit,a hint of lactic-like sourness is there as well.Odd in the fact I don't get alot of roast or coffee but I like the fruit and the bourbon components.

 465 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this bottle last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours near-black with a thin mocha head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose carries some good notes of chocolate and malt, though the bourbon is a bit heavy. Everything melds together much better in the flavor. Full body with good carbonation and a nice chewiness. Another impressive brew from DuClaw.

 401 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15%

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.

 702 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the DuClaw Brewing Co. Arundel Mills Mall location on 10/13/11 during the release party. Served in a shaker glass.

This is a first of what is planned to be multiple single barrel-aged releases of this beer. While their Brewer’s Blog indicates that the first bottling of this will be from Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, I’m not sure if this debut draft version was from those particular barrels or from another. I’m sure that future entries of this will have to broken down per their barrel type as more versions are released. For now I’ve merely added this as “Retribution”.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, topped with a thin and frothy covering of darker colored mocha head. This retains with some rich and creamy edges that basically stays that way during the entire duration of the glass and leaving back a robust cascade of spotty lace and brown oils down the sides. The aroma is SWEET. Cocoa, molasses, vanilla, alcohol. Just a ton of dark stickiness here in the nose with not much in the way of sharp notes of roast or hops showing themselves, as they seem to be well integrated into that overall thick sweetness. Burnt tannic wood notes and light spice hang on the edges and yes, there is a bit of stiff warmth at times to. It doesn’t impact the nose too much though, as the overall boldness of the flavors keep it in check for the most part.

The taste is once again, VERY sweet up front, with notes of thick chocolate, caramelized sugars, and a hefty dose of vanilla. This has a ton of sweet gooey deliciousness to it and much like the nose, the majority of any roast and hop character here as been very well integrated, with just some overall “dark” character and light green accents being all that I’m picking up anymore. The bourbon kicks in towards the backend of the profile, with a woody charred warmth that finishes this burnt and spicy with a touch of lingering sugars. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mouth-filling sharpness that fills the palate up with those flavors. Luckily, this then gets more creamy and slick feeling along the back that lends this some needed smoothness in the mouth. The alcohol content is handled very well here, with it adding a beefy warmth and extra boldness to the profiles, and much like the aroma did, that hefty sweetness soaks up any excess heat that this is giving off.

I’ve been drinking DuClaw beers for a while now and this has got to be probably the single most impressive beer that I’ve had from them so far. While this was border line overly sweet at times, it was more of a product of the barrel used than anything and I found that the integration of the flavors here and overall time spent in the barrel was very well done. It’s awesome that they are going to be releasing different barrel variations of this in bottles. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

 2,873 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer. Nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweeter, milk chocolaty flavor mixing with some woody oak, vanilla, brown sugar and light bourbon. It's very sweet, but the bourbon is pretty nice in it.

The taste has a very sweet, almost sugary flavor to it right up front. I get some chocolate and brown sugar to it as well as a little caramel. The finish shows some good bourbon barrel flavors to it, but it's not enough to completely overcome the cloying sweetness.

The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style, but not a great one. The underlying beer was a little overly sweet and sugary to me, while the barrel aged character in it was pretty good. A little more balance in it and it could be a very good beer.

 926 characters

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Retribution from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 470 ratings
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