Soul Jacker
DuClaw Brewing Company

Soul JackerSoul Jacker
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Strong Ale - American
3.79 | pDev: 11.35%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Soul JackerSoul Jacker
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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ccrida
ccrida from Oregon

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bomber picked up in Harrisburg PA in Dec 2013, cellared since. Color is pitch dark brown with a small tan head leaving foamy lace with brown edges.

Smell is sweet stone fruits, malt sugars, bread pudding.

Taste is estery, grapes, almost BSDA, with a little roast and general maltiness. Mild phenols. Fine. Some sweet alcohol character, but clean and rounded.

Mouthfeel is sticky, pushing full.

Drinkability is fine. This lacks wow, and is a little syrupy, but more so in perception than body. The grape esters remind me of a Belgian, which I like, but it lacks the digestability. And I'm not sure there is any extra complexity from the blend to off-set that negative, the kitchen sink feel is neutralizing flavor profile wise.

Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Dark reddish brown that pushes toward black as it sits. Small light tan head drops to a tiny hint of a cap and collar. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: Mildly roasty with a ton of super caramelized malts. Caramel, toffee, and even some butterscotch and brown sugar. Crazy bready with a mild earthy hop presence. Slight push of apple and some almost jammy dark fruit. Not a ton of depth.

Taste: Caramel malts. Cooked and caramelized malts. Pushes hard to toffee with some dark sugars rounding it out. Very mild dark fruit, mainly plum and some generic berry. Solidly bready with some toasted elements. Slightly roasted. Sweet, but not cloying or syrupy. Some earthy elements coupled with an almost dirty finish.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body. Minimal carbonation. Cleanish.

Overall: Shang Tsung got nothing on me.

It's ok. A hybrid that doesn't do either style justice.

Jan 15, 2014
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 1/14/14

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Deep, dark brown, pours with a medium, light tan head, fades to a few wisps of a cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Cooked malts, with some roasty, and burnt aromas - kind of a strange blend - some big burnt, roasty, and cooked notes - some caramel, caramelized malts, very cooked - the barleywine aspect really shines in the aroma here - nicely sweet without being too sweet - roasty nuts and roasty coffee - plenty of booze as well

Taste: Cooked, caramelized malts, with some burnt notes - apparently this is a blend of a barleywine and a RIS, but it mostly tastes like a barleywine with some burnt tones - roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and molasses - a lot of dark fruits as well - definitely sweet, but not necessarily in a bad way - lots of alcohol - lots of earth and a general dirtiness increases as this warms up

Mouthfeel: About as heavy as medium gets, I wouldn't necessarily call this full - low carbonation, smooth, oily, finishes with a lot of booze

Overall: My soul does not feel jacked

This is definitely interesting, but this is a good example of why "more" does not necessarily mean "better." Mostly this tastes like a barleywine, with a lot of cooked, caramelized malts, and molasses. But there are some RIS notes here, with some burnt and roasty notes. It could use some more focus.

Jan 14, 2014
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cosmicevan from New York

3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to WorldWideStout for this amazing extra! enjoyed from a michael jackson beer hunter snifter.

a - beer pours a stunning ruby brown...almost purple-ish with a 1/2 finger of creamy off tan head that hung out and left nice lacing.

s - as soon as the bottle opened, the air filled with a fruity nuttiness. closer inspection shows dark fruit over some roasted chocolate. Barleywine crossed with a RIS? sounds about right.

t - well, that's different. pretty much tastes like you took a barleywine and added some IRS to it. the barleywine dominates giving a big nutty dark fruit. sweetness and booziness...some oxidation on the backend.

m - tingly. chewy.

o - overall an interesting brew. not a bad american strong ale and although that category tends to be a catchall, i find that there is a quality within the style that really defines it...that nuttiness and dark fruit that this one possesses. it's good, but the IRS in the background is a bit odd. i think i need to seek out devil's milk.

Oct 16, 2013
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

picked this up at Wegmans, enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color is deep brown with opaque clarity and thin beige cap with tight bead. The lace clings in spots with good retention. The smell is very malty with lots of toffee-like aroma and slight hint of alcohol and hops, mild roasted ester with gentle pine and toasted smell rounds out the aroma. The feel is good with slight warmth of alcohol and toasted grain element with mild sweetness and mild pine tinges in the bitterness.

The taste is good with mild roastiness and slight caramel malt elements up front with light toffee and raisin like yeast flavors with a subtle accent of pine from the hops and gentle alcohol in the semi-dry finish. Overall a decent strong ale, nicely balanced with just a little heat from the alcohol -might be a good candidate for aging.

Mar 22, 2013
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Dan!

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" dark tan head over the barely translucent dark root beer-hued brew. Head quickly recedes to the rim, with leggy sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet and lightly boozy.

Taste starts rich and darkly sweet, dried fig in the middle, and moderate bitterness and alcohol to the close. Flavor lingers with a slight numbing after the swallow. Get some maple character later as well. Mouthfeel is slickerly smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice brew.

Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Pencible
Pencible from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque black ruby with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet raisin and honey wheat bread, with earthy toffee and dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like sweet raisin and caramel and dark chocolate, with some honey wheat bread and earthy toffee. It had a fairly smooth bittersweet aftertaste with a little alcohol warming.
M: It was oily with moderate carbonation. Nice fairly full body.
D: This was a delicious beer. I loved the scent and taste, with more barleywine character than stout. The body was nice, and the finish was pretty smooth, so it was easy to drink but nice to sip. It would likely age very nicely, but was quite enjoyable fresh. Recommended.

Feb 03, 2013
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xnicknj from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at perch pub

Pours an inky black with a thin layer of tanned head on top. Fades out almost completely, leaving some spots of lacing and retention behind.

The nose definitely fits the barleywine - imp stout blend description, throwing off a mix of biting piny hops swirled with soft chocolate and roasted malt sweetness. Hints of citrus and sticky hop resin with boozy warmth.

Intense hop bitterness right up front with grapefruit and pine. Resiny and sticky, tempered by some roasted dark malts. Chocolate and nuttiness with cocoa and a hint of smoke. Thick, robust backbone with layers of caramel and dark malts. Finishes dark, a little sweet and boozy.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, chewy, full and sticky on the tongue. A pretty interesting blend of two different styles, and tasting the barleywine and imp stout components at the same time was a refreshing concept.

Nov 10, 2012
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, no date.

appears black - with a thin off-white head. good head retention. smells like a boozy Russian Imperial Stout. bitter roasted cocoa is big. a hint of dark fruits, smoke. taste follows, slightly acidic roasted malt, some charcoal. medium body, moderate carbonation. fairly smooth, could be thicker.

overall - a nice blend of my two favorite styles.

Sep 06, 2012
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft offering served in a snifter. The brew appears black in color wthh a thin film of tan head sitting stop. Some fine lacing effect and a light swirl revives the cap.

Th smell is roasty but with a solid inclusion of dark fruit somewhat like alcohol esters couoled with hops. A licorice inclusion is noted across the back.

The flavor includes dark and fruity sweet elements of alcohol and hops. A dark grainy flavor of roast imparts chocolate filled with raisins and plums. There is a solid alcohol presence across the back.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbontion. It is quite an interesting sipper and not what I was expecting. Worth tryin if you get a chance.

Aug 31, 2012
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ckollias from Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this bomber bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thin dark brown 1-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Strong sweet alcoholic malty aroma. Whiffs of chocolate and some hops.

T: Dark rich ale with an alcoholic wallop. Much more sweet than bitter with hints of chocolate and coffee. Big malt background.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and light carbonation.

O: Interesting beer – I love Black Jack Stout and Devil’s Milk – so I figured this would be amazing. It was good but not exactly what I expected.

Aug 11, 2012
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd from Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass. I should thank Rhettroactive for sharing his bottle with me at a recent tasting, I'm cracking mine tonight to revisit...

A. It ain't a bad lookin' beer, with a rich dark brown/black pour, a two finger light brown head, and some decent lacing. The one nit I have is that the head is just a little bit loose and bubbly and retention isn't so hot, but that's okay.

S. Chocolate crumbles, lightly burned brown sugar, subtle traces of vanilla, some dark fruit, and some bright, piney hop character. There is some pretty good stuff here, though the overall bouquet is a bit too much of a clash of roasted malt and hop, giving it a slight burnt waxy quality.

T. Well one thing is for sure, the booze here is very well hidden. But that's really about all I can say. This is a very inoffensive strong ale here...nothing offputting but nothing memorable either. It almost has no taste, and if I had had a few before this, I daresay I'd have a hard time discerning anything here. Roasted chocolate malt and then a rich sweetness with bits of fruit and bitter hop. It's exceptionally flabby, almost as if the two styles here (stout and barleywine) have counteracted and neutralized one another. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this is a basic American Stout rounding out at 5.5%. But it's a 9.5% blend of two of DuClaws strongest beers, so the end result is just puzzling. Not bad, but not nearly complex enough.

M. This was well done, smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

O. An offensively inoffensive beer. That's the only way I can put it. I had high hopes for this based off of how good Black Jack Stout is. But these two beers just completely cover up each other's best qualities, and leave me with what tastes like a decent, light American Stout. I would definitely have this by itself as I'm pulling out more flavor from it now than when I had it with friends after a few beers at a recent tasting. Not bad, but the barleywine really doesn't add much to this equation. Just a weird beer.

May 22, 2012
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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at ChurchKey poured in 4oz glass. Pours a dark mahogany color with a skim of a beige head - beautiful lacing throughout. There was a roasty malty aroma that featured some vanilla beans, plums, cocoa, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and some tangy berries. There were some dark fruits (berries and plums) accompanying some light caramel and brown sugar notes upfront taste-wise. Some vanilla beans, chocolate, roasty malts, and cocoa powder followed. Some slightly bitter roasted coffee finished things off nicely. Plenty of warming alcohol was present the whole way through. Medium bodied and somewhat sticky mouthfeel. A really nice blend of Devil's Milk and Black Jack. Just picked up a few bottles which would make for nice cellaring or a sip by the fireplace.

May 18, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive from Pennsylvania

2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 22oz bomber to Devil's Backbone glass on 5/5/12
*From notes

A: Decent dark brown in hue. A standard pour yields a .5 finger head. A suitable collar follows.

S: Wheat bread and a generous dose of caraway seed. As you can imagine, this isn't what I was expecting.

T: I'd love to tell you this tasted like something...but what, though? It's like an episode of "Seinfeld" in liquid form: a beer about nothing. It's absolutely bland up front. I get a bit of heat and maybe a kiss of malt on the mid, and on the finish, I can actually taste the carbonation. What the hell?

M: Well I'll give DuClaw this: at least it feels nice. Good density and the carbonation is well done.

O: I've had both the beers they blend into this individually (Black Jack and Devil's Milk), and they're both alright. But when blended together, they seem to counteract each other. What a waste of caloric intake.

Not recommended. Your better bet is seeking out their BA Black Jack.

May 09, 2012
Photo of billab914
billab914 from Virginia

3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2202 bottle shared by Rhettroactive the other night. It poured black in color with a thin tan head to it.

The aroma shows some chocolate and a little caramel to it. Surprisingly though, it's a very light and kind of bland aroma and not what I'd expect at all given the beers that went into it.

The taste has a little more of the roasted malt flavor to it along with some sweeter, almost sugary malts to it in the finish. Again though, I'm just not getting nearly as much as I expected out of it.

The mouthfeel is medium for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was s decent beer but not one that really stands out to me. The flavors just seemed kind of light and bland compared to either base beer or other similar beers. I'm not really sure what happened here but this one didn't really come together well for me. We had this back to back with the Devine Retribution blend and I preferred DR over this one.

May 09, 2012
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bigfnjoe from Pennsylvania

4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a DuClaw growler into a pint glass. Tried a sample of this as part of a sampler and loved it...had to get more!

This is a blend of the Devil's Milk barleywine and Black Jack imperial stout.

A- pours dark brown, nearly black with a one finger tan head. Doesn't stick around for awhile, but looks nice

S- sweet fruits, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and hints of coffee. Excellent

T- it's balanced incredibly as a blend, as I'm getting a lot of sweet and slightly bitter fruity hops, as well as the bitter coffee and chocolate tastes as well. Perfect.

M- thick and viscous. Heaven

O- this beer is wonderful. Blends of two good beers don't necessarily mean that things are going to work well...but this is a winner

May 04, 2012
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mdfb79 from New York

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Stateline two weeks ago. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, oak, toasted malts, and vanilla. Pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, toasted malts, espresso, cream, vanilla, oak, light fruit, and alcohol.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Thick and smooth, not a lot of alcohol heat.

o - Overall a pretty good beer. Lots off roasted malts and chocolate, with some light coffee. Nice thick body and not a lot of alcohol coming through. I prefer their Oak Aged Black Jack Stout, but worth checking out.

Apr 19, 2012
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John_M from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown with good head retentikon and lacing. The nose is attractive enough, with considerable chocoalte and coffee, and maybe a hint of cherry and vanilla s well. The flavor profile is better, with considerable coffee, chocolate nnd licorice, with some interesting grittiness on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, farily sweet, coffee/chocolate and licoriase infused finish. Alcohol is fairly well into integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell the abv. is up there a bit.

A nice enough beer, but nothing to get very excited about either,

Mar 23, 2012
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark body with a thick tan head. Good lacing with a hint of golden color at the bottom of the glass.

S- Deep chocolate malts, not much in the way of fruit coming through.

T- In the beginning the chocolate malt comes through then the dried fruit comes through with a smooth finish. Everything you would dream of in a blended imperial stout/barley wine.

M- Creamy mouthfeel, more like an imperial stout than a barleywine.

O- Very interesting very delicious beer. The complexity is something you will not find very often.

Mar 17, 2012
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Arundel Mills location. Served in a pint glass. This is a blend of the Devil’s Milk American Barleywine and Black Jack Imperial Stout.

Pours black, with a touch of ruby coming out along the bottom and a thin covering of mocha colored head. This retains mostly with some foamy edges, leaving back a robust enough looking cascade of lace that dots the sides of the glass with spotty froth. The aroma smells floral and piney with a fresh citrus feel that then gives way to a darker roastiness along the back and chocolate notes that sit just out of reach. The hops from the Devil’s Milk really sit at the forefront of this.

The taste is pretty even between the two beers, with an assertive hoppiness that includes crisp green citrus and a touch more ripe fruit as well. A hefty dose chewy chocolate and roast come in off the sides of the profile, while the finish is hops and roast, finishing dry with notes of pine, bitter fruit, and some lingering smoke. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick prickly feel in the mouth that is sharp up front but then possesses more of a firm creaminess across the back of the palate. Alcohol is fairly well hid but does pick up as this warms with bolder spicy warmth in both the nose and flavors.

I had some initial trepidation about this blend but DuClaw seemed to get it right, putting the bold hoppiness of the Barleywine front and center in the nose while it is more of a supporting character to the robust chocolate and roasted accents of the Black Jack Stout. All in all, this came off to me as a big hoppy American Stout, with a little extra complexity throw in for good measure. This is one Bad Ass Black & Tan!

Mar 05, 2012
Soul Jacker from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 62 ratings