Certified Evil | Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.

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Certified EvilCertified Evil

Brewed by:
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Nebraska, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Evil is the result of a 2008 collaboration project with Todd Ashman of Fifty Fifty Brewing in Truckee, California and Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon. Each brewer set out to create a dark Belgian strong ale with their own unique spin on the style. Since the first collaboration, six new breweries have been added to the project to invent a truly unique beer. This beer is properly named Certified Evil.
The new Certified Evil recipe is more complex and interesting than the brew from 2008. This new beer blends Certified Evil aged in Cabernet barrels for one year with a younger batch of oaked aged Certified Evil. The combination makes for a vibrant yet smooth and elegant taste. The recipe also includes a wide variety of complex sugars including turbinado sugar, molasses and honey. The result is an amazingly complex beer. Truly a must try to any craft beer lover.

Added by RedHaze on 12-07-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 242
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From my notes 4 or so years ago:

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Dark fruit, peanut butter & smoke in the nose.

Pitch black in color, dark khaki head. No light passes through; not even ruby at the edges. Great lacing throughout.

Tastes like a stout with a hearty amount of belgian yeast; almost like red wine and chocolate mixed together. Very thick and viscous. Raspberries are in the mix as well. Very unique; very worthy. Even better on draft.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours deep dark brown. Almost black. When held up to the light, just barely translucent at the edges of the glass. A small tan head forms but quickly disappears. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Dark fruits. Raisin and fig notes with a spicy molasses aroma fighting for prominence. Also a fairly prominent toasty biscuit aroma as well as some slight burnt grain smell.

T - Dark, roasty coffee flavor up front. Tastes VERY different from what I was expecting based on the aroma. Smells like a dark belgian ale, but tastes just like a stout with small hints of spicy belgian yeast coming through.

M - Thick, chewy, and definitely more of a sipper. I'm automatically intrigued by any beer that has unknown ABV. I'm guessing it's up over 9%

EDIT (6.28.11) - Yep, just as I thought WELL over 9% ABV. I wrote this review before the ABV was known.

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Photo of Zaimejs
4.46/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most flavorful and potent beers I have enjoyed on a regular basis. I was lucky enough to win 24 of these at a fund raising auction not realizing how special the brew was.

It is incredibly dark and rich. The beer lives up to its name. Do not drink it and then expect to enjoy any other beers without a thorough cleaning of the palette. It overwhelms the senses with a full flavored beginning and a hoppy finish. It's hard to describe. It's not nutty or malty, but it's huge.

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Photo of Icehouse57
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice, very complex tasting brew. I was lucky enough to try this at the actual brewery.... standing beside some old chardonnay barrels where the next batch of CE sat... very cool. For what its worth, I believe they said the ABV was 12.5%.

Appearance- Dark brown, nearly black with a slight amber hue. Slightly opaque, as I don't think this was filtered, nor should it have been, as far as I'm concerned.

Smell- Vinous, oaky, almost a raisin bread smell, without the cinnamon. A touch of molasses as the last reviewer said.

Taste- In a word... COMPLEX. NEVER have I tasted a beer with so much going on. Not in a bad way; quite the contrary. Starts out with sweet maltiness and roastiness... almost like a porter. Not as roasty or sweet as a porter... Maybe more similar to a sweet or milk stout at the beginning. That gave way to dark aged cherries....Or what I might imagine they'd taste like. Some raisin and a touch of honey character seem to be there too. Then a citrus wallop, as you can taste the Lucky Bucket IPA that has been infused into the 2009 version. Then, after the first taste, you realize you can actually pick up the citrusy hops from the IPA in the aroma as well. A truly unique beer, that is very complex. BRAVO

Mouthfeel- A little thick, somewhat silky. Despite the strong alcohol content, no burn.

Drinkability- Not as drinkable as many... but how many 12.5% ABV beers are? Still, goes down very nice...Not cloying at all. So complex, its got my taste buds waiting for another shot!

I would like to try this beer a little warmer. I had it in the low 40's... and it was still very complex. I am going to have to find it, buy a bottle, and get it at the right temp. I'd say lower to mid 50s would bring out all this beer has to offer, which is PLENTY!

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Very deep brown, totally opaque, nice one finger head, decent lacing.

S: Chocolate, cinnamon, perhaps a little musk? Might be off-putting to some, but I like this.

T: Chocolate and cinnamon again. Alcohol is present, a bit like a liqueur. A touch of wine in the background, also molasses. Nice complexity, it does well here. More flavors flash by before I can identify them-- anchovies?

M: Mouthfeel is quite good-- creamy, but with good carbonation to keep the spices alive.

D: One or two for the evening, to be savored. This is my dessert for tonight.

Wow, this is fantastic. The name couldn't be more appropriate-- got to wonder whether I have traded part of my soul for this. No worries, it's worth it. Will buy it again, without a doubt.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A- Few shades from black. 1 finger creamy head. Not much lacing. Looks dangerous though.

S- wood, caramel, spiced candy, and sweetness.

T-wowee! Nice deep and rich malt character. Little bit of hops through out. And a huge oak bite. Definitely alcohol presence. Big earthy flavors.

M- Rich, creamy, little bit of carb, and a full body. A lingering dry afterbite from all the oak.

O- I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of Westywood
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark. Tar and hints of ruby. Aggressive pour into a goblet results in a thin, brown, pale head that dissapates quickly but rings the glass through consumption.

Smell - Sweet. Strong presence of berries on the nose. Hints of bisquitty breads.

Taste - Red fruits up front. The way the hops and the malts interact with the strong presence of the cabernet/figgy undertones of the wine it's really a sensory overload. Sweet then tart then malty smoothness then just a bit of dryness on the finish. It all happens fast and it all happens with the volume on 10. There's nothing shy about this beer. Big ABV is completely hidden by this brew until the belly starts to warm.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is in keeping with the rest of this beer. It's big and complex. CE has a big mouthfeel despite very limited carbonation presence.

Overall - I liked Certified Evil. It's DARK and complex. It swings from sweet to bitter and all the way back. This is a great beer to enjoy with a nice big Ribeye or just a good conversation.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an Imperial Porter


a Belgian Dark Ale.

Appearance : Pours out like used motor oil, slick black in appearance and stays that way in the glass. The head is minimal at about 1 finger, but pinkish-yellow with tinges of off-white. I like how pretty the total obsidian black color is, it's literally a black hole of nothingness with no light escaping.

Aroma : Cacao nibs, dusty chocolate, some hop and belgian dark yeast, with some alcohol burn floating around the nose. The aroma is much like a chocolate milk stout or a milky porter. It's rather nice.

Flavor : Wow! A lot going on here. Alcohol punch right off the bat with some rich raisin, dark fruits, and brown sugar. As the beer moves to the back of the throat hop comes out in a muted fashion as well as some roast malts and light chocolate notes. A touch of coconut.

Mouthfeel : Buzzing, prickly, almost painful carbonation at the start that gives way to a syrupy feel and eventually a parched finish.

Overall : A slow sipper and another great offering from Lucky Bucket. This brewer doesn't get the cred it deserves. Solid.

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Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andrew for picking this up for me.

Dark brown/black/coffee. Thin brown head.

Nose is phenomenal. Almonds, sweet molasses, hops, sweet malts. Nutty/hoppy/malty deliciousness. Wow.

Taste is strong sweet malts. Lingering hops and alcohol. Oak. A mishmash that somehow works.

Great beer overall.

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Photo of Greggy
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours pitch black and pours like motor oil. The head is 2 fingers of thick creamy cocoa. Lacing is good.

S- Nice... Chocolate, a bit of coffee, pine, oak, a bit of wine comes through as well.

T- Starts off with big chocolate, and hoppiness (pine and marmalade) and some winey tannins. A little acidity is present transitioning to the finish which is strightly astringent and oaky.

M- A little to much carbonation here, I think. Overall though a good mouthfeel, everything esle going on keep this @ a 4.

O- A very interesting brew. A lot going on. Definitely recommend trying a bottle.

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a single from Red Dog Wine & Spirits in Franklin, TN. Should have picked up more. Poured into my snifter a deep, dark, opaque brown almost black. Head was thick at almost three fingers on a vigorous pour. Brown in color, it left an average amount of lacing, and dissipated quickly. Aromas up front were complex, and wonderful. It started with dark fruits and sweetness, some alcohol, and a floral finish. Taste is very sweet, dark fruits, raisins, crisp grapes, and some alcohol. The floral is not quite as present in the taste. Feel is very crisp, great carbonation, some oiliness on the finish. Overall I really enjoyed the beer, loved the complexity and I will be very interested in how it ages.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottom of the bottle has 083 11, which could be code for "bottled 24 March 2011." Or it could be something else.

Pours very dark, black in the glass and coffee brown at the edges. Much darker than I expected. Minimal head; what is there is a medium brown. Hints of lacing, but not much.

Smell is dominated by dark roasted malts, very stout-like, with a nice fruitiness that comes to me as strawberries. Also hints of Belgian yeast (a bit of spice). Smells like a Belgian stout with fruit on top. Very nice, and rather unique.

Flavor is much like the smell, though less complex. The dark roasts are more dominant, and the fruit doesn't rise to the top as much. Bottle claims potent hops, but I don't pick them up. Finish is long and fairly sweet. Really nice variety of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, fairly low carbonation. Could probably use a little more carb.

This is like a cross between a Belgian ale and a stout, with a bit of light fruit thrown in. Really interesting, unlike anything I've tasted before, and quite good. I definitely plan to drink this again. Oh, and 12.5%? I had no idea until I came on here to review it.

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Photo of TwinButte
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monks House of Ale in Sioux Falls SD

Appearance. Very dark. Opaque black.

Smell. Strong coffee and a hint of chocolate too

Taste. Follows the smell. My mouth thinks its a porter. Not sure if that is normal for this style or not but it's very good. I had last years batch and this is just as good or better.

Overall this a great offering from what I consider a local brewer. Gotta support them! Thanks Lucky Bucket!

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Photo of smithr53
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

A - black brown, can see alittle light through it when held up

S - Not much to it, no malt or grain, I almost smell the sugar

T - Not much up front, but has a nice chocolate, carmel after taste. Little acidity at the end

M - Missing some Carb, I think it would have brougt more out in the beer if had some more Carb.

Overall pleasently surprised. It is my first from lucky Bucket, but definately wont be my last.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - poursa thick, viscous black with a one finger head. Head disipates rather quickly, leaving a ring of foam around the edge of the glass and a bit of lacing on the surface of the beer.

S - roasted malt & dark fruit, maybe burnt sugar? I don't know - a lot going on in the nose with this one. I'm having trouble pinning it all down.

T - coffee and roasted malt, followed by an almost crisp finish. I get a bit of that Belgian ale flavor on the back end. I'd tried this quite some time ago and I had initially recalled that it was a stout - definitely not the case, but I can see now why I thought that.

M - full bodied with solid carbonation - not as smooth as I had hoped, but still very good.

O - I'm glad I gave this beer another try now that I've expanded my knowledge a bit. Definitely a unique beer compared to many I've had, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 1/12/14. Had this once before over a year ago. From a local brewery that is less than 15 miles form the house. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner 'pool ball' glass-Black 8 ball. LOTS of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle when poured.

Pours actually a pitch black in color with a very thin beige head. Some streaky lacing is seen with each sip. The aroma is complex with dark roasted malts, dark fruit with a hint of molasses. Like a mix between a Stout & a Porter. Lots going on with the taste and YOU don't taste the higher alcohol content at all. I am sure this one would sneak up on you fast if you had a few of these. Hard to describe the taste BUT is pleasant. Actually goes down easy with no harsh or bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black body with a one finger frothy brown head.

Aroma: If I didn't know better I'd think this was a Porter or Stout. The chocolate malt and near coffee-like aroma suggests a different style. However, the signature fruit esters of belgian yeast are there underneath it all. A touch of vinegar as well.

Taste: Definitely an interesting flavor combining both Imperial Stout and Belgian Ale styles. Starts with dark malt flavor (almost a belgian candi syrup) that stays very light by not contributing any bitterness. There is also a light grassy hop character that fits in well with the flavor complexion. Flavors of pear, green apple, and fig compliment the dark malt nicely. Then the flavor shifts in an interesting way giving bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt flavor during the finish and lingering in the aftertaste. An interesting hint of vinegar long after the finish that adds to the overall mystery of what this beer was intended to be. In true Belgian fashion the 9.6% ABV is very difficult to locate in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with effervescence that gets close to usual Belgian levels but not quite as overly fizzy. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Lucky Bucket's Certified Evil is definitely not your typical Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It has a mix of both Belgian and Stout influences that combine for a pretty good beer. If you like either of the styles mentioned above then give it a try if you come across it. Would I drink it again? Sure, not seeking it out though.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Certified Evil is an undomesticated beast, a dark, ominous and oak aged creation. It's aggressive hops battle it's massive malt profile, Flavor assaulting all those who bear witness." Do I want to get assaulted with flavor? Hmmm, maybe, maybe…
"Malt beverage brewed with brown sugar, raisin juice, molasses, cardamom and orange peel and aged in wine casks." It's called an Imperial Porter, rings in at 9.6%, and has been aged in Cabernet barrels. Let's get cracking' at it…

Solid blackness, dark as sin, with a thin, brown ring for a head.

Deep and rich aromatics, dark fruit foremost, with molasses, chocolate, espresso, and more making up the mix. Raisins, figs, brown sugar…cocoa powder. Well balanced, nothing is dominant, nothing too loud or too callous. Even tempered all the way, aromatically.

Now, let's taste…in the mouth, it's a thick morass of flavors, sweet malty flavors kept in check, well maintained, tremendously balanced. Some berries in here, too, all that dark fruit, the raisin, the brown sugar, the molasses, the deep, dark richness all comes out on the palate, the cocoa and coffee. And before you know it, you start to pick up on the wine barrel aging, too.

Some tannins pop on the palate, we're getting some of the grit and the grab of the wine flavoring for sure. It wraps around the other flavors lovingly, coats them, covers them and makes them all get along. A little pithy twinge of sweetness rings it out. Sip again, the complex mix comes together on the palate, they all show themselves and make themselves known among this behemoth blend, stick their necks out and take a little bow. Then the wine barrel bit sweeps them up again, and we're picking out favorite cameos from that previous performance. "Ah, wasn't the coffee delightful? Did n't the cocoa shine? Remember the raisin, and wasn't molasses in top form?"

And now, at the end of the glass, the bottle drained, the alcohol comes booming in, …glad this is the last beer of the night. I'm off to bed, and dream of happy things, hopefully, with no evil creeping into my slumber.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky Bucket "Certified Evil"
12 oz., no apparent freshness date

Woah! I was told this was a Belgian golden strong ale but I was misled! Let me take a look at the label... ... ... "a dark, ominous and oak aged creation..." - well that's just my style :) Let's see...

It pours an opaque black body beneath a dark-tan, chocolate head that drops shortly and leaves little lace behind. Hmmm, that could be disappointing... I'd like to see a better head on it.

There's chocolate in the aroma, and a little bit of fruit: cherry, apple, and perhaps date; all atop a solidly dark-chocolate maltiness that's sprinkled with coffee-like roastiness and cocoa.

Quite often, the flavor of most beers simply mimic the aroma, and that's the case here except that it's amplified - this is one rich beer! Fortunately, it's not overdone. It teems with dark malt chocolate and near-coffee, but it doesn't become overpowering - perhaps because the malt base is kept in check: it's medium-full / full-medium in body but still fermented through, and dry. It delivers a little bit of yeast in the nose, along with and followed by the roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes that are slightly accented by a light sugary note. Hops work their way in, but they can gain only equal footing at best, mainly appearing across the middle and then mostly in the finish, which is dry, chocolatey, woody, somewhat roasty, and threaded through with bright red berries and a gently vinous note. Wow! Nice finish - this is where it's complexity lies. As it fades, it becomes darkly bitter and acidic, showing a lot of its oak, but also brightened by its fruitiness (which saves it from going too far to the dry side).

An impressive strong dark beer that packs a whollop! I'd suggest you let it warm up slightly to get the most out of it.

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Photo of rangerred
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler. 2013 vintage.

Pours pitch black with nary a head in sight. There is just a tiny ring of bubbles around the top of the glass. No lacing at all.

The aroma immediately strikes me as a strong porter. Loads of roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with some dark fruit sneaking through. A bit of a sour or tart tinge that i can pick up; perhaps from the wine barrel aging?

The flavor also is predominately roast and coffee but as the beer warms, some more flavors begin to come through. I can pick up raisin along with just the slightest hints of the barrel aging. The barrel is very faint here and if I didn't know it was aged in white wine barrels, I might not be able to even pick it up. A very slight tartness along with a silky mouthfeel leads to just a slightly sweet finish.

Overall, I wasn't too high on this beer at first but the more I sip on it, the more I like it. A lot of subtleties here.

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Photo of rwathree
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black and almost completely opaque. When I hold it up to light, the tiniest bit of brown shows at the top. The light-brown head is small and disappears fast, but it leaves a long-lasting lace. Love just how dark this beer is.

S: First aroma is sweet grapes; after that, brown sugar, subdued phenols. Inviting, but also threatens to be too sweet. I'd like to smell some more malt in there.

T: Nice, complex taste. Rich red wine, pleasant alcohol heat, strong roasted coffee, and a short rush of floral hops in the finish. Given the ABV, the alcohol isn't overpowering.

M: Full and creamy, with moderate carbonation.

This is a frighteningly drinkable beer. The ABV isn't listed, and I once made the mistake of drinking more than one of these in a night - not a good idea. That said, very good beer. Wish the smell was as complex as the taste, but well done.

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Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Near black with a solid and constant tan head; lacing is great

S: Really bready--doughy actually with chocolate notes

T: Rich dark malts; non-sweet chocolate and coffee along with dark bread; a touch of anise perhaps; all complemented by a creamy slightly sweet and slightly bitter finish with a touch of yeastiness

F: Creamy--overall great mouth feel

D: Rich but good; this begins to warm up the cheeks quickly; this is a quality brew from Lucky Bucket

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A- Lemony, slight roast character.

A- Pure black with a this off white head.

F- Lots going on here. Its hard for my palate to separate this out. I do appreciate some roasty, mildly astringent flavors up front. Not fruity at all. Perhaps a little pepper flavor. No hot alcohol or solvent flavors.

M- Lots of body with a gentle carbonation that helps lighten it up slightly in the end. Overall pretty light given how big a beer this is.

O- A interesting beer. There's a lot going on here. I don't taste the fruit notes I associate with a belgian yeast. I'm not that well versed in this style, which seems to have a pretty broad definition. I do like the beer. To me it's definitely a sipper, probably a good thing due to the ABV.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black pour from a 12 oz bottle. Full finger's worth of head is short lived but yields some clumpy patches and stringy lacing.

Smells of raisins and prune juice, coffee, and berries, which I can only assume is imparted by the wine barrel. Cardamom was evident immediately upon opening the bottle, but is swarmed under once this beer hits the glass.

In a word: different. Swirled on the tongue, the vinous tingle of red wine is prickly and washes over the palate. Tart berries, coffee, raisin, pruney malt driven surprise. Hops dance along in a rag tag procession. Really an odd mish mash of flavors and ingredients. Yeast is present but understated, which is most definitely appreciated by this guy since big yeasty flavors are the gross.

Finishes dry with really no hint of alcohol.

Overall, this was an oddly enjoyable beer that seemed to evolve and encourage further exploration. Appreciative of my boy steepH20 for tossing this in my bag on the way out the door after our last visit.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to visit the brewery in Omaha and see what a young, growing business looks like. The tour was educational and fun.
The beer is dark black with dark red edges. The aroma is woody with a hint of cocoa mixed in. The taste was dark, roasted malts also with the woody taste. The woody taste is like it's cask aged but there's no whiskey taste which I think is a bit overdone lately. It has just a very small bite on the way down the pipe and leaves me, thirsty. Midwest ingenuity at it's best!

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Certified Evil from Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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