Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011
Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011
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Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
88
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 11.56%
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
62
From:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company
 
Maryland, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  19
Gots
  25
SCORE
88
Very Good
Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011
Notes:
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by DubCo21:
Photo of DubCo21
4/5  rDev +0.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of inlimbo77
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter at the Cantwell's Tavern EVO beer dinner on 2/27/12. Not sure what bottle this was from, but it was definitely the 2011 version.

A: This one poued out a dark, dark brown. No head except for a ring around edges. What's there is light tan colored. Very faint on the carbonation from the looks of it. Definintely some alcohol feet.

S: The nose on this is delicious: vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Doesn't smell boozy at all.

T: I pulled some dark fruits right away: plum, raisin, prune, etc. Then lots of vanilla and oak and roast and caramel and toffee. The warming only helps the flavors come out even more. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and light on the carbonation, but it's just enough.

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

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: Dark brown black, with a lacing of head

Smell: Boubon, vanilla, oak, molasses

Taste: bourbon, vanilla,

mouthfeel: no carbonation almost flat, smooth

Drinkability: If you like bourbon this would be right up your alley. After talking to some of the brewers at EVO they said give it another year and it should be at it's peak.

Cheers,
The CPJ

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Photo of russwbeck
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2011 Bottle #251 of 900

A: The beer pours out of the bottle a beautiful black color with about a finger of brown head. Really the ideal pour for a year old Bourbon Barrel aged beer. The retention is ok, I wish it was a bit better, and the lacing is a bit lacking.

S: Very bourbon and boozy with underlying molasses, vanilla, roast, and maybe some chocolate. The aroma seems to be dominated by the barrel, and is missing a strong base beer to give it some character.

T: The taste picks up some slack, but is still missing the flavors of a strong base beer. I'm amazed at how boozy this remains after almost a full year. Sweet, vanilla, bourbon underneath this time and not on the forefront. I'm lacking the dark fruits, molasses, chocolate, or something underneath the barrel characteristics. I very much like how mellow the barrel is, but it just isn't enough to win me over.

MF: Medium body with a lower than average carbonation. The booze gets to you after a while, warms the body, and leaves a slight aftertaste.

O: I thought this was going to be outstanding, and it was only average. Very sweet and boozy. Tasty, but just not good enough to be considered great.

 1,177 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Vdubb86
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter 2012 bottling
#584 of 1400

A: stout black but with translucent dark brown edges into tulip, large dark foam head settled quickly into nothingness, leaving no trace of lace behind

S: bourbon and vanilla, dark malt and musty dark fruit

T: charred wood, molasses, bourbon, and dusky dark fruits; vanilla and wilted plum, hints of semi-sweet cocoa, faint coffee; low bitterness

M: slick and oily, medium weight, slightly sticky in the corners of the mouth, mild carbonation

O: a very smooth drinking beer, the bourbon added nice class and character without being overpowering; had many stout-like qualities - nice blend of fruit and chocolate tones.

 657 characters

Photo of mocktm
2/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of droobacca
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very dark almost black with little to no head

S: bourbon with a hint of vanilla (if blind folded would assume was an actual bourbon not beer)

T: vanilla leads and is followed by BOURBON and then finishes with a bite of vanilla.

M: heavy flavor, minimum and pleasent burn

D: A sipper. for a fan of bourbon this beer is sublime, enjoyed it slowly and noticed with time and warmth flavors increase. Love this beerbourbon

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Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of phattman073
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of cdmillard
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle number 115 of 1400

A - Pours very dark, almost black with a thick dark head that quickly evaporates to nothing

S - Dark fruits and chocolate, with pronounced bourbon and alcohol

T - Great taste, with vanillas up front, quickly replaced by bourbon and alcohol. This is my first bourbon barrel Dark, and I love the flavors. Just enough bourbon to not overpower.

M - Light carbonation to almost nonexistent. Someone mentioned oily earlier, and I can see that.

O - Glad I tripped over this one and decided to give it a try. Wish they has 2 bottles!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Mertzy81
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle number 45

A - Completely black, with no head. Somewhat boring. Some bubbles form around the edge.

S - Alcohol and bourbon. Some vanilla, raisins and oak. Some chocolate as it warms, but the bourbon is plentiful. Whole lot going on here that I can't put into place.

T - Vanilla and oak forward. Boozy on the pallet, and a strong bite on the bottom of the tongue. Vanilla in the finish, with a nice burn, but not harsh. Can't get over the bourbon, simply awesome amount of flavor. Edit: 5/13/11 - Still lots of woody and barrel-y flavors. Alcohol has not gone down one bit in 3 months.

M - Lightly carbed, medium to heavy body. Almost oily, it stays in your mouth for a while, with a heavy finishing flavor. Edit: 5/13/11 - Alcohol bite is still very prevalent. Can't subdue this beast.

D - Very happy I got to try this beer. Definitely will benefit from some time, but very good in this form as well. A sipper for sure. Reasonably priced for a high quality brew at 12 a bottle.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first in Evolution's Migration series. Limited to 1150 bottles. Somewhat muddy at first pour. Very, very dark-ok I will call it black. Low caronation head wise but seems lively enough. Big bourbon nose right upfront. Boozy, oakey. Big bourbon flavor to begin with. Mild smokey and almost a charcoal flavor. Faint vanilla against a definate oak presence. Definately enough alcohol to be recognized. Mild roasted coffee. Some sweetness in the finish. Great mouthfeel. The booziness adds a nice, subtle burn. A great beer overall. The whole package really falls into place for me. I hate to be biased as they are my local but man this one is hit right out of the park. Great, GREAT stuff!

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Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's last night. This was actually the 2011 Winter Migration version, but I can't see any reason to make a separate entry for it. Like the 2010 version, this was listed on the beer menu as a bourbon barrel aged dark ale.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is just great in this beer, as I get noticeable bourbon, dark fruits (plum and and raisans mostly) and some light vanilla, with maybe a hint of chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but I was impressed by the balance in this beer. Nothing seemed to be out of preportion, and the bourbon flavor blended well with the dark fruits, vanilla and light chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and the beer finishes well with no heat in the finish. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.

Just an excellent beer. Evolution really seems to have a knack when it comes to making bourbon barrel based beers, and this is no exception. Really wish this beer was more available over the winter months, but was told this was one of only 4 kegs sent to Baltimore from the brewery. So my guess is that this will be my only chance to try this excellent beer (I'm sure it will be long gone the next time I'm at Max's). That's a shame.

Note: Just sampled the 2012/2013 version of this beer, and have to say I really was not all that pleased. The beer smelled and tasted like a german dark beer, with lots of licorice and burnt toast, but with an underlying booziness from the bourbon as well. In combination, it just didn't work that well for me, especially on the palate (the beer was sweet and boozy, with the intermix of vanilla, licorice and bourbon just not working for me).

 1,752 characters

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ROGUE16
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

brown with a large two inch plus head of foamy tan on top that only gradually decided to fade and nestled down into a layer of lace covering the top and the sides of the glass. The aroma was very interesting, it had a definite wine like character and the wood smell was defiantly a presence. Had a bit of a spiced note to it as well and also a bit of alcohol. The taste was very strong, with a lot of alcohol present in it. There was a very big presence of spice and oak barrel taste to it as well. A dry hop like finish tried to make itself known at the end, but never really got that far past the strong notes from the other flavors. Very nice medium to full body gave it a very sipper like quality

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Photo of yourefragile
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 version on tap at the Judge's Bench. Served in a snifter.

Pours a flat, cola brown with a thin tan head that quickly fades leaving little lacing behind. Bourbon, raisin and oak dominate the nose with considerable heat. Extreme bourbon flavor throughout but not quite as boozy or unbalanced as expected. Stronger malt (roast) presence than the nose and tame dark fruits blend with the vanilla and oak bourbon flavors. Medium body, with low carbonation and a pleasant warming aftertaste. I like this more than my score indicates, and while the beer isn't completely out of balance, all I end up remembering is the bourbon and it fails to match the depth of better bourbon stouts.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine Source. Served in a stange. Bottle #693 of 900.

A - Late-rising tan foam settles to a thin collar, some, wisps, and no lace. Body is a very dark brown with some transparency at the edges.

S - Bourbon, oaky vanilla, molasses, raisins, dark fruits, a touch of chocolate.

T - Taste isn't quite as good, with a bit too much wet oak and bourbon harshness mid-palate. The finish is nice, with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses lingering on the palate.

M - Pleasant medium carbonation, medium body that seems a tad thin for the ABV, some warming alcohol, tannic texture mid-palate but with some lingering stickiness.

D - Not a bad beer for the first 6oz, but it'd be a might struggle to consume an entire 750ml bottle. I'd recommend sharing this with a few friends who really dig bourbon. I do like that it's quite a bit different from your typical barrel-aged stout, as it's pretty much devoid or roast flavors.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jwjon1
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Break out your shot glasses!

If bourbon aged in beer barrels in your thing, you might dig this brew. If you prefer your beer to taste like beer, don't even bother. First fail from Evolution I've run across, and this from my most anticipated Evo release. This beer is straight up bourbon. In the smell, in the taste, and in the burn. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I could do my first flaming shot of beer with this bourbony mess.

There is a silver lining: it's hard to find 750mL of quaff-able bourbon for under 15 bucks. Alas, Evolution to the rescue! PLUS, it would make a great gift for the alcoholic in your family who likes to disguise their liquor. Because beer can't be so bad for your liver, now can it?

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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 62 ratings