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

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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011
Very Good
62 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011

Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lackenhauser on 01-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DubCo21
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of reizorc
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of ROGUE16
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jsanford
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of cdmillard
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Greywulfken
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of Mertzy81
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
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 oline73
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The beer is almost black except for some red at the edges when the light hits the pour. There is a small layer of tan head. The smell is sweet and full of dark fruit and lots of vanilla. I'm also getting some roast/dark chocolate, caramel, and bourbon that burns just a little bit. The taste is sweet and just a bit hot. The strong vanilla notes show up here, and I'm really digging them. Also getting some caramel and dark fruit. The finish is slightly bitter and warm from the alcohol. This is a thick beer with smooth, tingly carbonation. The vanilla notes from the bourbon barrels were very nice. I'd be happy to have more of this one.

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Photo of danwho
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1527th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet

2011 Vintage
Bottle 64/900

Thanks Mdaschaf for this one.

App- A good mix of crimson and browns in the glass. Only a small 1/2 finger fast receding brown head. No cling or lace.

Smell- A whole ton of candy aromas on this one. Sweet sugars, burnt caramel, vanilla and oak. Bourbon comes last. The booze is quite prevelant and prickly.

Taste- Well isnt this like a dessert in a glass!! A whole ton of vanilla and bourbon with some slicker malts. The whole depth of flavor is tasty and has a ton of prickliness behind it. Seemingly one sided with sweetnesss but damn tasty.

Mouth- A full on medium body with a medium dense carbonation. Lots of prickly residual flavors with good Vanilla and Bourbon.

Drink- Sometimes you need a bourbon barrel 750. Tonight was that night. Semi smooth and little rich and plenty of bourbon. Hit the spot. Thanks Matt.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle # 465/1150 split with friends and poured into several snifters. The brew appears black with a thin tan head thats quick to receed. Some brown clarity is seen around the edges. Webby legs of lace stick to the glass and a mild froth holds around the edges.

The smell is full of barrel presence mostly coconut and vanilla sweetness with an accenting hint of caramel and cocoa. Some booze is noticed as it warms along with a mild touch of grain.

The taste is boozy but not overdone for the strength. Flavors of cocoa and roast mostly through the body with a hint of something mildly musty. Coffee, alcohol and raw oak come out more as the brew warms up.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It displays a very nice barrel presence but the base beer is quite mild but with a boozy kick. Overall not bad and worth a try.

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Photo of bonkers
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared thanks to BigSexy410. 2010 vintage.

Pours a very dark brown to black color with a small tannish ring of head, not much lacing. The smell at first hits with a sweet nutty almost coconut or pistachio note, but then it evolves to much more of a typical bourbon heavy barrel aged dark sa that doesn't have a big roast component. Sweet and a little alcoholic in the smell.

The taste Is good, has some smoke added into the alcohol sweetness and heavy vanilla oak bourbon presence, seems like more of a hot boubon than a really fine bourbon, though I'm not complaining too much. Not a lot of malt from the base beer, it seems overly dominated by the barrel to me.

The feel is a little hotter than I thought it would be at 2 years of aging, decent feel maybe a little thinner than I like.

Overall not terrible but not great compared to the canon of barrel aged beers.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter...

A: Pours a dark black with a finger of light brown bubbly head. Spotty and thin lacing down the sides. Retention is good, with some creamy swirls dotting the top of the brew.

S: Wow, looots of bourbon. A little bit of vanilla and caramel and then some very faint chocolate and coconut. Also some nice dark fruit. Bourbon is pretty dominant, but as it warms, the other notes start to come out.

T: Like the nose, it's very bourbon heavy and slightly imbalanced. There's some nice chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit to even things out slightly, but the bourbon is just a bit over the top. Good woody finish with some booze heat and some caramel.

M: Solidly carbed and full-bodied, but balance is decidedly lacking. Bourbon is just way too far out in front here. I can detect the other flavors in the background which makes me think that this could have been an excellent strong ale, but it's just too boozy at this point.

O: A booze bomb, truly drinks like bourbon with a little bit of porter mixed in. The heat is fairly well-tempered, but the bourbon qualities just overwhelm everything and produce a slightly tannic, somewhat flabby overall profile here. That being said, some excellent flavors are roaming around the background, they are just completely buried by whatever barrel was used to age this. This already has about 5 months on it and I think it needs at least another 9 months before it may calm down some. I will be taking the last two bottles I have of this and burying them somewhere in the back of my closet to see what becomes of them with some age. It's not a bad beer, just very one dimensional. Slightly disappointed by this special release from a brewery that has been "can't miss" for me for some time.

 1,764 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
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 GregSVT
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml capped bottle into a tulip - 2010 Vintage #130 of 1150

A: Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights and almost no head with no lacing. The little carbonation that shows up vanishes just as quickly.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, and chocolate. It's pretty heavy on the barrel qualities but I like it.

T: The taste is same as the nose with lots of vanilla, molasses, chocolate, and a touch of hops on the finish.

M: The feel is thin and flat. This would be great if it had carbonation. The finish should last much longer as well.

O: Given the carbonation issues I can't give this much of a high score. All the flavors and aromas are great. It seems the 2011 actually has bubbles so I may try to find that one.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
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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Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (Winter Migration) 2010-2011 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 62 ratings