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 larryi86
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.
Poured from tap into snifter. Pours a dark thick brown with a tan foamy head.
Smells of dried raisons, malty chocolate. Taste is spectacular. This is what I like in a strong ale. Oak, chocolatey, raison...slight malty backbone. What I like about this is the fact that its spectacular and still available. A lesser known brew that really shines.
This is a very good brew. Worth seeking out..I would even say essential.

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Photo of korguy123
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Supee dark brown, boderline black. Zero head, zero lacing. Alcohol clinging to the glass.

S- Massive bourbon aroma. Molasses, chocolate, brown sugar with copious amounts of wonderful vanilla. It smells like bourbon candy.

T- Huge bourbon taste with amazing vanilla and brown sugar. Coffee and chocolate. There is a slight booziness in the end but it really adds to the experience.

M- Almost full bodied, creamy with a hint of booze.

O- Mind boggling, so glad I got to try this and even happier I saved it as long as I did.

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Photo of MalReever
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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

Poured a dark black with brown highlights, no head or lacing.

Aroma of smoke, bourbon and hints of vanilla.

Taste of dark roasted, bourbon soaked malt, smoky oak and a trace of vanilla caramel sweetness.

Mouth Feel is full body, little or no carbonation, bitter with an bourbon warming.

Overall a nice sipping, strong dark ale, well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of mocktm
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My buddy from DC snagged a bottle of this for me over the holidays, so we got to crack it open. It pours a dark brown or black and is completely opaque. The brown head is fairly large and solid looking. The retention and lacing are both nice.

The aroma has a ton of bourbon and good bit of wood to it. Lots of dark malts come through as well, with some dark fruit too.

Sweet bourbon notes come through immediately, followed by a bevy of barrel characteristics. Light char, spicy oak and a little bit of both vanilla and coconut are all noticeable. The barrel doesn't necessarily overwhelm the beer, but it does provide the dominant flavors. The yeast is surprisingly active, adding some dark fruit and some spice; it almost tastes like there is a Belgian yeast thrown in here, but I think it is just a really active ale yeast. The malt is smooth and chocolatey, and rounds things out nicely in the finish. There is a little bit of heat in the back end.

There is a little bit of warmth and just the right amount of carbonation. The body is medium to a touch below.

Evolution does some great things with barrels, and I want to try everything they do. Winter Migration is no exception, with a nice blending of barrel and beer flavors.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of ottodyer
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of yourefragile
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
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 phattman073
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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 DeutschesBier
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of homebrew311
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 963/1105

A: pours flat with black appearance, brown highlight, 0 head

S: I get some buttery notes up front followed by boozy bourbon, not getting much roast or chocolate in the nose, notes of vanilla and wood come into play as well

T: vanilla and bourbon up front, the body is kind of thin without much malt backbone, somewhat sweet

MF: thin body, low carbonation, a little tingly on the palate

O: this brew has a nice flavor and decent balance, however it is very one note. Worth a try.

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Photo of Vdubb86
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Florida9
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, approaching black, in color. Forms a smallish light tan head around the edges. No lacing. Appears flat.

S: Oak, wood, bourbon and some lighter vanilla notes.

T: Tastes of roasted malts blended with lots of bourbon. Vanilla and a light caramel sweetness. Some fusel spice on the finish.

M: Full bodied with lower carbonation levels. Mild bitterness. Mild warming from the alcohol on the finish.

O: A good beer. Rather well balanced and quite drinkable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

Bottle #963/1150. I missed the other seasons, but last Winter's a good enough place to start, right? This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a very short-lived bit of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises plenty o' bourbon, light oak, and light-ish roasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more roasted malts, some rich cocoa, some molasses, and a light twinge of coffee. Damn, this stuff is pretty tasty! The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a silky smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one that can easily stand next to many of the higher-rated barrel-aged stouts out there.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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 Rhettroactive
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/20/11
*From notes

-- Thanks for sharing, Señor Siege! --

A: Rich velvety-brown to amber in color. A forceful pour yields zero head and zero lacing. Huh, that's odd.

S: It smells like a Barleywine-Stout hybrid. Really fantastic. Hints of bourbon and wood here add to what makes for a killer nose.

T: Raisinated, condensed fruit and toasty bourbon. It's at that point where the booze really starts honing in and finds balance with the body and origin of the beer. Dark cocoa and molasses round out the wonderfully complex flavor profile.

M: Really dissapointing. There's almost no carbonation to the brew, making for a signifigantly less pleasant drinking experience. As a result, the texture is a bit oily and off-putting.

O: Evolution has knocked another one out of the park with their 2010 Winter Migration. With the exception of the carbonation issue (which is not to be taken lightly), this is a massive win for one of my favorite up and comer's. I can't wait to see what they do next.

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Photo of chadmoe1
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at Finn's in Rehoboth, DE on 7/17/11 from bomber bottle poured into a pint glass; review did not show up here after entering it so recreating from notes.

A -- dark black, no head

S -- definite vanilla and bourbon, no hops or much else

T -- deep roasted malt then strong alcohol flavor; alcohol dominates and overpowers

M -- low CO2 but not unexpected

O -- not a horrible beer, but the alcohol overpowers everything and really transforms the flavors into a one dimensional taste. Aging it a bit longer may help with the alcohol flavors, and it would be interesting to see if other flavors would manifest.

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Photo of maximum12
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beandip, who sent this Minnesota-bound in another good trade, this one centered around Evolution. This is a sleeper brewery in my book; have been really looking forward to tying into this one. Bottle 163 of 1150 split with my wife on the eve of a Lake of the Woods fishing trip. Walleye here we come!

But first, beer. Pour is dead black, close to pancake-flat. The smell, though, reaches out of the barely cracked bottle & seizes me by the pantaloons. Bourbon! Smells like victory! Tangled up in the barrel is a mash-up of sweetness: maple syrup & vanilla, maybe. If this is foreshadowing, I like it.

Migration not only tastes like liquid good, it's strangley different than your run-o-the-mill barrel-aged experience: lighter than a stout, not as harsh as a strong. Smooth, it moseys along the taste buds with thumbs hooked in its belt, smiling. Bonus points for originality. Oh, what's it taste like? The bourbon is laid on thick, but with style & grace. Underneath are the registry of odors: the sweetness, fine syrups, vanilla, resting on a bed of nice malt with hints of roast to it. Awesome. Low carbonation, but drinks like a champ.

Excellent barrel-aged beer that veers off the beaten path a bit. Would that a few others follow in its path. Worth having once, twice, or as often as possible.

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Photo of champ103
2.73/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A friend shared a bottle with me and some other BA's.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black. An inky, viscous appearance. A one finger tan head forms, and recedes in a second. Not much lace is left.
S: Big boozy notes right off the bat. Charred wood, smoke. Some vanilla. Very harsh alcohol burns the nose.
T: Follows the nose. Basically just some barrel flavors. Lots of alcohol, burnt wood, charcoal, light smoke. Some vanilla sweetness. Burning alcohol all the way.
M/D: This has a lighter body than I would like. The base beer is way to thin and under carbonated for the bourbon barrel. Very hard to sip on. Burning alcohol that did not go down easy at all.

This is way to unbalanced. To much alcohol and to much barrel. I am not sure if a few years would help to mellow this out considering the thin body of the base beer. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of BZero007
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from a trade with brian 12812000, appreciate it! Was bottle number in the 300's of the 1100 bottled. Might be off a bit on the mark.

Poured a dark brown/amber hue with a nice off white head forming. The head stuck around for a bit which was enjoyable. The aroma was a bit soft and pushed the sweet malt and bourbon through. The taste of this brew was very interesting for me to say the least. The bourbon was strong there is not doubt about it, but the ale was great. Now this is were it becomes a bit weird as even though the bourbon was strong the ale was still evident and tasted great! Usually a lot of BA brews I have had you can hardly taste the brew, but this one was very evident. I am happy I was able to pick up a few bottles to cellar, as this could get even crazier.

Body carried a bit over a medium carbonation which fit the brew perfect, the body it self was not to think nor thin and added to the great brew. Glad I was able to try and grab a few extras.

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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