Menagerie #5 | Evolution Craft Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Menagerie #5Menagerie #5
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
evolutioncraftbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 05-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
53
Reviews:
32
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
6.87%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
13
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of jsanford
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of THECPJ. Cheers, Shane! Poured into an Evolution tasting glass.

A - Dark, ominous black with a thick, creamy, mocha-colored head that settles to a thick haze, leaving sheets of lacing clinging to the glass a it recedes.
S - Whew! That's a big one! Huge flavors of dark roasted malt, brownie batter, vanilla, and Bourbon. Smells a touch on the "hot" side, but I think I'll be OK ;)
T - Yeah, definitely on the boozy side, but god knows there's plenty of dark malt to back it up. Tons of dark chocolate and caramel with big Bourbon flavors of oak and vanilla. Really smooth, despite the high ABV.
M - Thick and viscous, with a chewy, sticky mouthfeel and a full body.
O - A very impressive BA RIS from a (relatively) new brewery, these guys are doing some great thing! Thanks again to Shane for passing this along to me!

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Photo of Magery
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black in appearance with a nice, small, tight dark tan head on top. Very nice aroma-really has come into it's own as it warms. Nice oak and vanilla notes with a light trace of bourbon. Not as boozs as it was when first poured. A lot of oak up front in the flavor. Heavy dark chocolate and cocoa. Decent enough hop bite to be barely noticeable. Again this has improved greatly as it warms-not as boozy and bourbon flavored. Sure it is there but has faded a bit to let the oak and vanilla come thru. Nice solid mouthfeel-almsot has a sticky, sweet, creamy feel to it. A great beer all around. Glad I have an extra 1 or 2 to lay down cause me thinks this will cellar quite nicely.

 681 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of inlimbo77
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz, May 2011 release
Mini snifter

A: Pours deep dark brown leading to black. Dark head of about a half finger. Alcohol feet. Some dark reddish hues.

S: More dark fruits than I was expecting. Soy sauce. Dark chocolate. Some barrel notes: vanilla and dry oak.

T: Sharp dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Barrel character is a little muted but there. Some vanilla notes. Dry finish. Lingering chocolate.

M: Full bodied.

 418 characters

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BZero007 for popping this one open!

Poured a solid black with brown head that faded fairly quickly.

The smell was intense bourbon and oak with a coffee roast as well.

The taste was oaky on the front, with a slight vanilla on the mid, and a coffee and bourbon on the back that lingers for a bit.

This beer was silky smooth and a little heavy on the mouthfeel.

It was spot on for a barrel aged Stout and hangs in there with the best of them for sure. They also didn't skimp on the barrel aging and is the forefront of this beer while remaining balanced.

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Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of beer2day
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour with maybe the faintest suggestion of red in just the right light. 1-finger of dark mocha head, faint retention, and thin wisps of lace.

Strong oak and bourbon nose. Mocha, espresso, and woody roasted malt back that alcohol up. Touch of vanilla and light pine. Well done and nicely complex.

Big notes of bourbon and alcohol dominate the tongue. Lots of rich chocolate, dark roast coffee, and even more oaky bourbon as the glass warms. Hides the abv pretty well, but still a definite boozy hit here. Light vanilla cream in the finish, up against the bitter chocolate malt.

Medium body, perhaps just a bit too thin for the robust flavors.

Overall, I'd easily get this again. The bourbon is not too over the top for my tastes, but does get in your face a bit.

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Photo of BeerThursdays
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opened one of these the other night with a few friends. Beer was all black with a nice tan head. Smell was Coffee, molasses and vanilla. Taste has really improved over the last year. Alcohol has dropped off tremendously and the vanilla and chocolate flavors are very prominent. In the mouth, this is thick and smooth. Alcohol is only found in the finish. Mildly carbonated.

Overall, this beer has done great with a year on it. Barrel flavor has settled down a bit and is very drinkable. Can't image it will get much better at this point, so I think I'll start to revisit this one about once a month.

 600 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at a recent Northern Virginia tasting.

Black pour with a brown head. Smoky deep smell with a ton of chocolate and caramel malts. The bourbon really shines through. A ton if oak and chocolate. Tasty and boozy, but not balanced all that well and a bit hot. Heavy and creamy body. A lot of alcohol on the finish. I wish it was a bit more balanced.

 353 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into mini snifter. Booyah.

A- Deep dark brown, nothing out of the ordinary. Mild sandy tan head that settles to an outer ring.

S- Lots of caramel and vanilla, heavy bourbon. Very nice, though.

T- This beer is all about the bourbon. Nutty, caramel, smooth silky malts. Hot on the tongue, though. Mild coffee astringency in the finish.

M- Hot and heavy alcohol presence. I'm digging it, but I can see how it could put people off. Would be interesting to taste this with some age on it.

O- Enjoyable, would prob. be best to split this one. Good stuff though, a very impressive first from Evolution.

 608 characters

Photo of sendsilk
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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

Thanks to a great BA for this one.
22oz. from Evolution. Latest in their Menagerie Series.
Pours a lovely black w/ a full two fingers of cocoa-colored head. Most of which lingers for 20 minutes and creates some nice lacing...looking forward to this one.
Very pleasant in the nose. Vanilla, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice.
Taste is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, vanilla and oak. Less of the licorice in the flavor, but the mild bourbon decides to show up and is just enough to complement the style.
Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden nicely. Very easy to enjoy a bomber of this gem by my lonesome, but even the better half is enjoying this offering from Geoff and Co.

 716 characters

Photo of cfh64
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Jules11788
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color that lets no light through; very small head, very light lacing

S: Sweet bourbon, dark chocolate woodiness, light notes of roasted coffee

T: Roasted malts, sweet bourbon-soaked wood, and dark chocolate. This stuff tasted like one of those chocolate truffles filled with bourbon liqueur, it was so delicious. I would love to enjoy a bottle of this with ice cream or cookies

M: Thick and smooth, lightly carbonated, just the slightest bite of booze at the end

O: This was a deliciously chocolaty beer that reminded me so much of those fancy liqueur-filled chocolates. If you enjoy a good Imperial Stout you will like this a lot.

 658 characters

Photo of 3Hops
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of HosP
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of beer karma sent to BeerThursdays for this one. Very generous BA, thanks Jay! Poured into snifter.

A- Pours very dark, almost jet black, other than the dark brown around the edges from the light. Nice khaki head that stays around the edge.

S- Very nice earthy aroma. Nice roasty smell mixed with vanilla and some chocolate. Bourbon aroma comes through nicely to support the other smells. Very enjoyable nose.

T- Starts out nicely with some sweet vanilla flavors. Subtle chocolate hints behind the vanilla. Nice roasted, oak flavors throughout that balance nicely with the sweetness. Bourbon gets detected more at the end and tie everything together nicely. Very smooth, gets a little hot as it warms. Oak, bourbon flavors tend to dominate as you keep drinking a bit.

M- Right at a full body, maybe medium. Low carbonation. A little dry in the mouth but not bad. Some slight bitterness lingers.

O- Very nicely done BA RIS. Very nice flavors, balanced very well with the bourbon. Isn't to over the top with the flavors which makes for a very nice and smooth drink. Enjoyed this one very much. Big thanks to Jay for sending me this bottle for no reason other than spreading beer goodness.

 1,198 characters

Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:

Tonight I will be breaking out my Dogfish Head snifter which should hold most of this twenty two ounce bottle in one gentle pour. Upon pulling off the cap I was really surprised to hear a very loud and boisterous hiss coming out. I noticed the label mentions that this was re-fermented in the bottle and I must say they did a nice job of achieving this aspect. On the pour I went straight on and slow watching the evil black looking sauce just flop right out of the bottle and coat my snifter with such ease. There was just a tiny reminiscent of bubbles while I was pouring but near the end a beautiful head formed and left with me a one finger thick coca colored head that looked like froth on a great cup of coffee. When I hold my glass up to the light there is absolutely no chance of light passing through and I do not see any form of yeast chunks or trub floating around which is a good sign. I gave my over-sized snifter a generous swirl and noticed this baby just paints my glass with a nice amount legs and the lacing creeps down slowly.

Smell:

Even through this is barrel aged the most prominent aroma I am pulling out is rich deep chocolate and vanilla undertones. Very sweet and dessert like aromas are surly the front and center here with some faint bourbon lucking around which is very welcoming. Preferably I like the bourbon to be a little more noticeable but this is still a great beer so far and it won't take away from its construction. In the finish some burnt roasty flavors and maybe some form of earthy hops pushing through. Not a drop of heat alcohol to mention of.

Taste:

Simply divine! Very slick and smooth on the mouthfeel with big burst of vanilla up front. Complimented by subtle oaky notes chocolate, and espresso this really makes for a great sipping beer for the evening. Bourbon is present but not overwhelming, more so just a compliment to all of the complex flavors rather than being the only thing noticeable. Shockingly I do not notice any heat alcohol at all which is pretty surprising for being nearly 11%. In the finish just a touch of roasted or smoky BBQ is poking through but thing astringent or off putting. This is great now and I imagine that with a year or so with some age the flavors will mesh much better and even become more drinkable.

Drinkability:

Overall this was a nice representation of the style and very easy to drink. Again I say that I like my barrel aged beers a little bit more boozy but that is my preference. I am going to say that this is a huge step in the right direction for Evolution especially since they are so young. I would love to see these guys make the base imperial stout into a regular rotating beer because that in my opinion is what really makes this beer so good, the barrel just compliments it. If you get a chance to try this one go for it because it is just so damn smooth. If any of you are in the Maryland area or plan on traveling to Ocean City for a beach trip search these guys out because Dogfish Head isn't the only great brewery in the area.

 3,055 characters

Photo of ratedz
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received in a trade with slvrmon82. Thanks, Matt!

A - Pours pitch black into a snifter glass. Very thin layer of chocolate brown head covers about 3/4 of the top and fades almost completely within a minute or so. A tiny ring of bubbles surround the perimeter of the glass.

S - Very pleasant. Lots of coffee, rich chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon are detected. One smell doesn't dominate over any other...everything is blended really well. Right on target with what I would want a bourbon barrel aged RIS to smell like.

T - I'm picking up some slightly bitter chocolate initially before some oak and vanilla come into play. A slight alcohol burn from the bourbon is noticeable on the back end, but it is very minor. Again, everything is blended very well.

M - Medium to full body, light carbonation (which is perfect for the style), and creamy. Very easy to go back for sip after sip.

O - This was the second beer I've ever had from Evolution (after the Lot No 3 IPA that Matt included as an extra) and I am very impressed with their beers so far. I'm really excited to try the bottle of 2010 Winter Migration that I have in my basement! Menagerie No 5 was very well balanced and expertly blended. It was complex and enjoyable on a cool fall evening. I have no idea what bottle production was or if it will be made again, but I would recommend trying this one if you are able to!

 1,399 characters

Photo of MalReever
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of stageseven
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Evo brewery.

Ar - thick aroma loaded with roast, vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate. Bourbon notes as well with just a touch of booze, but in a pleasant way.

Ap - deep brown color, some dark tan head with creamy bubbles. Sticks to the glass a bit when swirled.

T - roast, vanilla, and some oak dominate. A bit of dark chocolate. Theres a moderate bitterness in the back that's pretty clean and well balanced. Very obviously a bourbon aged beer, but so smooth and not much alcohol heat to it. Really comes into its own when it sits a few minutes to warm up. Drink at cellar temps for sure.

M - medium body, well carbonated. Not too much carbonation but not flat either. Could be a little thicker in the mouth but it felt pretty good.

O - Excellent BA Russian Imperial Stout. Bourbon flavors and wood blend well with the beer in a way that isn't overdone. Very well balanced between the bitter and sweet flavors. May not be a "world class" beer yet, but given a few years it should really develop nicely.

 1,027 characters

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Menagerie #5 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
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