Swamp Head / Cigar City - Roosevelt - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Swamp Head Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Barleywine
4.18 | pDev: 8.37%
Swamp Head Brewery
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Aged in 20 year Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stakem
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml into ccb snifter appears a crystal clear mahogany with khaki top that fades leaving spotty lace.

Aroma has some bourbony tang, papery oxidation and some nuttiness. Caramel and vanilla across the back.

Taste has mild oxidation upfront tasting like cardboard with a bit of nutty appeal. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla and toasted grain.

Medium in body with modest carbonation. Its decent and boozy. Has quite a bit of oxidation but overall not bad.

 450 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bourbon, odd wood, and slight funk aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, citrus zest, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but is pretty boozy and has an odd wood presence.

 622 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the release. Finally cracked the bottle with a friend. Pours a deep amber brown with small yellowish brown head. Aroma of sweet toffee, biscuits, vanilla, oak, caramel, marshmallow. Don’t get much bourbon but the vanilla from it is definitely there. Flavor is sweet up front followed by some dryness and pecan, vanilla whiskey notes, and fading back into lingering pecan. I did not get this much pecan from the original. Super complex flavor. Lingering taste is like pecan pie with some vanilla whipped cream, yet the bitter balances the sweet. Flavor is really layered nicely here. Slick mouthfeel that finishes with a slight dry oakiness. A sipper but pretty easy for 13%. Not the bourbon notes of the likes of Sucaba, but more nuance and complexity in the flavors. This really worked for me, and could have been worth sucking a little more bourbon flavor from the barrel. Otherwise, this seemed right on.

 914 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Thanks for opening this with me, MrVonZipper!

Very dark amber bordering on brown. Some light sediment throughout. Thin khaki-colored head. Leaves the glass oily and spotted.

Rich and sweet aroma with a decidedly nutty character as well. Mild barrel. The sweet caramel and toffee layers play nicely with the earthy pecan. The barrel is definitely present adding some vanilla and oak notes, but it's not an overpowering presence.

As with the aroma, the caramel sweetness combines very nicely with the earthy, nutty pecan flavors. This tastes a lot like a sweet beer version of a delicious pecan pie. As with the aroma, bourbon and barrel are present, but mild, yet decidedly complementary.

Near full in body. Somewhat oily and coating. Sweet pecan pie finish.

Very tasty and exceptionally glad I got a chance to try it. Was a unique take on a barrel-aged barleywine and one I really enjoyed.

 909 characters

Photo of jbuddle
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to some Florida friends for getting this bottle to me so quickly. Pours out a beautiful deep amber with red highlights and a light tan head. Aroma is quite complex and enjoyable; pecans and caramel shine through first, with some crystal malt and light whiskey notes trailing. It comes together nicely. Unfortunately the taste is a little harsh. It immediately comes across with heat and astringency, and then you pick up some of the base barleywine, some nuttiness and toasted coconut, followed by a muddled barrel flavor. The barrel feels like an afterthought in this equation which is unfortunate since it is pappy, bro. The astringency gets in the way of everything and I have to note that the barrels did not redeem a mediocre base. Mouthfeel is slick and medium bodied, very light carbonation which works.

Overall, a little disappointed with this one. Hoping for pappy magic but its not here.

 906 characters

Photo of Lasering
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

This barley wine became amazing in the barrel. The bitter pecan earthy taste was balanced out with a bourbony vanilla flavor from the pappy van winkle barrels. No alcohol heat is present. The smell is similar to the regular but just has that extra sweetness on the nose. The mouth feel is like liquid silk, so smooth.

 317 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber. Fleeting khaki head. Just a few stray wisps.

Smell - Nice bourbon and oak. Vanilla. Great barrel character. Tons of caramel comes through in the back.

Taste - Great barrel flavor up front. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Quickly drops off to a bucket of caramel and an astringent flavor more reminiscent of the base beer. None of the diacetyl comes through from the base. Hops still in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Dry in the finish. Not too boozy. Astringent.

Overall - Great up front. Drops off in the back. Great barrel but it can only do so much to redeem a bad beer.

 628 characters

Photo of madnismo
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Amber to yellow in color with no head.
S: Loads of sweet pecan, Lush fruits and hops with a nice boozy Bourbon kick.
T: Sweet pecan, apricot, honey and hop resin flavors with a nice malty presence. The Barleywine has held up well against the barrels. Still loads of flavors from the non BA Roosevelt, but the Pappy Van Winkle gives it a nice boozy kick with a heat that coats the mouth. The BA Roosevelt had little to no carbonation (which I like in Barleywines)

Overall its a really good Barrel Aged Barleywine from Swamp Head. I would love to try this again in a few months when the hops die down and the barrel comes out more. I just think its odd or amazing how well the flavors held up considering it was age for a year.

hops have died down, a little sweeter, so much better now.

 796 characters

Swamp Head / Cigar City - Roosevelt - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Swamp Head Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 54 ratings