Barrel Aged Belgian Black | Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery

3 Ratings

Brewed by:
Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
Arizona, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 03-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3 |  Reviews: 3
Photo of Phelps
4.02/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed poured into a snifter at Four Peaks. This is the same beer that premiered in February 2011 at the AZ Strong Beer Festival. At this most recent tasting, it's been on wood for 3 years, in a combination of new medium char American oak, Paige Springs Meritage and Chardonnay barrels. Medjool dates from Yuma were also added.

Not quite black, but the deepest charred brown. Atop is a short-lived, oaken head that becomes a thin ring. No lace.

Wacky nose. I definitely get some soy sauce and tangy balsamic mixed in with very oaky red wine, grapes, butter and licorice.

Waves of flavor ebb and flow. First there's cocoa powder, molasses and tangy licorice. The swallow bursts with fruit character — plums, red grapes. Throughout, a solid background of toasted oak and toffee. Dark chocolate and toast linger softly after the finish. The fruity tang could be turned down just a tad, but it’s intriguing overall.

The velvety body is just one notch under medium, but caresses the mouth. Fuzzy carbonation with the perfect amount of gentle fizz. Alcohol is occasionally noticeable in the nose, but is otherwise well hidden.

I had the chance to try this beer about six months ago, at the AZ Strong Beer Fest. This is much better than I remember it — age has done this one well, and the flavors are smoothly blended. Definitely the most unique brew I've had from Four Peaks.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour produces a one-finger thick, nicely browned stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is pretty black colored, and hints at some ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma mixes fruity fermentation esters with vanillin and spicy oak derived notes in my first whiff of the nose. The combination gets dangerously suggestive of a big, fruity, oak aged red wine at times. The fruit notes remind me of black, fruity plums that are on their way towards becoming prunes, freshly picked red wine grapes, and some solid dried fig notes. There is a supporting malt character to the nose, that is really only noticeable up front, as it succumbs to the fruit and oak notes towards the finish; the malt contributes some roasted notes, more toasted graininess, and perhaps a touch of caramelized malt character. The toasted grain character and the caramelized notes mix with a toasted coconut and vanillin character from the barrel. The barrel character here is actually not over the top here, and other than the nose being a bit too subtle overall, the aroma is quite well integrated and rounded.

My first sip is lightly sweet up front, and quite fruity tasting, which really accentuates the fruitiness even more. The oak here isn't overbearing, but contributes a definite tannic edge, some toasted woodiness, fruit accentuating vanillin and perhaps a touch of spice to the finish. Again the fruit and oak combine to very strongly suggest flavors of a red wine; strikingly so even and it almost makes me think this was aged in a freshly emptied wine barrel. This sort of tastes a bit like Concord grape juice, though without the foxy grape quality. The fruitiness also suggest of prunes and fig juice. The body is fairly light, despite the sweetness, though it has a touch of viscous heft to it; it definitely has the drinkability that a stronger Belgian inspired brew requires. For a beer so dark, the malt character is actually fairly subdued; soft notes of toasty whole grain, some touches of burnt malt and a dark malt roast character towards the finish that has overtones of burnt caramel.

The most interesting thing about this beer is that it tastes so much like an oaky red wine. The beer seems a bit lackluster somehow, despite having a good suite of flavors and aromas to it; the beer really isn't lackluster, as I am enjoying it, but it somehow lacks a presence and finesse that is required for a beer to be great. This is certainly worth trying though.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.09/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Growler tick thanks to Bobby

A: The pour is a very dark brown, almost black with a thin off-white/tan head.

S: Starts off with lots of butter and rubbing alcohol. Definitely some barrel notes (dark char on it) with a touch of vanilla. Maybe a bit of a white wine aroma to it as well. Some mild sweetness and dark, roasted malts. Maybe a little dark fruits.

T: The flavor is a bit better with less butter emphasis. A really strong charred oak flavor with is nice in small amounts, but it sort of wears on you after awhile and becomes a bit like chewing on a piece of tanbark. Sort of bland in terms of the actual beer, as all you can really taste is the barrel and some of the butter.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: Not much positive to say about this one. Not worth the tick.

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Barrel Aged Belgian Black from Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 3 ratings
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