Illudium | Straight To Ale

15 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
English-style Old Ale aged in Cognac barrels.

Added by Golden32 on 01-09-2014

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 83
Photo of larryi86
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to richj1970 for this
22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown with a small tan head.

S- Rich, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, plums, oaky, cognac, alcohol stings the nose slightly but it's good.

T- Dark fruits, cherries, pulms, oak, a little earthy, toffee, some cognac, caramel, little bit of heat, definitely sweet.

M- Smooth, medium body, a little on the syrupy side.

O- A tasty Old Ale, barrel works well with this. Worth seeking out if you like sweeter barelywines.

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Photo of beertunes
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to RichJ1970 for this one from his box in NBS BIF #3. 22oz bottle poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a dark, almost opaque brown, with just a this cap of light brown head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing.

The aroma was very rich and full, featured some dark stone fruits (dark cherry, plum), a bit of alcohol, some leather, and solid malt. That is also a mostly accurate description of the flavor profile. There was a bit of lingering alcohol heat at the back of the palate.

The body was solid, but not heavy. Drinkability was very good for such a big, solid brew. Overall, a pretty nice example of one of my favorite styles. Certainly worth your time if you see it.

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Photo of ccg
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Initial pour is surprisingly fizzy, like a cola. It's an opaque, murky, dark brown with minimal lacing and retention.
The smell is full of sweet malt and sticky caramel and booze, but also slight earthiness and a subtle citrus note.
The flavor is initially huge sweet malt, toffee, and caramel, then giving way to a sweet but tangier flavor. There are no notes on the labor to indicate what this beer actually is. According to BA, it's cognac barrel aged. I might have guessed apple brandy.
The carbonation is light, and it's medium-bodied. It has a bit of sugary stickiness.
The cognac barrel aging was a good idea on this old ale. Straight to Ale is doing interesting things with their barrel-aged beers.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No label information. Illudium is brewed in the style of an Old Ale, available in 22 oz. bottles and on rotating draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a light tan color over a very dark brown body. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3

(Smell) Earthy, biscuity caramel, syrupy fruits and light roast malts with a moderately potent cognac nose. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Toasted caramel grains, lightly roasted malts, earthy toffee, viscous fruit syrups and alcohol. A bit rough around the edges. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a moderate frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly grainy and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) I find that, like most of Straight To Ale's high gravity releases, Illudium has a bit more exposed graininess and alcohol presence than necessary, which holds this ale back a notch from outstanding status for me. 3.75

Straight To Ale's

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.59/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Yanik.

Dark mahogany body with a thin beige collar. Bourbon, French toast, sweet malt, light fruit, booze. Medium bodied, mild to medium sweetness. Tasty.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku glass. From notes. Reviewed 28 September 2015.
A: Ruby-dark red. Mostly opaque.
S: Stale yeast. Blueberries.
T: It's really good! This is a great example of old ale, with the stale balanced by the bourbon. Remarkably fruity. Long aftertaste.
M: Smooth and almost flat.
O: Highest recommendation. I want to drink this all the time.

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Photo of FlandersNed
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle of cognac BA English-style old ale. Dark brown hue with blood red highlights. Spot on with a malty/cognac nose and delicious dark, ripe stone fruit, sweet malt, aged wine, oak and chocolate notes and a nice boozy finish. Full+ body and medium carbonation - excellent!

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Photo of cvm4
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, deep brown, almost black and has a half finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Not really much lacing or retention on the head.

S - Dark fruits of raisins/plums with lots of caramel. Good amount of malt, some graininess and oak. I'm not getting much cognac, but then again it's not as harsh or standout a liquor as bourbon.

T - Oh man... Rich, sweet cognac with an awesome bready malt quality that delves into dark fruits and finishes with a caramel/cognac finish.

F - Medium body and low carbonation. The smooth, easy body has a bit of alcohol heat on the tongue.

O - Great balance all around on this beer. Rich & sweet with the perfect amount of cognac barrel notes that don't overpower the base beer.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 13.99. No bottling date. Serced in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours dark, opaque chestnut with half finger beige cap. Quickly fades to a thin halo and a faint haze across the surface. Only a finy tiny specks left behind to call lace.

Aromas of raisins, toffee, caramel, sweet bread, vanilla and wood. Outstandingly sweet and inviting. I keep coming back for more.

Rich, sweet flavor goodness!Brandy, toffee, raisins, caramel, vanilla, oak, figs/dates, fruit cake, mild earthy herbal bitterness and a little booze. Such an outstanding interplay of toffee, cognac and dark fruits that the alcohol is virtually covered. Delicious.

Semi-syrupy, full body with moderately low carbonation. Toffee, brandy, figs and vanilla in the rich, full finish.

In the weeks that Straight To Ale has been in the Atlanta market I've enjoyed all I've tried from them but Illudium stands head and shoulders above the rest. An incredible rich, delicious barrel aged old ale that I believe is hunt-worthy. Highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Dope
4.2/5  rDev 0%

No bottling date.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown. Small dark brown and fizzy head. Soda-like really - fades almost immediately. No lacing, no retention, looks almost still after a few seconds.

S: Big, heavy, sweet maltiness. Brown sugar and heavy dark bread. Loaded to the gills with caramel. A little toffee. Malt bomb and a half. Delicious.

T: A lot going on here. Very malty of course. Initially it's lots of caramel and brown sugar. A little toffee in the middle with hints of dark fruits. Lightest touch of cocoa in the finish with the heaviest breadiness ever. Lingering heavy dark bread in the aftertaste. Like a...pumpernickel? But sweeter like a molasses bread or even like a poundcake at times. Oak lingers with the bread. This one is pretty hot, so I assume it's pretty fresh.

M: Heavy, very low carbonation, a sipper and a half.

O: Hell of an old ale. Given the low carbonation, the heaviness, the sweetness, it's a bit tough the drinkability factor. But the taste is very complex and well balanced. The smell is honestly better than the flavor. Just one of those great beers you want to make an air freshener with. Intense brew.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Brandy brown, opaque. Not much head; a little tan fuzz on top that produced medium bubbles. Light lacing.

S: I could smell this one all day. Cognac heavy with malts and sweet molasses. Just divine.

T: A malt slide. Biscuity malts intermingled with the cognac barrels. A sweet, syrupy finish. Alcohol is very evident. Sip slowly and enjoy with a cookie or cake.

M: Medium with light to medium carbonation. A bit dry.

O: Ungodly good. A fantastic dessert beer. Straight To Ale has produced some outstanding higher end beers in a very short time. Can't wait to try their Hellfire and Laika.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle into a CCB snifter.

A: Poured a dark brown with a finger of foamy whitish head.

S: Plums, raisins and figs and dark fruit. Followed by a nice dose of booze and sweet malts - exactly as expected.

T: Up front with raisin and fig and dark fruit, followed with molasses, some dark chocolate and a bit of heat/sweetness from the barrels. Delicious.

M: Medium to full bodied and surprisingly smooth. At 11.5% I expected more heat but this is quite smooth. Thick and sweet for sure, but a bomber is not a chore to put down.

O: A fabulous beer from Straight to Ale. Not only my first beer from them, also my first AL beer. Definitely not my last, great brew, get it if you can!

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Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a - poured a 1/2 finger thick dark tan and fizzy head into a snifter that left the thinnest of rings throughout. the body was a mahogany color, deep and dark brown with a reddish edge to it.
s - boozy.
t - plums, chocolate, molasses with a little heat.
m - medium and coating.
o - terrific old ale and the booziness really complimented the sweetness here. STA does a great job with these types of beers.

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Photo of pbasil1
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours somewhat cloudy dark brown with minimal head.

S: Notes of cognac, and fruity nuttiness.

T: Smooth cognac upfront, and tapers off to a fruitier note of raisins and figs. Finishes with a hint of alcohol in a pleasant way.

M: Creamier and smooth, nice full body to it.

O: Fantastic brew from Straight To Ale. This is a cognac barrel aged version of their Unobtanium.

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Photo of richj1970
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown almost black with minimal one finger head. No lacing at all.

S: Sweet cognac mixed with raisin, fig, and dates. Reminds me a bit of a nice toffee pudding,

T: Big cognac flavors up front mixed with sweet dark fruits. A nice blend of raisin, figs, and dates. The alcohol is apparent, and has a nice warming quality to it.

M: Full bodied and nicely carbonated. Coats the tongue nicely without being overly thick or sweet.

O: This is a wonderful brew. Probably one of my all time favorite STA brews.

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Illudium from Straight To Ale
4.2 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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