Trail Magic Ale #4: Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout | Nantahala Brewing Company

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13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Nantahala Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chinchill on 07-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by chinchill:
Photo of chinchill
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

"Homage to the Imperial that got us started [i.e., Trail Magic #1]. This version has stepped up to Maker's Mark barrels and a higher gravity, but keeps it's sorghum and wildflower honey roots."
IBU = 47

March 2013 release served in June 2013 at the brewery in an 8 oz. Trail Magic glass.

Looks like used motor oil, without the oiliness. Creamy dark tan head of modest size but leaves a superb coating of lace on the glass. Smells of dark roasted malts with medium-light bourbon barrel effects and a faint hint of smoke.

Taste: Magnificent! Excellent sweet/bitter balance but starts notably sweet and ends mildly bitter, with mocha/coffee tones. Rating approaches 4.75.

Feel: Full, thick and chewy; exceptionally smooth; remarkably soft and mild for 10% ABV.

O: Great use of bourbon barrel aging for aroma, feel and taste.

By comparison, the last beer I had before this one (about 14 hours earlier) was the world-class Bells Black Note Stout. The Trail Magic #4 is on the same level of quality but comes with more dark roasted malt flavor and less bourbon. The alcohol is much less apparent and a bit lower, and I think the Bells was a bit sweeter and, perhaps, less hoppy.
(slightly revised upon bottle sample in April 2014)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of dirtylou
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, split

March 2013

Brewed with sorghum syrup and wildflower honey, aged in makers mark barrels. First things first, I sadly detect virtually no barrel impact. If you're going to take the effort to sit something in barrels, I think it needs to sit longer to really meld those flavors together. That aside, this was a great stout. Fudgy as hell and very smooth. Honey plays really well in stouts in my opinion - Olde Hickory has mastered that subgenre. Nice dark roast - no bitterness.

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Photo of cardsfan
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured from a bomber into a mug, the beer is jet black, oily, with a dense, low profile, creamy, light tan head. Aromas of coffee bitter and roast, vanilla and bourbon sweet and spiced blend, woody notes, cocoa nib, and hints of rich molasses and earthy tones. Flavors are very heavy and rich forward, with a blast of molasses, vanilla, and wood spice, with a roasted and bitter coffee backbone, some bourbon highlights, bitter baker's chocolate, and a building booze warmth as you go. Smooth, robust, and velvety body, with a boozy and richly sweet chocolate and booze aftertaste. Lingering booze warmth and bittersweet blend on a smooth, slick finish. This is a beast!

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mychalg9
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of strohme2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of xseanprimex
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of taospowder
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MacQ32
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sliks96
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Trail Magic Ale #4: Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout from Nantahala Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 13 ratings