Polaris | Rising Tide Brewing Company

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PolarisPolaris
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
PolarisPolaris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Maine, United States
risingtidebrewing.com

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Polaris is our first special release beer—a wheat stout aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels. We started with our winter weizen stout Ursa Minor, fermenting it to completion in steel before barrel aging it for 5 months. Hints of the base beer remain but with the added complexity of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, and oak notes. Conditioned to a moderately low level of carbonation in the bottle, this beer is a perfect cold-evening sipper.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,391
Reviews:
25
Ratings:
100
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
13
Trade:
2
 
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 100
Reviews by BobZ:
Photo of BobZ
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Duvel Tulip, Bottle number 69 of 336 2011 release.

Appearance: Same as Ursa Minor minus the head. Rich dark brown, yields a ¼” head that recedes to a thin cap. Very, very, nice lacing. The lack of a large head is to be expected from a BA stout.

Smell: Jim Beam bourbon is the first thing you get, underneath is some roasted malt aroma.

Taste: Again, Rising Tide surprises, the bourbon is present in an oaky vanilla flavor but this doesn’t overwhelm the Ursa Minor base beer, it just complements it. Damn near perfect balance, you get the chocolatety roasted wheat flavor wrapped in a nice oaky, vanilla, bourbon. Very well done, I liked Ursa Minor, I love Polaris. Such a unique beer, I don’t get any overt weizen characteristics such as banana, but there is such a nice unique flavor to this stout that it leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, delicious. Not cloying or overly sweet in any way. Easy to drink all night.

Overall: Great offering, hope to see this again next year. I bought three bottles and gave one to a friend, now I’m starting to wish I kept it. Really impressed with this brewery and their products, in all honesty I might even prefer this beer to KBS, it’s THAT good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown, one-finger head that vanishes quickly leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied, body is a little thin for a stout. Bourbon and sweet wheat nose. Flavor is malty sweet wheat and bourbon. Pricey at $8.50 for a caged and corked 375ml bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rim bubbles come from the small head. No lace. Deep, deep brown where no light shines through.

Dark, nearly burnt toast smell. Biscuity.

Think brandy and stout blended. It's tasty. Chewy but not too full a body. Higher carbonation.

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Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was a very dark brown color with a small tan head.

Mostly an aroma of bourbon. Some vanilla, some roasted malt. Maybe a bit of spice.

The bourbon aroma smoothed out in the taste. Still present, but not as forward. Chocolate and coffee notes, a little bit of vanilla. Things came together well.

This was a smooth, easy-drinking beer. Very enjoyable, will drink it again.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a huge head that lingers forever. Beer itself is totally opaque and midnight black. The head is a creme brulee color. The nose is somewhat coffee-like, but, unlike some other stouts it seems rather subdue with some very rich oaky-vanilla notes. The taste is exceptionally smooth, none of the harsh burnt flavor that most stouts have. The first flavor is a surprisingly sweet maltiness, this becomes chocolaty, with lots of vanilla, and just a bit of boozy heat on the head.

Overall this is an excellent stout and I really don't like stouts. Flavor profile is fairly standard stout, but with a bit more booze and a really nice vanilla oak smoothness.

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Photo of LostHighway
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Electros
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into tulip. 2011 bottle - #70.
Pours a deep black with a creamy creamy tan head. Wow, this looks awesome! Nice boozey barrel roasted malt and oaty aroma. Taste is nice booze/bourbon, roasted malt and oat; some coffee notes. Silky smooth as can be, and super easy to drink. I actually thought this was much bigger by the taste, but almost a sessionable stout; if it came in 12oz year-round bottles. Nice brew.

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Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not sure if I've ever had a wheat based stout before, esp aged in bourbon barrels, so this should be interesting.

Pours a darker colored bubbly fluffy 1 finger head that fades pretty quickly with all the big bubbles popping, leaves just a bit of lacing which surprises me a bit, over almost pitch black beer with slight hints of ruby light sneaking through the edges.

Nose brings a nice blend of malts and bourbon barrel, starting with a bit of a roasty dark malt with hints of coffee, then dark chocolate and baker's choc plus cocoa, then plenty of bourbon to match the malts, a bit of an oak barrel with vanilla and light woody shelf sawdust like barrel aromas, then more malts with caramel, toffee, molasses, and a strange malty softness I can only attribute to the wheat.

Taste starts with slight esters from the wood actually, but then quickly moves to the barrel flavors, some nice bourbon with a light toasty oak and more wood shelf flavors, and a light vanilla and oak chip like. Then malts kick in, some chocolate but not as much as I expected, light baker's chocolate, a bit of roast with hint of coffee, some caramel and light toasty brown malt flavors, toffee, molasses, etc. It gets a very slight burnt malt quality that adds a hint of briny roasty quality that brings it down a bit. It does have a creamy almost oatmeal like feel and flavor, with perhaps a touch of lactose, and a nice soft malt cushion. Some bitterness is brought in with the roasty flavors but also a bit of an earthy hop kick. I also gets very slight hints of dark fruit and even a caramelized banana flavor which is really interesting, and I'm not making that up!!! It finishes sticky and a bit syrupy but slightly drier, with more dark malts, hints of chocolate and caramel, as well as bourbon and barrel woody esters, and a creamy feel all lingering.

Mouth is full bodied, a bit creamy, no real booze, and decent enough carb for the style although its lower than usual.

Overall really interesting, a nice profile with nice malts, a bit more chocolate would have been nice, the roast hits well but just a hair too much burntness, bourbon comes on nice but fades too quickly, and the barrel brings a good profile. there are some hints of wheat with the soft feel and hints of banana like fruits and softness overall, and a bit of a creamy oatmeal or lactose feel. The hints of bitterness and hops play in well and not too much, but maybe a hint more would kick this up a notch.

 2,467 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 117 of 336
Released Autumn of 2011

Pours a wicked black color, a large tan head gives about two-three fingers of head, fades at a slow rate to leave a long lasting cap.

Smell is primarily roasted malt, picking up a bit of chocolate, not really finding any bourbon or woody aspects that might come from the barrel aging process.

Taste starts out with a burnt roasted malt front, bitter dark chocolate follows, dark fruit begins to linger in and is likely from the barreling process even though it still remains subtle, incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a slightly above normal carbonation level, picking up hints of heat so although the ABV is unknown it's probably a bit stronger than the regular Ursa Minor.

Very glad I was able to find a bottle of this at a lesser known wine & cheese shop, especially considering it has been sold out everywhere else for at least a few weeks before procuring it.

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Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ToasterChef
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. This is bottle number 163 of 336.

The beer is completely black, with a decent of amount of tan foam resting on top. The liquid is too opaque to make out and rising carbonation. Lacing is good.

The beer has a strong bourbon aroma. It's like sticking my nose into a glass of Jim Beam. I'm not really smelling any of the roasted malts that make up the nose in Ursa Minor (the base beer). There is a little bit of malty sweetness, but for the most part this beer smells boozy. If it still smells like this after 5 months of aging, I wonder how hot it was when fresh?

Luckily, the bourbon in the flavor isn't as overpowering as in the aroma, although it is still strong. It provides some good oak and peat moss flavors, and a smokiness that works very well with Ursa Minor's roasted malts. There is a slight chocolate flavor here that I didn't pick up on in Ursa Minor, and Polaris doesn't have any obvious wheat characteristics.

The body is thick, but not as thick as some other stouts. It leaves a slight stickiness on my lips. The mouthcoat is also sticky, but retains some decent flavors. Despite the strong aroma, there is no heat from the alcohol.

Although not an amazing bourbon barrel aged stout, this is an enjoyable beer. I think I would have liked to let it age a little longer, but I was in the mood for Rising Tide tonight, so I cracked it open. If you were one the people who sought this beer out, I think you'll be happy with it. Hopefully, this is the first of many barrel aged releases that Nate has in the works. There is a lot of potential here, but I am left wanting slightly more. Still, no part of me regrets checking Facebook obsessively until I saw Polaris was on sale and rushing out right away to secure bottle. I only regret not picking up a second bottle (but with such a low bottle count, I wanted to leave plenty on the shelf).

 1,915 characters

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jlogan7
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of juliusseizure
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass, with a fine, huge brown head with good retention and thick lacing. Aroma of sweet toasted malt, lots of vanilla and toffee (actually smells a lot like a vanilla toffee candy), mild earthyness, light bourbon. Smells great. Starts out with bourbon soaked dark toasted malt, then thins out to a more bourbon influenced, vanilla, chocolate and caramel character, finishing with lingering bourbon barrel and light greassy hops. Different, but good. Medium bodied, lighter than expected from a rich stout. Starts out as a barrel aged stout experience, but then presents an interesting light body from the wheat that actually showcases the other relatively complex flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma suggests, overall well integrated, but you will know this is bourbon barrel aged. I enjoyed this quite tasty and off-beat stout (they call it a barrel aged wheat stout and that fits perfectly). Hope I can find something else from this brewery. If the body of most heavy barrel aged stouts is too much for you, it may be worth trying this out as a nice change.

 1,129 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of davey101
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of andrewinski1
2.67/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Ben for sharing! This bottle is number 151 of 336. Poured into a tulip. The color is nice and black with a small than head. This one looks a little thin compared to other barrel aged stouts, but I'm not knocking it for that (I'm not sure this would be an imperial stout anyway).

The aroma is full of licorice and lots of bitter dark chocolate. I get a hint of fruitiness or maybe some cherry notes.

The taste is bitter coffee, much of the positive aroma notes are muted and hard to perceive entirely. There is a slightly tart cherry finish.

The body is a little thin, with heavy carbonation that drinks like a seltzer almost.

I'm wondering if this might be headed downhill; I'm a little disappointed. The aroma was promising at least.

 748 characters

Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of smutty33
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Polaris from Rising Tide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 100 ratings