Polaris | Rising Tide Brewing Company

very good
100 Ratings
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Maine, United States

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.

Added by Brez07 on 11-10-2011

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
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 billab914
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 235 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of chippo33
1.75/5  rDev -55.8%

Photo of mklisz
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
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 IrishColonial
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jdhilt
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 370 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Cork launches out of the bottle with almost zero coercion. The body is very, very dark. Minimal light invasion. A nice, thin tan head forms atop the beer with soft lacing.

S-The bourbon really jumps out at me. Boozy chocolate and fudge. Maybe a little bit of dark fruit and some clearer roast. The bourbon barrel is the high point.

T-The wheat really stands out here where I didn't find much of it in the nose. Bourbon is again very noticeable but not as dominating. Sweet dark fruits, maybe figs. Chocolate and lighter roast. Some espresso notes. A unique flavor.

M-I have a few qualms here. Body is light, I know it's not a huge stout! but the body is a hair too light. Also the carbonation is too aggressive. It doesn't work well with the robust flavors.

O/D-A pretty neat beer. Too pricey for the 375ml format. I thought the barrel character was nice. Worth a try.

 874 characters

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of rjp217
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 398 characters

Photo of rderedin
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of mportnoy
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of thegerm87
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Bunuelian
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 432 characters

Photo of braican
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Late Autumn 2012 release. 12.7 oz. C&C bottle. Limited release of 960 bottles.

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers worth of dark tan head that quickly fizzles away to nothing

S: Roasted barley, dark fruits, and a hint of barrel character that includes vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Subtle and complex

T: Follows the nose, only more complex. Starts with the roasted malts and fruity wheat character and goes into the barrel aspects. The barrel imparts the usual vanilla, bourbon, oak, and some tannins. Again, the barrel is subtle and doesn't overwhelm the base beer

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: The base beer is already solid, and aging this in Jim Beam barrels only makes it better and more complex. Far from a bourbon bomb, so don't expect that. That said, I'd drink this sooner rather than later given the abv and subtle barrel character. A little pricey at $8.49 for a 12.7 oz. bottle, but this is one unique beer

 948 characters

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev +1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Polaris from Rising Tide Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.