Devil In The Details | Frog Island Brewing Company

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Devil In The DetailsDevil In The Details
42 Ratings
Devil In The DetailsDevil In The Details

Brewed by:
Frog Island Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by CFHMagnet:
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.79/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked this bottle up in a bottle shop in Ann Arbor on a trip to Michigan a few months ago. Finally drinking it.

I poured a finger of very rich brown head over a nearly black body. As the head thins to a ring, the body continues to stare at me like a black hole.

I smell chocolate, roasted malt, a little caramel and coffee.

The richly roasted malt is very pleasant up front. This goes to a chocolate/coffee mingle, with a little vanilla on the back end. The alcohol burn is surprisingly slight for the ABV.

The mouthfeel could be a little creamier. It almost seems to pass too quickly. There is a little bite of carbonation, but it's not heavy handed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of goast8127
4/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of DruC4
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Sammy
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a thick chocolate milkshake with a big bubbling head. A lace sheet is left complementing the dark black body. Corny, buttery, vinegar, bourbon, boozy, woody. Balance, well doesn’t quite get it taste-wise, murky mix, though interesting to try. OK drinkability.

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Photo of raymo55
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Bung
4.12/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Murky brown black pour. Not much head to speak of, just some bubbles throughout and a very small ring of tan around the top.

Big malt, chocolate, caramel, molasses, earthy aroma. Some booziness.

Really nice tasting brew. More roast here, malt and light coffee. Robust oak/peat molasses, anise, chocolate, some vanilla. What you are looking for is there. Not sure if this is barrel aged, but it certainly tastes like it is.

Medium bodied, maybe could have been more solid here. Pretty low carbonation, coating enough. Hides that 13% very well.

Goes to show, you can't always go by the ratings. This one is very nice and has probably come a long way since its beginning.

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Photo of Christov
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BierFan
2.37/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Not much carbonation at all. None really. Looks like a murky black coffee in my glass. Some vanilla, alcohol, and sweet dark malty aromas. The lack of carbonation really killed the taste and mouthfeel. I don't know what's more disappointing, the beer itself or the fact that I spent money on it. Contemplating now whether to finish this beer or drainpour it.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.38/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Siciliaon's in Grand Rapids. Poured in to Bruery tulip glass.

A - Dark inky black with almost no head aside from a few light bubbles around the edges.

S - Huge artificial vanilla aroma up front with some oak and a roasted malt presence in the background. Very sweet overall nose.

T - Big sweetness up front full of vanilla and milk chocolate flavours. The vanilla tastes very artificial and is almost cloyingly sweet. Roasted malt backbone is present behind the vanilla. The bourbon is barely noticeable. The sweetness makes this difficult to drink.

M - Medium body with almost no carbonation.

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Photo of mikediesel124
4/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of ThickNStout
2.5/5  rDev -22.6%

22oz bottle from Main Street Party Store (Ann Arbor, MI). 9.99. No bottling date but I believe this was only brewed once in late 2010. Served in a goblet.

Pours a molasses hued, near-black brown with two fingers of frothy mocha foam that quickly dissipates. Almost no retention and absolutely zero lace.

Fairly simple aromas of vanilla, dark fruit, and brown sugar.

The flavors are not bad but come across as a bit disjointed. Fudge, charred wood, vague dark fruits, burnt coffee, subtle oaky vanilla, earth and a lot of fuesel alcohol. Towards the beginning of most sips it seems like a pretty well done imperial stout but by the time ot hits the back of the tongue all that booze and char crowd out what could have been quite good.

The body is pretty heavy but the carbonation is almost completely gone so it just wallows on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with more burnt wood, bitter cocoa, fruit skins and alcohol.

I was hoping that time would smooth over some of the issues that previous reviewers noted. Maybe it did but there it just wasn't a strong enough beer to begin with. After enduring about half of the bottle I opted to sacrifice the remainder to the drain. Not that a near 4 year old bottle would be a likely option but I recommend passing on this one if you see it.

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Photo of jtingue
1.98/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Very dark reddish brown in color. Pours with absolutely no head, no lacing and no alcohol feet.

Smell. 2 distinct smells emerge. One being a musty bourbon soaked oak smell, which is dominant. The second being molasses that is so pungent that you can almost guess that it is going to be thick and sticky. A real tale of two smells.

Taste. Hits the palate with a a slightly sour or bitter hit, which is quickly taken over by overwhelming sweetness. The bourbon and oak start to build with quite a bit of vanilla, which is strong enough to be mistaken for an artificial flavor. Some strange astringent bitterness leads into a semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel. Surprisingly moderate in body, with absolutely no carbonation.

Quite a disappointing beer. Absolutely nothing seemed to be gained from the aging, other than a weird vanilla flavor. The mustiness in the nose is off-putting. The biggest killer though was the complete lack of carbonation.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black with a beige head, and a tiny cap that fades into a little head and collar. Speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, cocoa, roasted barley, and toasted grains.
Taste is of the aromas with a toasty barley flavor with cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, slick, and filling.

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Photo of liamt07
3.41/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by sprague11, thanks John. 22oz into a tulip.

Huge dense brown head that appears to cascade (like a nitro-pour) when poured into the glass. Black body with some lighter hues at the edges. Nose has big bourbon and barrel notes, brown sugar, oak and butterscotch. All of this appears to dominate some subtler flavours, perhaps some chocolate and roast. Taste has some warming (but not hot) alcohol and bourbon, oak, butter/butterscotch, coffee bitterness. Unbalanced flavours and the barrel certainly overtakes this rather than compliments it. A heavier medium body, but the lack of balance really sets this back - little room is left for the other flavours to add much to the profile.

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Photo of TasteTester
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a stemless globe.

Big thanks to Florida9 for sharing this bit of Michigan randomness!

I've never come close to hearing of this brewery or beer before, so this is a rare surprise beer. Right on. It pours a deep black-brown, barely highlighted with garnet, topped by a half-finger of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises butter, a good amount of booze, roasted malts, and oak. The taste holds notes of sourdough, light roasted malts, coffee, light bourbon, oak, and brown sugar. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth-ish feel. Overall, a nice-tasting barrel-aged stout, but one that doesn't seem to have it all quite together yet: It's a bit too boozy, a bit too buttery, and a bit too thin, but it's really not truly bad in any sense.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.06/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Black in color with an enormous head that nearly fills the glass. The nose is just awful. Highly metallic and acidic with the only stout characteristic being the roasted malt. The flavor is similarly bad. Very acrid and harsh, super metallic and acidic as well. Somewhat roasty with maybe a touch of oak flavor. No way I’d care to have this ever again.

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Photo of Marti403
4/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon hits you immediately. Big and rich mouthfeel, but not overly sweet. I keep tasting spicy chiles along with the alcoholic heat. Slightly smoky and very fragrant with the charred wood. Leaves a definitely chewy, woody aftertaste. Lots of hops but they are well balanced with the massive malt. For such a boozy beer it's totally sippable and full of flavor.

Not sure why some reviewers don't like this. I think more people need to drink this stuff. I'm ready for Frog Island to age some other beers in these barrels-- like a Porter and a Scotch ale.

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Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of fcdepalm
2.5/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into DFH Signature Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep black, no light getting through, with a very inviting mocha colored, thin head. The thin head lingers around for a while, it's actually a nice looking product. Small bubbles slowly pop and dissipate.

Smell: Quite inviting vanilla, chocolate, oak, roasted malt, and light bourbon.

Taste: Some interesting flavors going on there...The oak really takes hold, only to be finished by a mildly astringent alcohol, and bitter flavor. Some of that chocolate from the nose comes through on the palate, only to be slammed into the background by overly aggressive wood. I feel this beer may have been overly oxidized as I'm getting quite a cardboard taste on the back of my tongue...and it lingers.

Mouth: Some oily texture, and a drying sensation from the amount of oak that is present.

Drink and overall: For this beer being 13% ABV, it doesn't show it. It drinks fairly easy, but not really that enjoyable of a bourbon aged stout. Not sure if this is a lower quality barrel used, or even some refilled, refilled bourbon barrels. The oak comes through too much, causing this beer to be overly dry, and not as complex as it possibly could be.

Edit: I don't actually know what the A.B.V. of this beer is. I find it hard to believe it's 13 as listed, as other sites have it in the 8 to 9 range.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.52/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes of a previous tasting.

Pours a deep dark brown, not quite black, but definitely opaque. Lifeless upon pour in terms of head. The nose starts with some vanilla and oak with accents of artificial cherry character. Roasted malts seem to be taking a back seat on this one. The taste is very mellow with lots of vanilla. The flavors seems well integrated, but again lacking some of what I search for in a stout. The mouthfeel leans on the thin side and the carbonation is very low. Nice balance of flavors here but nothing really resonates.

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Photo of GoldenChild
5/5  rDev +54.8%

Photo of DragonzBreath
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Devils in the Details, Frog Island Ann Arbor was our final tasting. we were shocked at the pour to see a black, syrupy beer fill our glass. Strong odd smell. upon first taste I was pleased, but it grew sweet and stronger after that. No carbonation either. it is billed as an Imperial Stout at 13 abv .
Our tasting glasses are 6 oz can't imagine drinking more than that.
Good - rich beer

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Devil In The Details from Frog Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 42 ratings