Love Shadow
Brewery Vivant

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #543
Ranked #2,341
4.26 | pDev: 7.28%
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States
Love ShadowLove Shadow
Notes: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Whyteboar from Michigan

3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this fresh with our SAN group and wasn’t impressed, don’t recall why. Maybe we tried it the same time as their BA Quad. Mox nix.
Poured pitch black with a medium brown head, the aroma was surprisingly sweet. I wasn’t expecting that. Some coffee and cocoa were detected, with some dark fruits maybe. The taste followed the aroma and while tasty, it lost any complexity it had. Malts definitely dominated with no bitterness found.
The feel was spot on, near ideal for the genre, at 12.4% abv you want to sip this.
So I think cellaring this for 2 years is too long. I’ll get some more next release and try it again.

Mar 28, 2021
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stortore from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can into a snifter. Canned 2/1/18, had 5/14/18. One of three reviews I missed adding earlier.

Pours a dark brown, opaque, with a half inch quickly dissipating head of darker foam and some slick, soapy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate, cocoa, malt, vanilla, molasses, raisins, caramel, toffee, some char, a little smoke as it warms. Similar flavors- bourbon, chocolate, malt, vanilla, caramel, oak, some cocoa, light molasses. Has a definite smoky taste. Smooth, a good but lighter full body, well carbonated.

Strong barrels, great aroma, very good flavor. Lighter body does not take away from the overall enjoyment. Solid effort.

R 110913 0425 @BV

Aug 28, 2020
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single can returned from. Grand Rapids. Picked up in a little gift shop next to the very cool Brewery Vivant, after a flight and duck nachos. 2019 version 12.4%ABV.
Very dark brown - black pour with short lived mocha head.
Aroma initially struck me as boozy, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit and dark chocolate.
Taste follows - dark fruit almost cherry note, but as warmed more vanilla, char, boozy bourbon and dark chocolate with coffee. Improved as warmed. Hint of licorice.
Medium full mouthfeel, thinner than expected at 12+% ABV - lingering notes of wood, char and a distinct boozy heat.
Really a good beer - certainly better as warmed.

Jun 20, 2020
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2beerdogs from California

3.01/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Profoundly dark. Mocha colored head asserts 2 fingers, tapers off to a thin, filmy cap.
Smell is bourbon dominated. Searching, I find hints of cocoa and roast. But definitely bourbon is the star of the show.
Really finding this one dimensional, all bourbon barrel.
Mouthfeel is full, and thick. A tad hot.
Overall, Im just writing my experience with one can. Seeing that this is rated pretty highly, take this with a grain of salt.

Apr 11, 2020
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Jet black with 1" tan head and decent lacing.
N: Boozy notes with some malt, chocolate, and smokey tones.
T: A nice barrel hit with some chocolate, minor malt. smoke, burnt sugar, and minor coffee.
M: Boozy with minor bite, very nice barrel.
O: Solid BA beer, very good Barrel and flavors.

Aug 25, 2019
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wheatyweiss from Wisconsin

3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz can into a tulip.

Pours a dark, murky black opaque and no light permeates. Sorry lived one finger head dies immediately.

Aroma is of coffee and smoke, slight molasses and cocoa. Mostly bitter coffee and smokey goodness.

Straight up dark fruit and booze. Coffee and booze. This is straight fusel alcohol and chewy grain.

Mouthfeel is thick, viscous and oily.

Overall, a nicer warmer, too boozy for the style to me.

Aug 07, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a thin ring of tan head that lasted forever and left no lacing. Smells and tastes of bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, roasted malts, caramel, char and toffee. Medium bodied for the style, minimal carbonation, mildly dry finish.

Apr 18, 2019
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sjdevel from Utah

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Deep dark brown/nearly black - low on carbonation and very little foam after pour (typical of barrel aged brews). The foam that did make an appearance was a dark tan in color.

Smell - Strong booze and charred wood. Some caramel undertones. Some earthiness along with some coffee and tobacco

Taste - Sharp bite of alcohol upfront just before rushing into sweet chocolate and caramel. Next comes in the chocolate and toffee flavors. Quickly dries out after this and then trails off with some coffee and charred oak and bourbon from the barrel aging.

Feel - Decent mouthfeel - not quite the full bodied you would expect from a stout, but understandable with a barrel aged beer

Overall - This is a very good beer. A lot of complexity and pretty well balanced. This one may improve a bit after another year (the heat and powerful booziness would probably tone down a bit). Would grab this one again (picked up from Tavour)

Apr 14, 2019
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice imperial stout from a well-known local brewery. Looks nice, darker thick rich dark brown-black color with some creamy tan head and a little spotty lingering lacing. Smells of medium roast coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, raisin, brown sugar, toffee and some roasted nuttiness. Taste follows the nose, very well balanced and the high ABV was fairly well hidden. A little warming alcohol was more forward once the beer warmed. Smooth, mild, slightly creamy mouthfeel and decent carbonation. Very pleasurable and tasty, not too rich and filling.

Mar 29, 2019
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this beer about a year ago. The beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour of the beer produced a two finger medium tan frothy and creamy head. The head dissipated rather quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 37 a dark brown nearly black. The beer is opaque.

The aromas in the beer are bourbon, molasses, anise, wood, oranges, cinnamon, char, toasted sugar, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, raisins, figs, bourbon, bready, and earthy.

The flavors in the beer are medium roasted coffee, dark milk chocolate, raisin, wood, bourbon, bready, earthy, dusty, toasted sugar, char, smokiness, fire, Maillard, floral, pine, and oranges.

The mouthfeel of the beer is dry and dusty.

The body of the beer is full, medium carbonation, and a full finish.

The beer came across as very dusty and dry. The flavors in the beer did not meld well together. I was expecting a strong dark and thick beer. I got a robust and flavorful beer with issues. I have drunk many beers where the characteristics of the beer blend seamlessly. I wanted a thicker beer, I thought it was a touch thin. I could pull individual flavors, it became boring before the last sip.

Feb 22, 2019
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RaulMondesi from California

3.59/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man, from the ratings and the bombastic nature on the can, I was kind of feelin’ it more than Anesthesia Ashley in a onesie. And after first sip, was Raul rewarded? Nah. Like his little league career, this one falls a lil short. Don’t get Raul wrong, he channeled his inner Jackie Robinson here and there, stealing home and all that, but was it a HoF career? Nah. Good beer, a bit light and overcarbonated, but not HoF status.

Oct 25, 2018
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darktronica from Indiana

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a pint can, released in early 2018. Black and modestly thin for 12.5% ABV, Little head, due to the dark brown foam constantly and quickly fizzing away. Cocoa powder, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and toast. The bourbon booze casts a long shadow, especially when approaching room temperature deeper in the glass. The heat and finish contrasts with the silky smooth mouthfeel going down. The only downside is that for whatever reason, sips occasionally will present a watered-down taste up front, as if the flavors are on a delayed reaction timer.

Jul 28, 2018
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richj1970 from Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz can dated 2/1/2018

A: Very dark with 1-2 finger mocha head. Lasting retention and moderate lacing.

S: Roasted barley, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and oak.

T: Rich dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted barley, and bourbon. Everything you would expect from a quality BA imperial stout.

M: Full bodied with average carbonation. Nice creamy texture and some heat but not unexpected for the ABV.

O: Outstanding BA stout.

Apr 29, 2018
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a speiglau BA glass.

Look is complete black with a thin tan head.

Aroma is roasty imperial stout with a little vanilla and whiskey at the end.

Taste is an incredible imperial stout with a little astrigent alcohol at the end and a lot of bourbon throughout.

Mar 26, 2018
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, foreboding black; head production is solid, retention is nice, and lacing is excellent.

Aroma is classic BBA imperial stout: bourbon and oak, chocolate, vanilla, booze, and roasted barley. Red grape-like port notes.

Flavor is exactly what you'd expect and desire: thick notes of chocolate, cream, and plenty of bourbon. Smooth, thick, and rich.

Hot on the palate, but not excessively so for a brew nearly reaching 12% ABV. Thick and creamy.

A damn good BBA imperial stout.

Mar 19, 2018
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Radcpa from Washington

4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with tan head that disipates quickly. Nice bourbon and malt aroma. Taste is also a very nice bourbon and malt with very little alcohol aftertaste.

Mar 13, 2018
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a half finger of fizzy caramel bubbles that dissipate quickly. Aroma is butter, barrel, bourbon, caramel, molasses, and roasted and toasted malts. Flavor profile is further notes of caramel, molasses, toffee, and roasted and toasted malts. There is a bit of bourbon and charred barrel in the back, but not much. Mouth feel is medium-thin, and otherwise fizzy and semi-harsh. Overall, the lack of smoothness keeps this from being slippery. Otherwise, the aroma and flavor are both great examples of a barrel aged imperial stout. It has a nice heartiness despite being somewhat thin.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 16oz can.

Mar 12, 2018
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markjknowles from Oregon

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty yummy. I drank a Lost Abbey Bat out of Hell last night so I'm definitely tasting this in it's shadow. That was , for me, a hard 5. So this not being quite to that level still makes it one of the best stouts I've tasted. For 12% ABV it sure is smooth. That went down way too fast. Mild Imperial stout base that really showcases what barrel aging does. The bourbon is so in the forefront. I could drink his until I fall over. I wish I had bought two!

Mar 10, 2018
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a midnight black with a one finger brown head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is dark chocolate, dark frutis and light bourbon.

T - The taste is dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coffee, dark fruits and light bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This is a killer BA stout. The flavors are rich and inviting with the bourbon barrel adding a nice light booziness.

Feb 07, 2018
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Got in a trade. Nice coffee black color with a thin head of 1/2 finger.

Rich sappy bourbon aromas with hints of oak, coffee, caramel, chocolate, banana, and faint raisin.

This beer is incredibly delicious. Flavors of hot fudge, hot caramel, bourbon, torched sugar, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, light pepper/coffee, and plum.

Feel is creamy and smooth, with mild but adequate carbonation, and a sappy dryness on the finish.

Overall, an absolutely insane offering. Very very tasty, and perfect on this winter's morning.

Dec 24, 2017
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, sample from the brewery.

A massive brew, barrel aging is on point ... very much part of this beer but does not take over at all. A great Imperial Stout, the barrel aging and bourbon character from those barrels elevates this brew. Boozy but not over the top which for an 11.7% brew that is saying a lot. This is a brewery to follow.

Dec 22, 2017
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 23.31 (Including tax)/four pack of 16 ozers ($ 0.364/oz) at Riverside Liquors, Grand Rapids, MI.
Can dated 080117. Stored in cooler at store, in 42 degree reefer at home, and served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Chocolate predominates.
Head – Small (Maximum

Nov 22, 2017
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strohme2 from Michigan

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours from a 16 oz can into tulip. Just about black with one finger dark brown caramel head. Smells like brownie batter with a touch of vanilla. Tastes like expensive Belgian chocolate, vanilla, charred oak, raisins and just a bit of Belgian funk from the yeast. Mouthfeel is a tad thin but carbonation is spot on.

Aug 24, 2017
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superspak from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass; 2017 vintage, listed at 11.7%. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, and dark bread; with light notes of molasses, raisin, cherry, smoke, pepper, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Very slight booze in the aromas as it warms. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity/spicy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, and dark bread; with light notes of molasses, raisin, cherry, smoke, pepper, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light roast bitterness and yeast/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, and roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Mild carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety, and rich mouthfeel that is amazing. Minimal chalky roast, oak tannins, or dryness. Alcohol is very extremely hidden; a mildly increasing warmth with zero barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged imperial stout! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity/spicy yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter finish. Quite a big transformation from the base beer. Hardly any Belgian influence noticeable; with perfectly balanced silky/rich malts and bourbon barrel complexity. One of the smoothest tasting stouts of this gravity I have had. A highly amazing offering.

Aug 19, 2017
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K-Dog from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Haven't reviewed a beer in quite some time, not sure why but decided that needs a review by me. This is fantastic. Dark chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla and bourbon. Up until now wizArd burial ground was my favorite by these guys but I think I like this a little more. Glad I got 2 cans of this so I can see how this one ages. Well done vivant.

Aug 18, 2017
Love Shadow from Brewery Vivant
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 108 ratings