Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale | Mystic Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark AleBourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale
Very Good
53 Ratings
Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark AleBourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale

Brewed by:
Mystic Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
For this special release, Gordon's Fine Wine and Liquors shared a single premium bourbon barrel with Mystic Brewery in which to age our Suffolk Dark Ale, Descendant. Descendant is a unique strong version of an Irish dry stout that is made with molasses and then fermented in a rustic tavern ale style. The bourbon characteristic from the barrel aging perfectly complements the beer's dark malts and molasses. We hope you enjoy this preview of good things to come.

Kappy's Liquors has supplied us with a Bourbon barrel for release #2 of this beer, and it is only available at Kappy's. (as of 2/25/12).

Added by jedwards on 12-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with a batch # on it.

LOOK: Dark brown with burnt amber highlights, thick sudsy mess on top that puts on a great display.

SMELL: Barrel juice, char, wood, yeast, toastet bread, fallen apples, mild carob, currants, chicory

TASTE: Creamy, smooth, slightly slick, boozy, brown bread, pulling wood, barrel char, vanilla, burnt sugar, toasted bread, coffee grounds, unsweetened chocolate, dry woody boozy finish

Bourbon steals the show, yeah the Descendant is the foundation and all but the barrel aging seems to be more of a replacement rather than an addition. So some flavors are a bit muted bit new ones are introduced. Not a bad thing.

 658 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Devi0us
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark color ale with a medium size foamy head with medium retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of light bourbon notes with some light traces of molasses. Taste is also a mix between some molasses and other residuals sugar with some medium notes of bourbon though not as much vanilla as I would have expected. Body is a bit light for style with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but I was expecting the bourbon to bring more vanilla notes and more of a creamy body which wasn’t the case.

 533 characters

Photo of Patrickbrusil
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jedwards
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brewed for and as far as I know only available at Gordon's Fine Wines and Liquors: "For this special release, Gordon's Fine Wine and Liquors shared a single premium bourbon barrel with Mystic Brewery in which to age our Suffolk Dark Ale, Descendant. Descendant is a unique strong version of an Irish dry stout that is made with molasses and then fermented in a rustic tavern ale style. The bourbon characteristic from the barrel aging perfectly complements the beer's dark malts and molasses. We hope you enjoy this preview of good things to come."

Pour is highly carbonated, huge light tan head fades fast leaving almost no lacing. Beer is a deep brown. The initial presentation of mouthfeel is rough, so I swirled the glass for several minutes to reduce carbonation, at which point it is significantly improved.

Smell is bready, great vanilla/bourbon aroma without a harsh alcohol component. Taste presents similarly, toasted grain, treacle, a slightly gingery spiciness. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side but flavor is rich and carries the barrel components well.

Enjoyed this one. The Descendant is an odd beer but I quite like it -- this barrel treatment augments it into a sweeter and richer beer without losing the character of the original.

 1,256 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle - thanks to lubiere for this

Appearance - Reddish/brown colour with with an average size fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, vanilla, bourbon

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also a bit of a smokiness and some bourbon and vanilla. It ends with a malty slightly dry finish.

Overall - I didn't enjoy this one as much as the Cabernet version. It was missing the dark fruit notes. I also couldn't pick up on the wood/bourbon as much I thought I would have.

 723 characters

Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle received as a gift from Pioneer Todd. Corked and caged, Batch 001.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed 3" of frothy head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Pillowy head falls ever-so slowly, with plentiful chunky lacing. Aroma is coffee and effervescent yeast spiciness.

Taste starts fruity, with earthy spiciness in the middle, and a moderate bourbon character to the close. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly, and drinkability is alright. Flavors keep my coming, but the carbonation could tone back a bit.

 516 characters

Photo of will1256
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been really excited to try this one, so this should be interesting.

Pours a nice fizzy looking darker colored 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with just a bit of lacing (I expected more lacing), with a super dark hybrid black/brown molasses colored beer with hints of ruby maroon light sneaking through.

Nose starts with the base beer, plenty of the earthy herbal root like nutty aroma, light biscuity malts, some brown malts, caramel, toffee, hints of a darker malt but not really roast or chocolate, slight herbal and earthy hops as well, and just a hint of a bourbon and oak aroma.

Taste starts similar, and not quite as nice as I expected. Again mostly base beer, herbal earthy root and nutty taste, little tangy even. Chewy base, hint of toasted brown malt, light caramel and toffee, but not much of any of those, and just a hint of a darker malt. Biscuity malt base, and hints of herbal earthy bittering hops, typical U.K. style hops. The bourbon is barely detectable, just a hint of it drowned out in the background, and a slight woody ester taste. Booze kicks in as well towards the end bringing much more booze than I expect for 7%. Finish is a bit syrupy but fairly dry, plenty of lingering herbal earthy hops, more of the earthy root like taste, some darker malts, and bit of booze, decent bitterness.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb, a bit boozier than it should have.

overall I'm a bit disappointed. I like the original beer, not a ton, but decent amount. The cab barrel really smoothed it out, but the bourbon barrel only really seemed to add booze as this is quite hot compared to the other versions. And no real bourbon addition except the faintest hints.

 1,697 characters

Photo of Steimie
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of jujigatame
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of gdrydenc
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Cork pops off very aggressively. The pour is not very foamy, surprisingly. Dark, dark brown with an inch or two of light caramel head.

S - Mainly sweet dark malts and bourbon. Although there is a bit of complex fruitiness to it, that's mostly drowned out by the bourbon.

T - The bourbon is certainly present, but not as much as the nose would have me believe. The sweetness and fruitiness from the yeast is there and the dark roast malts provide a good backbone.

M - The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would hope. I was anticipating a solid amount of carbonation but what I got is lower than I'd like.

Overall, this is a very cool beer. I like the combination of the Belgian yeast with the bourbon, it adds one great flavor to another that I don't see often. Very well done.

 787 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from mixylplik3, thanks again Matt.
Holy over carbonation, while nothing sprayed out of the bottle my glass was instantly filled with a dense tan foam and then eventually a dark brown liquid with ruby highlights. Smells of chocolate and vanilla atop earthy spice, burnt wood, and a hint of bourbon. The taste follows with a bit of caramel vanilla and chocolate drizzled atop some dark sweet fruits. Heavy bourbon flavor with charcoal midway through and a long lingering alcohol burn deep into each finish. Medium to thin body with an over the top level of carbonation and a sweet and hot mouthfeel. I'm glad I got to try this, but this is probably my least favorite version of this beer. The alcohol heat is a bit to present and the over carbonation continues to be a problem with this beer (all versions). Liked it, but didn't love it.

 854 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DelicateDelirium
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of BradKingston
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Stockfan42
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of ComRock12
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Dope
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark brown pour with a big dense tan head. Retention is top notch, takes forever to fade away. Leaves only a small smattering of lacing around the glass.

S: Smells like creamy roasted malt. Milk chocolate and molasses. Some alcohol heat and a touch of oaky vanilla from the bourbon.

T: A little bit of roasted malt and chocolate up front but quickly overpowered by the toffee and alcohol of the bourbon. Equally strong bourbon aftertaste with lots of oak, vanilla and heat

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Hmph. I really disliked the regular descendant, I felt it was really thin and watery especially. This isn't thin and watery but the bourbon is really strong. Pretty much dominates the flavors and has quite a burn to it in both the smell and the taste. It's like drinking watered down bourbon with a dash of a stout in it. Worst part is, it doesn't even taste like good bourbon. I poured it out.

 909 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Batch 003.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, earth, char, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors but nothing really stands out about this beer.

 668 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 53 ratings