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Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale | Mystic Brewery

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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
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of andrewinski1
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for letting us drink this even though he's not here. Poured into a chalice. The color is very dark amber/black. There is a nice thick tan colored head.

The aroma has some nice vanilla and roasted coffee-like notes.

The taste has a nice syrupy quality with notes of maple. The flavor is mostly roasted malt. I do pick up some oak qualities.

This is medium bodied. This is a nice drink, but for the price and presentation, I'm not sure I'll revisit it. It seems odd to barrel age a 7% beer that isn't a sour. Still nice to try.

 548 characters

Photo of CliffBrake
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of blakimal
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Steimie
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Stockfan42
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 05/06/12 notes. Big thanks to jslot38 for sending this one my way. Batch 3, 750ml bottle poured into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with two fingers of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, banana, spices, toasted malts, and some light cloves and fruits. Very malty and some definite bananas, though no bourbon.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, roasted malts, toasted malts, bourbon, spices, cloves, light bananas. More fruits but less banana then then the nose, and a tiny bit of bourbon in the taste. Pretty interesting.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Not hot at all.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. No real bourbon in the nose, but some in the taste. I thought the barrel probably helped it lose some of the bananas from the nose, but an interesting, nice beer. Worth checking out.

 877 characters

Photo of FUNKPhD
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan.

The beer is dark mahogany with a half inch of beige head. The aroma offers toffee, malt, oak, tannins. The bourbon comes through more in the flavor than in the aroma. Wood and barrel characteristics emerge more as the beer warms. Fairly light in body. Overall, this was ok.

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Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rudzud
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with veotho. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

A - Pours a deep, dark brew with a one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thin blanket.

S - Where the hell is the bourbon here? This is remarkably similar to regular old descendant just much fainter. Very meh nose here, such a shame.

T - Again, this is like descendant just much fainter with a very, very light kiss of bourbon. Malty and slightly sharp/metallic.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good. Creamy, smooth, but with a slightly sharp finish. Quite nice.

O - Overall this is a good beer but does not benefit all that much from the bourbon aging. Prefered the base beer to this.

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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 jbertsch
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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 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

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

750ml bottle, batch #3.

Pours mostly opaque black with dark brown edgework and a two-plus inch head of tan. A thick foam cap and tattered ropes of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with chocolate, char, vanilla, nougat, and bourbon. Hints of dark fruit and raisins follow through.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a somewhat lush mouthfeel. Lively but soft carbonation.

Dark chocolate, burnt apples, caramel, bourbon-soaked figs, and vanilla start the palate. Shades of oak, coffee, and charcoal follow through.

Finishes with lingering roast, bitter chocolate and light bourbon.

Interesting beer. The bourbon is very light and the beer is thinner, drier, and softer than the standard Descendant. The barrel aging has pushed this version even further away from the realm of stout.

 807 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

similar to the traditional Descendant, a loud POP of the cork brings a muddy brown/black colored beer with a sizable khaki head that sticks at two fingers in height and laces well.

not picking up any bourbon character in the aroma. as with the original, I get lots of dark fruits, spice, fruit cake, caramel, molasses, a bit of chocolate.

the flavor starts out with the dark fruits and molasses, brings in a bit of smooth bourbon heat that is counter-acted by some spicy yeast. weird combination of tropical fruits, vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and spice. barrel fermentation and aging has a very subtle effect on this beer. without having it side-by-side, I discern just a bit more vanilla and oaky flavor components, while sitting behind the same base beer that remains dominant.

subtle, yet prickly carbonation on a medium bodied beer.

I don't understand classifying this as a stout. Belgian Strong Dark Ale is way more suiting. Still, there are better examples of either style. Tasty, yet unremarkable.

 1,012 characters

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 jongullotti
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of Rusty18
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

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Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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