Pig In The Wood
Finch Beer Co.

Pig In The WoodPig In The Wood
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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #104
Ranked #38,375
3.68 | pDev: 11.68%
Finch Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Pig In The WoodPig In The Wood
Notes: Imperial Red Ale aged 6 months in whiskey barrels from Koval Distillery.
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for awhile.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a deep reddish brown topped by a dense and rocky finger and a half of dense cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with decent lacing. There are some floaty bits and debris in the glass but it is what it is.
S: Smells of caramel malts with american citrusy and piney hops along with some oak and vanilla.
T: Taste is an interesting balance of caramel and toasted malts with some assertive american hops. Drinks more like a light barleywine. Pine resin, oak, and vanilla come in as well with some oily hop bitterness. On the swallow this one is a little resinous before the caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and oak come back around.
M: This beer is fairly thick and creamy on the palate with a decent amount of heft. Carbonation is effervescent without being prickly while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this one is really enjoyable in my mind. I'm sure it misses a lot of the marks it should in the category but as a beer it tastes pretty good with some nice complexity and assertive flavors. It seemed to hold up well despite me sitting on it for a few years. I'd say this one is worth a try.

Mar 17, 2019
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can - not dated

Finch's Pig In The Wood poured a little cloudy dark amber with a 1-finger off-white head that shrunk quickly to a narrow ring of foam. The smell is of dark fruit [raisins], caramel malt, and brown sugar. The taste follows the nose with a mild whisky alcohol warmth at the finish. Mouth feel is sticky, medium bodied, and has active carbonation.

Overall, a nice barrel aged Imperial Red Ale that has good balance and flavor.

Oct 06, 2018
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NoYouDidnt from Indiana

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange brown red, unappealing looking. Smells real nice, strong bourbon aroma. Heavy dark fruits, cherry. Some chocolate. Strong bourbon on the taste. Got some hop bitterness in there. But of coffee hint. Overall, quality barrel aged brew. Best part is the aroma.

May 08, 2016
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Jaypeajus from Indiana

4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can into tulip. Murky look, 1 finger foamy head that dissipated quickly. Smell: not too boozy, but a warm thick aroma of malts, like opening a wooden chest that hasn't been opened in a while. Taste: hmm, not too boozy, but feels like it'll hit harder than 8%. Sweet bite in the thick mouthfeel. I agree with a couple other reviewers, not a high end barrel that it was aged in, but I'd give it better props than Evan Williams. Overall I like it, but at the price point I paid for a semi local 4 pack, it'll be a tough sale, if u find it as a single, go for it. BTW, def hits harder than 8% should.

6/8/16 Update as I finish off the original pack. This beer has really grown on me over the past month. I wish it were more readily available in my market. Also wish I had a couple more to enjoy in the coming months. It made me really want to explore more non stout BBA ales and to me this is a new favorite! Way to go!

May 03, 2016
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CHickman from New York

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY, pours chestnut brown color with a 1 finger thick tannish colored head that faded slowly and left really good lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of whiskey, rye, toffee, caramel, sweet malt, brown sugar, toasted grains, cinnamon, light peppery spices, peat moss and earthy notes. The barrel aging really tames the sweetness and adds a lot of barrel notes.

Tastes very similar to the nose with a sharp sweetness to start followed by whiskey, rye, toffee, red wine or oaky barrels, caramel, sweet malt, brown sugar, toasted grains, cinnamon, light peppery spices, peat moss, candied sugar, gummy bear candy and earthy notes. Like the nose the barrel aging really tames the sweetness and adds a lot of barrel notes, whiskey and complexities that balance the malty aspects. Lacks some hoppy aspects, but very smooth as the booze is not hot and adds a lot of character. A very enjoyable and unique amber/red ale.

Apr 16, 2016
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ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can. Nice caramel color, decent head several shades lighter, nice lacing. Aroma starts with some whiskey and sweet malts. Flavor is toffee and caramel with a bit of booze on the back-end.
This reminds of of good barrel aged Scottish Ale with a big hop finish. Very well done.

Apr 05, 2016
Photo of DRosen
DRosen from Illinois

3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Can't find expiration date. Look is hazy and cloudy. Poured out if 1 pint can into glass. Head, dissipates quickly. 5 medium sips in and can now taste the chocolate on the back end. Might have been aged in a whiskey barrel, but like Evan Williams or jack, nothing high end. This beer is confusing me. It's not a good beer. I am going to half to "work" through the last half. Never buy it again, but it's interesting. Glad I tried it. My advice. Grab it as an extra when going to a party. Drink one, leave the rest there. So definitely try it. Just once.

Feb 24, 2016
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the can with an expiration date of 2/23/16. Sampled on Feb. 15, 2016.

The pour is cloudy and mainly brown with a moderate tan head that leaves lacing in its wake as it fades.

The aroma brings out chocolate malt elements along with melted caramel all intertwined with the barrel aging that steps forward fairly aggressively.

Medium to full body.

Again the taste tends to lean on the melted chocolate and caramel with the boxy whiskey character in the background. Mild to no bitterness at the end. No booze flavor but the booze is definitely present.

Feb 15, 2016
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think this brew is getting somewhat of a bad wrap. Is it the greatest BA Amber? No. Does it offer a nice malty tasty paired with pretty big oak and bourbon notes? Yes.. Kinda boozy too but Worth a shot if its in the right price point in your area.

Feb 06, 2016
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Finch’s Pig in the Wood has a thin, yellow-white head, a lacing sheen left behind, and a murky, red-tan appearance. The aroma is of vanilla, coconut, rye whiskey, alcohol, red malts, and dates. Taste is of all that, with some fairly hefty bitterness to prevent nauseating sweetness. Mouthfeel is heavy, and Pig in the Wood finishes full and boozy. For a chewy mess, it’s not bad. I’d rather drink Icehouse Edge, honestly.


Jan 09, 2016
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent caramel color with 3 fingers of billowing tan head. Stellar lacing and head retention

S. Whiskey barrel, toffee, and vanilla

T. Toasty, butterscotch flavor, slight peaty ness and booze warmth up front. Some okay dryness and smokey ness marry with restrained butterscotch as this warms. Finishes smokey, dry and slightly woody with a little sour mash twang

MF Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinks fairly easy, given the complexity and heft, this will probably age nicely

Jan 07, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky mahogany in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some moderate garnet red + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces to a couple of small patches of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of oak, vanilla, whisky, and caramel with moderate aromas toffee, dark fruit (raisin), toasted malts, and spices (clove). Hints of citrus/orange zest and earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of toasted malts, caramel malts, and dark fruit (raisin) with moderate amounts of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee sweetness. Moderate flavors of whisky, oak, and vanilla with moderate flavors of earthy, citrus/orange zest, and herbal hops which contribute a moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy.

O: I would definitely think of this beer as more of an American Barleywine than a Amber/Red but none the less a quite enjoyable brew. Fairly well balanced between the sweetness of the malts, the bitterness of the hops, and the booziness from the barrel aging. Pretty easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden though more of a sipper...

Nov 26, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a snifter
$ 11.99/bomber ($ 0.54/oz)
Aroma of whiskey and alcohol which fortunately doesn’t last the entire glass
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 1.5 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing fair – partial broken rings of tiny bubbles
Body distinctly brown, opaque, looks very unappetizing
Flavor of cheap whiskey, raw and burning with alcohol; no malt, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, flat

Appearance 3, Aroma 3, Flavor 2.5, Palate 2.5, Overall 2.75

Nov 23, 2015
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk from Michigan

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pig in the Wood

22oz. Bottle (no visible dating) gifted by Smitty, poured into a Molson imperial pint.

A- It poured an amber body with 1/2 finger off-white head that settled to 1/4 finger. There's really nice lace left on the glass.

S- With lots caramel and whiskey aroma, it comes off as a little boozy (warm and soft, not harsh). A little warmth brings leafy and spicy hops. There's tobacco and leather later still.

T- Much as the aroma suggests. It's very malty with lots of caramel and light char like Scotch. The second pour and some time brings more spicy and leafy hops.

M- Medium-full body, light carbonation and some alcohol warmth/bite.

O- It starts like a Scotch ale, very woody/peety. I thought it a decent sipper, but not something I'd spend my own money on at first. With some time it becomes more of a barleywine when the hops start to open up. The more I drink, the more I appreciate it.

A-4.25 S-3.75 T-3.75 M-3.5 O-3.75

Nov 22, 2015
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PVMT from New York

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a can dated 02/23/16. I'm not really a fan of ambers, but figured that the whisky barrel aging would make the beer style a little more interesting. This ended up tasting like a boilermaker, just a little sweeter.

Oct 09, 2015
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into glass

dark amber red in color, off-white head. boozy whiskey aroma, flavor is rich malt flavors. sticky mouthfeel, thin to medium.

Apr 06, 2015
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deltatauhobbit from Maine

3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty brown color with some reddish hints, good sized head that sticks around for a long while, bottom of the pour produces a fair amount of floating sediment.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with a slight woodiness, alcohol notes are quite present to the snout.

Taste starts out with a strong caramel malt front, a decent woody aspect creeps into the flavor with a strong alcoholic touch, a bit too strong for this strength so it may need additional age to smooth it out since it's too whiskey for me, smooth body with a nice creaminess to it, soft but ample carbonation throughout.

Feb 02, 2015
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Body is a dark,muddy, brownish-red hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger slightly off-white head that fades quickly to a thin collar. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Translucency is dynamic with fog swirling about the beer.

S- Notes are strong of caramel, plum, and whiskey. Oak and vanilla are there too. The nose is more sweet than anything else. There is a faint hint of old, stale hops in the distant background as well as some alcohol overtones.

T- Upfront is a mild whiskey flavor with earthy hop overtones. There is a nice caramel background with hints of oak, dark fruit, and whiskey sweetness. The finish is a bit boozy with more caramel and a sticky sweetness coming through. Left to linger is a mild hop bitterness, and a big, boozy caramel and whiskey sweetness.

M- Medium carbonation and a body that medium weight, slightly astringent, and slightly sticky..

O- Overall this is a rather unique brew that has a nice balance of a whiskey barrel and a malt and fruit forward red ale. The unfortunate thing, as with most BA hoppy beers is that the hops are faded. Good to try-especially if you are into different kinds of barrel aged beers.

Dec 05, 2014
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle. Pours a clear, reddish Amber color. Not much head. Aroma is of the malty variety with oak barrel influence. Caramel, toasty malt, oak, vanilla. The barrel character is quite noticeable. It also affects the flavor very much. Oaky, woody, vanilla. Behind the oak is a standard Amber/Red Ale. Sweet without much hoppiness. I don't necessarily think that this one holds up to the substantial barrel flavors that have been added.

Nov 22, 2014
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JMS1512 from New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hard, two-step pour into a basic pint glass.

Aroma: Whisky, whisky, and a hint of whisky. NOT a bad thing. But this bad boy certainly is more brash and brazen than its pot-bellied piglet relative, of which I reviewed last NBS.
Appearance: When held up to natural light, I perceive a sienna or burnt sienna hue, bordering on burnt orange. Beige head that will leave dense, fine-filter, collanderish looking lacing.

Taste: Caramel malts greet me at the door and provide me a nametag; a bit of hops sit me down for small talk in the middle, rye deftly changes the music on the playlist. By the end, the oak and whisky are debating me in a philosophical discussion of rationalism versus imperialism. Being a heady type of guy (look what I did there) I’m definitely a rationalist, and the beer, considering I have to taste and smell, and look at it, says I’m dumb for being a rationalist AND a beer drinker.

Mouthfeel: Tiny bubbles, medium to medium-heavy coating, especially on the front on my tongue. I get a little bit of a syrupy feel going down, but nothing that turns me off.

Overall: I appreciate the difference between this and the non-wood version, each in their own right. I also like that though it’s aged in whisky barrels, the abv has remained the same, and Finch’s didn’t try to imperialize it. 8% abv at this size offering (650 mL) is quite enough. The booze is pretty well hidden, but you taste it in the end. It does not assault you from the moment you walk in the door for the party. Truly enjoyable and altogether drinkable of a pleasant, if hot, NBS in NWNJ.

Aug 10, 2014
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larryarms847 from Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a thick cloudy amber-orange that looks sticky and sweet.

Smells immediately of whiskey, very malt forward with close to no hop character.

Wheeewwweee!!! Straight whiskey burn right down to my stomach. Nothing but whiskey. This needs at least year or two on it but didn't taste that great toake it worth while.

Mouthfeel-Whiskey burn

Overall way too hot for me, some age may make this taste better but honestly not worth it.

Jun 07, 2014
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy medium red-brown. Looks chestnut in color. Head has some longevity.

Brown sugar, whiskey, Scotch ale malts, dried fig, kiss of smoke, and thin vanilla. Caramelized and malty. Picking up a lot of the base Fascist Pig.

Bourbon notes spill with toasted coconut, oak, and burnt sugars; and the hops have decomposed into papery herbal notes and spice. The smoke is implied, but not really there anymore. Firmly, a whiskey aged hoppy red, but the hops are weaker after the time spent in the barrel. I would almost describe the newer English flavors as those of an old ale. Dry finish is bolstered by a late carbonation burst. The body is medium to medium-thick. A worthy ale, considering what they had to work with.

May 08, 2014
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StoutHunter from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Finch's Pig In the Wood a couple months ago for $10.99 at The Lager Mill. I've had Fascist Pig a couple times at some beer festivals and I thought it was a pretty solid Amber and i'm interested to see how takes to some barrel aging, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- the label looks nice, it's got the same pig from the Fascist Pig label with a wood barrel like background and it has some nice and in depth information about this beer, I've never seen a beer list it's SRM and I had to look it up to find out that it's a scale for the color of the beer. I thought it was a little eye catching. It poured a nice mahogany brown color that took on more of a crimson and ruby color when held to the light with a finger and half worth of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and spotty lacing behind. I thought this was a very nice looking beer, i had a pretty nice color and the head, lacing and retention were all very nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that has a brown sugar like aroma to it and it's followed by the whisky barrels being the first to show up and they they impart a distinctive whisky aroma with some great caramel and vanilla like aroma coming through. Up next comes some caramel malt and sweet malt aromas that are followed by some nice dark fruit aromas with some fig and raisin aromas coming through. I thought this beer had a pretty good aroma, the whisky barrel seemed a little dominating, but it didn't have a real boozy aroma to it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with lower amount of high sweetness that had a light brown sugar like flavor to it and it's followed by the whisky barrels being the first to show up and they impart all those nice aspects that they did in the aroma with the vanilla and caramel flavors coming through nicely. Up next comes the malts which impart all the same malty aspects that I got in the aroma with the sweet malts and caramel malts still sticking out the most and it's followed by those same dark fruit aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time I think the raisins stick out a little more. On the finish there's a little bit of alcohol that is more warming than I expected and it's got a lower amount of bitterness with a caramel malt, caramel, and vanilla like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, it was a little warming for 8%, but I really like the flavors that the barrel imparts.

M- Fairly smooth, creamy, rich, a little sticky, a little warming, on the lighter side of full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, I thought it worked well with this beer, but if it was a little less warming it would make it smoother.

Overall I thought this was pretty good beer and I thought it was a pretty good example of a Barrel Aged Amber, the barrel was a little dominating, but it imparted some nice flavors and I like that they went the whisky barrel route instead of the typical Bourbon Barrels, I was a little skeptical at first since sometimes I think the Whisky barrel can impart too sharp of a flavor, but they worked out well in this beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, creamy, a little sticky, rich, a little warming, fairly filling and that taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think this is a nice beer to sip on and I think half the bottle is the perfect amount for me, i think the sweetness and warming alcohol might wear on me if I tried to drink the whole bottle to myself. I think it makes for a nice beer to enjoy in the cooler months and I think it would be nice to take to a bonfire in the fall. What I like the most about this beer was the whisky barrel aspect, I thought it imparted some nice flavors that worked well with this beer. What I liked the lest about this beer was the warming alcohol and the higher amount of sweetness, if those were both toned down a little it would be a very nice beer. I would buy this beer again, but it's not the kind of beer than I need a lot of, a couple bottles in the cellar is fine with me and I would like to see how it changes overtime. I would recommend this to people who like barrel aged beers and if a barrel aged amber peaks your interest you should for sure give it a try. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer. One thing that I don't understand is how this beer says it has the same amount of alcohol that Fascist Pig has, but I found it the alcohol to be more noticeable in the barrel aged version and it had a warming alcohol sensation that the non barrel aged version didn't have, it's also noticeably sweeter. This is up there as one of the my favorite beers from Finchs and it's up there as my favorite barrel aged Amber Ales. Good job guys. this was a pretty tasty beer, keep up the good work.

Apr 27, 2014
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small head but it leaves a combination of streaky and blanketing lace. The liquid is a dirty amber-brown color. Lots of haze.

Smell of pre-brewed crystal malt. Mild sweetness with a caramel overtone. Little to no hop present.

Dark molasses with a light black pepper hop taste. The body is chewy with a decent amount of carbonation. There's a treacle flavor in the aftertaste with enough bitterness to bring balance. In a word, bittersweet.

Apr 20, 2014
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BoldRulerVT from Vermont

4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours very dark hazy red with minimal head.
Smells very nice, can pick up the whisky and caramel and roasty malts.
Taste is amazing. Vanilla, and whisky and spice and cloves and caramel.
Mouthfeel is spot on.
I was pleasantly surprised by this nice beer. Full, big flavor and enjoyable.

Apr 11, 2014
Pig In The Wood from Finch Beer Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 126 ratings