Evil Empire - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Heretic Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
9 Ratings

Brewed by:
Heretic Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mc4z on 02-22-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by mentor:
Photo of mentor
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and a brilliant very very dark brown from the bottle into the glass. In the glass, it is pitch with no edgings. Half finger of fine bubbled darkly-caramel brown head. Smells dark chocolate, sharp black-strap molasses, robust grassy hop with blackberries (Northern Brewer?), scorch, creme brulee, vanilla, cheap grocery store vanilla ice cream, macademia nuts and almond milk, breakfast-blend coffee grounds. There is alot here. It's very complex, but the aromas have not melded together. Smells yummy.

Tastes fantastic. Nice balance between hot alcohol sting, bourbon oak, hops, dark malt flavors, and wet sweetness. Wet, yet not sticky, as the alcohol and oak roughen up the tongue after the fluid passes over it. Flavors are scorch, dark berry - very blackberry, dark chocolate, fudge brownie, potent vanilla, mild coconut, mild cherry sour, lightly roasted hazelnut. Lightly roasted coffee, but it was left on overnight and it is bitter acidic. Like a rich ice creamy dessert. Creamy liquid is thick and hangs just enough to be interesting and not overbearing. There is an astringency I attribute to the oak and acid that comes in during the finish - it's a little bit distracting. This beer gets better as it warms. The flavors melt together better, though the drying oak astringency and acid balance remain a detraction (I know some would like the oak this way...perhaps I'm an oak sissy).

Overall this beer is crazy good. Not as warming as I expected. A year in the cellar would probably do this beer good. Many beers made in this style are quite salty (I think 'soy' is the term commonly applied by beer geeks). This beer avoids that detraction and is worth a go if handy. I don't think I would trade for it in order to get it again, but it was really yummy.

 1,779 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Geoffq
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at The Taphouse. Pours viscous black with thin, short lived dark tan head.. Good chocolate essence with dark malt that reminds me of coffee... vanilla and coconut and a heavy barrel presence that adds great complexity... Dried dark cherry and some figgy notes bloom with warmth, so does the EtOH... Still pretty smooth.


 342 characters

Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of whatsajessica
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of dominic4beer
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of chrisjws
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Original Gravity in San Jose CA. Served in a small tulip glass cold. I let it warm up a bit as I drank it to get the full range of flavors.

A: Completely black, small mocha/dark brown head. Very oily and viscous when I saw it pouring. Small amounts of dark brown light around the edges.
S: First couple sniffs at colder temperatures yielded a lot of caramel, burnt caramel, toffee and hints of darks chocolate. Not a lot of barrel or whiskey on the nose early. As it warmed up, it yielded a wider range of aromas. Dark chocolate, fudge, earthy hops, dark fruit, almonds, woodyness, hints of vanilla and toasted coconut. You really need this one to warm up to fully appreciate what it has to offer.
T: First few sips at lower temperatures yielded an flavor that consisted of caramel on the front of the tongue, complemented by a little barrel and whiskey in the background. Small amount of alcohol warming in the middle mouth, but its very subtle. The finish turns bitter as you get a rush of dark cocoa. The dark chocolate lingers on your tongue after every sip. Just like with the nose, warming yields a wider array of flavors. More shades of chocolate begin to emerge. You get small amounts of vanilla, milk chocolate, nuttyness, dark fruit and coffee in the front, followed by more cocoa, fudge, espresso and other big bittering flavors paired up with more pronounced whiskey in the finish. The wood of the barrel never becomes extremely pronounced, but its much more noticeable in the flavor once it warms. Small amounts of alcohol warming throughout the mouth, but it's extremely well hidden for a 12% beer.
M: Big, but not heavy mouthfeel. Lots of body on this one. It comes through and coats your mouth each time. The carbonation is there but it doesn't play a big role outside of releasing the aromas.
O: Excellent BBA stout. Heretic is one of those barely mentioned breweries that puts out world class beer but rarely gets the recognition it deserves. This one is in the weight class of Darkness and KBS if you can find it. Highly recommended.

 2,072 characters

Evil Empire - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Heretic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 9 ratings