Baby Maker
Jack's Abby Brewing

Baby MakerBaby Maker
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American Barleywine
4.22 | pDev: 10.66%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Baby MakerBaby Maker
Notes: This "Lager Wine" aged for nine months in bourbon barrels previously used for Framinghammer.
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 350
Photo of ThreeLions
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle shared with Hab11

Appearance: What?! Holy complexity batman. Hazy, blood orange color. After being held up to the light this beer really shows its true colors. The bottom 80% is blood orange, next 10% is lemon yellow and the top 10% is green like unripe lemon. I'd never seen this before. This is amazing looking.

Smell: Plum, candi sugar; smells like a Belgian abbey ale.

Taste: Very malty. What's with that aftertaste? Cherries, raisins, dark stone fruit. Caramel cherry raisins step forward and are really delicious followed by this very strange, unwanted aftertaste that is really ruining a complex and delicious beer or 'lager wine'.

Mouthfeel: Hard to rate the mouthfeel since the taste is so overpowering. Good overall moutfeel, better than okay.

Overall: Overall this beer was such a disappointment. It starts off stellar. The appearance is truly exceptional. I had never before seen a beer with three different colors. The smell is quite delicious and inviting. The taste is extremely complex and has many wonderful notes but then the aftertaste comes in and completely ruins this beer. The 14% is masked quite well considering 14% is quite strong but I just don't know. I bought two bottles mid-way through December; one I gave to my brother in law for Christmas who drank it right away and raved about it. The second I aged and we both reviewed it tonight, two months later. He was surprised at how much it changed. I was really impressed by a lot about it but it really fell short in the end. It's too bad. Maybe next year I'll buy one fresh and drink it right away.

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Photo of Hab11
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed with 3 Lions from a 500 ML bottle. Second time drinking this JA offering. This one has aged a couple months longer.

Appearance: This is a cool looking beer. Blood orange at the bottom going to a yellow then green at the top. Starts with a bright white head. Lots of yeast in the glass almost clumping at the top.

Smell: Malty nose up front, sour bourbon notes, a bit of vanilla and plumb.

Taste: Well this is one malty beast. Much different with age. The first time I had this the fruits and sugar really came through. Not so much this time. Weird aftertaste and a hot bourbon burn at the end.

Mouthfeel: Full malty feel. Not really any hops noted but slightly effervescent.

This I know is a strong beer but unlike other beers like this one probably should be had early in its life cycle. It didn't age well for where it started but still very good.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, golden orange, like blonde syrup. It forms a small head of tight, white bubbles that are just barely off-white, and have little to no retention. As it sits in the glass, I start to detect amber highlights in the beer’s color. In body, the beer is clear and clean, as a lager should be, but with a nice darkness from the amount of malt found in this beer. The beer is translucent, but you can tell there is some viscosity to the liquid found within the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of boozy rum-soaked raisins, rum cake, a touch of plum, and smooth sherry. Hints of caramel and brown sugar tickle at the nose, and the oxidation of the beer briefly touches at wet cardboard, but not in a bad way. The boozy scent is surprisingly rum-like on my nose, especially given the fact that the barrels for this beer were third-use bourbon barrels. As the beer opens up, the sherry becomes more prominent and complex, swaying between candied sugars, maple syrup, and touches of raisin. On the tongue, the beer tastes smoothly sweet with a touch of candy and a definite boozy heat that is not quite out of control, and is richly complex and balancing. Tannic bitters definitely touch the second half of the sip along with subtle herbal hop bitters, which do wonders keeping the beer just shy of cloying. In flavor, the beer is nicely complex. The beer opens with rich maple syrup, which travels into rum soaked raisins, slight plum, maybe even a touch of blackberry, and boozy caramel sugar. A touch of bourbon can be sensed on the middle of the palate, providing vanilla and rich oak flavors to the mix. The heat also gets a bit hot in the middle of the sip, giving a spicy flavor that varies with the sip. As the beer warms richer oak flavors come into play. The finish is smooth and syrupy with sherry flavors alongside maple syrup, vanilla, raisin, and hot booze. The finish is a bit boozy right now, and could stay a touch longer on the tongue. The aftertaste is rich with oak flavors tinged by caramel, sherry, and light booze. In the mouth, the beer feels heavy in body, with a chewy, syrupy mouthfeel and a very mild carbonation. The tongue is left slightly tingling from booze with a sheen of acid-canceling spittle on the tongue and a faint stickiness in the mouth. Overall, this is a tremendous candidate for cellaring for a year or two. The flavors are rich and complex, but the booze is just a touch too hot at the moment. Honestly, I would only cellar this for a year and then pop it, as longer than that may add too much oxidation and might lose some of the wonderful complexity already present in the beer. I love the rich rum, oak, and malt flavors, and I feel that the lager yeast allows for more of these flavors to come through, which I like. It is fairly similar to a barrel-aged barleywine, but the mouthfeel and appearance are really where it varies wildly. This is a great beer. If you can get to the brewery, you should buy two and age one.

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Photo of Gatch
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No date but I'm guessing this is a one-time release. Seems to be a beer that can't be defined. A new style or one that defies all styles and is just a beer with all kinds of crazy character.

A: Gorgeous. Deliberately poured this directly into the center of the glass because I knew it would be viscous stuff. Builds an impressive yet short, bubbly bright white head. What's left is some great lacing and some decent retention. Again...gorgeous!

S: Massive nose. Seriously. Wow. Wood, bourbon, barrel, caramelized sugar, booze, sweet sugary dried fruit, booze-soaked oak, more booze, and...ah...straight up bourbon barrel goodness!

T: "Complex" doesn't do it justice. It's way beyond complex. Lots of sweet, sugary booze but it only complements all the flavors. Wood, bourbon, caramelized sugar and butter, barrel, earth, roasted and lightly smoked malt, brown sugar, molasses...lots of "darker" flavors while being a relatively "lighter" beer. Has the smooth feel of a lager with the complex character of an ale that's been given the royal treatment. This is top-notch stuff!

M: Also way beyond smooth. So creamy. So damn delicious. But also pretty hot and boozy. Doesn't detract at all from the experience, though. Creamy, heavy body with minimal carbonation. Sweet, sugary finish but never cloying.

O: A seriously unique beer. Only gets better as it warms. Glad I was able to drink this. Such a well-crafted beer. But what else would you expect Jack's Abby? Superb sipper. Puts a smile on your face with each delicious gulp. I'd like to pick up another bottle, let it warm to room temperature, and sit on it alll night!

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Photo of AaronDz
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Aroma is vanilla, honey, bourbon, and toffee. Appearance is a bright amber color with a thin white head. Brilliant clarity. Good lacing. Taste is honey, oak, toffee, booze, vanilla, and caramel. Medium body with low carbonation. Finishes pretty hot. Overall a very good offering. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Hill Farmstead glass. Bought the bottle at the brewery.

A- Very dark orange bordering on ruby red with a nice one finger white head

S- Heavenly! Sweet toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

T- !!! Follows the nose. Such sweet caramel and vanilla. This was aged for nine months in bourbon barrels and you get such a sweet bourbon taste. At 14% abv, I don't know where they're putting the alcohol because it sure isn't in the beer. This is ridiculously drinkable and smooth.

M- Medium to thick. A little more carbonation than others, but it helps to move the high abv along.

O- This is a world-class beer. It is comparable to Pelican's MOAS, but it doesn't have the alcohol sting. I was fortunate enough to have this on the same day I had FW Sucaba on tap and this is just as good, if not better. Buy this, trade for it, just acquire it if you can. Since it doesn't have the hype as the others, you can probably get it for cheap, but let me tell you you, this deserves to be mentioned with the elite. 100/100!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very deep amber with a thin quickly dissipating head. One word describes the nose - bourbon! Hints of vanilla and oak but it's the bourbon that dominates. Sweet on the palate, dominated by, you guessed it, bourbon! Notes of honey, toffee, and oak, but this is a bourbon bomb! The 15% ABV is well concealed. Medium bodied and nicely carbonated; finishes crisp and smooth, very much a sipper. Overall, this beer is unique. My only complaint is that it isn't quite balanced with the bourbon dominating the nose and the palate.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased from the Hess in Bushnell's Basin, NY.

Pours out an almost clear, slightly murky copper color. Half inch head, no lacing. Looks a bit oily and sticky.

Smells include bourbon, oak, coffee, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and a whole lot of alchohol.

Just a syrupy sweet booze bomb here in the taste. Don't get me wrong, it tastes good, but it's just too much of everything. The bourbon is very forward, and gets fatiguing quickly- it's hard to put down a whole bottle of this stuff. Incredibly sweet- lots of vanilla and brown sugar, and sticky sweet caramel. It tastes pretty good for about 6 oz, then gets just tiring. The alcohol is not hidden at all that well, which doesn't help.

Full bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, starts and finishes very sweet. A slow sipper for sure.

Good to get a taste of, but if you have a bottle, share it. It's so (too) strong.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A hazy, light copper colored beer with an orange hue. It pours with a half a finer of creamy, light tan bubbles with good retention that leave a fine cover of lacing on the glass.

S: A rich, biscuit and bread malt moderate notes of toffee and treacle. A medium strong whisky barrel aroma that bring oak, bourbon and a light vanilla aroma to the nose. slight fruity aroma like oranges. A moderate floral alcohol aroma.

T: The flavor pretty well matches the nose with the initial sip tasting mostly of oak and progressing into rich layers of lighter malt flavors like toast, toffee, bread and treacle. The balance somewhat towards the sweeter side having a light hops bitterness, a some alcohol and mild, light colored fruit flavors against a medium malt sweetness. There is the bourbon and vanilla from the oak. The finish is medium with an aftertaste of malt, bourbon oak and alcohol.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a light level of carbonation. A fairly substantial alcohol warmth going from the palate to the belly without being harsh.

O: An impressive lager with noticeable but smooth alcohol content. A sipping beer for certain but one that I'd love put a few bottles away to try in a few years.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber colored body with some tan notes. Big boozy nose with dried fruits and caramel. Toffee, plum, raisin, and brown sugar on the palate. The body is so clean due to the lagering. This beer is surprising. You do not get the booze in the taste, but you know it is there. Very impressive. As satisfying as almost any barleywine out there. Only thing is the difference from the lagering. It isn't thick and sticky. Very unique. Best beer I've had from Jack's Abby.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint .9 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Liquid comes out sort of an orange/ light autumn brown color, but hazy. Nice orange cream colored very frothy head, almost all tiny bubbles but a hand full of larger bubbles in the middle of everything that erupt it's way through. Head stays around for a little bit and goes away to a small ring and an island in the middle (that kind of looks like the shape of Australia). Not really much in the way of lacing, but good.

Smell is really good, gets better as it warms up. There's a nice vanilla oak aroma that's probably the strongest part. After that there's aromas of dark dehydrated fruits (raisins, plums, cherries, figs, ext) that have been candy sugar coated.

Taste is really good too, sweet like the smell. Some nice caramel, toffee, oaky vanilla, maybe a hint of honey, and plenty of candy coated dark dehydrated fruits. Maybe hints of brown sugar and some bourbon or whiskey. All of the same aromas mentioned above come up here in the flavor profile as well, but I'd also add the flavor of maple glazed apricots. I like this one, it's bold, complex, yet well balanced all rolled into one, digging it.

I'd say this beer is pretty full bodied, the flavor lingers quite a bit, but not super heavy. Great carbonation level and surprisingly smooth with a subtlety sharp bite from the bourbon/alcohol. Speaking of which, the alcohol is really nice and warming and it doesn't taste or feel like a %14 beer. Pretty well balanced and as sweet as it is, it's not that sticky. The bottle indicates that it's a sipper, but this doesn't drink like your average 14% beer. I like this one a lot. Thanks Mike for the sweet trade!

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Photo of CruisaC
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Box showed up today with a few of these "babies" in it. Thanks Bill!

Pours a dark apricot with an inch of caramel head. Settles with some nice lacing.

Smell is a little one dimensional. Very malt heavy without much barrel presence.

Taste is better. There still a ton of malt flavor, but there's some oak, a little bourbon, and some sticky apricot, raisin on the back end.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Alcohol is present, and there's some burn going down.

Probably needs a little time. Maybe a little more barrel. First is possible, second probably not so much. Glad to have a couple more to settle down for a minute.

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Photo of Dope
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No date but this is quite fresh. Released at the brewery a couple weeks ago, tops.

A: Pours a deep, dark ruby red. Tall, frothy tan head. Head retention is quite good and there is some thick walls of lacing left behind as well.

S: Oh yeah. Big, big bourbon and malt notes. Chock full of vanilla, caramel, raisins, oak and toffee. Stinging alcohol.

T: More of the same. Not nearly as bourbon heavy as the aroma but it's still very present. Toffee, caramel and lots of oaky vanilla initially. Sugary raisins , brown sugar and even honey in the middle. Loaded with vanilla everywhere. Get hints of chocolate here and there, maybe remnants of the framinghammer? Lots of oak in the finish, leading to a surprisingly mildly dry aftertaste. Can practically taste wood pulp mixed with vanilla and sugar as it lingers between each sip. A little honey in the aftertaste too.

M: Heavy but the bourbon cuts it. Honestly not nearly as heavy as you'd expect.

O: Bottle states this one is a sipper, but at the same time this is one of the easiest drinking 14% beers around. There is some sharp alcohol spiciness but honestly it doesn't detract. If anything it helps cut the sweetness of this big malt-heavy brew. The bourbon further helps to cut it down a bit. Overall it is a great balance of flavors, lots of complexity and just tastes and smells wonderful. On top of that, it's very unique, perhaps the very first "lager wine" out there? Not often you get a unique beer that's actually good (hello, DFH). Having said that, this is 95% a bourbon-barrel barleywine. I doubt I could tell the difference if I did a blind taste test. Either way, it's great.

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Photo of Pahn
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle into Captain Lawrence tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a big frothy white head that lasts awhile. Pours a crystal clear reddish yellow, and leaves sweeping lacing--much more than expected from a 14% ABV beer.

Smell: At first, just straightforward bourbon, oak, and thick Raisinets like malt. Opens up beautifully with time, with some booziness and perfectly integrated barrel and malt depth. As with the taste, this beer rewards taking your time with it.

Taste: My kind of beer. Deep pastry-like malt with a lot of vanilla oak. Sweet, but with the complexity to back it up. The alcohol heat serves as a further balancer and a flavor intensifier. Tastes like the beginning of maple, or bourbon soaked cookie dough.

Reminds me of Abacus, in that it's a superb blend of barrel and barleywine. Love it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and great. Full side of medium bodied. Neither dry nor sticky. Stays great even hours into the bottle.

Overall: High expectations exceeded. Jack's Abby does everything right, and big BBA x-wine is no exception. I keep coming back to the Abacus comparison because, like that beer, I'm just completely in love with this.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle picked up at the brewery today, poured into a old TreeHouse goblet.

A- Pours a darker copper golden appearance with lots of small carbonation bubbles slowly rising to the top of the glass, forms a thin white head when poured that has decent retention and coats the glass in thin lacing.

S- Fairly malty, sweet honey, plums, brown sugar, a bit of bubble gum, bourbon. Fairly aromatic, not too boozey, well balanced.

T- Plums, honey, bourbon, raspberries, brown sugar, vanilla, some light spices, finishes fairly malty with more dark fruits and bourbon coming out, booziness comes out a bit on the back-end but not bad for 14%, lingering aftertaste of dark fruits. First off this is very sweet but the sweetness is balanced with a nice presence of dark fruits, a lot more then what I was expecting- I think aging in the Framinghammer barrels added a nice quality. Overall the beer was very well balanced and fairly complex.

M- Medium bodied, maybe just a hint of syrupiness but more of a nice creaminess, fitting carbonation, very smooth for the whopping 14% abv, almost no burn.

O- This beer was better then I was expecting, admittedly I wasn't sure what to expect from a barrel-aged 14% "lager-wine" golden lager- not something you drink every day. Sure this beer is sweet and boozey as to be expected, but it had a nice balance of dark fruits (way more then I was expecting), bourbon, etc. that masked the high abv nicely. If you're into big, complex beers this is definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of Destructutorial
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Strong sweet honey taste right upfront. Really masks the fact that this is a 14% abv beer. It's definitely the most unique beer Jacks Abby has done in my opinion. I drank this out of one their pint glasses. Also, I enjoyed it as it got warmer. Cheers

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Photo of Gushue3
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Jack's Abby mini bulb.

A. Body is light orange with a slight haze. A thin head forms above the beer which quickly goes away leaving some thin froth on top. Body is pretty lively when playing with it.

S. First whiff from a cold beer is big sweet candied sugars, sweet fruits, vanilla. Nose opens up with more of the same as it warms. Nice prominent scent.

T. Really sweet upfront, white raisins, white sugar, candied fruits, honey and subtle vanilla. Sweet from front to back but not too sweet for me. Unbelievably smooth for a 14%, a slight booze hint toward the end. As it warms well integrated bourbon makes itself known

M. Big full feel, almost syrupy. Drinks like a big barleywine and has low carbonation. Feels pretty nice and makes a great sipper.

O. Pretty nice beer. I wasn't sure what to expect when reading about it. Lagerwine? Belgian Golden? Euro Strong Lager? Reminds me somewhat of BANE. Another well done brew from the guys in Framingham.

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Photo of Resuin
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter. This was bottled yesterday.

Appearance: Pours a very deep amber/dark orange and leaves less than a half finger of off-white head, which fades to nothing quickly. The color is almost a muddled hybrid of half gold, half brown. Just barely translucent (almost opaque).

Smell: Big sweet, delicious bourbon up front with oak and vanilla, and perhaps a dash or orange/citrus, but the bourbon is definitely the dominant scent. It isn't blatantly overpowering but just takes up a majority of the aroma.

Taste: Big bourbon again, and again the bourbon is definitely the main player here. Despite that, this beer is very balanced. Notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, honey, and dark fruits. Finishes so crisp with the alcohol superbly masked. I love that this beer is so bourbony and sweet, but just to the right level and not overly sweet.

Mouth-feel: Pretty well carbonated which gives it almost a spritzy feel to the creamy, medium body it possesses. Finishes crisp and clean. Despite the big flavor, it amazingly maintains that crisp lager mouth-feel which is very interesting.

Overall: This is a lot different than I expected. As a lover of bourbon barrel beers (and bourbon) this is fantastic. If there is a flaw, it is that this the bourbon flavor is so crisp, and dominates the profile (which I love). This is dangerously drinkable for the ABV, and has a well-balanced sweetness to it. I'm amazed by how smooth the finish is for a beer with this much bourbon flavor.

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Baby Maker from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 350 ratings