Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer | Jack's Abby Brewing

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged FraminghammerVanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Resuin on 05-02-2013

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 888
Photo of MLR1013
4.91/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers around. These guys are killing it. I have yet to have a beer from them that I disliked and this one is my favorite. The regular barrel-aged one, the non-barrel-aged one, and the coffee barrel-aged one are all excellent beers, but this one is it for me. The imperial stout-like Baltic Porter lager, mixed with the vanilla sweetness and the slightly boozy notes from the bourbon barrels make this a perfect fit for a cold New England night, although I also enjoyed a few of these during hot New England summers. Drink it, age it, but buy it if you see it!

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Photo of KornWallace
4.87/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Date: 3/29/14
Location: Cambridge Whole Foods
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: Black to Dark Brown with a brown carbonation which quickly evaporates. There is a small viscous ring at the edge of the beer.
Aromatics: So many wonderful smells in here. The bourbon, some woods and grains. The vanilla with coffee makes my mouth water.
Flavor: The bourbon has a big presence with the vanilla. Still getting a lot of wood flavor. The mouthfeel is very oily but great.
Finish: The alcohol plays a part in the finish along with the oil and carbonation left on the tongue.
Notes: This beer is dangerously drinkable. Before I knew it my glass was empty, then the bottle and I nearly considered opening my second bottle.

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Photo of BobZ
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16.9 oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Like the standard BA Framinghammer. Again, rich, dark, brown with a frothy tan head that actually hangs around for a bit.

Smell: Sweet vanilla bean, bold and up-front, chocolate, coffee, bourbon are also right there but all behind the dominant vanilla.

Taste: Just like the nose, vanilla bean over mocha mixed with some oaky bourbon. All flavors playing off of one another and working perfectly together. I'm a vanilla fan as long as it's not cloying or over-done (like creme brulee is over-done for example), and this beer strikes the perfect balance.

Mouthfeel: Again, excellent body, and very, very, smooth.

Overall: My favorite of the BA Framinghammer family. Exceptional beer!

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours very dark black with a thick mocha head

S- Similar regular BA Framinghammer, but with an assault of waves of vanilla. There is a touch of dark roast and bitter chocolate in the background, but the vanilla notes are something special

T- This seems to have come together quicker than the coffee; the taste replicates the nose incredibly well as you are assaulted with vanilla flavor. combined with the creamy mouthfeel, this is similar to some sort of beer milkshake. Awesome, but like with the coffee there is some heat to it and that is what keeps it from a 5 for me

M- I have a feeling they may have used cold pressed coffee for the other and that may have let to the thinner mouthfeel because this beer has the same, amazing creamy feel the BA framinghammer had.

O- Fantastic beer and a must try. Some aging could mellow out the alcohol heat and there is soo much vanilla going on, I think it will take quite a bit before it starts fading too much. Amazing beer and can't wait for more

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Photo of dar482
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

The beer comes in a dark black color with barely head.

The aroma hits of spicy whiskey, stiff woody oak, vanilla, almond, marzipan, bitter chocolate.

The flavor hits of sweetness up front of milk chocolate and bourbon sweetness, onto bitter chocolate. This is all covered in heavy oak character. Vanilla and marzipan balance out the chocolate and some roasted malt and coffee bitters the beer on the back end.

The beer in general is quite oaky with a silk smooth chocolate and vanilla.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours black as night, pours a thin layer of frothy, brown head that quickly dissipates leaving a very thin layer of lacing. zero carbonation evident within the pitch black beer. Aroma is dominated by vanilla bean rich, sweet malt, Biscuit, and a hint of coffee beans.
Taste is vanilla upfront, followed by Biscuit, Molasses, and milk chocolate. Very, very smooth flavor. the 10 percent ABV is completely unnoticeable.
in the mouthfeel there is a subtle punch of carbonation, and then the beer hits you with it's full body and oily texture.
overall this beer is rich, warming and delicious. Perfect for a cold autumn night.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage

A - Pitch black

S - Roasty, coffee, chocolate. Vanilla is a sweet smack in the face

T - Oh yeah. A roasty, bourbon taste. The vanilla taste is huge, especially on the finish. It lingers for a while.

M - Pretty damn thick for the style.

O - These Framinghammer variants are the real deal. I love vanilla in my beers and this one is one of the best uses.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle from brewery. Note to self: these ba framinghammers shine after warming up if they were cold.
A: usual jet black not nearly as much mocha head vs coffee. Mainly some offwhite soapy ring bubbles
S: bourbon notes, vanilla, chocolate
T: vanilla up front into a boozey chocolate heat. Could see people complaining it's a bit hot but I think nice complexity and not turned off by the heat
M: silky, creamy

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Photo of Dope
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Released about 2 weeks ago.

A: Not-quite-black pour with a nice big and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly, with a spectacular frothy head retention always sticking around. Pretty solid walls of lacing too.

S: Notable vanilla but not as overpowering as I was expecting. Smells just like vanilla beans, and not that artificial vanilla extract flavor you commonly get, therefore not as sweet as you would think. Kinda gives it an almost creme brulee aspect. Combines nicely with the chocolate and dark fruits but the vanilla is definitely at the forefront.

T: Char, bitter chocolate and burnt sugars up front with hints of dark fruits. A wave of sweet vanilla and caramel sweeps in in the middle and takes over. Wonderful. Finish starts to turn a little bitter once the sweetness fades, leaving a little char and cocoa again. There is some toasted coconut and oak in the aftertaste from the barrels. Lingering charred oak and vanilla between sips. Almost has a marshmallow flavor at times, I assume that's some combination of the vanilla and the bourbon.

M: Heavy, viscous, a little creamier than the coffee version but somehow not as smooth at the same time.

O: Damn, another great beer from Jack's Abby. I just had the Coffee version of this two days ago. I would have thought I'd like the vanilla version better (I don't even like or drink coffee), but I think the coffee one beats this one out slightly. The coffee added a nice bitter contrast to the smooth sweet flavors of the base beer. However, the coffee version was so mind blowing maybe if I had reversed the order in which I drank them, the vanilla would have really wowed me the first time around. In any case, this beer is still stunning. Smooth, sweet, creamy, well balanced and with great variety of flavors. Jack's Abby keeps knocking it out the park. Awesomely crafted.

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Photo of stephens101
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

WTF! I'm only the second person to review this? That's a tragedy.

This exceptional brew starts with a bubbly, tan head that pops all over the place before settling into a dense covering of the pitch blackness.

Smells of milk chocolate, brown bread, dark fruits and vanilla. Rich and dessert-like of course.

Smooth with a nice alcohol bite at the very back. More milk chocolate, a subtle bitterness, tannin, vanilla extract, some sugar, graham cracker, a hint of spice, and even less vinegar. Flavor is unique in it's own right, which is an added bonus.

Complex yet tight. A notch above the Baltic Porter. I have the Coffee up next, but it's going to be hard to top this one.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a finger of light brown head that receded to a thin layer.

S - Rich milk chocolate, bitter roast and sweet vanilla. A very nice nose.

T - A great balance of bitter roast, milk chocolate and sweet vanilla. Dangerously smooth and drinkable for 10% ABV.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoying this one after a couple weeks in the fridge. Poured into a goblet.

Nice colors to the pour. The body is deep brown with a touch of red; almost mahogany. The head is very nice upon pouring- chocolate brown and fluffy. It disappears quickly to a thin, nicely laced film.

You can clearly pick up the base brew in the flavor. Mild, nicely roasted flavor. The barrel adds a bit of depth of flavor, but I don't sense any wood or booze from it. Vanilla is a nice addition here- adds just a bit of sweetness and smoothness.

Great mouthfeel. Smooth and sweet finish.

I really love this brew. It can stand toe to toe with any of the big boy porters or stouts.

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Photo of dertyd
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a dark black with a reddish/brown tint to it with a finger of cola head, looks very nice in the glass... The aroma is of dark molasses, soy sauce, whisky and vanilla..... The taste is really nice so much whiskey barrel, roasted oak, vannillia, bitter chocolate with a creamy mouth fill.... this beer is so smooth for 10% it dangerous

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Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a Jack's Abby snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Pours a deep brown body with a fluffy 2 finger light espresso colored head that reduces very slowly, leaving a layer of foam after 30+ minutes. Some lacing, high retention.

Aromas of vanilla beans, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, and light chocolate. Very nice on the nose.

On the tongue comes sweet chocolate, vanilla beans, caramel, and a roasty finish that compliments the nice vanilla notes that this beer imparts. Really well done. Carbonation is medium-low with a medium body.

A great sipper, nicely balanced and the vanilla really added some positive character to regular barrel aged framinghammer. Recommended.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 06/02/13 notes. Got to try this side by side with the BA Coffee and the normal BA versions. All 2013 vintage, 0.5L bottles, poured into taster glasses.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. All 3 variations look exactly the same, pretty nice.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, cream, coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malts, sweet bourbon, caramel malts, oak, and toasted malts. Very good nose; a decent amount of coffee to it still but a lot of vanilla shining through up front. On par with the nose of the coffee version, just swapping more vanilla than coffee.

t - Tastes of vanilla beans, cream, iced crewam, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, and light earthy notes. Taste has a lot of vanill beans up front; kind of reminds me of vanilla bean iced cream. Great taste, I could drink this all day. Best tasting of the three for me by far.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with no real heat. Very easy to drink for 10% ABV.

o - Overall I really liked all three versions, but this one was definitely the best in my opinion. I love vanilla, moreso than coffee, and the taste of this one was just perfect for me. Super easy to drink and a great nose and taste, I'd love to get this one again.

You can't really go wrong with any of the three; my girlfriend liked the normal BA verions the best, and I liked vanilla best. The BA version is very good, but if you really like coffee or vanilla, you'll probably like those 2 versions slightly better.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours out a dark, glossy black, with a quarter inch head, and no lacing.

Smells like rich dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, and creamy vanilla
I could've thought this was a chocolate and vanilla variant, but it was just a vanilla one. Unbelievably smooth vanilla beans and chocolate, creamy and nice, with some chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of oak. Very smooth, the smoothest variant that I tried tonight.

Medium bodied, slightly sticky. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Very low carbonation.

An amazing variant, great vanilla flavor.

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Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark brown with almost no head. Vanilla is strong in both the nose and taste. Gotta let this one warm up a bit before all the flavors start coming through. Bourbon Barrel qualities, roasted malts and vanilla, on top of vanilla. This will do well with a little age!

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

0.5 L bottle into pretty things globe...nice deep color - white rim/foam.
deep rich roasty chocolatey stout aromas with a noticeable vanilla sent.
Taste is perfect balance of vanilla and roasted chocolate. This beer is nearly perfect. Boozy as hell but drinkable as milk.
If you see it, pick it up...if you have it, drink it...if you want it, get it!
Amazing brew. (period)

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Photo of cbutova
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times now, finally reviewing my last bottle. Really doesn't need any age and I don't see it benefiting from more. Notes taken over weekend.

A- Pitch black body with a light mocha head. Silky and creamy texture to the foamy cap with one finger height and decent retention. Spotty webbing of lace coats the interior walls of the glass.

S- Fairly sweet dessert chocolates and bourbon smoothed out superbly by toasted oak, relaxed whiskey and of course vanilla. Roast grains and coffee hints.

T- Vanilla bean really opens up and comes out here as compared to the aroma, it adds just what is needed to put this into a higher class. Smooth oak and whiskey from the barrels layered with decadent chocolate, roast grain and caramel. Like a great brownie.

MF- Thick bodied with low-medium carbonation and a nice creamy texture. There might as well not be any alcohol in this because it drinks so smoothly.

Love the vanilla layered with the chocolate and whiskey barrels. Everything just blends together nicely and it makes me confident that more world class beers will be coming out of Central MA in the future.

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Photo of AirBob
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Notes from 10/30/14

A - One finger of dense chocolate milk colored head. Deep black/brown body. Good lacing. Head dissipates rather quickly.

S - Same as the base Framinghammer, but with slightly more vanilla notes and zero booze. As it warms there's a hell of a lot more vanilla.

T - Wow. Tons of vanilla throughout. No booze at all. The deep chocolate ice cream flavors come through big in the finish. Very little bitterness or coffee notes. As it warms, more of the Framinghammer comes out and the vanilla takes a major role in the finish.

M - Silky. Low carbonation.

O - A lot more distinctive than the coffee variant and more bold than the all three variants.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage served chilled in a teku

Appearance: very dark brown with a MASSIVE khaki head and tons of lacing

Nose: clean yet rich, oaky, barrel character, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, sweet vanilla in the end

Taste and Mouthfeel: rich mouthfeel, high medium body, sweet vanilla in the front lends to chocolate, coffee and some barrel character in the middle with a bourbon hit in the end with some sweet molasses and caramel finish that lingers. Absolutely no alcohol heat at all from the 10% or the bourbon.

Overall: this is a massive improvement to the already delicious base beer. The barrel is an added layer of complexity and the vanilla beans only help it out by adding a bit of sweetness that compliments the barrel and beer well. This beer is fantastic and worthy of the world class rating.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is opaque and near black with a half inch of mocha colored head. Outstanding aroma, featuring vanilla beans, oak, booze, coffee, dark chocolate. The vanilla bean character really begins to emerge as the beer is allowed to warm. Absolutely delicious. So much going on here. Complex and wonderful. Medium to full bodied with relatively low carbonation. Smooth on the palate with minimal alcohol presence. A terrific beer. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a low profile, bubbly, light tan head. Aromas of rich vanilla, bitter roasted coffee, robust earthy notes, subtle char, and subtle cocoa nibs. Slight booze highlights, too. Flavors are rich and heavily roasted forward, with a solid lead of dark cacao nibs and earthy coffee, followed immediately by rich vanilla, subtle wood spice and hints of char. Very balanced and blended flavors, all on a velvety smooth, creamy, layered body. The aftertaste is boozy and richly sweet, like a vanilla and chocolate truffle. Smooth, creamy, slow aftertaste, with a solid vanilla and booze linger. Good beer!

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Photo of Resuin
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Westvleteren Goblet. The bottle is marked 'March 2013'.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown and leaves a bit less than a half finger of dark-tan head which lingers a bit.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, vanilla are all blended very nicely to create the dominant flavors - this is an absolutely delicious smelling combo. The vanilla is definitely more pronounced than other porters I have had which is great.

Taste: Extremely well balanced. Some bourbon shines out first and again, this is heavier on vanilla than other porters, in a good way. Coffee is definitely in there, as well as some nice dark chocolate. Molasses, light caramel and oak. Finishes with some light bourbon and alcohol as well as more vanilla - tasty.

Mouth-feel: Medium to heavy bodied - very creamy, with a light carbonation. Finishes with some crisp alcohol but is quite smooth.

Overall: I've used the word balanced a lot in this review - but the flavors in this beer are just that, and they combine to make an excellent flavor profile. The vanilla only adds to this beer and for someone who prefers a slightly more chocolate/vanilla dominant porter to a coffee dominant porter, this one even outshines the standard BBA Framinghammer and the coffee flavors add nicely to this one as well. I would imagine this one would only get better with age. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage served at 50 degrees in a tulip. Pours slightly darker than cola with a half-inch, khaki-colored head. Some swaths of lacing with decent legs. Big bourbon notes in the nose, as well as a sightly vinous quality and a suggestion of toffee. Taste is incredible - the vanilla really comes out in the flavor profile, followed by cocoa and finishing with bourbon. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a pleasant carbonation falling just shy of lively and a silky texture to the mouthfeel. There's also some residual heat present at the finish. Overall, what a fantastic beer! Not much to add beyond that.

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.31 out of 5 based on 888 ratings.
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