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: 106 | Ratings: 886
Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
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 rodmanfor3
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The vanilla falls off quickly. "Fresh" bottles have an almost fake vanilla flavor. It's a decent option for the New England market, but regular barrel-aged version is better. The other variants are the same price and are worth seeking out over this particular version.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +6%
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 stakem
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with brown clarity around the edges and a thick khaki head resting atop.

The smell is sweet with vanilla then roasty coffee and chocolate. There are some mineral elements also present but its not distracting in the grand scheme of things.

The taste is roasty chocolate with sweet vanilla covering up most of the barrel nuance. Some minerals and alcohol evolve with a bit of earthiness.

This is medium bodied with modest carbonation. Overall a sweet roasty treat but im missing the barrel character behind the slight overload of vanilla.

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Photo of TK5150
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


A- Pours dark brown with a small beige head that recedes quickly and leaves a thin layer of head. Some lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet maltiness with cocoa, quite a bit of vanilla, and an almond-type nuttiness. The barrel is not very prominent when chilled, but comes out more as it warms. The bourbon-y booze comes out as well.

T- Taste is better than the aroma, and more potent. Sweet malt and caramel with hints of chocolate in the background start off at the front of the tongue, then this beer EXPLODES with vanilla on the finish and in the aftertaste (mostly from the vanilla beans, maybe some from the barrel). This is a sweet beer. The only balance here is the light barrel component, and the light heat, which lingers going down the esophagus.

M- Smooth and on the heavier side of medium-bodied, yet still has a bit of a prickly carbonation to it at first. Carbonation fades as it sits.

O- Overall, a better beer than the Lager-Ness Monster I had a few months back from these guys. A very nice "Americanized" version of a Baltic Porter. Could have some more body, if anything.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle. 2015 vintage. Pours a pitch black color with dark ruby hues and an inch of khaki colored head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is boozey with chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and caramel. The taste is a nice mix of the chocolate syrup and Bourbon with nice vanilla notes. Molasses, raisins, and some roasted malts. Finishes with the woody Bourbon and some vanilla. Medium body. Solid variant of an already awesome beer, but I think I prefer the regular Barrel Aged version over this one.

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Photo of -Rick
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a light brown head. This beer smells of light coffee, and a heavy vanilla bean. The taste is like the nose, vanilla with slight coffee hints. There is a definite alcohol taste in this, I bet with time under it, this will be a great porter. Looking forward to trying another one over the winter.

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Photo of beerfootfreak
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black as night, oily slick mouthfeel. Stands up with all the bourbon aged stouts but I must say I love the addition of vanilla, it smooths out the warmth from the bourbon. Absolutely scrumptious aroma. Sip after sip, all I want is more.

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Photo of Roguer
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark blackish brew with purple hue. Moderate dark brown head with OK retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma matches that of the base BA Framinghammer; any added vanilla is difficult to separate from the barrel characteristics. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, and banana notes are all prominent, along with coconut and vanilla.

Flavor also matches the "regular" BA Framinghammer, with a very noticeable added dose of vanilla. Very smooth throughout. In this variant, vanilla and roasted barley really dominate vice the bourbon, which instead complements. Earthy hop and roast bitterness.

Smooth and full mouthfeel without quite coming across as thick, although it's damn close. No hint of the 10% ABV. Quite a bit of foaming.

Having had Framinghammer, BA Framinghammer, and Vanilla BA Framinghammer, I think this is hands down the most drinkable and balanced yet. Really fantastic brew where the base beer and the vanilla take center stage.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 4/12/2015 at Natty Greeneā€™s Tavern, in North Attleboro, MA served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains strong vanilla along with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very creamy with a strong vanilla flavor. Then some mild flavors of chocolate and coffee come in along with a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild as expected but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is another very good variation on an excellent beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 vintage. 160z. bottle into Night Shift stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a luxurious .5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is pitch black but not too dense. Lacing is stringy and spotty with low stick. Legs are oily, slick and rich. Pretty nice.

Nose is vanilla, roast, smoke, cocoa powder, liquorice, brownie and booze. Robust and thick. Flavors together are aromatic but each component is pretty mellow.

Opens big, creamy, sweet vanilla notes that descend into flavors of chocolate, roast, smoke, liquorice and cocoa powder. Some brownie and booze sweetness in the middle mixed with hints of coarse burnt malt. Ends more vanilla and boozy sweetness. Same aftertaste. DRINK FRESH! The vanilla presence is huge in this one and it'll only fade with time.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Chewy and smooth on the palate and goes down rich with some bubbles at the end. Accented finish with a long, lingering aftertaste. Solid.

Certainly a unique vanilla-based imperial beer if only due to the fact that the vanilla flavor is so prominent throughout the experience. Drink this one fresh to really get a feel for what vanilla can do for the flavor profile.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a stout/porter glass.

Pour produces a thick, cushion-like coffee-with-milk-colored head. Persists well. Shows good carbonation. Body seems pitch-black but has hues that lean towards darker brown. It's a fine looking brew sitting in a glass.

There's a potent order surging from the glass and I get something Dr. Pepper-like and certainly reminiscent of vanilla. Dark chocolate thickness and sweetness have me thinking of brownies. Dessert anyone? A tad of alcohol is detectable but mostly this is appealing to the nose.

Brownies still seem an appropriate descriptor for this brew as I'm getting abundant sweet, almost gooey, dark chocolate with a lingering vanilla finish. It tastes a bit boozy, but not so much as the PB&J which was almost undrinkable booze-laden. It's a bit oaken and somewhat suggestive of bourbon, but I'm again left thinking of brownies, albeit boozier ones.

As with the PB&J, there's a boozy heat that seems in need of toning down, but it's not nearly as harsh and unpleasant here. I can roll with this one because enough creaminess and sweetness are present to offset the booze.

Of the three Framinghammers I've had, this one seems to have the most character. I like it. I have a few more I have to try, but this may be the winner. It isn't flawless, but a year or two of age could change that.

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Photo of MLR1013
4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
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 mackeyse
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look,feel,smell are impeccable. I don't really get the hit of vanilla but do taste a little sweetness at the end.
I taste the alcohol and while I know it's a hefty 10%, it tastes heavier...not an apt comparison but BCBS runs 13-14% and hides the alcohol better.
A little cloying aftertaste knocks it down a peg for me. Price per oz doesn't make this a regular purchase by any means but I'd recommend it if it's a "want". You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was black in appearance with bubbles along the sides of the glass.

Smell - Ironically, chocolate is the dominant scent.

Taste - Vanilla begins the taste with notes of black licorice in the background. Strangely, there is a hint of root beer in the taste. The taste stays fairly constant in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The vanilla creates the impression of smoothness. Carbonation is low.

Overall - In a horizontal testing, Vanilla won 66% of the vote as best framinghammer.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 6/6/14. Dark brown almost black pour with no head.

Smells of sweet molasses, chocolate, vanilla, oak, booze.

Flavors of sweet chocolate fudge, vanilla and oak. The barrel aging leaves a bit of astringent bitterness.

Thick, silky mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation; very nice.

Overall, a very good beer with luxurious mouthfeel and some great sweet dessert flavors.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversize wine glass

A- pours a dark, nearly opaque black color with a small fizzy khaki colored head that disappears rather quickly, leaving a few alcohol legs behind

S- toasted marshmallow mixed with milk chocolate bar & toasted coconut up front, spicy rye-like whisky notes with a hint of oak barrel, dried vanilla bean mixes with fresh whipping cream, caramel malt & burnt brown sugar, very nice

T- lots of malty dark fruit notes initially, with notes of fig, prune & even black cherry. Spicy whisky notes kick in with underlying tones of charred oak & toasted coconut. Chocolate malt sweetness mixes with brown sugar & caramel. The vanilla kicks in near the finish, although pretty subtle. A bit of booze as it closes with more whisky linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a warming, slightly sweet finish

O- a nice sipping beer that showcases the barrel aging. The vanilla is there, but not as prominent than it is in the aroma.

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Photo of mynie
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A half liter bottle purchased direct from the brewery and then consumed the next day.

Pours opaque black with a small brown head. Smells aggressively of bourbon. Even as it warms, and even after several sips, no especial vanilla nodes are present.

Tastes a bit smoother and more complex. Bourbon starts things off, moving into a middle of burny chocolate, finishing on fiery porter barley.

It's good, yeah, but not quite what I was hoping for--the whiskey and alcohol nodes override everything else and the vanilla is barely noticeable. I'm going to let the other bottles age a while in the hopes that they mellow out.

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Photo of AirBob
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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 SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

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 Ri0
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured 500ml bottle into chalice. Bottled 6/6/14.

A- Dark brown body with a thin tan head that fades into a slim ring. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Vanilla and a chocolate cola aroma from the porter. Notes of bourbon, wood, and plenty more vanilla grace the glass.

T - Starts out with a hefty bourbon flavor along with the Baltic porter base. Plenty of vanilla, soft chocolate truffle, hints of wood, brown sugar, caramel, with a touch of chocolate cola and molasses. The finish is more vanilla and porter notes.

M - Medium body with just enough carbonation to keep in lively on the palate. Smooth and creamy with a touch of heat.

O - A delicious Baltic porter that any vanilla lover should seek out. It would good, but I have a feeling that this would be best if consumed after aging 6-12 months. It would mellow it out just a bit more.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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 utopiajane
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost black but not quite because as I look straight down into the glass I see hues of brown. Thin head of tan or chocolate colored foam that does not last but it does refresh when you swirl the glass. It clings to the glass and leaves alcohol legs to look at with spotty lace as you drink. Simply lovely.

Nose is decadent chocolate fudge and I was not expecting that. It has a lovely sweet scent of whiskey and a fragrant vanilla. Authentic brown sugar graces the nose and seems to be wafting around on the scent.. There is a touch of roast on the nose but it seems to be underneath a sweet bit of brown sugar and caramel. The brown sugar seems to waft around on the nose amiably. A light dry woody scent from the barrel uplifts this nose even further.

Mouthfeel is silken. medium and leaning towards full but only leaning. It is smooth from the use of oats and has a creaminess that is simply lush. In fact I think the creaminess lets you believe this beer is a touch thinner than it really is. There's a lovely chocolate and a sweet bit of whiskey. The vanilla is prominent but it's like a pretty flower that isn't doing anything out of the ordinary to capture your attention and yet it does. There's a hint of peat and a bit of bitterness from roast. The booze is just peeking out from the barrel behind a touch of airy wood and it's stronger than you might think. Once you start really drinking you notice it is married so perfectly with the chocolate that you can't notice it on it's own. A touch of earthiness finishes this one dry and with a nice contrast between the bitterness form the roast and all the sweetness of the brown sugar and chocolate.


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Photo of dar482
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

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 Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Pours a dark brown color nearing black. The aroma is big with vanilla, bread and roasted malts. The taste follows suit with vanilla, which seems slightly muted by the dark bread like lager yeast. There is also a bit of acrid smoke and pretty much tastes like a vanilla coffee. Just trace bourbon and vanilla grows ax it warms. The strength of the beer cannot be tasted. Light bodied on the palate with soft carbonation. A very good overall brew.

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Vanilla Barrel-Aged Framinghammer from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.3 out of 5 based on 886 ratings.
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