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Before The Dawn | Steel Toe Brewing

Your Rating: None

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Before The DawnBefore The Dawn
BA SCORE
4.36/5
Outstanding
198 Ratings
Before The DawnBefore The Dawn
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Steel Toe Brewing
Minnesota, United States
steeltoebrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. Before the Dawn is a fusion of a Barleywine and a Russian Imperial Stout. Layer upon layer of complex malt character is what makes this beer so special. Caramel and toffee give way to molasses, coco and roasted malt. This rich and warming beer underwent a lengthy aging process in bourbon barrels which lends a wonderful oak and vanilla character followed by moderate tannin in the finish.

Added by claaark13 on 06-28-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#736
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
198
pDev:
7.34%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
97
Gots:
45
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of CSO
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: pitch black pour supporting a 1" dark tan cap with a very fine bead and poor to fair retention

S: whiskey, dark dried fruit, light roast, chocolate, coffee, caramel and a suggestion of sherry or port

T: dark malts, coke, chocolate, dark dried fruit, molasses, caramel and then a nice whiskey burn as a prelude to a bitter, roasty finish with some licorice, prune, vanilla and some oaky astringent drying

F: very creamy, silky, velvety thick and chewy. Carbonation is medium high but very soft and not prickly

O: very rich, big bold, intense beer that builds a warm glow as you drink

 589 characters

Photo of EdFed
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jenrhart
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dspader1
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is my favorite steel toe beer i have ever had, and probably their most ambitious as a brewery. its a black barleywine, or some sort of fusion between a big russian imperial stout and an english barleywine, aged in whiskey barrels. shiny black with a very short little patchy layer of bubbles on the top, inky and intense looking, but not overly viscous, especially compared to the insanely dense lunker barleywine they do here. so much interesting grain right away on this one, i get the roasted barley first, with a fairly heavy coffee and char aspect to it, the vanilla and oak from the barrel come on next, sweet for sure, but only balancing some of the bitter darker grains. i get cocoa and burnt bread here, a little sweet. the caramel and toffee notes that make give this its barleywine character come next, with hints of red apple, honey, and bran muffin, sweet again, but balanced too. moving towards the finish, i get a more unique grain complexion, starchy and rich, maybe some oats in here, or some high crystal barley, its beautiful and fully appropriate. licorice and booze in the finish, with a bit of the whiskey returning sweet and hot. not too heavy to drink a whole glass of, warming but not scalding alcohol profile, and an enormous depth of grain flavors with very few equals. a style i wish we saw more of, so much potential in it, and steel toe has delivered with this one, what a gem!

edit: they also did a tart cherry version of this that was also incredible, just a little fruity tang to cut some of the sweetness, and a real compatible dark fruit note that brings out more of the chocolate and dark malt in the more stout-like aspects of this. just delightful!

 1,692 characters

Photo of billab914
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jsprain1
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Cfred371
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Before the Dawn pours a dark brown, with light on the edges, but opaque besides that. There's a slight khaki head that appears on pour, but dissipates quickly.

Smell: Dark chocolate, Coconut, chocolate fudge, some dark fruitiness, and plenty of rye spirits.

Taste: Blasts of the rye whiskey, followed by some sweet fudge chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and finishes with the rye spiciness, as well as some marshmallow. The barrel characteristics are great. Once to room temperature, Before the Dawn becomes a rye bomb, with the rye seemingly overwhelming the palate. That's not a bad thing.

Feel: Body is medium plus, but is too thin for this style IMO. While Steel Toe may say this is a barleywine, there's no way I would characterize this as anything but a stout. The finish has a bit of a burn on it, but on this winter day, it feels nice.

Overall: One of the better barrel systems in Minnesota, Before the Dawn is a great beer, but leaves a little to be desired. The flavors, and aroma are great, but I wanted more viscosity out of a barrel aged stout. I would recommend to absolutely trade or buy this beer, but keep in mind the mouth feels thin characteristics

 1,178 characters

Photo of TooGood
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of einman
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jonbonfondle
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Evilyak
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is fantastic.

pours black like oil, with a thin, brown head.

very roasty, barrel is evident, lots of sugary notes and a touch of cocoa. alcohol is prevalent in the nose. roasted notes and some hops bitterness mellow out the sweet, but it's definitely malt heavy.

mouth is creamy and viscous.

this one sticks with you and makes a wonderful companion for a winter night.

 380 characters

Photo of newbeeraday
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dave4e
4.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Taybeh
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Narthax
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of muskiesbadgersnbeer
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of agbtrey
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MNBeer1017
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gables
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Before The Dawn from Steel Toe Brewing
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 198 ratings
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