Double Barrel Scotch Ale
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.

Double Barrel Scotch AleDouble Barrel Scotch Ale
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Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.
British Columbia, Canada
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.99 | pDev: 11.03%
Mar 05, 2016
May 11, 2009
Notes: We’ll admit it, we get bored fairly easily. We wanted to make a new beer and found a more expensive way to do it. We all got pretty jazzed about putting Scotch ale into some barrels, but the question remained, what kind? The overwhelming choice was bourbon, but red wine was also on the table. Why not both? The result is a beer that you notice when you drink it – your senses get smacked with great bourbon aroma which is complimented by a slightly smoky peat flavour and rich vanilla tones. Keep your eye on the prize and pull the trigger.
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Rated: 3.6 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Mar 05, 2016
Rated: 4 by Larz_73 from Canada (BC)

Jul 04, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by phys1028 from Canada (BC)

Mar 05, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by krankyjoe from Canada (BC)

Oct 03, 2013
Rated: 4 by Kmat10 from Canada (AB)

May 22, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by KalanM from Canada (BC)

Nov 29, 2012
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Reviewed by Cookeeman from Canada (BC)

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Phillips has brewed two different versions of this beer, so I'll break my review in two:

1) The 2010 & 2011 versions of this brew (pictured at the top) were heaven for me. I broke it down into 3 main flavors, the first being the scotch ale flavor. It was a deep malt, sweet and thick, lots of caramel, toffee and some great peat. The second hit was the bourbon; a little booze, some honey and brown sugar, followed by a significant vanilla kick. And the third (and best) was the finish: all wine! I've never before or since tasted a beer with that smooth, oakey Cab Sauv finish! While not a traditional scotch ale style, this remains one of my all-time favorite brews.

2) They're 2012 version differed greatly from their original two batches. So much so, that they even changed the label. Right after release, this beer was much closer to a traditional scotch ale than its predecessors. It lacked the complexity, the thickness and the crazy wine finish of the previous batches. Needless to say I was initially very disappointed, but once I adjusted my perspective to taste this brew for what it was, instead of what I was hoping it would be, I had to give it some credit. It had a nice malt body with a solid caramel sweetness and a soft bready finish. Some peat nuances throughout. A solid scotch ale, but nothing I would salivate over. Now here comes the BIG BUT... -> BUT: after 8 months in my cellar, it is slowly returning to its previous self. The wine finish is growing, and the bourbon flavor is asserting itself. The main flavor is still the scotch ale, but the beer is starting to get more complex (finally!! haha). I'll be saving a few more bottles of this to see how far it can progress. Fingers crossed.
Oct 24, 2012
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Reviewed by liamt07 from Canada (ON)

2.62/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
Thanks to wordemupg for hooking up a longtime want, 650ml into a tulip. Cheers bro!

Filtered reddish orange, with a white head. Light retention. Nose is super vegetal, asparagus, cabbage and corn. a bit of peat, sweet malt and light oak. Veggies are really off-putting - yuck. Taste has more veggie, light peat, caramel, asparagus. Watery mouthfeel, sweet with a weird lingering flavour. Too many off flavours in this one for me, disappointing given the description of this beer and the expectations I had for it.
Jul 08, 2012
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Reviewed by Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Appearance. Pours a deep clear amber-gold with a half finger of bubbly off-white head.

Smell. Sweet red grapes, white wine, caramel and sweet toasted grains, some vanilla and old damp wood.

Taste. Oranges and light spices, some sweet caramel and white wine, a bit of wood and smooth bourbon.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. Wow, this stuff goes down easy. Some nice gentle flavours going on, I enjoyed it and it went too fast.
Jun 24, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by shagal from Canada (AB)

Jun 20, 2012
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Reviewed by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A - clear dark bronze, tall off white head retained nicely leaving consistent lacing as it dissipated
S - toasty, caramael, and bready, not really getting any of the barrel aging or typical scotch ale character on the nose
T - sweet burbon & caramel up front, followed by a subtle fruity character of the wine barrel, roasty and lightly smoky finish
M - heavyish full body, creamy and sticky throughout
O - definitely unique with the burbon and red wine barrel aging coming through nicely without being overwhelming
May 20, 2012
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Reviewed by Converge from Canada (AB)

3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
650ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip.

A - Pours a hazy amber color, surprisingly light. A light tan head of big bubbles puffs up off the pour, but quickly settles to a thin cap. Sub-par head retention and lacing for sure.

S - The first thing I get is actually nuttiness from this. Hazelnut and peanut are strong upfront, with a mild woodiness coming in after. I'm getting a slightly metallic twang here as well. The oak/vanilla character from the bourbon is a little underwhelming, and doesn't translate really well. Caramel malt, slight booze, and subtle leafy hops in the finish Overall, really sweet, but the red wine is almost non-existent. This is sort of reminiscent of Phillips' Trainwreck Barleywine, in that it feels like a brown ale on steroids, an imperial brown ale I suppose.

T - The taste offers up a bit more punch than the aroma. Starts out smooth on the palate with caramel malt sweetness and a tasty oak presence. The nuttiness is still strongly pronounced in the profile, but has other flavors to add a degree of complexity. Finishes with a great balance of vanilla and crystal malt sweetness along side mild red wine, oak, and earthy hops to compliment the sweeter side. I wouldn't go as far as to call this a complex brew, but it certainly has depth to the profile. Still, this feels a little off the mark for the style. Overall it's a bit light for a scotch ale, lacking robust flavors of molasses, anise, or dark dried fruits.

M - Really full, with a thick, hearty body and low carbonation. Alcohol is hardly perceived and overall this feels smooth and easily drinkable.

D - Overall this is a good tasting beer, that offers a respectable variety of flavors. However, it still feels like it's lacking in complexity, and doesn't really feel like a scotch ale. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in Phillips with this one, as I was really expecting home run. Oh well, still a decent beer, by an even better brewery.
May 17, 2012
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Reviewed by korguy123 from Canada (ON)

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottle into tulip courtesy of Rutager for the CANBIF 2012. No date on bottle.

A- Crystal clear dark brown/red pour with a two plus finger soapy, sticky off white head. Lacing clings to the glass.

S- Caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, definite sour mash aroma from the whiskey barrel. Not getting any wine characteristics but am picking up plenty of oak.

T- Sour mash whiskey, caramel, vanilla and a solid wood flavor. Half way through the bottle the wine really popped and shone through the rest, added a whole new dimension to the beer.. There is a slight char and a touch of alcohol and bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, slightly creamy, decent carbonation and sticky sweet on the lips.

O- I enjoyed the beer, the creativity was pinned on this one. I enjoy whiskey barrel beers but the cabernet barrels did not shine on this, it was almost non-existent and over powered by the sour mash.
May 16, 2012
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Reviewed by MAB from Canada (AB)

3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
I enjoyed this beer far more than I thought that I would. I love it when that happens!
Nice color and lots of tight head. Looks good in a glass.
Malty notes, caramel, on the nose.
Not as oaky or scotch-like as I was anticipating. Actually rather sweet but there was some hop banlance to reign it in.

Phillips Brewing continues to impress me.
May 14, 2012
Rated: 3 by Mbraun from Canada (SK)

Apr 17, 2012
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
650ml bottle. Nice old-timey imagery on the label of the proclaimed 'twin barrel' brewing process.

This beer pours a clear, golden ruddy hue, with two fingers of thick foamy white head, which leaves some decent island arch lace around the glass as slinks away.

It smells of wood, vanilla, bourbon booze, and a slight smokiness, over a subdued grainy, mildly caramelized malt. The taste is biscuity, grainy malt, more vanilla, that backwoods Appalachian corny whisky character, in moderate amounts, some late-arising meaty red wine essence, and mild earthy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is a bit punchy at first, but readily settles into more tenable territory, the body a bit south of medium weight, and a tad thin, but quite smooth overall. It finishes rather off-dry, the malt and guest whisky elements still in play.

Well, it seems that the whisky trumps the wine in this little experiment - JD's 'finest' besting an Okanagan cabernet sauvignon barrel (there really aren't even all that many kicking around in that particular winemaking region). At any rate, their combined, offsetting effect is a more than drinkable affair, one which still allows the biscuity underlying malt to strut its stuff.
Apr 01, 2012
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Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy copper brown with a finger width of off-white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - Plum, caramel, toffee, vanilla, slight bourbon aroma, red wine aroma.

Taste - Well balanced flavours of dark fruits, toffee/caramel and vanilla. Slight breadiness and booziness. Dark fruits and vanilla linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall - A pleasant Scotch ale from Phillips. I quite enjoyed the complex balance of the fruit, vanilla, and alcohol. Phillips has the style bang on. Definitely worth a buy.
Apr 01, 2012
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Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
650ml bomber poured into tulip 26/3/12

A clear amber with slow tiny bubbles feeding an light beige head that retains pretty well leaving leaving some random lace on the way down

S toffee and butterscotch, plenty of vanilla, wood, hazelnut, faint smokey notes, a little booze, and a little plum perhaps, and even a little citric hops, everything is subtle on its own but together they work quite well, not sure what the wine barrel did to this one perhaps the vanilla and wood?

T the taste is quite nice but missing a little complexity that the nose had, more toffee's and a little more nutty then the nose, I'm surprised there's still a hop presence this strong in an aged beer, I taste some of their Amnesic in regards to the hop profile, a littler fruitier then the nose

M silky entry and quickly creams up from the bubbles, a little sticky on the lips and the little booze I could smell is not felt on the way down, pretty smooth stuff

O a lot of small things come together to create something big, I really don't see what the wine barrel did to this one but I really enjoyed it nonetheless

this one didn't last me very long that's for sure, well worth the 7$ keep the Phillips flood deep in Alberta please
Mar 27, 2012
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Reviewed by schopenhauerale from Arizona

4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
650 ml bottle poured into an Innis & Gunn tulip/demi-thistle.

A: Pours nicely, coming out a deep reddish amber with a moderate two finger off-white head. Retention and lacing were both average.

S: This is the most pungent beer I have drunk since 3 Monts. Tons of malt on the nose, coming through with bread and cheese aromas. Personally I didn't mind it but the smell might border on offensive to some drinkers.

T: Malty, Scotch ale goodness - caramel / toffee, and the barrel-aging is quite evident - oak and vanilla. Not getting much hops, and the finish is quite sweet, with hints of butter.

M: The aging has really tamed this beer, it's full but smooth. However, the feel fades to just a lingering tinge quickly - almost weak.

D: This is a really enjoyable beer. It's not as exciting as the double barrel-aging would suggest, but it's pleasant, drinkable, and well-balanced. Try it if you can find a bottle.
Mar 25, 2012
Double Barrel Scotch Ale from Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 33 ratings