The Hammer - Barrel Aged | Phillips Brewing Company

The Hammer - Barrel AgedThe Hammer - Barrel Aged
BA SCORE
85.2%
Liked This Beer
4.08 w/ 54 ratings
The Hammer - Barrel AgedThe Hammer - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
phillipsbeer.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smooth with oak and smoke notes, this special version of the Hammer is aged in Bourbon barrels, yielding a more mellow version of the Imperial Stout.

2017 Notes
This year’s vintage was carefully aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. It pours a deep earthy brown colour and features a full-bodied, roasted flavour profile with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and coconut. This beer pairs beautifully with dark winter nights, or if you have the patience, is a great candidate to make disappear for awhile in your beer cellar gulag.

Added by BDTyre on 01-16-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,669
Reviews:
25
Ratings:
54
Liked:
46
Avg:
4.08/5
pDev:
9.07%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
8
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

A - Poured black with a thin layer of mocha coloured head.

S - Roast, bitter espresso and a hint of licorice. The nose doesn't even leave a trace of barrel.

T - Bitter dark roast, baker's chocolate, light licorice. The barrel presence shows up in the palate, but still takes a back seat to the base beer qualities.

M - Very light; watery. Carbonation is almost non-existent. Drinks more like a 5% porter than an imperial stout.

O - Disappointing. The mouthfeel was the big let down here. But the barrel was also more subdued than it should be in a barrel aged stout.

 584 characters

Photo of shagal
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of IronDjinn
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 650 ml brown bottle. I haven't tried the original Hammer yet, so I'm at a bit of a deficit here when it comes to how this barrel-aging has affected or potentially enhanced it. However I'll assess it based on its own stand-alone merits.

Pours out an oily opaque black colour, with a couple finger's worth of creamy mocha head that retains to a thick cap.

Coffee, cocoa and roasty malt on the nose, a little bit of boozy sweetness, faint wood and herbal hops.

Light semi-sweet cocoa and mild roasty malt up front in the flavour, a character of cafe au lait develops in the middle, while things tend to lazily disappear into the finish, although some sweet vanilla-tinged whiskey is revealed into the aftertaste, and the vanilla coats the lips. Flavour comes across very light and mild for the style.

Mouthfeel is light for the style, rather thin with a silky smooth/slick texture, yet with moderate carbonation.

An easy drinker, that's for sure. Although I'm enjoying the vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel still coating my lips after the glass has been emptied, the impression of the actual ale itself gets more and more faint. Seriously mild for the style, which may help make it an okay entry level beer for those wishing to take baby steps, however doesn't quite live up to spec as advertised. Hate to say it, but this hammer doesn't have much force behind it.

 1,378 characters

Photo of mmurphy525
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a typical blackish brown with little in the way of brownish-tan head. Nose has a little smoke and dark malt notes. Taste offers some nice sweet vanilla and coconut notes as a result of the barrel aging. Overall feels a little thin, more like a Baltic porter, maybe. Certainly not poorly made, just doesn't have the heft and booziness we've become accustomed to in this style.

 409 characters

Photo of Whatup14
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma consists of vanilla and wood with some light dry roasted malt. Taste is also a solid mix of vanilla notes with light woody notes and some black chocolate. Body is below average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and quite enjoyable though a fuller body would have been better.

 409 characters

Photo of ZachT
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Black as your mother's soul, three fingers of thick, dark amber head
S: Malty, smokey, rich vanilla and subtle fruitiness, strong alcohol presense, get a wee bit of oakish notes in the background
T: Very rich and smooth malt flavour, hints of vanilla, slightly smokey oak flavours, leaves a rich, bitter but malty flavour behind
M: Medium-heavy body, smooth, but not as smooth as other barrel-aged beers this season, nice bitter-sweet finish
O: Really nice imperial stout, not as harsh as other similar styles, quite drinkable, the barrel-aging adds a nice complexity compared to the regular Hammer version. I had very high hopes after trying the regular version, and although this was a fantastic brew, it wasn't quite as "exceptional" as I was hoping. But still a damn good beer.

 784 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle sent my way by the generous EskimoDave, I know these were not easy to come across - thanks! Had side by side with this year's regular Hammer.

Pours a dark brown, not overly viscous, finger of tan head which has some decent staying power.

Nose is much more mellow than the regular offering, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, hints of anise. A fair bit of toffee and butter but not outside of the borders of style guidelines. Lacking more than a mere hint of bourbon.

Certainly not on par with the bigger BA offerings south of the border. Wish there was more of the bourbon and the oak coming through. Much rounder, balanced body than the regular offering, dark fruits and roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, coffee, cocoa. A little thin for the style but the ABV is a little lower too, less residual sugar, light drying finish. Carb is low and smooth, nice.

Easy to drink, I enjoyed it. Wish there was more evidence of the barrel and a bigger, heftier base beer as well. As is, it's a nice drinker but nothing to rave about. Solidly made, another notch on the belt for Phillips. Hopefully they do more BA seasonals like this one.

 1,165 characters

Photo of 604growler
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of wordemupg
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 8/2/12

A pours pretty dark right out of the bottle, there's a little cola at the edge but not much, a thumbs width of dark foam leaves a single ring of lace and a few spots afterwards

S bakers chocolate and milk chocolate somehow work together with a little coffee, molasses and charred smokey wood. the barrel has some effect but noting extreme and there's some faint booze

T much more charred wood and smoke then the nose, perhaps some nutty toffee, fairly earthy with just a little licorice and the booze is a little better concealed then the nose

M not as thick as one would expect from how dark it is, bubbles are there and help its cause, lots of wood on the finish

O good beer for sure and its already fairly mellow fresh, not the thickest BB aged RIS but respectable for sure

I thought this was a good beer but still missing something to put it in the elite class, that being said for a little over 6$ I might be buying a couple more of these to age

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Matt for sending this to me for my bday!

A: Pours dark black, quite oily, with a small tan head with little retention and spotty lacing.

S: A little bit of coffee, some bourbon, molasses, a bit of brown sugar. The bourbon becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

T: Lightly roasted dark malt, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, and a nice sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied (maybe a touch thin) with nice carbonation. Very little alcohol heat and extremely smooth.

O: Very nice beer, liked it very much. While the bourbon was present, it wasn't in your face like some other barrel aged stouts, but I still would have liked it to have been come through a little bit more.

 706 characters

Photo of IllNate
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the blackest beer I've ever seen. With a finger of mahogany head. Subsides quickly to lacing. Immediate impression of smoke in the nose. I would be surprised if this is due to the smoked oak entirely and I think it likely there is some smoked malt in the recipe. Along with the smoke come coffee, cocoa, currants and oak. The palate follows with cocoa, nutty coffee, smoke and currants. Mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol is well hidden. Overall a great imperial stout. But I've had better.

 497 characters

Photo of alew_os
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveJanssen
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Ericbeech_87
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: roast, molasses, sweet, malts

taste: molasses, sweet, roasted malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body

overall: very nice well balanced imperial stout. didn't get much flavors from the barrel but still was enjoyable.

Cheers,
The CPJ

 315 characters

Photo of D_Min
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jeffo
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks again for the brews man!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, mocha colored head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Jet black body with almost zero carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking beer.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark chocolate and whisky notes. Vanilla, sweet cream and iced cappuccino in there as well. The whisky is bold enough and works well with the light coffee, cappuccino and chocolate aromas. Really nice stuff.

TASTE: Roasted notes, with some wisky and vanilla flavors up front, then dark chocolate and coffee at the swallow. Milder but lingering finish of iced cappuccino, coffee, dark chocolate, and then some whisky, vanilla and sweet cream from the barrels. The barrels are mild, but the sweetness works and makes it taste like a desert beer. Easy to drink as well.

PALATE: Medium, lighter body with a touch higher amounts of carbonation. A little light on the palate, but creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Could be a little heavier and mouth-coating for the style, but passable.

OVERALL: A really nice beer for sure. The nose was fantastic on this one, but the flavors would need to be a little bolder for top marks there. Moreover, the palate needs to be a touch bigger to help carry the flavor a bit more. In any case, this is a good beer that's well worth the effort. Thanks again Rutager. Another good Phillips beer.

 1,579 characters

Photo of Bunman3
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, so good. This is truly one of my favourite styles, and Philips absolutely gets this one right. I love the look of this brew - pure black, with a substantial dark head. The dark, smooth nature of this beer is everything I love in a stout - chocolate, smoke, roasted malt and the faintest hint of wood. The high alcohol content doesn't pop its head up until you are well into the glass, a quality I enjoy. Definitely one of my top ten beers.

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The Hammer - Barrel Aged from Phillips Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85.2% out of 100 with 54 ratings
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