Royal Oil
Bull & Bush Brewery

Royal OilRoyal Oil
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Strong Ale
Ranked #15
ABV:
13.5%
Score:
94
Ranked #631
Avg:
4.5 | pDev: 7.11%
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
95
From:
Bull & Bush Brewery
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  156
Gots
  26
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Royal OilRoyal Oil
Notes: Batch 12/4/15 (Bottled) - Aged 1.5 Years - 13.5% ABV
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 95 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Stillmakingnoise:
Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bitterbill
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Aaron for the hand delivered bottle just because I hooked him up with some BCBS in Casper.

Pours a hazy to cloudy deep brown colour ala a Thomas Hardy Ale. Small and then no head of foam, no lacing.

Huge caramel malt and dark fruits in the smell with port like notes. Got all of that immediately following removing the waxed cap. That. .got me all excited.

How is the taste, Bitterbill? Exactly like what the smell indicated. Caramel malt that is sweet but not overly so. Dark pitted fruit and that unmistakable taste of Port as in a properly cellared Thomas Hardy. I reckon that this is THE closest to That wonderful elixir the US has to offer.

Sticky full mouthfeel with the gentlest carbonation.

This is absolutely fabulous. Amazing. Incredible.

Easily makes it to my top 5 beers ever. Maybe even number 1. I'll decide that when I am finished.

Oh yeah, there's some definite heat to this baby but it is part of the beauty.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle sealed with dark purple wax and a pressure cap.

Side notes: the wax job is quite well done and this brewery really does alot of little things asthetically... The wax is thick and really got into all the crevices of the pressure cap; not much air will be getting into this beer until it gets opened up for consumption. It even looks like they did two separate wax dips to the bottle. Also for a fancy touch, the Bull and Bush logo is stamped into the wax on the side of the bottleneck directly above the Royal Oil logo on the label. The label boasts a claim of the ability of this beer to: "cellar for up to 25 years" and denotes that this bottle's contents are infact barrel aged.

bottled on: 12/4/2015.
bottle #: 543

poured into Speigelau stemmed tulip. Yup, I took this one to the dome solo... all 500ml of the bottle and no I am not ashamed of that fact.

Appearance: When pouring the beer into the glass you see a very mucky brown bodied beer, but this beer looks to have a light black body with dark brown hue when the beer comes to rest in the beer glass. A hard pour yields a thin cap of white head that quickly drops to a thin uneven ring around the glass and eventually has no head to speak of. Well defined booze legs on the side of the glass that remains for long after each sip.

Smell: Huge barrel notes. Tons of dry oak with an entourage of vanilla, caramel, bourbon aromas. Dark fruits are the main player for the malt profile, but I also get a hint of a fudge note. As the beer warms, you get a jet fuel "esk" note to give you a clue that this beer is still pretty hot and boozy.

Taste: This tastes similar to how it smells; lots of barrel influence. Dark fruit malts for sure and the dark fruit flavor gets bigger as the beer warms. My favorite part about this beer though is the barrel notes... Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, coconut, caramel, and really great dry oak note. The finish is juicy prunes, dry oak, and fantastic mix of sweetness that includes caramel, coconut, and even more bourbon. Take away the bourbon note and booze note then the finish almost tastes like a "samoa" girl scout cookie with dark fruits and dry oak.

Mouthfeel: full body with low yet adequate carbonation. This is a bit boozy and has a light dry finish. This beer is very rich. The carbonation actually fizzes a little bit on your tongue...that does not happen too often with high abv barrel aged beers. It actually help to cut through the booze character and massive flavors of the beer.

Overall: You really should feel like royalty after drinking Royal Oil. I have been wanting to track down a bottle of this ever since I tried Bull and Bush Legend of the Liquid Brain back in spring of 2014. Bull and Bush has some serious barrel aging skills proven to me now, for the 2nd time with Royal Oil. I am reviewing this beer as an American Strong Ale because the label clearly states this is beer is in fact a "Strong Ale". It tastes like a barrel aged strong ale, but it is worth mention that this beer does have some significant English Barleywine characteristics as well. My immediate thoughts when I took my first few sips of Royal Oil was that this would be the products of conception if King Henry and a Firestone Walker anniversary beer would have been expertly blended together.

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Photo of KevSal
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jason and Mike on making this happen. This is my white whale! Mike generously packed another as an extra!! Yeah kramerbarthomer kills it.. All the time.

L- looks pretty good, appears to have tons of carbonation

S- huge dark fruit and prune, nice barrel and vanilla. Very juicy, you can tell this is going to be good haha

T- big dark fruit upfront, boom tons of flavor a on the tongue. Im starting to see why there was so much commotion behind this guy! Follows the nose well, missing a smudge of what the nose brought

F- feel is huge this is one large sticky stout. High carbonation for the style however alch is nonexistent.

O- feels nice to tackle a long time want and luckily I have a couple to age and share on the west coast. This was really nice, I can only imagine what the pappy version was like.
Between this and blighs, must be nice to be in CO

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally released in bottles for the first time. Had multiple pours at the B&B Xmas Beer tasting. Booming presence of caramel and leather on the nose and palate. Barrels play a huge role here with a major bourbon presence. This beer is quite boozy at the first sip, but delicious.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

Pours viscous and caramel in color like a barleywine and settles the colors of raisins and murky in the glass. A foamy oatmeal-colored head forms but dissipates fairly quickly. 4.75

Smells immediately of port wine, raisins and dark fruit and spicy bourbon and oak. Vanilla and sweet bread show too. Very rich smelling and sets some big expectations. 4.5

Thick and gooey in feel with caramel, vanilla, bourbon spice, raisin and figs. 4.25

I'll reiterate thick and gooey. Very clean with almost no notable alcohol burn that I can perceive. Moderately sweet with light carbonation and a finish that resembles wine or port wine. 4.5

Damn. First Bull and Bush beer. Highly impressive. More than impressive. Outstanding.

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Photo of bgold86
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12 ounce snifter, huge nose, lots of dark dried fruits, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Taste is really nice, very impressed with this one, more dark dried fruits, slight chocolatey raspberry going on. Very very impressive!

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Photo of mentor
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy Crap! If I could brew this beer, I would never need to buy a high-end commercial beer ever again. Reviewed from notes found on several pages, as I've had this several times.

Minimal brown layer of fine bubbles over a dark brown liquid. Brown edgings when held to light. Amazing legs when swirled, no lacing.

Smells stunning. Cognac with heavy dark fruits and strong, but clean, alcohol. Flavor is dark raisin, plum, vanilla, pasty cookie dough, toffee, sweet nut, and lightly of molasses. Thick sweet is lifted off the palate by the alcohol. Nice oak and toasty undertone throughout.

Thick and lushious in the mouth with modest carbonation. Truly a stunning example of what beer can be. Plays the same game as Sam Adams Utopias, but better, as this beer is about flavor rather than simply shooting for the highest ABV possible. I can't get enough.

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Photo of sterstar1
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing find. We discovered this beer at the Boulder Strong Ale Fest last year. It was up against top beers from the best breweries of the nation and out of six true beer snobs, we all agreed that this one was the best. I thought I knew every brewery in Colorado and after tasting this beer, I said who the f--- is Bull and Bush? Needless to say, we all made our way to this delightful brew pub and bellied up for some more of the oil. It was SO good. They serve it in a large thick goblet at a cool but not cold temperature. There's almost no carbonation at all and it's very dark. The mouth-feel is exquisite and the taste is fruity with candy sugars like Twizzlers. Now, the only thing that might knock this beer down a bit is the fact that it's SO sweet. However, since you can only get this beer at Bull and Bush, if you pair it with some salty food like fries, the sweetness is more than tolerable. Anyway, my only complaint about this beer is availability. Make sure you call B&B before heading over. I've showed up there on many occasions just to hear that they're out. :( Definitely one of my all-time favorite beers. Cheers!

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Photo of mendvicdog
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopHead84
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

4/6/2012

Big thanks to Jonathan for sharing the bottle. This version of Royal Oil was aged for over 2 years in Pappy 23 Barrels.

A: Dark reddish brown with a big beige head. Slightly hazy.

S: Intensely rich with radical toffee and caramel notes. The bourbon profile is fucking amazing. Nutty bourbon butter toffee with massive vanilla notes. Big brown sugar presence and faint oak with a dash of coconut and dates.

T: Blend of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and bourbon of the utmost quality. Vanilla melds with coconut and light oak notes. Nutty butter toffee with brown sugar and faint dried fruits. Alcohol is mellow for the ABV. This is outrageously good.

M: Full body with lower moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, and chewy. There's substantial warming on the palate

Overall: This is the best barrel aged Barleywine I've ever had. The beer claims that spot with hauteur and an air of lofty disdain, as if it were its birthright. I expected a lot and it more than delivered. A beer fit for a king.

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Photo of bigdonniebrasco
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I will say up front that THIS is looks to be right in my "wheel-house". I LOVE English BW's, strong ales. Some of the Firestone Walker anniv, and Abacus is what comes to mind.

Look - If you told me that this was Firestone Walker Abacus (I refuse to call it the new name on principal) or one of their anniv ales I'd believe you. Dark amber, minimal khaki head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - once again - smells just like Abacus, brown sugar, caramel, sugary sweetness, figgy business, but.... smells a bit more boozy that the FW offerings

Taste - seriously, tastes exactly like the Abacus that I had 24 hours prior, HOWEVER... there is one deviation, Royal Oil, is a little "hotter". Their is a booziness that is absent in the FW offerings. That is NOT to say that this isn't a GLORIOUS beer... it truly is! But I like boozy where some people might not. AND I cannot fault his beer for that as the label clearly states ... "AGE FOR UP TO 25 YEARS" So this is green as a 2015 bottle!

What an amazing beer.... there is no way I'll ever be able to cellar one as I don't have the will power to not drink em!!

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Photo of gatornation
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BO 12/4/15 Pours a murky rusty mahogany color with a thin khaki head very little lacing, smell BA wood and bourbon with dark fruit toffee and caramel whoa! it smells great. Taste is superb! BA wood and bourbon on the front it mixes so well with vanilla ,dark fruits, slight hops with toffee and caramel just delicious, mouth feel is lower carbonation with a smooth silky luscious Bourbon barrel . This is one of the best BW ive tasted complex in flavor with excellence in the Barrel.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the pub on my recent trip to Denver. My buddy lives in an apartment building right next door and didn't know what the Bull and Bush was. He assumed it was some crappy local dive. Glad I convinced him otherwise.
Review from shorthand notes.

Pours a deep mahogany with barely any head, more of just a scattering of bubbles on the surface. Virtually no lacing.

Smells like toffee, caramel, dried apricots, hints of chocolate and vanilla, oak and bourbon.

Lots of bourbon right up front. It almost burns. Once the heat subsides it reveals complex layers almost identical to the nose: toffee, caramel, apricot, and oak. Lots of residual sugars in this one. Finishes with more bourbon and a nice warm feeling inside.

Sweet, almost cloying, with a medium-bodied mouthfeel and little carbonation.

Tasty, but sweet, and the alcohol is not hidden at all. Still, a very complex and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich, hazy, woody brown with a thin tan head. The superb color more than makes up for the lacking head.

Nose has dark pitted fruits, pecans, caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla and lots of bourbon.

Taste is just as complex. Sweet camelized candies, chocolate, wood, vanilla, whiskey, plums, figs and cherries.

Thick, creamy body is delicately carbonated.

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. Quite impresive offering from Bull and Bush.

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Photo of mothman
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel brown. No head.

Lots of oak and bourbon. Warming and spot on. Lots of caramel and toffee. Lots of malt. Vanilla.

Full bodied. Nice warming bourbon feel.

Great ba bwine. This stuff is complex and delicious.

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Photo of jera1350
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Stardusthotel83 for slipping me this long-time want. 500ML bottled 12/14/15 which claims to be cellarable up to 25 years.

The cool black wax has some kind of stamp in it that my corrected eyes can’t quite make out the fine print on, & it’s a bitch to get off. Eventually it yields to my tender ministrations, & out comes a murky brown with little to no visible carbonation. Smells like caramel, many board-feet of oak, sugary sweetness, whiskey. Not bad.

Royal Oil drinks twice as big as its already heady ABV. Boozy whiskey big enough to land Apollo 13 carves a warm crick from throat to chest cavity; pretty sure I’ve seen this bottle around the neck of a St. Bernard. Whiskey for miles, heavy oak, liquid caramel syrup, Belgian candied sugar, brown sugar, caramelized sugars that haven’t even been invented yet. More bourbon, more caramel. Good bat love, the caramel. Thick, syrupy, & I’m so glad I have 500ML to myself. Sad I don’t have a full liter. Or six. And an external liver. Can you buy those at Office Depot?

Not complex, not trendy, just fucking delicious. I could drink this until I was wondering how I got that great view of the ceiling, & why my bladder was full to bursting. Amazing beer that could hold it’s own against the elite.

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Photo of billab914
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of emmasdad
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap a rich, dark, stained oak color, with some minimal foam on top. The aromas leap from the glass, even before my nose gets close. Bourbon, vanilla, dried figs, raisins, and alcohol. The alcohol is immediately noticeable when I first take a sip, as is the bourbon. Caramel, dark fruits, oak, vanilla and dark brown sugar combine to round out the palate. What an awesome beer! My major complaint is with the fact I was not allowed to purchase a growler.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Bull & Bush just prior to GABF. Poured into a snifter. This beer has been aged in 28-year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels.

A- Pours a dark brown with a hint of burgundy when held into light. Produced a fingers width of tan head that quickly dissipated. Very little to no lacing.

S- Just a perfect mix of amazing aromas. Sweet molasses, caramel, loads of dark fruit with a nice cognac, alcohol background. I could smell this all day.

T- Even more complex than the aroma. The barrel aging in this was probably the best I have experienced. Dark fruits are the first thing to hit the palate. The complexity quickly comes into play as caramel and toffee come into play. There is a molasses-like sweetness in their as well. The beer finishes on the sweet side with a little bit of restrained alcohol heat and oak barrel.

M- Thick and viscous. Coats the palate perfectly. Low carbonation, but works perfectly with this style.

D- With so much going on, it was pretty amazing how easy this was to drink. It was on the sweeter side, but not overdone.

Overall, been wanting to try this beer for a couple year now as I am a huge fan of english barleywines. This more than lived up to expectations. The way the barrel aging blended in so seamlessly with the barleywine was absolutely remarkable. Easily the best BA barleywine I have had to date.

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Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. Murky brown with a reddish tinge. Lots of bourbon. Very oaky and nutty bourbon aroma. Boozy and a little bit of brown sugar. Taste is also a ton of bourbon. Really strong bourbon and oak. Brown sugar behind it. Some vanilla in the back end. Lingering bourbon and booze. Medium heavy. Very boozy, but not very sweet, which I appreciate.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Royal Oil from Bull & Bush Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 95 ratings