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Royal Oil | Bull & Bush Brewery

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Royal OilRoyal Oil

Brewed by:
Bull & Bush Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Batch 12/4/15 (Bottled) - Aged 1.5 Years - 13.5% ABV

Added by Mebuzzard on 04-08-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 67
Reviews by russpowell:
Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could buy into this being a BW based on superficial appearances. But other than color, I'd accept this as a IMP Stout, either way, a damn tasty beer!

Poured chestnunt with a modicum of tan head. A bit of head retention & lacing

S: Bourbon, cakeyness & raisins

T: Dryness, rich cakeyness, chocolate & a bit boozey warmth up front. Brown sugar, rum, & a bit of caramel as this warms. Finishes oaky dry with plenty of candy sweetness

MF: Sticky with low carbonation & good chewyness

Drank great for the strength, the dryness & abv would eventually haul you down

 566 characters

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.

 949 characters

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.

 765 characters

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

 872 characters

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!

 235 characters

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.

 279 characters

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.

 855 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Prospero
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 360 characters

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

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

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!

 1,142 characters

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

Photo of ford0626
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of itracy63
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rallison
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes during my GABF 07 trip (had at the brewpub itself).

2005 Vintage of Royal Oil.

Notes (as copied exactly from my notebook):

Bourbon! Smells of sweet bourbon.

Taste is bourbon, thick caramel and toffee. Touch of dark fruits - dates especially.

Rich, thick & delicious.

A beautiful nightcap beer.

Anyway, I think I enjoyed this brew just as much as everybody else! Give it a try if you have a chance.

 417 characters

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

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.

 483 characters

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.

 914 characters

Photo of crobinso
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jacobdunne
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very solid barleywine! Tastes as good as the name. Love saying the name, ok? Royal Oil.

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Royal Oil from Bull & Bush Brewery
4.5 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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