Royal Oil | Bull & Bush Brewery

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Royal OilRoyal Oil
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bull & Bush Brewery
Colorado, United States
bullandbush.com

Style: American Strong Ale

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
76
Avg:
4.52
pDev:
6.64%
 
 
Wants:
150
Gots:
28
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 76
Photo of mothman
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
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 russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
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

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -11.5%
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 Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

B/B unloaded this at the Boulder Beer Fest. Similar to their Legend of Liquid Brain, but a bit better IMO. Aged in Wild Turkey barrels.
Pours a silky black/dark brown, minimal head. Very smooth look to it.
Smells of slight vanilla, bourbon and caramel. Some toasted malt and maple. Strong, yet not overpowering. Alcohol is surprisingly small.
Taste is wonderful. A nice balance between the malts, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, sweet molasses and a touch of raisin. The caramel is warming and enduring. Stays with the palate long after the sip. A nice, clean residual taste. This makes the drinkability that much better.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
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 Bitterbill
5/5  rDev +10.6%
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 -2.2%
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 maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
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 ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle $19.71. Murky brown color, almost muddy. Aroma is boozy and sort of takes over the base beer. The flavor is pretty much what you would expect, barrel, caramel, and booze but the booze is a little heavy for my tastes. Overall a good one but overpriced.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Kramerbarthomer
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
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 gatornation
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
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 emmasdad
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
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 Crosling
4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ 5th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Fest. Definately one of the better barrel aged beers of the night. Vibrant nose of malt and oak barrel character. Balanced, it took on the character of the barrel (oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut) and also the maltiness of the original beer, with hints of caramel and fruit. A nice brew.

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Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +10.6%
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 mentor
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
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 bgold86
4.66/5  rDev +3.1%
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 zac16125
4.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle into a snifter
Bottle #250

Thanks to protonw07 for sending this one over in a trade!


A: Murky, opaque mahogany, 1 fingers width of fizzy tan colored head that dissipates quickly and leaves essentially no lacing. 4.25

S: Amazing aroma. Super sweet and quite boozy; tons of dark fruits; subtle cocoa, candied sugar, some oaky herbaceous notes, lots of barrel characters. 4.75

T: Like the nose its very sweet, dark fruits and candied sugar; big barrel notes with charred oak and bourbony vanilla, barrel notes are huge. Quite excellent. 4.5

M/D: Very low carbonation, quite smooth, full bodied almost thick, some booze is noted but the ABV is actually very well masked, drinkability is good. 4.25

O: Hits all the notes a BA English Barleywine should. Great combo of sweetness from the base beer and barrel notes. Does not top MoAS as my favorite, but still exceptional. Worth seeking out. 4.5

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The royal treatment. The best beer I tried at B&B for sure. The pour was a darker copper color with good clarity but some haze. Not much for head and retention in general and no lacing to speak of. There is a nice viscosity to the beer when swirled.

The nose was balance with more of an English feel with a strong caramel presence and more earthy hop aromas. Noticeable alcohol but not too much of a deterrent. Some tropical fruit notes are in the background too. Not too much of a cask presence in the nose but others in my party could pick it out. Or at least that is what they wanted me to think.

The taste was balance as well. A great malt presence with a caramel and grainy flavors. The alcoholic flavor was still noticeable but subtle and more balance then what the nose first indicated. Some light bready flavors that brings almost a biscuit like image to mind. Lighter raisin flavors in the finish and a more lasting impression with hop flavors. As the beer warms, plum and some slight cherry flavors are detected as well.

The body is big with limited solvent and alcoholic notes. Light carbonation and would have liked more but that is ok. Overall a good beer but one beer at a time thank you.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.09/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 1pt 9fl oz bottle (#566) with a bottled on date on 12/4/15; into a snifter.
Appearance - heavy brown in color with a lot of carbonation and some floating sediment. Carbonation bubbles try and build and maintain a head, but nothing materializes. Lacing is nonexistent.
Smell - very sweet notes of bourbon and caramel!
Taste - follows the nose precisely, however the sweetness is tamed by the booze!
Feel - scary smooth at 13.5%; big boozy and sweet brew!
Overall - an absolutely brilliant beer, however the price point is silly.

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Photo of Domingo
3.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is supposed to be a 2005 vintage barrel aged barleywine per the sign on the wall. I'd say it reminds me a little more of a super-strong Imperial Stout to be honest, but that might just be the wood characteristics and color.
Arrives in a pretty large goblet. It's brown to the point of being virtually black except for a tiny white layer on the surface. The edge of the glass is sticky to give you an idea of how thick this brew is.
Smell is sweet and boozy. I'd almost say it smells like a cross between a barleywine, a stout, and some bourbon.
The taste is potent. I think with each subsequent offering at the Bull and Bush they seem to get just a little bit sweeter. I think this is potentially the sweetest beer I've had to date! Sugar, coconut, caramel, vanilla, licorice, and toffee are here. Yes, you read that coconut description correctly. I've picked up a similar flavor in their imperial stout, too. I can only think it's a combination of the wood and their sweeter malts. It's a really good and unique flavor, though...so don't misinterpret it. No hop flavors readily present, but there's no alcohol burn at all either.
It's thick and sticky, but at over 12% potency, you have to expect that. I think the sticky sweetness really makes this a nightcap or possibly even a 1/2 pint.
It's insanely good, but it's just not a beer that you can drink much of or follow up with anything else.
My recommendation would be to split a glass of this with someone.

EDIT: This beer pops up here and there and is still quite the booze monster, but is clearly more of a barleywine now. The color is more of a lighter brown, and the big caramel malts and hops come through more. It's still a splitter or very slow sipper, but it's a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of KevSal
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
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 rallison
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours a thick murky brown with no head
S: sweet caramel raisins and big bourbon
T: huge bourbon, a bit hot up front then leads to the caramel raisin sweetness and finishes with king sweetness and a touch of bourbon. Awesome beer!
F: a bit boozy and hot, but I kind of like that. It is very smooth and coating
O: glad I got to share this with a buddy

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours a dark amber, walnut, and mahogany with a thin soapy khaki-colored head
S: Caramel, figs, brown sugar, and bourbon on the nose
T: Decadent flavor profile that evokes oatmeal raisin cookies, toffee, dark fruits, oak, and molasses
F: Full-bodied, thick, and moderately carbed
O: Gorgeous strong ale from the first sip to the last. Very rich and showcases a variety of flavors. If you're a barleywine fan, you'll undoubtedly enjoy this one. Tastes a bit hot, but should age well over the coming years.

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Royal Oil from Bull & Bush Brewery
4.52 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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