Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2013 | Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)

very good
111 Ratings
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Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2013Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2013

Brewed by:
Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
You could gift this bottle as a reflection of your fine craft beer taste, drink it now to ease your holiday tension or cellar for the long winter ahead. For our first year of our Yankee Swap beer series, we selected rum barrels from our friends at Turkey Shore Distilleries and dark maple syrup from North Hadley Sugar Shack. This Strong Ale is a big beer with hints of maple and complex notes of oak and rum from the Old Ipswich rum barrels.

Added by BrewEngland on 11-13-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours like dark maple syrup; rich, dark brown with amber highlights. It sits in the glass as deep mahogany with a little head of creamy white bubbles that fade into a nice scrim around the glass. In body, the beer appears thick and nearly opaque, with just hints of ruby/amber light escaping from the sides. When washed against the sides of the glass, the beer leaves a very slick and quick pair of legs that drizzle and dissolve. On the nose, this beer is an awesome boozy beast. Rich rum coats the nose beautifully with a wisp of maple syrup, and a healthy dose of toffee-like malts. The boozy rum in this beer is not hot, per-se, and is really quite inviting, suggesting a thick slow sipping delight in the glass. Molasses and rich oak can also be sensed as you shove your nose into the glass, adding further complexity to the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes sticky sweet, but never cloying, with a quick, strong alcoholic heat just at the close of the throat, but little to none in the finish. Very gentle herbal, hop bitters can be sensed, blending with the tannin from the oak to bring a nice balance to this rich and decadent beer. Alcohol presence is surprisingly middling, and while definitely there, it blends with the rich sweetness of the beer to create quite a decadent treat. In flavor, the beer begins as fresh oak, quickly moving into boozy rum with a touch of cola and lots of toffee malt. Herbal bitterness and oak tannin balance the sides of the mouth, giving a light grassy sense as the rich malt steamrolls over the middle of the palate. Warm maple syrup candy comes into play on the finish along with just a touch of roast malt, smoked oak, and a good batch of bready malts that morph into toffee. Herbal grass and rum balance out the aftertaste, though a very faint sense of maple syrup can also be sensed. As the beer warms, more rich oak, toffee, and rum (not booze) flavors can be sensed on the tongue. In the mouth, the beer feels full bodied with a flatter carbonation and a nearly syrupy mouthfeel that still slides down the tongue nicely, but grabs on as it goes and lets the mouth know that this beer has some body and should be contemplated, not chugged. The mouth is left a little sticky with a faint sheen of saliva on the mouth, and a boozy dryness that lingers over the middle of the tongue. Overall, this is a decadent holiday delight that I intend to buy more of, and to age for years to come. The Yankee Swap is planned as a yearly beer that changes up its barrel by the year, which will surely make for an interesting tasting down the road! The rum barrel blends beautifully with the maple syrup and the beer and makes for a great in-front-of-a-fire beer to contemplate the holiday season. The beer also makes a perfect yankee swap gift!

 2,791 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of JakerLou
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of hagbergl
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber of Slumbrew Yankee Swap at Craft Beer Cellar, Newton on Thanksgiving eve on the recommendation of one of the store clerks. Another fine tip. Thanks, guys! Served in a Firestone Walker snifter–the perfect glass for such a big beer.

Appearance (4/5): A decent amount of khaki head atop the dark red-brown body. Impressive alcohol legs.

Smell (4.5/5): The rum barrel is very present in the nose. Great caramel, vanilla, and toffee notes as well as a slight underlying toasted grainy smell. Just smells delicious.

Taste (4.5/5): Taste follows the nose. Lots and lots of barrel character shining through in this one. Huge, intensely malty flavors of caramel and toffee, rum-soaked raisin and toasted coconut contributed by the barrel, and dark bread. The noticeable alcohol presence serves to cut the sweetness and cleans the palate, readying it for another sip.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Smooth, not viscous or chewy. Low carbonation as to be expected. Not the most drinkable ale because of its strength but it doesn't feel like a 12 percent beer. Not harsh in the least; actually it's quite mellow. It packs lots of big flavor but they never end up tasting sharp. The mouthfeel is nicely rounded.

Overall (4.5/5): Yankee Swap is an impressive first whack at barrel-aging for Slumbrew. Loads of toffee, dark bread, and rum-soaked raisin flavor explode from this big, yet mellow, English Strong Ale/Barleywine. A thoroughly enjoyable sipper of a beer meant to be shared along with or following a hearty meal. Great. One of the best New England beers I have had this year, for certain.

 1,602 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of JamesStreet
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into snifter
Bottled on 11/2013

A - Brackish brown looking liquid with a slight off white head. Foamy though. Minimal lacing left on glass. Head dissipates quickly with very few bubbles.
S - Breadiness, booziness, rum. Some of the maple syrup comes through. Woodiness as well as raisins and other darker fruits but not too much.
T - Strong rum-alcohol taste upfront. Toffee, caramel with a malty breadiness as well as the dark fruit. Faint hop bitterness tries to come through but this malty, boozy beast slams it back right away!
M - Medium mouthfeel with boozy heat that lingers till the end of the sip and beyond. A little slickness on the palate as well.
O - Not a bad brew and a bit unsuspecting. Really like the boozy heat from the rum. Would have liked a little more oakiness from the barrel come through in the taste. Syrup was faint could've came through just a bit more, but overall a nice beer. Slumbrew seems to "hit" more than "miss" and that's a good thing!

 994 characters

Photo of Rappaman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Poured a dark caramel/brown color into the snifter. A one finger width tan and frothy head sat atop the beer. Carbonation/bubbles were visibly seen climbing the edge of the glass into the head.

Aroma - Full of flavors; including oak, vanilla, a touch of rum from the barrels, brown sugar, and caramel.

Taste - Hints of maple syrup come through on tongue along with the rum and oak from the barrels it was aged in. Vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel also come through in the back ground.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, thick and sticky. Very light bitterness as expected with a 27 IBU brew. Carbonation can be felt throughout.

Overall - The reason I wanted to try this one is mainly due to the fact it was aged in Jamaican rum barrels. As my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Jamaica last year, we had quite a bit of Jamaican rum and really enjoyed it. Overall, a nice full and flavor beer. However, it reminded me more of a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy rather than an English Strong Ale. But the types of barrels the beer was aged in may have had something to do with it.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Denzo
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Keene
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Bjlps
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ericvillhauer
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of TWStandley
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Peter1977
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of WhitmansNiece
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of twj2000
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LutherBrau
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of MenardMa
3.5/5  rDev -14%

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Slumbrew Yankee Swap 2013 from Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
4.07 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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