Volume # 1
4 Hands Brewing Co.

Volume # 1Volume # 1
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #139
Ranked #629
4.4 | pDev: 7.73%
4 Hands Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Volume # 1Volume # 1
Notes: Imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels for 16 months with coffee and cacao nibs.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 216 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 4 OZ pour in a flight of other barrel-aged 4 Hands beers.

This was the best of the lot of three barrel aged stouts, for me.

The bourbon was up front, and amazing. Very flavorful, and just what I expect in a BBA Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Dan411
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Murky brown pour, black in the glass with a cola colored head. Thin one finger weak head of loosely packed cola-like head that's all but gone in less than a minute. No lacing, with odd small dark particles coating the side of the glass. Cacao nibs? Coffee?

Smell: Tons of chocolate covered espresso beans. Some sweet whiskey follows, but mostly dark fudgy chocolate with coffee and barrel undertones. Some vanilla comes out as it warms.

Taste: Fudgy chocolate with undertones of coffee and hints of sharp booze barrel that helps it from getting too sweet. Barrel comes out more as it warms. Very enjoyable.

Feel: Medium plus to thick mouthfeel. Feels a little like whole milk, with a slick, fairly coating finish. A higher level of carb would help push the beer around the mouth. Carb level is a lot like a Prairie beer. A little warming in the chest.

Overall: A little hard to evaluate this one, as I am not sure how old it is. Some subtle sediment ring in neck says is has some age on it. Coffee isn't big at all either, but the fudgy chocolate is huge and delicious (like a more balanced Southern Tier Choklat). Finally a thicker mouthfeel from 4 Hands!

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Photo of Harrison8
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of dark caramel head. Head retention is good with no lacing left behind. Aroma is coffee, cocoa, spices, and a little bourbon. The bourbon brings a dash of heat with it. Flavor profile is coffee, cocoa, vanilla bean, and a hint of spices. Bourbon is present, but barely noticeable - nice and mellow. Roasted and toasted malts are present as well. Spices and cinnamon finish out the beer. Mouth feel is smooth, and velvety, with a medium thickness. Overall, despite a slightly thin feel, it delivers a wallop of pleasant adjunct notes in addition to well balanced roasted and toasted malts.

Served in a teku 3.0 glass from a 22oz bomber.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.99/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - dark brown black beer with A mocha head that dissipates eventually, not much lacing
S- big chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, cream, toasted coconut
T - also big chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, cream, toasted coconut, little boozy kahlua especial note in there
M - strong mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is coffee, chocolate
O - great beer. Right up there with kbs easily. Very very good.

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Photo of JWBeer_Snob
3.21/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour was nuce with a nose of chocolate and coffee. The bourbon was definitely noticed throughout every sip. A bit on the over powering side. I was disappointed since I love the Bona Fide BA.

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Photo of Dankacheese
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really terrible offering from 4 Hands. It breaks my heart to admit or write this review because 4 Hands is one of my favorite breweries. However, this was just flat out disappointing and really painful to drink....drain pour. Came out of the bottle very thin, nose is nothing but chocolate. Taste is nothing but chocolate and just felt thin. A weak base stout masked by overly pungent chocolate notes. This reminded me of a weaker version of Choklat by Southern Tier. Sorry 4 Hands, you've picked it up since this Volume.

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Photo of pagriley
3.35/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hot and boozy with thin body. Lacking any real coffee or chocolate notes. Bourbon was harsh and over-done. One of the lesser BA stouts I have had - not worth trying

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Photo of Gtwreck45
4.14/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aged just under a year, poured from 22oz bottle into snifter.

L: Jet black with slight brown at the edges. Little head and it disappeared fast, although that's to be expected with a bit of aging
S: Dominated by chocolate syrup, with a touch of wine-like or dark fruit scent. The coffee is there if you are looking for it, but cocoa was definitely dominant
T: more chocolate, although that's likely my nose telling me what I will taste. Some vanilla and licorice, with an oaky finish
F: full feeling with a lingering thickness.
O: quality stout, although surprisingly little whiskey considering the length of aging. While I enjoyed it and would gladly drink again, not sure I'd buy it again at its price point ($17/22oz)

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black and big bourbon smell. Love the smell!!!
Smooth chocolate and smooth bourbon, fantastic. This has been aged almost a year and has improved. Pretty thick, better than most.
I will get it again, worth seeking out for sure.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a tasty surprise. Thick brown-black pour, typical stout look, with a small tan head. Nice roasty aroma, dark malts, dark chocolate, dark coffee, and something kind of fruity in there too, almost candy-like, but in a good way. Similar taste, rich bourbon notes coming through nicely, complimenting all the dark goodies. Again, some unexpected sweetness in there, almost like Circus Peanuts or something. Unusual but it worked. Smooth mouthfeel, medium-full body, a good drinker overall. I haven't had much from this brewery, but so far, no clunkers.

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Photo of dustin22martin
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was a first run bottle with the wax top. No bottled-on date. Poured a murky dark brown with very little head. Smelled heavily of bitter chocolate. Coffee smell (and taste) was long gone. No detectable alcohol taste; this one was super smooth and chocolatey. Wish I had stashed another one.

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Photo of JackieAnton
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours unexpectedly light, not opaque as expected with a tan head. Nose is mostly chocolate. Taste follows with chocolate and bourbon and light coffee. Just love it. Pretty sweet! Very little roasty bitterness. Wow. Didn't think this could even come close to the only other barrel aged 4 Hands beer I've had (Madagascar) but this really stands up. Congrats 4 Hands for being #1 and #2 on my list of favorite stouts/porters.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.88/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Moderately black and murky so no light will seep through this. There's a finger of beige around the rim. The aroma is dominated by sweet bourbon notes. The bitterness of the coffee tones down that sweetness slightly. The flavor is an oddly intense yet balanced beer. The sweet bourbon is held in check by the chocolate and coffee. The mouth is thick and viscous.

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Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of whiskey notes with oak, chocolate and coffee. Great balance of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate and roasted coffee.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.16/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Comes off looking a little thin, but the aroma is killer- huge vanilla, oak, charred malts. Taste follows very well. Body could use a boost, but it's minor. Fantastic barrel notes.very well done.

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Photo of strandm
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at three kings. Minimal head, thin. Pitch black. Rich smell with sweet bourbon, vanilla. Flavors of bourbon, oak, vanilla, mild caramel and sweetness, well balanced. Feel is slightly thin, but adequate. Very good overall - improves as it warms. Prefer bcbs, cbs, kbs, but on par with barrel-aged Rasputin and barrel aged narwhal

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Medium khaki head. Wispy surface and a thin collar.

Smell - Vanilla. Lots of vanilla. A bit of whiskey. Milk chocolate.

Taste - Whiskey much more prominent. Also some coffee, but it isn't that strong. A little acidic on the coffee. Chocolate is nice. Boozy finish and a touch of roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Sharp booziness. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Lots of chocolate as it warms. I'm amazed there's no vanilla added to this.

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Photo of KevSal
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a great beer! I had Madagascar and while I liked it I didn't think it was amazing. This beer is amazing, I fact I enjoy the huge vanilla notes in this one better. This is a must try, I hope it's released annually.

Plus the label is awesome!

edit: this review was for the first release

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Photo of KCSerdy
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer surprised me. Opened it on a whim and was just blown away. Huge chocolate nose followed by chocolate taste with vanilla. The end is coffee and the barrel balances it all out. I want more of this now but hence, I live in CO. ISO

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Photo of Way2drunk
3.43/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It was ok! Lacked a lot of the flavor profiles promised on the bottle. Coffee taste with whiskey smell, but nothing distinctive or memorable hold to this beer. I could very easily give it a pass or play depending on the day. Way to many exceptional beers to get caught up with this one. Anything other that jus OK! Is just a lie.

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4.81/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Two stage head off a hard pour. Drinks chocolate, vanilla then finishes with a strong coffee bitter. In that order! There is a very noticeable transition between the three big flavors. Great beer overall! ISO more!

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich deep deep brown, almost black with a creamy looking 1 inch tan head. Minimal lacing.

Nose of bourbon and chocolate with undertones of coffee, vanilla and roasted malt. I expected more coffee in the nose.

Tastes of smooth bourbon with some chocolate and vanilla. Again, undertones of coffee but less than expected. Mild roasted malt flavors. Has a sweetness I'd expect more of a milk stout than an imperial stout. Flavors are very balanced with nothing overpowering the others.

Rich creamy mouth feel. Not as thick as many imperial stouts I've had.

Overall, an excellent beer. Very smooth and tremendous balance in the various flavors. I was expecting more coffee in both the aroma and the flavor. 1 order of magnitude of coffee more would probably take this from a great beer to an elite beer.

Poured into a Perennial Tulip from a 22oz bottle. Date on the bottle merely says 2014. I believe this is the 2nd batch released.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 9/5/14

A- Pours pitch black, and very thick, with a thin khaki head that recedes to a collar. Thick, sticky lacing remains on the glass. Alcohol legs appear when swirled.

S- The aroma itself is intoxicating! Wonderful spicy whiskey in the forefront, followed by deep rich layers of chocolate and vanilla. The fudgy chocolate notes play so well off the spicy/boozy notes. The oak notes, slight char, and vanilla all work well together. Some undertones of overripe dark fruits, primarily fig, come through as well.

T- There is a whole lot of whiskey going on. There is also an abundance of roasty notes that weren't as prevalent in the nose. The chocolate and vanilla aren't as noticeable, but still very much there. Spice and oak round this out nicely.

M- The mouth feel is medium to thick, moderately boozy, and pretty dry, with light carbonation.

O- This is an outstanding barrel aged stout. The chocolate and coffee may have been more prevalent when it was fresh, but this is still world class!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.82/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle with about one year of age. Poured into a Cigar City snifter 9/5/2014.

A- Dark brown body, quite dark and gets close to pitch black. Minimal head. No lacing. [3.5]

S- Whiskey, cocoa, dark chocolate, whiskey. Not a lot of coffee but this is certainly a whiskey forward beer. Smells quite good, if a bit of a whiskey bomb. [4]

F- Seems to be bourbon as the whiskey flavour is fairly smoky. Milk chocolate, a bit of bitter black coffee, a small amount of roast malts. As in the nose, quite whiskey forward, very little coffee. Makes sense as this bottle is a bit older than a year. Whiskey-forward beers aren't quite my thing, unfortunately. [3.75]

M- Medium bodied, smooth and silky. Lower in carbonation as expected. Runs a bit hot, surprisingly given its age. [4]

O- Not a bad imperial stout, I think the coffee would have added a welcome dimension to this beer. As it is, it's very whiskey-heavy and that would satisfy certain beer drinkers, but it just doesn't quite do it for me. [3.75]

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another thanks to rudzud for beer.

Nice mocha colored thick rich creamy 1/2 finger head, fades at a med pace with nice lacing, pitch black color.

Nose is awesome even from afar, lots of whisky and cocoa, lots of nice dark choc and cocoa, little biscuit wafer candy bar, little caramel too, and little fluffy nougat marshmallow. Mild sweet whisky and little barrel note, little coffee, little earthy dusty coffee but seems to have died out a bit, even a bit fudgey.

Taste is a little light, lots of fudge and dark choc, little cocoa, mild vanilla barrel too, into little caramel but very light. Plenty of whisky and quite hot booze, fairly boozy with alcohol taste. Some coconut coming through nicely, cookie dough and choc, mild earthy nutty coffee but not a ton. Finish is fair bitterness, lots more cocoa and cookie, fudge and vanilla, mild coffee and more hot whisky lingering.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, lighter carb, chewy fudgey, lots of hot booze.

Overall mixed, very nice base beer but that hot booze and whisky cuts right through it and makes it though to drink. Coffee is a but light too. But not too bad.

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Volume # 1 from 4 Hands Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 216 ratings