Barrel Of Love
Adelbert's Brewery

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American Stout
3.66 | pDev: 13.11%
Adelbert's Brewery
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 33 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jnich2424:
Photo of jnich2424
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

jnich2424 from Wisconsin, Feb 14, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of GreatStoutman
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This must be different... It's now 11% and I'm shocked to find the sub-par reviews.

Pours dark with slight khaki head. Aroma is mostly oak and vanilla, bourbon initially, but as it warms up the fruits arrive.

Taste follows the smell, bourbon present from the onset with hints of dark fruits, but the fruits really take over as it warms up. Bright, tart cherries. Really tasty and nice layering with the barrels.

Overall, this is an excellent BA quad. I've had a couple of this style and they're mostly just a dark ale with store flavors, but this really highlights all of the flavors.

Patience... It takes a minute for the cherry to show up, but it's well worth it

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Photo of BKotch
3/5  rDev -18%

BKotch from Texas, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Radome
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Radome from Florida, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of holmesmi
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of gtermi
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

gtermi from Texas, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

cdwil from Texas, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, yes, of course - the bourbon barrel aged stout - a traditional Belgian style beer in keeping with Adelbert's whole "we only brew traditional Belgian styles because we're so tradition/organic/prestige oriented" aesthetic.

Oh, wait a tick - this has nothing at all to do with Belgian styles. Well played, Adelbert's. If I wasn't already sure your whole "Belgian style brewery" image was a crock of shit I'd be surprised to see this on the shelf. Expectations are low; this is, after all, the brewery that screwed up a Celis beer. That takes effort for a purported Belgian style brewery.

Prediction: Adelbert's will more or less abandon their Belgian style-only brewing "philosophy" after seeing the sales numbers on this puppy. I'm thinking this'll make the brewers see so many dollar signs they'll happily embrace more *erm* sought-after styles. Check the time-stamp (or google cache) on this review, lads - you heard it here first.

"Batch No 001." "Bottled on 12/18/2013." 8% ABV. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting enough label art and unbranded hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork acquired at a local bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip. Reviewed live.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

She's overcarbonated as hell, actually. As soon as I twisted off the cage wire, the top rose of its own accord and popped out with such force the cork and cage bounced off my ceiling. Luckily, I had a couple seconds before the gushing began, and I got the beer into my glass.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a four finger wide head of khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Subpar complexion and consistency. Retention is good for the 8% ABV - about 7 minutes. Uneven spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque very dark brown-black. By no means a jet black. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's about what you'd expect given the style. Far from unique or special. Aside from the blatant overcarbonation, there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Smells of a murky boozy sticky syrupy mess, with a handful of cocoa nibs and a drab of low-shelf bourbon thrown in for good measure. I also pick up on brown sugar and an off-style mid-to-high attenuation yeast. What I like about the aroma is that it's powdery and character. Leave it to Adelbert's to finally evoke a Belgian vibe in an unquestionably American style. The bourbon/barrel notes don't seem well-integrated into the base beer. Indeed, it's just a mess.

This is going to be an interesting beer. A chaotic aroma of above average strength.

T/Mf: Has some good elements, to be sure. The powdery cocoa notes are lovely, and play well with the soft texture and rustic feel. I still maintain that the yeast/profile feels Belgian. There isn't chocolate in the usual bourbon barrel aged stout kind of way - it's just that lovely cocoa powder, not a sweet milk chocolate.

The bourbon notes are quite subtle; the cynic in me wonders just how long Adelbert's actually "aged" the beer for. There's a hint of artificial vanillicin, but no interesting toasty oak or anything. Luckily, this "bourbon-lite" approach works surprisingly well for this flavour profile, subtly complementing what limited complexity is present in the base. As a result, the build overall comes across as surprisingly subtle and cohesive, albeit not gestalt. I do like the beer, and the cocoa powder notes are a highlight.

Average depth and duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour. Balanced and enjoyable.

Well-carbonated (in spite of my experience opening it). Smooth. Has a near perfect dryness. Has a nice medium body, and isn't too weighty on the palate (in contrast to many beers in the style). Good presence on the palate. The texture complements the taste quite nicely, actually. I'm pleasantly surprised. Good execution.

Dr: Hell, maybe Adelbert's *should* abandon their whole traditional Belgian image. This trumps their other offerings - at least what I've had. While I definitely wouldn't buy this again at its very unreasonable price point, I was pleasantly surprised with it - though, granted, my expectations were low. It's an interesting Belgian-esque take on a bourbon barrel aged stout, and will likely divide consumers: those who want the heavy bourbony complex stouts will find this underwhelming while those who enjoy the odd Belgian stout will find this hits the spot. I quite like it for what it is, and hope Adelbert's will start bringing out beers of this quality more often. As a huge fan of Belgian styles, their current lineup just isn't cutting it.

Low B-

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kojevergas from Colorado, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

jheezee from Texas, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of greenspointexas
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of htdoerge
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

kylehay2004 from Illinois, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of ChrisKuhns
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of kew
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

kew from Texas, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Danobold
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Abe_Froman
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Abe_Froman from Massachusetts, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of JohnBender
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of cam12
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%

cam12 from Texas, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of vcoggins
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of NickThePyro
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

NickThePyro from Washington, Mar 20, 2016
Photo of JMM0414
5/5  rDev +36.6%

JMM0414 from California, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of The_Drunken_Sniper
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of thereal_adam
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of bkeller04
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of OneEye78
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a mason jar pint glass with significant brown head. Smelled of light chocolate and a touch of bourbon. The taste was somewhat brackish, as if it was over-carbonated with hints of dark chocolate and some sweetness from the bourbon. A little bit thin in the mouth. Overall, I was disappointed. I am not sure if it was due to what seemed like over-carbonation for a stout, but this didn't live up to my expectations. I have one more bottle that I am hoping will be more satisfying and will update if this was just a bad bottle.

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Barrel Of Love from Adelbert's Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 33 ratings