Free Will Brewing Co.

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Free Will Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #54
Ranked #895
4.36 | pDev: 6.65%
Feb 26, 2022
Oct 05, 2013
Notes: A rich full-bodied stout with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, and jammy dark fruit. This bourbon barrel aged blended behemoth has a complementary smooth finish with a lush velvety texture. Aged for 1 year.

ABV varies by year.
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5 by Justincredble from Pennsylvania on Feb 26, 2022
4.43 by tobelerone from New Jersey on Feb 20, 2022
Photo of WunderLlama
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

New beer, new brewery to me courtesy of a trade with @jayorear

Brewers Notes: A rich full-bodied stout with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, and jammy dark fruit. This bourbon barrel aged blended behemoth has a complementary smooth finish with a lush velvety texture. Aged for 1 year.

Chilled bottle poured into a snifter produces a one finger dense brown foam cap over a dark cola brown motor oil, foam recedes to a thin island and ring

Aroma is roast malts , dark fruits, dark chocolate, bourbon

Taste is bourbon , chocolate , sweet caramel , hint of vanilla

Velvety smooth , low sudsing

Delicious beer, thanks Jay!

Dec 31, 2021
4.53 by TedStrosser from Pennsylvania on Dec 09, 2021
Photo of Hayesbro
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Hayesbro from Pennsylvania

My last 2020 Ralphius, nearly a year later but didn't change that much. Pours black with a slight brownish head that disappears quickly. Aroma is boozy, this is not a stout that hides the barrel (not that it should at 14.1%), with some oaky notes. Booze on the taste as well, with deep chocolate and toasty notes, fairly sweet with a lasting pleasant bitterness. Complex. Very full mouthfeel and a thick syrupy body but a little less carbonation than is perfect for a beer like this. A very solid BA stout, recommended if you like them boozy.

Oct 22, 2021
Photo of Beersnake1
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Beersnake1 from California

2020 can poured at fridge temp. Pours jet black with a small amount of brown head.

Nose: Intense right away. My first thoughts are bourbon, brown sugar, and blackberries. After a couple of minutes, the dark fruit starts to rise in significance, along with an intense chocolate milk smell. Marshmallow, almonds, and a hint of roasted malts. This should be a whopper on the taste!

Taste: Holy crap. A single sip sets off a cascade of quickly shifting flavors. Intense bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and brown sugar are first, followed by roasted malts and dark chocolate. My brain literally started screaming with the immense flavor. The aftertaste following a few sips spins toward a charred wood/coffee grounds taste. Dark fruits (blackberries, plums, and raspberries) start to appear, and everything becomes incredibly smooth and integrated after the initial (and great) shock to the palate. The ABV is apparent - the 14% comes through (but not in a negative way). Halfway through the can I start to pick up a coconut rum note, which is interesting. This is just a fun experience that is constantly evolving.

Mouthfeel and overall: As expected, the mouthfeel is robust and viscous. A proud imperial stout. Overall, this is a wonderful experience. Intense and well-rounded. I'm a huge fan - can't wait to try the variants.

Oct 22, 2021
4.25 by Jdells09 from New Jersey on Aug 09, 2021
Photo of woemad
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by woemad from Washington

Wee little 8.4oz can. Small enough to be mistaken for a Red Bull. I find the notion of someone grabbing one by mistake and downing it, expecting an energy drink, hilarious. This is probably because I'm a misanthropic psychopath. 2020 vintage per the can label. Hopefully, the beer's 2020 was better than that of most of us.

Poured into a stemless wine glass, this was the color of evil, with virtually no head at all, just a vague skiff of tan foam about 1/20th of an inch high, which then promptly dropped away to a level almost invisible to the naked eye. A vigorous swirl of the glass produced only the tiniest of lace spots. At 14.1% abv (per the can), I wouldn't have expected much of a head, but, Damn!

When I popped the can's tab, a big aroma of booze filled my kitchen. After letting it sit and warm up a little, things became more complex in the aroma dept. Bourbon stands out, along with a vanillaish oakeyness, but also chocolate and molasses notes, and a bit of a charred, burnt aroma.

Whoa! This is some delicious stuff! Roasty, toasty dark malts up front, with some sweet, dark chocolatey notes. Midway through, the bourbon barrels make themselves fully felt. A low but unmistakable boozy, bourbon-y warmth steps up, like a laconic yet powerful hero calmly walking up to a villain in a movie. The tone is low key, almost friendly, but carries an unmistakable undertone of menace, saying "mess with me and I will fuck you up." Perfectly appropriate for a beer like this. Things also get kinda sugary in the middle. The booze gets hot at the swallow, which is also quite sugary. "I wasn't a diabetic until I started drinking this can of beer," I see myself telling a doctor in the near future.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for a beer like this, but not to the extent of being a deal breaker. It might be a blessing in disguise, actually.

Wow! This beer is YUGE! I've had three beers today, all from Free Will, and they couldn't have been more different from one another. While it's a little OTT, booze-wise, it's a small sin for the size of serving, and I really dig this beer. I'd love to have another to lay down for a couple years and compare notes to. Thanks, Jay!

May 08, 2021
Photo of micada
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by micada from New York

2020 9.3 oz can. Color is super dark brown to black. Poured aggressively to the ol’ tulip, but forget about head other than a crisp ring that fades quickly. Tons of vanilla, oak, bourbon on the nose. First sips are all that plus a sweet stone fruit middle. I get a tiny bit of dark chocolate in the way back. Thick mouthfeel, very nice, nothing too heavy or cloying. Alcohol has a bourbon bite up front, not too much warming early on, though I’m sipping as I write notes. One big baller mouthful brings out the full array of complementary aromas and flavors. It’s a complex profile, very enjoyable, and easy to knock back. It’s a big ABV, which starts to show up early. As it warms, there’s a bit of roasty char in the sip, plus a hint of anise. Overall, excellent brew.

2021 12oz bottle update: wow. A lot more lively barrel and vanilla and a spiciness on the tongue. I had to upgrade the taste and overall based on that. Really superb!

Feb 11, 2021
4.33 by TheEpeeist from Pennsylvania on Jan 17, 2021
Photo of Roguer
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Roguer from Connecticut

Good head production and retention for the style and ABV. Body is dark but clear around the edges.

Nose is reminiscent of Bourbon County: rich, dark, chocolatey, boozy. Chocolate, molasses, oak, bourbon, nuts, light char.

Quite sweet on the palate, much sweeter than expected. Red grape, syrup, chocolate, chewy caramel, brown sugar, plum, bourbon, honey, cherry. I don't know what barrels they chose for this beer, but they undoubtedly contribute to the sweetness. Mild char.

Smooth and easy drinking. Despite the massive ABV, it doesn't drink hot; it's smoother and easier than Bourbon County at roughly the same ABV. Could stand to be thicker, however.

Jan 09, 2021
4.45 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania on Dec 27, 2020
4.49 by odenbr12 from New Jersey on Dec 05, 2020
4.83 by Guerrelli from Pennsylvania on Nov 28, 2020
4.06 by MGibbons from Maryland on Oct 15, 2020
4.36 by Pablo35 from Pennsylvania on Aug 30, 2020
Photo of sulldaddy
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

Im sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. this is a 2016 vintage and the ABV is listed at 15% not the higher 16.6% listed here.
I picked up this bottle on one of my visits to PA to visit family.
The beer pours jet coffee black into my glass with a tan fizzy head of .5 cm that quickly fades away to a sturdy edge layer.

The aroma on the beer is rich and malty with deep roasted malt and molasses notes mixing together. I also get a rich bourbon note and dark chocolate plus a little bit of anise note. The booziness shows through a little on the nose and makes me anticipate that this is a sipping beer.
The first sip reveals a fairly thick body with fine, tingly yet spacious carbonation. The texture is smooth and a little oily and coats my palate after each sip.
Flavor is what the nose predicts, all malt flavors with no hop presence. I get dark chocolate and bourbon mixing with some raisin and molasses too. Slightly roasted notes on the finish and also a very dark (not sweet) chocolate lingers on my palate.
The booze is evident after each swallow with a little warming in my belly.
A nice robust imperial stout that I am enjoying sipping tonight. Worth getting again, as I am starting to believe that this brewery can do the big beers well.

Jul 05, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

Canned 12/19/19. Got some age on it. Not much though.

Pours an oily dark brown. Half a finger of dark beige head. Strong lacing. Clinging to the glass for dear life.

Nose is hard hit of bourbon, wood, and brown sugar. Wow. Bright and sweet smelling. This reminds me a little of BCBS. Despite the ABV, the booze is very mild. Big inhale gets me scents of caramel and cinnamon. This brew has character for days.

Taste is similar. Bourbon, wood, brown sugar, caramel, faint notes of bitter dark chocolate. This brew leans more towards the sweet side, but not unpleasantly so. Rich, smoky, sweet complex. Almost no alcohol burn. I say again...wow.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied and oily. It definitely looked it on the pour. Very mild carbonation. There is a smooth and silky quality to this which makes it highly drinkable. Which is dangerous for a 15%.

This one completely blindsided me. Being my second Free Will brew, I took this on a whim. This is a stellar barrel aged stout. It's great on the nose, tastes great as well. The 15% is hidden like guerrilla soldiers in a jungle. Even when you look it is nowhere to be found. You're not aware of it right up until it strikes you. Everything about this brew conveys controlled, skilled restraint. Well done. Superb stuff.

Jul 04, 2020
Photo of BBThunderbolt
3.52/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

Thanks to Zekeman17 for this one from a ninja box during the Can-Cans BIF. I didn't notice the ABV until after I had opened it. Well, good morning to me! 12oz can, dated 2019, poured into 14oz teku. Poured the expected solid black color, and had 3/4 inch of tan head that had moderate retention and light lacing.

Gentle, but solid, bourbon at the front of the nose. behind that were the expected roast and chocolate notes of the style.

Same on the palate, with the addition of the not unexpected alcohol heat. Bourbon was still the lead playa, but the chocolate notes seemed a bit stronger than the roast.

The body was full, duh, and was smooth all across the tongue. The finish was sweet, with a touch of alcohol roughness.

Drinkability was good, I'd enjoy having it again.

Overall, a pretty nice brew. I think my can could have benefited from some time in the cellar, but it was still enjoyable. a must try, especially if you like the big, burly brews.

Jun 05, 2020
Photo of dafla67
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Pours dark black. Aroma is chocolate, brown sugar, caramel & bourbon. Taste is amazing sweet mix of -- bourbon, coffee, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar and oak. Mouthfeel is full body. Incredible stout.

May 03, 2020
4.47 by BKast409 from Virginia on Feb 14, 2020
4.36 by howardnss from Pennsylvania on Jan 20, 2020
Photo of colts9016
4.66/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by colts9016 from Idaho

I am not sure when I got this beer, I think I have had it for at least a year or so. This behemoth of a beer is has a high alcohol content, 16.6 to be exact. I do not know anything about this brewery. I picked up the beer solely based on the fact it is an imperial stout. When I looked further into the beer, I realized that the beer had good reviews. Now I am stoked to drink it. The beer is 55 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour of the beer produced a two finger dark brown head. The head is airy, creamy, and foamy with good retention. Pouring the beer out, it looked like well used motor oil. The head did leave some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 36, dark brown nearly black. Having the high ABV, I am surprised with the retention of the head. I would have guessed the head would have came and went. The appearance of the beer looks great.

The aromas of the beer are dark chocolate, brown sugar, fig, toffee, light roasted coffee, hint of floral, earthy, wood, orange peel, cinnamon, resin, cherry, caramel, bready, dark roasted malts, solvent, vanilla, dates, a touch of herbal, biscuit, burnt sugar, nutty, tobacco, and leather.

The flavors in the beer are medium roasted coffee, figs, dates, cherry, wood, bourbon, burnt sugar, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, tobacco, cinnamon, orange peel, cherry, smokiness, Maillard, vanilla, dates, anise, bay leaves, dutch cocoa, biscuit, bready, oats, nutty, and earthiness.

The mouthfeel of the beer is coating, thick, and a touch hot.

The body of the beer is full, low carbonation, and a full finish.

When I want an imperial stout I want a beer like this. I want the full flavored beer mysteriously wrapping the flavor with an elegant balance. It took me a few minutes to pull the flavors out of the beer ( I like a challenge). The barrel age on the beer gives the beer depth and character. I did not expect to get this caliber of beer from just picking it out because it was stout. One of the better imperial stout I have drank in the last six months. Excellent beer, a must try for any stout enthusiast.

Jan 19, 2020
4.57 by Donco from Pennsylvania on Dec 23, 2019
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.81/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

Poured from a tap into pint glass in December 2019.

Appearance: Very dark black with a thin dark brown/red head. Head was about 1 finger high, and lasted a minute. It leaves a little lacing on the glass, and ended with a thin tan head still on the beer.

Smell: Nice aroma of dark fruit, bourbon, and coffee. There is also some cocoa, caramel, and some other sweet aroma like black licorice, but overall the coffee and bourbon dominate the others. It is a very nice balance of aromas.

Taste: There is a nice balance between the coffee, bourbon, and sweetness like licorice flavors. There is some dark fruit flavors like cherry, as well as smokie roasted flavors, some caramel and vanilla flavors, chocolate, and only a little amount of bitter hop flavors to enhance the taste and add some complexity. There is a strong alcohol presence, which matches the 16.6% on the label, but it is balanced nicely by the sweetness. The taste is an excellent mix.

Mouth-feel: Thick like liquid licorice, but with a smooth body. Not overly smooth like a Milk Stout.

This is a very good, complex, Imperial Stout, and it has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. Although this is a big beer, it is very smooth and enjoyable to drink. This sweetness and bourbon flavor is a nice balance to the high alcohol content. This is one of my favorite stouts overall. My current favorite stouts are:

Founder's CBS
Goose Island Beer's Bourbon County Brand Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Weyerbacher's Sunday Morning Stout
Free Will Ralphius Imperial Stout
Fegley's Bourbon Barrel Aged Insidious
Hoppin' Frog's BORIS Oatmeal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Czar Imperial Stout
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

Dec 07, 2019
Photo of Saylor
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Saylor from Pennsylvania

Nov 2019 canned at 15.6% abv. Well done Free Will Brewing. Love to support local. This is a solid barrel aged stout that can stand to the challenge of Goose Island Bourbon County. I’m not one for all the tasting notes but will definitely buy this again.

UPDATE - Salted Caramel variant is delicious also!

Dec 07, 2019
Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

This is my seCANd on I CAN Only Tell You That I Am Drinking These New Beers This Sunday of My Own Free Will Before CANother Flashback Begins (Week 767).

I ran into a guy that I had not seen since high school last weekend & he was stunned! I have gone from a young hippie to a melded hippie-punk when he first met me to a full-on punk & now to a biker-inspired look. I bought my first black leather jacket in 1985 at the NEX in Groton (NLON), CT following my first overseas cruise/deployment. Tim Kiefer drove, Stan Jones rode shotgun & I was inna backseat, squirming with excitement to finally own a leather ala The Ramones. The smell of leather still sets me off better than that of (ahem!) womanhood. A chick sporting leather? BINGO! That jacket has worn like iron & seen a lotta s**t & its replacement awaits inna wings, but Dickie was flabbergasted at who & what I have become. My mother remains proud! ;=) (This was to have ended my ELLA! review but I ran outta characters).

Hello, Ralphius! From the CAN: "Russian Style Imperial Stout Aged In Bourbon Barrels (2018 ed.)"; "A rich full-bodied stout with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, and jammy dark fruit. This bourbon barrel aged blended behemoth has a complementary smooth finish with a lush velvety texture. Aged 1 year."; "C[AN]ned: Oct. 2018"; "'Liquid and Friends First'".

I was disappointed twice from the outset with this one. 8=( First, it was not brimful on the Crack! & seCANd, it registered virtually NO head following my slow, gentle C-Line Glug. Even an in-glass swirl failed to stir it out of its slumber. 8=( Color was stygian Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) & if some of last night's beers were frightening, this was downright terrifying! Light & air were being sucked outta the room by virtue of this beer's presence. What have I unleashed?!? Yahhh! Even worse was the laid-back nature of the nose. Where Ella had been in-my-face from the outset, Ralphius was more reserved, simply growling at me with his Bourbon-Bbl. teeth bared. 8=O Ella was an on-the-street takeoff, a roust, a mugging in broad daylight while Ralphius was proving to be a cat burglar, stealthily entering while trying to catch me unawares. Yeah, the Bourbon was not hiding, but it was subdued in a miasma of chocolate, coffee & vanilla. 8=O Mouthfeel was full, thick & creamy, like a dollop had been scooped into my mouth & onto my tongue. 8=O I let the initial sip simply roll around, warming as it did so. Holy Liquefied Brownie, Batman! This was no playing around. It exploded like a "Spring Surprise" out of the Whizzo Chocolates DeLuxe box! Good thing that I was already half insensate following Ella. Anybody seen my brain? It's a wee, tiny thing, smooth as a bowling ball, about the size of a marble. The taste was liquefied Bourbon-infused, caramel-drizzled, coffee-based, chocolate brownie! Have I ever had one? Well, the one time on liberty in Amsterdam … Man, I'm getting as f**ked up as a lab rat! Much like I was back then.

Baby, I was out with this chick & the scene was right outta the graveyard bit in "Easy Rider". This "snack" had me going & she dropped a tab & the next thing you know, the day/night/weekend all melted away to the point that I barely didn't make ship's movement, rolling up in a cab as she's screaming out the window in 150+ languages to hold the crane & the brow! 8=O I was on Cinderella Liberty the next two ports, meaning a) I hadda be onboard NLT Midnight & b) to go over was to have Liberty secured for the next two ports. 8=( How to get around that? Hit the beach as quickly as possible, secure a girlfriend for the duration, pop a buncha speed, see the sights, eat some crazy chow, ride the fun machine & be back aboard by NLT 2300, spent, drunk, high as a kite, blewed, screwed & tattooed, all to everyone's amazement & then do it all again the next day until a) my duty day(s), b) my $ ran dry, c) we got underway or d) any CANbination of the above.

Finish was dry, but it tasted like one of those salted caramel chocolates that are now the rage, washed down with a cuppa joe! 8=O I'm gonna lick the vent offa this one! I generally eschew sweets, but this was different. Less sweet than a CANbination of its adjuncts. A powerhouse, to be sure, but not a buncha CANdy, either. I CAN see this with a cigar (even though with both a bout of CANcer & adult-onset asthma, my sawbones recCANmends against it/them, I ocCANsionally indulge). YMMV.

Nov 03, 2019
4.1 by BirdsandHops from Oregon on Aug 27, 2019
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by AyatollahGold from Indiana

From a 12 oz. can into a whiskey glass, this beer pours out black with very faint brown highlights. It doesn’t muster up bubbles to form a crown.

The nose carries in a huge whiff of dark fruit; deep notes of dark cherries, raisins, dates, plums. Huge barrel presence; dry oak, leather. Reminds my memory of VSOD, honestly.

The taste follows the lead of the nose. A lot of deep, dark dried out fruit. Some dried out coconut. Getting dry notes of leather, slight figs, dry oak. I get chocolate, but even though it’s quite strong once you find it, it is somewhat covered by the other notes. Which is fine, those other notes are nice.

Very dry on the mouthfeel, almost dusty. ABV and barrel are there with a big warmth. Full and sticky.

Overall, it’s a very well made barrel aged RIS. It really does remind my memory a lot of VSOD, a beer which comes from one of the most highly regarded barrel aged programs there is right now. I would actually love to try this side by side with it.

Aug 14, 2019
4.94 by Spindelphia from New Jersey on May 06, 2019
Photo of larryi86
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by larryi86 from Delaware

Thank you thebeers for this
12 oz can, dated 11/20/18, poured into a teku

A- Black with a two finger mocha head

S- Lots is bourbon, fudge, vanilla, some dark fruits.

T- Bourbon, charred oak, some vanilla, chocolate, some coffee, hints of caramel, some warming alcohol.

M- Smooth, thick, full body.

O- A great sipper of a stout. Definitely let’s you know it is over 16% ABV, but it is not too hot.

Mar 24, 2019
4.49 by dirtyjerk from Pennsylvania on Mar 14, 2019
4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland on Feb 17, 2019
3.75 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts on Feb 04, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

12oz can into a goblet. two canned on dates here, Oct 2018 on the label & 11/20/18 on the bottom of the can. . Take your pick.

Jet black body with initially a thick dark tan head looking like a well done pancake. Good lacing initially.

Molasses and dark fruit on the nose.

Lots of tastes and feels going on here. The BBA element is strong without being harsh. There is a nice vanilla presence taking the edge off a little. Abv is quite hot. There are faint hints of chocolate and dark fruit. The balance here is excellent, because although several elements are strong, nothing dominates.

The mouth is full, finish warm & sweet with a little molasses.

Overall, really tasty well made and balanced BBA RIS. Happy to have picked up a pair. Sorry I didn't pick up 4.

Jan 18, 2019
4.16 by PaulSlazinger from Pennsylvania on Jan 05, 2019
4.5 by BEER88 from Washington on Jan 03, 2019
4.37 by cambabeer from New York on Jan 01, 2019
4.56 by gobuccos from Ohio on Dec 30, 2018
Photo of JamFuel
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by JamFuel from Sweden

Pours jet black with soapy, chocolate colored foam.

Smell is rich, sweet and oaky with notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and fudge.

Taste is sweet with some charred oak notes upfront, leading into notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fudge and caramel. A hint of warming booze and a slight bitterness brings the intensity up even further. Massive taste and a long, lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and sludgy, well carbonated.

Overall, a truly massive stout that manages to not be overwhelming. Looking forward to trying the maple version.

Dec 18, 2018
Ralphius from Free Will Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 199 ratings