The Final Act
Pipeworks Brewing Company

The Final ActThe Final Act
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #199
Ranked #1,294
4.45 | pDev: 4.94%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
The Final ActThe Final Act
Notes: Imperial Stout aged in 12 year Elijah Craig barrels.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 63 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Fall 2017 edition, had 10/26/18.

Pours near black and opaque, no head, some foamy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate, malt, caramel, some vanilla, light oak, light molasses. The flavor tags along with the nose- bourbon, malt, caramel, less chocolate than the aroma, oak, some vanilla and raisins. Smooth, a solid full body, well carbonated.

The Four Roses barrels are excellent. Not as complex as some of PW’s other barrel aged efforts, just really well executed.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage, aged in 12 year Four Roses Barrels
220z bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours jet black with a dark brown head that dissipates quickly, leaving nothing behind

S- aroma smells like booze soaked liquid fudge brownie; chocolate and brownie batter up front, along with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses & nuts, all surrounded by big barrel notes of bourbon, wet oak and a hint of vanilla

T- dark chocolate fudge notes follow along the nose up front, notes of brownie batter, chocolate icing, caramel, black strap molasses, light tobacco, raisins & figs. Mid-palate really brings out the barrel, barrel juice pops through, along with a strong oak note and a creamy vanilla note that accompanies it. The finish gives more brownie batter and lingers of straight bourbon

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- big, bold, boozy and delicious. No adjuncts needed to make this outstanding stout

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.46/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a snifter from draft at Consume on February 20, 2019. Grand Guignol Act 1 imperial stout aged in 12 year Elijah Craig Bourbon Barrels. Highly recommended.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with my wife on valentine's date. Incredible depth in all aspects. Smell is rich with bourbon, chocolate, oat, vanilla, robust wood, molasses, dark coffee, tons of malt, and slight coconut. Taste is booze, wood, and chocolate forward, with leather, tobacco, and all of the aromas from the smell incorporated into the taste. Great complexity and depth. Feel was chewy, thick and smoothly robust.

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Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark pour from a 22oz bottle into a whisky glass. Almost zero head and only some slight lacing - not of the bubbles, but a tinge to the glass. Smells like a chocolate-covered cherry dipped in booze. Wow, that's rich. This is fairly thick and not very carbonated. Taste is slightly sweet, a little bitter. Getting the dark malts, some dark chocolate, some anise, then some of the boozy burn then lingering, roasty dark chocolate. Very well executed imperial oatmeal stout! I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of FBarber
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark semi-shiny black color. Completely opaque. Thin cola like brown head dissipates quickly. No residual head is left behind.

Aroma has notes of toasted oats, roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, and some hints of vanilla.

Taste has notes of roasted malts, molasses, tobacco, brown sugar and lots of bourbon soaked oak notes. Hints of vanilla, chocolate, and a light charred note come through on the back end.

Feel is medium bodied, smooth almost velvety in consistency. Light carbonation. Drier finish.

Overall a lovely BA stout from Pipeworks - this might be my favorite of their BA stouts.

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Photo of maximum12
3.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to HIGHPA for the second 22 oz. bottle of this brew sent to MN. The first was consumed on a drunken weekend night & I barely recall it…as opposed to now, when it’s 11:42 PM & this is my 17th beer. Roughly. I’m rounding.

The pour is black, with a non-existent head. The nose is strange: prunes that have been lathered in chocolate & soaked in bourbon barrels. I do believe that is a new one for me.

The Final Act might be a performance piece: me sleeping right here. Raisins, plums, raisins, prunes, then some more raisins come flowing out of the glass, all of it accented by a wet bourbon barrel. Chocolate, touch of smoke, vanilla, with a spoonful of brown sugar wraps this up, but the bourbon cleans up on the finish. Nice & thick, would be happy to take some of my wife’s portion, but I don’t feel like getting punched tonight.

A very good beer, but not up to the insanely high standards Pipeworks has set previously.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aged for a couple of years in the bottle. Very dark appearance with minimal head. Aroma is a slightly sweet very pleasant bourbon. Taste is also a slightly sweet prominent bourbon.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black mahagony with no head. Aroma is big bourbon, chocolate, dark fruit, sweet raisins, and a hint of barrel char, Taste is big on bourbon and chocolate. The bourbon nose makes it seem like its going to be over the top but its a perfect blend of the two. Vanilla notes come out as it warms. The feeling is full and sticky. Overall this is a very well executed BBA beer. Awesome job Pipeworks!

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Final Act 2017(Aged in 12 year four roses bourbon barrels). This smells amazing. Nice boozy punch, milk chocolate, caramel, cola, vanilla and oak. Restrained sweetness. Some bitterness on the end. Short finish. Solid.

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Photo of novamat
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Heavy oak on the nose with dark fruit and hints of bourbon. Taste is velvety and choc full of complex flavors of dark fruits, oak, chocolate, bourbon and other minor notes. The alcohol is not completely hidden, which is basically the only (minor) knock on this beer. Overall this is an excellent beer. This easily compares with some of the top end BA stouts on the market.

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a PW snifter. November 2017 release.
L: Dark black with almost no head.
S: Chocolate up front but you can tell there's some bourbon aging there.
T: I get chocolate up front a well, then milk/cereal (I can definitely tell it's an oatmeal stout). Then some heat from the bourbon at the end. You definitely get the whiskey, but it's about the right amount for me - not as over the top as a few PW BA beers I've had.
F: Nice mouthfeel, no complaints here.
O: I really enjoyed it. I cracked a bottle thinking my wife would help me, but she changed her mind. I'm going to let the last half-to-third of the bottle sit in the fridge with the cap back on, and I feel like it may hold up. I always wish I had a taste of Bourbon County next to a beer like this - I think it would hold up well.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fall 2017 vintage. Released 11/2/17; drank 11/5/17 @ the Yarchives.

Inky black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small, noisy tan head; no lace.

Cream, oak, milk chocolate, dark roast coffee bean & mild bourbon heat notes in the nose.

Creamy medium mouthfeel.

Cream, oak & milk chocolate flavors up front; dark roast coffee bean & mild bourbon heat notes on the finish.

A bit thin for a barrel aged stout; enjoyable but not overly memorable.

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Photo of Dankacheese
4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another killer BA offering from Chicago's best. Try every single BA beer Pdubs creates, all of them are deceptively amazing and among the best beers out there.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cracked into my 2015 bottle of this imperial, barrel aged oatmeal stout from Pipeworks. Their 'Tales from the Oak' series is nowadays tough to track down so I enjoy popping one when I can.

Pours a really deep, dark pitch black with a very bright white head. Head keeps nicely for a bit. Big boozy notes on the nose, which is a taste of things to come. Very barrel forward - that really comes to the forefront. Mouthfeel is smooth.

Great complex chocolate, dark fruit and chocolatey caramel notes. Really very enjoyable.

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Photo of mschrei
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage poured into a Pipeworks Tales from the Oak snifter (proper glassware). Mild head at the beginning that dissipates, dark with thin goldish tannish edges and a healthy amount of sediment. Like a lot of barrel aged stouts, the defining properties are in the smell and taste, and this one has it for both, in spades. Extremely well balanced smell-barrel and roasty notes are both prevalent with mild chocolate, coffee, and sugary notes backing them up. Taste is the same-big bold stout with a barrel background, strongly chocolate with a wonderful sweetness and a very mildly tartness at the end. Feeling is velvety, smooth, rich, no oiliness one might fear from a barrel stout. Just a super awesome beer and one I'm glad I saved for a special occasion like the Cubs winning the NLCS.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was a bit dissapointed in this beer as Grand Guignol is so good. Lighter barrel aged flavor with some heat. Nothing special though. Not bad, but nothing sets this apart from other BA beers.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4oz pour from Pipeworks "Tales from the Oak" tasting today.

Black body with a thin cap. Smells barrel forward and has more sweetness than a roasty quality. Tastes of milk chocolates, oatmeal, bourbon and dry oak. Very barrel forward while still keeping a nice balance. Mouthfeel is the big winner of this beer. Nice creamy and silky body that makes the beer seem much thicker than it really is... thanks to the oats used to brew this beer. Very smooth and not even a minor detection of booze. Really well done barrel aged oatmeal stout by Pipeworks. Great use of the acquired barrels for this beer. This proves to me that Pipeworks can be a very effective and technical within their barrel program.

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Photo of kevanb
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, bottled Fall 2015, poured into a Pipeworks snifter.

The beer pours a deep, jet black color, thick, oily, inky, really nice heavy looking stout with a thick, caramel colored head, about a finger high that has fantastic retention and yields nice swatches of lace. The aroma is fantastic, big caramel and brown sugar character, nice smooth bourbon, toffee, rich chocolate, dark grains, thick oatmeal, chewy and sweet oak, fantastic balance, nice and decadent with good richness. The flavors are great as well, loads of chocolate, light roast, mild charred barrel, sweet oak, bourbon, coconut really pops as the beer opens up with plenty of chewy and thick oatmeal, light brown sugar and caramel as well. Plenty of rich and warming flavors, perfect for a cold Illinois winter night. The mouthfeel is spot on, thick, chewy, coating, viscous, massive body that feels great and finishes easily and smoothly with a nice warming feeling.

Verdict: A phenomenal stout from Pipeworks and another notch in their belt of world class barrel aged stouts. The complexity and depth of flavor is wonderful, nicely balanced and the warming barrel character adds some nice roast and earthiness to help balance out the sweet flavors. The 13% is an afterthought as well, hidden so well, excellent stuff!

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Photo of vic21234
4.66/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. No bottled date, but says "Bottled Fall 2015." The base to this beer (Grand Guignol) is great, so I'm looking forward to this.

A- Pours pitch black with a decent amount of frothy brown colored head.

S- Notes of chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T- Chocolate and vanilla are first notes, before the smooth bourbon notes shine through. The barrel is very pronounced, like any BA Pipeworks offering, with heavy oak, bourbon, and some coconutty sweetness.

M- Heavy, very bourbon forward.

This is a fantastic BA Imperial Stout, one which is worth trying to pick up. The Pipeworks BA madness around here unfortunately requires you to be in the right place at the right time to grab these now.

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The Final Act from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 63 ratings