Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout
Burnt Hickory Brewery

Big Shanty Graham Cracker StoutBig Shanty Graham Cracker Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #462
Ranked #1,670
4.23 | pDev: 9.22%
Burnt Hickory Brewery
Georgia, United States
Big Shanty Graham Cracker StoutBig Shanty Graham Cracker Stout
Notes: Named of the original name of the city of Kennesaw (our home town), Big Shanty is not a little beer by any means. Made with real graham cracker crumbs and honey, itʼs sweetness is only challenged by itʼs strong roast and hop bitterness. A world class stout with an extreme amount of local flavor.
Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 322 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, no 'canned on' date found.

The mouthfeel stands out the most: reasonably full and creamy.
Taste: reminded me of the Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Crown Valley.

This was a really good stout, but I was hoping for it to stand out in some way.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear brown so deep it appears to be shoe polish black until held to the light. The pour produces 1.5 fingers of frothy, shortlived, deep mocha head that leaves only a hint of pasty lace. Aroma is deeply roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruit and other fruits, cinnamon, bready fruit cake, honey, toffee, earthy hints and a little alcohol. Taste is heavy roast, burnt malts and char, cakey bread, graham cracker, honey, cinnamon and other spice, dark chocolate, dark fruit, a little alcohol and faint smoke. Fronted by roast, sweet cakey breadiness and chocolate the spices and heavy graham cracker come in at mid-sip and intensify into the finish where it crescendos. From there all rapidly diminishes into a short-lived roasted/burnt malt and spicy aftertaste. Graham cracker heavy, its addition adds a new dimension to what has become mundane in many new offerings of the style. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with low carbonation, the spice and prickliness could be confused for carbonation bite that manifests as a crawling spicy, prickly bite; tongue coating creamy & chewy there is a burning spice in the back of the upper palate. As is usual with many such brews this one improves in flavor as it warms. When possible I buy single cans/bottles of any new beer offering for review. In the last two years it has gotten to be less and less the case that I wish I had bought a four or six-pack rather than a single. This one is an exception, I wish I had bought a case. Well done!

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Photo of traction
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: A dark beer but not as jet black as most of the stouts I am used to drinking. No light passes through the beer but as you swirl the beer in the cup it seems more dark brown than black in places. Good lacing and around a 1/4inch of head.

Aroma: I really like the smell of this beer. I am getting chocolate, graham crackers, slight spices (mostly nutmeg and cinnamon I think). Maybe a bit of caramel and vanilla as well.

Flavor: Flavor follows the aroma for the most part. Chocolate malts, graham cracker and a tiny bit of spices, and caramel. There is a nice complexity going on here I have a hard time describing but I really enjoy this. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium thickness. It isn't a thin beer by any stretch of the imagination but it isn't super chewy like some other stouts are.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from KMitch. 12 ounce can into snifter, no can dating. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, graham crackers, caramel, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown bread, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, and fig; with lighter notes of coffee, molasses, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. A bit too fruity/yeasty aromas, but not overwhelming. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, graham cracker, honey, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, cocoa, graham crackers, caramel, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown bread, and toasted biscuit; with lighter notes of coffee, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Mild hop/roast bitterness and cinnamon spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, graham crackers, caramel, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown bread, toasted biscuit, light molasses/dark fruit, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, graham cracker, honey, and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with an awesome hop/roast bitter/sweet and spiciness balance; with no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9%. Overall this is a fantastic flavored imperial stout. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, graham cracker, honey, and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mildly bitter/spicy/drying finish. Perfectly balanced imperial stout and graham cracker/honey flavors; with restrained fruity yeast and mild earthy hops against sweetness. Not overly roasty on malts, which helps showcase the flavorings a lot easier. A highly enjoyable offering, and impressive style example.

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Photo of robotic_being
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not much graham cracker or honey as the can describes...lots of roasted malts, burnt chocolate and coffee notes. Char and dark fruit, along with loads of cinnamon and vanilla dominate the palette. Taste is more like a robust porter than a stout.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black, opaque, 1 inch dense light brown head, excellent lacing down pint glass
S: Chocolate, coffee
T: Sweetness up front, chocolate, coffee, I get that graham cracker that they mention, spices
M: Medium to full, not as full as I expected
O: A really big full flavored stout. Really good, hides the abv quite well.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a can (no date) into a Spiegelau wheat beer glass. The liquid is a nearly opaque black, with a hint of mahogany highlights shining at the corners. The pour kicks up a tepid cream head that quickly dissipates to a film and leaves a little bit of lace.

Smell is lactose, dark chocolate, vanilla, and medium-roasted coffee with hints of dark fruit. The lactose smell is kind of weird... it doesn't give it a milk chocolate smell, but more of a mix of cocoa and powdered milk. The vanilla also smells a bit cloying to me, and weirdly artificial. Nice elements, but I'm not sure about the execution.

Taste is the weird lactose flavor up front, with the vanilla, chocolate, and coffee following up. It blends together surprisingly nicely by the swallow, and the finish is stronger on the coffee. Nice flavors, but I find this lactose flavor very odd and kind of off-putting.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick, with a lot of small carbonation bubbles. Nice match for the flavor.

Overall, a bit disappointing - especially since I grew up in Kennesaw and went to Big Shanty elementary school! I think I'd like it a lot if that weird lactose flavor wasn't always intruding. Maybe I need to try another batch?

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Photo of TijuanaTovar
2.68/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Smells like black licorice and tastes like corona mixed with Guinness. Thin body. Slight honey graham essence, not much. Bummed on this one. Fan of ten fiddy, KBS, and willetized by lagunitas. This fell way short.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Recommended by the beer guy at Hop City Krog Street Market

Can poured into a teku glass

Dark brown liquid, two finger brown foam cap, sticky lacings , settles to a brown layer

Aroma of graham crackers, whiff of cinnamon. Curious , but I get a whiff of cherry jam

Get a taste of graham crackers, sugary baked goodness, roasted malts,

Smooth mouthfeel, low sudsing, slight bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. Abv is well hidden

Good beer

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Photo of gentlystewed
4.76/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured this one into your standard issue pint glass, and watched the creamy tan head sink to an incessant skim.
The inky black body looks impenetrable by any light source known to man.
The aroma prompts the nose of slightly burnt Christmas cookies and freshly baked sweet potato pie.
The flavor is what absolutely shoots me to the stars. The roasted barley blends perfectly with the sugary oatmeal and the graham crackers they threw into the pot. The 9% abv goes by unnoticed until the buzz sets in like a massage to the prefrontal cortex.
The mouthfeel is hard to pin down, but I guess it lands somewhere in the medium range.
Overall, this might be one of the most impressive imperial stouts I've had since forever.
It should also be noted that the cover art is also outstanding.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a thin off white to tan foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Mild thin messy lacing weaves around the glass. The aroma starts with big sweet graham cracker crust. Slight raisin to balance. Subtle honey. The flavor brings in the sweet cracker/crust/crumb (so Graham cracker real sweetness) with once again the sweet honey to add a little bit. Raisin seems to faint a little bit more. Mild sweet graham cracker sweetness in the aftertaste leading into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a nice sessionable smooth sweet crisp feel about it. Low carbonation. Spectacular smoothness. Overall, everything seems to flow properly, of course I would have again.

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Photo of Prager62
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber with a handwritten 5-12 on the side which I'm going to assume is the bottle date. I'm serving this in a 12oz. snifter for the review.

Look- Pours a dark brown with medium viscosity and a finger of tan foam. It slowly settles leaving ample lacing.

Smell- Oatmeal raisin cookie dough, cinnamon, bakers chocolate.

Taste- It's like eating a cinnamon graham sprinkled with a few raisins and chocolate chips.

Feel- Slick and slightly oily, but on the thinner side more reminiscent of a porter.

Overall- A pleasant liquid dessert that tastes like a mix of a cinnamon graham cracker/oatmeal raisin cookie dipped in chocolate. Very easy drinking for 9% to boot! The rather thin body was the only very minor disappointment with this beer. It's definitely worth a look.

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Photo of SuperBrewThru
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall the best stout in GA! (maybe the country) been drinking this non stop for a month at the brewery. more like a raisin oatmeal cookie than graham cracker but what the hell?

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer pours dark brown with black hues. The head, which was rather aggressive, I was a light mocha color.

Smell - The nose was reflective of oats, but not the extra flavors on the inside.

Taste - I think the cinnamon was well balanced in the initial taste it was not like sucking on a Jolly Rancher fire stick. A graham cracker backbone lays a nice sense of balance. I also detected notes Baker's chocolate.

Mouthfeel - The beer was way over-carbed. I will assume this is an aberration.

Overall - I am pretty sure this is a year-round beer. But I think it's extra good around the holidays.

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Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark brown almost black hue with a thin half finger mocha head that fades slowly to leave a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of nice chocolate syrup, good sweet graham crackers and some cinnamon as well. As it warms some vanilla comes out along with nice honey notes, simply huge cinnamon graham cracker notes. Very, very impressive.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. the chocolate is a bit faint. Relatively one dimensional here. More of those big graham crackers, some sweet malts, light honey, decent amount of roast. The alcohol is hidden nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is lowly carbonated, almost a bit thin. Alcohol is hidden nicely though.

O - Overall this was a very solid 'gimmick' stout. I enjoy the graham cracker notes here, nice sweet cinnamon thing going on. Very solid.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the tap into a tulip glass at the Taco Mac in Atlanta. The appearance is a pitch black color with a small tan head. The taste is sweet graham cracker. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of BigGold
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had at Trackside Grill, etc., Kennesaw, Georgia, on draft into tumbler. A little gimmicky, as one might expect for a beer "[m]ade with REAL Graham Crackers," and a bit sweet, but beautiful beer.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The reviews below capture this pretty thoroughly. Its mostly what it says - a big graham cracker beer - with lots of cinnamon and sweet honey flavors; however, I wouldn't put this in the stout family. Its not just the lack of body, its the minimal malt body, lack of roastiness and quick, dry finish that stand out to me.

The flavor is interesting and its a decent novelty beer, but I'm not looking forward to finishing the bottle and probably won't seek it out again. With that said, it could be a good dessert beer to share with friends.

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Photo of Clockwatcher
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is certainly an interesting beer. Reading that it was brewed with real graham crackers made it stand out, and I was excited to try it.

The first thing I noticed was that it pours with almost no head (and there was no lacing at all as the beer went down). The smell was very strong of cinnamon, honey, and you can almost smell the booze. The taste followed identically: a lot of honey, some cinnamon, nutmeg and booze (that isn't well disguised). The mouth feel is very, very thin as well.

I'd have loved to taste a deeper flavor (maybe coffee or a wood note) to balance out the sweetness, as this beer drinks as a really, really sweet, thin beer. If it were more balanced and a little less thin, this beer would get much higher marks from me.

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Photo of pryan11
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This is truly a phenomenal beer. Any ATL beer local will tell you this is one of our most beloved local stout offerings. The mouthfeel is very thin almost seeming like a porter but the flavor profile is phenomenal. It's incredibly smooth at a substantial 9% abv with cinnamon dominating the nose and taste along with oats and graham cracker playing a significant but secondary role. Absolutely a must-try - I send it out as an extra with every trade to universal praise. The thin mouthfeel is the only reason I could think to rate this stout anything less than a 4.5/5. Personally, it does not bother me, this is a staple in my beer diet.

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Photo of Sfleenor
2.3/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I feel like I am drinking cinnamon teddy grahams in my stout.
The cinnamon and sweetness of the graham cracker are overpowering.
I was hoping the taste would grow on me but it did not. I think i would really like the stout without the cinnamon.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a room temperature tulip.

A: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thick khaki head which maintains well and laces beautifully throughout.

S: Sweet notes of honey, roast, coffee, toffee and a whiff of alcohol perfume. Very sweet on the nose. Hops come through as it warms.

T: Some sweetness, but with roast and hops on the tongue. The sweetness of the honey comes through slightly on the back end, but doesn't leave a cloying sweetness on the palate.

M: A slender waist for a double/imperial stout, it nonetheless has a pleasant heft to it without being overly filling. The pronounced carbs scrub the palate well.

O: Dangerously close to being to sweet at first, the roasted malts and hop presence even it out nicely, leaving a great taste on the palate. With an ABV just shy of double digits, this is a great dessert beer with enough alcohol to cut sweet pairings or enjoy as a dessert in itself. Another impressive offering by Burnt Hickory.

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Photo of WilliamIrwin
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cinnamon and oats dominate this beer. Very nice flavor. Reminds me of a cinnamon milkshake. I'd have to say cinnamon is the most overbearing flavor. This was bottled 5/12/2015.


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Photo of jtwhicker
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 banger is around 12 dollars at local store.

Pour to snifter. Great aroma. Poured only 2/3 ounces at a time. Easy drinking not very boozy.
Scent of cinnamon,nutmeg and spice. Honey sweetness on front and spice on backend makes for a good clean finish. Happy I purchased.

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Photo of strohme2
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can, no date, poured into tulip.
Pours a dull dark brown with creamy tan head. Any head that was there left quickly. Some spotty lacing though.
Burnt marshmallow and a sort of graham cracker type malt is there on the nose. Dry and dusty cracker, burnt marshmallow, bitter chocolate, weak coffee, drying finish. A touch of root beer and spices too (just generic spice). Light body but still smooth and creamy. It’s a big stout at 9% but no alcohol comes through.

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Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout from Burnt Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 322 ratings