Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout | Burnt Hickory Brewery

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Big Shanty Graham Cracker StoutBig Shanty Graham Cracker Stout
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
319 Ratings
Big Shanty Graham Cracker StoutBig Shanty Graham Cracker Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Burnt Hickory Brewery
Georgia, United States
burnthickorybrewery.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,258
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
319
pDev:
9.26%
 
 
Wants:
73
Gots:
112
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of mothmanscott
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
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 sbuck
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheEpeeist
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tazzman
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KensWorld
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of elohim
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
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 -0.2%
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.

 2,371 characters

Photo of GarrettBoots
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheRock7755
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nickfl
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kraftykristi89
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of robotic_being
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
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 -1.2%
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.

 318 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MJ64
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Diura
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.18/5  rDev -24.5%
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 -36.3%
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.

 214 characters

Photo of Jasonsurratt
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of user785335
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mastercamo
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GeorgiaBeerMoose
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WunderLlama
4.25/5  rDev +1%
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 +13.1%
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 JBowenGeorgia
3.01/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

I must have gotten a bad batch, bottom third of the can was thick sludge.

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Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout from Burnt Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 319 ratings