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Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout | Burnt Hickory Brewery

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Big Shanty Graham Cracker StoutBig Shanty Graham Cracker Stout

Brewed by:
Burnt Hickory Brewery
Georgia, United States

Style: American Double / 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.

Added by ChainGangGuy on 04-22-2012

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 278
Photo of Sfleenor
2.3/5  rDev -45.8%
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 GameFreac
3.37/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the open house on 2/16.

Appearance: Pours a midnight black with a finger of a white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Smells of dark fruits, slight chocolate, and some graham cracker.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose.

Mouthfeel: Thick mouthfeel. Alcohol is masked well.

Overall: More dark fruits than I was expecting and probably my least favorite of the day but I still liked it.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with eee
22 oz bomber dated 12/24/14. Pours a dark cola brown with a khaki head of about 1/2 finger. Soapy lacing. Fair amount of light making its way through. Aroma is intense graham cracker, spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, and brown sugar. Flavor follow through on the nose. Reminds me a lot of the cinnamon and sugar graham crackers I used to eat as a kid. Body is slick and on par with most oatmeal stouts.
Overall, this is pretty dang good. Flavor is unique and can be overwhelming at times, but really good effort and spot on for what it claims to be.

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Photo of cvm4
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L - Pours a deep black, not motor oil thick with a light tan one finger head. The head is really impressive, it just sticks around and leaves some nice lacing.

S - The nose is a bit muted to me. Not really much going on except for some roasted malts and a bit of sweetness, from the honey I guess.

T - Good roasted malts notes along with some sweet honey and faint graham cracker that develops into a light burnt black coffee finish.

F - Medium bodied and low carbonation. Really smooth body and oh so drinkable.

O - May'be I had a bad bottle? The reviews seem to give high praise. but i'm just not getting the graham cracker, which is the selling point of the beer to me, IMO.

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Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a sliver of a beige head; a fireworks shower of lacing descends, leaving a pattern of squiggles

Smell: Chocolate fudge, graham cracker, cinnamon, brown sugar and root beer

Taste: Chocolate fudge, lactose and brown sugar forward, with the cinnamon and graham cracker flavors developing, in the middle; after the swallow, the sweetness builds and a hint of root beer flavor intrudes; the finish is rather sweet, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting twist on the style but the sweetness and the lack of a full bodied mouthfeel are both issues I have with this beer

Thanks, trial_by_hedgehog, for the opportunity

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Photo of alk3kenny
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark color creamy head with a nice lace though head is gone quickly. Smell is slightly sweet little boozy maybe a hint of cinnamon... lets taste it... boozy boozy creamy mouthfeel but astringent slight sweetness in second sip definitely a beer to warm and savor good but not great not really getting the graham cracker in the taste....

update: Had this again recently and it seems they have improved upon the recipe... More graham crack and much nicer on the palate. This brewery is quickly becoming one of my favs check them out!!!

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of Clockwatcher
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
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 SpeedwayJim
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to John for this one. 22oz. bomber into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a rich 1 finger coffee colored head with good retention. Beer is a bit thin but pitch black. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. Above average.

Nose is aromatic... however, a bit more like cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies than graham cracker. Still pretty good.

Opens cinnamon, brown sugar and spice. Oatmeal sweetness in the middle with some molasses and cane sugar, holiday spice and more cinnamon. Finishes sweet with a bright, spicy finish. Again, this doesn't taste like graham crackers but its spot on oatmeal raisin cookie.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down slightly prickly and warm. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Body is just right. Not too thin, not too heavy.

I thought this beer would be a bit of a gimmick but actually, its pretty good. Worth trying since this one's solid and completely out of left field at the same time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown body with a sudsy, faint ecru head.

Smell: Bitterish chunk chocolate mixed with roasted malts, thick-rolled oats, dark fruits, and a top note of spiced graham cracker crusts.

Taste: Starts with chocolate, easy-going roast, and nutty oats with a vibrant fruitiness of muscadines. Boosted by a sweet shot of treacle. In comes the graham cracker taste with well-integrated spice tastes giving a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and, maybe even allspice. Low hop character, bitterness with the spice character balancing out a majority of the sweetness. Quick flash of alcohol. Sweetish, chocolate-coated, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: A pleasant stout given an interesting twist.

 765 characters

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown but clear. Small but durable light tan head.
Rich roasted grain flavor. Graham cracker is hard to detect, at best. A bit too much char in the aftertaste.

Aroma: sweet with a hint of sorghum.

Feel: Smooth with soft, low carbonation.

O: this is a big beer featuring dark roasted malts. A touch over-roasted for my taste, however.
(Revisited and revised on tap in October 2015 - it now has a striking amount of cinnamon and may be a reformulation)

 463 characters

Photo of BigGold
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
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 Jovial_Libations
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled in January 2014. Pours a medium brown/black appearance and medium head. Lovely nose, smells of fresh baked graham cracker and ginger bread. Taste is more subtle and body thinner than expected. A quite session-able stout though not as full flavored as I might have liked. More of a porter in body and appearance.

 320 characters

Photo of dar482
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in a big thick quality and is black.

The aroma hits of lots of graham cracker spice. It immediately smells like lactose, yet simply being a oatmeal stout. Lots of caramel, vanilla, and sweetness.

On the flavor, that sweetness attacks again. The graham cracker almost offers a fall/winter spiced stout flavor. Up front is thick, but the beer's body falls away onto a medium mouhtfeel. A sweet smooth honey quality in the middle. However, a bit lacking in robust malt quality without some dark chocolate to balance out that sweetness.

 553 characters

Photo of Gadzook
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass from a growler

Look: Deep chocolate, 1/2 of nice cream colored foam

Smell: Graham crackers, slight ginger, , a bit of malt, hint of vanilla, maybe even a hint of sassafras

Taste: Graham crackers, sweet at the onset, some ginger and spice up front, good malt, coffee at the end

Feel: Quite rich at first, not quite creamy in the middle, just tad of carbonation at the end.

Overall: A very easy to drink and tasty stout. Doesn't feel as heavy at it is, but very enjoyable.

 506 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: Deep dark brown with cola highlights. Nice fat tan head and messy lacing.
smell: cinnamon, from the graham crackers I guess, really dominates. Very full and lots of back notes of roast, honey.
taste: Cinnamon like the nose. Much like the nose. a slight spicy note in the finish.
overall: very nice, interesting stout.

 324 characters

Photo of BrettonJay
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Excellent oatmeal stout with a high ABV hidden behind subtle smells and flavors. Cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose definitely come through in the taste, but, unlike others who have reviewed, I don't taste a real 'graham cracker.' Delicious nonetheless. I would drink this again if it were on shelves here.

 304 characters

Photo of Brackh
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a nice head. Not a huge smell on the nose. A bit of malt. Taste is sweet and malty. Some spice backed up by the malt. Just a touch of bitter which is nice. I like it. Good solid all around drinker.

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Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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 Prager62
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of bareju
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a really cool beer. Graham cracker sums it up from start to finish. It's very strong in the smell which is impressive. Taste is a bit sweet up front, dominated by graham cracker (brown sugar, vanilla, honey, cinammon) through the middle, and finishes quite dry. The abv is very well hidden and this is dangerously easy to drink.

I'd love to see them do a sweeter version, maybe a chocolate graham cracker. A bit more sweetness and some chocolate or coffee flavor would really send this over the top. That being said, the skill with which they captured the pure essence of graham cracker is astounding. Overall, a bit more sweetness and a bit less on the dry side and this would be a 5 star beer for me.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

These are cinnamon graham crackers for sure; tons of cinnamon in this giving it a slightly Mexican Cake flavor. I could see a barrrel aged version of this doing wonderful things. I'm normally not a fan of novelty beers but this works as a beer in its own right.

 261 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black with nice lacing and very viscous thick on the sides of the glass.

S - Graham cracker and cinnamon aroma dominates the nose.

T - Chocolate, graham cracker, cinnamon and a spicy cinnamon finish.

M - Heavy medium body with a very soft mouth feel.

O - Very worth seeking out.

 294 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this at a recent gathering, poured from the bottle chilled into a glass.

The color is dark brown almost black with a thick collar of light tan head. The smell is great with a slight malt sweetness and toasty accent. The feel embodies the graham cracker quality.

The taste continues what the aroma and mouthfeel provide which is a nice level of malt with sweet yet toasted quality with low bitterness from roast with semi-dry quality as it finishes smooth with a nice amount of body. overall I was pleased to be able to try this and would recommend it as it achieves what the brewer intended based on the description.

 629 characters

Photo of FBGordon
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout from Burnt Hickory Brewery
4.24 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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