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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 277
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 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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Great beer. As advertised, this tastes just like cinnamon graham crackers, with just a hint of ginger bite as well. Very smooth and well balanced, and not nearly so sweet as something like the Southern Tier flavored stouts. Very nice.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

what a pleasant treat! enjoyed from a batch002 TB oversized snifter. pours a deep pewter black with a surprisingly white cap. frothy and leaves lace lines.

nose is a delightful graham cracker over brisk coffee and roasted malt. really inviting and wonderful.

taste matches the nose. this really works. the body of the oatmeal stout can handle the graham cracker which seems to lighten up the body quite a bit. simply put this is a homerun. very reminiscent of gbs and christmas.morning. wonderful and worth the buzz. go check it out.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Smell is absolutely awesome with tons of cinnamon and graham cracker. The taste doesn't quite live up to the nose but it's still very good. I don't find the sweetness or the contrasting roast/hops nearly as strong as some other reviewers; it just seems really well balanced to me. The look and feel aren't anything special unfortunately but flavor and smell are what matters most.

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Photo of Zach136
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black, with a deep caramel one finger head. Excellent lacing.

Aroma: Big hit of graham crackers. Like the good ones with the brown sugar on the top. Not those generic cardboard fuckers. Hints of roast and chocolate behind that.

Flavor: Again, big graham cracker but more milk chocolate and roast come forward.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and velvety. As it warms on the second pint or so the graham cracker can start to give a drying quality. But I don't usually have a problem finishing before it gets to that point.

Overall: A unique, and delicious imperial stout. This beer should be more hyped in the trade world than it is.

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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 ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
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 ThickNStout
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pours at Loco Willy's (Marietta, GA). Served in a pint glass. 

Appears deep brown with chestnut edges and about a quarter finger pale tan head. Sheet of lacing nearly coat the glass. 

Smells of hot cocoa, graham and vanilla with a wisp of alcohol. 

Oh, that's nice! Spiced graham cracker, cocoa, cinnamon, toffee and vanilla. It's like a chocolate graham cracker malt. Enough going on to keep the near 10% abv from seeming like much at all. Quite tasty. 

Moderaty heavy feel with just enough carbonation to make it dance on the tongue for a bit before settling into a long sweet grahamy finish. 

Burnt Hickory can't possibly get to bottling this fast enough for my liking! It really delivers on the graham cracker, similar but not quite as well as Southern Tier delivers on a flavor with Choklat. A well done original flavor profile and highly recommended. 

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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.

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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 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 JohnnyHopps
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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 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 M_C_Hampton
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark almost black, short tan head

S: very sweet, vanilla, cinnamon

T: graham cracker, sweet, cinnamon, vanilla

M: thick, low carb

O: excellent unique flavor

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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.

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Photo of do_ob
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a snifter. Pours a medium brown but settles pitch black in the glass. A semi-aggressive pour yields a 3 finger head of dense, fluffy vanilla colored foam - and by dense, I mean it looks like brown marshmellow filling. Absoloutely beautiful. I get a definite hint of graham crackers on the aroma, along with vanilla, ginger, roasted malt, and a slight coffee scent. Medium-heavy weight, somewhat lighter than a typical imperial stout. This has a bit of a watery mouthfeel, but is still quite smooth and creamy. Big graham cracker and gingersnap flavors up front, with lots of roasty malt setting in middleways. There's a nice coffee bitterness on the back end, along with strong notes of honey and spice. Finishes smooth enough, but still a bit watery for my liking. Not much on the aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is what it's marketed as - a high abv stout that tastes like graham crackers. It's very good, but maybe slightly lacking in body. I would've liked to have seen a little more roastiness or chocolate in there. Still damn good, though. It reminds me a little of Stone's Chai Spiced RIS.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the things that I'm always concerned about taste-wise when it comes to dessert-y stouts and porters, is that they can almost be too sweet and cloying sometimes. However, with this stout, it's very well balanced. You definitely get a bit of sweetness, but the flavor is rounded out with a nice roasted and hoppy flavor. I don't taste "graham cracker" so much. Instead, the flavor reminds me more of a cake donut with a hint of cinnamon.

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Photo of classixIII
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at Trackside Grill in Kennesaw, GA.

For my taste this is one awesome stout. Deep dark thick black. The graham cracker spices were there in the aroma and the taste but not at all overpowering. Smooth and creamy. Alcohol just right at the finish. Had a few, wish I could have brought some home with me.

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Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout from Burnt Hickory Brewery
4.24 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
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