Slap Happy Bourbon Barrel Brown | West Sixth Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
West Sixth Brewing Company
Kentucky, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barczar on 11-21-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 11
Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I certainly believe that this ale is a matter of personal taste, almost to an extreme. The bourbon flavor is quite overwhelming, like drinking Bourbon on the rocks. The feel is like a beer though and there's little alcohol brashness. The malt is disguised by the strong bourbon but I really liked it.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slap-Happy BBL Brown [7.5%] on tap at the brewpub in Lexington.

Medium body amd medium to medium-high carbonation seems a tad high.

Clear dark brown with a fine head and decent lacing.

Mild aroma of dark roasted malts and chocolate.

BBL effect is very well done, with both the bourbon and the oak aging rather obvious, but not so strong as to mask the (Smithtown) brown ale base. Dark chocolate appears in the finish and aftertaste.

O: very fine BBL brown. Great balance all around.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

And let the barrel aging program at West Sixth to commence! With the local use of Pappy Van Winkle barrels, these freshly decanted woods offer up their unique caramel, vanilla, oak, alcohol, and vinous notes to the brewery's brown ale specially designed for the barrels.

Opening with a medium brown, garnet red appearance, it seems that the barrel char filters the color and sediment to a fine tawny bronze hue. Forming a creamy short head, the beer retains well, but not for the duration; nor does it lace strongly. Instead the barrel character renders the beer to a brandy-like aesthetics with legging and a regenerative trace of creme with each swirl of the glass.

Succulent aromas of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, maple, and toast rise to the rim of the snifter with a strong and confident scent. A candied fruit scent of cherries, raspberries, and red grapes are pulled from the barrel and weave into the bourbony alcohol scent. With little hop presence to back it, the balance is acheived through alcohol complexities and the supple char of nutty coffee.

The malty sweetness of maple, brown sugar, and vanilla weave together in such a way to remind me of waffle cones meant for ice cream. It's a fortified taste that invites notions of buckwheat, sorghum, molasses, coffee, chocolate, and toast. The strongly melded taste takes on light barrel acidity and alcohol flavor in the form of dark pitted fruits, dried stone fruit, and vinous port wine. It's a strongly flavored beer that relies on its own complexities and bigness for balance.

Full bodied from start to finish, there's a lot of residual sweetness that needs celebration. This sipping ale coats the palate with a lightly viscous texture of maple syrups and soothes the palate with savory complexities of weight and viscosity. The bourbon alcohol seep into the mouth and provide a brandyish numbing, pleasant warmth, and semi-sweet succulence. A dessert beer for sure.

Slap Happy carries a somber brown ale demeanor that allows the barrels to have a fuller impact. The result strikes me as more of an English stock ale or olde ale rather than a brown ale. But what emerges from the barrel is a delight of a beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium amberwith a half inch beige head that dissipates fairly quickly into a thin layer of foam.

Aroma reveals hints of dank hops, with toasted caramel malt, molasses, vanilla, and a touch of bourbon adding complexity. Oak makes an appearance late, along with chocolate.

Flavor is far more chocolate-forward, with notes of citrus hops, deeply toasted malt, and hints of roast leading into a fairly dry finish. It's fairly sweet and caramelly, and the bourbon character is somewhat muted initially, but becomes more pronounced. Vanilla and oak accompany. Dark fruits also surface as it warms, along with a bit of an acrid character and phenolic plastic.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, smooth, fairly thick, with fairly low carbonation, a touch of peppery bite, and slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, not an over the top barrel aged brew. The chocolate and roast malt character and a bit of the hops come out and are complimented by the oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Not exceptional, but pretty even-keeled. Becomes better as it warms, but the chocolate malt mutes a lot of the pappy character. May need more time in the barrel.

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Slap Happy Bourbon Barrel Brown from West Sixth Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 11 ratings.
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