Curly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout
BarrelHouse Brewing Company

Curly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial StoutCurly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,078
ABV:
10.6%
Score:
92
Ranked #4,088
Avg:
4.15 | pDev: 9.88%
Reviews:
22
Ratings:
104
From:
BarrelHouse Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Summer
Wants
  14
Gots
  24
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Curly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial StoutCurly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout
Notes: Curly Wolf ~ Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout - Maple | Vanilla | Bourbon {UNFILTERED}

Introducing the first beer to be released in our Reservado de Robles Series. This oak barrel aged, limited release series is the canvas for our beer artists. Creamy and complex, this Russian Imperial Stout was aged in 11 year old bourbon barrels for 6 months until the time was just right. We added fresh maple to the boil and whole vanilla beans into the barrels as it aged to impart sweetness and complexity. This beer is dangerously smooth, 100% barrel aged and 100% delicious!
ABV 9.4% | IBU: 58 | S.G. 1.086 ~ Limited release, Taproom, Select Draft Accounts, & 22oz Bottles
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Zythophile:
Photo of Zythophile
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: none, but purchased about a year ago
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Look is a super-dark brown that doesn't let any light through. Light tan head that hangs around.

The smell is mostly that really dark chocolate, like 80%. Dark, dried fruit, like figs and dates, too. There's also a bit of what I can see striking some folks as vanilla, but it hits me more like whole milk or coffee creamer.

Taste is a bunch of dark and smoky things. Raisins, straight-up cacao, prunes, charcoal, plus the figs. Matured cigar tobacco. There's also some spice in there, nutmeg and non-sweet cinnamon mostly. A slightly lactic element (smoky creamer?) hits first, then the dark fruit follow.

It's thick, even for the type, and fortunately I was in need of dessert. It's smooth, and the alcohol isn't readily apparent. The aftertaste is mostly the raisins, but there is also a green wood taste that I haven't come across all that much.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of CraftFan5
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of John_M
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at beer o'clock.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good retention and lacing. The beer is listed as a bourbon barrel aged stout with maple and vanilla, and I do pick up some vanilla and light maple. Also getting some dark chocolate nad maybe a hint of bourbon. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this light weight ba impy stout, though there's a bit more bourbon on the palate. The beer tastes nice enough, I just wish there was more of everything. Mouthfeel is medium bodied in what is a surprisingly light weight impy stout. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and frankly I'm a bit surprised by the 10.6 % listing.

Shrug. Given the price point ($9 for an 8 ounce pour at beer oclock), this is a less than impressive effort. Can't imagine ever ordering another glass of this stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cola brown liquid with a decent head of foam that produces some strands of lacing

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, cherry and some piney hops

Taste: Roasty, with chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla and cherry tones developing; piney hops build, in the middle, and are quite present in the finish; the maple is not clearly apparent

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Flavorful, but the Bourbon and the hops clash at this time; needs to settle down with some time in the cellar to realize its potential

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Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bcrossan
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of CanadaBlue
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LXIXME
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattycasey
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of emyers
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a thin beige head.

Smell: Roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, smoke. Not getting much maple , but there is a very distinct smoke flavor that really takes over the aroma. Certainly very complex, but lacks the integration of components of the top examples of the style - bourbon clashes a bit with the base and the smoke smell is a bit out of place.

Taste: There's a lot going on here - bourbon and vanilla are the most prominent flavors along with oak, peat, a bit of maple (which is more prevalent than in the nose), roasted barley. Honestly there's a little too much going on without anything to really tie it together - a bit of a random compilation of flavors. Definite alcohol bite on the finish. Ultimately comes off a bit harsh.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth, fittingly low carbonation. Very good in this department.

Overall: A little too much going on and could use a bit more balance, but there are a lot of good flavors nonetheless and I like the idea.

 1,030 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- 4oz. pour off tap at the tasting room (Paso Robles, CA) into flight glass on 5-Sep-15

The coffee-like roast dominates the aroma and flavor profile, and the bourbon barrel is veerry subtle; I had to really search for it, but it's there. Overall, a decent take on the BA vanilla stout. Note: this could be biased as I've had BCBVR and FO just couple months earlier.

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Photo of bluz4frank
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, vanilla, wood, and slight bourbon and maple aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice bourbon barrel aged qualities even though this one spent only 6 months in barrels.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of dertyd
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of whatthehull
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz bottle

A - A deep brown almost black (except near the rim of the glass), barely any medium tan head and sugar legs/lacing

S - Roasted malts are really nice and prominent up front, french/american charred oak, underlying earthy hops below that, vanilla is sexy as heck, super nice maple, pipe tobacco, bread yeast, lots of brown/green earth, molasses, slight licorice and/or anise,

T - The malts/grains up front are very nice, sweet/toasted/roasted, the vanilla is as fresh as can be, the maple syrup is very nice, sultry tobacco, very nice anise, some sweet booze notes, classic bread/cracker yeast,

M - Medium minus acidity, medium minus carbonation, very nicely balanced, very nice complexity and a huge sweet malty/vanilla/maple ride from beginning to end.

D/O - Easiest drinking stout I have had in quite a long while. Silky smooth and huge (but not over the top) flavor from beginning to end. Heck this beast even lights up as the stout warms. Age-able for sure though smoothness is not what you will acquire. Instead you'll probably end up with a close to perfectly balanced ale.

Final thoughts - At $13 a pop and a near 10.5% this is a value indeed. One of the few BA stouts I have had that are across the board easy to drink, not to sweet and the booze is very nice. Love almost everything about this beast of a stout.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tbone1384
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is dark brown and clear, but in the glass clean black with just a bit of obsidian translucence around the edges... Center-pour into an over-sized snifter produced a pale head maybe a finger high... Roasted dark malt aromas are suffused with vanilla, maple, bourbon, and oak notes... A stout like this can easily be too sweet, but this one has a drying, mild bittersweetness - instead of being a sugar-bomb, it shows great restraint... Roasted malts present typical cocoa and coffee suggestions, with ample vanilla, maple, and bourbon flavors - best of all is the oak barrel element, drying and airing the beer out... I am sometimes disappointed in the body of a barrel-aged, high abv stout if it is too thin, and though this beer does have a relatively light weight, it feels just right and the bourbon barrels come through very nicely... Despite potential trappings of a heavy, sweet, boozy beer, this is a refined and graceful sipper...

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Photo of random846
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DVMin98
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened at True Pizza bottle share. The smell was of roasted malts. Mild bourbon. Taste is the same. Unfortunately I get no maple or vanilla. good body. Would score much higher is flavor followed the name

 209 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Curly Wolf - Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout from BarrelHouse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 104 ratings