Uncle Jacob's Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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Uncle Jacob's StoutUncle Jacob's Stout
Uncle Jacob's StoutUncle Jacob's Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jacob Spears, our 6th Great Grand Uncle, is credited as the first distiller to label his whiskey “Bourbon.” He built his distillery in Bourbon County Kentucky in 1790 — 203 years before we began brewing. While obviously a bit too late to produce Uncle Jacob’s wash, we’ve instead created something far more complex. In his honor, we present this robust, silky smooth, full-bodied and altogether extremely American rendition of an Imperial Stout aged for 6 months in the very finest Bourbon barrels. This explains a lot about our penchant for big brews! It’s in our blood!

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 479 | Ratings: 2,940
Photo of SteinKiller
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Avery Brewery in Boulder and can't imagine a more rich and flavorful stout. On par and perhaps better than Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

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Photo of bouldercellar
5/5  rDev +13.1%

AMAZING! Hands down one of the best beers I have had in my existence on this planet. Bourbon has done this stout well...lowering the ABV from previous batches was a very good call. I can't get enough of these! Avery is always exceeding expectations.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So this is it. My 1000th beer on Beer Advocate. Not my 1000th beer in life but on this website for sure. Pretty amazing to have come this far in the world of beer. A quick rundown of important events that led me here:

I was young once (underage) and I drank 40s and Busch Light to get drunk. I turned 21 and got a job at a liquor store (Spec's). I befriended the head of the beer department, he taught me everything he knew about beer, he moved away, I became head of the beer department. I became friends with one of our beer sales reps and he gave me my first "alternative" beer. It was the Belgian beer Delirium Nocturnum. I was hooked! I became a Craft and Belgian beer salesman after that. A buddy gave me a homebrew kit for my 23rd birthday. I dabbled with brewing until it wrapped its loving arms around me and I got hooked. I've been brewing at least twice a month for some 6 years now. I volunteer at Thirsty Planet Brewing and me and my gal Amanda (my Corndog) are moving to Portland in 4 weeks so that I can pursue my passion for brewing professionally and hopefully one day start my own brewery.

Now for the review:

Pours black as ever, no light shines thru, a little bit of dark brown bubbles hanging out on top. The nose is milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon in the background, caramel, just intense. Chocolate is the biggest player in the aroma. The taste....big sticky chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate chip cookie, brown sugar with an accent of salt, very rich. Getting a little bit of alcohol burn in the finish but I'm surprised its masked so well. Its like 17%!!! Big ass body. Redonkulous.

Glad I could make this my 1000th beer on this great site. I have been a fan of Avery since I knew what craft beer was and they never disappoint. Cheers everyone and happy brewing/drinking!!!

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance: Deep dark brown. A little reddish gown hints around the edges when held to light. Impressive mocha head especially for a monster of a stout.
smell: A decadent bourbon, dark chocolate, malt, and dart fruit dessert.
taste: and all of the promise of the nose is delivered.
overall: This ain't nuthin but good. Rich, bad-ass, transcendent. Holy shit. Fwiw, alcohol is there but amazingly well masked for such a beast.
I realize there are some that argue all 5's are impossible. This beer for me could not get any better. Nothing should be added or taken away imo and so I have to got with perfect.

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Photo of Joe_Palooka
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will let the other geniuses rate this stuff by all of the nose and taste criteria. The bottom line is that this is great shit! Better than Bourbon County by far! If you haven't found it yet, you are missing one of the finest stouts known to man! No way can you taste 16.9% ABV in this beer. Sells retail for about 13 bucks and you can find it in bars for about $18.00. Pull the trigger my friends, it is well worth it! You get the nicest little buzz on only one 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of mrhartounian
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn! Having this for the umteenth time and just had to expand. I hate to say that "this beer is "better" than that" but, to me, this puts BCBS to shame. I know, I know, the price is ridiculous. But putting that aside, this is the best bourbon barrel aged stout I have ever had. If you get the chance to pick one up, do it. Save it for the right time. Don't drink 5 IPA's then break this one out. Sit back and enjoy it on it's own.

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Photo of youradhere
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2, 2012

Pours obsidian black with brown head, 1finger height, lingers to leave nice lacing. Smells of dark molasses, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and slight oak. Taste- amazing. Bitter chocolate covered espresso bean, graham cracker, bourbon vanilla. Mouthfeel is thick, silky, slight pricks of carbonation plays with alcohol heat that has tamed, sweetness is backed by bitter, thick balanced by heat and carbonation. Very well balanced beer, I can feel a warming in my chest from the smooth bourbon burn. This just gets silkier and more decadent as it warms.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled Feb. 13 2015 and enjoy feb 19, 2017. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, in 3 installments. Pours jet black, fairly thick, with a thin brown head that falls quickly. Exactly what you expect from 16.9%. Smell is huge with notes of caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, bourbon, and a touch booze. Awesome nose! Taste is spot on! Huge, but not overwhelming flavors of marshmallows, caramel, burnt malt, sugar, and a huge kick of vanilla and bourbon flavor. VERY full in body with just a slight alcohol burn in the throat, but the age covers the boozieness fairly well. Overall, absolutely amazing beer that is almost more of an experience. This is my third time having it, all were 2015 bottles, one after 6 months, 1year, and now 2, and the age just keeps all those flavors together so beautifully, and honestly, with age, not too harsh at all for 16.9%. Perfect, for me.

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Photo of Czequershuus
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours dark black with an average head. The aroma leads with dark chocolate, followed by licorice, baking cocoa, cappuccino, and brown sugar. The flavor is again dominated by dark chocolate, with brown sugar, caramel, roast fruit, fig, and cappuccino. The motuhfeel is rich and full with low carbonation. Overall this is an absolutely fantastic beer - so incredibly balanced, it just begs you to drink more of its high ABV goodness.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled 2/4/2014
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

S: wow! this smells amazing! i get a fair amount of bourbon, and oak upfront, but not in an overpowering way. roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruits, coffee. simply incredible.

A: great appearance. pours jet black like motor oil, good head for such a high alcohol beer. deep tan.

T: this is delicious! soft bourbon, oak, vanilla followed up dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. no taste of the alcohol. dark chocolate lingers on the palate after each sip

M: thick and creamy! just like a barrel aged stout should be.

O: this is incredible! this is now one of my favorite beers! its a shame its $15 for 12 oz. the price is the only flaw!

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Photo of Irishman_Scott
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Back in the day when I first tried this, it was the first “heavy hitter” I had ever had. Definitely a much stronger than most which comes out in both the smells and taste. But I personally like that once in a while, and this one is still pleasant despite it’s strength. You can definitely taste a bit of whiskey and maybe some tobacco. A lot of roasty and chocolate, along with toffee is what I am getting personally. It’s very high rated on here and deservingly so. Highly recommend for those who are fans of a good strong imperial stout.

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Photo of UpToMeBeer
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer the day it was released, and had it again today. Simply flawless. The bourbon is there, but not over-powering. It's a super fine stout with just the right amount of bourbon barrel. The thing that stands out to me is a sweetness in the taste that especially emerges over time. Reminiscent of Rumpkin (another fine beer from Avery) with that sweetness, though not as sweet as Rumpkin. Creamy and full mouthfeel.

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Photo of jmasher85
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Totally subjective, totally biased, totally going against a fair rating, but as far as I'm concerned, this is my favorite, and therefore the best, beer. First of all, I only tried it because I'm an Uncle Jacob myself, and even if it was $12 for a taster at Snallygaster beer festival, how could I not?? Met my expectations, hopes, dreams, and more! Even my girlfriend who is normally content with Miller Lite liked it (too much, actually. It's expensive and I'll be damned if I'm sharing any!).

But seriously, if you are willing to pony up big cash, then a million scent and flavor spirits will inhabit your body and feast upon your soul. Best was to describe it is a barrel-aged, Belgian quad-style imperial stout. It's got smoke, cocoa, chocolate, oak, stone fruit, spices, sweet, bitter, it's rich, thick, boozy but less than it's ABV would suggest. It's everything a megabeer should be. I'll add more description the next time I have some, if I can get off the floor long enough.

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Photo of Jaxbrew
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There's a reason this is one of the top 250 beers on BA. 2013 vintage consumed while in line for Out of the Emptiness by Tied Hands. The best stout I've had from Avery. Super think, chewy, chocolate, barrel, toffee deliciousness. Paid a pretty penny for it, but it was worth the labor to purchase it. Unreal!

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Photo of B-29Pilot
4.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is hands down one of my absolute favorite beers. I have purchased several over the course of a few months, (2013 batch) and I have shared a few of them with my friends. I have a few stashed aside for aging, and I plan on doing some side by side comparisons as future batches are released.

Appearance: Deep dark black with a nice tan head that leaves a beautiful oily coat on the glass.

Aroma: Slightly boozy from the bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruits (dates/plums).

Taste: Toffee, dark fruits, bourbon (light), chocolate creme.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and full bodied.

Overall: This is a beast of a beer. At a 16.53% it goes down more like an 8%. I highly encourage that you split a bottle with a friend if you open it. It is always better to share, and you won't have to try to get the license plate of the truck that ran you over if you drink it alone. The quest has begun to get a few bottles of 2012. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

served from a twelve ounce bottle

a- Used motor oil black, highly viscous with a small brown skim for head

s-Tons of bourbon barrel notes, vanilla, coconut, molasses and oak dominate

t- I can't believe how well the ultra high abv is hidden. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, molasses, smokey chocolate and a subtle cherry sweetness. Delicate yet assertive. Beautiful.

m-creamy and viscous with the perfect amount of co2 to keep it lively

o- I bought three, I wish I bought a case. This is in the same league as the greats. Avery hit a homerun with this one. world class

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Photo of Just-the-sip
4.96/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L-Black poor. Very small head but a bit of carbonation.

S-Maple, vanilla, cocoa nibs and magic. Yes, magic

T-Superb. I've never had a beer so high in abv taste so delicious and how did they hide the alcohol?! You really have to look for it while you're drinking. I'm blown away by this.

F-Silky smooth on the pallette and goes down quick.

O-This beer is DANGEROUS. I can't believe how balanced it is. It must be pure witchcraft. I'll buy as many as I can next time it's out. A little pricey at $15 a 12oz bottle but it's worth it in the end. I've one more bottle and will forget about it for awhile.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dated 2/13/2015. Poured and enjoyed on 3/20/2015.
No overpowering aromas but the bourbon is the most detectable, followed by some coffee and a little more chocolate. Very dark brown in color and oh so thick like oil; you can see the viscosity! Even after a somewhat aggressive pour not much in the way of a head with spotty bits of bubbles make up the lacing. Flavor is so smooth and complex. Getting some bourbon, vanilla, wood, sweet chocolate, and coffee. So vicious and velvety, coats the palate extremely well and goes down way to easily for 16.9%. There is an evident burn from the alcohol but its to be expected. Probably one of my favorite bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts I’ve enjoyed to date. So awesome; go and treat yourself to one!

2016 Update
Batch 5, bottled 2/19/16 and enjoyed on 3/29/16
Dark, thick, with a khaki head. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, wood and some dark fruits on the nose and palate. Quite boozy this fresh but unlike last year I have a couple to age. Somewhat sweet with the burn from the alcohol very noticeable. Again, this is still probably one of the better barrel aged stouts out there!

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Photo of imstimpy
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm writing this as I try Uncle Jacob's for the first time. It has been stored in my 41*F fridge for four months now.

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated Feb 13, 2015 into a snifter. The pour is a semi-translucent brown, not nearly as dark or thick as some stouts, with a subtle tan head that quickly disappears. Once in the snifter it sits black with a tan ring around the edge of the glass.

The scent is predominantly chocolate, maybe a bit of licorice or bourbon overtone.

The taste is delicious. A very balanced stout base blended with chocolate and a subtle bit of bourbon. It tastes thick and smooth, but doesn't coat the tongue, then tapers slowly into a malty roasted chocolate finish. The booze in this 16.9% beer is hidden really well. A Mephistopheles or Pump[Ky]n needs time to mature but the flavor in Uncle Jacob's seems refined immediately.

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Photo of Dominic_jones
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Dark chocolate up front followed by a dominating molasses sweetness. A touch of oak and quite a bit of bright bourbon are present as well. However, one of the few bourbon barrel stouts that Is better cold, in my opinion. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of GormBrewhouse
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best barrel aged stout I have ever tasted.

First it pours black with very little head. The smell is super complex, we are talking wood, roast, minimal booze and other scents I can not properly describe but are outstanding. The taste is out of this world. Wonderfully blended, no heat or alchohal blast, crazy flavors going around the mouth and throat. Feels thicker than it looks.

Overall the best so far for me. Nothing is like it so far.

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: pitch black with a beautiful tan head.

S: bourbon, molasses, oak, vanilla and caramel.

T: huge! Bourbon and vanilla dominate with a nice backup of molasses, toffee, caramel, oak and chocolate.

M: big bodied and well carbonated.

O: this is one fantastic BA stout. Probably my favorite BA stout to date. Wish it wasn't so expensive and more readily available. Would love a bottle to age. Absolutely wonderful experience.

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Photo of McAttitude
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep, dark black with a dark brown head. Super carbonation especially for the amount of alcohol!

Aroma: Coffee, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, caramel.

Taste: Nutty, buttery, bourbon, wood, vanilla, caramel, toffee, alcohol!

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. thick creamy, full bodied.

Overall: This is a superb beer now and can only get better with time! Glad I have 3 more aging!

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Photo of appetiteforparis
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks be to Blindpiggie for this one... The new 2013 release of Uncle Jacob's is a stout that transcends the taste buds, and takes them on a journey to the beer drinkers equivalent of Valhalla. It possesses the caramel qualities of a BCBS and Parabola, while also hinting at the chocolate dreaminess of Odells' Lugene. As Avery is prone to do (Mome), the high ABV is balanced out with an elegant sweetness that can really only be matched by the artisans at Goose Island.The barrel is incorporated in a way that is, well, completely sublime. My strongest recommendation on this one...it is the perfect Bourbon-Barrel aged stout.
Edit june 2014...The last release of Uncle Jacob's was extremely underwhelming. It lacked the complexity of past vintages, and was just ok.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 5 - Pours a viscous oily jet black color. Forms a nice finger of extremely dark tan colored head. Medium head potential, medium head retention. Nice solid retention.
S - 5 - Alcoholic dark fruit, huge bourbon notes, roasted malts and roasted coffee beans, medium sweet chocolate and lots of booze.
T - 4.75 - Wow. Take your time with this one. Super sweet malts, tons of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Ends on a lightly bitter coffee finish.
F - 5 - Extremely thick and viscous creamy mouthfeel.
O - 5 - An amazing and ideal representation of the BA imperial stout style. Highly recommend getting a few and holding em for the right occasion. Very boozy and warming, drink on a cold day!

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Uncle Jacob's Stout from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.42 out of 5 with 2,940 ratings