Axis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-Aged
MadTree Brewing

Axis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-AgedAxis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-Aged
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #85
Ranked #1,472
4.31 | pDev: 6.73%
MadTree Brewing
Ohio, United States
Axis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-AgedAxis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-Aged
Notes: Ancient Siberians believed there was a 'World Tree' which connected the different worlds through its roots and branches. Within this bottle is undeniable proof of a link discovered between the wolds of brewing and distilling. Repurposed American Oak Bourbon Barrels are filled with Russian Imperial Stout which digs down to its ancestral roots and is tucked away until the proper time to be unearthed, releasing flavors as rich and as dark as the soil in which the World Tree thrives.
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 132 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of firesidewithphil
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pure representation of a mocha stout. The chocolate and coffee are bold and bittersweet. Qualities of a tiramisu. Don't find much vanilla but that is fine. A great dessert beer.


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Photo of bobhits
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Nose - coffee and cream and toffee, and just rich chocolates.

Taste - This is straight up candy. It's tootsie rolls and vanilla tootsie rolls and some fruity esters. You know...that's all I need to say. Yeah that's this beer with some maybe caramel and some oak. It's rich and deep and dark but not THAT complex. It's awesome candy and alcohol beer.

Feel - this is on low side of high viscountcy. Well carbonated for the style, really nice creamy velvety mouth feel.

I'm really loving this beer. It's outstanding. no look comments, I'm just beyond judging beer on a worthless area. I'll just score it the average.

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bobhits from Kentucky, Apr 01, 2020
Photo of Greywulfken
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout brewed with coffee and vanilla pours black in the glass beneath a slim finger of tan foam... 2/1/19 bottling... Aromas of fresh espresso and char and cocoa open the nose... Vanilla softly inserts itself on the sip, while wood barrel notes dry the tongue... The sweetness is all up front, with a splash of molasses and vanilla caramel underscoring a bittersweet cocoa and bourbon body... Medium-weight, finishing bitterness is drying and outlasts the initial wave of sweetness... Distinct coffee, cocoa , bourbon, wood, and vanilla character; refined, relatively lean, and easy-drinking, particularly for a 10.5% abv... Nice drinking experience...

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Greywulfken from New York, Jun 23, 2019
Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle served in a big snifter. "Bottled On" field on the label is empty, to the best of my ability to detect.

Pours black with a tiny head and very little carbonation. Smell is chocolate, vanilla, also bourbon and booze. Coffee is there too, but not too strongly.

Taste is bitter chocolate, mostly. Vanilla is definitely in there, and the coffee comes across a little more clearly.

Mouthfeel is thick, chalky. Overall, very good beer.

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snaotheus from Washington, May 18, 2019
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a Fibonacci tulip. The pour is very dark, not too viscous, and has very little carbonation with which to produce any crown of foam. The nose has strong notes of bitter chocolate, a little rum, some espresso, and vanilla.

Full body with a creamy feel and a strong bittersweet flavor. Up front a fair amount of malt balanced by bitter roasty notes - like a graham cracker covered with unsweetened chocolate. At mid-palate the coffee and vanilla both come in, one providing roast, the other sweetness, and the balance is nearly maintained, but the bitter notes tend to emerge victorious. Some barrel notes and a little bit of alcohol richness arrive near the finish, tying everything together into a nice chocolatey, boozy treat.

I have had (but not reviewed) the regular Axis Mundi and Barrel-Aged Axis Mundi. MadTree hosted a beer tasting at my local bottle shop (Party Town - Florence, KY - my favorite spot) and left this keg behind. Confession time. I got this growler on a Friday evening, then had to make an emergency trip to the dentist the next day. One abscess draining and seven days worth of antibiotics and painkillers later, I finally got around to drinking it (sorry MadTree - I know this is not how you would like your beer to be treated). Was it not all it could have been? Possibly, but it was still good and I would not hesitate to recommend it (provided it didn't cost an arm and a leg).

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a frothy beige head that spreads across the coffee colored liquid; sticks like a champ and leaves stringy lacing all around

Smell: Chocolate brownie, caramel, coffee and vanilla tones waft; the Bourbon underpins it all

Taste: Chocolate fudge and caramel forward, with the coffee and vanilla elements building, through the middle; earthy, coffee-driven bitterness balances the sweeter tones, in the middle, but the finish marks a return of the sweeter aspect along with the Bourbon, that drives home the finish

Mouthfeel: Despite the ABV, the mouthfeel is surprisingly light; more of a medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: There is a lot to like here but the mouthfeel is a real let down for a big stout

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brentk56 from North Carolina, Dec 02, 2017
Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT, 0.9 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a MadTree snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of mocha head that leaves very little lacing.

The first thing that hits me is the bourbon aroma that comes across sweet with notes of caramel and vanilla. It probably comes across sweet due to the addition of the vanilla. The coffee smell is mild and in the background compared to the other aromas.

It starts out with a dessert sweetness from the vanilla. I also get some chocolate and caramel to add to its delectability. A little alcohol from the bourbon comes through the middle. It finishes with coffee flavor and bitterness, so it does not finish as a dessert.

Full and smooth mouthfeel

This is a damn, fine ale. It is well executed and is definitely worth seeking.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, bottled October 2016. Served in a MadTree snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with not quite an inch tan head that didn't stay around for very long. There isn't much lacing, either. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and some coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some roasted malt and caramel. I think the taste and aroma lean more towards the sweet flavors than it does the roasty ones, it's very sweet but not quite overpoweringly so. Mouthfeeel/body is full, it's creamy and coating with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this a lot, definitely worth getting a bottle if you see it. I would have liked it even more if the coffee would have been kicked up a notch, but that's a minor complaint. $11.99 a bottle.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps it was just my bottle but I was left completely unimpressed with this. The nose was a bit odd and the flavor produced too much vanilla. I got light coffee and caramel as it turned back to vanilla.

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KYGunner from Kentucky, May 28, 2016
Photo of BEERchitect
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lavishly sweet, strong and robust, the imperial stout from Mad Tree Brewing takes a nice long bourbon-soaked nap, curled up with its coffee and vanilla friends. The Axis Mundi that emerges is a taste that won't accompany dessert, it will replace it all together.

Jet black and swirling with a viscous density, the creamy froth lays down inky tracks on the glass while filling the room with the decadence of chocolate and bourbon. As the stout creeps onto the tongue, its succulent sweetness quickly overtakes the palate- caramel, black-strap molasses, chocolate, coffee and cream.

With the full brunt of flavor and marshmallowy texture laying on the tongue, the full saturation of taste is nothing short of brownie batter and kaluha. Woven together with vanilla and balanced with the robust earthiness of coffee, the taste of roasted marshmallows is front and center. A bourbon-filled finish brings its own collection of vanillans, caramels and worn oak for a nutty, roasty taste that's as sultry as it is satisfying.

Full and nearly cloying on the palate, the beer's booze and coffee-type bitterness takes an edge off of the sweetness as the char of grain brings a tinge of smoky chocolate and dark fruit. Chocolate, coffee and cream chase the taste into a deep, long and extended finish.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, May 21, 2016
Photo of rudzud
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip nice dark brown hue with a thin mocha head that fades to leave light lacing and nice wisps.

S - Aromas of great bourbon barrel notes, nice vanilla, great fluffy nougat, loads of fudgy chocolate. Nice light coffee, chocolate chip cookie dough. No alcohol on the nose.

T - Taste is just delicious. Great fudgy chocolate, , nuts, chocolate, coffee, loads of vanilla, nice bourbon, light barrels, faint caramel. Light bitterness on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this beer was just excellent. Wonderful fudgy chocolate, really good bourbon notes. Just excellent.

Serving type: bottle

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Mar 04, 2016
Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to rudzud

Little darker color fizzy fluffy 1 finger head fades at a need pace then slows and retains a nice head covering, nice lacing, pitch black thick with long legs.

Nose a little smoke in the background, with dark malts, roasted malts, a little char and charred caramel, some fudgey cocoa and nougat, a little nutty, mild creamy vanilla, burnt coffee, little marshmallow, light bourbon barrel, chocolate chip cookie dough.

Taste more dark chocolate, creamy lush cocoa, a little fudgey, a touch of roast and char, mild roasty coffee, little fluffy nougat and cookie dough, into a nice vanilla, creamy vanilla and little bourbon barrel. Quite a bit of bitterness on the back end, mostly dry finish, nice chocolate fudge cookie dough, but the bitterness is a bit too much.

Mouth is fuller bod, creamy, no booze, decent carb.

Overall an awesome beer, just that spicy bitterness on the finish detracting slightly.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Mar 04, 2016
Photo of barczar
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aroma is decadent chocolate, truffle-like, with an excellent blend of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. As it warms, vanilla becomes more prominent, but it retains that fudgy richness.

When cold, the vanilla is overpowering, with barrel kicking in mid palate pretty strongly, then bourbon packing a finishing punch. Fairly hot. Still rough around the edges, I'm anxious to see this smooth out with age. Coffee becomes more evident as it warms, but that barrel really dominates. This drinks a lot better warm. Still bourbon and barrel dominating, along with vanilla, but flavors integrate better. Might be the acidic coffee that I find offputting.

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barczar from Kentucky, Feb 13, 2016
Photo of LloydDobler
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz btl into Allagash mini snifter.

Small, dark brown pour has a nice tan cap of foam. Smell is of distinct dark roast coffee and not much else. I have never had a beer with as much coffee that I actually enjoyed. Forget roasty coffee flavors, this is straight coffee, and a good one at that! The vanilla is surprisingly strong as well, but not off putting at all. Great adjuncts but not a ton of bourbon flavor, although the heat has a little presence. Good carbonation and nice overall. Perfect beer to start the morning!

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Photo of fickeaa
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours oil black body with respectable lacing as it drinks . Aroma of heavy oak with coffee very prominent. The bourbon is there, but understated. Taste pretty much follows nose with a touch of vanilla sweetness. Smooth if not a bit thin. Great brew, and hoping for MadTree bottling this again, as well as other variants.

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Photo of sdeese21
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with little head. Smell has the subtle bourbon sweetness that I love. Great beer with my only complaint being that the flavors are slightly drowned out by the residual heat.

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sdeese21 from Louisiana, Nov 15, 2015
Photo of pollocwr
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The dark roasted coffee makes this an excellent beer. I would love more vanilla smell and taste but overall it doesn't detract from the beautiful flavor that this beer brings.

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter. Rich and dark color which is nearly completely opaque. Extremely well balanced beer on the nose and palate. The right amount of sweet and heat are made possible with the bourbon, vanilla and coffee. Wish I had more of this one.

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Dolphinsmarlins1 from Massachusetts, Oct 23, 2015
Photo of HeartofMiami
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with minimal head. Smell is nice malts and bourbon. Just of a hint of Vanilla but not much coffee on the noise. Low carb, good mouthfeel. Taste is a great blend of bourbon and beer (nice malt backbone) with a hint of vanilla and coffee. Not artificial or medicinal which is really nice. Great barrel blended beer!

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Photo of Myotus
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Eziel for this trade!
Poured from a bottle (bottled July 2015) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of cinnamon colored foam that changes to khaki foam then dissipates into a line after 1 minute. Black in color with an orange tint. Rising bubbles are small and are hardly existent. Lacing is thin and moderate, but stays on the glass.
SMELL: Has mild aromas of coffee, molasses, and vanilla that meet with subtle aromas of borubon and hints of bitter roasted malts.
TASTE: Strong flavors of vanilla and mild flavors of molasses enter initially. Molasses flavors grow stronger as subtle oak and coffee flavors enter. Hints of better roasted malts enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Full-bodied with hints of carbonation (best combination ever). Goes down so smooth, I would swear this was on nitro. Finishes with a moderate dryness (dang I guess there had to be some downfall to the mouthfeel).
NOTE: As Beer warmed, bourbon flavors still could not be detected. The borubon was so well hidden. I absolutely loved it. Needed more coffee, though.

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Myotus from Texas, Sep 28, 2015
Photo of goldenbooter
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

umbelievable BA stout. The coffee is forward with the bourbon and vanilla more of an afterthought. Perfect blend. Axis is a great stout to begin with, the additional flavors compliment perfectly.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An initially muted nose of coffee and milk chocolate blossoms nicely with warmth, incorporating toasted marshmallow, light bourbon, and sweet vanilla. Very similar experience on the tongue, with chocolate leading the way before bowing out to a building bourbon presence that is accentuated by an acidic, bitter, roasted bean and earthy oak. Just enough creaminess from the vanilla to prevent astringency. Does not feel like 10.5% ABV. My only (small) complaint would be that it's a tad thin on the mouthfeel, but only marginally so. Excellent beer.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark color with a thin head. The smell is a nice sweet coffee where you can get the hints of vanilla. The taste is more bitter with not much vanilla. The finish is slightly harsh and slightly hot. Start great, finishes ok. Solid beer overall.

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mrn1ceguy from Illinois, Sep 12, 2015
Photo of pnelting
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a tan head. The aroma is coffee, vanilla, and caramel. It smells great, almost like a latte from a hipster coffee shop. The taste is very well balanced. Nice coffee bitterness on the back end.

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Photo of MyakkaRiver
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a light tan head that mostly disappears very quickly. You can smell the coffee on the pour. The coffee comes through on the back end as does the vanilla. Not overly sweet either, nice balance. The first sip was a little boozy but went away very quickly. As it warms up, the coffee and vanilla become more apparent and booziness is not longer apparent. Also get a nice charred oak flavor from the barrel. Very solid coffee stout.

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Axis Mundi - Coffee And Vanilla - Barrel-Aged from MadTree Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 132 ratings