Modem Tones - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla
Modern Times Beer

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #64
Ranked #267
4.61 | pDev: 4.56%
Modern Times Beer
California, United States
Notes: Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Following the Monster's Park, this was an awesome way to start a bottle share. It was going to hard to compete with these two for the rest of the night. Black, still, oily pour. Big boozy nose with underlying vanilla. Taste presents the roast malts, a healthy dose of vanilla, plus the bourbon barrel. Sweet and warm. A real gem.

Feb 21, 2021
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funkyburps from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything you could want in a BA Vanilla stout. Pours very dark, nice head, perfect thickness. Lots of nilla and a touch of barrel heat. Another great MTV

Jan 29, 2021
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Minneapolis is burning. I’m in my basement drinking. The world might be ending. It’s surreal. About to pop a 22 oz. beer rec’d from ICTM & split it with my wife.

Black beer with virtually no head with a nose of chocolate & vanilla. I like it.

Modem Tones – Bourbon Barrel Aged & Vanilla is true to its name. Vanilla heavy, this is like being wrapped in vanilla orchids & partially drowned in 100% vanilla stuff. Mid-palate, cleared by the vanilla fist, is a sharp sting of bourbon with a subtle undercurrent of cocoa nibs. Stand-a-spoon-up-in-it thick. But drinkable. Oh, so, drinkable.

One might ask why there aren’t sixteen adjuncts in this & the answer is: not necessary. The vanilla plays off the barrel like Pacino & De Niro chewing the scenery to mulch. Excellent beer.

May 30, 2020
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jheimbigner from Washington

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich onyx color with minimal head. Nose is of strong vanilla balanced vanilla with minimal chocolate. Taste follows the nose, strong vanilla, followed by chocolate and warming from barrel (or possibly vanilla). Reminds me of a vanilla brownie! Feel is viscous, just what you want. Overall, great sweet stout that has great vanilla and body. Would like to try next to FO and BCBVS. This is much better than the FFb2 I opened a few months ago.

Mar 15, 2020
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RNbeerfan from New York

4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Really dark brown, almost black with little head
Smell: Vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate
Taste: Bourbon up front, but a really nice chocolate and vanilla sweetness to balance this out
Feel: Good thickness and carb levels
Overall: Definitely one of my favorite beers from MT. This far exceeded my expectations. Will probably seek out more of this series.

May 13, 2019
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mynie from Maryland

4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a bright, reddish black. Most big stouts are a dark, blackish red, but this one flips the script.

The aroma is rum-heavy. After a few sniffs, some stout barley and berries become apparent. Not quite like anything I've ever come across in a beer. Rough, but excellent.

Tastes slightly less rough than the aroma, but no less excellent. Good lord. Rum run throughout, lending a wonderful sharpness to everything. The start of the sip is boozy berries, accentuated wonderfully by the rum sharpness. This is smoothed out by some vanilla and chocolate nodes near the middle, with a finish like a rum aged stout. Just... from start to finish this is exquisite.

May 04, 2019
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2019 vintage.

A: Pours black, not particularly viscous, with a smattering of sand colored head that recedes quickly to a sharp ring. A few dots of lacing and average retention.

S: Rich chocolatey cocoa powder, bourbon, ethanol, barrel spice, a smidge of dark roastiness, dust (?!), and a hint of dark dried fruit (plum).

T: Nice balance between rich powdery dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and bourbon, along with a bit of alcohol. Finishes with a moderate sweetness that places this firmly in the dessert category.

M: Medium body—maybe a touch thin for the style—and soft medium carbonation. No heat—the alcohol is almost completely hidden, besides a bit in the aroma and taste.

O: Pretty delicious and pretty drinkable BBA stout that leans towards dessert-y (but not overly so).

Apr 25, 2019
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Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark mocha hues with a sandy head and moderate lacing
S: Cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and a healthy bit of barrel
T: Decadent dark cocoa, caramel, marshmallows, slight hint of dark fruits, and a satiable graham cracker malt finish
F: Medium to thick bodied with ample carb
O: Nicely executed stout from start to finish - not overly boozy, but full-bodied enough to carry the load of a bold vanilla-forward BA stout. Evoked comparisons to me of a slightly less hot B1 or B2 FO. Very well balanced and accomplishes the mission of bringing forward a rich vanilla BA stout without too much heat or barrel. Nicely done.

Apr 07, 2019
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Rristow from Ohio

5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted from bottle. Pours black with thick brown head. Huge vanilla and bourbon aroma. Thick and chewy. Flavor of vanilla is pretty pronounced but not overly so and not the fake vanilla flavor. Cocoa, caramel and molasses. Excellent.

Feb 24, 2019
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GeneralBurden from Minnesota

4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thick black pour forms a gorgeous tan head that dissipates slowly.
Intoxicating aroma! Vanilla, whiskey, tobacco.
Thick and chewy mouthfeel. Not sticky or overly sweet.
Vanilla and bourbon are the dominate flavors followed by dark chocolate.
Overall very boozy without being hot. A lingering delight of tastes on the palate. Imparts that warm, fuzzy feeling of a good buzz. Delicious!

Feb 15, 2019
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Modern Times PDX.

Black with a thin brown head that falls off rapidly leaving little lacing this looks solid. The nose is sweet with vanilla, dark brown sugar, bourbon, and plenty of syrupy sweetness. Milk chocolate, chocolate ganache, dark chocolate syrup, dark honey, there's layers of sweetness here. The palate is sweet and rather thick with honey, syrup, vanilla, chocolate syrup, chocolate ganache, thick and decadent. Vanilla and bourbonare quite prominent. Sweet and syrupy on the finish, though there is a mild grainy bitterness that tempers the sweetness. Quite wonderfully structured. Alcohol is noticeable but well integrated, lending a minty note.

Jan 28, 2019
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, snifter glass. Dark heavy cola brown body, dark enough to be black; one finger slightly offwhite head, good retention and even a bit of lacing. Smell is big chocolate malt, cookie batter, a nice mild-moderate whiskey heat, vanillin, vanilla ice cream, touch of spice, sweet chocolate fudge. Flavour is at a show-stopper level with a nice smooth vanillin-laden whiskey flavour laying the stage for a mild-moderate chocolate fudge sweetness but never quite leaving the stage; the whiskey heat and flavour lingers all the way to the end of the beer. It leaves room at the intermission for chocolate fudge, a bit of vanilla ice cream flavour, milk chocolate and a slight bit of roast, but ultimately returns at the end as if to tell everyone else that their time is up, and finishes with a moderate heat that is balanced a bit by the vanilla ice cream sweetness. Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy and hefty with slightly lower carbonation than expected, wonderful massive stout that is sort of a hybrid of sipper and fun drinker with tons of flavour, but a good bit of heat as well.

Oct 18, 2018
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M_chav from New Mexico

4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What a surprise, had this at a share after trying the base (excellent as well) - the nilla is well showcased. Really nothing wrong with this beer, wish I had more than just one pour, definitely one of the highlights of an excellent share

Jul 29, 2018
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BeanBump from California

4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Its 14%, riddled with barrel richness, subtle vanilla sweetness and its smoother than Patrick Stewart's head after a shave. Sure, its a beast of a beer and (if youre able to find it) it will molest your wallet a little but hot damn this is a good beer. MT has really stepped up their stouts in the last couple years and I cant wait to see what they release next. Nice work.

Jul 26, 2018
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chrisjws from California

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks like motor oil. Pitch black. Viscous, and sticky.

Big, boozy, in your face with the vanilla and undertones of bourbon, oak and toasted coconut.

Taste follows the nose with big boozy vanilla, whiskey and oak. Burnt caramel and chocolate in the aftertaste.

Absolutely awesome.

Jul 09, 2018
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rand from California

4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber into a snifter

Sludgy, crude oil-looking beverage, Modem Tones looks as rich and viscous as a brew can get. Decadent, dessert-like bouquet, with distinct notes of caramel and vanilla and oak. Vanilla-rush at the front of the sip, bourbon and caramel notes in tow. Suggestions of tobacco and oak work to dry the palate, as its weighty complexion leaves a chewy, milky coating across your palate.

Modem Tones is all that you want in a barrel-aged sipper - sweet and nuanced and appropriately boozy. I'd heard this was good but it's better than expected - hope they can find room for brews like this through the hazy IPA obsession.

Jun 12, 2018
Modem Tones - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla from Modern Times Beer
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 102 ratings