Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)
Side Project Brewing

Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)
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Stout - American Imperial
4.75 | pDev: 6.53%
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)
Notes: Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel)

Derivation is our series of Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts in which we brew several recipes, age them in a variety of barrels and blend them before bottling to add depth and structure to this massive style of beer.

Blend #1
25% Smoked Imperial Stout aged for 23 months in a Willet 11 yr Bourbon Barrel
25% Wheated Imperial Stout aged for 23 months in a Sweet Sophie Maple Syrup Willet 9 yr Bourbon Barrel
50% Wheated Imperial Stout aged for 13 months in Weller 12 yr Wheated Bourbon Barrels
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 152 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of gibgink
gibgink from Missouri

4.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle pour at SP Brewery on 12-17-17 for their 1 year anniversary. Pours black, with little to no carb. Slightly sweet on the nose. An amazingly crafted beer all around. Sweetness is there, and so smooth with no alcohol presence whatsoever. I was very happy to try this version, as didn't ever think I'd get the chance.

Dec 18, 2017
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Fux from France

4.5/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the entire set from Derivation 1 to 6 plus Double Barrel at the Tasting to Sink all Sea Shepherds at St-Gilles Moeder Lambic cellar. Thanks Anton for this one and thanks Cory for letting this full horizontal become reality.
A: Pours pitch black with a small mocha head which leaves some lacing into the glass.
S: Smell is of grain, bread, chocolate and maple mainly. Strong and well mixed together. Maple and barrel character are subdued from the nose.
T: Taste of bread and chocolate, very well integrated. Maple mellows the whole thing. Barrel is there but not overpowering. I got no smoke at all. Very good stout.
M: Full bodied, even sticky, with a huge residual sweetness.
O: Very good balance, very much chocolate forward and very well done.

Oct 16, 2016
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YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

5/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Side Projects finest! Amazing complex flavors but very smooth with a nice barrel finish. Purchased this bottle along with many others of its caliber for a small group tasting and it was definitely one of the stars!

May 02, 2016
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Abbbp from Texas

4.82/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely a world class brew. Was fortunate to have this alongside D3 and D4, so it was difficult not to compare the brews- all of which were fantastic and had nuances that made them different from their namesakes. What was most enjoyable about this brew for me was what it was and what it wasn't- it was certainly maple forward, and that is the jam for me when it comes to adjuncts. It wasn't very smokey, in fact no smoke was detected by my pallet and that is very very good for me. I do not like smoke in beer. Seek with confidence.

Mar 20, 2016
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bennyman12 from Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at beer dinner last night. Beautiful body Holding up well, but the maple has faded and the smoke has become more pronounced. Drink sooner than later, imo. Long live the derivations!

Original review:
My second time enjoying this on draft.
Served fairly cold--liked it even better as it warmed.
Looks like a big stout looks under the dim Edison bulbs at the cellar. See SP logo for clarification.
Smells and tastes rich, deep, smoky, boozy.
Really a great balance here. And fantastic mouthfeel. Carb puts it above d4 in my book, but maybe a nod behind d2 just bell cause I'm a sucker for vanilla. Though the smoky syrup thing is pretty bangin'!

Feb 24, 2016
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MeLoynes from Missouri

4.78/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the cellar. Pitch black with medium brown foam. Very reflective. Heavy bourbon smell, chocolate, and sugar. Tastes of semisweet chocolate, syrup, bourbon and a hint of smoke. Full-bodied with minimal carbonation. Overall definitely a top 7-8 stout for me. I prefer D2 and D4, though.

Feb 24, 2016
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michaelweber10 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've sampled 5-7 different bottles of every derivation and its safe to say that D1 is hands down my favorite.

Huge thick chewy mouthfeel with legs like none other, stains the hell out of the glass, midnight black.

smell - notes of fudge, brownie batter, subtle notes of smokiness and a solid amount of maple

Taste - Perfect balance of maple fudge brownies up front followed by the barrel notes as well as a slight lingering smokiness

M - Thick, chewy, perfect in every way, rivals that of KBBS and SR-71

O - Love this beer, and my favorite of the 4 released thus far

Feb 03, 2016
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linnymtu from Michigan

5/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally have rounded out my top three favorite beers. KBBS, Nutulhu and now this. Lives up to the hype with a massive mouthfeel and great maple goodness on the nose and palate. Not quite as good as KBBS but puts itself on the same tier for me, and above stuff like dbh, md and BA abraxas.

Jan 27, 2016
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jaydoc from Kansas

4.61/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous black with a dark orange head. The beer lines the sides of the glass with a burnt orange tinge after sipping. The nose is of smoke, bourbon and chocolate. Smoke predominates the flavor. With time and warmth, the bourbon and maple come through. This is a truly decadent beer with a tremendous mouthfeel. Overall, an exceptional experience.

Dec 25, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.42/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Inky black. Mocha head and a medium collar. Intense bourbon and booze. Roasted malt. Dark chocolate. The bourbon taste is just as intense as the nose. Maple sweetness. Not quite enough to overpower and become cloying. A touch of dark roasted malt and light smoke. Heavy and extremely sweet. Highly alcoholic. Really sweet, but extremely good.

Oct 27, 2015
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unique profile in a world where BA stouts are increasingly cookie cutter. That's primarily due to the smoked stout, which adds a smokey and slightly salty dimension to the sweet and chocolatey bourbon barrel flavors -- kind of like a salted caramel. Maple was quite muted. This was very solid, but not quite up to the substantial hype around it.

Oct 10, 2015
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AlienSwineFlu from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good, had it with Mornin' Delight and it was just a little overshadowed. Smooth maple, nice barrel character, above average mouthfeel. Great beer but not worth what it goes for IMO.

Oct 05, 2015
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unclekeith from Alaska

4.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at the Culmination in a tiny snifter - 4 times. So good, kept going back for for more. Inky black, sweet, viscous, supremely balanced despite the high abv. Wish I could get more of. Not sure it is worth giving my cellar up to get another but an A+ beer. Would buy multiple if available.

Sep 06, 2015
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NellysBandaid from Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle at Side Project Cellar

Black and opaque with a small ring of tan head. Smell is char and a little smoke with a hint of maple. As it warms maple smell comes to the front. Taste is fudge and barrel with just a hint of smoke. Not overly sweet. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky, almost no carbonation. Usually smoked beers aren't my favorite, but this melds perfectly with the barrel and maple flavors. Absolutely delicious, can't wait to have again.

Sep 05, 2015
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Kurmaraja from California

4.46/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had two bottles - one excellent, one not anywhere near as good. So note there may be considerable bottle variation. I'm reviewing the excellent bottle. Viscous pour, minor carbonation. Smell is char + maple, savory sweet. Good amount of oakiness. Flavor follows with waves of maple sweetness, creme brulee, with an umami / savory note followed by charred wood lending a subtle smokiness. Long and lingering.

Aug 18, 2015
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Kramerbarthomer from Colorado

4.43/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, diabeetus in a bottle. Sweet sweet taste, moderate bourbon presence. Thick, rich mouthfeel. Smoky, smoky, smoky aftertaste on the palate. Enjoyed it, but enjoyed blend 2 better.

Aug 13, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.63/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Black waxed bottle of Blend #1, served in a wine glass.

Poured a thick dark black body, half finger dark mahogany head with fair retention and no lacing. Small, thin collar. Looks suspiciously like Maman. This beer also has a fair amount of leg to it. Smells of deep dark char, sweet milk chocolate, oak, whiskey, very minimal maple. Nice whiskey complexity to the nose, and the strength of the nose is almost to the point where it's overwhelming. Flavour is a bit more approachable yet very intense char, oak, sugar, smoke, the slightest vanilla marshmallow, lots of chocolate. Minimal maple, of course. Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, slightly sticky and coating. A mild bit of heat as well, which I did not get in Maman. Lower carbonation as expected for the style. Overall, this beer was ridiculously intense in all of its complexities and can be tough to appreciate at times. It's very sweet, moderately sugary but intensely charred and oaky with a supporting cast of different adjunct-like flavours.

Aug 08, 2015
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willis870ace from New York

5/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible beer. Pours a viscous dark color, with a killer nose. The taste was similarly incredible, with a hints of the maple and a super smooth finish. The maple was perfect, where it was more of a background flavor and the true flavors of the stout and bourbon came out. My brother found this at TWCP, and feel so lucky I got to try it.

Aug 01, 2015
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DCLAguy11 from California

4.15/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured super thick like motor oil and then I tasted it. Overly sweet. Tough to drink more than 1-2 oz without feeling like getting diabetes. This beer is overrated.

Aug 01, 2015
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Reed from Missouri

4.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have got the chance to have taster pours at two different festivals now, having 3 pours at Boulevardia 2015 and 2 more at Midwest Belgian Beerfest 2015 alongside many of their other offerings, and usually poured by Cory himself.

This beer is insane! Pours like black motor oil with a generous and fluffy burnt brown head. This is probably the biggest and most complex stout I have ever tasted. It hits harder than anything I have had on notes of chocolate, roast, smoke, maple, and sweet fluffy WHISKEY BARRELS for both smell and taste. All of the intense flavors do a great job of covering up the advertised 15% abv; the booze really takes a ride in the back seat. I cannot express how well this blend does of balancing each flavor evenly.

Jul 27, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i am a huge bourbon county fan, its special beer, some of the very best in its class, and well ahead of its time since the moment it came out. i knew i would one day find a similar beer in terms of style that i liked more, but i did not think this bourbon county could be put to shame, and thats exactly what derivation does to it, there is simply no comparison. one of the thickest pours ever, do dense, like driveway sealant in the glass with edges of molten milk chocolate head. it smells incredible and has the taste to match. the portion of smoked beer has a good impact on the whole here, and all the wheat too, so much texture to this its nearly impossible to find a parallel in the beer world. the barrels are interesting as well, as there is plenty of sugar in here, but not at all as sweet as a bourbon county, even with the maple element, which i found quite minimal honestly. lots of brown sugar molasses type sweetness instead, and in a motor oil feeling brew, its heavy. the booze though isnt all that strong but seems to have pulled a lot of flavor from the barrel. vanilla and charred oak are all the way present, as is a dense rich roast with espresso and even dried fig or date elements. there is a very bourbon flavor behind the ashy smoky malt bit, and a mellowness that seems highly unlikely in such a beer. the other beer i had from side project was very special too, they are one of the up and coming rulers of the wild ale universe, but that they made a beer that transcends bourbon county to such a degree is the real testament to their competency. a rare gem is a beer like this, imploding favorites in the style all over the place im sure for everyone lucky enough to have some. not enough positive descriptors in our inadequate language to do any justice to this masterwork...

Jun 29, 2015
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4lo from Texas

4.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this following blend 2. Didn't take the best notes and no palate cleansers in between. Cracking the bottle and pouring it into the glass you see its a lot thicker than blend 2. Aroma definitely has a fair bit of smoke and fudge to it. Mouthfeel is much better than blend 2 in my opinion and what I was really looking for.

Blend 1 taste after having blend 2 and a fair bit of smoke/char on the tail end. Not a huge fan of smoke stouts, but this wasn't overpowering and was well done. Really only got a big to chocolate and fudge to it up front. Preferred the flavors of blend 2 over blend 1, but liked the mouthfeel of blend 1.

Vacuum sealed the bottle and finished blend 2 next day. Not sure if it was just having a clean palate or if the bottle settled out a bit. Not nearly as much smoke on the tail and a lot sweeter up front with maple. Thought it was much better the 2nd day.

Overall initial thoughts between the two, love the blend 2 w/ vanilla, but it lacked in the mouthfeel. Thought it was probably the tastier of the two. However, I love how you chew on blend 1 as you drink it so props to Cory there. Need to have it before blend 2 next time to see how much of that smoke really comes through when cracking the bottle.

Nice top tier stouts for sure. I'd put it in the neighborhood of DragonTrax in terms of the new releases I've tried this year.

Jun 03, 2015
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timmytime161 from Missouri

4.99/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5 ounce pour sampled 5/17/15 and another on 5/19/15 poured into a mini wine glass

A - Dark dark dark rich looking liquid chocolate with a minimal mocha brown foam head that recedes into the glass. Tons of legs on this one, really viscous and stains the glass

S - Smell is incredible, i could sleep inside the glass, rich fudge, maple, dark chocolate, oaky vanilla notes with subtle notes of whiskey and bourbon on the finish. Stir the glass more, the aroma pops with a fudgey maple grahamcracker smell

T - Taste follows the nose here, rich chocolate fudge up front followed by slight hints of maple with a mildly hot finish. Undertones of vanilla and oak coat your tongue because of the viscosity. Just had Willet 11 last night, as well as weller 12. Can really pinpoint the finish of the beer and match it with what you would get on a pour of the the aforementioned wheated bourbons

M - Thick... reminiscent of KBBS mouthfeel. Thick, chewy, coats the mouth and lasts. Perfect

O - Overall, i enjoyed it more when i drank this full glass by itself first then moved onto blend 2. This beer is nearly perfect... In order of world class stouts...

One Candle >> b2 Derivation >> KBBS '13 >>>> Blend 1 derivation >>>>Mornin Delight >>>
KBBS 14 >>>> PvW BM

May 20, 2015
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mschantz from Colorado

4.99/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at the SP Cellar. Pours an extremely deep rich dark brown that is not quite black. Highly viscous which results in a film coating the glass upon the slightest swirl with a wisp of fine head. While the nose clearly reveals bourbon, it is beautifully mellowed by the maple sweetness. While I don't believe vanilla was added to blend 1 the barrell imparts some nice vanilla notes. Taste - nothing short of the best thing I've put in my mouth for quite some time. Sweet lovely bourbon goodness that is beatifully balanced. Incredible beer. I rarely use a 5 in my ratings - this is what I've been saving em for.

May 19, 2015
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deadsincebirth from Illinois

4.98/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

First review!

How did I get so lucky!
Looks like a big stout should! Black with dark tan head. Smells of sweet maple syrup and bourbon. Taste follows the same. Sweet sweet bourbon maple syrup, chocolate smoke without being cloying. Balanced. Mouthfeel thick but that's alright for this sipper. Incredible!

May 18, 2015
Derivation Blend #1 (Maple Syrup Bourbon Barrel) from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 152 ratings