Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean)
Side Project Brewing

Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean)Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean)
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American Imperial Stout
4.66 | pDev: 8.8%
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean)Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean)
Notes: Blend of an Oatmeal Imperial Stout Aged 22 months in 11-year old Willett Barrels & a Munich Malt-based Imperial Stout Aged in 18 Months in Elijah Craig 12 year barrels. The blend was then aged on Madagascar Vanilla Beans.
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 90 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours pitch black with no head
S: huge vanilla, all vanilla. Get some barrel but definitely second fiddle to the vanilla.
T: oh yeah! The finish is a marshmallow sweetness, dang! No alcohol, so smooth and sweet. The barrel is faint like the nose.
F: so thick and smooth. Coats my mouth and teeth and stains the glass.
O: fantastic beer, just lacking barrel presence to get a 5.

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Photo of Fux
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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 exactly the same as the other Derivations, that is to say pitch black with some dark lacings on top.
S: Smell is dominated by a huge vanilla, along with roasted malts and a touch of alcohol. A little bit less focused than Derivation 2.
T: Same kind of flavor profile as Derivation 2, namely vanilla, marshmallow, chocolate. It lacks a little bit of the strength and deepness which make Derivation 2 such a great beer. really good nonetheless.
M: High body, sticky, sweet with warming alcohol. A sipper to say the least.
O: Very good vanilla beer. Not my favorite from the set but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of DraughtJunkie82
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours black as night with minimal head

S: Huge vanilla and dark chocolate notes bourbon on the nose.

T: Fudge and vanilla and bourbon that mix so well together

F: oily and thick almost like you could take a bite out of it and start chewing on it

O: A fantastic beer my first of the Derivations and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.22/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Viscous black body. Aroma is bourbon, molasses, and a hint of soy sauce Lots of alcohol. Strong vanilla. Tastes of bourbon and heavy fudge and chocolate. Vanilla. It becomes bitter and roasty. Molasses. Sugar dies down and it becomes bitter. The aftertaste is very Dark Lord/Marshal Zhukov. Doesn't taste like soy sauce, but it's intense. Heavy and intense. Difficult to drink. Not sure about this one.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.21/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle of blend #4. Purple wax. Served in a stemmed glass.

Pours a thick dark black body, minimal half finger brown head, not much retention or lacing. Pretty much as expected! Smells of chocolate fudge and bourbon, oak. Not so much any vanilla, which is surprising. Cocoa, coffee is there as well. The vanilla I get seems to be more of the oak variety rather than from the beans. Weird. Flavour is similarly chocolate fudge, bourbon, a bit of smoke and oak, cocoa. No organic vanilla to be found, even after letting this warm up some. Body is nice and chewy, fuller bodied, lower carbonation. Big beer with a nice complexity and execution to it, minus the vanilla. That was a bit disappointing, but perhaps having just had Marshmallow Handjee before hand did not do this beer any favors.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.89/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Drank at SP Cellar.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Black body with no head just a few large bubbles.

Smell: Lots of vanilla, tobacco, and rye in the nose.

Taste: Lots of dry oak, rye, and tobacco. Some chocolate. Vanilla and baker cocoa present as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and no carbonation. Watery feel and slightly spicy booze. Yet it doesn't feel like you are drinking a 15 percent barrel aged stout. This needs some bubbles for the sake of texture/body.

Overall: This stout is just okay, but the hype is pretty huge with this beer. Sure the description of this beer sounds pretty epic, but that is not the case at all. Pretty disappointing for my first Derivation series stout. I split the 750 bottle with a friend and we both agreed that it was getting hard to finish the pour towards the end of the glass. Yeah TG stouts still owns the Midwest/Great Lakes beer regions for the best barrel aged and adjunct stouts in the region.

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Photo of hutsondc
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml shared at the Side Project Cellar.
Pours a rich black with very little carbonation. The balance of this beer stands out the entire way. An incredible mouth feel that’s buttery and coating. Zero heat in this 15%ABV. A very subtle vanilla ending that becomes more prominent as the beer warms.
I’ve drank it twice and will be drinking more if it’s put on the cellar list again. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of BWCampbell
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best beer I've ever had. Not having the other Derivations, I cannot make commentary about this one relative to others, but I can say the following:

Smell is of subdued barrel, true vanilla, caramel, and light char. Tastes of deep vanilla and barrel char. In terms of mouthfeel, this is the best drinking beers I've ever had.

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Photo of lemmy187
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 ml at the side project cellar...

Pours dark as night with no head. Smell and taste are on point. The vanilla doesn't's plays perfectly with the oak, bitter chocolate, rye, and barrel. Any heat that is typical of this ABV is non-existent. Feel is on the higher end of medium with zero carbonation. A touch of carbs would of been an improvement. Amazing.......

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Photo of bennyman12
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smell is big boozy stout at first then vanilla.
Taste follows. Bourbon not very prominent. Again Great dark malt flavors. Very balanced. Vanilla is the biggest flavor--but nothing like vanilla rye marshmallow ridonkulousness. Not sweet, not roasty, not bitter, not bourbon a bourbon bomb, not any one dimension but big and beautiful all the way through the long finish.
Mouthfeel thick and almost still. A few more fine bubbles would have been welcome if I'm going to be critical. Maybe a year or so will help them develop.
Really great. I'd say from most to least favorite derivation I'd go 2, 4, 1, 3, but these are all exceptional stouts!

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Photo of Quetzolcotl
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jesus is this beer good! Def the best barrel aged imperial stout that I've had.

The first smell is chocolate, then bourbon, vanilla, oak, and everything else a good BA stout has. But the difference is this one is better balanced than any other stout (I've not had the other 3 versions of this beer). There is no hot alcohol and bourbon doesn't overpower any other ingredient in this. I've never had a beer that shows off every ingredient and has so much nuance. It is smooth and silky all the way. No syrupy viscous sweet or bourbon bomb here. 5's down the line.

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Photo of beerdrinker23
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely outstanding. From beginning to end a complex mixture of chocolate, barrel, boozy goodness and a nice touch of vanilla sweetness. Mouthfeel is chewy with the right amount of viscosity. Super balanced and only gets better as it warms. This might be my favorite blend of all of them. Worth the hype.

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Derivation Blend #4 (Madagascar Vanilla Bean) from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 90 ratings