Side Project Brewing

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
4.92 | pDev: 3.46%
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: O.W.K. is the culmination of our stout production. We intertwined several of our favorite recipes into this massive stout and then aged it for 15 months in 15-year-old Willett Family Estate Bourbon barrels which were hand-selected by our friend Drew Kulsveen of Willett Distillery. Once mature, the 2018 O.W.K. was rested on Ugandan vanilla beans, adding layers of milk chocolate, decadent fudge and earthy vanilla to the rich, luscious body of this barrel-aged imperial stout.
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of OWK
OWK from Missouri

5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle at brewery. Pour is extremely viscous black with a hint of carbonation. Thick oily coat on glass. Aroma explodes with vanilla and super rich chocolate malt. Some coconut and wood in there too. Huge. Depth. Flavor also loads of chocolate malt and vanilla for days. But the vanilla is in balance; not the only player. Lingering chocolate and light bourbon. Very light carb on the palate. Just right to make it even more silky. Outstanding.

Jan 15, 2021
Photo of WickedBeer
WickedBeer from Alabama

5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A little late compiling my notes together for this beer, but finally getting around to diving into its incredible profile. Fortunate enough to grab two pours of this at Side Project's Inaugural Festival of Barrel-Aged Stouts & Barleywines (2/2/2020).

These pours of O.W.K. were from a March 2018 keg.

In the glass, the motor oil thickness is immediately noticeable. No traces of head or lace to be seen; only small, chestnut brown-colored bubbles that lazily rise in a broken circle around the ring of the beer itself. Swirling it lightly in the glass really shows the density of the body, with wine-like legs trailing slowly in the wake of the quickly motionless liquid.

With this beer approaching two years old, the still-dominant vanilla aromas are amazing. Bordering on pastry, the initial 1-2 punch of vanilla combined with a rich, sweet, chocolate-forward stout base is something to behold. After a moment, however, there's an exquisite bourbon barrel complexity on the backbone that characterizes charred oak and a touch of caramelized dark fruit.

On the palate there is a bit more evidence than the nose that the vanilla has begun to mellow, but it is still complimenting at just the perfect level. As mentioned previously, the barrel character of this beer is unmatched. Lightly earthy cacao does well to soften what can only be described as bourbon-soaked brownie batter. Notes of rich marshmallow fudge, vanilla bean, & charred oak lead the way for a viscous, boozy warmth that can be felt all the way down.

Touching on it briefly, the mouthfeel on this beer is unmatched. Side Project stands above all at achieving stouts that have the ability to be decadently soft and smooth, thick and chewy, and finish with a boozy warmth all at the same time. O.W.K. is no different. This beer literally coats your mouth, being sure that every taste bud experiences the full essence of what this barrel-aged beauty has to offer, with a chew on the palate and a warmth down the hatch that stick around well into that inevitable next sip. If you ever get the opportunity, savor it. It might not be too overly dramatic to say that it won't ever get topped.

Feb 03, 2020
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sample pour at SP anniversary party. pitch black. no head at all. huge vanilla aroma with some chocolate in the background. this is a vanilla showcase though. even after a year and a half’s time. taste is vanilla and chocolate. the Ugandan beans give it a more frosting or cake icing flavor similar to D13, although i think i liked the nose and taste of that one better. mouthfeel is thick, low carb, sticky. excellent beer, but can’t give it the insane through-the-roof ratings as i just don’t care that much for vanilla stouts. glad to have tried a little pour though.

Dec 16, 2019
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum from Missouri

5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If ever there was a perfect stout, this is it. The most balanced stout one can imagine. Cory is insanely skilled and i’m thankful I had the opportunity to try this one. Delicious on all levels.

Oct 28, 2018
Photo of drmcleod10
drmcleod10 from Missouri

5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Dark, viscious, coats the glass with some legs on it. One of the thicker beers I've had in recent memory. Dark brown ring around the edge of the glass

S - Pure Vanilla, Marshmallow and Bourbon. The vanilla dominates on the nose, as it warms you get a fudge and barrel characteristic

T - Vanilla dominates up front, though there was a massive amount of vanilla added to this beer, it is one of the most balanced and complex BA niller stouts I've ever had. Tons of barrel on the finish, but neither are overbearing.

F - Thick and chewy, coats the mouth with pure vanilla sex leaving you wanting more.

O - In the top 3 of BA Niller stouts I've ever had. It might be my favorite for the shear fact that even though it's loaded with vanilla it's perfectly balanced with those WIllett Barrels

Aug 07, 2018
Photo of 26reddevil83
26reddevil83 from Missouri

4.94/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick and chewy like you'd expect from SP. The vanilla is the highlight, but nothing overpowers the palette. The taste lingers like only the best stouts tend to do.

Jun 11, 2018
Photo of OHbeertraveler
OHbeertraveler from Ohio

4.94/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pure 5. Glass-staining, viscous oil. Smells of chocolate and vanilla. So smooth and balanced, prominent vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. None overpowering the other. 15% percent was subdued and not hot. Each sip coats the palate and flavor linger well beyond.

May 27, 2018
O.W.K. from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 19 ratings