The Origin | Side Project Brewing

very good
96 Ratings
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The OriginThe Origin

Brewed by:
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Origin is a blend of Imperial Stout, Black Oatwine and Baltic Porter that was aged for 20 months in a Rittenhouse Rye barrel with Madagascar Vanilla Beans. It is our Batch #1, Barrel #1 and our first release. It is never to be brewed again.

Added by stouts4me on 09-29-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 96
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.17/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

750 mL bottle. Black body with no head. No collar. Nothing even wells up. Smells strongly of vanilla. Chocolate. Bourbon. Dark fruits and a light tinge of acidity. Taste manages to have an impressive amount of vanilla through a clear sourness. Dark fruit tartness. Bitter chocolate. Heavy sweetness as well, though. Red wine-like sour finish. Heavy with almost no carbonation. A struggle to drink. Unpleasant.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 6/3/14

A- The pour is super thick and black as night. A very thin brown head recedes quickly, leaving no lacing. Not super striking, but forgivable considering how long it spent in the barrel!

S- The aroma is malty, grainy, and mildly tart. Massive amounts of oak, sweet chocolate, and a healthy dose of vanilla. A good amount of dark fruits as well.

T- A crazy, complex melange of flavors, almost akin to a high end red wine! Tons of berries, cherries, plums, chocolate, and brown sugar. The tartness is surprising but welcome. A huge oak presence, with a bit of the spicy rye whiskey. This beer is way out there, but it's awesome!

M- The mouth feel is medium to thick for the style. Mild carbonation. Slightly puckering, and nicely mouth coating.

O- This is an awesome beer that is very different from the paradigms of the style(s), but delicious none-the-less!

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Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing The Origin from Side Project Brewing out of St. Louis, Missouri. The Origin, Side Project Brewing's very first beer and very first release, is a blend of an Imperial Stout, Black Oatwine and Baltic Porter that was aged for 20 months in a Rittenhouse Rye barrel with Madagascar Vanilla Beans.

Score: 90

2013 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Cantillon flute and enjoyed on 12/19/13.

Appearance: Shiny and inky black in color, with a wisp of khaki head off the pour that quickly and totally settles. Minimal head, but the nice oily legs that brown the glass. 4/5

Smell: The aroma is completely different than it was on tap at the release. The hugely desserty marshmallow-vanilla character and chocolate are still there, but now present is a really nice and contrasting jammy twang of sherried fruitiness like a slightly aged Belgian and oak. The caramel-whiskey notes that were there fresh do not come through, but neither does the booziness that was there fresh. Everything mixes nicely in the nose, like a rich vanilla cake with chocolate sauce and fruity frosting. 4.75/5

Taste: The taste is sadly not as well-integrated as the nose. The sour fruit character is a bit more sharp and harsh on the palate, and is especially present in the finish. The flavor starts off with a wave of rich vanilla and chocolate, followed by a tangy sour fruitiness and oak character that washes away the s'mores like beginning. As the beer warms, the vanilla flavor lingers longer in the flavor, which really helps strike a better balance between the sweet dark beer characters and the sherried/oxidized/tangy notes. There is some cherry flavor present here too. We vino-vacuumed a quarter of the bottle to drink a couple of days later at Kuhnhenn's Winter Solstice release, and I think the berry/fruit character came across substantially more pleasantly a few days later -- perhaps what little carbonation there was in this beer accentuated the tartly oxidized qualities too much? At Kuhnhenn's, the beer tasted more like a flat Bramble Jr. No butter or popcorn flavors in this bottle. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Just shy of full bodied, very low carbonation. Sweet, with sharp tanginess. The mouthfeel is so luscious, and so perfect ... but for that mildly tart fruitiness cutting through it. 4/5

Overall: On tap at the release and out of a test bottle graciously shared by Cory at Dexter's the night before the Great Taste, my memory recalls a much superior beer compared to how this aged -- mostly because it more appropriately fit the expectations of the styles blended and aged. While the fruity/oxidized and slightly tart characteristics did not totally ruin this beer (it was still quite drinkable), they did not marry well with the rich and malty flavors in my personal opinion -- at least not until the beer sat out for a few days in my fridge. Cory tested bottles, and the results were not indicative of an infection. Further, at the release, Cory mentioned that he intended the beer to develop a contrasting oxidation character over time as well. Regardless, I am not quite sure this is how he intended this beer to turn out -- infected or not, intentionally sherried or otherwise.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of dsgolovin
2.14/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The bottle I got was unfortunately infected. The beer had a buttered popcorn taste that reminded me of infected BA Yeti. It also had a slight sour cherry taste. Huge disappointment considering how hard this beer is to obtain. No idea how it's supposed to taste or how good it actually might have been. Good luck if you have a bottle, mine seems like an anomalie.

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Photo of largadeer
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks, David.

Pitch black body with minimal head formation. Completely opaque. Diacetyl and dark fruit on the nose, bit of whiskey and vanilla sweetness, booze and chocolate. Smells slightly tart. Palate is similar to the nose, buttery and slick with a little sourness behind the chocolate, vanilla and caramel flavors. Hefty body with a lot of residual sweetness. This is drinkable for an infected beer, but it's infected nonetheless.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from one of the 186 bottles made. Keep in mind that some folks had this beer on draft and said the beer in the bottle was already different than what they had on draft.

Jet black with some deep purplish hues and dark brown hints along the edges. No head. Really coats the glass nicely.

The smell is quite complex with limited alcohol notes. Dark fruits, vanilla, oak, and some roastiness that moves from coffee to chocolate on the nose.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky. A little bit slick. The body felt like I was really getting the baltic porter despite it being one of the smaller components.

The beer was served at the appropriate temperature which helped bring out all the flavors. Hard to get my brain around this one. You get some serious oak, a little vanilla, limited bourbon notes, a slight spice, and some light coffee note. There is some chocolate in there that mixes. Some bitterness as well. The final lingering note though was tartness. Almost like red wine tannins and slight tartness. That made the beer so complex that it blew some of the folks away at the tasting. For me, it just added another level of complexity that I'm not sure was necessary. This beer will certainly change in the bottle over time. Certainly an interesting beer that is well crafted. A conversation starter at a tasting for certain, but not quite at the level of blends I've had from FW or Bruery.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from the tap at the Side Project release party 9-28-2013.
Copied from notes on my iPhone.

Pours a deep deep pitch black color. Dark as emptiness. There is no head to the brew. Some aggressive swirls yield nothing but some gorgeous looking legs on the sides of the glass as the alcohol and brew coats the inside of the glass. Amazing.

Aroma is very intense. This brew is extremely complex. Starts off with some mild roast of a stout and some smoke as well as some nice slight wood notes. Then there is some nice stout, dark malt and mild dark fruit sweetness that shows up with the delicious vanilla sweetness and mild spice. Some nice boozy heat can be perceived in the nose along with delicious dark slightly burnt molasses and caramel.

Now for the flavor. Wow. The brew is extremely complex. Starts off with the roasty and chocolatey stout notes that are present int the nose and blended very well with some nice vanilla notes. These notes also work very well with the delicious caramel whiskey notes from the Rittenhouse barrels. There is also some cinnamon notes that actually remind me of BA Abraxas. As the brew keeps warming it gets more complex and there are actually some nice almost musty leathery notes that creep up along with the sweetness of the brew and the woody barrel notes. THe body is nice and big. Definitely a sipper at 14.3% and with some heat. With that said the brew feels slightly lighter than one thinks it will but its still slick and a bit oily.

Overall. This was knocked out of the park. The blended beers really do shine with some nice roasted and smokey wood notes mixed in with a bit more dominating chocolate sweetness and vanilla notes. The complex leathery and woody notes add a nice dimension with the cocoa notes and vanilla sweetness.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.76/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the release at Perennial. Served in a snifter.

Pour: Pours a jet black with minimal head which quickly recedes to a rim. Slick legs coat the glass.

Smell: Large dose of milk chocolate and sticky vanilla up front, with a equally pronounced toffee note. Boozy bourbon and a touch of oak. Some dark fruits mix in. As it warms, the toffee becomes more and more pronounced.

Taste: Lots of strong vanilla and bourbon up front, with more of the toffee from the nose. Dark fruits when colder, but they recede when warm. Sticky chocolate and vanilla throughout, with a touch of oak on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Boozier when cold, but mellow and rounded as it warms. Thick and full bodied. Perfect sweetness... I thought of this as a more rounded and refined Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord. At no point does it become too much.

Overall: A really wonderful stout by Cory. Rounded and refined. Time will smooth out some of the boozier edges. Exceptional.

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Photo of SLMObrew
4.92/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is my top 3 beers of all time. The beer is very dark in color. Has no head. Little carbonation. Has a strong vanilla trail after you taste it. Starts out chocolaty and somewhat malty. Ends with a good strong alcohol vanilla taste. Medium mouthfeel not to Thick or think

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Photo of levon15
4.64/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: thick black with minimal to no carbonation it seems. My glass had no lacing while others I saw did have a bit.

Smell: smells of sweet vanilla, not a great deal of stout roastyness. Sweet chocolate, some boozy oak and than sweet vanilla.

Taste: much of the same. Sweet vanilla chocolate. A hint of the alcohol does make an appearance.

Mouth: not as thick as I would expect, very smooth, silky. Minimal to no carbonation.

Overall: it wasn't overly sweet, more than I was expecting though. It's a great beer.

Thanks to Cory for starting on this venture that we're all more than eager to follow along on.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours an oily black with no carbonation. The nose is a chaotic mix of marshmallow, cocoa, honey sweetness, a touch of oak, and a bit of booze in the finish. The taste presents the same fluffy marshmallow present in the nose and transitions to caramelized sugar an cocoa towards the end. The mouthfeel (after considerable warming) is rich/syrupy, undercarbonated, full bodied, boozy (but not like I'd expect from a beer pushing almost 15%abv), and finishes with a lingering chocolate sweetness. This is definitely a tasty beer, crazy flavors, and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of stouts4me
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at Perennial's bar, at the bottle release.
Deep brown/ black color, no carbonation, few bubbles. Coats the glass nicely with a little swirl.

Very nice aroma with dominating cocoa, vanilla is represented well.

This tastes strong, you know it is high in abv. The oat wine Baltic porter and stout is a tasty blend, taste is very much stout, but the blend adds a deliciousness that's really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is similar to Abyss / Parabola, thicker but not overly so.

Overall I REALLY appreciated the time and effort that Cory put into making an excellent ascent into the high- quality , lower output side of the craft beer market, it is nice to have niche players NOT cranking out as much as the mainstream as possible to catch a part of the current trend of craft beer mania and expansion; as he stays in this niche I have no doubt each release will be as successful.

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The Origin from Side Project Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 96 ratings.
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