Enlightened Despot | Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

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Enlightened DespotEnlightened Despot
BA SCORE
4.2/5
Exceptional
205 Ratings
Enlightened DespotEnlightened Despot
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
lickingholecreek.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Enlightened Despot is an amazingly rich, complex and surprisingly drinkable Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout. Notes of chocolate, vanilla, and of course the delicious flavor of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon round out this robust stout. Aged for 100 days in 15 Year Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Barrels, made with 10 specialty grains and containing over 78 IBU of American Hop flavor, this truly is a one of a kind beer.


Added by blackie on 02-21-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
205
pDev:
11.19%
Bros Score:
4.23
 
 
Wants:
95
Gots:
48
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

*Had 2016 version on draft on Despot Day
Poured a black body with one finger tan head that slowly died and left little lace patches. The first smells that hit me are of dark fruits (no minor thing since I was standing near a BBQ food truck and smoker) of figs, raisin, plums, then some vanilla/booze/wood, caramel and/or toffee (those two are sometimes interchangeable to me) and chocolate. Full bodied and sticky, a thick beer designed for slow sipping, it passes over smooth thanks to boozy woodiness and then these tastes of dark fruits like plums and figs hit me right before traces of vanilla, chocolate and toffee (I just picked one). Balance is mostly kept between fruit and sweet flavors with a roasted, possibly coffee or charred malt presence, and it has a rather subdued and clean finish considering both the dry malt aspects and the booziness of it. Not sure this beer is worth the hype (which is mostly due to the low supply/high demand for this beer) but it's pretty damn good.

 995 characters

Photo of MattXT
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stolenface1
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016
Pours jet black with tan head. Great bourbon aroma along with roasted malt, cacao, vanilla, light coconut, dark fruit, caramel, toffee and smooth chocolate. Flavor is identical to aroma with somewhat aggressive bitterness, molasses and piney hop notes. The feel is med+ and coats the mouth nicely. Carbonation is on the low side of medium. Overall a very drinkable RIS w/ wonderful bourbon notes.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is nicely barrel-laden, bringing plenty of oak and vanilla. Like many LCCB stouts, it's a little hoppier than normal. Still, notes of roasted malt and dark chocolate keep it interesting. Its flavor profile follows it closely, as it opens up with some coffee and roast. Again, there's a subtle undercurrent of pine to balance the sweeter qualities. The finish is slightly bourbony - all the nuances I like are there, but in a reticent manner. I also pick up some smoke and caramel. Complexity isn't top caliber, but the balance is superb. It feels thin on the palate, but it thankfully isn't bogged down by excess syrupy sweetness. Even with its gentle, bourbon-esque booze, it goes down way too easily for something so big. Carbonation is pretty low. Compared to a BCBS, this isn't as sweet, but it's far more easygoing. The hops might take a bit of getting used to, but this is still great in my mind. I'll gladly attend Despot Day for this one again, that's for sure!

4.03/5: Think Catherine the Great would chug this one? Probably

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IpeeA
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Herky21
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of crc1935
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of josephcmason
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome notes of vanilla, oak and bourbon that blossom as it warms. Nicely done!

80 characters

Photo of xt0n1cx
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brians52
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bunuelian
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HOMEPL8
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Welp, this smells amazing. Vanilla, bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, some oak and booze. Medium thickness/mouthfeel. Good bitterness to balance out the sweeter flavors.

 165 characters

Photo of FreshZ
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MissSmisje
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: black with chestnut edges, light mocha head
S: cacao, bourbon, some sharp vanilla
T: similar to nose, still hot.
F: a little syrupy
O: good, not great. Might prefer it with some more age on it.

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Photo of JMFP
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of drewone
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to DCLAguy11 for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

2015 vintage. Bottle No. 574.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, earth, char, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, vanilla, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great aromas, but the bourbon barrel aging comes through slightly better in the taste to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out fudge brown topped by tannish foam; not much of a bubble show but quite a few strands of lacing linger

Smell: Chocolate, caramel and Bourbon barrel tones

Taste: Up front, the chocolate and caramel are joined by Bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors; in the middle, the hops add only modest bitterness with the result that the finish is on the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet from the ABV

Overall: While a very nice beer, I found this a bit one-dimensional; I didn't pick up the dark fruit that I associate with the best of the RIS category and the overall sweetness was a factor, too

Thanks, julielynndubee, for the opportunity

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Photo of woodchip
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of IrishColonial
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enlightened Despot from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 205 ratings