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Gude Greg's Wee Heavy Private Reserve | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

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Gude Greg's Wee Heavy Private ReserveGude Greg's Wee Heavy Private Reserve

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Chico1985 on 10-16-2010

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 94
Photo of scotorum
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into an English nonick pint.

a: Hazy copper with a three inch offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Alcohol and mild dark fruit.

t; Follows the nose. Slightly sweet and sour finish.

m; Medium, good body and some carbonation tingle.

o; Right on for style, aroma and taste, although the fruit notes sometimes get a little too strong and border on sour. Good sipping and not overly powerful ABV makes this easier drinking than some, although Founders' Backwoods Bastard may still have it beat for overall pleasing flavor, not to mention price.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Mikro's charity sale. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear deep brown body under an inch of frothy off-white head that recedes fairly rapidly and leaves spotty lace. Decent.

S: Rich, smooth bourbon barrel blissfully dominates, with vanilla, toffee, and charred oak. Simple and delightful.

T: Follows the nose up front, with the dark fruits and caramel malts of the base beer accenting the still-dominant barrel presence. Long, smooth, sugared finish. A little cloying, but delicious.

M: Fully carbonated medium body. A bit thicker and this could pass for a BBBW.

O: This bottle was aged at the brewery, and it shows: the barrel comes through as if it were fresh, but it's impeccably smooth in every way. Terrific beer, one that I'm glad I got to try.


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Photo of ToasterChef
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this bottle as a gift from Dave from the Great Lost Bear back when it was released. I probably should have opened this beer before now, but oh well. Better late than never.

It has been cellared since I took ownership and I've poured into a pint glass.

The beer has a dark ruby color with lots of clinging carbonation. Holding the beer up to the light reveals its perfect clarity, but in a low light setting, it's hard to see through it. There is a decent amount of grey foam on top that settles down to a skim. No lacing on this glass, despite me giving it a hot water rinse and dry before pouring. Swirling leaves patchy foam.

Big bourbon aromas emanate form this beer. I could smell them as soon as I popped the cap. The aroma took me by surprise; after two years, I would think the aroma would have mellowed. I can smell, peat, toasted oak, smoke, and warming alcohol. Malty sweetness is very subtle. In a blind smell test, I think I would mistake this for a glass of straight whiskey. The aroma seems appropriate for a fresh bourbon barrel-aged beer, so I've docked half a point for the lack of mellowing.

Where the nose may be a bit overpowering, the flavor profile is really well done. There is plenty of bourbon flavor, but not so much that you would mistake this as anything but a barrel-aged beer. It begins with a nice sweetness—velvety toffee and cherry flavors. Crystal sugars mix in before the bourbon makes itself known. It has mellow alcohol, smokey peat, and oak. These bourbon flavors linger on after swallowing. I was afraid this beer would still be quite hot, but it has mellowed into an interesting, balanced ale. The cherry flavor did catch me off guard. It may have a slight tartness, but I don't think this beer is showing signs of infection.

The beer is a bit stickier than I would have liked to have felt. A noticeable coat remains on my lips and throughout my mouth. The coat holds onto the sweet flavors; very little of the bourbon remains. The alcohol does provide some warmth as I swallow.

This is good wee heavy that is tending towards great, but misses the mark slightly. Maybe it would have been better if I had opened the bottle sooner, but I'll never know. I will enjoy what I have left to drink though. If you get a chance to try some (and you're a fan of the style), I'd got for it, but I wouldn't go as far as trading rare beers known to cellar better than this one.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- I'm surprised at how light it pours. golden brown coming out of the bottle, dark brown with garnett hues in the glass. light fluffy bubbly one finger head drops pretty quickly and leaves slight lacing that quickly falls down the glass. Somewhat opaque garnett when held to the light, very nice looking. I think this is one of the most appetizing colors of beer can have.

S- nice soft, fruity, peppery bourbon with a bit of vanilla, oak, and caramel.

T/M- sweet caramel, vanilla, and light apple flavors play upfront. Soft bready, fruity yeast characteristics are very nuanced and well integrated with the more robust, yet smooth caramel and peppery esters. A touch of herbal tea and peat mix in at the finish. Smooooth and medium light, this beer glides over your palate; emminetly begging for the next sip.

O- superb. I sooo wish this was not a one off, this brew is amazing.

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Photo of stakem
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review scores are from a bottle I recently opened. Unfortunately this was a big disappointment compared to a previous draft experience.

Bomber into a snifter, the brew appears a clear amber brown. A tan cap appears and slowly fades leaving spotty lacework on the glass. A swirl revives the froth atop. Around the edges of the brew are more of an orange color when held to the light.

The smell of this brew is not what you would expect from a wee heavy or scotch ale. Instead, of rich malt sweetness, there is a sharp, tangy aspect with fruity cherry notes, alcohol and a very mild note of vanilla across the back.

The taste is tangy with a flavoring of tart cherry. Some sweet vanilla and a light hint of caramel smoothness that gets interruoted by a clashing tart cherry flavor. Caramel malt is faintly suggested but is really lacking compare to what I remember this beer being like. The alcohol is a bit fusel. The aftertaste is somewhat toasty if you can see through the tart alcohol aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a warming feel that is modestly carbonated. I really enjoyed this beer a year ago and on draft. This bottle is a completely different experience that is hardly a memory of what it was before. It is like all the maltiness and residual sugar has been replaced with tartness and fruit.

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Photo of claspada
2.69/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of montrose79 at a recent bottle share.

Pours a fairly clear amber color with a inch or so worth of off-white head. Nothing to crazy here.

Aromas begin with a ton of booze right away along with some sweet fruit notes and dark caramels. There is some oak and vanilla in there, too, along with a bit of ethanol and peaty scotch. Really spirit forward, the only beer quality is the light dark caramel maltiness.

The taste is basically straight scotch barrel. Tons of vanilla with a more moderate/dominant oak flavor. Dark caramel, raisins, light nuts and even some toasted coconut (especially on the back end).

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, thank goodness or this would be like drinking straight scotch whiskey. Barrel flavors linger/burn on the palate long after consumption.

Overall, this beer is only for fans of straight scotch. The whiskey really dominates the beer, but if you're into that, then it works. While it's drinkable, this is not beer in my opinion. I personally feel that you cannot 100% BA a scotch ale or any beer with such a low ABV because it will just totally dominate the flavor profile. Let leave the barrel aging to the imperial stouts and barleywine going forward.

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Photo of rudzud
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. This was purchased at Russell's in Amherst, MA and is from the original batch. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a clear deep amber with a thin one finger head that left a nice nice light halo along the tulip.

S - Hrmm..was expecting a bit more bourbon. Some pleasant dark fruits. Light carmels, vanillas, and slight oak.

T - Taste is similar, nice and mellow. Nice earthy oak and light bourbon notes. Good malt sweetness and carmel with light vanilla.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than what I would like, but given the aging of this beer I can understand it. The booze is not too strong, which is good too.

O - Overall I found this to be an enjoyable beer. Would purchase another one if given the chance.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.57/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Re-review off a new bottle.

The body of the beer has thinned out considerably, leaving lots of dominant bourbon flavors. The nuances have vanished; some nuttiness is present, but gone are the coconut and spice from the nose. The taste reveals tartness and a mild funk that suggests an incipient infection. Too bad. I like this one before. I wound up drainpouring this bottle. Not that it was totally awful, but I'd rather drink a good beer than choke down one that has turned. Drink 'em if you've got 'em.


Original review from 11-28-2010:

2.5 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.5

Chilled bomber into a glass, courtesy of portia99. Thanks, Bill!

A: Pours a murky ruby-amber body with a short-lived off-white head. Not much in the way of lace or a collar.

S: Walnut, toasted coconut, a spicy rye whiskey flavor (this struck me as more distinct than bourbon), caramel, toffee.

T: I'm more confident about the walnut after tasting the beer, but the coconut seems arguable. I still taste rye whiskey more than bourbon, but the vanilla and tannins are unmistakable characteristics of barrel aging. There's a mild, fruity character (reminds me of stone fruit) that pulls into the aftertaste. Quite nice, if a bit barrel-dominated.

M: Smooth from low carbonation. The beer is slick and oily, resulting in a lingering malt presence that is balanced by an undercurrent of tannic astringency.

D: I wound up rescuing this from the bottles to be drainpoured that night, and nursed a glass for an hour after everyone left. Good stuff. It's a bit behind the Berkshire BB Scotch Ale, but it's a nice followup to that beer.

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Photo of jamescain
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer.

Appearance: Clear amber with a thin off white head that fades to a thin ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Dark fruit, figs and raisins, caramel, vanilla, and subtle oak.

Taste: Woodie, bourbon, vanilla, caramel and a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium with medium carbonation and a slightly boozy finish.

Overall: Good beer, not spectacular, but good and drinkable, I don't think I would seek another one out though.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmu500 for this bottle, having a nice light night before our 3rd annual Autumn Brew Review 2011 tomorrow. Have to be in top shape. Liver, do a few push-ups. Thanks.

Pours is a suprisingly carbonatey maple leaf red. Aroma is classic, oaky whiskey, sweet malts, peaty. Promising.

Gude Greg's Wee Heavy Private Reserve has a smoky aspect I wasn't expecting; the lack of hint in the smell makes it leap out of this beer. Burning peat. After the smoke lifts, bourbon is spattered all over this beer. Nice sweet malts slip into place & wrap this one up.

Easy beer to drink & a simple one. Not a lot of depth going on here, but what is, is very tasty. Very good beer.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours clearer brown into my glass that yields a small white head. Body is hazy deep brown amber. Not much lacing left on the glass

S- malty with some barrell smells. Subtle wood scent, sweet malt and light vanilla.

T- big malt with wih a burnt wood taste. Light alcohol birn towards the end. Nice relaxing brew with some heat to keep me smiling.

M- thick mouthfeel thats almost syrupy. Very smooth wih little carbonation. Feels great.

O- nice beer that hits the spot. Nice heat ans sweet malt are a good combo

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Photo of phiberoptik
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jason for the taste. In the future, I would like to do a side by side comparison with this and an ounce of bourbon that has been sitting in ice for a half hour!

Pours brown with some amber hues when held to the light. Appeared rather clear to me with a very low white ring of foam.

Smells of bourbon. Pure watered down bourbon. Per Urbancaver, Scottish Ales are a lighter style and easy for the bourbon to overpower it. Yes, yes it did.

The taste is bourbon first as you would expect, sweetness from the malts in the middle, with hints of maple syrup as well.

Light bodied and low carbonation. Very much light bourbon and soda where the ice has melted.

I like bourbon notes so I gave this some accolades where maybe it was a bit overkilled. If you like bourbon, this is a must-taste for you.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 7-30-2011

A - mahogany body, no head to speak of

S - lots of bourbon, some sweet malts

T - this isn't bourbon? lots of bourbon on the tongue, some light vegetal undertones, some sweet malts, maybe banana? But bourbon is really the dominant flavor here.

M - smooth, mildly astringent, medium body

O - well, there's a lot of bourbon. it's ok

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Photo of Urbancaver
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown with a nice reddish tint. A nice bit of white head. Smells like woodford pure and simple. A touch of caramel sweetness. Tastes like caramel sweetness with lots of bourbon. The base beer is very simple and the flavours are not particularly prominent. The bourbon is very nice and not too powerful for me. Quite enjoyable

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Photo of brew3crew
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-muddy brown with a whispy white head that disapates

S-bourbon vanilla sweetness. Delicious

T-bourbon caramel vanilla and a little bit of oak. Wow. I am very impressed.

M-medium body and very sweet

O-very good beer. Pleasantly suprised. Sitting on another bottle in the cellar. Can't wait!

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/23/11 notes. Thanks to Shogokawada for sending this one my way a few months ago. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet dark fruits, and some caramel malts. Lots of bourbon and vanilla, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits. Hint of caramel malts, but bourbon and vanilla dominate. A little hot, and not as balanced as the nose, but I still enjoy it a lot.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty nice barrel aged beer. Lots of bourbon and vanilla which I enjoyed quite a bit. Would like to get another bottle of this and try it again in a few months.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a mini snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium brown color with a big of a copper hue. Off-white head and a bit of lacing. The nose carries a bit of bourbon plus a nice bit of sweet malt. Caramel and slight dark fruits plus a tad bit of vanilla. The flavor balances the bourbon and malt sweetness well enough, though there isn't as much complexity as I'd like to see. Body is medium with a smooth finish. Pretty good, though nothing took it to the next level.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked the first BA Scotch that they did and this was solid as well.

Poured into Town Hall chalice. Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Some lace was left. Color is a dark mahogany copper.

Aroma: Tons of bourbon and oak. Vanilla, caramel, toffee, and sweet malt flavors. Pretty intense.

Taste: Big bourbon blast. Toffee and caramel malts. Kind of sweet. Alcohol present. Pretty malty. Oak and vanilla show.

Mouthfeel: warming and smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends boozy and dry.

Overall, I think I like the other better, but this was still good. This one is bourbon dominate. As it warms, it smooths out a bit, but still there is a lot there.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown colored beer that reds on the edges with a small, off-white head that left some stick on the sides.

S - This smells exactly like one would expect a scotch ale to smell in bourbon barrels. The base beer is evident, and the whiskey consists of nice vanilla, bourbon, and vanilla.

T - Tastes like a scotch ale, with bourbon added to it. Caramel and vanilla are the most prevelant flavors. It tastes "scotch" on the finish.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium bodied.

O - I don't really like this style of beer at all, but this is a great example of a BA Scotch Ale. Don't expect me to drink it again though.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. Comes out as a mahogany chestnut color. An off-white/tan colored head with many different size bubbles reveal themselves during the pour. It sticks around for several minutes. Not much lacing from the head, however each sip, the liquid clings onto the glass the way back down to the pool of the rest of it. Pretty good looking, slightly better than the average of the style.

The smell was pretty good, but for a Wee Heavy (especially a Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer) it was a little underwhelming; not to say there's not a lot going on. Certainly starts off a little boozy. Bourbon whiskey starts it off, a little woody, oak I guess. A little sweetness added with slight hints of vanilla. So overall the smell is good, but it lacks strength.

Where the smell lacks, it makes up for in the taste. Again it starts off very strong with the boozy aspects. Bourbon comes right out at you. Vanilla oak comes out at you again. Hints of maple and brown sugar for a little extra sweetness. Has some slight liquor taste of dehydrated dark fruits like glazed dates and figs, also ends with a slight coconut flavor. Malts are pretty standard, caramelized; the only thing it really lacks are peat malts. I love scotch ales/wee heavy's to have a smokey flavor (and smell). If it had that I'd probably give it a perfect score. It's very good with slight room for improvement.

Mouthfeel is good, not sure of the ABV, but it bites at you slightly. It has a good carbonation level overall too. There's a slight buttery feel to it as well. It's pretty drinkable, but more of a slow sipper in my opinion. I think this would appease to the liquor fans who are trying to get into beer. Overall I like the beer quite a bit. I'm a fan of the style and this is a unique version of it that I wouldn't hate seeing more of in the future.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for this generous extra - not at all on my radar, though I very much enjoy the style.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Gordon Highland thistle.

Pale, clear redwood body with a soft dense creamy half finger of Isabelline. Good retention, lacing, and legs.

Light tobacco, vanilla, and coconut in the nose suggested from the contributions of a bourbon barrel. Somewhat fusel if you inhale fully. Deep caramelized maltiness undergirds these aromas.

Candy apple, toffee, and light cream on the palate...this followed quickly by potent bourbon flavors and a moderate amount of heat. I'm not detecting any hop flavor, and whatever bitterness is in the profile is extremely mild, though the finish isn't cloying.

Creamy, quite warming, with sufficient carbonation.

This style is substantial enough that you'd think it wouldn't be overwhelmed by a little time in a barrel, but all but the faintest peat-like subtlety has been stamped out by the bourbon here. This knocks the score down a little bit for me, but this is a very tasty beer none the less. Curious how it compares to Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale...

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Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to Thirstybird for sharing the wealth. Cracking this open in honor of my 38th. Served in my Maudite tulip at 53 degrees. Pours a dull brown with a slightly reddish hue and a loose, off-white head the immediately disperses into a frothy band around the shoulders. Lacing is revealed on the tilt side of the glass, but legs are somewhat weak - only residual spots remain. Nose nicely expresses the barrel (although I get more whiskey than bourbon) - buttery notes, a hint of vinegar, wood, some spice and ethanol. Taste consistent with nose, malty character is a bit subdued for the style in my opinion, and the barrel aging dominates the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a mild carbonation, a subtle dryness and a definite alcohol presence - not really heat, but there's something happening. Definitely an interesting beer, but not as spectacular as I had hoped. Body falls a little short and the malty and smokey qualities I enjoy in the style aren't really present. Decent, but not something I would seek out again.

Update - 2/28/15
Holding up like a champ. Still a little hot, only slight presence of oxidation, but pretty well-hidden.

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Photo of gfreed
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As bourbon Scotch Ales go, consider this one an exceptional lesson in subtlety: neither the aroma or taste are packed with smoke or peat or bourbon, yet these characteristics are everywhere. They don't climb wildly all over each other like the rats in "Willard," but you can clearly detect them both discretely and in combination. None overpowers the others, nor is there a heavy presence of alcohol. Beware, however: the ABV is very well hidden and will creep up from nowhere. No chainsaws after drinking this one.

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Photo of nas5755
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A brown beer with a deep red hues. A nice two finger head with good lacing and nice retention.

S- Scotch whiskey and oak with some dark fruits and alcohol

T- The taste is the best part of this beer. I wish I could rate it a bit higher but 4.5 seems out of place and below 4.0 seems out of place for the other categories. The taste is loaded with dark fruit characteristics which was unexpected, but worked very nicely with the other flavors of this beer. The other flavors which I mentioned happened to include a very clean finish which showcased with whiskey barrels and the scotch flavors from the heavy reduction of the malts. Very interesting

M- Smooth, nice medium carbonation, slightly sticky on the end, slightly dry.

D- More of a sipper that asks to be contemplated.

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Photo of radioscooter
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this for a while. just got in a great trade.

Pours bourbon color with almost no head. I wish one of these ba brews would be a bit frothier.

Smells wonderful, baked bread, caramel, bourbon, vanilla...

First taste is powerful. Got the liquor, toffee, sweet caramel, a little banana maybe, very Bourbony.

Very drinkable, though sweetens as it warms up. Swirling in glass leaves a syrupy draping behind.

Powerful but not too boozy. I couldn't drink it all night, but could get through at least a couple. A little too flat, otherwise - bliss.

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Gude Greg's Wee Heavy Private Reserve from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.92 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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