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Fundamental Observation | Bottle Logic Brewing

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Fundamental ObservationFundamental Observation
1,273 Ratings
Fundamental ObservationFundamental Observation

Brewed by:
Bottle Logic Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout blended with Madagascar Vanilla Beans & Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,273 |  Reviews: 221
Reviews by stevec32:
Photo of stevec32
4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For those of us who prefer out stouts served with a spoon and fork, the Bottle Logic offers a stout of epic porportions that are anything from either fundamental or logical.

But their lavish Fundamental Observation is just that. You don't really pour the beer, but rather simply open the top and let it crawl out all on its own. As it slowly nestles into the snifter, it does so with a lavish tar-like austere. A patient release of a thick mocha-stained blanket of foam is marshmallowy and firmly dense. Equally as lavish are the dessert-like aromas that swirl like walnut brownies dipped in madeira with an initial sip that's deeply saturating with dark chocolate, marshmallow cream and sweet booze.

Heavy and cake-like, the middle palate is awash with bittersweet chocolate, black-strap molasses, silky espresso, roasting walnut and heavy whipping cream- all in a soft and elegant vanilla wrap. Slow to resist any fade, its this combination that rides deep into the finish with a consistent and dedicated flavor spread; only allowing the tethers of bourbon, port and fruit, fortified madeira wine to weave into the sweetness and pulling the taste togethers.

Any full-bodied claim would be an understatement as the ale wraps around the tongue like brownie batter. Its tawny, tangy and simmering alcohol warmth embraces the lightly cloying sweetness and invites much more of a savory sipping affair than in the promotion of anything drinkable or quick. Its flavors are long and lingering reaching deep into the next sip. Its a stout that's not a pairing for dessert, it replaces dessert altogether.

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Photo of SDwomp
4.32/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The hype train got me, and I finally had the chance to trade for and try this beer.

Incredible color and smell to this beer. Decent mouthfeel and a bit sweet to taste. BL must have used a ton of Vanilla Beans... Not as much bourbon as I was expecting, but still enough to let you know its there.

At the end of the day, people (including myself) are trading some high caliber beer for FO... Is it worth the hype? No, but it is a really good beer. Vanilla Rye killer, as its been called? Absolutely not.

Overall, well done Bottle Logic.

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Photo of ineva
4.92/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

You know how people relate cars to women? Well this is like that women of your dreams in a glass after you poured it from that sexy bottle. That vanilla sent, thick body and lets not forget that soft sweet touch as it touches our tongue. . wow let me stop there before your whales start to pop pre-maturely.

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Photo of DCLAguy11
4.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - label looks ultra whaley
Smell - whale juice
Taste - unicorn tears
Feel - like a whale swimming in deep waters
Overal - 100% whaleZ status

....Joking. Seriously, this beer is legit. It pours like a thin motor oil with not much of a head. The aroma on this is fabulous. I near gave it a 5 but I realize that Vanilla can work wonders, and in some ways is kinda cheating, but no joke, this beer smells wonderful. The taste is excellent. I had read all the hype and issues with the release and was expecting a beer that was overrated but this is legit. For me, I'm not into sweet beers but this has a nice balance between just enough sweetness and that barrel presence I like in BA beers. It's not over the top in any way except perhaps the vanilla but that's a good thing in this case. I kept going back for more but enjoyed just letting this beer linger. The mouth feel is solid. Nice carbonation. If it was any more viscous this beer would be close to perfect. Overall, I think FO deserves the hype. I've read and heard comparisons to BC Vanilla Rye but I thought it was different than VR in that VR had more of a marshmallow taste and this is straight up vanilla bean. Both excellent beers but if I had to choose I would go with FO.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to the hype. A cartoonishly large burst of vanilla jumps out of the glass, followed by caramel / toffee / panna cotta, marshmallow. I'd like a bit more oak, something to round out the dessert nose. The flavor is more balanced than I expected adding a good dose of milk chocolate, bourbon, hint of oak. Not cloyingly sweet or forcing the viscosity with residual sugars. Though VR continues to improve with age, this felt a bit more lithe and far more drinkable.

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Photo of 4lo
4.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lots of vanilla and taste follows smell. Bit boozier than vanilla rye. Decent mouthfeel. Prefer vanilla rye or ba vanilla shake over it personally. Interested to see how it is after sitting a year or two

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Photo of timc100
4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed next to Vanilla Rye

Pours an oily black, very similar to VR, however darker and oilier. Aroma exploded with raw vanilla bean, rich dark chocolate stout with a slight pleasant soy sauce flavor, marshmallow, burnt dark roast, and more vanilla of all kinds. Palate leads with tons of the vanilla and marshmallow sweetness to a great, deep stout-chocolate flavor and rich whiskey booziness. Chewy, viscous, thick mouthfeel, which carried all the flavors well. This reminded me of a more balanced and deeper Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord.

Incredible stout worth the acclaim.

 580 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.54/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black in color with a small foamy khaki head that disappears immediately, leaving nothing behind, hints of light leaking out around the edge

S- aroma is pure vanilla bean up front, fresh vanilla bean. Underlying brings spicy bourbon, along with wood, vanilla & coconut. Just a hint of alcohol warmth on the finish. It doesn’t get much better aroma for a vanilla stout

T- sweet vanilla up front opens, with a bourbon presence quickly kicking in with notes of spicy barrel, coconut & caramel. As it nears the finish, notes of raisin and prune kick in, with a linger of light vanilla 4.25

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that finishes with a bit of alcohol on the linger

O- aroma was spot on, flavor was almost as solid, but couldn’t quite bring out the vanilla as it was in the aroma. Still an outstanding beer

 916 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.93/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

500mL bottle from j47paco (many thanks for this fantastic treat!). 2015 vintage, released 6/30/15. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours pitch black with a finger and a quarter mocha head. Some scant surface clouds and a thin halo lingers but no lace can find purchase on the glass.

The aroma is incredible with an impressive amount of vanilla. Bourbon, oak, chocolate and caramel back up all the vanilla goodness. I can't keep my nose away.

Flavors are rich, decadent and delightful. The huge vanilla promised by the nose is delivered in spades along with white chocolate, bourbon, fudge, wet oak, caramel, molasses, creamed coffee and an easy going but undeniable nip of booze. Dangerously smooth and easy to drink for an imperial stout topping 14% abv. Truly amazing how well the vanilla beans and bourbon barrel aging reinforce the outstanding vanilla top notes and carry it throughout the experience.

Full, velvety feel with soft, smooth carbonation. The aftertaste is like bourbon fudge dripped over vanilla bean ice cream and the body is full enough to coat the tongue so it lingers for several minutes. Seriously the most incredible finish I've had.

As a huge fan of vanilla I can't help but fall in love with Fundamental Observation. Bottle Logic has done a superb job nailing the flavor and putting it in a near perfect package. Hands down the best vanilla stout I've had as well as one of the best all around beers. For me this is near magical and I can't recommend highly enough trying it if you can.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark black body, shades of brown, one finger brown head that dies down fairly quickly, leaving a thin collar. Not a whole lot more to say about the appearance; it's very typical for a big stout. Smell is vanilla, graham crackers, whiskey, oak, milk chocolate, more whiskey. It's very akin to Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, which is not surprising. Vanilla-forward aromas mixed in with whiskey. Flavour is vanilla bean, whiskey, oak, milk chocolate, a bit of roasted malt in the background. It's quite vanilla forward, but not cloying or sweet. Slight char. Mouthfeel is full bodied, substantial, slightly boozy but still quite restrained for a 14.3% stout. Reasonably drinkable, remains a bit of a sipper. Overall, this is pretty much Vanilla Rye. Thick chewy body with vanilla and whiskey all-around.

 847 characters

Photo of halo3one
4.17/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid vanilla but too boozy like Darkstar.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another stupid good beer from BL! The taste was like liquid brownie batter that had been mixed with ground up vanilla and soak in bourbon. The chocolate and vanilla flavors were awesome and the bourbon was at a nice level and not hot at all. Smooth and delicious BA stout. If you get the chance, get some!

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very glad I had the opportunity to trade for this gem! Enjoyed on my 40th birthday with friends in a 10 oz chalice. Awesome balance between the Bourbon and the Vanilla. Quite a bit of vanilla here for sure and lots of chocolate as well! IMO this is just as good if not slightly better than Vanilla Rye. Amazing beer!

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Photo of Hopsiam14
4.98/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A nearly perfect beer in everyway. The taste is just like a delicious smore with tons of marshmallow goodness. With most beers of its kind, I usually say "avoid the hype" however, this one is very much in the world class category.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is fluid black settling with a creamy, dark tan collar after the minimal fizzy head quickly fades out. The head can be minimally rejuvenated.

I could smell brownie batter as soon as I started pouring. However, from the glass, bourbon was much more potent, with oak also strongly present. Notes of raisins and nuts pop in here and there, but a heaping load of gooey, vanilla bean-spiked chocolate oozes all over the nose.

Jesus fucking Christ, that vanilla is possibly the most potent I've ever tasted in a vanilla stout--yet it's also not too sweet, which is a trap many beers in this sub-style fall into. That said, there's also a hefty kick of boozy, spicy bourbon, and some waxy, nutty oak. Chocolate malt is a major contributor though, and as such, in concert with the luscious vanilla bean, this definitely delivers on the brownie batter promise.

Feel is velvety slick and round, but cut but a slightly spicy fizz that dries and thins out on the swallow. The rim of the glass gets just about as sticky as super glue.

As easy as it seemed this could have been, FO was not a disappointment. It is definitely not, however, worth the struggle it still is to get a bottle these days, but you're probably already trying regardless of my input. Either way, when you're done with your bottle, you'll wish it had been bigger.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.54/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally landed a taste of this guy and it did not disappoint. Poured a thick, dark black with a ton of vanilla aroma. Mouth feel was on point as well and the vanilla was just overwhelming on the tongue. The only negative I can say about it is the vanilla was a little artificial tasting in my opinion. Otherwise excellent beer though. Marshmallows for days!

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Photo of FriedSlug
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is just an awesome beer. Black, brown head, a dot or two of lacing. Thick syrupy beer. Smells like it tastes and it tastes like a lightly smoked, bourbon soaked, s’more with almonds and crumbled brownies on it. It is amazing. Not going to bother giving and part of this beer less than a 5.

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Photo of Benish
4.93/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured jet black in the glass with some high viscosity. The aromas were heavy with bourbon and dark chocolate. Didn't really pick up the vanilla beans. But as it warmed up, you could then smell the vanilla in form of marshmallows. Then when I took a sip, the vanilla beans really hit me by surprise. The beer started out with heavy and rich bourbon and then transitioned to a sweet dessert. The vanilla beans was up front - leaving strong notes of toasted marshmallow and dark sweetened chocolate. It was like a pastry dessert in a glass. The mouthfeel was full-bodied and rich. Overall, this is in the top three best BA stouts I've had! I can't say I've had a beer that showcased the vanilla beans like this one did. This was like drinking a chocolate pastry dessert that was soaked in bourbon.

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Photo of whiskey
4.67/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had two 9 ounce pours today at Eureka in Huntington Beach.

So I'm glad I got a chance to try this beer on tap, I'm a huge Bourbon County fan but did not care for BCBVS or VR(but have like other vanilla beers) so I was afraid big, over the top vanilla beers weren't for me.

So the beer poured nice and black, almost no head. Carbonation was perfect, no swirling required for me. Mouth feel was medium thickness, not as viscous as Bourbon County but it was not lacking by any means.

Good bourbon and great vanilla. Doesn't seem overdone as some have said. Good stuff, I'll be sure to seek it out if it goes on tap again.

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Photo of carrionricardo
4.98/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Well well well. Alright fellas your search for that crazy vanilla bomb of a brew stops here. This one is a dream come true. You know when you crack that bottle and you kinda have to search for those aromas. Not here this one will smack you with those decadent aromas of every vanilla dessert you ever had.vanilla cup cakes,vanilla cookies,ice cream, the stuffing from the Oreos you licked off as a kid. Simply AMAZING. Very well balanced by the roast. Just tooo good. Overall the best damn barrel aged vanilla IRS I've ever had. I've had it both on tap and bottle and have to say there's just something about keeping all those luscious flavors bottled until the moment you crack the seal that just works a lil better than draft.

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Photo of HypeTrain
4.99/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn near as perfect as it gets. Thick inky jet black pour with a thin khaki head. Smell is a 5++++. Nice barrel character and TONS of vanilla. Taste is lots of vanilla and not in an artificial flavor. So smooth. No boozy bite. Its a beautiful thick viscous mouthfeel. Had this next to VR and as much as I love Vanilla Rye this came out ahead.

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Photo of ComradePalmer
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer all around. Looks great, very vanilla forward aroma and flavor. Has a slight warming, alcohol undercurrent that's pleasant. Full bodied and smooth. Some might say it's too vanilla heavy or sweet but I see it as being a perfectly balanced beer.

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Photo of blockdude
4.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very good, I enjoyed this a lot more than number crunch and batch 2 fo. Definitely more vanilla than the previous batch and very little alcohol heat. Bourbon is more subtle and on the back end compared to number crunch. This is not a good beer to drink cold, and I imagine more vanilla comes out after leaving it to open up for a few hours. Nice appearance and coats the glass with a thick layer of foam, although not the thickest of stouts out there, but neither is any of the bottle logic stouts. Didn't affect my feelings toward it, great beer overall.

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Photo of Lare453
1.46/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this on draft at huna day 2016. Either something was wrong with the keg or this is not good. The people at the bottle logic booth said that was what it was supposed to be, but there were so many off flavors, I don't know where to start. Tasted like spoiled milk.

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Fundamental Observation from Bottle Logic Brewing
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 1,273 ratings