Layers of Influence
Bottle Logic Brewing

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Stout - American Imperial
4.24 | pDev: 8.73%
Bottle Logic Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Collaboration with J. Wakefield Brewing

Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Makowiec-Inspired Imperial Stout; a sweet "Florida style" super-pastry collaboration with our friends J. Wakefield Brewing!

With buckets of poppy seeds in the mash and poppy butter in the boil, we sought to mimic the traditional flavors of this Polish poppyseed pastry. After a year in bourbon barrels, we finished it off with sweet, sticky orange blossom honey.
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 48 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Viscous obsidian black with a moderate but dense mocha head that's all creamy and luscious like dalgona, retaining as a thick blanket throughout, clinging at the ridge in a quarter pipe. Magnificent.

Smell is impressively bourbon forward. Peppery charred oak pairs with a BORIS-like nutty and roasty character with a touch of cedar, coming off as very whiskey-esque overall.

Taste flips the script entirely. The softly smooth body is very, very honey forward. It's a delicate but unmistakable honey expression that's quite unique to have so well preserved in a stout flavor profile. The whiskey is surprisingly much less assertive in flavor than aroma, exhibiting absolutely no heat whatsoever, expressing just a mild, sweet maple-like oak accent as the delicately moderate carbonation comes to a just semi-dry finish.

It tastes super sweet yet feels drinkable, not becoming cloying at all. It's like a sweet treat, but also a cocktail that's very uniquely delicious.

Nov 16, 2020
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seemed a little over carbed. Even at less than 50 degrees it wanted to foam up an over the glass.

It smells like bourbon soaked mild duds- milk chocolate, brown sugar/molasses, sweetened evaporated milk/lactose, and a slight pepperiness.

That first sip just smacks you in the face with Thor’s hammer dipped in marshmallow cream and vanilla. Then there’s a candied orange and milk chocolate. It rounds out with that black peppercorn bite that must be the poppy seed and some bourbon. I will say that it is very welcomed, and helps keep it in the enjoyable range. It almost comes across as a spice that makes you wonder if there is cinnamon or peppers because of the contrast to the richness. Although I wouldn’t have been aboe to pinpoint it, this does have a lingering poppyseed bun flavor to it.

The body is as much like a melted milkshake as I’ve had. I can’t overstate that enough. If you were to put it in the freezer for a few minutes, you may have a spiked Frosty of sorts. So velvety and thick.

Pastry stouts are a lot like NE IPAs for me. Even the best ones are really hard for me to drink more than about 4 ounces. Even if I really like them. Quite a few Angry Chair beers that I had sample sizes of there fit the bill. This one toes that line, but there is an acclimation point it seems because I’ve had half of it and the thought of drinking the other half doesn’t disgust me.

Having typed that, it doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement. As a “pastry stout” though, I think it would be among the best. As an Imperial Stout it’s harder to score, but there is just enough balance there for me, and at times it reminds me of a milk stout-milkshake version of Bourbon County Midnight Orange. I am quite certain of one thing. This is the first beer with poppy seeds I have had.

Jun 02, 2019
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metter98 from New York

4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Capital Hop Shop, Sacramento, CA

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that left wisps of bubbles on the surface.
S: Moderate to strong aroams of orange blossom honey are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of orange blossom honey with slight hints of bourbon in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very interesting beer and smells and tastes nothing like you would expect based on its appearance. Any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

May 05, 2019
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received in a trade and shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a good one finger mocha head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of nice honey orange sweetness, good nutty poppy seed. Real good chocolate honey notes.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of sweet honey and citrus peel. Tons of cloy sweetness but the honey is really borderline cloy. Nice finish though.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, smooth, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this was a solid enough stout, rather sweet along with good orange notes. Really cloy but loads of chocolate and poppy seed notes. Solid enough but not great.

Serving Type: bottle

Apr 05, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to rudzud
Pours a dence thicker frothy head, good lagging and retention

Nose loads of grape and sour funk, big raw honey, pithy hops, very sweet wine and honey

Taste xuper sweet honey, raw braggot honey and case earthy hops and malt, achieve base bad

Apr 05, 2019
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TheBrewsky from California

4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have let this come to temp for the better part of a half hour. I think it is high time to start partaking.
L: Pours dark cola brown during the pour and settles black. From a very slow, patient, and rather time consuming pour, a bubbly chestnut-colored head formed rather rapidly amounting to about 3 fingers worth. Not much in terms of lacing other than a couple of spots here and there.
S: I can tell this is gonna be sweet. Layers upon layers of confectioners dessert chocolate. As I really start to familiarize with the brew, I can pick out the poppy seed presence as well as the honey presence. The beer smells rather sweet overall with a touch of bourbon warmth on the nose.
T: The poppy seed really tends to come to life in the flavor. I can't really describe how the poppy seed tastes like, other than what a poppy seed Costco muffin tastes like. The honey is most noticeable on the finish, lending a sweet and orange-tinged flavor with some floral properties. Sweet, confectioners chocolate is noticeable throughout, and for those wondering, it is sweet. Other flavors consist of molasses, milk sugar, smoked nuts, and vanilla. On the finish, I get just the right amount of bourbon character with a hint of oak.
F: Medium in body and medium in weight. The beer has the oily feel with a nice consistency, but it isn't as chewy as other Bottle Logic offerings. Still, by no means is the feel undesirable.
O: I wasn't sure what to think of this, but I am actually thoroughly enjoying this. It is sweet and very decadent. Frankly, it is a perfect dessert beer. I couldn't dome a bottle to myself due to the sweet nature of the beer, but I gotta admit that I am enjoying far more than I imaged. I am very grateful to have tried. Cheers!

Mar 24, 2019
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emyers from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On draft at Bottle Logic.

Near black with thin light brown lacing.

Nose: complex aroma of bourbon, dark chocolate, almond pastry, subtle honey.

Taste: Bourbon and honey up front with milk chocolate. Finishes with another strong dose of honey - very sweet on the finish.

Feel: full-bodied, low carbonation

Feb 24, 2019
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Beersnake1 from California

3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from fridge temp into Layers of Influence glass. Pours jet black with quickly dissipating brown head. Nose is chocolate, roasted malts, poppy seed, bourbon, vanilla, lactose, and honey. Really nice. Taste is very unique. Quite sweet upfront, but nice notes of bourbon, honey, poppy seed, lactose, vanilla, and candy syrup. Not my favorite, but not horrible. Just a bit too sweet for me. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol is not detectable.

Feb 24, 2019
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at BL tap room. Have very mixed opinions on recent trend re “pastry” stouts. Some are just too pastry and not much beer. This one works for me. It brings the pastry elements in to enhance a rich sweetish huge stout. Comes across more like a delicious variant. Everything works but the honey is perfect. Great sipper. Velvety decadence. May be my new fav dessert stout.

Feb 14, 2019
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matteice88 from Washington

4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Beautiful, deep black body with a creamy, brown head reminiscent of a hot cocoa.

S - Not a lot of aroma, to be honest, but what you do get is a pleasant honey with a touch of citrus.

T - Not nearly as crazy sweet as you'd expect from a beer JWB gets its hands on. Beautiful honey, hint of citrus, mild bourbon, and some chocolate malt backbone. Occasionally boozy, but overall masks its ABV very well. Don't get much if any poppy seed, but it's not a super strong flavor to begin with, and it could just be disguising as maltiness.

F - Super creamy. Not syrupy, but definitely thick. Would have liked a touch more carbonation, though it was a low-fill pour, so could just be an issue there.

O - I really liked how subtle and well-blended the flavors were in this one. It seems like Bottle Logic's trend now is to load up on adjuncts and hope they mellow and blend after a few months (looking at you, Leche Borracho), but this one is actually at its peak right now. Yes, it can come off as somewhat one-note with the honey after several sips, but it's mild enough to not become cloying like a mead or even a braggot. The Iridium Flare comparisons are easy because they both have honey, but this is much more beer-like and less sickly-sweet than IF.

Don't know if I'll seek this out again, as honey isn't really my thing, but I'm definitely glad I got to at least try it. Folks who enjoy both mead and beer would probably love this.

Jan 16, 2019
Layers of Influence from Bottle Logic Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 48 ratings