Ada County
Woodland Empire Ale Craft

Ada CountyAda County
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Woodland Empire Ale Craft
Idaho, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #530
Ranked #2,298
4.34 | pDev: 5.3%
Jul 15, 2022
Mar 21, 2017
Ada CountyAda County
Notes: Stout aged in whiskey barrels and rum barrels with raw cocoa and cold brewed Neckar coffee.
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Photo of colts9016
Reviewed by colts9016 from Idaho

4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Ada County Stout
Woodland Empire
Barrel Aged Stout
ABV: 14%
Date: 01/20/2022
I picked this beer up from a fellow beer lover. I ensured the beer was kept in ideal conditions. I warmed the beer up to 50 degrees and served it in a tulip glass. The pour created a frothy and airy two-fingered head. The retention is excellent, leaving chunks of lacing on the glass. Dark brown liked heavily used motor oil, nearly black charting around SRM 38. The appearance of this beer is above average.
The first aromas that pop out are dark roasted coffee, chocolate, and whiskey. Nosing the glass further, I detect oak, raisins, caramel, toffee, toasty bread crust, hints of char, and a campfire. The stout has a slight meaty note, like soy sauce but is hard to identify.
The whiskey barrels permeate the beer well, giving the alcohol, oranges, oak, and char notes. Sipping the beer, I noticed it was sweeter than I would anticipate from a stout. Coffee, chocolate, bread crust, toffee, caramel, molasses, cereal grains, and a touch of soy sauce round out the rest of the flavors.
The mouthfeel is chewy with low carbonation. The body is heavy and finishes smooth and long.
This is the middle of the road for me as imperial stouts go. I am not a fan of the sweeter BBA. I like pastry stout, but this was not close to that style. The high ABV was not noticeable.
Jul 15, 2022
Photo of darktronica
Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2022 vintage poured from a pint can. Moderately thick but not excessively syrupy, with a full finger of head that slowly emerges and builds. Plenty of retained lacing. The 2022 can does not mention rum barrels, so I'm unsure if that was involved this time. Vinous and dry on the palate, with plenty of bitterness from raw cacao and the coffee. Both additives lend accents but without overpowering the base and barrel treatment; I get the flavors but would still believe you if you told me it was just a barrel-aged stout. The aroma is muted but the flavors on the palate are quite intense. Some bright acidity that is not super common in stouts like this, with plenty of dark stonefruit and grape.
Apr 19, 2022
Photo of EMV
Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2017 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Inky black pour. Half a finger of mocha colored head leaves a nice ring of lacing.

S: Rich and roasty. Booze, whiskey, vanilla, coffee, and cocoa.

T.F: Just like it smells. Rich... semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, and oak. Roast, espresso, and burned sugars. Rum! and some dark fruit (from the Brett? definitely not sour). A bit of booze but hides its ABV. Silky smooth... lower carbonation and medium to think bodied. Oily... complex and warming. Better as it comes up to room temperature.

O: An elite barrel-aged stout. Outstanding flavor and really picks up on the barrels. Compares to a Bourbon County and may even be better. One worth seeking out.
May 22, 2021
Rated: 4.24 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Apr 16, 2021
Rated: 4.16 by Dope from Massachusetts

Apr 10, 2021
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Reviewed by metter98 from New York

4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan colored head that died down a bit but never completely faded away.
S: Light to moderate aromas of whiskey are present in the nose along with notes of rum and cocoa with hints of coffee.
T: The taste follows the smell but has stronger flavors of whiskey and rum with underlying notes of cocoa and hints of coffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming in the finish from the whiskey and rum.
O: You can definitely get the sense that this beer is strong from the whiskey and rum but the cocoa and coffee help to mellow out the taste to some degree so it's not that alcoholic.

Serving type: can
Mar 30, 2021
Photo of Limazulu
Reviewed by Limazulu from Idaho

4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
A-Looks like a big bold stout, also with prodigious khaki head that persisted quite long for the high ABV.
S-caramel, coffee, rye barrel
T-Above average sweet even for the style. Overly rich chocolate, some coffee and the rye barrel is more present than the bourbon. Maybe a little dark fruit sweetness and licorice on the aftertaste. Some char bitterness helps to slightly offset the nearly cloying sweet.
M-Best part of the beer. Full body, viscous and chewy. The 15% ABV heat is there with some astringency, but not as boozy as you might expect.
O-Very different barrel notes, but a bit over the top with the massive amounts of chocolate and coffee otherwise its taste score would have been higher.
Mar 18, 2021
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Dug into the cellar to pop a 12oz bottle from 2017. Poured into a Surly snifter.

A: Opaque black with a small ring of khaki head.

S: Strong barrel and spirt character, with notes of toffee and vanilla, cacao, coffee, oak, roasted malt. There is a sweetness and just a touch of a snappy astringency; not sure if that is the alcohol or the wild yeast this was brewed with.

T: Follows the nose beautifully with that toffee-like sweetness from the barrels blending into a smooth cocoa-y caramel; mild char and present roastiness throughout, and a minor snappy dark fruitiness, which isn't distracting. Alcohol warmth gives you the impression of booze but it isn't 'hot'. Dark and rich; well-rounded at this age!

MF: Full-bodied and strong.

O: I always pass over this one when pulling bottles out of the cellar to try; the Brettanomyces addition scared the heck outa me. But this has come together marvelously and maintains a strong barrel profile, present sweetness, and good roasty character. At 15%, its somewhat boozy still, but not too hot. This is really good.
Feb 15, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by UIR1983 from Iowa

Jan 12, 2021
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Reviewed by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
15 August 2020 - Beer #165

Price: $9.99 on Tavour

Appearance: 5 - poured a beautiful, thick, frothy black.

Nose: 4 - does not smell like a stout; it's more like a fruity barleywine. It's either the rum or there's something wrong with it.

Taste: 4 - it's the rum. It's pretty darn tasty, but there's just not a whole lot of it. The flavor is very good, it's just mild.

Mouth: 5 - fantastic work here. As on the pour, it's extremely frothy and chewy. Well done.

Overall: 4 - a very fine BA stout from flyover country.

Sep 21, 2020
Rated: 4.34 by jordanginsberg from Louisiana

Sep 11, 2020
Rated: 4.49 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Feb 08, 2020
Rated: 4.43 by ppavlick from New Jersey

Jan 18, 2020
Rated: 4.3 by smithj4 from New York

Jan 06, 2020
Rated: 4.28 by dshansen1184 from Washington

Jan 05, 2020
Rated: 4.34 by Scottsbeer from Florida

Dec 22, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Dec 18, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This one pours a very dark black, inky looking pour - with a fluffy tight head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like rich dark fruit, roast, tobacco, oak, rum spice, chocolate fudge, fruity cold brew coffee, and red wine.

This has a prett big and burly sweetness to it, but it's not cloying. It's absolutely loaded with dark fruit and roast - it almost feels European in stout execution. The coffee adds some chocolate and cherry, and the chocolate also seems to add some dark fruitiness, along with fudginess, obviously. I don't get much whiskey, as the two barrels go - just caramel and rum spice. There's definitely oak, char, and tobacco darkness. It does help to counter the fruity sweetness. This is extremely complex.

This is a very slow sipper, due to the latent booze, fruity sweetness, and just general heaviness. There's a lower level of carbonation, and a pretty thick and creamy mouthfeel.

This is unique, and fairly complex. I'm glad to have tried my first beer from Woodland Empire.
Dec 16, 2019
Rated: 5 by Sir_Goatman from Oregon

Dec 11, 2019
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
2019 vintage, 14.5% abv this year, huge stout with cold brewed coffee and cocoa aged in whiskey and rum barrels. its a real ambitious beer, and its colossal, definitely one to share and sip slowly. warming alcohol all the way through this for me, from first smell to last drop, inky and shiny dark dark brown in the glass with long legs on it. aroma here shows the whiskey and the cocoa ahead of the other elements, some molasses and malt sweetness for sure, but not necessarily rum to me. lots of fusel alcohol, sugar, and dark chocolate character. the coffee is subtle in the aroma but more appreciable in the flavor, and there is brown sugar and tobacco sticky heaviness running through it as well. its huge on the palate, more and more chocolate and coffee as it warms, some earthy depth to it on the coffee and roast side, but the sweetness overwhelms it pretty easily. i like the whiskey character in here, plenty of oak and vanilla and toasted character, and its neat with the less obvious rum as well, a nice blend. the alcohol is a little much for me here, like this could have been a better beer in the 11% abv range perhaps, but i like this as a monster for sipping slowly. i want to taste a little more coffee in here too, i love neckar, but the coffee is very much in the background most of the drink. its good to me, but its not amazing, lacking some cohesiveness and refinement at this size, and maybe a little pricey, but its cool to see these guys continuing to make some of the most ambitious beers in the boise area. if you end up with a can of this, share it with a friend or two or three...
Nov 29, 2019
Photo of Cylinsier
Reviewed by Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
16 oz can

Pours jet black, tan head is finely textured and dissipates to a ring.

Big rich aroma with notes of fig, molasses, mesquite, tobacco, cocoa, oak, licorice, pecan, walnut, toast and rye.

Flavor is overwhelmingly rich. Cocoa, fresh coffee, vanilla, molasses, mesquite, tobacco, licorice, oak, rum and bourbon.

The body is viscous and chewy. Light sting of carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Booze warmth going down.

Loads of flavor and body in this. A very slow drink to be enjoyed over a long period of time. Feels like a meal in a can. I would definitely recommend trying this for fans of big, boastful stouts.
Nov 16, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
Reviewed by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
L: Pitch Black. Half finger espresso head fading quickly to a thick ring on the glass. Temporary lacing - some spotty sticky spots.

S: Candied liquor notes outshine any roast here.

T: Chocolate, caramel, and especially vanilla meld into a cloyingly sweet brew. Sweetly balanced but otherwise nearly undrinkable unless you live for sugar like a starving stout-crazed hummingbird.

F: Sweet syrup and tangy bitterness. Carbonation is medium low, but sufficient.

O: If you like desert stouts this would be top of the charts, otherwise it would fall hard - as it did for me.
Nov 14, 2019
Rated: 4.39 by MjBrewhouse from Idaho

Jul 04, 2019
Photo of Sheppard
Reviewed by Sheppard from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
For the abv, wow, this is amazing. I was expecting this to be hot, but it's not. It's smooth and thick. There's chocolate, a little vanilla, and a touch of coffee. There's a bit of heat. This is an excellent BBA stout.
Jun 13, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Highcountry1 from Pennsylvania

May 30, 2018
Photo of wisegreensoul
Rated by wisegreensoul from Idaho

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2017 in 2018 - 4.5/4.25/4.5/4.5/4.5
2019 in 2019 - 4.5/4.25/4.25/4.5/4.5
2021 - 4.25/4.25/4.5/4.5/4.25
May 01, 2018
Rated: 4.14 by rfgetz from New Jersey

Apr 16, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by JakerLou from New Hampshire

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
12 oz. Bottle from Derek. Huge thanks. Oily black pour, small beige head. Big, heady aroma, mélange of many things: coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, roast grains.High ABV very evident. Taste is boozy and warm, slippery, bourbon and chocolate. Very smooth for a beer this potent.
Dec 20, 2017
Rated: 3.93 by johnny_chimpo from Washington

May 01, 2017
Photo of Just-the-sip
Reviewed by Just-the-sip from California

4.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Lord have mercy...this is a killer beer. Snifter from a 12oz. bought from Tavour. Smells like sweet apples, molasses, fruit dipped in bitter dark chocolate at the finish. Fantastic mouth feel on this too. Sticky, full...really nice. Now, how'd they hide the ABV of 15%?! Wizardry if you ask me. I've had some of the best stouts out there but this guy from Woodland Empire is a ample contender for Bourbon County Stout and On Fleek in my opinion. Sip and enjoy!

Here's my code if you wanna check out Tavour. and we both get $10 after you purchase a beer. Brilliant service for beer and to get your hands on stuff you normally can't.
Apr 14, 2017
Ada County from Woodland Empire Ale Craft
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 31 ratings