BQE - Barrel Aged
Finback Brewery

BQE - Barrel AgedBQE - Barrel Aged
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #151
Ranked #647
4.41 | pDev: 7.48%
Finback Brewery
New York, United States
BQE - Barrel AgedBQE - Barrel Aged
Notes: The BQE is our Brooklyn Queens Espresso imperial stout. Cocoa nibs from the Brooklyn based Mast Brothers and Coffee from Queens based Native Coffee Roasters were added to the boil making for a super complex tasty brew.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 182 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Barcade, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a narrow collar of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of chocolate, molasses, and bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of vanilla.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of chocolate and bourbon along with notes of molasses and hints of raisins. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels full-bodied and a touch dry on the palate with some warming from the alcohol.
O: I really liked the balance between the chocolate and the bourbon in this beer. It definitely did a good job in the blending of the flavors with the barrel aging.

Serving type: on-tap

Sep 13, 2019
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 Vintage. 16oz. bottle into Night Shift stemware.

Pours pitch black and oily. Dense. Very little head. Nose is chocolate, espresso, molasses and vanilla. Moderately aromatic. Beer opens cocoa powder, roasted malt and semi-sweet chocolate. This one builds. Middle is sweet soy sauce, molasses and more chocolate, fudge and vanilla. Espresso towards the back. This gets sweeter and sweeter as it sits on the palate. Honey and some tobacco and wet wood at the finish. Very solid. Body is full with low carbonation. Dense, slick and oily on the palate and goes down viscous and rich. Messy, lingering finish.

A very good beer but there's a lot of competition in this style. Better than middle-of-the-road but pretty basic overall.

May 10, 2019
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16.9 oz. bottle - 2016

Pours black with a dense creamy tan foam head. Smells like big rich dark chocolate, some dark fruits, roasted coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, some dried fruits, mild spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like rich chocolate, dark fruits, dark roasted coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, caramel, toffee, charred brown sugar, dried fruit, some spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice bourbon barrel aged imperial chocolate coffee stout.

Jul 10, 2017
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Traded for this beer a while ago and finally got around to having it on this snowy night. I loved their other BQE beers that I've been lucky enough to obtain and this was no exception to that, as it was strong, potent, and full of chocolate flavor that held it's own. Without a doubt, the BQE beers are the best ones that they brew!

Not a bad pour to this as the beer had a dark and relatively thin body for this style with a *very* small mousse-like head. The lacing left behind was thin and webbed but present enough along the top of my pint glass. A good amount of milk, bitter, and baker's chocolate was found in the nose with even more in the taste. Hints of raspberry juice, valencia, cocoa powder, and booze could be found in the taste but the chocolate was what dominated here. Mild hints of the bourbon barrel-aging could be detected here as this finished very clean with some rye and stickiness present to give this more depth. Not a lot of carbonation here and hints of cocoa power gave this a slight grittiness that literally gave me something to chew on!

It was good to have a Stout that didn't leave a trail of booze on my breath. Though I didn't get the pack that this came with for the holidays, this was more than enough to savor and enjoy by itself. Chocolate fans would be wise to seek this out as the raspberry juice and citrus juiciness made this extremely accessible. Nice job by Finback on this one - even after a few months of unintentional aging!

Mar 14, 2017
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Gatch from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Rail Trail in Hudson.

The bartender and menu said only 'BQE' but I'm going to assume this is barrel-aged because I get a lot of bourbon and some barrel. Definitely heavy on the espresso/dark roasted coffee beans. Charred malt. Cacao beans. All the good stuff in a big imperial stout. Well done.

Feb 17, 2017
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample at EBF Saturday
Deep dark black color tan head. Huge coffee and roast with bits of bourbon vanilla a light chocolate. Earthy with hints of dark fruits.

Feb 06, 2017
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11-52_4hops from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour was a little light on carbonation. Very interesting nose - sherry, dark chocolate, and cocoa. Taste is dominated by dark chocolate covered cherries, a tad of coffee in the background. Finishes with a bit of booziness that in this beer really works with the chocolate covered cherry flavor. Very smooth. This is a unique flavor combo for me and one that really works.
Give me a little more carbonation and this is world class.

Feb 03, 2017
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Bluecrow from New York

4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep onyx tap pour. Coffee and chocolate in the nose. Flavor is espresso and cocoa. This is a very rich with some oak and whiskey. Super smooth, very special!

Jan 26, 2017
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seedyone from New York

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. I'm a big stout fan or should I say a big Imperial stout fan & this one is a contender. Big flavors. Coffee & chocolate way out front. Choclate wins the aroma card but the coffee is both substantial & relevant.

I'm tempted to say here is good place to start on the quest for THE imperial exerience, but that might cut out the competition. There are some great & noteworthy imperials out there & this should be considered among them....but it "don't push the river or pull no punches", but it does deserve a place at the table.

Dec 20, 2016
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Skellbop from New York

4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - dark black, with thin tannish head
S - lots of chocolate, with some roastiness
T - very nice balance between chocolate and roastiness
F - creamy thick mouthfeel
O - rally great beer. Might have to go to the release next time!

Aug 03, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave.

Dark brown viscous body with a thick, beige collar. Sweet bourbon and oak aroma. Chocolate and booze, oaky tannic finish. Lingering vanilla bourbon character. Tasty.

Mar 08, 2016
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tulip pour at the beewery.

Pitch-black liquid with a dark-khaki head a quarter finger thick. An oily film/lace settles over the body. Lace streaks across the glass. 5

Bourbony notes and spice punctuate the nose. Shows some chocolate and a good burst of vanilla. Clean and appealing aroma and I always appreciate the tobacco and leather I'm getting here. 4.25

Okay. I like this. Bourbon is there. Not overwhelming though. Leathery tobacco notes. Raisin. Figs and plums. A bevy of flavors here. Finish lingers chocolatey. 4.25

The body initially feels light but fills out and drinks so viscously as to coat the mouth. 4

Well done.

Feb 29, 2016
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 9 fl oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Look is pitch black with almost no head.

Lots of aggressive alcohol notes on the nose. Light roasted malt character.

Taste is a lot more balanced than I expected. Lots of the rich chocolate taste plus this incredible light bourbon note.

Very excellent beer.

Feb 10, 2016
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

EBF sample pour. I have the BQExC which is the extra coffee version but I don't think it was barreled. I found the barrel treatment to really raise this version up. It was black like they all are. The aroma was chocolatey and prominently coffee-driven. The barrel was not super intense but it definitely enhanced the other flavors I was picking up. Lots of sweet chocolate on the finish. The body was not huge but I can get over it. A memorable beer which is saying something.

Feb 09, 2016
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lupercmda from North Carolina

4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The guy I traded this with told me this was good. And he was wrong. It is excellent. Very thick rich black pour with a small tan head. Nice balance of vanilla and bourbon notes on the nose. Has a nice thick chocolate taste along with the nice oaky bourbon. Very well balanced. Superb surprise.

Jan 27, 2016
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manfromanotherplace from New York

4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer. Was $20 a bottle so i was worried about this one, pours jet black with ruby thick creamy head, its visibly viscous.smell is incredible, sweets and booze......taste is superb, very much like bcbs but sweeter, that extra chocolate doing the trick, feel is thick and a little syrupy, overall an excellent barrel aged stout, one id buy again even at that price.

Jan 16, 2016
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Kurmaraja from California

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Top notch. Reminds me quite a bit of Smog City's The Nothing - smooth, deep Hershey tones - but with a subtle barrel treatment. Not a bourbon / booze element, but enough vanilla / oak and that richer mouthfeel coming from the barrel.

Jan 16, 2016
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NizzleEGizzle from New York

4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: daaaaarkness *kicks couch*

S: fudgie brownies, some vanilla. Rich, deep, and delicious,

T: here's where things get interesting. Cognac, leather, tobacco. Dark fruit, raisins, dried figs. Don't get too much bourbon barrel here, or too much coffee. But I don't mind.

F: a little thin bodied, but it makes the beer a Beer a bit easier to drink, so it almost works to its benefit.

O: this was before Wesley Snipes

Dec 31, 2015
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at The Well, Brooklyn, NY
Served in a flute

Shimmery, near pitch black appearance. Medium bodied for the style. The beer was capped by a super tight and creamy, inch tall crown that fell to a lasting cap. Large patches of sticky lacing coated the glass.

Fantastic aroma. Super chocolatey. Milk chocolate notes dominated. Loads of chocolate syrup. Fairly sweet. Somewhat fudge-like. Powdered cocoa also came to mind. Dark fruits were noticeable. Strong plum and raisin notes. There was a subtle dry, powdery yeastiness. Coffee was detectible. Hint of espresso.

The flavor profile was a bit underwhelming initially but it became much better as the beer warmed. Loads of roasted malts. Definitely more roasty than the nose. Dark fruits were noticeable. Plums and charred raisins came through strongest. Hint of coffee. Not much though considering that this beer was brewed with coffee. Loads of char on the finish. There was a lingering ashiness after the swallow. Slightly bitter. Despite the relatively high (10%) ABV, this drank remarkably well. Some sweetness came forth as the beer warmed. Good amount of dark chocolate. Bit of sweet cream and vanilla as well.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thinner than expected for the style but still super creamy and rich. Frothy and slick. Silky smooth and supple.

Although I picked up no barrel character whatsoever in this barrel-aged imperial stout, it was still impressive. With a heftier body and perhaps a bit more time sitting in barrels, this could be even better.

Dec 29, 2015
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mdfb79 from New York

4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From12/21/15 notes. 8 oz. pour in tap at Pony Bar HK in NYC.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with an inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, coffee, toffee, sweet bourbon, cream, vanilla, burnt malts, and light dark fruits. Thick full body and low carbonation.

Overall their best beer to date; I haven't had a ton of their stuff but this one was great. Well worth seeking out.

Dec 21, 2015
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PVMT from New York

4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Finback on 12/15/15 while waiting in line for the BA BQE bottle release. This is a wonderful barrel aged stout; the Bourbon is present but doesn't overwhelm. It simply complements the base stout perfectly. Great color, wonderful aroma and the coffee finish is perfect. Home run, Finback!

Dec 15, 2015
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nathanmiller from New York

4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 ounce tulip, Nov 12 '14.

This is incredible. I cannot honestly find fault in it. Extreme complexity of flavor, hints of grape, bourbon, cocoa, and a perfect finish.

Jun 13, 2015
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JasonHaviland from New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

EBF sample -- not as smooth or integrated as I had hoped. Didn't have time to warm in my hands, but just too boozy and hot for be. Some bottle age would likely help. A good beer, but not something I'm going to seek out.

Mar 28, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours out in a black color.

The aroma smacks of oak, toffee, caramel, medium roast coffee, milk chocolate, fudge, berry forward coffee, loads of vanilla.

The flavor hits again with tons of vanilla, hints of dark fruit, medium roasted coffee, soft bourbon, brown sugar, caramel candy, coconut and oak on the back end. The general experience is a soft balance of coffee on top of an already delicate barrel imperial stout. The mouthfeel is medium plus and offers so much more than its 10% ABV.

A truly impressive stout for its ABV. A world class beer. The beer that KBS wishes it was.

The beer offers hugely chunky chocolate then onto tons of vanilla and bourbon. The beer is surrounded by thick notes of that chocolate and coffee bitterness.

The beer, despite its ABV, offers many of the complexities of BCBS. Quite possibly the best BA stout brewed in NY, and up there even for the limited offerings in the Northeast

Mar 03, 2015
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RRtransvestification from New York

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

A: Black Black Black. A nice espresso colored inch and a half head tops this guy.

S: You definitely get the bourbon coming through nicely on this beer, tons of anticipation.

T: Lots of bourbon up front, boozy in all the right ways. I'm sure this would age very nicely, but I like how its drinking now. The tail end is creamy and there are some nice bitter chocolate notes that shine here. Once the bourbon and chocolate are gone I feel like I just had an espresso shot.

M: Quite thick and extremely chewy. It really almost feels as if there's food in my mouth. A true "motor oil" beer. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Strong alcohol presence.

D: Very, very drinkable. Its like bourbon county but more drinkable for those that would rather have a 10% beer than a 15% beer. I could drink this all day.

Nov 16, 2014
BQE - Barrel Aged from Finback Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 182 ratings