Barrel Works Series: Monstrosus
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Barrel Works Series: MonstrosusBarrel Works Series: Monstrosus
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
14.7%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.34 | pDev: 5.76%
Reviews:
25
Ratings:
64
From:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  6
Gots
  17
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Barrel Works Series: MonstrosusBarrel Works Series: Monstrosus
Notes:
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 64 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Donco:
Photo of Donco
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It is pitch black with just a thin film of a head.
Nice aroma. A lot of booze, some sweet chocolate, and some vanilla.
Bourbon taste up front, followed by sweet chocolate and vanilla.
Very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is complimentary and not dominating.
A great beer! For you bourbon barrel aged RIS aficionados, this is the beer for you

 347 characters

Photo of pubscout
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ten-Fidy, KBS, and Founders— move over and make some room on your pedestals for Monstrosus. Black , viscous and oily, though just a hair less so than Ten Fidy. The nose is redolent of bourbon, coffee, chocolate and vanilla cream, and those same flavors appear with great vigor on the palate. Despite its 14.7% ABV, this doesn’t taste or smell boozy at all, and it’s smooth as silk going down. Perfect for those bitter cold winter nights, Monstrosus will complement most any dessert, but especially those with chocolate and raspberry in them. But it went marvelously with my wife’s homemade chicken soup and garlic bread, too. Pours like engine oil, but tastes likes a Bit of Heaven, and it’s guaranteed to get your motor running. No wonder it’s “terrifying the townspeople.” Big props to STBC for producing what should be an instant classic.

 859 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, very black. Dark walnut highlights at the rim with a thin, quick, fine dark chestnut head. Rings of lace top legs on the walls of a Dogfish Head Snifter.

The aroma is initially strong bourbon with dark chocolate. This is followed by light chili and cinnamon notes, all quite rich. Faint, yet undeniable smokiness comes out of a charred malt.

The flavor opens with bourbon and vanilla atop a mild bitterness. The middle presents bittersweet chocolate, figs, plum pudding, and a chocolate char. Alcohol returns to draw out and lengthen the finish with late sweetness. Warmth allows this beer to mellow very well.

The palate is creamy and smooth with a velvet texture. The dense body is perforated by fine carbonation. Alcohol is as expected, though with a mild heat. Warmth draws out creaminess.

This is an excellent match for a dim, soft, snowy day. All is quiet and warm inside while a puppy beckons to play.

 925 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of a handful of cases that made its way to Arizona last fall with one landing at the Craft Beer Hop Stop. Picked up a bomber bottled in July 2017 for $19.99.

Nose is roasted malts, vanilla, and some bourbon.

Initial sips were very warming. Roasted malts, vanilla, and bourbon are featured. Hopping is pretty adequate but it does finish a tad bit sweet.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, very satisfying.

Overall a very enjoyable beer. Definitely playing in the league of BCBS and Parabola, just lacking some of the nuances those beers offer. Cheers!

 558 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black pour with a thin toffee colored lacing, and very viscous on the sides of the glass. Nice legs.

S - Very boozy aroma with big dark chocolate, light char, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and syrupy.

T - Heavy oak, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla.

M - Full bodied and thick.

O - Knocks on the door of Bourbon County. Worth checking out.

 346 characters

Photo of rab53
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bluejacket74
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, label says July 2017 but I don't think this was released until October 2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like dark fruit, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon, molasses and vanilla. For the most part I think the taste is similar to the aroma, with dark fruit, roasted malt, molasses, bittersweet and milk chocolate, caramel, woody, bourbon and vanilla flavors. The dark fruit flavors in this are stronger than I thought (not that it's a bad thing). Mouthfeel/body is full, it's chewy and slick with a moderate amount of carbonation. It's a little boozy, but it's still easy enough to drink especially for being 14.7% ABV. I thought this was a good imperial stout, certainly worth picking up if you've never had it before. $19.99 a bomber.

 922 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of buzzedup
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Smaller fizzy dark bubbly head, low retention, good legs, pitch black

Nose loads of chocolate, dark choc and cocoa, fudgey, little nutty, caramel, toasted oak barrel, little vanilla, light bourbon, thicker caramel as it warms

Taste thick fudgey dark chocolate, cocoa, little syrupy fair sweet, mild warming alcohol but fairly smooth, lush chewy, big caramel, little nutty, cocoa dust and candy syrup, creamy oatmeal, little roasty, mild bourbon, little vanilla barrel, toasted oak, barrel is fairly light overall

Mouth is full bod, rich creamy thick lush, mild warming alcohol, decent carb

Overall not bad, base beer is good except little too sweet, nice mouth thickness, wish the barrel was more

 700 characters

Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tigg924
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque, dark black in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is huge bourbon, with oak, char, and vanilla. Heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet and roasty. Wow this is bourbon forward...Well executed, knock your socks off, clean bourbon blast. I prefer the other barrel works, but if you want a good, straightforward bourbon stout, this is your beer.

 356 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Properly cellared 1 year old bottle. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a half finger dark khaki head that dissipates slowly to thick patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, bourbon, plum, dates, a hint of cherry and ethanol. Flavor is dark toasted malt with slight char, plums, dates, raisins, oaky vanilla and lots of bourbon. Finishes hot with notes of caramel, cocoa and more bourbon. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good mouthfeel. A monster of an imperial stout that is closer in profile to a strong ale due to the very nice dark fruit notes. Like a lot of Southern Tier brews, a touch sweet, but well withing the style for a big stout or strong ale.Too huge to be a classic imperial stout, but a damned fine bit strong barrelled stout with good bourbon flavor. Aptly named, but it's a good monster. Very enjoyable.

 929 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Knapp85
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black color with little to no lacing or head retention. The smell of the beer is packed with bourbon and wood aroma. The taste of the beer is sweet with some definite bourbon flavors, Wood and vanilla in the mix. The feel of beer is medium bodied. Overall a very well done beer.

 290 characters

Photo of kmanjohnson
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 7/2017. Pours dense pitch black color with a small fairly dense tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, coffee, smoke, char, licorice, raisin, date, pepper, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Mild increasing booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, coffee, smoke, char, licorice, raisin, date, pepper, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Very mild roast bitterness and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, dark bread, light smoke/char, dark fruit, pepper, leather, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and very full body; with a smooth, creamy, silky, velvety, and rich mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mild slickness, stickiness, chalky roast, and oak tannins. Mildly increasing warmth of 14.7%, minimal barrel booziness. Overall this is a fantastic BBA imperial stout! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Pretty similar to most of the Bruery stouts on flavor profile. Not as deeply roasty or charred on black/roasted malts like some others; but still extremely rich and complex. Outstanding barrel integration and balance; without feeling overly boozy, tannic, or drying. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,434 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Lots of roast, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and oak up front. Some caramel, brown sugar, and molasses in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of roasted malt, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, caramel, and oak. Big and bold right out of the gate. Bourbon definitely hits hard, but is kept under control. Goes into some of the molasses notes that also help to level out the bourbon and alcohol kick. Finishes with lingering bourbon, caramel, and barrel tones

M: Full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Slick and on the drier side

O: Holy hell. You can definitely tell they aged this for a year in those bourbon barrels. Bourbon and barrel influence aplenty and certainly not skimping. The 14.7% is obviously quite present, but makes for a great sipper. Perfect for the weather today (dreary, cold, and rainy with whipping winds reaching 50+ mph)

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Photo of DruC4
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of heddar33
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ummswimmin
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Barrel Works Series: Monstrosus from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 64 ratings