Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable | Stoudts Brewing Co.

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old AbominableStoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Phatz on 12-18-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of mdfb79
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of MaltRoomAssoc
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown color with some light highlights of orange and red around the edges. Small off white head rises up and settles quickly with only minimal lacing and a bare top is left after only a few minutes. Aroma is rich, caramel, toffee, light hops and hints of oak all coming through fairly easily. Nice balance here but not getting that overwhelming barrel aged aroma I was hoping for. Warming does not do much now either as it just seems to bring in more of the hop and hints of boozy alcohol. Light carbonation masks the medium body and leaves the flavor to work its magic now. Smooth, even malts are stealing the show. Rich caramel and earthy tones round out a lightly hot flavor. Almost a popcorn like flavor coming through for me mid palate, buttery and creamy with a boozy finish that was slightly dry

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Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle courtesy of urwutuh8, vintage unknown - 2007, perhaps? Thanks! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A foggy, smoky ruby, crystalline, not hazed but dark enough that it's practically impenetrable. Direct light - you know, like, with a flashlight - reveals numerous streams of dancing bubbles, lively and frisky, racing up with such an energy that they don't even bother following the path of least resistance up the sides of the glass, instead zipping straight to the surface with the utmost haste. Lacing on the sides of the glass leaves a little to be desired, clinging in only a few places and then only halfheartedly.

What's most remarkable about this beer, however, is the height at which the head levels out to and how long it stays at that height. From an initial peak of about two inches, this one began to gurgle and foam downwards, and I assumed it would fade quickly in to oblivion as so many high-abv%/barrel-aged barleywines do. Not this one. Settling down in to a gorgeous one finger of sandy, raw ecru, the surface of the crown is fine and uniform but not without its imperfections, sort of how a freshly fallen snowfield looks on the coldest of mornings. I presume it's being continuously replenished by four years of pent up carbonation in a thinned out body, but: 1) I can't tell due to the opacity of the body, and 2) who cares? It looks great.

Aroma: Plums, raisins, cherries, all glazed in an abnormally springy brown sugar and macerated with 30-year-whiskey. A very cola-like nose, equal parts prune juice and Dr. Pepper, with hints of vanilla, cocoa, stone fruit, coconut, and cinnamon oil mingling with herbal hops and wet cardboard oxidation.

Taste: Dry and vinous, malty and fruity, spicy and smooth, this is a beer of contrast and dichotomies. This one's all over the place in a good way (that's another way of saying it's complex). First, speaking to style, it's decidedly English - strong fruityness, roasted and toasted malts, and a lightly bitter and herbal hop backing provide a great palette for the whiskey. But more on that in a moment.

The malt base is dry but robust: glassy, dark toffee is halfway between caramel and toast and bookended by both of the aforementioned, along with hints of raw and brown sugar. The fruit sugars are even more fantastic - the interplay between yeast esters, hops, and malt sugars gives suggestions running the gamut and hitting every stop in between. Plum, apricot, cherries, and the slight tartness of figs are some of the most prominent notes, but definite raisins bring up the rear. Sherry-like oxidation weaves in and out of the fruit notes as well as the whiskey and barrel overtones, a masterful if inadvertent side effect of aging this one for what I believe to be about four years now. The barrel adds plenty of vanilla and coconut, though the spice, heat, and burn of the whiskey has certainly faded with age - it's now a well-refined tingle, with the spice mingling well with the aforementioned flavors. It's almost cola-like at points, maybe reminiscent of root beer

Mouthfeel: A little overcarbonated at the beginning and a little undercarbonated near the end for too long, this one spends a little too small a block of time in that nice sweet spot. The body itself is generally not that sticky, fairly well attenuated, with a tad hint of slick oilyness contributed by the hop addition, perhaps. I imagine it's also thinned out slightly by the barrel contribution.

Drinkability: An interesting bag. My one biggest complaint was that - after 4 years - despite what this one had gained in mellow smoothness and maturity, it had lost a lot of its bang, its flavor, its panache. It's at a good point now, though I'm not sure it's at a great one, and I can't tell in which direction it ought to improve (i.e., if it's past its prime or coming in to it). I'm inclined to say past its prime, due to the relative lack of intensity contributed by the whiskey and the slight oxidation and high attenuation of the base beer. As it stands, it's a 9% abv English barleywine - with no hint of heat, and only slight spiciness and hints of estery alcohol notes suggesting its true alcohol content - that's not all about the whiskey, though it may have at one time been. If you got 'em, I'd say drink 'em now - it's likely not dropping downhill quickly (as it's still quite good), but it may get there eventually.

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Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a pretty textbook english barley wine. Pour of a murky amber brown brew with a small head. A finger of off caramel head. Nose of bit-o-honey, pollen, malt, and brown sugar. The palate is nice and malty sweet and a nice lemon zest tart. A nice blend that doesn't get separated alcohol/malt liquor.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A snifter filled (several times over) from a 750ml bottle; I pulled this from the dusty clutches of the cellar, a bottle saved for 3+ years from one of my earliest trades. Needed a strong SEPA brew to soften the shocking blow that comes with learning that one of my best friends from high school died today (he was killed by a car while riding his bike in his adopted hometown of Philly ~ a toast to Russ).

The goofy 'Abominable' cartoon made me smile on an otherwise somber day...

A: Lovely and leathery, an alluring chestnut/garnet, barely translucent. No signs of yeasty bits nor other fatigue from the years in captivity. Starts with about a finger of fizzy but firm khaki cream. A slow droop, then a small break in the topping, then a crescent ring. Slick speckles of lace.

S: Sweet and nutty, toffee and candied fruit - er, fruitcake. A 'buttered rum' quality, but little notable woody/oaky aroma.

T: The requisite toffee, mellowed fruit form a dreamy, dessert-worthy concoction. A little butterscotch (or creme brulee?). Fruity apple pie, something a little brandy-like. Oak, though tame, still holds a fair vanilla bean and charred woodiness. Very well balanced.

M: Velvet, pure velvet...sweetly coating. Modest carbonation and trace amounts of lip-smacking stickiness. Medium thickness. Easy on the tongue, as they say...

D: Love the beer, hate the occasion for opening it. Definitely worth saving, as it's damn delicious and oh so drinkable. Wish I had another; cherish it while you can. That goes for beer and life, both.

Thanks to zrrbrrt/jyoungsbcp, aka Josh for sending way back when...

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dirty brown with a little reddish tint. Big head with left a little bit of lacing behind.

S - Caramel, toffee, sweetness. The barrel aging is evident in some vanilla notes.

T - Woody barrel influence comes through strongly with strong vanilla and bourbon taste comes through and then is mixed nicely with the caramel and sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Feels a little sugary.

D - Fairly drinkable, although I find barleywines get hard to do fast.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a mini-nonic; shared at a tasting.

A: Cloudy brown body with a moderate off-white head that sticks around for a while, eventually forming a nigh-solid cap.

S: Malty and spicy, with caramel, ginger, and raisins. Simple and delectable.

T: Starts out smooth and sweet, gets slightly hoppy, then finishes with smooth spice. Awesome.

M: Medium-full with ample carbonation.

D: Amazingly easy to drink for a barleywine.

Notes: Great beer, but where's the barrel? I didn't get any oak or whiskey at all, try as I might. This fact was only highlighted by drinking a Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine in the same tasting - both great beers, but you couldn't get farther apart in terms of bourbon influence. Big thanks to Knifestyles for bringing this one.


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Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone - don't remember who - at DLD. Thanks to whoever it was.

Pours a clear medium reddish-brown color with a small off-white head.

Aroma is very nice: sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, oak, whiskey, and slight fruity notes.

Flavor is also great. Way better than the non-bal aged version, but then again, what isn't? Barrel aging is the best invention since...I don't know...the Sun or something. Sweet caramel malts and toffee - but not too sweet - with brown sugar, candied dates, coconut, oak, whiskey, and vanilla. Very complex. Just the right amount of barrel.

Medium-full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

A great barrel-aged barleywine overall. I am impressed, Stoudt's.

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Photo of rallison
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Highly carbonated with a 3" tan head on 1" of reddish brown beer.

Nose is full of vanilla and whiskey notes. So far, nice.

Sweet vanilla, whiskey and dried fruits in the taste. Dates and raisins. Some brown sugar. Pleasant alcohol heat at the end.

Super carbonated mouthfeel. Swirl this a few times and then a few more times so that you can actually appreciate the flavors present.

Nicely done whiskey barrel aged beer. Recommended.

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Photo of mikey711
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a monsterous head that has lots of breaks between bottles leaving big gaps. The beer itself is a murky looking brown, but there is some transparency when held in the light. Also one the head settles there is only a mild amount of lacing left behind

S: At first all i could smell was caramel and toffee without a hint of barrel, but as it warmed a bit more there were nice vanilla notes and a touch of smokiness as well as a nice whiskey boozy aroma. A touch of breadiness is also present

T: heavy vanilla note to start that is quite agressive and overpowers but of the caramel and toasted flavors. A very nice whiskey flavor is present as well. A bit more earthy wood presence would have been nice.

M: It has a very nice and smooth feel with no heat present aside from the whiskey. It could be a bit creamier but overall is solid

D: Splitting this bottle is the way to go, but a few glasses would be ok

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Photo of rhinos00
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this Christmas in July beer! 750mL split amongst four people. Poured into snifters.

A- Pours copper, amber color. Produced a fingers width of off-white, cream colored head. Dissipated pretty quickly. Mild, soap-like lacing.

S- Very, very nice. Combination of various complexities. Big, sweet malt character with hints of dark fruit in the background. A bit of vanilla and toffee come in the mix as well. The whiskey and toffee almost give off a nutty wood like aroma.

T- The taste suffered tremendously from the extremely high carbonation. From what I was able to pick out, the ingredients in the nose were definitely here, just somewhat muted from the carbonation. After 15 minutes of swirling my glass was I finally able to get a glimpse of the full potential of this beer. Had sweet malt background, with a soft vanilla, wood flavor. A touch of whiskey in there as well with some caramel.

M- As stated above, WAY too much carbonation.

D- For such a big beer, the whiskey barrel aspects had mellowed very nicely and gave off nice vanilla flavors. However, the overcarbonation really kept this beer from giving off its full flavor.

Overall, this was a good BA barleywine, but it did have the potential to be great. Sadly, I will most likely never get to find this out.

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Photo of jampics2
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for the bottle. Opened at the perfect time on a perfect night and split with great friends.

Pours a dark copper color with nice head.

Smells of bourbon, hops, and a wonderful toasted malt.

Taste follows but is sublime. Carmel, bourbon, molasses, hops, everything dancing wonderfully together. A bit hot, but not young - this has got to be getting near its peak flavor. Everything melts together.

Mouthfeel was good but a little too carbed for my liking. But enjoyable and good body.

My buddy (who has caught the beer bug after a solid few years of my urging) said "this is it. The single most complex and challenging beer you've ever served me". Certainly something for brave, this is highly recommended. Great stuff!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received from DIM quite a long while ago.. I shared this one on Saturday at the Pennsylvania vs. Ohio beer tasting.. Thanks a Ton Dan... Probably my most favorite trader ever.. no shit.

Poured into a big balloon wine glass.. good head and lace.. the brew is a crystal clear amber... pretty..

The nose is nice and very balanced.. caramel with toasty malts.. once it warms up a tad, there is a bunch more wood and vanilla blossom

More "English" than American for sure.. fruity esters really are present with some toffee and perhaps too much lite caramel.. a really firm pale malt essence is present from the beginning to the end... the wood is much more "American".. slightly tannic and just enough vanilla.. The body seems a tad light.. maybe the carbonation is a touch high.. but the flavors and the aromas are very very pleasing... Sam seemed to think that I was being to hard on this one.. ehhh.. maybe.. This is actually a 750 that I could probably finish over a couple of hours and never really feel sorry for not sharing.. it takes some time to really open up.

Thanks Dan for the incredible trades... I truly appreciate the sentiment... a good man and a better BA.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tpd975 for bringing another in a long long line of amazing brews to the weekly tasting. Pours clear copper with thin tan head. The aroma has pulses of sweet dark fruity esters moving into vanilla, oak and booze. The taste is smooth and near silky with malt and dark fruity ester sweetness followed by wood, vanilla and booze. This is just so smooth and tasty and carries a fairly full wood sensation from front to back. It seems to achieve a nice balance between barrel and barleywine notes. Upon further inspection it does lean some toward barrel rather than beer.

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Photo of Deuane
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, dark copper color with a medium off white head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Rich biscuit malts with a touch of vanilla and oak. Upon warming spicy/herbal hop notes poke through

T-Rich, chewy biscuit malt and prominent vanilla notes. With warming strong bourbon notes start to dominate with more alcohol and a dry oak finish.

M-Medium bodied, VERY smooth...a real "sippin" beer! Nice lingering flavours and a dry finish.

D-Well done BBA BW...not too much againg, not too little. The bourbon augments and compliments this, good to start with, barleywine. The right way to take a good beer and make it even better, well done Stoudt's!

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Photo of mynie
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright! A fresh EBW. See what all you limeys have been talking about...

Slow pour, but it's still a little wildly fizzy. Nice head, deep amber that's very opaque.

Smells of smooth aging in a whiskey barrel. Like "whiskey aging," not like whiskey. This is kinda how rotisserie became a flavor back in the 90s, instead of just a way of cooking chicken. This has the woody smoothness of whiskey aging but not the burn of whiskey. And there's not all that much else there, actually. (EDIT: As it warms it gets gorgeous)

Tastes great, though, much more complicated than the aroma. The firmness of an EBW is found in its strong malt profile, which is woody (even without barrel aging) without being thick or syrupy. This is balanced--not raped--by a firm blend of noble hops. Here, thankfully, the hops are a wee bit more aggressive than your average English barley, but not enough to ruin the spirit of the style. And when you smooth everything out with whiskey burn it's just heavenly.

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Photo of joepais
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
This bottle is from the second release.
I spilt the bottle with a few fiends we poured into Portsmouth tulips and it produced a large tan head on top of a reddish brown body.

The aromas of the whiskey barrel are strong on this brew I also picked up some light hops as well. It really became more pronounced as it warmed.

The flavor of the barrel was also the fist to hit you I'm glad I like whiskey. The bitter from the hops and heat from the alcohol come into play as well. This had great carbonation, if you swirled the glass the head would revive all over again. The feel of the brew in your mouth was medium as well

I liked this barleywine but I was glad I spit it. One glass is enough at a sitting. The general conscientious was that this brew is still young and need's some age. I would have to agree. I am glad I have another to due just that. Thanks Dim, I'm sitting on the next bottle for a few years

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Photo of rayjay
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original release, no idea who sent me this beer it was so long ago! Possibly akorsak or zrrbrrt?

Deep carmel colored beer, almost dubbel looking without being so brown. Throws an attractive looking cask-like foam.

Oxidized at this old age. Once you accept and/or learn to overlook the oxidation a wonderful beer appears. Smells and flavors of old school british brewing. None of the heavy, angry alcohol and viscosity of many big American barleywines, this is a big, round, Marris-Otter based ale that remains tamed but expresses it's wild side. Dried fruit esters, but they are balanced. Lots of hops, but the bitterness is gentle and the aroma is mild. Dusty and woody like an old book, and a slight tart note in teh finish as the beer warms. You even learn to enjoy the oxidation in this case.

Stoudts Double IPA is more of a barleywine than this in terms of aggressiveness and alcohol presence, and this beer is more like a big brother to the (retired and sorely missed) Y2K IPA.

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Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks goes out to Dim for sending over this rare treat.

A: Pours an orangish hue with a full one finger head. Good retention and lots of floaties in this one. Nice spotty lace all the way down the glass.

S: Nice sweet caramel malt up front. Darkened brown sugar, toffee, and resinous pine with a touch of barrel goodness.

T: Barel comes through nicely in flavor. Nice sweetness from the malt. Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar duel equally. Nice fresh oakiness with a touch of vanilla and a boozy burn.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rich, with great carbonation.

D: Damn fine Barleywine!

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good grief, been sitting on this BW for years - sent by zrbrrt (wow, he hasn't been on BA for a year now 
In the Get Bombed BA club. MANY THANKS JOSH!

Crisp and clean mahogany brown from the cork and caged 750ml, thin ivory head jumps up but dies quickly. The high alcohol is holding down any lacing.

Woody and resinous barleywine (perfect English style), the orange liquore taste has really mellowed over the years. The barrel aged sherry hints sneak in and add to a marvelous brew. No way this is a 9% brew, way to light tasting.

A great day for this great brew, this sipping brew went down way too easy and quick.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the opportunity, DIM.

Pours with a head that explodes out of the glass. It starts bubbling up and I think "hell, it's a barleywine, not much will come of it..." seconds later I have a pool of tan foam on my counter and a whiff of whiskey in my nose. The rocky head falls slowly into a thick cap, leaving sticky lace. Color is a clear deep garnet red.

A deep inhalation reveals a spicy wood character. Other players are sweet fruits and a boozy alcohol. Fairly simple in the malt section, but boosted by the barrel aging.

Taste has the whiskey woodiness center stage while the malt character is waiting in the wings. There's a brief flash of citrus American hops late in the sip, but that's quickly shushed by the spicy alcoholic finish.

Seems light for a barleywine, though much of that could be contributed by the carbonation and alcohol dryness.

For me, the balance between whiskey and barleywine is skewed too much to the former. Though I haven't aged any beers, seems like it would mellow that and bring back to center.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice deep brownish red color. POured with a massive 3 fingers of white head. Incredible lacing.

S: Nice spicy malt nose up front. A nice smell from the whiskey barrel.

T: The barrel really complemented this beer well. Nice big hop blasts tempered by the malt and barrel.

M: Really nice and smooth. Almost had a cask mouthfeel to it.

D: Really incredible beer. Nice and smooth. Not in love with the $20 price but we were on vacation and at Capone's so...

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Photo of drseamus
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to avryle for sharing this.

A: Very heady and super foamy. It took a while to pour because the glasses started as all head. Dark amber reddish body with a off white, almost slightly red head.

S: Sticky malt and piney hops.

T: Really smooth. Nice smooth malt and whiskey that complement each other very nicely. Neither dominates. Perfect balance.

M: Very smooth. Silky in spite of the maltiness.

D: Great oak aged quality.

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Stoudt's Barrel Aged Old Abominable from Stoudts Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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