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23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
91 Ratings
23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 02-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
91
pDev:
9.83%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
27
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle donated by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is copper hued with a thin, light tan head. Upon tilting the snifter, a nice sheet of lacing coats the sides of the glass.

The aroma offers oak, vanilla, bourbon. Smells strong and bold. nicely done.

A bit sweet, though certainly not lacking in flavor. Loads of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. A bit of heat in the finish. A nice beer to sip and savor. Best in small quantities, or enjoyed over a prolonged period of time. Recommended.

 484 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a thin khaki colored head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and dark fruits. Plenty of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar to go along with it. Perhaps a hint of molasses along with some light oxidation. The beer tastes great. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and bourbon are the primary flavors with vanilla, oak, and dark fruits such as plums and raisins playing a role as well. The only knock I have on this beer is the body, which is quite thin.

 464 characters

Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a medium bodied, somewhat cloudy dull amber in color with a one finger off white head. The nose is nice and bourbon forward, without being boozy. There is initially red fruits up front with a moderate amount of oak, vanilla, and caramel. I really like the nose. The flavors too are bourbon forward. The barrel shows itself off, showcasing plenty of vanilla, toffee, oak and bourbon. I dig it. It drinks like a lighter bodied barrel aged barley wine. The lighter body increases drinkability and appeal in my opinion. I could see how that would also turn some people off. Overall this is a really nice beer. It's enough to satisfy the barley wine fanatics that's for sure.

 686 characters

Photo of drewskie1123
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of claaark13
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin. Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip. I really need to start using one of my other glasses for tasting. Nah.

A - Comes out as a dark orange with a touch of brown/red. Bubbly white head turns into lacing. Looks a little light for the style, but otherwise nice.

S - Lighter malts, candied fruit, oak presence.

T - Caramel and barrel take over almost immediately. Some candied fruits, malts, and some woodiness. Finishes a tad dry with noticeable heat, but nothing unpleasant. I'm not sure about the base on this one, but the barrel really takes hold of the beer. Favorable barrel notes are present from start to finish. Remarkable that it isn't hotter. There is almost a creaminess to it.

M - Medium body with some prickly carbonation.

O - Really a good beer. Not sure if aging will improve this beyond toning the heat down a bit and possibly merging the barrel more with the malts.

 913 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: A boozy blend of caramel, oak, Bourbon and a hint of vanilla

Taste: Caramel, up front, with the oaky Bourbon elements developing by mid-palate; the boozy Bourbon flavors dominate the finish, with the vanilla lingering in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet

Overall: Though it lacks some of the complexity I would expect in an Old Ale, this is still a fine beer and very tasty

 551 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to egrace84 from bring this beer to a tasting! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes taken on 5/23/12.

Appearance: brilliant and clear copper orange bodied beer with 1 finger of white head that drops to a ring.

Smell: Big caramel and toffee notes with a splash of bourbon mixed into the beer.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, butterscotch. Oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied beer with low carbonation. The beer is slick and sticky. Its a warming and spicy booze thats fairely mellow.

Overall: This beer is what Founders Better Half should have been! A really nice BA Old Ale that also has some overlap in the BA English Barleywine style. I really enjoyed this beer alot!

 708 characters

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Exiled
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thin head that dies quickly. Collar left. Translucent caramel brown/orange color.

Very sweet smelling beneath the barrel notes.

A mix of sweet caramel and bourbon. Noticeable alcohol burn. Toffee! Would put this right at states ABV.

Average to above average carbonation which adds bite.

High abv but very smooth and drinkable.

First of all let me say, great price point. Nicely integrated old ale with the barrel aging. Thanks egrace84.

 450 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is #12 on the "Top Beers - Old Ale" list served in a snifter. Beer is dark yellow / light amber with a mild haze, a little white head, decent retention, no lacing, low to moderate carbonation.

Aroma is strong, boozy, a little overwhelming.

Beer is medium in body, thin on the front with the booze and alcohol, sweet, lacking that classic old ale character of depth. This is a good beer, a little hot, pretty strong but not overwhelmingly good. I don't think I'd have it again.

 512 characters

Photo of beenitty
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of furthurgone
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of scubahood
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 23rd Anniversary Old Ale was aged for 12 months in American oak barrels and is the first Karl Strauss barrel-aged beer to be offered unblended. The company only bottled 413 cases of this beer, encouraging fans to enjoy one now and lay another down several years. Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours burnt amber along with a thin off-white head. The aroma of this beer is an epitome of an old ale – oak, toffee, and dried figs. Taste of light bourbon, oak, and molasses. Thin mouthfeel. I am only sorry that I did not lay this down for another year or two to see if the beer improves.

 596 characters

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Yabev15
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of SalukiAlum
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of funkel81
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of BethelLight
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

23rd Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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