Calf & Half
Great Notion Brewing

Calf & HalfCalf & Half
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From:
Great Notion Brewing
 
Oregon, United States
Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #751
ABV:
12.5%
Score:
94
Ranked #2,398
Avg:
4.26 | pDev: 8.69%
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
52
Status:
Active
Rated:
Oct 21, 2022
Added:
Nov 24, 2021
Wants:
  4
Gots:
  3
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Calf & HalfCalf & Half
Notes: Blend of barrel-aged and non-barrel-aged Imperial Stout with blueberry and coconut.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 3.92 by Mikexw from New York

Oct 21, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Aug 13, 2022
Photo of pulse
Reviewed by pulse from Ohio

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Post Memorial Day treat, then? Poured into a snifter. It's jet black with no real head to speak of, minimal brown that disappears instantly. Even from afar I could smell the berry. Unmistakable. It's easy to taste the darker notes of the berry along with the harshness of the barrel and malt. The bourbon scent is a bit medicine-y. It's full and creamy, minimally carbonated, all usual for a stout this size. This is an interesting one. It's an odd combination of flavors for a big BA stout, perhaps. It's hard to tell if this works or not.

It's very much reminiscent of blueberry muffins or something similar in smell. In taste, the berry is a bit more subtle compared to the molassesy, bitter chocolatey bread. It has a bit of syrupy sweetness. The coconut is harder for me to detect. Dessert sipper for sure.

Edit - after it warms up plenty, I think I get that aftertaste of coconut. It's not offensive.
Jun 01, 2022
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Brown tinted on the edges to match the head, with a lighter black body. In the nose this works beautifully: big blueberry with vanilla cream and coconut meet bourbon, mild oak, and bakers chocolate. The taste however has the booziness create an oxidizing effect on the blueberry, making it more perfumey, coconut is more mild but oak and chocolate with a hint of black strap molasses remain strong, ending is sneaky bitter, almost coffee like. Feel is boozy as the medium bodied starts to break down a bit from all of the barrel and adjuncts assaulting the palate. Just a lot to take in at once without the smooth viscosity. Love where this was going, but needs refinement
May 06, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by shelby415 from Oregon

Apr 18, 2022
 
Rated: 4.45 by A_Drunken_Production from Oregon

Apr 16, 2022
Photo of NiceTaps
Reviewed by NiceTaps from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
16 ounce can in a stout snifter. From the Extreme Beer Box, 2022.

Solid black pour. Tall dark mocha tan cap that disappears in the blink of an eye. A few spots of lacing.

Bourbon booze aroma to start. Blueberry compote and roasted coconut aromas follow. Roasted malt and slightly charred wood and vanilla.

Lots of blueberries mixed with bourbon glaze and coconut flavors. Chocolate-y.

Medium bodied with noticeable alcohol. Sweet and syrupy to a degree. Blueberry lingers.

The best blueberry flavored brew that I’ve ever tasted.
Apr 09, 2022
Photo of Shy_Ronnie
Reviewed by Shy_Ronnie

3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
This brew leaves me utterly confused and conflicted. I am not a fan of strong fruit flavor in a stout, but... part of me likes it. There is something about the layering of extreme blueberry with a solid bourbony base stout that works (maybe). Like I said, this beer has my head spinning.
Mar 30, 2022
 
Rated: 4.22 by GrumpyGas from Illinois

Mar 27, 2022
Photo of Stinkybean
Reviewed by Stinkybean from Arizona

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Extreme Beer selection. Poured beautifully and carried a wonderful fruit fragrance, just like the rush you get in the nose when you're eating chocolate covered raisins/blueberries, and you get exactly that hit on the first sip, with the coconut adding quite nicely to the mix. Easy to sip and enjoy without going too far out of bounds on the sweet side.
Mar 27, 2022
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours espresso colored with a thin beige head that quickly fades; leggy but not much lacing

Smell: Blueberry pancakes topped with coconut and Bourbon-infused cane syrup; chocolate and vanilla tones, as well

Taste: Blueberry and chocolate forward with coconut and vanilla building; the Bourbon-infused cane syrup flavors add sweetness; the finish brings in some bitterness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with low carbonation

Overall: Interesting and certainly extreme, but the finish moves in the wrong direction
Mar 21, 2022
Photo of entheos
Rated by entheos from California

2.52/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2
Very harsh. I’d rather have a cup of coffee with a spritz of gin.
Mar 21, 2022
Photo of HaskettFambam
Reviewed by HaskettFambam

3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3
smells great, the blueberry is stong (blueberry bagel, not muffin... actually this was heavily debated....)
Disneyland blueberry syrup
weird perfumy aftertaste, some like it, some didn't
kid hair detangler
the most interesting experience, the taste changes in your mouth
Mar 19, 2022
 
Rated: 4.65 by Jamesashass from Montana

Mar 19, 2022
 
Rated: 4.61 by Ben1313 from New Hampshire

Mar 13, 2022
 
Rated: 4.41 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island

Mar 11, 2022
Photo of dbrauneis
Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
A: Pours an opaque yet still clear thick viscous jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint dark chestnut brown + dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall creamy sudsy foamy dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of slightly sweet blueberries (like those you generally find in pancakes or muffins) over the top of slightly stronger than moderate aromas of roasted + toasted + caramel + chocolate + biscuit malts with moderate amounts of lactose + maple syrup-like sweetness. Moderate aromas of coconut + toasted oak + bourbon + vanilla. Overall there is a blueberry pancakes like smell when I first opened the can and poured this one.

T: Upfront there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of roasted + toasted + caramel + chocolate + biscuit malts with moderate amounts of lactose + maple syrup-like sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of coconut + toasted oak + bourbon + vanilla. Finally there are moderate to strong flavors of slightly sweet blueberries (like those you generally find in pancakes or muffins). There are light to moderate amounts of roasty bitterness which linger along with light to moderate flavors of blueberry coconut pancakes.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy with a light amount of dryness in the finish. Hints of booziness in the finish as well.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol considering the strength of this beer and a pleasantly smooth almost creamy mouthfeel. This beer is more of a dessert sipper for me but I could easily see it being a great brunch beer. Really enjoyable flavors and aromas from the blueberry + coconut + barrel-aging + base malt profile. Successfully works together to evoke blueberry coconut pancakes.
Mar 10, 2022
 
Rated: 4.22 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Mar 06, 2022
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Canned 12/21. “MOOOOOOO” stamped on the side of the can

EBB night 3, beer 3! First things first, I'm drinking one of these while my buddy @Pru has one as well, a man who famously hates both blueberry and coconut, and only recently started warming up to Stouts. It should be interesting to compare my tasting notes to his for this one, given that I love both of the fruits utilized here. I'm not sure how they'll mingle in a Stout, but I'm sure as hell excited to find out

Pours nearly pitch black with 2 fingers of of dark tan head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing for the style

Oh man, the blueberry is strong in the nose here, almost syrupy. I’m picking up on aromas of blueberry pancakes, maple syrup, toasted coconut, boozy whiskey, milk chocolate, and light acidic coffee

This is boozy and hot in taste, but I kinda fuck with it. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting toasted coconut, toasted oak, blueberry syrup, dark chocolate, and spicy whiskey. The swallow brings notes of blueberry syrup, milk chocolate, sweet coconut, toast, and boozy whiskey

A medium full body pairs with gentle gentle carbonation, resulting in a boozy and hot beer. Finishes mostly dry and sweet

Yeah this is a strange one, but I find myself enjoying it. Definitely a sipper, I think I’ve been drinking this one for about an hour now
Mar 05, 2022
Photo of HardRoc
Rated by HardRoc from Georgia

3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
A bit too heavy for my taste but the hint of fruit taste is a nice touch
Mar 05, 2022
Photo of BFCarr
Reviewed by BFCarr from New Jersey

3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours and looks like an imperial stout. Aroma is coconut, roasted malts, and a touch of blueberry. Taste is virtually all coconut and blueberry, almost no detectable stout notes. Feel is all wrong, bitterness and coconut. You get the barrel aging in there, but the blueberry and coconut just dominate. Overall, it's an interesting experiment, but there's no way I'm drinking 16oz of this stuff.
Mar 05, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Feb 28, 2022
 
Rated: 4.41 by Krodent

Feb 27, 2022
Photo of Bluecrow
Reviewed by Bluecrow from New York

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
The opaque, jet-colored can pour was viscous and held a thin, tan foam ring.
The aroma was blueberry pastry and maple syrup.
The flavor was full-on blueberry muffin with maple. The coconut aspect was slight.
The mouthfeel was slick and thick.
It took about two hours to finish this one, but I really enjoyed it. -definitely extreme and worthy of a spot in the extreme-beers lineup.
Feb 27, 2022
Photo of Mr3dPHD
Reviewed by Mr3dPHD from Florida

4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Wow, what a great beer! I drank this with fresh waffles and bacon, fantastic pairing. Thanks to the folks in the Beer Advocate Discord community for suggesting this as a breakfast beer!

Beautiful dark walnut brown head with an incredibly complex aroma. Blueberry dominates with notes of maple syrup, oak, and coconut. Very sweet on the nose. I poured hard and got a nice thick head, but not too much retention and surprisingly no lacing.

Toasted malty flavor which actually has little blueberry. Coconut is much more prominent here with a very slight astringent finish. This beer smells like a pastry stout but in reality, it isn't very sweet at all. Pretty heavy body, very syrupy.

The aroma and the flavor play so well together that you'd swear it tastes like blueberry but when you close up your nose the blueberry is almost non-existent. Such a great example of how head and aroma play a crucial role in the overall experience. This would be a completely different beer of drank from the can.

Overall, I'm extremely happy! Half Calf is an experience and I can't emphasize enough how great of an idea it is to drink this with waffles or pancakes in the morning. So awesome!
Feb 27, 2022
Photo of poisoneddwarf
Reviewed by poisoneddwarf from Idaho

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
16 oz from the BA Extreme Beer Box. Smells like blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, heavy on the blueberries. Pours oily black with a half finger beige foam that falls into a ring quickly. Taste is fairly sweet and slightly tart with a moderately bitter edge; flavors of blueberry, coconut. Lovely velvety mouthfeel. Wow, very delicious. This is how pastry stouts are done.
Feb 27, 2022
Photo of NickSMpls
Reviewed by NickSMpls from Washington

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
One of the Extreme Beer box. Pitch black and viscous pour, no head to speak of. Nose is BLUEBERRY and nkt much else. Taste is another matter, a sip gets you a fruity overlay on a solid, robust stout. The malt, barrel aging and a subtle but very solid hop bitterness. This is a beer you could nurse for hours in front of a fire and reading a good book. A solid 12.5% ABV provides warmth, but is mellow and well-behaved.
Feb 27, 2022
Photo of Knapp85
Reviewed by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured a dark black color with a nice mocha colored head on top. The smell of blueberry & coconut smack you in the face almost immediately. The taste of the beer is sweet but you get a good balance of flavors across the board. The feel is smooth, rich and oily. Overall I really enjoyed this one, possibly my favorite from the EBF 22 box.
Feb 26, 2022
 
Rated: 4.45 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Feb 26, 2022
Photo of ChipChaight
Reviewed by ChipChaight from New York

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Can from the Extreme Beer Box. Pours black with a finger of dark tan head, decent lacing, smell is chewy bourbon taffy, woody bourbon, liquid fudge chocolate, blueberry compote, blueberry yogurt, blueberry muffin, and marble cake, macaroons, taste follows the nose with woody, floral, and fruity bourbon, vanilla, bourbon soaked blueberries, blueberry jam, chocolate wxhocered macaroons, flourless chocolate cake, roasted dark malts, burnt brown sugar/molasses, feel is thick and velvety. As described, binkers on the nose and delivers bourbon, blueberries, coconut, chocolate. Chams.
Feb 26, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois

Feb 26, 2022
Photo of phthisis37
Rated by phthisis37 from Florida

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I think this is perfectly done. Smells like a blueberry muffin and tastes like a blueberry muffin with some coconut flakes on top.
Feb 25, 2022
 
Rated: 4.15 by NextJen from Massachusetts

Feb 23, 2022
Photo of Bennettpd
Reviewed by Bennettpd

4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Extreme Beer Box 2022. Great notion always coming through with impressive offerings. Feel and smell are off the charts, feels much bigger than it is. Blueberry heavy milk stout
Feb 22, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by Edbene1 from Massachusetts

Feb 22, 2022
 
Rated: 3.88 by psweet70 from New Hampshire

Feb 22, 2022
Photo of Isay_Isay
Rated by Isay_Isay from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Can from Extreme Beer Box 2022. Heavy whiff of blueberry on pour. Great example of a milk stout
Feb 22, 2022
Photo of draymondjr
Reviewed by draymondjr

3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3
Boo Berry over Count Chocula, wins by KO. Really solid blend of base beers that, in my humble opinion, was ruined by what seemed artificial. I've got a black eye from a perfume punch of blueberry on opening the can, and the heavy, syrupy, gooey taste was like eating an entire box of that cheap sugar cereal with a side of coconut lotion. Yet there was a really nice barrel-aged chocolate stout underneath all of that nonsense. This one just wasn't for me.
Feb 22, 2022
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Rated by anim8d from Idaho

4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Extreme Beerfest beer. Holy cow, or calf, this is extreme! Huge blueberry, thick and rich. Glad I had someone to split it with, as it was so rich.
Feb 21, 2022
Photo of Jrc3isme
Reviewed by Jrc3isme

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
My favorite beer so far! It's a 20+ hour drive for me to Portland, but this beer has me considering making a road trip. The Blueberry aroma makes the beer smell like a fresh baked muffin
Feb 21, 2022
Calf & Half from Great Notion Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 95 ratings