Syndicate No. 1 | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Syndicate No. 1Syndicate No. 1
54 Ratings
Syndicate No. 1Syndicate No. 1

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Vintage Ale:
51% Old Godfather Barleywine aged 26 months
15% Black Hand Volume 1 Imperial Stout aged 13 months
14% Two Minutes to Midnight Imperial Stout aged 12 months
11% Betrayal Imperial Red Ale aged 12 months
5% Double Daddy Imperial IPA aged 12 months
3% Payback Robust Porter aged 18 months

Added by spark3148857 on 12-06-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by NorCalYeti:
Photo of NorCalYeti
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Two40addict
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Seattle_Suds
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Stigs
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Nearly black. Just a bit of transparency. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Caramel. Oak. Bourbon is the most intense aroma.

Taste - Strong bourbon flavor. Caramel. Some dark roasted malts. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Lacking in richness. Boozy.

Overall - Like many other blends, it's nondescript, but flavorful. Bourbon, caramel, and chocolate.

 424 characters

Photo of MontereyBay831
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Mightykingmalard
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of spark3148857
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with a khaki or off white head. Aroma is of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, oak, and a slight chocolate/coffee roasted note. Taste is bourbon up front with a caramel sweetness on the middle of the palate that takes over. Huge dark fruits pair with the caramel notes and give way to more bourbon on the back end of the palate. More sweetness with a lingering astringency/light bitterness carry over. The mouthfeel is in medium to light, not sticky or thick. Very reminiscent of the bourbon characteristics of Backwoods Bastard with more complexity from the the stout, porter, and double IPA contributors to this blend.

 634 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque in the glass with a fine one finger light brown head with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, bourbon, milder influence of dark stone fruit and hops. Flavor is dark toasted malt, bourbon, plums, oak, milk chocolate, mild caramel and a slight tartness and aged hops in the finish. Medium bodied with good mouth feel. A well made strong ale. At this stage in its life, the stout and porter are the dominant flavors, but the fruit from the barleywine lightens the dark malt. I regret not trying this right away as the hops have faded to a dull bitterness with little herbal quality and I'm not getting the intended influence of the IPA and red ale components. Still a flavorful, big and classic American strong ale that has held up to aging very well. I liked this a lot and will try the next iteration on release if the new owners revive this series.

 962 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of KevSal
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of PerHops
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- It's darker than I would have imagined being 50% barleywine. Almost black.

S- The first notes I got where chocolate and bourbon. Coffee, smoke, leather, tobacco and a musty almost off putting funk followed. It's definitely an interesting nose that offers new layers with every sniff.

T- Huge candied sugar, dates, chocolate, a little vanilla, coconut flavors. Some booze,a tiny bit of smoke, slightly bitter on the finish.

M- The drinkability on this one is nearly perfect.

O- I like this beer a lot. I think they could improve it slightly, but overall I was really impressed. Great job by a brewery that's been around a while now.

 639 characters

Photo of Donco
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle via trade as an "extra". Thanks to my CA trading friend! This one really surprised me and in a good way (based on previous reviews).
The beer pours with a bit of a lacing and close-to-black appearance.
Poured into my trusty tulip glass, I was greeted by the unmistakable smell of bourbon and chocolate. Totally surprised in that I would be hard-pressed to distinguish this smell from that of BCBS. Really nice!
Then a few sips and the semi-BCBS comparison continued. Very bourbon-forward and just a bit more back-end bitterness than BCBS. But extremely enjoyable.
Another difference is that this brew is somewhat more carbonated and cuts the inherent sweetness of the bourbon.
Bottom line: I really enjoyed (or am in the process of enjoying while I write this) this retired blend from Speakeasy. If you can locate a bottle it is highly recommended.

 873 characters

Photo of mychalg9
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of artoolemomo
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has some retention. The head is medium beige with tan notes while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Some spots of lacing. Lacing turns out to be fairly decent.

Nose- Starts off with vibrant notes of coconut which I always take as a good sign. The glass shows some raisins while the bottle has background notes of chocolate and raisins. Swirling shows a little bit of caramel and a good amount of prunes.

Taste- The coconut doesn't have the presence that it does on the nose but a nice and fairly deep chocolate comes in to replace it. Notes of raisins, cherries, and plums. Noticeable heat with some wood, mostly oak. Caramel that has some toasted qualities. Light coconut. Starts showing vanilla and toffee as well. Maybe a little too much heat. It also seems a little thin on the finish. Some types of wood other than oak. Almost some earwax bitterness. Fairly complex with good balance and integration. Good presence as well. Reminds me a bit of a lesser Bois. Good to really good beer that probably isn't worth 15 dollars. I think they should keep up with this series because I think they will end up making a pretty memorable beer if they do. This is really just a note off from being a really good to great beer. I think aging some of the beers used in the blends in Pinot Noir barrels might accomplish this. Some coffee and roasted notes start to come out with some brown sugar and molasses.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a little too much carbonation. I would prefer it to be thicker and less carbonated.

Drinkability- Some oak, some heat but nothing that is really an obstacle. Probably not worth 15 dollars but I could see it coming into its own.

Overall- Good to really good beer that I think Speakeasy should keep working at. Definitely worth a try unless 15 bucks is a bit much for you. It's not worth it but perhaps, one day, one of the releases will be.

 1,939 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%

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Syndicate No. 1 from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 54 ratings