Wooden Hell | Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

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Wooden HellWooden Hell

Brewed by:
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
GABF 2006 Strong Barrel Aged Bronze, Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Barleywine

Added by mcallister on 04-29-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 152
Photo of rudylaw
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't begin to thank Joe1510 enough for cracking this open at that insane tasting... one of two beers I made mental notes of that night.

Pours a brownish-mahogany tone with a tiny rim of head.

There's a lot going on in the nose... coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, caramel, macaroon... sweet goodness abound!

All of the same in the taste. It's like a boozy butterscotch sundae with a hint of spiciness on the back end. Rum raisin, some maple... Jesus Christ, it's got everything I like in it.

Low carbonation but this is as smooth a barleywine as I've ever had. There's just the slightest hint of booze here. It's mellowed out very well. Just ungodly.

I love Perfect Storm... but this beer is everything PS wants to be. It's a damn crime this will never be made again. Perfect to the last drop!

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Photo of younger35
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Joe1510 for pulling out the big gun to start our pre Dark Lord Day '10 tasting. I'm not one to review beers at tastings but I've had this beer a handful of times but never was able to jog down accurate notes. Drank from a Goose Island taster.

Appearance- Pours a murky reddish brown with a delightfully perfect one finger creamy tan head. A decently small cap and collar remain along with enough spotty lacing on my girly ass cup to keep me happy.
Smell- Full of rich butterscotch and tons of caramelized sugars. The entire nose is filled with yeasty brown sugar and some dark booze soaked fruity hops. Wooden heaven is more like it as the wood is full of vanilla and toasted coconut. The bourbon is noticeable but nothing over the top. It seems that the oak has gotten more potent over the 1+ years since the release.
Taste- So rich and caremelly as every sip is filled with butterscotch, molasses and burnt sugars of every kind. A slight sweetness that isn't anywhere near cloying as a raisin and plum dark fruit character shows. The wood is bold and delicious as it's full of vanillin and lightly tannic amongst all the other big bold flavors. The booze is hidden very well as the finish is dripping in English Barleywine goodness.
Mouthfeel- On the heavier side of the spectrum with super light carbonation that aids in the silky smooth creaminess.
Drinkability- Hands down the best beer I've ever had and I'm not really a huge Barleywine fan. I enjoy them, and appreciate them but I can think of 10 styles off the top of my head that I'd much rather drink. Everything just comes together so well to make for an epic drinking experience in this one though. I've loved this beer since the first time I tried it at the Chicago Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers '08 when (having never heard of it before) it was easily my own personal best in show. It's an absolute shame this will never be made again (or anytime soon). Thanks for sharing Joe!

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Photo of Lothore
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a ruddy brown hue with a thin, light brown head that sticks around for quite a while.

S- Smell is intoxicating. Lots of dark fruit, raisin, oak, residual sweetness, caramel, brown sugar.

T- Taste is very oaky, dark fruits as in the nose rounded out by a huge brown sugar presence and a small hop bite. Hints of prickly well masked alcohol push through a little and round it out perfectly. Absolutely phenomenal.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This is VERY similar to another favorite of mine Central Waters BBBW. The deep fruit, oak and bourbon notes all come together so well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can you believe I got a chance to try this one? I seriously was amazed to see it sitting in my fridge last night, so much so that I just had to grab it and open it up. Selfish I know to indulge by myself but there are a few out there that I really just need to. Served at around 55 degrees and poured into a new CCB glass( thanks Greg), this one was consumed on 10/15/2009.
The pour was perfect, well everything about this one was perfect but we will get to the rest of that later. Rich dark brown in color with a neat little head of light tan that reached a height of around it that really just sat there, looking at me in the glass for what seemed like forever, never really fading much at all. Just sublime and evil looking, but that was before I tried. Now I have had a good many different Barley wines and Barrel Aged offerings in my day but this just takes the cake as far as those two categories. Superb. Rich notes of butterscotch and vanilla just oozing off of this, filling the room with their essence. Warming brings out just that much more, insane the amount of aroma here. Notes of wood, candied sugar and touches of caramel and toffee, unreal. It was like it was made for this moment, just for me. Each sip bringing more and more subtle flavors, things I did not think could even be brought to the table are dominating my palate. Then it hit that sweet spot at around room temperature, that rich toffee, butterscotch caramel, fusion of a flavor that I seek out in all but the greatest of barrel offerings, here it is in all its glory, and I melt into the glass. Long finish of sweet caramel and brown sugar flavors dripping from every sip, warm vanilla and woody notes swirling around, dancing on the tongue, every ounce is savored, relished, and appreciated.
Sipping for the next two hours becomes a lesson in pure relaxation and self gratification. I have become comfortably numb.

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Photo of raverjames
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to drinking this bad boy. This is one of those beers you pull out of the cellar once in a while, then get scared and stash it back in a dark place. Well, I finally got brave and decided it was time to taste this rare brew. I opened it to share at the 12th Richmond Ratebeer Gathering.
A: Dark brown with a light fluffy head. Not much haze.
S: Whoa bourbon! I get tobacco, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and whiskey.
T: Simply amazing. There is plenty of caramel from the malt, but that is blended perfectly with the vanilla from the bourbon barrels. The closest comparison I could make is Firestone Walker 12, but that is not quite as balanced.
M: Smooth and sweet. No boozy presence. I love this beer and wish I could drink the whole bottle by myself. I had to share though. :)
D: Easy to drink, despite being rich and complex. I want more, but I doubt I will every get any.

This is my favorite barleywine and I am glad I got the chance to taste it. Special thanks to TATTORSO for generously sending this bottle to me when he probably had only 2 bottles to start with.

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Photo of beertooth
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I brought a bottle to a little tasting today. It was poured into various tasting glasses.

This beer pours a wonderful ruddy amber. There's a finger of darkish off white head that fades to a thin collar.

The nose is excellent. Tons of burnt sugars, dates, dried stone fruit, mild oxidization, mellow bourbon, vanilla, musty oak and coconut. It's quite fruity.

The taste follows the nose. Complex sugars, oak, bourbon, raisins, caramel, vanilla, some more oxidization. It's extremely well balanced and the alcohol is really well hidden.

The mouthfeel is rich, full, and creamy with a low level of carbonation.

Excellent, excellent beer. I'm really happy I had the will power to cellar this. It's aged gracefully and I'm glad I had some great BA's to share it with.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 03/19/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this one; thanks Matthew, never thought I'd get to try this one! Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat clear medium-brown color with one inch of off white head and very light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some sweet molasses or sugar. Light oxidation evident but doesn't take anything away from the smell. Absolutely amazing smell.

t - Tastes of vanilla, caramel malts, oak, bourbon, tofee, and syrup/molasses to sweeten the taste a little bit. Again, the taste is amazing and perfect for a barleywine.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. The body is super smooth and creamy, and no real hotness from the bourbno at all. Felt like I could have drank a whole bottle by myself, and would want to.

d - I was a little afraid that this one wouldn't live up to the hype, but it really did. I enjoy barleywines quite a bit and love MoaS, and this one was much better in my opinion; it's one of the best beers I've ever had. The smell and taste were such a great combination of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon, and the mouthfeel was perfect. Very glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.92/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review will probably read like a book, but this is one of the few beers I've had that merits such description.

Bottle, summer 2009:
22oz bottle, thanks Bryan! Nose is super malty, with a plethora of raisins and some dark chocolate. Bold, rich flavor really dominated by that malty raisin character. A nice, stoic presence. Creamy and full in the mouth. Approaches a slightly-aged Hardy's Ale in it's sweet malty character. Reminds me the most of Bullfrog Oak Aged Old Toad. Paired with some pineapple, the sweetness is allayed. Bourbon comes through in the finish, and more so as it warms. Nice and really bold, but not as lush and balanced as I had hoped. -- 4.0

Bottle, July 2010:
Pour is medium chestnut, somewhat red around the edges. head settles to a nice beige ring with spotty lacing. Nose is big and pungent. First impression is of heavy malts and bourbon. A nice tobacco, aged leather quality really shines. Of course dark fruits like figs and raisins. Flavor is initially quite sweet, but the sugars are tempered by the oak and bourbon. A bit short and spicy in the finish. Really complex and enjoyable flavor profile. My main knock on this right now is that the body is a tad thin, which keeps the flavors from carrying through as they might. So many things going on -- the heavy malt, bourbon, spicy oak, dark fruits, and tobacco. Impressive English style barleywine here, made so complex through the barrel aging. I think it's a bit better than it was last summer. -- 4.4

Bottle, November 2010:
Pours clear dark red with a small head. Large, sticky malt, base beer really comes through compared to the Brandy and Bourbon Old Stock which were sampled right before this. Light and vibrant yet large and full. Sweet lighter fruits, almost a red apple sweetness. Baked goods and a vinous kiss of plum. So much more nuance than even the best bourbon barrel barley wines I've sampled, some right beside this. Huge body, sweet, endlessly complex. As it opens more a touch of maple syrup and a bit of pine sap come out.

Having tried it next to a bunch of other barrel aged barley wines and old ales made it clear how good this is. It didn't just assume the character of the barrel and become washed out like so many do, even good ones (Old Stock Reserves). It was somewhat in the American style as that pine sap and maple became more distinct. The sweet apple quality was incredible and like nothing I've had in a barley wine before. Some people have compared this to Perfect Storm and it might merit consideration, but having them back to back, this just destroyed it. I'm not trying to "suck off" this beer so much but it really was one of the top 3-4 bottles I've ever had and it seems to keep improving with time.

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Photo of Deuane
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to petesuphi for washing our shriveled, soured up tongues out with this delicious barrel aged malt bomb! Enjoyed at the end of the Mother of all Sour tastings.

A-Deep, dark copper with a thin tan head that reduced to a thin wispy ring and left spotty flecks of lace.

S-Although I could be descriptive with a boatload of commentary I am obliged to quote StormKing47 for the aroma descriptor---"This smells like a smack in the dick!"

T-Massive complexity and then some! Caramelized marshmallow, sweet vanilla, carbonized apple, oak, butterscotch, rich bourbon notes are very prevalent. Underlying tones of dark chocolate, turbinado and a mysterious earthiness.

M-Medium to medium-heavy, somewhat rich, but not overly viscous. Drinks like V.S.O.P. cognac or a finely aged bourbon. Alcohol burn is still present after all these years but is not unwelcome.

D-Succinctly put---Simply Amazing! Without question on of the finest barrel aged brews I have ever had the opportunity to raise to my lips, tickle my palate and warm my tummy. Well done Mr. Van Wyk, well done!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A night of epic proportions...one million thanks to thickerfreakness for sharing this gem of a beer! Split 6 ways, my portion in a Meantime snifter.

Wooden Hell pours an attractive chestnut-amber body with a nice depth to the hazy hue. The manila head vanishes quickly, leaving a thin wisp of foam on top. Rich nutty caramel and toffee sweetness greets the nose, followed by earthy hops and dried fruit notes of fig and prune. A flash of boozy bourbon, but more subtle than most. No real signs of oxidation--I think it's safe to say this beer is holding up well.

The flavor is something to fawn over. Gooey caramel candies coat the palate; beneath that are layers of butterscotch and dusty chocolate crumbles. Booze tastes sharp and still quite green despite Wooden Hell's age. Whisky wood and vanilla linger on the finish, but the heat is nicely restrained. Carbonation is tight, making for a creamy mouthfeel that keeps the thick body in check. Both spritzy and vinous on the finish with a flash of alcohol. No overpowering heat, cloying sweetness, or laboriously thick body. Everything is in perfect balance in this beer. Amazing stuff, worth the hype. Thanks again Chuck!

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Photo of RodneyX
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had to give up half my cellar to land this one, let's hope it's worth it.

It pours a little red amber color with just a tiny bit of head. Smell is sweet, the barrel is great barrel with bourbon that has calmed down over the years. The taste is just a stunning example of a bourbon barley wine. Vanilla from the barrel is there but it is not too much. Good brown sugar. Drinks quite smoothly and I was sad when the bottle was exhausted. Will now start search for second bottle.

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Photo of jimjim123
4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with some tan foam and decent lacing. Awesome aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Flavor is more of the same, with a great sweet caramel/toffee malt background, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some dark fruits. Amazing palate - smooth creamy, and a little syrupy with medium-full body. Overall this is a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hell it’s a Wooden Hell! A huge thank you to Chad for sharing his bottle. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a dark woody brown with a thin dark-tan head that faded into a bubbly collar.
S: Complex notes of raisins, vanilla, warming alcohol and a bit of dark fruit come to my nose.
T: Vanilla, toffee, milk chocolate, barrel spices, earthy hops, and spicy bourbon are easy to pick out. This beer is smooth as hell. It’s also has a subtle sweetness and a touch of warming alcohol in the finish.
M: Really creamy and smooth without an oily or greasy mouthfeel. The body is thick and the carbonation is low.
O: This is one super complex brew and just amazingly complex and smooth. Wooden Hell definitely lives up to the hype. Thanks again for sharing, Chad.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally! Thank you again Charles!
Two weekends of tastings that destroyed my wants list.
Cell phone notes

Pours a cloudy caramel with thin tan head, decent lacing. Smell is what I imagined; toffee, malt, caramel, slight alcohol presence, and brown sugar. Taste is more of the nose, with a beautiful balance. The heat is still present at 2 years, but welcomed in a BA barleywine, almost expected. This is favorite to date, I just wish I could have had a perfect storm next to it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Jeremy for sharing this gem!

A-pours a transparent deep ruby red with a nice tan colored head.

S-the nose has very little barrel, hints of woood and faint bourbon, strong malt body, chocolate and dark raisins, hints of sweeter toffee, vibrant fruits of sour apple and ripe plums.

T-this is quite good, light notes of bourbon with hints of dry wood, chocolate malts, dark raisins, toffee. it transitions into some sweeter fruits, dark ripe plums with notes of sour apples.

M-very full body, extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, strong carbonation with a crisp clean wet finish.

D-this is extremely tasty, well integrated flavors and very complex malt body. the barrel accentuates the malt complexity and adds to it rather than overshadowing it. the body is huge and still so drinkable. fantastic stuff!

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Photo of GuruDel
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm... Never thought this would happen, but it did.

Bottle poured to Bruery Tulip.

Many thanks go out to Jazz, Steve and James for making this happen.

A: Dark golden brown, like liquid caramel, little bit of bubble from the pour but no head at all.
S: Amazingly complex, vanilla, bourbon hints, oak and sweet caramel. The nose on this beer is amazing, the group sat around and smelled it from 5 or 6 different glasses, each was unique but still fantastic.
T: There was no oxidation, no off flavors at all, it was pure awesome in a glass. Sweet caramel, oak, vanilla and a hint of booze but in the best way possible.
M: This was basically a still beer with no detectable carbonation, but it was still fantastic. It was not overly thick or sticky, but it still coated the whole mouth.

Again many thanks to Jazz, I owe you one.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big props to scubarex for cracking this open at our Epic Chicago Tasting.

Review #450

A - A nice, deep brown that turns yellow on the edges. Nice head that rises about one finger, no lacing.

S - Lots of vanilla and oak, so smooth for a barley wine. Dark fruit backbone, with a nice bourbon touch. This smells incredibly smooth.

T - One of the smooothest barley wines I've ever had. No bite whatsoever, great vanilla favor. The oak and bourbon come through great, fantastic balance. This is an amazing tasting beer that completely blew my mind. Quite complex. Awesome.

M - Great carbonation goes well with a smooth and medium bodied beer.

D - All day long. This beer is amazing, completely lives up to the hype, I cannot drink this enough.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thank you to David for hooking me up with this rare gem. I shared with this with a few good buddies yesterday.

Served in my Cantillon tulip.

The beer appears dark brown and mildly hazy. Crimson and sunburst highlights are evident as the light peaks through the liquid. It's slightly hazy but certainly not opaque, as one can see through the body to some degree. The head measures approximately a quarter inch and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is fabulous, with scents of sugary caramels and candies, vanilla, oak, malt, and bourbon.

The flavor is exceptional. Vanilla and oak meld beautifully with a light bourbon note. Sugary sweet caramel tones are amazingly tasty. This is one of the only barleywines I have ever had that has a prominent sweetness about it, yet would never become cloying. Brown sugar and malt flavors are supremely enjoyable.

Wooden Hell really shines in the feel department. Ridiculously smooth, this beer goes down effortlessly. Alcohol content is an afterthought. The aging process could only have assisted what I'm certain was an already terrific beer.

Overall, the best barrel-aged barleywine I have ever had and one of the best beers I have had the pleasure to taste.

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Photo of mothman
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ThomasHardy for sharing this one with me! This has been a top want for some time! Review from notes.

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pour a fizzy tan head. Color is a hazed caramel brown.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and toffee. Warm bourbon flavors with oak. A decent amount of vanilla with sweet dried fruit flavors. Smelling amazing and I am ready to give it a try!

Taste: The taste starts out like the aroma with sweet caramel and toffee flavors. Very malty. The bourbon is well done here, very warming. The fruits are dark,dry, and work really great. I get licorice, raisins, plums, and dried cherries. All blended well with oak flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation for the style. Ends warm, malty, and dry.

Overall, one of the best BA BW I have had. This one lived up to the hype for me. Very drinkable and left me wanting more. All of the flavors work well with each other and the bal aging didn't completely dominate the flavors which is great to see.

Thanks Brady for sharing this one! It was a real treat!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery tulip, the beer is a deep, translucent, ruby red when held to the light, with a small off white head. The head recedes quickly and leaves a little lacing clinging to the side of my glass.

The aroma is very rich. There's a lot of sweet caramel and toffee character to the malt. The bourbon is at a very nice level. It's not overwhelming but it's definitely there. Dark fruits are also evident, earthy hops, and some alcohol. The flavor is also very rich. Sweet dark fruits mesh with delicious roasted toffee. Caramelized and bourbony, this beer is a sipper. The alcohol is a little strong right now. It's not offensive, just a bit hot. The earthy hops impart a low level of bitterness that doesn't quite balance the richness of Wooden Hell, but that's not a bad thing. The flavor is quite enjoyable. The finish is long and sweet with a hint of bitterness. The alcohol is warming and most noticeable here. The bourbon lingers at the back of my tongue for quite a while.

Wooden Hell is medium to full bodied with a low level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy.

This is the second beer I've tried from Flossmoor Station (Collaborative Evil was the first) and I've found both to be quite enjoyable. Overall, this is a great beer that is just a little on the hot side.

Second bottle:

Opened by Seaoflament on 11/24/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks Carlos. The booze has mellowed a bit and the nose is outstanding. Layers upon layers of caramel and toffee with currant, prune, and dates. The flavor has mellowed but I can't say it's improved. It was great and it still is great. It's woody booze soaked caramel dark fruits. I think the booze is at a nice level right now and I wouldn't want it to mellow any more. The mouthfeel seemed a little thin on this bottle. Changes:

Smell +.5
Mouthfeel -.5
Drinkability +.5

Third Bottle:

Bottle opened on 7/17/2010 by ipa247, thanks Jeff! This was the best bottle yet, an all around pleasure to drink. Bourbon Barrel Barleywines don't get much better than this. Definitely among the best I've had. This continues to improve and it still has a nice level of booze heat that I hope it never loses.

Taste +.5
Mouthfeel +.5

Fourth Bottle:

Opened by Jason on 6/24/2011. Thanks! Quite a disappointing bottle. Lots of oxidation with cardboard overwhelming the erstwhile excellent barrel notes. A shell. It had a great run. No change to my score of the bottle enjoyed on 7/17/2010. This is just for informational purposes.

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Photo of koopa
4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: Tasting @ Beerloco's house on 1/22/11

Appearance: Pours caramel with slightly reddish honey tinged steaks and folds. Minimal slightly off white (dull buttery) crown. Not much retention or lace.

Smell: Layered deliciousnes - caramel, fig, dates, slightest whisper of oxidation, burnt sugar, brown molasses, and a dash of chocolate.

Taste: Same as the nose and equally as delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a touch of chewiness....nearly perfect. I'd give it a 4.7 if I could so I'm rounding down a bit.

Drinkability: Quite sessionable for the style. I could and would want to drink this as often as possible!

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Photo of jrallen34
4.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 1000, this is about as fitting as it gets.

Thanks to Russ for sharing this with us at our Chicago tasting...The pour is not much to look at, a slightly watery brown without much carbonation at all...The aroma and taste are both awesome and dominated by a super smooth and not at all coy or irritataing vanilla. I just keep coming back to smooth, so easy velvety and easy to drink and just the right amount of vanilla with a backbone of oak and a touch of hopoy wood on the back end. I literally just kept sniffing this for like 15 minutes because the aroma was that good...The feel is super nice, very easy to drink, not alcohol at all...The vanilla makes it a tad of a sipper but I really had to contain myself to not drink this in one gulp.

The best barleywine around, awesome all around. Try it if you can.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1165th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22 oz- Gold Wax

Yes it did happen-- http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c399/Fr8train63/3ef330fd.jpg

Thanks to Jazzpatel for this one.

Shared with GuruDel, JazzPatel, MrHirschybar & BdubleEdubleRUN

App- This poured from the bottle a murky dark brown. Great color but wouldve liked a bit more bubble activity from this. A little bit of amber mixed in. Zero cling or lace, a bit more smooth looking then King Henry.

Smell- This was really quite aromatic for being such an older bottle. The flavors are still there and very temepered. King needs a few years. This would be more vanilla, bourbon and temepered booze.

Taste- Holy crap! I never thought this would happen. I will say this lived up to the hype. The bourbon flavors are very mellow and relaxed. Great combination of malt and citrus. The resting of this bottle has left a great beer that is still king of the heap. Well worth the wait and no signs of fading but more mellowing. The beer is just so damn good.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation. A good bit of barrel and creamy vanilla remain with more citrus than I wouldve thought.

Drink- A very well done and layered beer. I can see why people will never give this up. Thanks again Jazz.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured up by the awesomeness that is Bryan Shimkos at pre-DLD festivites.

A - It pours a sappy maple-amber hue, and is capped with a polite film of wispy tan micro-froth.

S - Excellent nose; I immediately think of the candy confection called 'turtles'. Notes of toffee, caramel, buttery oak, hazelnut-chocolate and vanilla are astonishingly integrated.

T - My biggest impression is that of mild surprise: despite the candy-like elements of the nose, the flavor is not terribly sweet, given the style. It is more like a collection of sweet-type flavors, expressed with unusual reserve. The relative dryness afforded by the wood makes for sublime and delectable complexity. In addition to the continuation of 'turtle' notes found in the aroma, there is an added impression of maple syrup, and freshly charred wood barrel which seems distinctly apparent.

M - The feel is silky-smooth and softly carbonated, and is quite nice. But it still can't hang with a good JW Lees.

O - Fantastic beer, justifiably esteemed.

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Photo of joe1510
4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz Snifter
Flossmoor Station

This batch of Wooden Hell was leftover from FoBAB. The snifter was brought to my table with a small swirling of head and a slight collar around the glass. The body is chocolaty brown with ruby highlights throughout. When lifted off the table this beer has a dull ruby glow to it as the chocolate seems to fade. A thin line or two of lace is left behind here and there.

The nose on this big barleywine draws me in instantly. The bourbon barrel brings in heavenly aromas of oak, sweet vanilla, spicy bourbon and coconut. The bourbon plays a big role in the aroma but blends seamlessly with the barleywine without ever taking charge. Sweet notes of chocolate, fig, raisin, and caramel maltiness all show the complexity of this brew. I can't begin to describe all the different aspects of the nose but the ones I mentioned are the most noticeable.

Now this is a big, delicious, perfectly barrel aged barleywine. The rich caramel and toffee qualities abound to form the base with all the notes of chocolate, fig, raisin, and hops laying down layer after layer of complexity. The hops bring mild citric notes and a cinnamon-like spiciness to the mix. The barrel aging is about perfect in this brew. Lightly toasted coconut, oak, sweet vanilla, and bourbon all integrate perfectly. The barrel aging never takes over which creates a beer that meshes perfectly instead of being a bourbon bomb like so many others out there. Nice job guys!

The body of this brew is perfectly creamy and smooth. You know the alcohol is there from the warmth and bourbon character but I never actually feel any heat or get any fumes. Each sip coats the tongue and every taste bud allowing this beer to linger after each drink.

I only drank one snifter while at the brewpub but I could have put down another afterwards without question. Actually if this beer was bottled I could spend an entire winter night with this beer. A sipper without a doubt but one I never want to put down.

This is one of the best barrel aged brews I've had to date. The aging was perfect in this one allowing the bourbon to compliment the beer. I'd love to see Wooden Hell up again this winter.

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Wooden Hell from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
4.52 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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