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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 GRG1313
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I have over 3,500 personal reviews, this is my 500th review on Beer Advocate. Figured I'd make it a "special" review.

Thus, thanks to Jer for sharing this one at our Whale tasting at his housewarming party. I'm going to do this review like I've never done...I hope no one is offended.

"Wooden Hell" - take the best bottle of whiskey you've got, maybe a big 23 year old Pappy's. Mix in a gang full of rich molasses, fresh brown sugar, thick rich carmel, bitter and sweet toffee, big dark chocolate, perhaps a bit of fruity scotch, some rich roasted coffee and then just reduce the hell out of it. The sweet, malty, rich, thick, wonderful extract that's left?...that's Wooden Hell. Wow.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at a recent tasting, can't remember who shared this, but it was pretty good.

Hazy brown pour, it sits in the glass nearly opaque, topped with a thin off-white head. The nose is full of caramel and dates, sherry-like oxidation, vanilla, bourbon and wood. This has oxidized in a great way. I get similar flavors on the palate; rich caramel and fruity sweetness balanced by a light boozy kick, subtle oxidation, tobacco and tannins. The finish is borderline dry, almost vinous. I'd love to sit down with a bottle of this to myself; my small glass was entirely too easy to drink.

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Photo of emerge077
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Justin for sharing this the other day...

Wooden Hell pours a murky, woody mahogany tone with a slim dollop of tan foam. Heavenly whiff of toffee, brown sugar, with some toasty coconut & vanilla notes from the barrel aging.

Super rich and malty, tons of caramel/toffee/butterscotch, with traces of sticky maple syrup on the lips. Some tobacco/leather spice from the bourbon barrel. Elements of sweet dried fruit, mostly raisin. Fairly low carbonation. Some spice/heat from the abv, but not what i'd consider hot. Mellow and rich. A sweet, fruity, syrupy confection.

Sadly i've traded all mine away, and it won't be made again... thanks again to señor beertooth for the sample. Can't believe there was a time when I was drinking this in plastic cups on the patio at Flossmoor. Hats off to Mr. Van Wyk.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.64/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A ginormous amount of thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

The pours yields a moderately-dark brown elixir that borders on copper and seems to shine. There is a nice half-finger head that forms after the pour, sticking around for a bit of time. A few slight rings of lacing stick to the glass as it goes down. The nose is absolutely phenomenal. Just wow. It starts off with a strong showing of caramelized sugar and is then followed up by very, very smooth notes of bourbon and the accompanying oak and light vanilla. Slide notes of oxidation carry over well and fit right in.

Flavor is ridiculously good. The strong notes of caramel and brown sugar push to the front and meld beautifully with bourbon undertones. Really quite smooth. A bit of sweetness fades into very light amounts of alcohol alongside fine bourbon. Very mild oak presence pairs with a decent amount of vanilla. The mouthfeel really makes this beer. It's uber-smooth with just a touch of alcohol warmth. Age has treated this beer really, really well.

This was an incredible experience, and huge thanks go out to Matt for sharing this with us. This was perhaps the best barleywine that I've ever had, and I was supremely happy to share it amongst a fine group of friends. Cheers.

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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 ChainGangGuy
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served up a hazed humble shade of brown with, sadly, no real head formation.

Smell: Lush, heavy aroma of all things sweet one would find in a kitchen cupboard with notes of things one would find in the liquor cabinet.

Taste: Rich, sweet caramel, Grade 'B' maple syrup, and melted brown sugar initially. Dried dark fruitiness. The coconut is far more prominent in the taste, presenting a small, meager sip of Malibu. There's a spicy, earthy bitterness, but it's no match for the full-on sweetness. Transient wooden tastes. More brown sugar and now some split vanilla beans. While there is a fair amount of alcohol heat, it's well contained beneath the heavy layers of sweet flavors. Long, semi-sweet finish with more of that satisfying alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, luscious mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very sweet, very dessert-like, and very enjoyable. It's nice to just sit with this one quietly, soaking in all the goodness.

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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 womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jer for sharing this one. So glad to finally have tried it.

A: The pour is a dark amber, almost chestnut, color with a thin tan head.

S: Pretty much what I was expecting/hoping for in the nose. Lots of vanilla and bourbon along with brown sugar and dark fruits. A slight oak not, but there's some nice chocolate oxidation taking place.

T: Quite sweet with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla are present as well. I get some wood and dark fruit here, along with a bit of warming alcohol.

M: The body is medium with a low to medium carbonation that is quite smooth on the tongue.

D: This was surprisingly easy to drink, but I guess that's part of what makes it so good. You can pick up the oxidation, but it's not to the point of detriment at this point.

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Photo of orangesol
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review #700!!!
Massive thanks to Al aka petesuphi for sharing this one with a few of us. I never thought I would even see a bottle of this, let alone drink it. Thanks again buddy!

A - Pours cloudy orangish brown with a nice one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving spotty trails of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel and toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, smooth bourbon and some very light woody oak. The aroma is intoxicating, with all of the flavors meshing very well together. Only a tiny bit of oxidation is detectable here.

T - Starts off with the strong sweetness made up of the caramel, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar and molasses. Once the sweetness dies down the bourbon and oak help smooth it all out. There is so much going on yet it doesn't overpower the palate in any way. Once it warms up the light oxidation becomes present here as well but it never really detracts from the other flavors, it mostly lurks at the end of each sip. Finish is sweet with some light heat, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slick feel goes down easy. Goes a touch watery at the end of the glass, combined with the light oxidation this is probably the weakest part of this beer.

O - I really enjoyed this one. It has all of the flavors I like in my barley wines and the addition of the bourbon barrel aging has made this one even better. In this bottle at least, it has definitely begun to show its age but it is still an awesome bourbon BA barley wine. I would say you should drink it sooner rather than later.

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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 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 Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep murky reddish brown body. Small welling of khaki bubbles. A very thin collar.

Smell - A little oxidized. Kinda cardboardy. Bourbon. Brown sugar. Boozy.

Taste - Better bourbon flavor. Better all around. Still a little cardboardy and oxidized. Some dark fruits to it, too. Lots of brown sugar. Woody finish. Almost spicy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Oxidized in the back end. Boozy.

Overall - So this is getting old. The oxidation is becoming overwhelming.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this one a number of times, but thanks to hoppymeal, joe1510, FoBAB, and myself for various pours over the past year and a half. Most recently served in a tasting snifter at Derek's place during the "So ridiculous I don't have a name for it" tasting.

A - Pours with half-finger of late-rising tan foam that crackles away quickly and leaves behind no lace. The body is an attractive dark ruby-brown color.

S - Bourbon, spicy wood, caramel, vanilla, burnt sugars, dark fruits. It's got all the things you want in a barrel-aged barleywine, working in perfect balance and harmony. The smell isn't harsh or solvent-filled, but there's still a surprising initial wallop considering the 15 months of age and mere 9.5% ABV.

T - The taste is very similar to Abacus, another of my favorite brews of this style. However, Abacus is 2.5% stronger and somehow hides the booze a tiny bit better. I wish I could give this a 4.75 somehow - I'll try to give it the benefit of the doubt elsewhere.

M - The body is a bit thinner than I like, but it's not offensive, considering this is at the low end of the ABV spectrum for this style. Lower carbonation, not much heat left here at all, and the finish is first tannic, then lightly sticky.

D - This is a pretty easy one to quaff. The lower ABV and wonderful nose make quite delightful, and a beer that I'd be happy to tackle on my own (or perhaps with one lucky friend). I'm wondering when we'll see the Oakshire version, because this was too good not to make again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, bottle opened by Huhzubendah at his place this weekend with some other fine beers. Poured into a wine glass.

There are some beers that you don't think you are going to ever sample or get, and then through some unknown mechanism of karma or generosity or both you find yourself holding a glass of Wooden Hell with a few other guys. It was an awesome experience and great night overall. Also, WH is the best barleywine I've ever had.

Beer is pretty dark brown, mostly clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles, not much retention but it leaves some lacing behind.

Aroma is very impressive. Sweet, sugar, caramel followed by some liquor / bourbon aromas. Some oakiness and mild vanilla. Very inviting aroma.

Beer is medium bodied, not very carbonated on the palate, overall the lead off is this nice candied flavor that fills the palate and balances the beer well with the mild bitterness at the finish. The early midpalate is a liquory / bourbon flavor that fills out the beer without making it boozy, really drinkable. Very balanced, very great. Even my wife liked it when she took a sip and she doesn't like barleywines at all.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 provided by Ditmier at the Friday the 13th tasting.. Eric is the man.. there is no other way to describe it... Mondo huge appreciation for providing such a super rare beer. Poured into my Delirium goblet.

Crystal clear lite amber brew... great off white head and tons of lace.

Aroma is vanilla with lite caramel and some bourbon cherry essence.. woody and pretty wonderful.

Flavor has more tannic elements than I was expecting.. but very rich.. again.. lighter than expected caramel, but the maltiness is pretty heavy and when combined with the barrel aging, makes for a great BW.. vanilla and bourbon elements are just about perfect... there is a drying oaky tannin essence that really is the tie that binds this one together.. the body is on the thicker side for a BW.. but the carbonation is nearly perfect making me want more.

Eric.... I owe you for this one... I don't know how yet, but I will get you back... You're a good BA.


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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 weeare138
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for sharing this bottle...
Appears a dense, murky toned chestnut with a small, light tan head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of wood, caramel, raisins, sourdough, toffee, cocoa, and cake.
Taste is sweet with bourbon in the flavor with some toffee, and rich butterscotch pulling through.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, oaky, sugary, and warming.

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Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A snifter glass served at the brewery on the day before Dark Lord.

A: The barleywine is very dark, a deep ruby red that could easily be mistaken for black (and therefore a stout). Only the whitish colored head confirms that it is in fact not a stout.

S: The nose is incredibly sweet, thick with malty wetness. Candi sugar emerges, but unfortunately not a lot of bourbon character does.

T: The mouth is just as thick as the nose would lead you to believe. The malts are concentrated such that they are fruity sweet. Some darker fruits emerge to provide sweetness that is brushed with a hint of candi and brown sugars. Even in the mouth, the bourbon does not shine as much as I'd want it to. Perhaps it is just blending into the overall sweetness of the beer. Oh yeah, the alcohol is quite evident.

M: The mouthfeel is a good drink, full of flavor with mere kisses of bourbon.

D: A very good drink. Dinner at Flossmoor turned out to be a brilliant idea.

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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 cosmicevan
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 7/28 (THANKS A TON to mike for reaching out to me about this BA Barleywine tasting...truly epic!!!).

a - pretty muddy looking. minimal carbonation. murky to the light. opaque. some swirls of carbonation on the surface. very thin ring of head on the surface. spotty lacing that slid down the glass. swirling the glass kind of brings things to life, but not much. looks eerily similar to idiot's drool (GASP).

s - smells awesome! very similar to king henry (which was opened not all that long after this). wonderful figgy smell. great barrel integration. caramel. wood. some vanilla.

t - really tasty. figgy and caramel. some heat, but wonderfully integrated. as this beer warmed it took on a whole new life and the flavor got a lot more complex. at first it was pretty good, but over time it became quite impressive with big toffee notes and a lot more complexity and fullness to the flavor.

m - extremely smooth. some heat is present, but it is well integrated. soft carbonation and dangerously easy to drink.

o - thank goodness the look didn't mean much on this beer! overall, i never had this before so i cannot comment if it is on its way down, but this beer is pretty bada$$ as it was today. the smooth mouthfeel really brings this one to the next level, but other than that, there are many other amazing barrel aged barelywines around today that are on a similar level. the legend and hype of this beer really adds to the luster. aside from the tick, if you are contemplating letting go of a case of king henry or something like that to attain this, i'd recommend not doing it. don't get me wrong, i'm SUPER glad i got to try it, but many others are on this level (in fact, this wasn't the highlight of the tasting flavor-wise for me, alpine's great took the gold)...this one is more about the tick and, a ticker's gotta tick.

right after this was opened and sampled, we opened a BA old ruffian which i thought was a bit tastier, but as the wooden hell warmed, the flavor changed substantially and rapidly took the lead over the BA old ruff. as it warmed, wooden hell filled out and the flavor profile got way more complex with strong fig notes...and in general just a thicker warmer taste...the entire group agreed that it was a different beer cold and at room temp. unfortunately it didn't trump alpine great in the flavor dept.

HUGE thanks to mike for letting me keep the bottle too!

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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 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 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 gford217
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't thank Josh enough for the opportunity to try this rarity, poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, slightly hazy amber brown with a small, creamy beige head that recedes quickly to a collar and swirl in the middle.

The aroma is wonderful and so complex. It's got toffee, sweet caramel malts and lots of bourbon soaked dark fruits. The barrel character is certainly evident with oak and vanilla, though it's not dominant.

The taste is just as good. The caramel malt backbone is hefty with the sweetness coming from both the vanilla of the bourbon and the dark fruits. There's more of a chocolate presence than I was expecting as well. The finish is smooth with a hefty, but not overpowering, bourbon presence.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly slick due to the bourbon character and has a slightly dry, woody finish. The carbonation is soft but definitely noticeable.

This is an excellent barleywine that uses the barrels to maximize the complexity and not to overpower the underlying beer. Very sweet and boozy but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the old timers I've always wanted to try. Took me a few years to finally find one of these, so a huge thank you goes out to cpferris for providing this through a reasonable trade. Very happy to finally be drinking this long-time want. Shared at my house with the crew last weekend. Good times boys!

From a bomber into a mini-snifter
Woodford Reserve barrel aged
Drank this along side Fireside Chat and BA Hi-Fi Rye batch 2

APPEARANCE: Pours a ½ finger, off-white head that quickly vanishes. Lousy retention. A clear, deep mahogany red in color, basically the same as the other two, with no carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring, both of which remain the whole way but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on this one, with oak, coconut, sweet vanilla cream, toffee and caramel on the nose. Very bold and impressive, with lots of oak and bourbon with a solid caramel, toffee base. No sign of oxidization at all.

TASTE: A slight touch of cardboard in the flavor initially, but that quickly recedes, leaving a really good blend of oak, bourbon, caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Barrel sweetness into a finish of coconut, sweet vanilla cream, toffee and caramel, bourbon and some light notes of red fruit from the age. A bit of alcohol lingers as well. This is still extremely tasty and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: I really didn't know what to expect here. I'd heard reports that there was a lot of bottle variation at this point, which would make sense given its age, so perhaps I kept my expectations artificially low. While this bottle has started to show the very beginnings of going grey, the age hasn't stopped it from performing like a champ. This was excellent, and even in a blind tasting it would hold up. As the bottle sat, the slight signs of age took a back seat to the still wonderfully flavorful and balanced barrel aged barleywine with all the elements that make for a world class brew in the style. This was way better than I'd honestly expected, and it may have been my favorite of the three Flossmoor b-wines we drank that evening. Thanks again for the bottle cpferris, and cheers again gents for helping me drink it.

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