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: Rotating

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

Added by mcallister on 04-29-2007

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Ratings: 174 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jerz for hosting an awesome tasting (and for opening this!) and for so many generous beer connoisseurs who made the event possible.

Pours a translucent-along-the-edges mahogany brown. Glows amber orange along the top. Almost no head, just an off-white crust. Very attractive beer.

Smells like supple bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar notes. A hint of woodsy sherry-ness. Hmm. Very nice aroma.

The taste is a large brown sugary vanilla bourbon oak presence, but it's a bit oxidized. Some really prevalent sherry notes in there. As I sip my 2.3 oz., the brown sugar becomes more and more noticeably, and a bit of earthy nuttiness shines through. A sticky, thick beer without much carbonation.

Really happy to have had a chance to try this. If I could have only checked off "M," my personal "get" list would have been nearly complete.

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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 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 mikey711
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Going through my sock draw i happened to find my notes for this and Deviation! What did you find in your sock drawer. This was enjoyed at some point over the summer, late june i believe

A: Deep mahogony with a faint layer of carbonation, decent lace and slightly cloudy

S: Heavy bourbon with hints of graham cracker, vanilla, some dark fruit (raisins and prunes). there is also a touch of smokiness and a slightly leather compenent. very complex and enjoyable

T: The bourbon is very present and somewhat sweet like a rye whiskey. big vanilla notes that blends nicely with the graham cracker

M: Thinner than i expected and there is a slight bit of harness

D: overall this was a great beer that i was very happy to have been able to try. personally, khuhnenn BBBW is a bit better but i would jump at the chance to try this one again

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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 NittanyBeerFan
3.6/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A huge thanks to treyrab for sharing this at our second epic tasting of 2010, and third overall. Poured my share into a tulip glass.

Colored deep brown and glowing with ruby highlights, a vigorous pour produces only thin and wispy bubbles. The body is crystal clear. This is pretty much right on for a barleywine, though the consistency looks a bit thin as it cascades into my glass.

The aroma is phenomenal. So often bourbon barrels impart too much bourbon for the character of the beer, but this is artfully done. The first impressions are of caramel, toffee, and the classic nutty maltiness of a barleywine. These give way to the barrel notes...oak, vanilla, and bourbon, in that order. There is also a prominent dark fruit aroma characterized by dates that comes around for the finish to round it all out.

The taste continues to impress, at least initially. The bourbon strengthens on the palate and joins the caramel up front. These then give way to nuts, vanilla, oak, and the dates. Unfortunately, this dark fruitiness is also accompanied by some not-so-graceful or flavor-enhancing oxidation that imparts some off and cardboardy flavors on the palate that linger after the finish. There are some alcohol esters, but they are neither overwhelming nor offensive in any way. This is a very good American barleywine, but it doesn't blow me away. And given the barrel-aging, this is only average, as there are far better out there.

The appearance of low carbonation is misleading, as this is still packed with fizz that makes me cough on my first sip. The balance of flavors is phenomenal, with the bourbon highly evident, edifying the flavor profile while remaining subtle. Too bad it's oxidizing...this coulda been really good. The texture is just a touch thin for my liking, but this is good beer. Age will likely not be kind to this, based on the oxidation that is already evident.

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Photo of treyrab
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought out this beer midway through the Pittsburgh Tasting of the Ages on October 2. One of the most anticipated beers of the day. Split five ways. Reviewing mine from a snifter-style glass.

A: Poured very vigorously to only yield a thin ring of a head. Almost no head at all. Pours like a fine bourbon or whiskey in terms of stillness and color. Clear dark amber with some very slight carbonation bubbles trickling up.

S: Huge vanilla whiskey notes with burnt toffee, rich, dark brown sugar, some light chocolate, and perhaps some blackstrap molasses. Rich, some slight oxidation, and sweet bourbon.

T: Complex. The sweet whiskey and vanilla notes are very forceful and blend with the bitterness of the dark toffee, slight chocolate, and dark, burnt brown sugar. Hops are not really found in this one, as it is really all malts that take over.

M/D: A nice, creamy and rich mouthfeel. Perhaps a tad on the thin side. Drinks like a bourbon. A solid American Barleywine, but I would put others ahead of it, and it was below expectations.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a full finger foamy off tan head that fades slowly, leaving stringy patterns of lacing. The smell is really fine...rich and aggressive, vanilla bourbon caramel butterscotch. Full flavored, the taste matches up to the nose pretty well. There's a a light hop to it also. Nicely carbonated, the texture is medium bodied, smooth and creamy yet the experience cleans up more quickly than expected. The vanilla butterscotch warms to a saltiness. One hell of a drinker...enjoyed this one with the boys! Really special!!.

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Photo of tpd975
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by the one and only fogdog. That guy can realllly throw down. Know that!

A: Pours a goldenish color of darker brown with a small foamy tan head. Litte retention or lace.

S: Aromas is a cornucopia of malt. Wonderful caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and rich molasses. Lighter notes of dark fruit, and booze.

T: Caramel and molasses sweetness with a big blast of fig and raisin. Notes of sweet vanilla, coconut, and a hint of booze.

M: Rather full in body, smooth, and tasty. Had it up against M and M won. That being said this is a tasty Barleywine that if you have the firepower is worth going after.

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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 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.

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 & Mr. Mason.

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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 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 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 SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to James for picking this up for me all that time ago... Poured into a Two Brothers sniffer @ cellar temperature, while listing to Beastie Boys.

A- Clear, rich amber body with a good finger of head with little retention or lacing. Attractive, very attractive.

S- Butterscotch, vanilla & pepper lent from the bourbon barrels play off the rich caramel malt aroma excellently. Mild esters and alcohol really allow the aroma to feel focused. Might not be the most complex aroma, but man is it savoury!

T- Alcohol is much more assertive in the mouth than in the nose. Rich caramel, big spice, butterscotch, mild tropical fruits and oak tannins combine with the warming alcohol to present a excellent start to the beer. The flavour profile seems to clean up in the midpalate, with caramel and butterscotch really shining. The finish is spicy, sweet, long, and fantastic. Again, big and fun,

M- Full bodied and viscous, but not too much so, with excellent carbonation levels. Really wouldn't change anything here.

D- This might not be the most complex barleywine of all time, but excellent drinkability, fantastic barrel aging and a fun American brew.

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Wooden Hell from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
4.52 out of 5 based on 174 ratings.
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