Barrel Aged Fireside Chat | Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

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Barrel Aged Fireside ChatBarrel Aged Fireside Chat

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
American Barleywine aged in old Woodford Reserve barrels.

Added by Treebs on 03-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 100
Photo of jmarsh123
3.12/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours rusty brown with some reddish hue near the edges. Small beige head quickly recedes. A touch of lacing.

Smells like a bourbon soaked raisin. Lots of caramel in the aroma as well along with some winter spices.

The nose is slightly sweet, but nothing compared to the flavor. Boozy raisin is present in a big way. Lots of caramel notes and other dark fruits overpower the nuances of the barrel. Light spiciness along with a touch of alcohol burn near the end.

Medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Very chewy. Mouthfeel was the only reason I could finish my pour. Brought everything up a notch.

Was really looking forward to this and ended up disappointed. Is it bad? No, but considering barreled barleywines are among my favorite style I certainly expected much more so style specific it grades out lower. The barrel presence is kind of muddled and the flavors really don't seem to gel properly. By the time it warmed up the sweetness was too much limiting drinkability.

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Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Quick review from written notes, thanks to Justin for sharing!

Two separate pours into a rounded tumbler glass. Color was a tawny reddish orange with fine clarity, some spotty foam that clung to the sides of the glass.

Rich and sweet aroma, brown sugar and whiskey, dried fruits.

Boozy and sweet with flavors of bourbon, caramel malts and trace molasses. Viscous and sticky on the lips, it's just short of cloying. Potent in small doses and best shared. Didn't seem especially complex or nuanced, not bad at all, just not a favorite.

Draft at GTMW '13: A bit more melded and mellowed, super rich and sweet but a little more drinkable than the bottle.

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Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle poured dark but clear red-brown with a decent head.
Very rich flavor with moderately strong input from the barrel aging.
Feel, aroma and flavor are all a bit boozy but it's not hot and the malts are able to contribute.
Full, syrupy body.

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

Reddish-brown pour, cloudy, with a thin tan head that receded to a bubbly ringlet. Nose was malt-dominant, bready, caramelly, lesser notes of vanilla, raisins, barrel. More of this in the taste, caramel malts, run raisin, vanilla/bourbon/oak profile, but not too sweet or intense, allowing some subtle leafy and earthy hop notes in. Body was edging towards the fuller side of medium, but never quite got there, chewy, but not quite as rich or full as some of the other barleywines that were consumed side-by-side with this one...e.g. MoAS, King Henry, BarBar. Still a good beer overall, and I was glad to have tried it.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 12 oz glass.

A- pours a dark copper with a 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- brown sugar, caramel, plum and dark fruits, vanilla.

T- brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, light bourbon, and vanilla.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Smooths out as it warms with some syrupy feel.

O- good BA Barleywine. A little sweet but has nice dark fruit notes to complement.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby copper color along with a frothy tan head that dissipates rather quickly leaving behind slight lacing throughout. Aromas offer a plethora of flavors offering mellow oak, vanilla, dried fruit and plums along with gentle orange peel, toffee, caramel, carmelized and toasty malts. The flavors show vanilla, wet oak, some bourbon, dried fruit, caramel, and that distinct Woodford Reserve toasty coconut is present as well. Sticky mouthfeel and that toasty, gentle dryness, spice, mellow barrel, and a touch of body lingers on around the finish. Overall, a real nice and complex barleywine aged in one of my favorite bourbon brands.

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Photo of rudzud
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clear chestnut hue with a thin head that fades to leave a light halo.

S - Aromas of loads of nice bourbon, very light smokey, nice light chocolate, little oxidation.

T - Taste is nice bourbon, still bitter hops, light chocolate, nice soft alcohol, good light caramel, lightly sticky toffee, faint bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly sticky, faintly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer was quite tasty, good clean bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Treebs
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on draft at the release. Served in a goblet.

A: Pours a murky brown color with some light ruby highlights. A thin khaki head forms on the pour and recedes slowly to a minimal ring. Some splotchy lace.

S: Bourbon sweetness with some oak and smooth caramel. A little spice with some sweet malts, light hops and dark fruit.

T: The taste was much more complex than the nose. Boozy with notes of chocolate and rum raisins. Mild hop bite with some mellow spice. Light bourbon notes with some vanilla and oak. Dark fruits, figs, with some caramel notes as well.

M: Medium plus bodied with a slight chew to it. Nice medium carbonation level with a sweet finish.

O: This was really delicious, especially as it warmed up. We opened up a Batch 2 BA Hi-Fi Rye before this and the Fireside Chat was better fresh than the BA Hi-Fi was last year. This was slightly on the muddled side, but some time in the bottle will definitely do wonders and I'm excited to see what comes of it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Don't remember who gave this to me, might be from the person who tried to screw me over, and screwed a bunch of people over on trades, but later found the courage to send stuff out... but don't remember. Shared with rudzud and kyle.

Pretty much no head, semi clear but dark toasty iced tea brown color.

Nose brings a nice barleywine like sweet but aged soft nicely boiled malts, candy malts, caramel, toffee, nice mild smoke, a little oxidation, hint fudgey chewy fudge and brownie, mild vanilla oak barrel and touch of bourbon whisky.

Taste is semi sweet, with lots of nice aged soft malts, creamy soft brown malts, toffee, some smoke and campfire notes, with a fudgey brownie cocoa, and a little booze. Then big bitter piney spicy hops surprisingly. Mild bourbon notes, little barrel note. Finish is semi sweet not really syrupy, nice bitter earthy spicy hops, mild booze, nice caramel toffee soft aged malt candy, aged little bourbon barrel note.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, nice softness, light carb, little booze.

Overall pretty nice, hint of oxidation, just a bit of smoke and bourbon barrel is light, but great aged malt and barleywine characters, even hops stayed nicely.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, citrus zest, vanilla, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a really nice bourbon barrel aged presence all around.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at the brewpub.

A: Clear deep persimmon body with a thin ring of tan froth on top. Lovely color, but nothing special overall.

S: Sweet caramel, toasted oak, spicy alcohol, and dark fruits. Big, bold, and enticing.

T: Emphasis is on the toffee sweetness and bourbony oak. Vanilla, treacle, and oak. Chewy marzipan and raisin finish. Warmth with no burn on the aftertaste. Very tasty.

M: Cream, full body. Luscious.

O: Great beer, and by far the best of the three barrel-aged offerings I got to try during my visit to Flossmoor; this one blew BA Finlaggin and BA ThunderSnow out of the water, and I was terribly disappointed to find that they weren't filling growlers.


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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Todd for grabbing this one. Served in a snifter at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and minimal lace. Transparent dark brown body.

S - Big vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, caramel, red fruits, and light traces of oak and bourbon. Quite sweet and quite appealing, albeit a tad mono-dimensional. Very evocative of Barrel Aged Hi-Fi Rye.

T - Again, fairly sweet, with loads of caramel brown sugar, vanilla, and nebulous fruity notes. Oak and bourbon provide some tangy balance in the finish, keeping things out of the cloying realm.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, with a sticky, chewy texture, and pleasant lower moderate carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth, but nothing untoward for 11.1%.

D - This was a very good barrel-aged barleywine on all fronts. I would happily drink this again and hope that Flossmoor (or Nick at GI-Clybourn) remakes this in some manner. Could use perhaps a tad more bourbon presence and already seems pretty mellow after only 6 months, so may not stand the test of time, but very good at the moment.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, ruby, mahogany color with a small, off-white head. Scent is pretty damn good. Great bourbon aroma that is heavy on the dark fruits. Lots of raisin and figs. A little bit of leather with tobacco as well. Smells sweet, malty, and boozy. Taste is initially sweet with bourbon and vanilla...a bit of toffee. Some lovely dark fruit flavors, along with booze. Lots of raisin and fig flavors. More booze. Mouthfeel is sticky, full-bodied, and on the chewy side. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, I didn't know what to expect from this beer, but it ended up impressing me. Not super complex, but very good bourbon and dark fruit flavors. A bit hot.

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Photo of foobula
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I believe this was purchased in early 2013. After boring through the wax and popping the cap, some rust around the cap edges and some dark spots under the cap seal. Otherwise seal is intact. I wiped the rust off the mouth of the bottle with a wet paper towel.

Appearance is reddish-brown & opaque with some white bubbles on top. Smell is bourbony sweet, some booze, reminiscent of another well-known Flossmoor beer, BA Hi-Fi Rye. After warming to room temp, the smell takes on a citrusy quality. More on that later.

Taste is quite sweet up-front -- berry and brown sugar-like. There's some acidity on the sides, some bitterness & booze in the back. But bourbony throughout. There's a mix of sweet and bitter that plays fairly well, if a little harsh. However as it warms toward room temp I get an nice orange quality. It actually reminds me of Grand Marnier: sweet, sugary, a little puckering. Mouthfeel is on the thicker end of medium, maybe just a little syrupy.

It's a big old beer and once I started thinking of it as a liqueur, I really got into it. The barrel component is nice. The bitterness is a bit much when cold but the sweetness takes charge when warm. Take your time with it and you'll be rewarded. Can't wait to enjoy another sometime.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle in a snifter

A - Dark walnut brown with no head but small wisps of foam. Thick and coats the glass

S - Vanilla, caramel with lots of malty goodness with a light breadlines. You pickup a slight booze and oak presence from the barrel as well

T - Brown sugar and vanilla hits up front. This sweetness helps coat the tongue before a slight bitterness and dark fruit hits the tongue. The finish is bourbon and oak from the barrel.

M - Medium yet syrupy body that coats the tongue yet remains it easy to drink

O - This is a great and complex BW from Flossmoor that is loaded with vanilla and caramel sweetness balanced against the slight hoppy bitterness for the American BW style. They also manage to get a nice barrel presence as well.

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Photo of KevSal
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to antipation for this bad boy, was going to save it for playoffs, but ive been saving too much stuff, lets drink this guy!

22oz into a wine glass

a-dark brown with a slight head. looks just right for a big bwine

s- slight oxidation, vanilla heavy barrel, dark fruit, slight

t- boom this is paked with flavor. feels huge and heavy with zero heat. this is very well done. Barrel is nicely done. oxidation adds nice touch

m- huge body with absolute no alch burn, very impressive. not as massive as aaron but thick.

o- fantastic brew! not like hi fi much more like arctic devil without an alch bite. right up my alley, would love to try it again. id recomend to open it soon before the oxidation slowly takes over

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep brownish color with some crimson highlights, dirty white cap sits afloat. The head retention was moderately good and some light lacing

S: Very aromatic. The beer provides the scents of oak, rich caramel, similar to a caramello candy bar with some rich milk chocolate. Some subtle darker fruits way in the back

T: Initially I get a nice blend of great flavors. A dark fruit melody blended with a whiskey dipped caramel candy bar. A lit bit of vanilla underneath. The bourbon is hidden and blended well into the body of the beer. The finish is warming, decadent, sweet with lots of flavor

M: Medium-full bodied, low-medium carbonation, sweet feel on the mouth, decadent, coating and delightful.

O: This was excellent. I thought the blending of flavors on this beer was amazing. Not one flavor dominated. The body was great, carbonation was great...this beer was great! Thanks Libbey!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from jbeatty and cpferris. Cheers guys!

From a bomber into a snifter
American barleywine aged in Woodford bourbon barrels for 5 months

APPEARANCE: Pours a ½ finger, looser, slightly crackly, off-white or china pure beige head with decent retention. Head fades to a half swirly wisp and ring. Deep mahogany red in color, clear, with medium levels of carbonation for the style. A faint ring and swirly wisp remain but leave no lacing down the glass. Head a little sub-par, but the body and wisp are attractive.

SMELL: Really nice. Bold nose of caramel and toffee, dried fruits, light citrus hops and some well measured bourbon barrel. Oak, coconut and sweet vanilla cream mesh well with the base beer. Really good.

TASTE: Outstanding. Caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Dried fruits with dark, fruity sweetness as well. The finish is big and lingering with more caramel, butterscotch sweetness and some bitter, citrus hops balancing the bourbon barrels. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and coconut with a touch of spicy alcohol lingering on the palate. Really flavorful and very well balanced; the barrel is great but the base beer is very complex and interesting as well. Plenty of malty, fruity sweetness, piney or citrus bitterness, alcohol and sweet, layered bourbon barrels. Excellent.

PALATE: Fuller body with medium-low levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, lots of weight, goes down smooth with a delayed burn after the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers. Full, velvety smooth and creamy with just the right amount of measured heat. Great stuff.

OVERALL: This was awesome. Based on the reviews here I wasn't expecting this to be that good. Only the head on this one could reasonably be improved, while the rest of the experience is unreal. The complexity and balance of flavor is top notch and the nose and feel bring the whole package together. One of the best in the style for sure. Thanks again for the bottles gents. Definitely something I'd like to drink more of.

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Barrel Aged Fireside Chat from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
4.19 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
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