Bourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout | Big Rock Chop & Brewhouse

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout
Very Good
44 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Big Rock Chop & Brewhouse
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CharlesDarwin on 12-20-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by farrago:
Photo of farrago
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin layer of very dark brown across the surface, hard to call it a "head" per se, gone in a flash, minimal lacing. Pure black, like a chunk of onyx or mabe someone painted the insides of the glass black. Smells like a glass of whiskey, bit-by-bit each successive sniff teases out licorice, caramel and vanilla and chocolate taffy, caramelized brown sugar, plum but not prune notes, not afraid to show its power, even warmer not that complex but what's there has clarity of purpose in spades. In the mouth it's even more bourbon like, adds in some burn but doesn't induce the hiccups. Layers of toasty vanilla, the chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, licorice close behind. Carbonation is negligible, slathers itself like sauce on the tongue. Mixed dark fruits followed on by a curious splash of white grapefruit. Offers some sweet bready accents as well, like challah. "Subtle" is the last word that would pop into your mind drinking this behemoth. Very happy to have a pint's worth, after that, well, it's a sign of alcoholism.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More than 2 years old and packs a wallop. Black with fading beige head. Bourbon and
Big alcohol, so much in the nose but amazing in the after-effects. Average mouthfeel,bourbon coconut,cocoa, chocolate malt, coffee all in that order.Good drinkability damn it all. Decent to try though not the best IS on the planet.Thanks Stephen

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. unlabeled bottle poured into a snifter. 2008 bottle according to the cap.

Appearance - Just shy of jet black. Transparent at the edges. Very little by way of a head.

Smell - Boozy. Nice vanilla and Bourbon. Very fudgy chocolate malt.

Taste - Sweet more than anything. Lots of caramel and vanilla. Not a ton of Bourbon or oak, but present. Chocolate malts but not overly roasty. Definitely some oxidation to this.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Maybe deserves a bit more viscosity. Low carbonation.

Overall - I've had this a few times. This bottle is probably the worst I've had, but probably due to age. It has lost some barrel character and body. And regardless it shows its quality.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on November 27, 2006. Handbottle. Nice cherry juice and fresh toast aroma, with sultry cherries aplenty and a blended multitude of chocolate, roast and coffee cream. As Andy points out, there’s some certain pretzel dough aromas. Deep black pour, with a mahogany fringe. Flavor is a deep sweet cream, concentrated black cherry juice and a dash of aged balsamic vinegar, tossed with distant orange peel spritz. Palate contains some more salty dough. Alcohols are a little bold and the barrel character a little forward. But I enjoy this as a well-done standard. Sips well, with a multitude of mellowed and refined character. Nice.

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Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Murchmac
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weird beer, thought i've seen T.V. ads for this but not sure. Thanks to flandersned for including this in a trade.

This beer is housed in a green bottle which I didnt realize until I poured the beer into a pint glass. Thats how dark this beer is.

Interesting smells of booze, bourbon, vanilla, oak.

complex flavors of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, well balanced.

lingering bourbon tastes thats not so bad. Great little gem, thanks flanders.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as a very generous extra from FlandersNed. Labeled as "Bourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout"

Pours black with a half finger of head. Smell is very chocolaty and oaky. Lots of vanilla and citrus hops, as well as coffee bean roastiness and some dark fruits. Some noticeable boozy heat. Wonderful.

The taste is definitely solid although not as complex as the nose would have suggested. Coffee bitterness, oak, and dark chocolate make up most of the flavor profile. The bourbon barrels added some depth of flavor and alcohol heat. I actually hated the non-barrel aged version of this, but this version is nice.

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied and very creamy, quite nice overall. This one drinks pretty nicely at first but drops off after a while because of a bit of an acrid coffee flavor, but overall is still OK. This beer is a winner.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

no head, semi clear brownish

Nose loads of coffee syrup, peanutbutter and fake chocolate, fusel alcohol, little barrel

Taste loads of chocolate, roasted coffee, peanutbutter, and big pepper heat, little barrel, coffee syrup, little alcohol, syrupy

Mouth is syrupy, little fusel alcohol, loads of pepper heat, light carb

Overall not sure where this was going, wasn't a big fan

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewer bottled, sent courtesy of Sarro.
Thanks man!
Split with PhineasGage and served in snifters.

Not quite as dark as I expected, but looks nice. Dark red with a tan head hiding hints of cinnamon in color. Very nice legs and good retention.

Smells just as I'd expect a barrel aged ris to smell like: big roasty malts, chocolate, booze, oak. The taste has notes of rum-soaked raisin, boozy bitter chocolate, charred oak, roasted malts... Very decent bourbon flavor adds some sweetness, but the finish is very dry with a hefty bitterness.

Nice full body with good carbonation. Good creamy feel with a sticky dry finish.

Overall-- this is quite nice. If this were available, I would certainly grab some. This is my first beer from Big Rock, and I look forward to more.

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Photo of NorthsideFred
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to StormKing47 for this bottle. I'm enjoying it while I'm watching the Bears put the hurt on San Diego (on my new TV).

A:  Almost black, some light seeps in around the edges. Decent head, nice lacing. 

S:  Aaaaah! - this smells soooo good. Bourbon (but not overwhelming) vanilla, and oak.  Unfortunately, I detect no roasted goodness. 

T:  Starts sweet with a nice punch of bourbon.  It has a nice, subtle, slightly bitter finish. 

M: Full-bodied, and silky smooth, but almost completely flat. 

O:  Better than I expected. 

I'm not sure why - but many reviewers are rating it lower than it deserves. 

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steve for this rare tick.

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a small off-white head.

S: Absolutely smells like a glass of bourbon. Intense bourbon and booze aroma with a bit of vanilla and oak. There is a bit of actual roast and dark chocolate to it, too.

T: The flavor is fairly intensely bourbony/boozy, too. There is a strong dark fruit aroma, mostly from the booze. A bit of charred oak and vanilla, and some booze. There is just a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate. And booze.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O: Definitely boozy, but pretty decent flavors and aromas.

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Photo of MichiganderHB
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to Devin for cracking open a couple bottles of this delicious stuff the other night.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with fair at best head retention and minimal lacing. On the other hand, this beer looks rich, thick and viscuous, an indication of what's to come. The nose is just outrageous, showing a huge aroma of coffee, milk duds (the sure sign of extended barrel aging), bourbon and light leather. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but isn't quite as intense or outrageous. Also, I get more leather on the palate, along with some butterscotch and vanilla. The mouthfeel is terrific, and this beer has the consistency of melted butter and heavy cream. It's very soft, creamy and long on the palate, with a finish that seems to last forever. Drinkability isn't bad, though of course you can tell the alcohol is up there, and there's no denying that this rich beer is very much a sipper. Still, this boozy RIS is just delicious and is quite impressive. Yummy stuff...

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Photo of Yodo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Coffee like black color with a late blooming head of tan foam. Medium low levels of carbonation. Some notes of lacing inside the glass.

S: Rich, malty, full. Strong notes of bourbon and wood, blended with spicy dark malts, grain, sweet dark chocolate and cocoa. Nice afterthoughts of vanilla and sugar. Very complex. Wonderful.

T: Complex and powerful. Dark malts, caramel, coffee, grain, toffee, vanilla, woody earth notes; complexity is abound in this one. Doesn't overload the palate, yet gives the tastebuds a nice workout when sorting out the flavors. Exceptional.

M: Slightly heavy on the palate, this one lacked the density that I find appealing in RIS's. Some carbonation was noted, but not too much, keeping things in line with the style. Slightly sticky. Pretty good.

D: A true winter warmer for the cold Michigan nights. I hope to see this one again come December '07. Nothing that i'd advocate having more than one of at a sitting, but definitly worthy of seeking out and having on occasion. Reccommended.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Devin! We got to try this side by side with another incarnation of this going by " Barrel Aged Got Rocks" RIS, which was the 2005 gold medal winning Got Rocks RIS aged for 2 years in bourbon barrels and then bottled in 2008 at Kuhnhenn. This is probably a fresher version, and both tasted pretty similar apart from a small difference in barrel expression.

Jet black with a dense, brown head with good retention and a little lacing. The head does fall off to a ring. The nose is rather full on barrel. Boozy, vanilla, bourbon, licorice and a little molasses, along with some milk chocolate. Some dark fruit with some raisins, this is excellent stuff.

The palate opens mildly tart with an oak-like tartness, along with some grainy bitterness. Plenty of vanilla, coconut, bourbon are present, though it doesn't taste too hot. Chocolate is present, and there's a licorice-like bitterness along with some burnt caramel. With a long-lasting finish with a blend of barrel tartness, grainy bitterness and some chocolate, this big bodied beer has rather low levels of carbonation. Great stuff, I really like the finish. Well done! Still though, a big, boozy RIS is not really my choice tipple for a hot DC evening.

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Photo of amalburg
2/5  rDev -48.2%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mistakebythelake
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 oz bottle split 2 ways, 09 vintage poured into snifter.

Jet black almost motor oil appearance. Smell was a bit hot with overwhelming bourbon and also had an acetone type nail polish smell to it. Definitely could taste the bourbon with some cocoa,coffee and roasted undertones. Had a good finish and creamy mouthfeel. Enjoyed this a bit more once it warmed up a bit, but probably could use another year of aging. At 12.5 % drinkability was not bad and probably could finish one 7oz in a setting.

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Photo of mrebeka
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


2009 vintage. A cool and unique extra received in a trade with FlandersNed. Thanks a lot, Steve. The beer appears black in my snifter with a one finger toffee colored head.

I poured this a bit too cold at first, and I found the nose fairly one dimensional. My mistake. After about 10 minutes this warmed up to an acceptable temperature and revealed itself to be quite complex. Dark chocolate is most prominent and it's accompanied by a nice vanilla presence. Bourbon is neither overpowering nor too subtle. I detect notes of brown sugar and a light earthy hop profile. Alcohol is well hidden, but perceivable nonetheless. It smells sweet, but the sweetness is restrained and never decadent. The roasted malt character is mild.

The flavor opens with dark chocolate, dark toffee, and bourbon. Alcohol heat quickly steps in, and it's at a perfect level throughout. Roasted malt is at a low level. The beer finishes dry and slightly astringent with a nice alcohol heat, chocolate, and strong bourbon notes.

Carbonation is quite high for the style, resulting in a somewhat spritzy mouthfeel that eventually abates into silk and stickiness. Damn good stuff. This pairs quit well with this random chocolate I found in my desk.

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Photo of _morandi_
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of semibaked. Thanks!

A: Pours a pitch black body with 1.5 fingers of well-retaining tan head. It leaves a nice cap on the beer after it recedes, and during sips it deposits nice curtains that coalesce into clumps of foam on the sides of the glass.

S: Caramel, earth, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak. Slightly raisiny or sherry-like, which I suppose is the oxidation.

T: Very caramel-forward; it's heavily bourbon-dominated, with chocolate hints following afterward to suggest there's a base beer. Rum-soaked raisins, vanilla, and oak bring up the finish. It's too bourbon-dominated, almost like a shot of bourbon was poured into a middling stout.

M: Medium-plus. It's very bourbon-dominated, but the bigger body of the beer stands up and prevents any heat from being felt. A clean finish with just the lightest hint of lingering roast and chocolate.

O: Some flaws, but I couldn't hate this one. It's middle-of-the-road as far as barrel-aged stouts go, but still tasty.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout from Big Rock Chop & Brewhouse
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 44 ratings