Bordeaux Barrel Aged Scotch De Silly | Brasserie de Silly S.A.

25 Reviews
Bordeaux Barrel Aged Scotch De SillyBordeaux Barrel Aged Scotch De Silly

Brewed by:
Brasserie de Silly S.A.

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged for 6 months in Bordeaux Oak barrels.

Added by Jason on 08-10-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 108
Photo of TMoney2591
3.34/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

The core of the beast in the tulip is like staring into the soul of the garnet in all its January-honoring glory. There ain’t no murk lurkin’ here, just lazy clarity. Above, a creamy cap of khaki seems to serve both as a welcoming hearth and a warning of what may lie beneath. Fuck you, I’m Beowulf, and I’m taking the plunge, witch!!

Call it the power of suggestion, call it reality, call it maybe, but I definitely get a sense of tannic red wine here from the get-go. Now, unless that wine was fortified with Everclear instead of aguardiente, there’s also a heavy dose of straight booze hanging along with the wine up front. A lesser man’d start feelin’ the world turn on him already, the ‘hol working its magic without having to work its way through the bloodstream. Luckily for us, though, I’m not a lesser man than I. See, I even have command of near-tautologies. Once the strong Bordeaux clouds pass, the Earth gives forth what’s left of its bounty in the glass: buttery caramel, earthy greens, oak, spicy seaweed, and the faintest possible hint of used-up charcoal way off in the distance. Things are certainly brighter than in the un-barreled days, but that ain’t saying as much as first glance might let on. In fact, it seems as though a different atmosphere settled on the same planet: Sure, there’s gonna be some influence on the surface, what with new winds and precipitation and whatnot, but it’s mostly just in the air.

Turfside, the wine has certainly been absorbed by the still-cardboardy sweet bread plains. What results is a base cake of wet box, heather, rye crust, and earthy greens, all drizzled-o’er with the musty grapes of a plummy port. If this is Bordeaux, it’s strangely mineraly, watered-down just like the container that once held my old refrigerator after a few hours in the rain waiting for collection and interment. The end result isn’t necessarily better than the bare version: it’s not pure evolutionary growth, just radial evolution.

Beyond that, Venus is pretty much just like Earth, what with a middling mass for a terrestrial planet and a token amount of tectonic and tidal activity. Yup, if it weren’t for that barreling, I’d think I’ve got two bottles of the same beer here, and I’d have to go back to the store and challenge what my receipt and their shelf-tags told me. The similarities continue into the general impressions, which remain fairly tepid. I can’t in good conscience call this stuff great beer, nor really all that tasty or enjoyable. Still, I hesitate to go too far in my condemnation, as it’s not technically bad, just broadly kinda crappy-tasting.

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Photo of AltBock
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle that had a plain and simple sea green/black/blue striped label with the name of the beer in bold letters and the brewery crest in the background. The back label only contains the mandatory US info. What kind of barrel is it aged in? Tequila? Rum? What? If I didn't have Internet access, I wouldn't know.

When poured into a Peg's Cantina Snifter, this silly beer appeared to pour a dark brown color, but rays of light showed this beer's true color. The beer was actually a dark cherry amber with some faint burgundy highlights. The color of the beer was better than the head of foam. All I received was a tiny thin tan like head of foam. It acted like it somewhere to be so it receded away very fast. It only managed to leave behind a small number of rings along the side.

The aroma was a little bit on the sweet side. Right up front was the lightly toasted caramel malts. After that, this beer smelled like a red wine. That's the Bordeaux barrel aging shining through. This red wine part of the aroma consisted of red grapes, a few black cherries, a plum or two, and some subtle oak in the back. You can tell the barrel aging ruled over the aroma.

It wasn't the lightly toasted caramel malts that kicked off the taste. Instead it was the dark fruits that started things off. Up front was the red grapes, dark cherry, and a drop of plum. The fruits don't stick around for very long. That's when a small taste of toasted malts comes in. When the malts are done, the taste then finishes up with a dash of sweet caramel and a pinch of oak. It was the barrel aging that controlled the aroma, but it was the dark fruits that took over the taste.

This was a medium bodied barrel aged Scotch Ale that had its fair share of carbonation and a faint aftertaste. The aftertaste was both lightly dry and sweet with toasted malts, red grapes, black cherry, and a dash of oak. This aftertaste will not linger. It didn't have enough power to linger.

Silly Rabbit, barrel aging isn't just for Imperial Stouts or Barleywines. Not a bad beer, but this beer is a tad bit expensive. I would have liked more red wine and oak to come out. Would I buy another bottle to age? No, one bottle is fine.

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Photo of r0nburgundy69
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 750 ml into snifter.

A - deep cherry, light brown, small fast dissipating head

S - light red wine, dark fruits, light booze

T - hints of wine, lots of dark fruits, cherry and vanilla

M - on the lighter side, havent had very many scotch style ales, a bit creamy tho

O - somewhat of a strange brew for me, its not anywhere near my favorite but it is good. dont know if id have it again

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Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jarad for sharing this with us. 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears amber mahogany quite clear with big bubble formation that is quick to fade.

The smell is sweet and malty with a hint of oak and oxidation. Mild papery aspects give way to a faint smoked and candy sugar appeal. A light touch of something vinous is also present but pales in comparison to the rest of the attributes.

The taste is sweet with a mild vinous touch mixing with paper-like oxidation and oak. As it warms up, it gets a faint hint of smokiness only noticed in the finish and into the aftertaste. It has a nice contrast of malt verse barrel and smoke, I dig it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a low amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden. The overall integration of flavor is exceptional and the subtle touch of smoke is very well received in this style. Having never had the base beer, I assume I would be a pretty big fan of it considering how well the flavors worked here in this barrel treatment.

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Photo of ARoman
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

*Transferred from old notes - 12/27/2013* 75 cl bottle poured into an 8 oz nonic glass. Served with a meat and cheese tray (Grayson, aged cheddar, salami, summer sausge). Very strong grape (bordeaux) aroma is the initial impression. Some light coffee and caramel notes poke through as it warms up. Deep, rich, brown-red color, nearly opaque with a light brownish head. Very small, even lacing in the head. Heavy sweet with medium sour and light bitter notes to start with - definitely strong on the bordeaux to start. As it warms, it gives way to the scotch ale’s caramel malt, but the overall sweetness mellows out. It’’s full body and feels thick with a nice, light carbonation - a bit more than I’m used to in a Scotch Ale. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but it brought to mind a very thick, chocolate red wine at first, and morphed into a sweet scotch ale by the end. A nice little treat, makes me curious what their non-barrel aged scotch ale tastes like.

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Photo of bashiba
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a dirty orange/amber with a thick off white head. Not much lacing or retention.

The smell was dominated by the fruity wine barrel esters and caramel malts mixing together for a big sweet nose.

The flavor was sweet as well, big sweet scotch ale malts mixing in with a lot of dark fruit flavors, very grapey and just a touch of oak in the finish.

The mouthfeel had nice levels of carbonation with a moderate creamyness.

A fun strange Scotch ale, nothing great but at least it was interesting and unusual.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Impressive—a beer like this should be a signal to all Belgian brewers to start thinking a bit more outside the box (perhaps not in big production volumes, but just enough to make some noise). We’ve heard that some beer geeks have regretted not picking up a bottle or two, and they should feel that way. We’d love to see more expressions of this beer.

STYLE: Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
ABV: 9.0%

LOOK: Tawny and hazy, sticky lacing

SMELL: Toffee, baked apples, crackers, wood, faintly vinous, mixed berry jam, whiff of alcohol

TASTE: Deep smoothness, creamy, chewy medium body, warming alcohol, ripe fruit, toffee, toasted bread, woody, faint cocoa, modest hopping, hazelnut, slightly vinous; drying, woody finish

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Photo of mlockman
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Overall, this is perhaps the best barrel-aged Scotch Ales I've ever had. The flavor from the barrel was delectable, not too intense but also quite perceptible; it lent a mellow quality much akin to if one took a very bourbon-forward barrel aged scotch ale and cellared it for over a year.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep ruby-brown with good clarity. An inch of tan head crowns the beer. Looks nice.

Cherried malts imply work of the barrel. Some meatiness to the malts with sweet grain and the implementation of a nutty Belgian yeast. Some vanilla, light oak, and lots of gooey caramel. Nice aroma.

A little woody, but an overall caramel malt bomb with tasty barrel notes and Scotch-like meaty malt tones. Lots of that aforementioned cherry note with some medicinal flavors. Estery, with that Belgian flair, with fruitiness. Alcohol is at a perfect level, nice and wooly.

Carbonation is the only flaw, and it's minor. It's a little light. Body is nice, and the alcohol is well distributed.

Awesome Wee Heavy. Really well put-together.

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Photo of impending
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5


750ml into a tulip. Pours as if a slick walnut cola with a minor dense mocha color head, ok lacing.

Aroma is strong of grape and figs, fairly quaddish. Dark cherries perhaps, sweet vinous qualities. Nothing that indicates a barrel.

The flavor is of a strong dark blended with a scotch ale. Dark fruits, raisins, large sweet dark grapes, more herbal bark very low bitter rather than peat, tannins sit in as well. Shy of medium low carbed mouthfeel.
don't sense any barrel contribution but far superior to the original recipe

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Photo of samtrillo
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%

No where on the bottle does it say Bordeaux barrel were the ones used but based on the pictures I've found of my bottle and the others listed, I believe I'm in the right place. Very silly label it is.

Anyway, the beer pours a murky brown. Looks as if someone poured some chocolate into root beer.

I get a sweet yeasty brown malt presence on the nose followed by red wine tartness.

Wow, I can't believe this is a 9% barrel aged scotch ale from the mouthfeel. It's very soft and has some crisp carbonation.

Brown sugar and cherried red wine notes pervade the initial sips. Vanilla as it opens up with, yep I wanna say root beer woodiness. It's warming now; I'm getting more of the classic dried prunes and date feel of a scotch ale. Some bitterness at the end blends nicely with a smokey finish as the sweetness of the malt also sticks around a bit.

Overall, I gotta say what comes to mind is cherry-vanilla-root beer. If there is such a thing. I think the one downside to this was the carbonation, thus the soda comparisons. I think this would be even better aged. Get it while you can.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After having this for 2 + years, it's still my good. Sweet, but not overly so and so smooth. Just the perfect example of a scotch style ale in my opinion.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle I shared at my tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, and some red wine aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of earthy bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of seand
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a small amount of light tan head. Some surface film retains along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving reasonable lacing.

S: Darkly sweet molasses and spices. Nice complexity.

T: Thick and sweet, though not cloying. There's a touch of a woody note, presumably from the barrel aging.

M: Ful bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall, nicely constructed, and a bit different than the standard strong/sweet beers.

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Photo of Pencible
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy dark mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like sourdough bread and earthy toffee, with some oak and fig and copper hops.
T: It tasted like sweet toffee and raisins, with some tannic oak and sourdough bread, and maybe a bit of orange marmalade. It had a clean and mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was oily with fine natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a great brew with a refined and very enjoyable scent and taste. The body was solid, and the finish was smooth. It had well hidden alcohol too, so it was really easy to drink. Not sure how old this is, but seems like it might already have some age on it. It's just so smooth and integrated. Further age isn't necessary, but probably wouldn't hurt either. Recommended.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, pear, date, apple, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, light chocolate, oak, light clove, red wine, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big complexity of dark fruity notes with good malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, pear, date, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, toffee, light chocolate, clove, oak, red wine, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, pear, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light chocolate, oak, clove, and light red wine on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark fruit and malt flavors with moderate wine barrel presence; with a great malt/fruity balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent scotch ale! All around great complexity and balance of dark fruit and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, ruby, with a thin head that goes away fast, and doesn't really stick to the glass.
Smells of plum jam, honey, toasted malts and somewhat floral.
Taste is straight up dark fruit (lots of raisin, plums, figs, dates), combined with molasses, creating a jam-like aroma. Some low red apple also, but bigger red grapes. Malts are toasted, but not aggresively, with a very low bitterness. Lots of caramel, Belgian sugars and a sugarcane component that somehow reminds of black rum, considering the warm alcohol, speaking of which, is pretty well hidden.
Main spice is vanilla, with some low "wine-spices", like some faint clove and cinnamon. Also some light pepper. Hops provide some nice bitter green notes in the finish.
Not a lot of barrely notes, considering this is 1.a scotch ale and 2.barrel aged. Weirdly, the bottle doesn't say anything else about the barrels or the aging. Still, low woody notes, some oak, and very faint whisky, wanted more.
Finally, this beer is definitely aged, but the barrel doesn't scream out. Could easily be considered a Belgian strong dark that was left in the cellar for a few years. Nevertheless, a perfect dark ale, nothing bad to say about it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish color with a tan head. In the aroma, red wine and a small caramel like maltiness. In the taste, caramel malt and oaky red wine. A smooth and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry and oaky red wine in the aftertaste. Red wine and oak is huge in this, very nice and enjoyable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a thistle glass, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan had that didn't stay around for too long. There's a small amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, the brew smells like red wine, dark fruit, caramel, peat and a bit of vanilla. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it tastes like caramel and bready malt/grain, dark fruit (cherries, raisins), vanilla, red wine and some peat. Gets only better the longer I drink this. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and slick and has moderate carbonation. It's smooth and easy enough to drink. I think it's a good brew, I liked it. $13.99 a bottle.

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Photo of KKB
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now I knew this girl was a bit of a rarity, but I had no idea just how rare. I wish I had bought 3-4 more. I have had one of these bottles already about 3 months ago and it was just divine. One of my favorite beers of all time. I am thoroughly looking forward to this.

A – A deep chestunut ruby that is somewhat see through. A huge gorgeous cinnamon head that lasts forever and leaves clumps of lacing. This is a gorgeous beer right from the get-go, I’m giddy with excitement already.

S – It has a caramel and floral aroma to it, dark fruits to be certain, and what I can only describe as a creamy cinnamon element to it as well. It also smells a little bit like a very sweet scotch, and you get some of the indicators of the red wine barrel aging in the nose as well. It kind of smells like candied bread, if that’s possible.

T – The taste is good. I’m sitting on judging it for a minute because right now I am actually not blown away. I think I need to let it heat up a little bit. But for the flavors you get a mild scotchyness, some caramel, a slight combination of sour and sweet that works rather nicely… You have to wait for this thing to get real warm in order to enjoy it. Do not drink this if it is cold in any way or you will be kicking yourself. A little chilled is fine and anything in that region to slightly above room temperature is where it starts tasting totally awesome. There are a lot of dark fruits and a slight wine element coupled with the malty factor. It has a very sweet taste to it, no sour now really, and it also has a nice vanilla aspect to it as well. It’s really a very good beer, it is not, however, as good as I remembered it being. I would call it great, but not quite excellent, or world class.

M – The mouthfeel is medium-full body with limited carbonation and has a creamy texture to it.

O – Overall this beer is totally awesome. I would absolutely buy it again, but it is not one my favorite beers of all time as I had remembered it being. Still though, this is something for the brewers to hold their head high over, great beer all around.

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Photo of homebrewedchristian
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So extremely smooth. I'm not the biggest Scotch Ale fan, but I could sip on this all day. Pours out a nice clean copper/amber color. Sweet maltiness on the nose with a hit of wine characteristics. Soft on the mouth with bits of vanilla and a touch of caramel. As the beer warms up, the Bordeaux comes it, with a bit of tartness and just a slightly dry finish, but not to the extend where your tongue feels like a cotton ball. Very very enjoyable beer. Would love to compare this to the regular Scotch Silly....

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a dark red amber with a fine two finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark dried fruit, bready malt, Belgian yeast, hints of cherry and red wine. Flavor follows with rich dark fruit juice, dried fruit, light cherry, bready malt and Belgian yeast. Finishes with dark fruit, light hops and a hint of red wine and wood. Proabably closer in taste to a Belgian dark than a scotch ale (not much peat or smokiness), but I'm not complaining, this is really tasty. Medium body with a pleasant light creaminess. Glad I got one of this in the nanosecond they were on the shelves and will look for it again.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So drinkable. 

Lots of dark fruit. Little vanilla in the nose. Some caramel. 

I smell the red wine barrel. 

The taste has cherry. Dark woods. 

Slightly heavy and not really my favorite style but this is randy. 

Huge cherry aroma 

Big quad like taste. Super smooth quad-esque 

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Photo of Vierenner
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Very interesting beer. It's mildly sweet with a beautiful blend of distinct flavors and negligible hop bite. As opposed to so many ales on the market this one has personality! I certainly get red wine overtones in both smell and taste. I also get caramel and a hint of vanilla. I suppose some fruit too ... but that's a bit of a stretch for my palate. Overall delicious!

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a rich red/copper color. One-finger head of loose khaki brown foam dissipates quickly to sloppy islands across the surface. Beer is a deep red rosewood color and moderately opaque.

S - Rich toasted malts and dark caramels. Hints of dried cherries, amaretto, and milk chocolate. As it warms, smokey peat can be coaxed out of the glass.

T - Grainy bread mixed with 50% chocolate and rich caramels. Nicely toasted malts. Deep, rich red fruits in the background at the edges - almost as shadows. Hints of vanilla appear as it warms. Not at all sweet or cloying, but no hop bitterness, either - perfectly balanced. No signs of booziness in spite of the 9% ABV. Very true to the style, and absolutely delicious!

M - Moderately fizzy, but smooth. Nice structure with a solid body. Light, short finish.

O - A simply outstanding beer, this was a treat to savor and enjoy. The flavors are rich and wonderful; it's clearly made from high-quality ingredients. In fact, it's almost a Scotch-Belgium dopplebock. One of the best beers I've tasted in a long, long time, and will definitely be a required purchase when it's on the shelf.

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Bordeaux Barrel Aged Scotch De Silly from Brasserie de Silly S.A.
4.12 out of 5 based on 108 ratings.
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