Amazing Grace
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.64 | pDev: 27.2%
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Amazing GraceAmazing Grace
Notes: There are some things in this world that just can't be replicated and the 2010 version of "Amazing Grace" was an exciting, stunning success having aged our Ten Penny Ale Reserve for over 6 months in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels. It even won the Bevstar Silver Award by "Beverage World" magazine! However, "Amazing Grace" is destined to be reserved as our ever-changing, but always "amazing" specialty brew with it's essence and bold flavor issuing from the particular type of barrel it's aged in. This year, "Amazing Grace" will be bathed in French Cognac barrels that were most recently filled with Crown Royal! You be the judge, but alas, you'll have to wait til January 2012, but what a way to start the New Year!
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 34 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Roguer
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big, frothy beige head; very nice retention and lacing.

Aroma is strongly fruity: grapes and prunes, alongside bread; boozy and sweet. The sharp booziness just barely keeps this aroma from being outstanding.

Flavor follows, with a noticeably sour edge of dark fruits. Odd overripe fruit sweetness on the back end; there's just something off, almost (but not quite) like molasses. Is it rum? Rum or whiskey. Woody.

Fizzy mouthfeel; otherwise smooth.

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Photo of inkdemention
1.48/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It was an extra from Homebrew in a trade

This beer wasnt enjoyable on any level IMO

A: it looked light in color. Slight barrel appearance.

S: sweet

T: that time you were ditching school and someone broke into your friends parents liquor cabinet and pulled out the Hennessy . Yea. Almost that bad. The faint cheap cognac notes hide what a wee should be for me.

M: medium body to thin with lighter carbonation. Eh.

O: I pour this stuff down the drain. My dog didnt even want any. Avoid at all cost.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz swing top bottle. Pours a dark chesnutty brown with a thin layer of head. Some lacing. Aroma is boozey and earthy with some malts, caramel and brown sugar. Taste is kind of like boozey caramel popcorn. Some earthiness and roasted malts as well. Some dark fruits flavor. Somewhat of a light mouthfeel considering. I wouldn't have guessed the abv was 10%. Not much in the way of alcohol burn. Virtually no carbonation. Overall, it was pricey but good. Probably not worth the hefty price tag.

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Photo of Homebrew35
1.52/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pouts a murky dark copper color. No head and no lacing.

Smells of Carmel, toffee, subtle whiskey vanilla and oak. Mixed with hard apple cider, vinegar and funk.

Tasted like a a mixed drink of whiskey, apple vinegar, and apple juice. All I can do is imagine how this tasted before the infection took over.

Mouthfeel is medium thin. A hint of carbonation. A firm acidic burn lingers for the finish.

Overall this is a big let down even if others had mentioned this may be off. I'm still sharing my opinion and experience.
$10 a flip top pint.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pt .9oz blue swing-top bottle poured into a snifter. The bottle is very aesthetically pleasing. Nice touch with the swing-top.

A: Clear auburn. Thin white head dissipates very quickly and leaves behind very little lacing.

S: Herbal European hops dominate the smell at first. Odd. Sweet caramel and some breadiness eventually take control. The barrel scents are mellow and tame. Whiskey, vanilla, and a bit of wood. There's an even, gritty, earthy yeast smell that tempers everything and holds it all together.

T: Sweet caramel and bready notes open. Bourbon and barrel tastes are subtle, but there with tastes of vanilla and oak. Gritty yeast provides a solid foundation. An herbal, tea-like hop bitterness provides balance, but does not influence the taste as much as the nose suggested it would. This is a good thing. A sweet beer throughout, as expected. Finishes with bourbon and some gritty, earthy yeast flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Residual sugars lend a chewy/syrupy aspect to the mouthfeel. Creamy and very smooth. Pleasing.

O: Good. Drinks very easily, especially for its strength.

Notes: I normally prefer a bigger bourbon/barrel kick to beers like this, but I'm actually digging the subtlety here. The barrel flavors take on a nice supporting role, rather than being the main attraction. This is barrel aging done right. The only minor complaint that I have is that the hops take over the aromatics a bit too much for the style.

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lee – much obliged!

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel malts with hints of toastiness. Also present are large amounts of vanilla and slighter amounts of spicy whiskey.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as smooth. Sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the sweetness subsides a bit as heavier toasted malts come into play. Very slight earthy hops work their way into things near the end of the sip, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall it took a few sips to really appreciate the barrel-aged character of this beer, as it’s not as in-your-face as most others. A well done and nuanced beer, worth a shot.

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Photo of letsgowhalers
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was so looking forward to this beer. Especially on National Beer Day! The beautiful swing top bottle opened without much pop. Odd. Poured into a snifter. Almost no head save for around the edge. Smells vaguely whiskeyish but something's certainly wrong. A sour, citric sip confirmed my suspicion of a bad bottle. A REALLY bad bottle. I understand that infections do happen, but usually to homebrew and not an established brewery. And not to an $11 bottle at that. Bummer of the highest order. After reading the earlier review of a bad bottle at least made me feel like I'm not alone. At least I can fill the empty bottle with homebrew.

Edit: After emailing the brewery with my concerns over my bad bottle I got a reply from Rich who offered to hand-deliver me a new bottle at home. Glad I took him up on the offer. This is a tasty beer.

A:Poured a deep reddish brown with a quickly dissipating head

S:Strong vanilla with some dark caramel and a touch of bourbon

T:If there was ever a beer that tastes almost exactly like it smells this is it. Does have just a slight dark chocolate bitterness.

M:Definitely mouth coating especially with such low carbonation. Really lets the flavor linger. Works well here.

D:Nice sipping bedtime beer.

Nice beer overall. My ratings now reflect this bottle, not the first which was horrific. Certainly worth seeking this one out if you're looking for a unique treat.

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Photo of Thads324
4.72/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to my cousin Ryan for leaving this for me a while back:

A : Pours a clear dark amber with a thin white head that disipates quickly to nothing. Very low carbonation out of the handsome blue swing top 500 ml bottle.

S : The first two attempts yield nothing but heavy vanilla bean and a hint of oak. On the next sniff you can make out a solid bourbon whiskey scent with a boozy backbone. There is a slight bitterness of hops that blends nicely with all the woody whiskey scents.

T : A malty forefront of caramel and toffee with a slight tinge of chocolate back. Then hits the whiskey, with a solid vanilla feel and a bourbon bite without the finish of alcohol found in a whiskey. The flavor is smooth, and mellow all the way through. Nicely made for sipping

M : The beer has almost no carbonation, but lends a nice mouthfeel which allows the complex flavors to mellow long and heavy. There is a smooth, buttery feeling that carries all the aroma along with the flavor for a lasting linger with a coating of candy sweetness on the tongue.

D : A fine tasting brew that is smooth and easy as heck to drink for 10%.

A well made beer through and through. I don't know if the guys below got left out in the sun or what, but this is one of the best barrel aged beers I've had in a while.

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Photo of Durge
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd say someone got a bad bottle with that last review, but I was not so unlucky. This brew has a dark iced tea color with a flimsy ring of white on top with fair lacing. The aroma offers subtle whiskey malt with beautiful heather honey. Give this some time to stew and boy it is nice, mellow. The flavor offers a similarly well balanced blend of malt and sweet toffee whisky. It's medium bodied with subtle carbonation and a slightly resinous feel, somewhat aqueous, going down pretty easily. Very nice brew, worth the $11 I think.

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Photo of woosterbill
1.5/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one at a tasting. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Clear reddish-amber body with a thing, transient off-white head. Pretty good.

S: Sour and rancid. Obviously infected and absolutely terrible.

T: Sour, rancid, and sweet. Not as bad as the stench, but disturbingly close.

M: Light-bodied and full of fine effervescence. It's a fun mouthfeel, but in a barrel-aged Wee Heavy this thinness and bubbliness just screams infection.

D: No. Just no.

Notes: Beware this beer. I was really looking forward to a big, boozy, malty treat, and instead got a thin, hideous mess of infection. What a loss.

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Photo of beerich
4.95/5  rDev +36%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let's just call this one Olde Burnsides "Super Brew".
I have always loved their Ten Penny Ale Reserve but, ageing it in whiskey barrels makes it pop with even more interesting flavors, a slight oakiness, vanilla, and a wee hint of spirits.
Bought 4 bottles to share with my friends over the holidays. They enjoyed the empty bottles, because I drank them all myself.
A nice addition for my hometown brewer - keep up the good work.

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Photo of drseamus
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours slightly under-carbonated but still forms a head initially. Body is a beautifully clear reddish amber. No bubbles are visible.

S: The aroma is filled with whiskey and sweet malt. It almost smells like brandy.

T: The flavor is quite like the aroma. It has strong whiskey notes and a good amount of sweetness up front but lacks some depth that I would like to see in there.

M: As above, it lacks the body it should have to support the whiskey and sweetness from the malt.

D: Don't let my criticisms of the body take away from this beer. This is a great beer. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of Pahn
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle/growler into Duvel tulip.

[Note: This review is for the late 2010 version of this beer, supposedly aged in Stranahan's Whiskey barrels. The recent (end of 2011 / beginning of 2012) version, aged in cognac barrels I believe, tastes much different; in fact, I strongly disliked it.]

Appearance: Free pour yields an inch and a half bonewhite head that dissipates slowly leaving no lacing. Pours a hazy, light red brown and leaves short lived spots of lacing.

Smell: At first: whiskey. Inviting whiskey. Some savory malty, bready aromas quickly come up along with the dominant (but not overpowering; it's the main aroma, but it's not punching you in the face) whiskey. As it warms, subtle fresh pastry/cookie aromas start to lurk around in the background. This beer smells as it should; you get a strong dose of good whiskey, but you can still smell the malty goodness of the Scotch ale underneath.

Taste: First sip: very smooth whiskey and malt; the mouthfeel is so creamy. Finish has some whiskey bite and a long bread and molasses aftertaste. Subtle flavors. I taste whiskey and feel some heat, but at 10% ABV there's not even a hint of solvent flavor. As the beer warms, the cookie aspects of the smell start to come up and deepen the malt backbone of the flavor.

This beer tastes very, very good. I think every note is excellent. My only complaint is that its subtlety is perhaps too great. This beer could stand to be bolder. This isn't really much of a complaint... it's a delicious, noteworthy beer, but this flavor would impress me into 4.5 or 5.0 territory if these inherently strong types of flavor sang as in tune with each other at a louder volume (if this makes any sense).

Mouthfeel: If the taste is great but too restrained, the mouthfeel is much closer to "just right". Medium bodied, and exquisitely smooth and creamy. Perfect for these flavors. All that holds it back from 5.0 is that it's a bit too carbonated and occasionally has a slight watery feel (with the carbonation, this breaks me out of "wow, smooth whiskey barrel aged beer!" mode into, "watery and bubbly, that's soda..." mode). Could be fuller bodied too, but with all the subtlety of the flavor this isn't really a problem.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable; 10% ABV?? It's a bit too subdued, but in some ways that of course makes it all the more drinkable.

At $12~ for a 500ml bottle, Olde Burnside is pushing it with their pricing (though it comes out to about $8.50 for a 12oz, which isn't too bad for a high gravity, barrel aged beer). I don't regret the purchase at all though. I'm also very impressed by this foray into barrel aging by my hometown brewery. The balance between wee heavy, oak, and whiskey is very well done, and the final beer is delicious. If they release this beer again, I'll happily buy another.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz swing top bottle purchased from Grand Vin.

On the tag "Our reserve ale is aged in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels for over 6 months".

A nice pop when I opened the swing top, it pours a very dark reddish brown with a 1 finger head of foam and some gorgeous lacing.

This is still pretty cold but I get nice notes of whiskey, caramel, and that's about it.

The taste gives me a better feel for the beer. Lots of nice notes of caramel malt, a good but not overpowering flavour of whiskey that dominates the finish, and some toffee. Not overly complicated but it doesn't need to be. Mm...smacking my lips now as the aftertaste is very good and long lasting.

Medium bodied with the carbonation on the low end of medium, it has a great mouth feel and is quite drinkable for a 10% abv Scotch Ale. Hey, this one is a winner!

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Photo of morningthief
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a crystal clear auburn in the glass. I would have liked a little more red in there, but what can you do? Any head incurred during initial pour has long since faded.

Wow, smells great! Notes of bourbon and vanilla dominate. Not much more going on here, but damn if this isn't fragrant.

Sweet and malty with a slightly boozy aftertaste. Vanilla and bourbon all the way through. Some toasted malt in the finish. Overall quite good; just sweet enough for a Scotch Ale. I don't know Stranahan's Whisky from a hole in the wall, but if Olde Burnside are trying to impress me with their choice of barrel, they most certainly have.

This is a light to medium-bodied brew, just where it ought to be. Gives a warming sensation on the tongue--probably from the booze.

I am mildly impressed with my hometown brewery. Burnside have thus far failed to impress me with their standard offerings, but their special brews never let down. Would absolutely drink again.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy mahagony with a 1-finger off white head that quickly falls to a thin cap. Lace is ok.

S- Sweet toffee malts, little caramel, and lots of booze. A little vanilla and woodiness from the barrels, but more of the whiskey aroma than anything. Still pretty nice though.

T- Again, sweet and earthy malt flavors first, and vanilla and oak, but the whiskey flavor really stands out here. The taste is more balanced and melds better than the aroma.

MF/D- Medium to full bodied with little carbonation. The flavors, especially the barrel (Vanilla, woody, and whiskey) flavors, linger quite a while. I don't think having more than one of these would be an option, with all the strong flavors here. Drinkable in the sense that this one is very good. But just this one.

Not a bad beer at all. Flavorfull and aromatic full of vanilla and oak, along with whiskey and sweet malts. Hope they make more of it.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint and 7oz mini cobalt blue swing top bottle into a Snifter Glass. Huge pop when i opened it! and lots of smoke. This stuff is fresh!

Picked up at my bigger local store the week of the release.

A- Pours a slightly hazy dark caramel brown with pretty much no head after an aggressive pour. Just some medium sized bubbles around the glass and leaves some really nice feet as well as it slides down the glass.

S- Really nice nutty and toffee notes like the original with a strong blend of oak and vanilla in the background from the barrels. If you dig real deep you get a strong whiskey and alcohol smell that's pretty inviting and not overpowering at all. Really well blended to say the least.

T- Really smooth and creamy malts with a ton of toffee and caramel sweetness. After it goes down the faint vanilla and strong oak characters come forward bringing a whole different view on this beer. As it warms the whiskey/alcohol comes out in the finish more as well as the toffee and malts.

M- Medium body with moderate to lower carbonation and a nice wet finish with a slight sting left in the back of the throat. Really nice actually.

Overall they did a great job with this beer. It's smooth, creamy, and full of a lot of different flavors to keep one interested and drinking. I'd definitely recommend this brew if you can get your hands on it.


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Amazing Grace from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 34 ratings