Neck Of The Woods Vintage Ale
Black Oak Brewing Co.

Neck Of The Woods Vintage AleNeck Of The Woods Vintage Ale
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Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
American Strong Ale
4.02 | pDev: 6.97%
Aug 27, 2016
Dec 01, 2015
Very Good
Neck Of The Woods Vintage AleNeck Of The Woods Vintage Ale
Notes: None
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Reviewed by JonCorbett from Canada (BC)

4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Its Christmas in August! found this lonely bottle from the 2015 Craft Beer Advent Calendar still sitting in the fridge begging to be opened.

Appearance: Pours all kinds of colours - dark cherry red to a deep red-brown and near black in the widest parts of the glass. Hard to say much on its clarity but at the edges the brightness in the reds are fairly clear. A solid 1 finger head that is a light tan; tight bubbles, nice and foamy, dissipates pretty quickly with a slight ring and little surface foam that eventually blows off to no noticeable ring at all. Also not much in the way of lace, the glass remains fairly clean down to the last drop.

Aromatics: Lots of dark stone fruit - plum/date, cherry, molasses and brown sugar that all nicely mingle with warm yeasty scent like double risen bread dough. The caramelized and toasted malts with only a hint of floral booziness.

Taste: I like to think that by being Canadian a strong beer means STRONG - so anything say under 8% ABV is still regular beer, this one tipping the scales at 8.5% therefore is getting there, but you never would guess from its full range flavour delivery. That 8.5% is well controlled behind the sweet concentration of caramelized apricots and plums and toasted wheat with added nods to bitters found in superior extra dark chocolate, and just a subtle nudge of spice to top it all off.

Mouth: Wow. warm and creamy, smooth rich robust body, a superbly maintained carbonation that is not visible but still plays a huge role in making sure the whole of the palate is stimulated. Almost like a stout but a bit more pizazz - if butter came in a lightly carbonated form this would be pretty close I imagine. The finish is relatively clean, slight (but brief) cough of medicine near the back end and that is the only hint you get of it’s strength.

Overall: This is one of those beers that is so amazing you can’t help but apply an ‘ol adage of “If this [beer] were a woman it would be ___” and for me it’s the Queen herself - Queen Latifa that is! It’s got it all: gorgeous colour, ample sweetness, full bodied, silky and smooth, and sings to your all the senses - fantastic! And of course enjoy it during the season it was intended for - make sure you have plenty of seasonal chit chat around the house with family you only see once a year, screaming kids, and the tv set on the "fireplace" channel all day. Its a great beer, it has the amazing ability to make the season and family super enjoyable even though the other 364 days of the year you can barely tolerate them.

Pairing: Coming from the advent calendar (and I really should have had this 9 months ago), I can imagine a whole slough of fantastic seasonal treats that this will go with: but I think my choices would all be in the after dinner/dessert round, after a hearty meal. A nice stone fruit based pie or tart - my favorite being an plum raisin-pecan pie combo, a la mode or not; Or even a few simple holiday chocolates - like a few chocolate-mint sticks/wafers or chocolate-caramel-nut combos.
Aug 27, 2016
Rated: 3.44 by graybayou from Canada (AB)

Mar 25, 2016
Rated: 3.62 by Mlkluther from Canada (AB)

Jan 29, 2016
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Reviewed by Hat_Fulla_Beer from Canada (AB)

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
341ml bottle. Part of a broken-open Craft advent calendar.

Pours a deep amber brown with one finger of bubbly beige head that leaves jungle canopy lace as it recedes.

Smells of brown sugar, chocolate raisins, dark orchard fruit and faint earthy hops.

Tastes of dark sweet malt, caramel apple, mushy orchard fruit, brown sugar on slightly burnt toast and gentle green hops.

Feels smooth and surprisingly light. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry with no hint of alcohol.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Big, drinkable and warming.
Jan 03, 2016
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Reviewed by MAB from Canada (AB)

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
I keep saying "best beer yet" on the advent calendar, and then revising my opinion, but I don't think that this one will be topped.
Overall awesomeness. There's not much I could or would change-- it is a perfect glass of beer for me.
Dec 31, 2015
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Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
341ml bottle poured into tulip 22/12/15

A hazy brownish amber, you can almost see the other side of the glass under the fingers width of well sustained foam that laves some random patches

S brown sugar, bruised plum, apple sauce, spicy, herbal hops, sugar coated raisins, faint tobacco, maybe some wet leaves in there

T caramel, hard to place spice, apple pine crust included, everything from the nose is still there in one form or another, some nutty notes and a hint of leather

M leaning towards full, soft from the bubbles but low carbonation, slick at first with a little tannin like grit after the fact, herbal dried fruit finish

O I wasn't sure what to expect but this ones solid, fresh vintage ale drinking like an old bottle, nice and mellow with not booze anywhere

Broken up advent calendars being sod as singles have worked out well for me, most of the big beers where age isn't a factor have turned out pretty good and this ones no exception
Dec 23, 2015
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Reviewed by Trosevear from Canada (AB)

4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Day 18 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

L : Hazy light brown with a slight white head that left a nice amount of lacing down the side.

S: Sweet molasses, and a slight smell of cherries or raspberries.

T: Full of fruits and sweet chocolate with a slight about of vanilla.

F: Full body mouth feel with a nice amount of carbination.

O: A total winner from the Craft Beer Advent Calendar. I wish all the beers where this good.
Dec 22, 2015
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Reviewed by L0GlC from Canada (AB)

4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours dark brown with a thin head that lingers for a long time. Smells like the holidays; spices, chocolate, malt, toffee. Tastes like a big glass of confections. Caramel, brown sugar, molasses, honey with a beautiful malt finish and no after taste. A nice smooth, medium body mouth feel. This beer is great and easy drinking, a good beer to enjoy during winter holidays.
Dec 20, 2015
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Reviewed by Bunman3 from Canada (AB)

3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Another winner from the Craft Advent Calendar. This beer is perfect for the last day of school - warming, spiced, and with a substantial boozy afterburner. I would absolutely seek this out if Black Oak decided to brew it again.
Dec 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by Tivlavrie from Canada (AB)

Dec 19, 2015
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Reviewed by Borbly from Canada ()

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a hazy, maple coloured body with a beige head that decays from around an inch high to a thin surface. The scent has a nice sweet, maple fruitiness with some light malt aromas. The taste has a nice bitterness, well-counteracted by bitterness with well-roasted malts and dark fruit, such as plums and dates, pulling through. It has a generally warming, yet smooth feel, making it very pleasant for a Winter treat. Overall it is a very nice wintery ale.
Dec 19, 2015
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
341ml bottle, day 18 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar - this appears to have been made just for this calendar, so, well, cool!

This beer pours a murky, dark bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent chain link fence lace around the glass as it slowly subsides.

It smells of sweet bready caramel malt, a bit of musty toffee, bruised apples and pears, overripe plums, and some plain woodsy, leafy, and earthy drying bitterness. The taste is semi-sweet caramel malt, dusty nougat, muddled pome fruit, dried plums and cherries, a bit of free-range brown sugar, and more tame herbal, leafy, and musty hoppiness.

The bubbles are pretty understated in their barely noticeable frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and fairly smooth, not even the elevated alcohol dropping by unannounced, so bully for that! It finishes well off-dry, the very English-style caramel malt lumbering on, while the fruitiness abates, and the booze still keeps its whereabouts undisclosed.

Overall, a pleasant and easy-drinking vintage ale (not sure why this isn't classified under Old Ale here, but whatevs), one which does well to approach that under the stairs in my parents' basement essence. Not to mention the essentially non-existent 17-proof booze, so what we have here is holiday imbibing incarnate.
Dec 18, 2015
Rated: 3.83 by Corson from Canada (AB)

Dec 01, 2015
Neck Of The Woods Vintage Ale from Black Oak Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 13 ratings