John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale | Cold Spring Brewing Co.

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John Henry 3 Lick Spiker AleJohn Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale
415 Ratings
John Henry 3 Lick Spiker AleJohn Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale

Brewed by:
Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three Lick Spiker Ale is brewed with three different roasted malts creating chocolate flavors and full body taste. After fermentation has been completed with our top fermenting ale yeast we infuse our brew with bourbon oak aged chips and let the extended aging process take over. Hints of bourbon and vanilla from the oak come through the aroma and flavor.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-02-2009

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Ratings: 415 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of tbeq00
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of nicnut45
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Can barely see through it as I pour. Jet black in the Duvel tulip. A slight tan minimal head. Settles to a wispiness with a thick creamy ring on the side.

S-Not much fragrance here. What there is smells like burnt meat, dark roasted coffee and bitter sweet bakers chocolate.

T&MF-Delicious burnt smokey flavors with a touch of maple syrup sweetness. Has a striking similarity to corn beef. The burnt flavors tone down as you drink and the pleasent malt sweetness takes over. Would expect a bit more fullness to this beer. Alcohol is well hidden.

O- I was suprised by this beer. Its very well crafted and a lot better then most other bourbon barrel attempts.

 663 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a dark shade of gold almost a brown color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer was malty, rich and roasted, not much of a hoppiness there. The taste of the beer was decent, as it warmed up there were some really interesting vanilla flavors that came through. The mouthfeel of the beer was average to me, it had a good body but I just felt it was missing something. Overall I was a little bit surprised by this beer, I was glad I tried it.

 478 characters

Photo of RyanLigeia
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lot darker than I expected, I was anticipating a dark golden color not brownish/black. Minimal head, probably due to the high abv.
Smells malty/roasty...I like that.
Cant taste the oak as much as I hoped, thats sort of a dissapointment but its still good. I cant quite tell what it is exactly but theres something unique in the after taste.
Medium body, I think this beer would be better with slightly less carbination.
Overall not too bad. Im not sure Ill buy it again anytime soon but its worth the try.

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, code on bottle but no freshness date, purchased 12/2011 from a local bottle shop.

Poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Pours a rather thin head which rapidly reduces to a very thin film.
Black opaque color

Has a malty, black roasted aroma to it. Molasses and yeast. No noticeable wood but there is soom bourbon. It’s good.

Nice crisp entry on the palate, followed by malt and molasses, after some warming the bourbon/oak kicks in, but is relatively tame compared to its peers. The 9.1% ABV is never noticeable.
Full mouth feel with mild balanced carbonation.

Overall a good drink but not anything exciting. Needs to be at least 55 degrees for anything meaningful in the aroma or taste to come forward.
I am glad that I tried this brew, but that being said it’s not one I will search for.
It’s enjoyable enough, if priced right. I paid $11 a 4/pack, which is fair.

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Photo of karait95
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a strong dark beverage, even the alcohol is high is not disgusting as with some beers with high content.

A: Color looks very dark it is a dark brown almost not translucent, body looks thick, carbonation is not too rich, the head is poor as could be and dissipates a little fast not leaving enough traces behind, the color is a medium brown.

S: The bourbon oak container where this one was aged is very present, the malts are also present, toasted barley of course.

T: The flavor of this one is good, showing barley character and of course all the tasting of the oaks or bourbon like, the malts are toasted and the alcohol is well blended in the mixture.

M: Not the easiest beer to drink but the character of this one is good enough for enjoying it.

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Photo of emalc
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of heresy22
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of bitterbeerguy
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My dad shared this one with me about 3 months ago- decided it was time to give it a shot.

Pours a very dark brown color- the only touch of light that makes its' way through is at the very top, which has a dark orange tint. Bubbles showed up and left very quick.

Smell is absent. Being that this is aged in bourbon, I expected there to be a burst of aroma. Maybe the slightest hint of bourbon and chocolate, but that is pushing it. Definitely a little disappointing.

Taste has notes of the oak right off the bat, which I really liked. With that said, the flavor after is flat- slightest marshmallow and marmalade jam notes. Surprisingly, there is not much alcohol flavor, which really surprised me.

Overall this is a brew that could do with with some age. I was very surprised how aroma was missing from this brew. Anyone who likes oak, might enjoy this brew.


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Photo of gregy55902
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3 Lick Spiker ale, 9.1%, bottle poured into brandy snifter

A - Pours a very dark brown into the glass with minimal head on a gentle pour. Sitting in the glass, it almost looks like an (under-carbonated) imperial stout.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, oak. The smell warns that this beer may be overly sweet.

T - Follows the nose with an almost syrup-like quality. It's like they added a dollop of liquid molasses to every bottle. That being said, the alc is hidden incredibly well.

M - Decent but a bit low on carbonation. Doesn't really have the staying power of many other strong ales.

O - Good beer but not great. Could really benefit from the full treatment of barrel-aging, instead of just aging it with oak chips. I support MN microbrewing best I can, but I usually have to look to a company outside the state to find something I can really enjoy.

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Photo of codynevels
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of whatthehull
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted sept. 17th 2011 (from notes)


A - super black/brown, hardly any deep tan head and some lacing

S - lots of sugar, alcohol, toasted, smells like a black lager or imperial stout a bit, bourbon, molasses, very bright smells, fresh and lots of oak and earth

T - very oaky, alcohol, tons of huge malts, lots of sugar, toasted everything, very earthy, some bourbon and more alcohol

M - full bodied, low acidity, nice complexity, well balanced and long finish

D - for having a high abv and lots of flavor. This is a very drinkable beer. Every malt head should love this unless they don't like tons of alcohol

Final thought - 9.1 abv is nice but the price at $11 a sixer is not my fav

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Photo of hdelavega
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sent as a bonus by Baldo, thanks bud.
Pours a deep rich brown with a thin light tan head that settles toa thin film. Very little lacing.
Nice aroma, has a barleywine like sweetness to it, I defiantly pick up some bourbon and wood, I also get some candy sugar, tobacco, and sweet dark fruit.
The taste is lacking a bit compared to the nose. I get more of the tobacco and some leather. I am getting brown ale like maltieness, some bourbon, defiantly some more sweet dark fruit, a bit of prune, a bit more bourbon on the finish.
I the nose really lead me to believe there would be more body to this guy. There are a lot of great flavors to this beer but the center is hollow. The taste is thin on the front with a decent center and a big finish.
This is a pretty good beer but could really be improved if it was a little more balanced. I feel the body was the most lacking part of this beer. I don't know if that is fixable without negatively changing the flavor. Overall worth a try, another good American Strong Ale from California.

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Photo of bacher468
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of 3Hops
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of millelacsmark
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of zoso1967
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3 Lick Spiker ale pours a very dark woody brown color. When held up to a light it shows off some nice walnut hues, but it is dark enough that one could mistake it for a porter or even a stout. The head is tan in color and fades pretty quickly, but it does leave decent lacing.

The aroma is very nice with a ton of vanilla and oak as well as some bourbon notes that mix well with a caramelized and toffee malt backbone. I also detect a bit of chocolate and some slightly chalky aromas.

The flavor is pretty well balanced with the same vanilla and bourbon notes mingling quite well with the sweet and malty backbone. Some dark fruit flavors, a bit of cocoa and some alcoholic heat are also appreciable. Molasses and just the lightest touch of smoke round out the flavor.

The body of this beer is medium in size with a bit more carbonation then I would generally care for in this style, but it is far from out of control. The finish is well balanced with some lingering sweetness as well as a bit of hop character that is really only present at the bitter end.

My wife picked this one out and I have to say she did well. It is a well put together and tasty brew. if I remember correctly it was also fairly affordable. I would definitely consider picking up a bottle or this in the future.

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Photo of dcook11
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured in to a pint glass.
A- Stout dark. Large initial head that fades into a pencil thin head (which also disapates leaving only pitch black beer). Lacing is poor.

S- Stout like. Suurprisinglu no abv apperant from the 9 percent. Chocolate, vanilla, malt, and just the faintest touch of soy sauce are present.

T- Malt, chocolate, vanilla, and just a very very slight bit of hops at the finish.

M- Surprisingly light bodied. For 9 percent, the abv is not apparent at all.

O- A interesting, balanced beer. It certainly has its place among some of the more extreme strong ales, but no risks are taken. Enjoyable none the less.

 630 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged by about 6 months

A-pitch black with a ran head that quickly disapates

S-slight bourbon and malt hints to it

T-get aloy of the bourbn but in a mellow way. nice aftertaste.

M- medium body and smooth

O- very good beer. Nicely drinkable and delic

 254 characters

Photo of Ghenna
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark color, cola colored head, decent retention, low lacing.

Now that that is done, Nose is malt sweet, roast, and booze. Booze is a little overpowering on the palate ,but under it I get a bit of citrus hop and roast hop.

Nice beer, good roast flavor- will probably get better aged.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weird little bottle found on the shelf at Julio's today. Looks like a macro in micro clothing to me, but I'm a sucker for oak aged so the bottle made its way home with me. Pours a solid dark brown/black with a thinnish tan head that dissipates almost instantly. Smells of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, earthy and woody. This is listed as a strong ale, the website describes this as an Imperial Stout, it smells like a cross between a Belgian dark strong and a porter. There isn't much roast in the aroma or in the taste for that matter. Taste is sweet and malty with dark sugars and fruits dominating the taste. Slight alcohol and earthy hop in there as well. Bit of a roasted grain ash in the finish. Medium body and level of carbonation, with a slick watery mouthfeel. Decent brew, but really nothing special here. I have my doubts that the Cold Spring Brewery actually exists, but I won't lose much sleep over it.

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John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 415 ratings
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