Basking In Bourbon Imperial Stout
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Basking In Bourbon Imperial StoutBasking In Bourbon Imperial Stout
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 6.67%
Reviews:
13
Ratings:
41
From:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  12
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Basking In Bourbon Imperial StoutBasking In Bourbon Imperial Stout
Notes: An intensely rich and decadent Imperial Stout aged for over a year in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, our Bourbon Imperial Stout exudes flavors of bourbon, dark chocolate, molasses, charred oak, vanilla, and caramel with a liquid chocolate mouthfeel. This is truly a beer worth savoring.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 41 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by neliam24:
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neliam24 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 22, 2018
More User Reviews:
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found a four pack of this gem leftover from the beginning of 2017. The price was right, so I took a chance.

Pours a deep dark brown with a bout a finger of tan head. The nose has notes of soft bourbon. The bourbon blends nicely with the roasted qualities in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is sticky and the body is lighter than expected.

This is NOT BCBS, FBS or Black Note. BUT, it is a really, really good BA stout that was available at a really great price. I hope Saranac reconsiders and makes this an annual brew instead of a one off.

Dec 27, 2017
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, light barely penetrates the very top when held up to light. Billowy mocha head, nice lacing. Big boozy aroma, loads of bourbon, some sweet brown sugar, a little yeasty as it warms up. First taste is loads of bourbon, chocolate, sweet molasses, some barrel tannins present themselves towards the end, and it finishes with a lingering bitter espresso. Medium bodied, oily and slick. Let this one warm up a bit. Overall this is an enjoyable BA imperial stout and I am glad I picked it up. I definitely will enjoy the 4 pack, but don't see the need to buy another.

2/14/18
12 oz bottle, no date but I think it is fairly new
4 rating.

6/10/19 Update - lost a little flavor in aging, body is a little thinner, yeast flavor a little more pronounced.

Feb 14, 2018
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Knapp85 for this bottle.

A - Pitch black pour with a very thick, creamy burnt toffee lacing ring. Lots of carbonation hugs the perimeter of the glass.

S - Dark chocolate char, cream, and delicate bourbon aroma.

T - Some astringency, charred chocolate, cream, oak, vanilla, toasted toffee/caramel with some harsh bourbon around the edges.

M - Big medium body and silky texture. Very dry on the back of the tongue.

O - Some alcohol warming on the way down but for 11.4%, it's pretty well hidden. One of the better beers I've had from Saranac. A recommended try.

Jul 20, 2017
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a chalice: color is solid, dense black, dark tan head that initially foams up from my too aggressive pour, lingers well with at least 1/2 inch thick head for several minutes; head then laces the glass sides.

Smell is big bourbon, big booze, and just as big dark, roasted, and chocolately malt. Not hiding what this beer is about.

Taste is boozy, big bourbon note upfront, then roasted malt, sweeter chocolate malt, solid bitterness; oak, vanilla, toasted notes from the barrel present as well. Booze is big and strong but not detracting - its 11+% so its going to factor in to this flavor.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, well rounded for a big, boozy, sweeter beer. Touch of bitter and strong flavors on the finish.

Overall, a very good big, strong, boozy stout - impressive from Saranac - they need to hit the higher strength brews more often!

May 27, 2017
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Albion, New York, NY

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—only a slight trace of red is visible at the corner of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and thick trails of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark chocolate and bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has strong flavors of bourbon along with notes of dark chocolate and caramelized sugar and hints of alcohol and oak. There are subtle bits of sweetness.
M: It feels full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends some warmth.
O: This seems like it would make for a good dessert beer as it is slightly sweet and it doesn't have any roasted malt flavors as some of the others in the style. It's also a very bourbon-forward beer and not as balanced as some other bourbon barrel aged stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

Jun 04, 2017
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 07, 2017
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kell50 from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 19, 2017
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

-duvel glass.

A: Deep, inky black like pour is viscose like motor oil from the bottle to vessel. A dark, nutmeg colored head covers adequtley enough for a beer of large abv% nature. A still visible coating atop with small golden bronze lace-dots speckle the glass.

S: Fresh, roasty oily coffee beans are supported by some vanilla dyn bourbon accents. Sweet juicy nature of dark fruits, plums in particular along with sugary figs, are joined in by some freshly grounded cocoa beans. The Abv% is very well tamed here on the nose, even at warmer temperatures, never scaring anyone off.

T: Oily deep roasted nature, some marshmellow and vanilla accents. Some alcohol laced dark fruit, plums provide a nice tone along with some sweetened moments of buttered caramel malts. Earthy roast, oily, with some dry roasted pine hops.

M: Thick and warm roasted malt mouthful, the abv% of 11.4 is very well behaved and never interferes with the flavor and enjoyment. Wow, this is Saranac? never having much success, I did happen to find a couple sleepers from this brewery, but this one stands out more so then others and proves, they can be a player in the big beer game. The abv% 11.4 feels much lower, perhaps 9% at most times, while the body, and flavor deliver big time. Accessible, and very nicely priced , well worth the purchase.

Jul 26, 2017
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dhmxray from New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 25, 2017
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, unclear date code

jet black, dark tan head, decent head retention. big bourbon aroma - booze, vanilla, caramel, oak. taste is not too hot though, it's got the bold flavors but drinks well. body is on the thicker side, full mouthfeel.

Jun 10, 2017
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 30, 2017
Photo of Timtac
Timtac from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apr 22, 2018
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AngusOg from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 14, 2018
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socon67 from New York

4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 23, 2018
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Dougwillhike from New Jersey

4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 06, 2017
Photo of DVMin98
DVMin98 from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with large, khaki head. Smell is roasted malts. Not big on bourbon. Flavor is roasted malts, some alcohol burn, small amount of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Moderate body. Decent imperial stout.

Jun 02, 2017
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a red wine glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Semi-thick dark black body with a tan head rising one finger's length off the body.

Smell: Heavy whiskey with notes of vanilla bean and wood cask feel. Dissipates but comes and goes. Honestly the aroma is nice, just wish it was more potent.

Taste: Sweet, not overly sweet but sweet whiskey with hints of woody notes and alcohol. Tastes super strong compared to other beers I have had in it's ABV level.

Mouth: Sticky beer with a medium carbonation and full body.

Overall: Might easily be my most favorite beer with a Saranac label. Can compete with other bourbon barrel aged beers in its class for a fraction of the price. Always in a glass...Salud!

Dec 07, 2018
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mattyrubes from New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Apr 23, 2017
Photo of kuhndog
kuhndog from New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 17, 2017
Photo of WillieThreebiers
WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 22, 2018
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GetTheYayo from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 28, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Blu Wolf Bistro in Rochester, NY.

This pours a pretty dark black, with a small brown head, and no lacing.

Smells like burnt chatted wood, very boozy bourbon, dark chocolate, etc. This doesn't seem well integrated.

This has potential, but it's pretty harsh and a little thin tasting. The oak character is harsh, burnt and overly woody, and it's quite overly boozy. The base seems alight but the barrel just wrecks it.

This is medium bodied, slightly thin with a lingering harshness.

I expected a little bit more from this, but I guess that was kind of dumb- it is Saranac after all.

May 07, 2017
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DoubleMalt from New York

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Excellent brew from Saranac! It pours a thick almost black with only a half inch light brown head with light lacing. At first smell, it is mostly bourbon. The taste is also of bourbon with a vanilla and caramel finish. The alcohol is not overwhelming but this is a sipping beer. It has a smooth, full-bodied feel with a slight bourbon-alcohol burn as the stout warms up.
Will be picking up some more since this beer should store well.

Feb 19, 2017
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TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 03, 2017
Basking In Bourbon Imperial Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 41 ratings