Your favorite Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts of late?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by NicholasL, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    I’ve been out of the beer game for a couple years and am looking for opinions on delicious bba stouts, adjunct or not. The soon to be Mrs (beer connoisseur and fellow advocate) and I are going to be married in August and are looking to procure a nice stout or two for our reception. Problem being… we don’t know what’s worth trying/ going after right now? Any suggestions in what we should try to acquire is greatly appreciated, as our cellar is dwindling and we’d like to try that next “wow” beer. Thank you in advance, all.

    Dragon Abortion 17!
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  2. BigIronH

    BigIronH Zealot (597) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Hard telling what you have access to so I’ll start with the obvious Founders. KBS Maple Mackinac is the only thing out in the last couple years from their BA stout series that you may not have had. You should have access to the Revolution stuff too. Deth’s Tar and all it’s variants are fine examples of the style as well. It’s really hard to give recommendations without knowing what you might be able to get. Let’s start with some of your favorite breweries you’re seeing on shelves currently and we can go from there as far as what some of us might have had that you should also be able to get. Cheers
  3. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    I guess we’re looking for that sr71, kbbs type beer that has been elusive. We’ve access to Midwest beers as we live in Chicago, but like and have traveled throughout the states for beercations over the years past i.e: Angry chair, cycle, j wake, funky, treehouse, bissel, Maine, lawsons, trillium, bottle logic, perennial etc. Have tried and enjoyed the maple mack for what it is, but would like to again try that “pedestal” type beer that lives up to the hype and expectation.
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  4. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,701) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Transient in Bridgman MI is worthy of your consideration.
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  5. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    Been to Transient in the past and will probably stop there on our way to Traverse City next month (love Canuckley). Guess im looking to trade for a big beer I haven’t had before.
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  6. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (453) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    the last couple of HF Damon releases have been sublime. Not easy to get but there’s definitely a market. Cheers and good luck - you’ve chosen a righteous quest.
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  7. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    Damon has always been one we’ve wanted to try. Have had HF stuff when we’ve been out East, but never stopped in for some reason when were at Alchemist or in the surrounding area/s? Too little time I guess.
  8. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Initiate (146) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    Anything from Bell's may not have that "wow" factor you seem to be going for, but BA Expedition is the most perfect BA Stout there is in my opinion. It has gotten better each year since the first bottling in 2016 with 2020 being the best and most recent release.

    Have I had all BA stouts out there to compare? Not even close. Will a 12 oz bottle of BA Expo raise eybrows like a 750mL bottle of something like Beer:Barrel:Time (my only other recommendation) will? Also no. Ignoring hype and focusing only on the liquid in the bottle, could you do better? In my humble and meaningless opinion no.

    Happy hunting!
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  9. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    Agree with all that was said. Still have a couple ba expos in the cellar and one of our all time favorites is black note. Not sure there are any of those left unfortunately.
  10. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,551) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    The BCBS are still well above average, and it’s easier than ever to find the variants.

    The best BBA stout I had recently was Monsters Teeth in “Quadruple Flowers” Barrels.
  11. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    It’s sad to say, but we’re over goose, unfortunately. Especially after selling out to Ab in-bev, the quality doesn’t seem to be what it was in the past. We actually have way more bcbs and variants then we can drink. Actually would buy to trade and they’re still sitting. We opened a 14 VR some months back and it was still held up well.
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  12. oldmankoch

    oldmankoch Devotee (455) Jan 1, 2014 Tennessee

    I've personally found that the beer scene has mostly plateaued when it comes to (in your case BBA beers) and IPAs. Nothing drastically game changing has hit the market in the past year or two and it sounds like outside of a few White Wale / Grail beers you've already had your fair share of peak stouts. At this point I'd suggest revisiting those brewers you already know you love or just branch out to chasing elusive Bourbons or like my wife and I dig into classic (put hair on your chest) Jazz age and older cocktails.
  13. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,979) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Just about any Modern Times BA stout. Many are sublime & if you look at those rated highest many will certainly deliver that "wow" in triplicate.
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  14. CaptainBert

    CaptainBert Initiate (35) Nov 9, 2016 Texas

    Side Project BBT (Beer Barrel Time) Batch 4 (2020) would be my top recommendation. My personal fav BBT thus far

    Monkish M9.1 Anniversary Stout as well. The Coffee is amazing. Lots of depth.

    Side Project Derivation Medianoche or Monkish BA Twin Little Starts for Coconut Fix.

    Weldwerks Starry Noche or American Solera Distractions Grasp. Both would be good for the Hazelnut/Coconut combo.
    #14 CaptainBert, Jul 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  15. LuckFreeZone

    LuckFreeZone Initiate (70) Oct 24, 2016 New York

    I am always searching for the next great imperial stout as well. Of the 300-400 I have tried over the last 5 years, these stood out among the BAs :

    My Favorites:
    Avery Tweak - 2016, Uncle Jacob and Vanilla Bean Stout from this brewery were also good.
    Funky Buddha's Morning Wood - don't see a date on the bottle, had some other good stuff from this brewery as well
    KBS - 2015 or 2016? I have been relatively disappointed with the more recent issues
    BCBS - 2019 (I think) was my favorite; preferred the base to the alternates that I have tried
    Firestone Parabola - both recent years that I had

    I haven't had any of the ones mentioned earlier in this thread except the Maple Mackinac (which was OK) and the Bell's Black Note Stout (2017 was OK). Bells Expedition 2018 or 2019 was one of my all time favorite non-BA RISs and the other years I had were solid.

    Curious what other recommendations this thread provides.
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  16. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (505) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    First of all!

    Congrats on your union!!!!

    second of all- I got nothing with regards to the OP lol
  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,857) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Modern times, Kane, and Fremont all have top tier barrel programs. Modem tones is as good as it gets.
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  18. BigIronH

    BigIronH Zealot (597) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    If you’re looking for elusive bottles, you may want to attempt getting your hands on something from HOMES in Ann Arbor. They periodically release one off bottles, some of which are collabs. Anything from the Doozie series would fit your bill.
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  19. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (590) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Only ones in my beer fridge making this cut right now: BB Old Rasputin and Dragons Milk Reserve Double Vanilla
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  20. Thankin_Hank

    Thankin_Hank Poo-Bah (1,689) Nov 18, 2013 Texas

    Juice Bombs have overtaken the Stouts But I have a Prairie Artisan Ales "Cherry Bomb" waiting in the fridge I haven't tried yet. A Lakewood Brewing "Bourbon Barrel Temptress" I rate a solid 5 is waiting in there too. I have others that are aging in the storage box.
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  21. JLK7299

    JLK7299 Meyvn (1,330) Apr 21, 2016 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Best “new” BA Stout I’ve had in the last year, at least, is BA Weekend from Prairie.
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  22. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,551) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Unsolicited advice: your wedding day will be special enough already without a special beer. Save the whales for the honeymoon or a smaller pre-wedding get-together or some random day off. Unless it’s a super-small affair, the wedding reception will probably fly by in a whirlwind. If you’re doing photos and dancing and cake and well-wishes and all that, you’ll probably find you’ve tried to squeeze too much into it already.
  23. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,174) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    If you don't mind add-junks, Hubbards Cave has some extremely decadent pastry stouts. Should be available nearby. Central Waters has a lot of decent BBA stouts. Get a KBBS from the "secondary market" if you can. Expect to pay hundreds, but reportedly worth it for a special occasion.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  24. BeerVikingSailor

    BeerVikingSailor Meyvn (1,009) Nov 19, 2009 Ohio

  25. micada

    micada Crusader (716) Jul 13, 2015 New York

    Registry items:
    1. KBBS
    2. SR71
    3. BBT…
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  26. VodkaPong87

    VodkaPong87 Initiate (72) Oct 9, 2020 Connecticut

    Crazy cause this was a drain pour for me. So unbelievably sweet I just couldn't get through it. The one Prarie I've had that was good was Paradise. For the price they cost, I won't be searching out any more

    Anyway, what about one of the big BCBS variants, like Birthday or Anniversary?
  27. pants678

    pants678 Champion (881) Jan 26, 2009 California

    OP, what about Black Tuesday? or is that been there done that?

    I've had a couple of these $50-60 stouts from Anchorage (Blessed, Ten Years and the Explorer). They're excellent but not miles better than your $20-30 stuff.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  28. officerbill

    officerbill Crusader (780) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    I'll get back to you in late September or October. My stouts patiently age in the basement during the summer. :grin:
  29. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,143) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I stopped in St. Louis last week and visited Perennial and 2nd Shift. Abraxas from Perennial is well known and is very good, but I don't know how widely known Silhouette from 2nd Shift might be. It's another BBA Mexican hot chocolate beer, and I really liked it because the 'heat' from the peppers is not overdone. The chocolate and the cinnamon are well-balanced with the heat from the peppers. It's available in cans at the brewery.
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  30. gkoelling

    gkoelling Initiate (6) Feb 12, 2016 Illinois

    Ten Fiddy, Suffolk County, Lagunitas Willettized, KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, and there's still a bottle of Suffolk County and a Bourbon County from last year in the closet. I'm sure there are others, this is what comes to mind at the moment. Stout and Porter are all I drink, 90+% is stout.
  31. NicholasL

    NicholasL Initiate (105) Nov 9, 2015 Illinois

    Lots of good suggestions and we’re appreciative of all the input. Have forgotten about some of the ones mentioned above, especially Fremont, Side Project. Ones we’ve tried in the past and thoroughly liked. I’ll have to jump on the ISO:FT thread in the next couple days and see what we can come up with. Hopefully someone out there is still looking to try some bcbs prop from years past and we can mange to revisit or try one of the above suggested picks. For everyone that has commented/ made suggestions thus far, it’s again appreciated and I’ll be checking back for more suggestions soon. Thanks all.
  32. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (4,045) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    @NicholasL Nobody has mentioned yet, Barreled Souls in Maine.
    Everything stout is barrel aged, they arent always bourbon, and they are always awesome!
    Not sure if they are a "hyped" brewery with trade value, but Ive loved being in the bottle society and have been wildly impressed with almost every bottle I open from them.

    Good luck with the quest and congrats on the marriage!
    #32 sulldaddy, Jul 9, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  33. Bhubbard34

    Bhubbard34 Aspirant (210) Mar 4, 2016 Pennsylvania

    Assassin 20’ blew me away and probably the best beer I’ve had to date.

    Also River Roost - “Rhythm if the night” really stood out
  34. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,251) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    I'll echo @Bhubbard34 and suggest Assassin. The 2020 (green wax), along with Side Project BBT b4, and Holy Mountain's Midnight Still are arguably the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever tried. Truly in that absolute top tier.
  35. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (453) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    I’ve been a member of the BA society for a year and am finding they do some really unique/varied stuff w/all kinds of barrel treatments across a big spectrum of styles - stouts/Scottish Ales/barleywines etc - but they can be inconsistent quality wise. It’s like they are hitting for the fences with every beer - they take big risks. BA reviews few and far between and untapped reviews just not reliable in general. I do love some of their beers and am fine putting up with the ~50% hit rate. This one in particular was a favorite last year - Booker’s BBA w/habanero peppers and chocolate. They nailed the heat and choco notes spot on.

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  36. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (453) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Tree House -- they started releasing BBA stouts sometime in mid 20 as an addition to their coffee/milk and pastry stout line up. The BBA beers have mostly been super consistent and balanced. Big Nugget and Steadfast were two that I had in the last few months that I really enjoyed. Same w/the King. 12 oz bottles and relatively cheap and avaialble direct from the various brewery locations -- and I would think trade would be pretty easy given the availability. OP - hit me up if interested.
  37. BourbonForBeer

    BourbonForBeer Initiate (192) May 11, 2020 Illinois

    Transient Artisans
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  38. jonphisher

    jonphisher Zealot (565) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey

    I don’t have them often but BA expo two (or three) years ago was very memorable. Do you know if they’ve done it yearly since then? Or what the availability is like?
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  39. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Initiate (146) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    Last release was 2020. Brewery only with some MI distro following. I was bummed because I don't really trade anymore and it's my favorite beer ever. Damn near creamed my pants when I stumbled across 4 packs on the shelf in the UP months later. Might be able to trade for it but I'm pretty removed from the 'beer value' game these days.

    I did a side by side with 2018 (the 2nd most recent release) a couple months back and the 2020 killed it. Very smooth chocolatey bourbon notes but with that brusque roastiness that comes from the base making a great balance. Crazy the depth I can dig out of that beer with zero cheap tricks like lactose, nibs, coffee, etc. The OGs really are the best.

  40. Sheppard

    Sheppard Poo-Bah (1,889) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    What kind of stouts are you into? There's a huge difference between the thick, syrupy, lacking carb and often heavily adjuncted stouts versus straight up stout that's sat in a bourbon cask. I mean, it might be a "nice stout" if you paid a lot of money or gave up a lot for it, but I feel like the number one thing is for you and your wife to enjoy it, no?

    The best bourbon barrel aged stout I've had this year is Painted Black by Ocelot.
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