Tag Archives: Bourbon Barrel Aged

Left Hand Wake Up Dead Barrel Aged

Left Hand Wake Up Dead

Left Hand Wake Up Dead

This is a beer I have been trying to hunt down for a while, Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout. This is the barrel aged version, which has me even more excited.

Pours black, of course. Sweet vanilla, charred oak, and currants in the aroma. Flavor is even more complex with bourbon, more char, and smoke added. The evidence of the barrel aging is more pronounced as it warms. I’m even getting a hint of cherry, which really works. Cocoa powder and anise in there, as well. Hops finally come in at the end to provide a bitter finish.

A big fan of this. Huge flavors, obvious impact from the barrel aging, complex, balanced, very smooth. And the name? You’d never guess it weighs in at 10.2% ABV!

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New Holland Dragon’s Milk

New Holland Dragon's Milk

There are few, if any, brews like New Holland Dragon’s Milk. Inky black, with the smell of vanilla, oak, bourbon, and an alcohol burn. Creamy, bitey, bitter. Of all the barrel aged stouts I have had, this one brings the most powerful bourbon punch. Lots of roasted malt and bitter chocolate. The finish is like dry cedar.

Tons of complex, full flavors, and at 10% ABV, tons of alcohol.

An absolute gem!

Grade: A+

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Rogue John John Ale

Rogue John John Ale

My affinity for bourbon barrel aged beers continues with Rouge’s John John Dead Guy Ale. This is their standard, and quite good, Dead Guy Ale aged in their own whiskey barrels.

Pours a deep, cloudy honey with a wisp of white head atop. Very floral nose with honey and vanilla in the back. Of all the bourbon barrel aged beers I’ve had, this is easily one of the most bourbony. A bit of a bitter alcohol punch in front followed by vanilla, smooth butteryness, and wood in the finish. It has quite a bit more of a hop kick than most beers with this much bourbon, and it works as a nice counterpoint. The finish isn’t long and smooth like other barrel aged, it’s short, bitter, and dry.

Overall, very complex and delicious!

Grade: A

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

I first had this beer one delightful summer afternoon on the patio at The Wine Merchant in Findlay. The aroma had me hooked before I even took a sip. As much as I love beer, I also really enjoy bourbon. All the familiar characteristics of a good bourbon hit me immediately. That oakey and vanilla scent, the copper color. It drinks like the smoothest bourbon you’ve ever had with that unctuous buttery feel going down. And a hint of residual warmth. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is delicious, smooth, and has an aggressive, tricky 8% ABV. If you’re wondering where all the bourbon characteristics come from, this ale is aged in barrels that were previously used for bourbon. Brilliant!

While there are beer traits with the color, lacing, and carbonation, the flavor is much closer to bourbon than to any beer I have had.

If you like bourbon, you’ll like this. If you don’t, then save it for someone who does!

It’s oustanding on tap, but I must admit I have had a few bottles that were not up to standards.

Grade: A

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Bluegrass Brewing Bourbon Barrel Stout

After trying, and loving, a couple of bourbon barrel styles, I am now picking up all I can find. This is Bluegrass Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Stout. The appearance certainly is what you would expect from a stout. It’s black, thick, and smooth with a huge, creamy tan head. It was excessively carbonated and took a couple of pours to get it in the glass. The color had me instantly wondering something that unfortunately was true of this beer. Because of the stout characteristics including the roasted, smokey, nutty flavors, the bourbon was really hard to pick up. There were some late woody and vanilla notes, but the bourbon was not as prominent as I would have liked. I liked this beer, but I would not go for it if I was in the mood for a bourbon ale. It’s kinda like a Porsche Boxter. I mean, yeah, it’s a Porsche, but you should probably go for the 997.

Grade: B

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