Learn about how we rate & review beers with our BJCP blind panel here
Tart dark fruit, not much stout/roast character. The musty character carries through from the nose. Very sweet and very boozy, but the booze helps balance the sweetness. Finish is tannic.
"Sharp oak-tannin and leather nose; pronounced ethanol burn. The sip is intensely alcohol-forward, with burnt sugar and dark caramel notes. Pervasive alcohol heat."
Chocolate, slight vanilla, slight caramel, boozy warmth. Slight coffee. The finish comes across a bit thin, which leaves a lingering tannic astringency.”
"Tightly focused bourbon nose—hefty spirits and a touch of licorice. Light body lets the roast and barrel push through, with acrid and astringent notes, tempered by a significant and unsupported sweetness."
"Warm oak, orange peel, orange liqueur on the nose with dark roast malt. Milk-chocolate sip is loose, thin, disappearing quickly. An easier-to-drink approach."
Semisweet bitter chocolate is the dominant character. An ashy roast note from the nose is still present and leaves a lingering tongue-smacking chalky feel. The finish is rich and not overly sweet, and the bourbon and wood character add a nice underlying warmth.
"Dark stone fruit, grape Pez, earthy vegetal undertone. The sip is dry but rich, sacrificing body for continued sipping. General chocolate notes but little roast. A touch out of focus, overly simplified."
Baking chocolate, tons of roast, and a bit of smoke. Nice lingering dark-fruit sweetness, accentuated with hints of port character from the barrel. Nice body, but it still finishes moderately dry with a pleasant fortified wine booziness.
"Big chocolate nose, braced by spicy bourbon, raisin. The sip pushes sweeter, amplifying raisin and fig. Vanilla-caramel note lingers deep into the finish."
"Wafty bourbon nose with a wide reach—wet dog, damp forest, toasted cinnamon, vanillin. The sip pushes prune and fig touches, with rich esters underpinning dark chocolate."
"Nose of black jellybeans and grape candy, with dark-chocolate and bourbon-barrel notes. The sip is abrupt but likeable."
"Strong coconut-vanilla barrel in the nose; unmistakable bourbon. The sip is smooth, dark chocolate, waffle cone, mocha, with assuring bourbon heat and spice. Satisfying, yet slightly dulled by low carbonation."
"Leathery-brown malt nose with toasted whiskey barrel; caramel and vanilla touches. The sip is cool, thin, dark chocolate–forward. Barrel recedes as creamy, bitter chocolate emerges. Light for its intentions."
"Candied red-fruit nose with bubblegum, strawberry—unique, interesting. The sip brings it back to stout territory—soft red fruit, mild roast, firm caramel middle. Atypical, offbeat, but engaging."
"Coffee-chocolate nose and a whiff of decomposing leaves. The sip is brighter—a slightly sweet highlight fades into cocoa powder and drip coffee. Rides the line between pedestrian and accessible."
"Nose is hulking but tenuous—a Richard Serra sculpture that could crash down any minute. The sip brings charred-oak bourbon bracing bitter dark chocolate, smoothed by vanilla-caramel patina. Singular, uncompromising."
"Soft licorice nose. Sip starts light, sweet, and mocha, finishing with brusquely bitter roast tempered by caramelized sugar."
"A solid s’mores line runs through, with hazelnut, toasted grain, caramel, and marshmallow-vanilla nose. Finishes quickly and cleanly, with light roast clearing the palate."
Very sweet up front. Chocolate, caramel, and dark-fruit sweetness. The finish is medium sweet, but not cloying. A touch of bourbon corn richness. Some nice vanilla notes from the barrel on the finish.
"Overripe dark fruit on the nose with a hit of baking spice and cocoa powder. The sip continues the fruity display, with apple and dark cherry pitched against a very bitter black malt backdrop."
Dark fruits, coffee, and chai dominate. Moderately strong sweetness leads into moderately strong bitterness that slowly fades. A fair amount of alcohol warmth helps to balance. Barrel character comes through nicely in the aftertaste. Complexity from the brandy, some light wood character with vanilla.”
"Fruity-citrus American hops nose bowls over lighter chocolate and roast. The sip is unassuming, light, "drinkable" despite style expectations. Minimal barrel. Smooth and integrated."
"Dark chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, and coconut hints in the nose, pie crust. Thickly layered dark fruit—prune, fig, dried apple—brightened by citrus-zest twang."
"Bold nose—balsamic reduction on charred figs, dark cherry, dark-roasted peanuts, with port and whiskey overtones. Silky sip of roast coffee, faint cherry, light hazelnut, and long-lingering dark-chocolate bitterness."
"A slightly thin, whiskey-soaked, stroopwafel nose hides chocolate and roast under sharp spirits. In the sip, simple cocoa powder with a medium backing bitterness. Rough and jagged, with an accessible simplicity."
"Nose with light licorice, dark chocolate, pronounced oak tannin, a touch of cardboard. The sip offers woody vanilla and tannic spice touches, giving structure to creamy dark-chocolate body. Compelling."
Super-intense flavor across the board. Dark rich chocolate and dark cherry. Boozy. Over the top sweet, but the bitterness and the booze attempt to balance it. Still sweet but also bitter.
"Sharp black nose like a Slayer song—rhythmic, pulsating, unrelenting. The sip softens the brutalism with a sweet melodic interlude, probing the darkness before an acoustic prog-metal outro ties a folksy bow on it."
"Dark, roasty nose with anise and holiday spice. On the sip, holiday fruitcake—dark cherry and raisin braced by spice—and a warming, familiar, just-sweet-enough body. Endearing and rich."
"Vanilla, almond, oak tannin, smoked bacon, caramelized stone fruit. The sip pulls it into focus: initial roast sharpness quickly tempered by substantial body. Grilled orange, sour cherry, and lingering almond/coconut keep it interesting."
Intense dark bitterness up front: roast, dark chocolate, dried fruit, with a drying oak character. Some residual sweetness, but the bitter qualities dominate overall. Pleasant nutty coconut on the finish. Lingering vanilla and chocolate on the swallow. Some nice warming alcohol notes.”
"A friendly throwback, reassuring and familiar, with sharp black malt on the nose. Layers of sharp, sweet, rich, and boozy. Breadth of flavor makes up for a generally thin body."
Similar to the aroma. Strong chocolate and raspberry character. Rich and dessert-like, decidedly sweet without being overly cloying. The whiskey character adds nice vanilla warming notes on the finish.
"Toasted cereal and mocha-latte nose. The sip is multidirectional—sharper dark malt, creamier chocolate, boozier whiskey, sweeter nutty vanilla—all confidently resolved in a cohesive whole."
"Dark cocoa, red wine, and light char. Sturdy, broad-shouldered sip, rich but not sweet, cohesive despite varied flavors. Firm, rounded tobacco bitterness lingers deep into the smooth finish. Luxurious."
Crazy and bit disorienting with the first taste. There are a lot of flavors vying for attention all at once. Quite sweet, but this is offset by the spicy roastiness from the coffee. The banana helps pull things together by adding a richness between the dryer character of the coffee and oak. The finish has strong licorice and vanilla character, with lingering maple-syrup sweetness.
Cinnamon for days! Semisweet chocolate. Slight coffee, vanilla, caramel. Quite boozy but not harsh. The cayenne burn on the finish is present and appropriate, and the tannins from the barrel and whiskey blend well with the rest of the adjuncts.
Rich and chewy, lots of dark chocolate and dried fruit, with a strong boozy finish. It’s extremely complex without being cloying. Thick and potent with alcohol lingering in the aftertaste.”
"Sharp, inky nose underpinned by light caramel. More action in the sip—bold, assertive barrel over a base stout with layers of dark malt, caramel, and thoughtful sweetness. Exquisite and enduring."
Dark chocolate with an intense boozy barrel character. Warming without being overly aggressive. The finish is a balance of bitter dark malt and sweet chocolate. Nice spicy quality from the barrel. Very sweet, strong, and rich.
"Chocolate roast on the nose, sweet bourbon highlights. Dark-chocolate, with smooth dark coffee and caramel. Singular in focus and intensity."
High perceived up-front sweetness with a dry cocoa-powder finish. Coffee is strong and helps to balance the sweetness from the malt and vanilla. Spice from the rum and cinnamon adds complexity and plays off of the booze. Warming, slightly boozy without being hot.”
"Deliciously spicy, cinnamon-forward nose. The sip is sweetish but round, pulling the drying spice notes together with creamy milk chocolate."
"Deepest and darkest of noses—anise and French roast. Layered sip with hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, crème brûlée, and singed marshmallow. Smooth, engaging, thoughtful."
A Mounds candy bar. Dark chocolate and roast paired with toasted coconut. Great balance of the adjuncts. Finish is sweet, as you would expect, but still relatively balanced given the other significant aspects of the beer. Nice warming alcoholic boozy note on the finish without coming across overly hot.
"Red fruit, faint smoke, and licorice. The sip shines with vinous oak, trading spirit sharpness for big, sweet body and red fruit, balanced by smooth tannins and bitterness. Confident, creative."
"Endless depths of dark malt and espresso; creamy caramel and Nutella around the edges. The sip wraps nutty caramel midtones in huge roasted bass tones."
Spicy cinnamon. Semisweet chocolate. Slight peppery spice/heat. Sweet maple. Spicy coffee. Vanilla and caramel barrel characteristics. Fairly viscous and mouth coating. Nice warming character from the barrel without being overly hot.
"Deep, smooth bass notes (dark chocolate and earth), rounded with a polished, toasted-oak note, heavy on vanillin and coconut—luxurious, rich, confident. The sip hits the golden mean between sweet and dark with an improbable, supernatural balance. Layers of caramel buoyed by dark, roasty malt richness that never overpowers the more delicate notes. Perfectly integrated."