Top 82 Barrel aged Imperial Stouts | Craft Beer & Brewing

82 of the Best Barrel aged Imperial Stouts, Blind-Tasted and Ranked

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The Bruery Black Tuesday Port (2017) (75)

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.

Boulder Beer The Dude’s D’Spare (82)

Relatively smooth blend of strong roast and vanilla. Chocolate resides underneath, along with some tannic character to tie things together. Nice malt richness. Some oak character. Dark toffee flavors and some iron minerality as it warms.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Frost Monster (82)

Roasty with hints of dry chocolate, sweet chocolate, and cherry. Vanilla. Some oak and bourbon notes are present. Nice warmth in the end. Some dark toffee and even black licorice notes. Some prominent fruitiness and tannin character emerges as it warms. The barrel character isn’t overly pronounced.

Wichita Brewing Co. Catherine III Russian Imperial Stout (82)

Strong oak presence—almost sawdust—with tannin and vanilla, and a huge smoky, roasty backbone. Some of the chocolate notes help to round things out, making it taste like a chocolate-dipped campfire. There is a medium spiciness toward the end of the sip that could be rye, and a light sourness mixes with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Light cherries linger after the sip.

Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Noir (83)

A blend of dark cherry and rich sweet dark malt. Some nice chocolate and toffee notes. The rum sugar sweetness adds to this beer. Vanilla and coconut also add to the sweet character. The warmth is present through the finish. Rich brown sugar and vanilla overwhelm the base beer. Some roast and chocolate under the barrel character.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Siberian Night (83)

Moderately sweet cherry chocolate with a touch of roast and some vanilla underneath. A nice chocolaty flavor, but it has a hard time rising over the roast. Some barrel character, but overall the roast dominates.

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Barrel-Aged Scarface (83)

Nice blend of flavors. Some bold roasty notes, nice dark and sweet chocolate notes, and some sweet dark cherry notes. The oak character adds nice complexity to the beer, hitting in the middle and carrying through the finish. The warmth also adds to the taste and cuts some of the sweetness. Some tannins couple with the roast and alcohol to add to the dry finish.

Coronado Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Stupid Stout (83)

The flavor starts with a dry chocolate sweetness and carries through with some bitterness that leaves a slight astringent finish. Lots of roast character in the flavor. Rich sweet milk chocolate and almond throughout with vanilla supporting. The butterscotch continues into the flavor, but with an increase in complexity, from intense chocolate and roast. The warmth hits in the finish. And the beer finishes with some chewiness left on the tongue.

AleSmith Brewing Company Speedway Stout (Vietnamese Coffee) (83)

Notes of soy sauce and solvent. The beauty of this beer is the lack of things sticking out—the base has some nice roast and chocolate character that are complemented by the dark roast coffee. Sherry, cinnamon, and dark fruits appear as well, with some floral hops in the background.

Full Sail Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Stout (85)

Moderate oak with cherries, chocolate, light smoke, and light vanilla mixed with some bitterness. The sweetness is nicely balanced by the roast, and it slowly fades. Notes of light coconut and almond are present, as well as lots of barrel character—but the vanilla and oak lead the charge. The medium body doesn’t quite stand up to the barrel treatment, and the roast bitterness lingers a little too long.

Great Divide Brewing Company Oak Aged Y (85)

A very rich blend of dark chocolate and a significant amount of dark roasted malt—likely roasted barley and black patent. There’s a touch of vanilla and tannin that help to smooth all the roast. A touch of dark fruit ester notes, with some woodiness and a bit of astringency, followed by a significant hops bitterness and big hops flavor. The body is medium, and on the sweet side of neutral, but the roast helps to dry out the finish, which helps it avoid being cloying. The finish is a bit harsh, with lots of roast malt and hops bitterness, and a bit of solventy nasal burn from the rough alcohol.

Kannah Creek Brewing Company Demise of Ivan (86)

The ester fruitiness dominates this beer and a subtle smoky phenolic character works okay with the roasted malt. Relatively tart malt profile, maybe even cranberry tart. The earthiness and wood tannins support the tartness once your palate acclimates. A slight vanilla sweetness shows up mid-palate and lingers. Some roast and chocolate in the back. Nice sweetness with a good finish and slight warmth.

Four Peaks Brewing Company Sirius Black (86)

The chewy woody oak is a bit overpowering. Low to medium vanilla presences reminds me of French oak, and it blends with the peach and cherry notes coming from the coffee and the beer. Some sweet cherry, sherry, dates, and marzipan. Very thin-bodied, more like an old ale than an imperial stout. Great caramel and toast malt character, and the roast and chocolate notes help to blend the flavors. Some fusel alcohols and whiskey, with tobacco and vanilla, as well as a mild hops flavor and bitterness.

The Pike Brewing Company 2015 Pike Entire Wood-Aged Stout (87)

Strong dark roast throughout blends with dark coffee and dark chocolate. Vanilla underneath rounds out things at the end with a touch of sweetness. The mushroom notes from the nose are more pronounced here. The oak blends well with the malt and adds to the complexity. The cherry character adds a nice brightness and sweetness. The beer finishes with a slight bitterness, almost that of a dark chocolate bar.

Founders Brewing Company Lizard of Koz (87)

Creamy chocolate notes blend with the vanilla from the barrel. Very sweet, fruity, and estery, and the berry flavor lingers long into the aftertaste. It’s like sweet chocolate-covered tart cherries. Faint roast malt is buried under the berry cream soda.

Stone Brewing Company Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal (87)

Moderate chocolate, with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla plus moderate piney hops bitterness. Light oak tannins give some bite, with lingering acidity and a moderate alcohol burn. Some chile spiciness with a vegetal type of flavor as well.

River North Brewery Mr. Sandman (87)

Spiciness up front, with licorice, mixed with moderate roast. It’s very fruit-forward, with prune and raisin, and had an underlying sweetness. Some chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasty notes like burned coffee, and some hops bitterness. Lots of oak and oak tannins. There’s a smoked-wood note, kind of like roasted or smoked meat—it’s fatty, and not a dry smoke.

Central Waters Peruvian Morning (87)

Chocolate, slight vanilla, slight caramel, boozy warmth. Slight coffee. The finish comes across a bit thin, which leaves a lingering tannic astringency.”

Elevation Beer Company Oil Man (88)

A healthy mix of sweet chocolate and roast, with a sooty smokiness that seems a bit out of place. The roast dominates, with an underlying cocoa note. Wet oak and vanilla, with light syrup and molasses. Rich, silky mouthfeel, but the overall body is a bit light for the style.

Reuben's Brews Barrel Aged Stout (88)

A mix of chocolate sweetness and sweet dark fruit (plum/prune) carries through. Moderate vanilla, caramel, leather, and smoke. Strong bourbon carries through the finish, along with some molasses sweetness and medium alcohol. Thick, chewy body, and a sweetness that lingers. A bit of umami/soy sauce in the aftertaste, with bitter hops and alcohol warmth.

Burial Beer Seasoned Skillet (89)

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.

Melvin Barrel-aged Ruckus (89)

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.

Judaculla Nantahala Brewing Company (90)

Rich and slightly sweet cocoa powder, with something approaching the perceived tartness of cherries. Lots of chocolate, with a bit of vanilla and oak. The medium dark roast helps to dry things out, but the sweetness carries through and fades at the end of the sip, making way for a bit of bitterness and alcohol on the finish. The velvety body drives this beer, heightening the chocolaty base, and accentuating the vanilla barrel character. Well balanced.

Rhinegeist Brewery Barrel-Aged Ink (91)

The barrel character definitely dominates with some nice vanilla, bourbon, slight coconut, oak-barrel character. Chocolate roast provides nice malt sweetness to add to the complexity. The sweetness helps in cutting the beer in the finish. A little bit of fruitiness (cherry) enhances the overall experience. A prominent alcohol warmth not only tickles the nose, but warms the throat.

EPIC Brewing Company Big Bad Baptista (91)

The cinnamon is a dominant player on the palate. Vanilla and milk chocolate support, with a touch of cayenne and alcoholic heat in the finish. More chile heat than expected. The barrel lends some booziness, but not much sweet coconut or vanilla from the wood. Light coffee notes, with cocoa, roast malt, caramel, and sweetness to balance.

Evil Twin Brewing Even More Jesus (91)

A significant mineral character up front with a secondary note of some dark chocolate roast. Heavy roasted notes, earthy dankness, light chocolate, espresso, and tobacco. The earthiness carries throughout with a slightly salty finish that lingers in conjunction with the roast. Esters of clove, dark fruit, and spice emerge as it warms. The carbonation is a touch high, but it cuts through the sweetness. The medium body dissipates rather quickly. Well balanced and intriguing.

Verboten Little Nonsense (91)

Assertive bourbon, supported by the malt sweetness. Vanilla, oak, and oak tannins, with some chocolate and caramel in the background. It’s smooth and rich, with mouth-filling carbonation and a bit of alcohol presence. Dark fruity flavors of cherry, raisin, and plum as it warms. Finishes with a chocolate sweetness and a mild alcohol burn that lingers.

SweetWater Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel–Aged Imperial Stout (92)

The sip starts with a rich flavor that’s a mix of roast, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and cherries. Dark fruits (raisin and prune), followed by the bourbon and mild smokiness. Medium alcoholic warmth, which carries through the finish. The body is thick and chewy and very smooth. It’s a nice blend of supporting players without any one stealing the show.

Aspen Brewing Co. Barrel Aged 10th Mountain (92)

The rich vanilla and oak are well-balanced with the beer and barrel character. There’s some whiskey, chocolate, coconut, and roast, with light ash smoke and molasses in the background. Medium sweetness and bitterness complement an amaretto-like note at the back end, along with some subdued heat from the alcohol. It finishes dry.

Schlafly Beer/The Saint Louis Brewery Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (93)

This has a great intense chocolate front with a prominent booziness carrying through. Some nice roast character keeps things from getting off track. Rich bourbon sweetness with the obvious roast and chocolate notes from the malt. Relatively chewy throughout, but it finishes dry and bourbony. Vanilla combines with the chocolate roast to provide a milk chocolate character.

Oskar Blues Brewery Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY (93)

Rich chocolate-syrup flavors up front, perfect for ice cream. Sweet caramel and a touch of vanilla and coconut with coffee notes going into the aftertaste. Medium alcohol on the back end (but not harsh) mixed with a slight burntness. Touch of umami. Cherry esters are rich and sweet. Some tartness gives the finish a little tang. Barrel notes are subtle—vanilla, and slight tannin on the finish helps to dry it out.

The Bruery So Happens It’s Tuesday (93)

Moderate dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, big fruit—cherry, apricot, plum, mango, and peach. High sweetness up front with high oak notes. Caramel coffee with a shot of chocolate syrup and a jigger of whiskey. Smooth blend of chocolate and coconut support the cherry sweetness and help to dry it out.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2016 (93)

Moderate chocolate up front, with light cinnamon spices and big vanilla. Some rich chocolate sweetness in there, caramel, with vanilla, oak, leather, and bourbon—the sweetness provides a scaffold. Fruity notes of dark cherry, plum, prune, and raisin that support the bourbon. This beer has a nice chewy body with a moderate alcohol burn and light acidity.

Avery Raspberry Truffale (93)

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.

Fort George Brewery Bourbon Barrel Cavatica (94)

Dark stone-fruit esters from the nose are also on the tongue and add to the sweetness. Roast blends well with the esters with just a touch of heat on the finish. A red-wine character is paired well with a dark chocolate sweetness and brighter, sweet fruitiness. Some oak character adds complexity with some vanilla sweetness as well. Finishes sweet with some alcohol warmth.

Beachwood BA System of a Stout (94)

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.”

Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Dark Star (95)

Rich dark chocolate with dark cherry and subtle plum esters and a nice wallop of coconut to enhance the experience. The other barrel characters are there as well to provide a round richness. Finishes medium dry with a touch of roast. A decent amount of heat prevents you from forgetting the type of beer your drinking.

Humboldt Brewing Company Black Xantus (95)

Intense dark fruity sweetness, with a concentrated raisin and currant character. Chocolate, sherry, and oak add complexity. It’s quite boozy and sweet, with moderate bitterness to balance. The roastiness comes out much more as it warms, and it lingers with every passing sip. Some of the finishing sweetness tastes like vanilla from the oak, or even smoked licorice.

Odell Brewing Company Jolly Russian (95)

Chocolate and roast add complexity up front, with a light alcohol warming toward the finish. Notes of rum, but also a note of tequila. The oak quality of the barrel is evident. Flashes of cocoa and vanilla weave through dark fruits of fig, plum, prune, and raisin. Intense flavors, but no single flavor dominated.

Rogue Ales Rolling Thunder (95)

A delicious mix of vanilla, dark chocolate, black licorice, molasses, coconut, and dark fruity esters of cherry and plum. A strong malt backbone coupled with a healthy roast and smoke note keep the beer from getting too cloying.

Goose Island Bourbon County Properietor's '16 (95)

The rich, smoky flavor gives the chocolate and roast malts a smoky twist, and then the pepper flavor comes in, along with a rich, caramel sweetness that buffers the moderate chile warmth. It’s slightly cloying, but the flavors are all in balance. A bit of bacon, BBQ, tobacco, and hot chiles. But as strong as the flavors were, they didn’t overwhelm the beer’s overall stout nature.

River North Brewery Whiskey Barrel Aged Nightmare Fuel (95)

Very bitter, big coffee, roast, and chocolate. The coffee is so intense, it’s a bit acrid. Notes of light oak, vanillin, with cherry and plum esters. It’s very earthy, grassy, piney, and very dark, leaving a coating on the roof of your mouth. Relatively dry overall, considering the heavy body and high alcohol. Very sweet yet an acrid/burned bitterness dries out the finish.

Fremont Barrel Aged Dark Star 2016 (95)

Huge sweet milk chocolate. It’s a dance between the roast and the chocolate, with some malt sweetness. Notes of caramel, coffee as well, and from the barrel, some smoky wood, moderate oak tannins, and vanilla. Black licorice, with raisin, plum, and prunes that come out as if eaten straight from a bowl, supported by the bourbon and malt sweetness.

Anchorage Time Waits for No One (95)

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.

Epic Brewing Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist 2016 (96)

Well-blended roastiness from the malt and coffee, and some light barrel character helps pull the pieces together with notes of tannin, leather, oak, and vanillin. Nutty caramel, sherry, and a fruity yeast profile that includes dry cherries make for a fruitcake effect. Coats the mouth without being cloying. A deeper dominant flavor note than others in the category, heavy on bass notes.

Transient Artisan Ales Kentuckley (96)

Big upfront sweetness is strongly cherry-like, with the coffee and chocolate immediately taking over. It unfolds with layers of complexity as you move through the cherry, coffee, and chocolate for a few cycles. It’s hot, with a big ethanol presence. The sweetness hangs on until the finish, but isn’t cloying, leaving a sugary coating that balances the residual heat.

Coronado German Chocolate Cake 2018 (96)

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.”

Bottle Logic Jam the Radar 2018 (96)

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.

FiftyFifty Brewing Co. Eclipse Grand Cru (97)

The roastiness in this beer is really nice and the chocolate comes in with a nice smoothness. Nice coffee flavor. Sweet cherry notes hit through the flavor. There is a vanilla sweetness that hits and carries through the finish. The oaky, fruity barrel character plays well with the rich chocolate malt notes from the base beer. A hint of alcohol doesn’t overwhelm. A pleasant amount of roast bridges the gap between the barrel and the sweetness in the beer.

Brew Gentlemen Double Mex (97)

Good roast malt and coffee up front, along with some Hershey’s chocolate, and nice accents of cinnamon and chile to add some welcome edges. It’s oaky and full of vanilla and coconut. The medium chile heat doesn’t linger but adds a spicy aftertaste. The body is medium-heavy, and the finish is overly roasted, almost ashy.

Weldwerks Barrel-Aged Mexican Achromatic (97)

Starts with the cinnamon and chocolate, and then a touch of tartness to make you think of chocolate-covered cherries. Huge coconut, German chocolate cake, and cinnamon spiciness, along with some good coffee roast and strong vanilla. Very subtle pepper warmth.

Three Taverns Double Smack (97)

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.

Perennial Barrel-aged Abraxas 2018 (97)

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.

Hardywood Hoax (97)

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.”

Cerebral Barrel-aged Ancient Ruins (97)

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.

Angry Chair Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Awakening (97)

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.”

Two Roads Brewing Co. Igor’s Dream (98)

A surprisingly unique citrus and chocolate combination with a decent amount of roast added for good measure. Some nice barrel characteristics (vanilla), but they only enhance the wild show going on between whatever hops these brewers are using and the delicious chocolatiness they’ve developed.

Grimm Artisanal Ales Double Negative (98)

‘Richness’ doesn’t begin to cover the luxurious flavors of this beer. It’s like drinking a dark cherry cordial, dipped in dark chocolate and soaked in bourbon, through a chocolate, vanilla, roasted coconut straw. A very rounded beer, with no one note dominating. Creamy. The oak adds great depth to this beer.

DeStihl Brewery Dosvidanya (98)

Tastes like a fresh brownie hot out of the oven with the same thick chewy vanilla and chocolate present in the aroma. It is creamy, with just enough carb to make everything pop. Strong coffee notes, moderate sharp roast, caramel sweetness, and oak tannins. Coconut and spicy alcohol round it out.

Blue Mountain Barrel House Dark Hollow (98)

A very smooth, almost creamy feel enhances the chocolaty sweetness of this beer. A restrained roast lets the sweetness dominate, but it doesn’t come off as cloying. Some notes of coconut and vanilla from the barrel also help enhance the experience. The chocolate flavors range from milk sweetness to semisweet to dark bitter chocolate. Some coffee notes. Nice warmth in the end.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse The Count (Batch 2) (98)

This is a chocolate-covered cherry with all the tannic goodness of a nice bourbon or whiskey. Moderate roast and smoke up front play nicely with light chocolate sweetness. Mild alcohol warming and light fruitiness, which includes cherry and raisins, and some nice vanilla and almond notes. As it warms, the light oak flavor emerges, adding a level of complexity. The mouthfeel is medium-thick, with a slight heat on the finish that’s just slightly roasty and rough.

Weldwerks Coconut Medianoche (98)

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.

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery Bourbon Dark Apparition (99)

Rich, juicy, and chewy throughout with a strong umami profile indicative of being nicely aged. Complex blend of perceived earthy, salty, soy-sauce, vanilla, and coconut components. Some low level esters reside underneath, but are well blended. Finishes relatively dry with some contribution from the tannins likely. Some chocolate, slight coffee, and dark fruits are present.

Founders Brewing Company KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) (99)

Coffee notes of espresso and barrel notes of bourbon blend nicely up front, with a bit of caramel malt sweetness to support. Finish is a bit sweet with a slight coffee lingering note. Initial chocolaty sweetness fades quickly. Light earthy hops bitterness. Coffee character is faintly nutty and caramel-like. Very smooth. Boozy warmth in the finish adds to this beer.

EPIC Brewing Company Big Bad Baptist #27 (99)

Intense coffee/espresso notes with a wonderful chocolate character to round it out. A mild amount of barrel character, but the coffee is the star of this show. Caramel malt sweetness and subtle vanilla oak character come through, and the finish is mostly balanced—impeccably smooth without being cloying.

Avery Brewing Company Tweak (99)

Rich, sweet dark chocolate with cherry and vanilla throughout. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and dark roast bring out some malted-milk ball flavors. Plenty of vanilla and oak and oak tannins, with a delicate finish of tobacco. The body is quite sweet, but dries out on the finish. This is a very big stout.

Hardywood Park Trickery (99)

Big sweetness, with moderate caramel and apple (like caramel apples), brown sugar, dark fruit (plum, prune, raisin), and a sweetness that carries through to the finish. The body is creamy and sweet and balances well with the faint smoke character.

The Lagunitas Brewing Company High Westified 2016 (99)

Intense barrel flavors, with strong vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and light roasted almond. The beer has heft but doesn’t sit too heavily on the tongue. Really nice creaminess rounds it out. Very complex beer with a lingering malt character of chocolate and rum.

The Bruery So Happens It's Tuesday 2016 (99)

Slight brightness up front, that has a touch of citrus that verges on sour—lime, perhaps? More fruity notes of pear, apple, white raisin, Riesling, dark cherry, and plum. Some malty sweetness of chocolate and caramel, with vanilla and a little oak—the bourbon comes through and adds so much to this beer. Mouth-filling carbonation and a luscious mouthfeel.

Perennial Artisan Ales Maman 2016 (99)

Huge bourbon up front, followed by strong malt sweetness of caramel, molasses, and heavy chocolate. A touch of maple syrup, coffee, spice, vanilla, and light oak tannins as well, with some heavy dark fruits of plum, cherry, and raisin. The whiskey alcohol warming is pleasant, with just a touch of alcohol burn, and a light licorice sweetness.

Hoppin' Frog Rocky Mountain D.O.R.I.S. (99)

Huge chocolaty flavors, coupled with a unique citrus hops character, give it a chocolate orange note that works well with the rich nature of this beer. There’s some roast and toasted marshmallow in there, whiskey, umami notes, and dark cherry esters. The body is thick and chewy and almost viscous, but there’s enough heat and roast bitterness for balance.

The Bruery Black Tuesday 2016 (99)

Assertive alcohol up front continues throughout the sip in a big and inviting way. Very intense raisin and plum charge the taste buds. Chocolate and roast sit in the background, with a touch of tobacco, strong oak tannins, light vanilla, and malt sweetness. Oak and bourbon come through, along with some oak tannins. Light acidity and a hint of vinegar balance the sweetness. It’s full-bodied and chewy.

Side Project Derivation Blend #9 (99)

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.

Great Divide Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Yeti (100)

Juicy, chewy, and rich. Huge dark chocolate notes dominate, but they are cut by vanilla sweetness and oak tannins to add a nice complexity. Some background coconut from the barrel but also a nice fruitiness that lends a roundness. The roast isn’t overly bitter, but still prominent.

Goose Island Brewery 2015 Bourbon County Stout (100)

So many layers to the malt bill and barrel character that unfold over time...mocha on steroids leads to some vanilla and cherry which then lead to more chocolate and alcoholic heat...Crazy complex. Big caramel, moderate sweetness, touch of hops bitterness, moderately creamy. Cool nutty element with hints of pecan and almond.

Perennial Artisan Ales Barrel-Aged Abraxas (100)

Notes of dried plums, apricots, cinnamon, chiles. The balance is spot on. The roast base helps balance the sweetness and chocolate, and the barrel brings things together with deep toffee flavor.

Goose Island Beer Company Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (100)

Beautiful blend of smooth espresso coffee, bittersweet and dark chocolate, and most of all, delicious vanilla and bourbon oak flavors. The chocolate is complex, sweet, and dry. Vanilla-and-oak character blends well with the great coffee-and-bourbon character of this beer.

Perennial Artisan Ales Barrel Aged Sump (100)

Very bold, strong coffee flavor. Sweet malt profile, hints of vanilla, complex chocolate, slight spiciness, and earthiness. The sweetness is balanced well with the coffee roast and roast malt character. Finishes full-bodied and chocolaty. Nice warmth and smoothness for the size of this beer. A perfect blend of roast maltiness, malty chocolate notes, and intense espresso character.

AleSmith Brewing Company Barrel Aged Speedway Stout (100)

Rich chocolate and coffee flavors dance on the tongue, hitting all flavor centers. Medium barrel characters do emerge above the chocolate/coffee copulation, but the complex malt profile is the feature. Caramel and coffee are intricately bound with oak tannins to create this gorgeous palette of flavors. Finish is spicy, earthy, and sweet.

Fremont Brewing Rusty Nail 2016 (100)

Sweetness is present up front, with burned roastiness and some dark fruits (raisin and plums) that follow. It’s a beautiful blend of chocolate, vanilla, coconut, roast, dark cherry, and molasses, with light coffee notes that add complexity. A nice blend of a bourbon-barrel character, with spice and booziness.