Toppling Goliath Brewing Assassin 2020
What the brewers say
"This barrel-aged stout spends more than a year in barrels, sometimes closer to two. Notes of bourbon warm each sip, washing over a fudgy chocolate base."
What our panel thought
"Barrel-forward, with whiskey, vanilla, and oak supported by dark roast malt. Greets you with a fuzzy wall of dark malt flavors—rich milk and dark chocolate, dried fig, toffee, toasted marshmallow, even bread crust. Roast is restrained. Sweet and intense throughout—not quite cloying, but with the malt and barrel intensity, it works. There's enough bitterness to balance, without ashy or acrid character. The barrel is up front—adding subtle spice and underlying alcoholic warmth—but the beer supports it well. Long, complex finish. Fantastic, intense, evolving in the glass as it warms. You don’t need much, but this would be great to share."
What our editors thought
"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."