In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


River North Brewery Whiskey Barrel Aged Nightmare Fuel

Aroma: “Intense coffee that’s deeply roasty with light char, but balanced by rich cocoa and cacao nibs and just a touch of cherry.”

Flavor: “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.”

Overall: “The coffee blends well with the roast and barrel character without completely drowning them out. The wood is a bit over the top, but the fermentation is clean. The very dark roast coffee lends a perceived dryness, with a peak of sweetness in the middle and roast in the end, and the oak helps balance.”