Anderson Valley Brewing Company Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout
What the brewers say
Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes that the barrels imparat mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character.
What our panel thought
Aroma: “Some nice roast and toast character. Bittersweet chocolate up front with some oatmeal notes, followed by a subtle coffee-roast note. Just a touch of sweetness, a little nutty, and strong vanilla. No esters or phenolics.”
Flavor: “Sweet chocolate and almost a milk creaminess. Some mild coffee flavor and dark malt sweetness and some dark cherry and almond notes. Creamy and not overwhelmingly roasty, almost with a soft espresso note. Oak character is subtle and hard to pick out, but lends a touch of vanilla to the flavor. The roastiness lasts on the tongue. Finish is mostly balanced, with a slight sweetness lingering in the end. Tannic character is very subdued. Hops bitterness is supportive.”
Overall: “A very delicious stout that doesn't quite deliver as a barrel-aged offering. There is not enough barrel or oak character, but it is still tasty. The multi-layered malt profile keeps this beer interesting without becoming novel. The beer had some good sweet and roast qualities but was a little thin in the body. The creaminess reminds me a little of chocolate milk.”