Friday, December 19, 2014
Jack's Abby Vanilla Framinghammer
Style: Baltic Porter
- Beer Advocate: 4.34/5
- RateBeer: 3.81/5
Until the day I die, I will always love vanilla in my beers. So when I heard Jack's Abby was releasing a bourbon barrel-aged version of Framinghammer with vanilla beans, you can bet your ass I was at the brewery on the release day to snag my share.
Pours black as night with less than a finger of light brown head that vanished quickly.
The aroma is all bourbon and vanilla beans. Very nice, indeed. Some roasted malts, chocolate, subtle coffee, and wood from the bourbon barrel are there to greet you on the back end.
The vanilla has practically terminated any trace of roasted or bitter character. In its place is a dominating, sweet vanilla bean presence that is just delicious. Along with vanilla is the sweetness of the bourbon and the two flavors are living together in harmony. Some roasted coffee and a small amount of chocolate add levels of complexity to those barrel characters.
The sweetness of the vanilla beans has made an already smooth beer a sublime experience. This is a smooth-drinking Baltic Porter with absolutely no alcohol presence and it actually might be a tad bit dangerous to sip on considering how easily it goes down. Much like big Imperial Stouts, this coats your entire mouth, but leaves nothing unpleasant in its wake.
Vanilla Framinghammer has met all of my expectations. It is silky-smooth and flavorful with just the right amount of sweetness from the bourbon and vanilla beans to make this not only a complex drinking experience, but a world-class one at the same time. As far as Baltic Porters go, this is in the elite of the elite. Sweet, complex, and drinkable. I mean, what else do you want on a cold winter's night?