Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Barreled Souls Hillrock Bourbon Barrel Aged Quaker Heavy with Coffee

The Stats
Style: Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 9.9%
Current Ratings...
- Untappd: 4.11/5
- Beer Advocate: N/A
- RateBeer: N/A

"A bigger version of our regular Quaker State with coffee aged for 8 months in a Hillock bourbon barrel."

Black in appearance with some ruby red edges and less than a finger of tan head that fizzled away like soda. It looks like flat Coke.

Strong alcohol scent, but it doesn't burn the nostrils. Bourbon is sweet and very much in your face. Coffee has a dark roast, freshly-brewed aroma with hints of burnt coffee grounds. Touches of vanilla and wood start to come through more as it warms with even some smoke and char.

I say this in the nicest way possible: It tastes like a cigar.

There is an unmistakably smoke and ash component to this beer that is just putting me on Cloud Nine. I am guessing it is the insane amount of char from the barrel which is also lending tobacco notes and the coffee also helps with a roasted flavor. When all those components activate their Wonder Twin powers, it brings a smile to my face. How does the bourbon itself play into this? Like the aroma, it is incredibly sweet, but also smooth without being cloying. As it warms, a molasses flavor emerges for a touch if Old Ale qualities and more dessert-like flavors of milk chocolate and cocoa powder give this an after dinner sensation. Hidden in the back are some solid dark fruit notes of raisins, plums, and figs. Some of that booze comes back, but it's refined and I welcome it in this case to help break up some of the sticky sensation.

Mouthfeel is calm with a velvety texture. It isn't the thickest stout (especially for almost 10%) and can feel too thin at times. The sweeter flavors stick around after each sip, but they don't overstay their welcome. Mild booziness is noticeable, but again, I find it pleasant in this case.

BA Quaker Heavy w/ Coffee impressed me for unexpected reasons. While I wish the body was bigger, the flavors were complex and a pleasant surprise. It promised coffee and bourbon, which it delivered, but those smokey qualities and massive amounts of char will bring me back again and again. I bet these guys could rock a Rauchbier like nobody's business.


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