Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Louisiana
United States
Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, Gnarly Barley Brewing
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
93
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

You know and love our STOUT, of the Russian Imperial persuasion. It's a smooth yet burly beer chock full of dark roasty toasty flavors and stacked with chocolate notes for supreme complexity. Then we had the gall to throw it in some bourbon barrels just to really seal the deal as the sexiest beer in our lineup.

Profile

ABV: 
9.4%
Hops: 
Cascade
Malts: 
Maris Otter, Caraaroma, Carabohemian, Carafa III
Judges Review 
Sean Coughlin's picture
Judges Rating:
93
Aroma:
24 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood Aged Beer (BJCP 2015 Guidelines Category 33B) with considerations of being an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

The aroma jumps out of the bottle as soon as the cap is removed and whets the appetite. Complexity wafts from the glass with dark chocolate, oak, barrel char, bourbon, vanilla and raisins blending together harmoniously. The aroma is everything you want from a barrel-aged imperial stout.

The beer pours an obsidian black with a dark khaki head that is very sparse. Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't quite live up to the high expectations set by the aroma. The first thing that hits the palate and stays with it throughout is a tannic presence from the oak. Some might mistake this for oxidation but it is actually another element that contributes to this beer's complexity – arguably in a favorable way. The oak-derived tannins are rather strong and dominate the balance of the beer, but behind them there is a wealth of flavor, which follows the aroma: bakers chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, brownie batter and dark fruit.

The body is full and the finish is seemingly drier than it is because of the high tannic presence. The beer is warming with each sip and still retains good drinkability for an imperial stout. This is a beer that may be polarizing due to the high tannic nature. Cellaring this offering for a few years may allow some of that character to tone down. For those that like their barrel-aged imperial stouts with a hefty dose of oak, seek this one out and drink it fresh!

Brewery Introduction

Established in 2014, Gnarly Barley Brewing is located in a 14,000 square foot facility in Hammond, Louisiana and consists of a two-vessel 30bbl Brewhouse, one hot and one cold liquor tank, a 690bbl cellar and a whole lot of passion for craft beer. An open air taproom, known as the Gnar Bar,... Read More

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