Lone Buffalo: Heaven Hill Barrel Aged Stout

Lone Buffalo: Heaven Hill Barrel Aged Stout
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
95
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
40 / 40
Appearance:
4 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20
Description 

An imperial milk stout aged for 1 year in Heaven Hill barrels.

Profile

ABV: 
13.7%
IBUs: 
20
Judges Review 
Sean Coughlin's picture
Judges Rating:
95
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
4 / 6
Flavor:
40 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Lone Buffalo: Heaven Hill Barrel Aged Stout by Wild Leap Brew Co. is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged beer (2021 BJCP Guidelines Category 33B) with the criteria of being an imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels.  

The aroma contains a myriad of attributes – dark chocolate, ash, oak, bourbon and smoke. What is not present are some of the characteristics in bourbon barrel-aged beer associated with sweetness such as vanilla and coconut. The barrel itself is quite dominant and alcohol becomes a heavy presence as the beer warms. The beer presents as pitch black with a head that struggles to build from the moment it hits the glass, even with an aggressive pour. The appearance is akin to used motor oil – any foam at all would be an improvement.  

The flavor is complex with dark chocolate and honeyed bourbon being most prominent. Hop bitterness is low but balanced well to keep the beer from being perceived as cloying. There is a strong presence of charred American oak in the finish that lingers, allowing every sip to be savored. More often than not, aroma and flavor are the most interesting elements of a beer. In this case, the mouthfeel steals the spotlight. This beer is viscous without seeming heavy. The oak offers some tannins, which give a perception of a drier beer without adding any astringency. Alcohol is notably present but is not aggressive enough to be classified as solvent-like or hot. The alcohol warms incrementally during enjoyment of this beer.  

This is a wonderful imperial stout that avoids being too sweet and has no detrimental oxidation despite a long aging time in its barrel. The most disappointing aspect may be that this beer was packaged from a single Heaven Hill barrel (53 gallons) and has an extremely limited number of bottles available. Wild Leap flies under the radar nationally but they are absolutely worth a visit if you find yourself in the southeast and in need of top-notch beer that's good enough to remember long after enjoyment. 

Brewery Introduction

Something is brewing in historic downtown LaGrange. What was once the Westbrook Service & Tire Co. building has become the home of Wild Leap Brew Co., the first brewery to locate in LaGrange. Wild Leap features a tasting room, large event space and an outdoor beer garden that looks upon a... Read More

Advertisement

Advertisement