Josh Weikert's picture

Barrel-Aged Dosvidanya

January, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Bourbon barrels are something of a mixed blessing in beer. When breweries get it right, they add notes that are tough to get from any other source; when they get it wrong, you end up with a woody, alcoholic mess. This one gets it very right.

The beer pours an inky black with a light brown, dense head, and the initial aromas are deep and complex. There’s chocolate, whiskey and coffee in excellent balance and without the harshness of any of their native flavors. The aroma is also slightly earthy, giving an impression of age and maturity.  

The flavor follows suit and is both intense and (oddly) approachable. Despite the obvious alcohol presence, the beer is never hot, nor does it ever even seem so due to the bourbon elements. The finish is dry with good tannic structure (one would assume from the barrel), and the warming is appropriate to the style. There is, on the back end, a slight “tightness” in the mouthfeel that suggests a touch of astringency, but it’s a minor complaint in a major beer.

This is a delicious beer that will please a wide audience. It’s like an after-dinner cocktail in beer form, and I’d be happy to share a bottle with a small group – but not with a large one, because I’d want a bigger pour for myself!