Brad Darnell's picture

Judge's Review: 84 Rating - Soul Sacrifice by Peter B's Brewpub

March, 2020
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
34 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Soul Sacrifice by Peter B's Brewpub is a Mexican hot chocolate-inspired bourbon barrel-aged imperial red and is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (2015 BJCP Category 33B) offering according to BJCP guidelines. For this style expect the base beer style blended well with characteristics picked up during the wood aging (including alcoholic products previously in contact with the wood). The best examples will be smooth, flavorful, well-balanced and well-aged.

The beer pours clear dark amber with a large, creamy and thick beige head with some bubbles attempting to escape. The initial aroma is sweet caramel malt with a light nuttiness, and candied dark fruits. Medium nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla notes emerge from the glass as I approach my first quaff. The first thing I notice is moderate spicy peppers that mix somewhat with cinnamon, sweet caramel malt and vanilla.

The pleasant sweetness is quickly overtaken by a throat-burning spicy pepper character that does not have to be unpleasant. The bourbon barrel character is hard to discern versus the added spices and flavorings. The aroma carries a sweet heat character that is enjoyable but the flavor does not have the same sweetness to counter the capsaicin. The beer finishes lightly sweet and the body is medium with medium-light carbonation.

I really wanted more from this beer but the peppers detract from an otherwise enjoyable beer.