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Judge's Review: 84 Rating - Tears of My Enemies - Vanilla Barrel Aged by Monday Night Brewing

March, 2021
Judges Rating: 
84
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Tears of My Enemies - Vanilla Barrel Aged by Monday Night Brewing is being judged as a 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer, an Imperial Milk Stout with coffee, vanilla and cacao nibs, all aged in a barrel used to age vanilla extract (presumably). 

In the glass it's an opaque deep brown-black with a thin ring of bubbles that rises and falls quickly. The nose jumps out, smelling like marshmallows and vanilla extract. There is a phenolic edge to this due to the level of vanilla, though not terribly unpleasant. Behind the vanilla marshmallow is a strong roast quality that just peeks through, lending a slight burnt note as well. There is a faintly tangy note in there as well, along with a lactose tinged note.

At the taste, it's very much vanilla forward, followed by an acrid roast. The coffee quality is a bit off here, tending towards tart. The lactose, for my palate, is emphasizing the wrong elements, throwing the balance off. I feel like more grain roast and cutting the lactose would improve the drinkability immensely, particularly in juxtaposition with the vanilla that is really emphasizing those other aspects. That said, the bitterness is a welcome addition but the vanilla does make it a bit difficult to drink much of due to the extracted nature of the vanilla. I think there are some nice notes here. but the balance is just out of whack overall. 

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