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Jason Johnson's picture

Judge's Review: 89 Rating - Barreled Treasure by Odell Brewing Co.

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Barreled Treasure by Odell Brewing Co. was judged as Imperial Stout aged in oak barrels under category 33B, Specialty Wood-Aged beer with a base style of Imperial Stout.

The beer poured into a glass was midnight black in the glass with a dark tan, dense, foamy head. There is a lot going on here in the aroma. Up front I get a deep dark chocolate,and coffee. A lot of coffee, and not from the malt. I get actual coffee, which I later learned was written on the bottle. But it caught me by surprise because it was not billed to me to be an Imperial Stout with coffee. But yes, there is a certainly an unmistakable coffee presence which compliments the sweetness of the chocolate aroma. I do not pick up anything in terms of hops in the aroma. The alcohol is also very evident, and I'd put it in the moderately intense range. The roasted grains and mild sweetness are pleasant and intense. There is a little bit of plum in the back end as the beer warms. In the flavor, the beer is sweet and roasty. Mostly coffee and chocolate take the center stage. There is a moderate level of bitterness from the roasted grain and hops, but the beer is still finishing sweet. The bitterness is not cutting through it much at all. That's not uncommon for an Imperial Stout. Some of the sugar comes off a bit raw and burnt, like molasses. It works well in this beer. The flavors are intense and there are a lot of them, almost all from malt and the expected oxidation you get from extended aging. I get some dark caramel, a little molasses, chocolate, coffee, rum, and even dates. What I don't get is much from the barrel. Maybe it's blended well, but I don't get any wood character or even vanilla tones from the wood. Those are not required, but common. The rum notes can come from the barrel and alcohol. But my point is if you are expecting this to come across as most barrel aged beers these days, it doesn't. At least for me. This beer is full bodied and chewy, quite smooth, with a little burn of alcohol when it goes down.

In the end, this beer is certainly in the right climate, as where I am it's cold and dreary at the moment. This is the perfect beer for that occasion. What I wish, is the beer was not as sweet as it was, and could be a bit more dry. It's going to be a one and done from a snifter beer for sure, as most imperial stouts are. But the overly sweet finish for my taste left me tired of the beer by the end of the glass. Maybe sharing it is a better option.