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Judge's Review: 90 Rating - Collision Stout by Holy City Brewing

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
90
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
36 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Collision Stout by Holy City Brewing is a stout that is bourbon barrel aged, which puts it under BJCP 2015 category 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer. It falls into the Specialty version due to the bourbon characteristics, which are definitely evident. This beer pours a beautiful jet black that is completely opaque with an espresso tan head and vinous legs that cling to the glass. The first things from the glass are strong barrel notes – vanillin, oak, deep caramel & bourbon. This is followed by lots of rich malt flavors – cocoa, low roast coffee, toasted bread, brown sugar, molasses, toffee – which comes off like cocoa-roasted almonds at times. There is also some deep fruity-like esters as well as some sherry-like oxidation. The flavor is similar but even sweeter. It’s malt and barrel forward, with mod-low bitterness and a sweet finish. There are notes of licorice, brown bread, mocha latte and plenty of dark/dried fruit – raisins, figs, & black cherries. It’s like dessert in a glass, think bourbon/kahlua-infused hot cocoa or Irish coffee crème brulee or boozy bread pudding or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. It’s full bodied and smooth despite some alcohol warmth, that makes it come off a lot stronger than the listed 8.5%, but nothing too overpowering. It’s a delicious beer that could probably use another year of aging to blend the bourbon in more, but not too much longer before the tasty sherry-like oxidation turns to soy. A hint more bitterness could also help balance the beer out more, but it's not so sweet that it has to be shared to finish a bottle either (I had no problem).

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