Nelson Crowle's picture

Judge's Review: 95 Rating - Barrel-Aged Legion by Community Beer Co.

April, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Barrel-Aged Legion by Community Beer Co. was evaluated as BJCP 2015 style 20C - Imperial Stout, also noting that the beer is barrel-aged. A hard pour produced a very small tan head of tiny bubbles that quickly disappears (but the bubbles probably disperse due to the high alcohol destroying the surface tension that holds the bubbles together). Deep mahogany brown.

Initial aroma is roasty sweet chocolate with moderate vanilla notes and moderate caramel and toffee notes - quite complex and interesting. The flavor echoes the aroma with roasty sweet chocolate, medium caramel, and additional cold brewed coffee notes. There are medium wood aged notes expressed as vanilla and toasted coconut. Lots of dark fruits - medium prunes, moderate overripe plums, slight notes of black cherries. There are some slight oxidation notes, but mostly coming across as sherry notes rather than papery, so quite pleasant. Medium-low earthy and floral hops compliment the roasty malt but are minor players. There is a moderate hop bittering that balances well. Medium-low soy sauce umami notes. This is a full-bodied beer, fairly low on the carbonation, but enough carbonation to present all of the aromas well.

Take this beer out of the fridge, then open and drink another beer while you let this one warm up to 55 or 60 degrees to present all of its complexity. If you put this in a pint glass (or worse, drink from the bottle), you're doing it wrong. This beer deserves a brandy snifter or tulip glass that you can swirl and enjoy the aroma. I'd like to see just a bit more carbonation. You don't need food to go with this - it's a bear-rug share-with-your-partner fireplace beer in a snifter. This beer would pair nicely with a chocolate pound cake, or if it's with dinner, do a chicken mole.