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Pat Mulloy's picture

Judge's Review: 99 Rating - Lone Buffalo: Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout by Wild Leap Brew Co.

March, 2022

Lone Buffalo: Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout

Lone Buffalo: Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout

Lone Buffalo: Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout, Wild Leap Brew Co.

A specialty barrel aged stout aged for 10 months in Brandy Barrels. Notes of brown sugar, dark cherry, raisin and chocolate.

Beverage Profile



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Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
40 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Lone Buffalo: Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout by Wild Leap Brew Co. was judged as a BJCP Style 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer, per the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines.

The “Cherry Brandy Barrel Aged Stout” in the description immediately grabbed my attention, and the minute after finishing this truly magnificent beer I was ready to drive 1,190 miles to LaGrange, Georgia to obtain more.

To open the intense flavors, take this out of the fridge for a while before drinking it. The imperial stout base provides a solid foundation with intense flavors of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate notes gently softened by time in the barrel and a bold malty sweetness with notes of fig, cooked prunes and dark raisins. The beer’s 10 months in the barrel elevate it considerably as do the traces of cherry brandy that add dimension to the flavor and aroma while the barrel contributes a soft nuttiness and vanilla notes.

The roast flavors, medium hop bitterness, clean smooth alcohol and some tannins from the barrel help tone down the sweetness, which still comes in as moderate. Licorice, tar and burnt grain character is low. While the flavors and alcohol are big, there is nothing sharp or harsh in the flavor. It has a nutty, mocha nose with alcohol, cherry, dark dried fruit and a hint of vanilla.  

The beer is very full bodied – borderline chewy – but not quite zaftig, with a smooth alcohol warmth that will leave you feeling happy. The beer approaches the edge in a few places but all the parts of the beer balance, contribute to the overall beer and work almost flawlessly together.

Aging this beer in cherry brandy barrels is sheer genius. Some time in the cellar might improve this beer slightly, but this beer is almost perfect as it is, so it's definitely hard to resist drinking it now.

An almost perfect barrel-aged stout. Incredible work from the brewers responsible for this gem.