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Reviews for 2016

November 2016 - Harvest, Specialty and Barrel-Aged Ales

November 2016 - Harvest, Specialty and Barrel-Aged Ales
This month's Beer feature is Harvest, Specialty and Barrel Aged Ales

Harvest, Specialty and Barrel-Aged Ales Reviews

Island Brewing Company 2015 Big Island Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine
97 points
Cloudy color. Aromas and flavors of melted chocolate, caramelized nuts and yams, sweet and peppery spices and mint, and gingerbread pudding with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity body and a warming, very long vanilla custard, caramel frosted fruit cake, whisky soaked nuts, and pepper finish. A big, broad-shouldered bourbon-barrel behemoth of a beer.
Island Brewing Company 15th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
95 points
Brown color. Attractive, sweet aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee, caramel fudge, and latte with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium-full body and a warming, elegant, long coconut custard, vanilla, and pepper finish. A lush, chewy, chocolatey bourbon-barrel aged stout in the classic BCS style.
New Glarus Brewing Co. "Champ du Blanc" Fruited Sour Ale
95 points
Bright golden yellow color. Sourish aromas and flavors of apple vinaigrette on arugula, sourdough bread, lemon, and horse blanked wrapped cheese with a supple, tart, fizzy, sour medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-long spiced peaches and green apples and kumquat finish. A vibrant and refreshing sour beer that invites another mouthwatering sip.
Shmaltz Brewing Company R.I.P.A on Rye
95 points
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate covered citrus peels, roasted nuts, bread pudding, and pepper with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, very complex, very long smoked nuts and meats, caramel fudge, grilled grapefruit, and pepper finish. A lush, full-throttle ménage à trois of hops, malt, and a barrel.
Stevens Point Brewery Harvest Craft Creations Pumpkin Peach
95 points
Copper color. Fresh, spicy aromas and flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler with a velvety, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, compelling, medium-length pumpkin pie and lettuces finish. A nicely composed pumpkin beer with a fruity-yet-dry twist.
O’Connor Brewing Company "Backyard Bonfire" Smoked IPA
94 points
Minutely hazy amber color. Smoky aromas and flavors of lit bbq woods, smoked jerky, and grilled breads and citrus with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, medium body and a tingling, complex, long grilled peach, lemon pepper, and radicchio finish. A vibrant savory, subtly smoked beer with nice intensity and balance.
Stevens Point Brewery Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale
94 points
Red oak color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of crusty apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, subtle, mincemeat pie and citrus marmalade on scone finish. A rich, chewy spicy barrel-aged pumpkin beer with tongue-tingling fruitiness.
Green’s Brewery Gluten-Free "Endeavor" Dubbel Ale
93 points
Clear bronze color. Sweet, toasty aromas and flavors of caramelized nuts, chocolate muffin, spiced fruits, and sassafras with a supple, fruity medium body and a tingling, breezy apple and peach butter on toast, chocolate cherries, nuts, and bark finish. A lively fruity gluten-free homage to a Belgian dubbel.
O’Connor Brewing Company Ironclad "Discovery" Scotch Barrel Aged Ale
93 points
Medium-Brown color. Smoky aromas of smoked nuts and bacon and grilled bread with a round, tangy, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, medium-long spiced apples and peaches, orange marmalade on rye, cocoa, and radish sprouts finish. A lively and complex barrel-aged beer with subtle smokiness.
Green’s Brewery Gluten-Free "Quest" Tripel Ale
92 points
Hazy gold color. Fruity, sourish aromas and flavors of peach-pineapple vinaigrette, spicy fruit cake, vanilla caramel bonbon, and buttercream with a silky, vibrant, sweet-and-sour medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length caramel apple and praline finish. A rich, fruity gluten-free beer that captures the spirit of a Belgian tripel.
Island Brewing Company 2015 Bourbon Barrel Aged Jubilee Scotch Ale
91 points
Dark cloudy walnut color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate mousse, roasted nuts, and dark caramelized fruits with a chewy, bright, petillant, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, medium-long rum raisin cake, figs, and pepper finish. A decadent, boozy bourbon-barrel aged treat.
Green’s Brewery Gluten-Free "Discovery" Amber Ale
89 points
Cloudy bronze color. Fruity aromas and flavors of raisin chutney, spiced fruits, sautéed mushrooms, and cola with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-length rye toast, honeyed greens, diet cherry bubblegum, and tea finish. A fruity gluten free beer with a Belgian twist.
Spanglish Ales Brewery Tintico Coffee Stout
89 points
Opaque black garnet color. Roasted aromas and flavors of dark roasted coffee beans and baking chocolate with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long dark roasted nuts, chocolate macaroon, peppered greens, and chicory finish. A very tasty coffee stout with lots of dark roasted flavors.
Big Boss Brewing Co. "Monkey Bizz-Ness" Wine Barrel Aged Saison
88 points
Brilliant color. Interesting aromas and flavors of smoked white peppercorns, grilled raisin baguette, caramel, and floral honey with a round, bright, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long spiced grapes and pears, salty nuts, and arugula finish. An intriguing barrel aged beer with a combination of smoke, pepper and vinous notes.
Big Boss Brewing Co. "Harvest Time" Barrel Aged Ale
88 points
Dark copper color. Spicy aromas of spicy pumpkin and mincemeat pie, caramel apple and banana, and sarsaparilla with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length sweet potato fries, peppered greens, and nuts finish. An appealing spicy pumpkin beer with a savory earthy center.
Big Boss Brewing Co. "Tavern Ale" Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale
88 points
Sunburst color. Aromas and flavors of caramelized fruits, frosted cake, and spiced toffee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length spiced apples, roasted nuts, and creme brulee finish. A nicely balanced barleywine like barrel-aged ale with a creamy whisky center.
Samuel Adams Bonfire Blonde Ale
88 points
Copper color. Smoky aromas and flavors of smoked woods, jerky, and hint of iodine with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long roasted nuts finish. A clean, precise smoked beer.
Two Beers Brewing Co. Fresh Hop IPA
88 points
Hazy deep amber color. Green, herbal, dank aromas and flavors of freshly twisted citrus peels, pine forest floor, and caramel herb scone with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long toasted pretzel bread, rapini, and pepper finish. A solid wet-hop beer for requisite dankness and persistent astringency.
Willimantic Brewing Co. "Willi Wonderful" Tart Red Ale
88 points
Clear golden amber color. Fruity, sourish aromas and flavors of peach vinaigrette on lettuce, lemon scone, and hint of caramelized turkey bacon with a supple, bright, spritzy, sour light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length toasted nuts, orange and melon, grass, and hint of candle wax and rubber finish. A mellow sour beer for the table.
Great Crescent Brewery Bourbon Barrel Coconut Porter
87 points
Opaque brown black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of chocolate muffin, roasted coconut, and hint of licorice and molasses with a satiny, crisp, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a tingling, breezy caramelized sweet potato, pepper, Swiss chard, and baking chocolate finish. A pleasant coconut accented beer.
Spanglish Ales Brewery Cuba Libre
86 points
Dark dark brown color. Spicy, exotic aromas and flavors of gingerbread, carrot cake, sarsaparilla, and bubblegum with a round, crisp, frothy, off-dry medium body and a tingling, delightful, Pepsi cola and panettone finish. A fun cola-like beer; try in beertails.
Willimantic Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Tart Olde Raison Ale
86 points
Opaque brown color. Aromas and flavors of blackstrap molasses, soy sautéed mushroom, burnt raisin toast, and cocoa powder tin with a supple, racy, effervescent, sour medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length currants, grilled green apples and lemons, apple cider vinaigrette, and cocoa dusted nuts finish. A savory, mouthwatering sour beer with an engaging sweet and sour balance.
Samuel Adams Maple Ale
84 points
Copper color. Sweet aromas and flavors of spiced apples, maple syrup on cereal, and roasted nuts with a slightly chewy, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length nut, bread crust, citrus, and peppered arugula finish. A savory, lightly chewy flavored ale.
Willimantic Brewing Co. "Willi Whammer" Barleywine 2016
84 points
Brilliant dark copper color. Aromas of buttered dark raisin toast, caramel apple, spiced nuts, and gum and wood with a satiny, soft, effervescent, fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length praline, dried fruits, peppered lettuce, and chestnut honey finish. An easy drinking barleywine.
O’Connor Brewing Company Ironclad "Godspeed" Calvados Barrel Aged Abbey Ale
83 points
Dark bronze color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed dried cherries, spice scented candle, and Playdoh with a supple, effervescent, fruity medium body and a peppery, buoyant spiced apples, radishes, and bubblegum finish. A spry barrel-aged beer.
TORO Sherry Barrel Aged Ale
83 points
Dark copper color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and raisins, caramel fudge, and hint of Playdoh and gum with a round, bright, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a peppery, uncommon, carefree caramelized fruits and nuts, melted wax and rubber, and pepper finish. A lively, waxy barrel-aged beer.
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