Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Avery Brewing Company - Uncle Jacob's Stout

I don't know that any brewery out there (even Brewdog) makes more high alcohol beers than Avery does. They've been in the game for a while and their lineup of high alcohol beers is impressive: Rumpkin, Mephistopheles, The Beast, etc. All of these beers are not only over 15% ABV, but they're also very highly rated on beeradvocate. One of the newer editions to their lineup of high ABV beers is their Uncle Jacob's Stout, which they brewed for the first time last year.

Uncle Jacob's Stout is a 17+% ABV monster that is named after the brewers "6th Great Grand Uncle," who apparently was the first person to put the "bourbon" label on his whiskey. To commemorate his feat, they've created this beer, which I passed up on last year (for some unknown reason) only to watch it rocket up the Top 250 List as soon as I couldn't find it anymore. Go me! Not this year. At #177, Uncle Jacob's Stout.

Uncle Jacob's Stout pours a motor oil-thick black color with a thin tan head that stuck around for a while. I would expect any trace of a head to get sucked right back into a monster this dense, but this one was surprisingly resilient. The smell of the beer is big, deep, dark and inviting. Warm notes of barrel and bourbon and immediately present along with some wet wood, toffee, toasted oak, molasses and just a hint of booze. It's been a while since I tried Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, but (from what I remember of it) this beer may rival its smell.

The taste opens with a rich note of molasses and milk chocolate soaked raisins. Caramel, tons of fig, burnt marshmallow, burnt caramel and toasted coconut follow.  The finish brings the barrel with some notes of charred wood, bourbon and just a slight kick of heat. For a beer this big, it's ludicrously smooth drinkable. The mouthfeel is slick and a bit heavy, but the dryness from the bourbon really keeps things from dropping off into a sweet and syrupy mess. In a lot of barrel aged beers, the bourbon is kind of an afterthought, but this one really makes it a key component. This is a fantastic beer and one of the best barrel aged beers I've come across. Get it. Love it.

Final Grade: A+

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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