Vanishing Point 01 / VP01 (Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout) – Innis & Gunn, 11.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)
on the back label:
“VP01 is the first in our Vanishing Point series; an 11% Imperial Stout, aged for over 200 days in the first fill bourbon barrels. Packed to the brim with big, bold flavours of rich bourbon oak and overflowering with character. VP01 is set to be the perfect winter warmer.”
- Style: (200+ day bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
- Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
- How much: $17.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 500 ml., October 2017
- Do I love this enough to drink it again: yep, got 1 more in the cellar
- Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!
- What was most impressionable: cannot taste the 11%, excellent BA influence
Visual: Odd 500 ml size. Pours jet brown-black without much head, thick ringed retention with a large island, a few micro streams along the perimeter.
Nose: caramel, bourbon + vanilla toffee, molasses. No alcohol detection, pristine. (lvl-9)-pungency
Attack: soft-crisp, thicker-light slick,
Mid-palate: tingly-slight microfizz, (lvl-8-sweetness), stealth alcohol tangy behind cola molasses dark barley malt
Finish: salted caramel-toffee, charred oak, maple syrup exhale,
Summary: I’ll admit the first few sips straight out of the fridge into a chilled glass were underwhelming but it drinks much better at around 15°C. As it warms the caramel malt flavours lengthen and the bourbon barrel aging characteristics become more prominent. Although delicious, supremely sippable without being overly heavy, the roasted malts just don’t hit a deep enough note before the sugars start to take over. The signature I&G toffee sweetness is certainly there, and is counterbalanced nicely with the vanilla bourbon oak aromas. I’m looking forward to their future Vanishing Point lineup.
Elijah Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (Imperial Stout) – Longwood Brewery, 8.2% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)
on the front-right label:
“Small Batch Series #3. Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout Aging for 6 months in ‘Ex’ Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels has transformed this Imperial Stout into an Ode to Elijah Craig; the founder of charred oak barrel aging.”
- Style: (Heaven Hills bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
- Taste: Big dark winey pukey sour light wet woody barley malt roasted exhale
- Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
- How much: $8.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
- Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
- Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not the BBA imp stout you want
Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours jet black with a lasting medium 2cm thick frothy head, tight clusters of micro streams, no lacing.
Nose: mild funk’d light tangy roast barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency
Attack: creaminess, immediate acidity, soft crisp, sour malt impression
Mid-palate: big tangy sourness (!?), (lvl-4-sweetness), light wet woody barley malt, sour dark winey prune
Finish: cacao, sour pukey, lingering sweet barley malt, roasted exhale, subtle stealth bitter hops
Summary: Totally NOT what I was expecting – Big acidic dark fruity sourness complimented by roasted malt in BA imp stout?? Nonetheless it is decently balanced and still interestingly drinkable. The sourness is a bit harsh for a stout, I would rather more dark caramel roast instead. The more I drink it, the more apparent the sourness becomes offensive – rogue yeast for sure.
2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – Steamworks Brewing Company, 9.5% ABV – 60 IBU, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)
on the front-left label:
“Aged in Tennessee Bourbon Barrels, this powerful Imperial Stout pours near black with a thick tan head at 60 IBU’s. Perfect for immediate enjoyment or further maturing.”
- Style: (Tennessee bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
- Taste: Harsh alcoholic heavy vanilla bourbon roasted barley malt chocolate
- Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
- How much: $16 CAD – 650ml., March 2017
- Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
- Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not worth $ for a local brew
Visual: Pours jet black with a super-INFINITY-lasting 2cm frothy head, great micro foamy retention, thick sticky lacing, superfine micro clusters of activity. Visually, a masterpiece.
Nose: deep thick and sweet caramelized barley malt, vanilla overtones. (lvl-5)-pungency
Attack: thick-creamy crisp bite, heavy alcoholic malt impression
Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), bittersweet roasted barley malt, alcoholic numbing heavy, woody caramel, vanilla, chocolate
Finish: bourbon exhaled alcoholic heat, residual light roasted sweet caramel malt
Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 13°C and warmer. A pretty harsh heavy alcoholic sweet front but the vanilla-oak flavours from the bourbon barrel aging are actually quite nice. Not quite balanced/elegantly round enough to be great, too jagged at the entry. Also not worth the $16 CAD (for a local beer) as other people have noted.