Sunday, December 11, 2016

He’Brew Chanukah in Kentucky (2015 vintage)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChadPolenz (1728) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2016

2015 BJCP Category: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 22B American Strong Ale)

AROMA: Sweet dark cherry or other fruits. Slightly tart or acidic. Bourbon character is present, but subtle. Moderate vanilla/wood character. No boozy presence. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Very dark shade of mahogany/burgundy (appears black or brown from a distance). Body is cloudy. Medium-large tan foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Black cherry and similar dark fruity flavors; but tart rather than sweet (probably from Brett in the barrel). There’s an underlying presence of vanilla throughout. Bourbon and wood characters enhance the sweetness and impart a nice earthy character. Slight chocolate flavor on the finish. Hops are still present with minor earthy/piney flavor and enough IBUs to keep the palette remotely balanced. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium-low CO2. Texture is smooth; even slightly crisp (not chewy or syrup-like). Little alcohol taste or warmth. Faint astringency with a slightly dry aftertaste, but otherwise clean. Very drinkable for such a big beer. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I wasn’t too crazy by the base brew, but barrel-aging it has done wonders! 9/10