Welcome to Fall everybody, there has been a noticeable and welcome change in the weather and in the atmosphere of the city. Mornings are crisp and cool, evenings are slowly getting shorter and shorter. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have learned of myself that I tend to be quite a seasonal beer drinker. When it cools off and darkens down, I love to dig into the depth of the cellar (sometimes the store shelf too), and grab a dark, bold, rich, chewy, warming beer to ring in the changing of the seasons.
The beer we’re discussing today is perhaps the single booziest and strongest beer that will be featured here, at least for now. When people term a beer as a sipper this one certainly fits the bill. Is it difficult to consume 12oz of this beer? No. In one sitting? Yes. Avery’s Annual Barrel Series beers are known for their robust flavor profiles, and a matching absurdly high ABV.
So what do we have here, with Uncle Jacob’s Stout? The brewery gives us this – “Jacob Spears, our 6th Great Grand Uncle, is credited as the first distiller to label his whiskey “Bourbon.” He built his distillery in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1790 – 203 years before began brewing. While obviously a bit too late to produce Uncle Jacob’s wash, we’ve instead created something far more complex. In his honor, we present this robust, silky smooth, full-bodied and altogether extremely American rendition of an Imperial Stout aged for 6 months in the very finest bourbon barrels. This explains a lot about our penchant for big brews! It’s in our blood! Brewed with Rocky Mountain Water, Malter Barley, Flaked Oats, Hops and Yeast.”
With the background covered, let’s wade in the shallow end and see just how mighty this stout is.
Brewery — Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO
Beer (Style) — Uncle Jacob’s Stout 2015 (Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
ABV / IBU — 16.9% (varies by batch) / ???
Price (oz) / Availability — $15.99 (120z) / Extremely Limited Annual Release
Appearance (4.5/5) — As with all of Avery’s finest beers, this quaint 12oz bottle is adorned with the signature gold foil cap. Hint to others, if you see the gold foil on an Avery beer, purchase it and consume it, trust me, they don’t mess around just giving this to any old beer, it’s similar to the fluorescent yellow “caution cap” on top of the elite Dogfish Head beers (120 Minute, World Wide Stout, etc…). Anyways, onto the beer itself, it pours out of the bottle into the tulip with an incredibly dark brown/black hue into the glass, doesn’t pour as thick as expected. There is a nice dark leather colored head on top of the beer that fades to a nice layer of foam, this leaves behind some really nice lacing with each sip.
Aroma (4.25/5) — Just pouring into the glass, the aromas start to envelop the room with bold, dark, rich deliciousness. Great notes of Bourbon, oak, vanilla, cinnamon, bitter espresso, bitter bakers chocolate, charred oak, chocolate covered espresso beans, and more Bourbon. This is certainly a hot beer, it almost burns the nose as you smell it, seriously, tread lightly, smell this like you would smell a Bourbon, not like you’re dipping your face in an IPA. This may be one of the most Bourbon forward beers I’ve come across, in the best possible way.
Taste (4.5/5) — As this warms and is slowly sipped upon, there is a tremendous depth of flavors, in addition to the Bourbon, chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and oak from the nose, there is a nice dark fruit component here, not unlike dark chocolate covered cherries, there is a great, rich, dessert quality to this brew. But again, it is dominated by Bourbon and is quite hot. I wouldn’t recommend more than a few ounces at a time. I had about 4oz then capped the bottle and put it back in the fridge to consume on the next evening, it lost a little carbonation, but there wasn’t much there to begin with.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — With how hot this is I expected it to be a bit thin, but it just isn’t. There is a great balance here, it is chewy, fulfilling, rich, stick to your ribs goodness that warms you to your core.
Overall (4.25/5) — This is fantastic, as noted earlier, Avery doesn’t mess around with the gold foil caps, I’ve always been impressed with Avery and it is truly a feat to brew a beer this unbelievably strong without it being a total mess. Nicely executed Avery. Now I can’t wait for the return of TWEAK, or Mephistopheles. Cheers!
If there are any particular beers you would like to see reviewed please respond in the comments of any of the Beer Reviews or send me an email!