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All I want for Christmas is a barrel-aged stout

Christmas is over and everyone is starting to snap back to the reality that we still have many months of cold, short days. I for one believe that these long, cold winters only enhance our love and affection for dark beers. Common flavours for porters and stouts are: chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit. Barrel aged beers can also add to that “warming” feeling that we get from the beer.

After all that, you are probably aware that I’m reviewing a dark beer. It’s Nickel Brook’s Old Kentucky Bastard Imperial Stout and at 10% ABV this stout is a heavy-weight. According to the description, this is a barrel-aged version of their delicious Bolshevik Bastard imperial Stout which I had the chance to try at Brother’s Beer Bistro, located in Ottawa’s Byward Market.


Sorry about the flash. I never claimed to be a photographer.

Pour is black with a tan head that shrinks pretty quickly. Nose is of strong dark dried fruit, chocolate, oak, and bourbon.  The burn from the added alcohol and bourbon barrel is evident throughout this one. Other flavours are deep vanilla and chocolate. The booze is truly rosy-cheek inducing. Finish is vanilla and a boozy bourbon burn.

This is an excellent winter brew that warms the body and soul. I’ll be buying this again, but I wouldn’t advise it for beer drinkers who don’t like a strong alcohol burn which the barrel-aged stuff tends to bring.

As a side note, I struggled with the wax that was melted over the bottle cap for added appearance. Is there a trick to this, or am I just a special case? Leave a comment if you can relate.


About OttBeerGuy

Craft beer fan in Ottawa/Toronto. Twitter: @ottbeerguy

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