Phillips Hammer Barrel Aged Imperial Stout: Likely the cheapest barrel aged Imperial Stout I have ever seen (like $7 for a 22 oz bottle), this beer is brewed to a strength of 8.3% abv and is aged in bourbon barrels for an undisclosed period of time.
Aroma and Appearance: Pours with two fingers of foam, a dark brown colour with no visible bubbles in the glass. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, black licorice, with a touch of tar, soot and vanilla.
Flavour: Initially kicks off with decent amounts of caramel, vanilla and a bit of black licorice with coffee and a noticeably smooth bodied middle which is immediately followed by a dry sooty finish.
Overall Impression: It is a 8.3% stout that tastes more like a 4.2% stout in terms of alcohol bite because it is so smooth and balance, yet it lacks any oak characteristics and has just hints of bourbon vanilla on the nose.
Rating: Very good at 7/10, I’d be pissed off if I paid the typical $12-$20 price for a Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, but this is priced like a regular stout and tastes like one too with double the abv punch.
Food Pairing: Char-grilled burgers or smokey cheeses would go nicely with this beer.
They also have a non barrel aged version of this stout that I’ll have to try it and see if I can notice a difference between the two. Here’s a shot from their Instagram account.