This double stout is basically Weyerbacher’s “Old Heathen” aged in Kentucky bourbon oak barrels. On the nose, loads of bourbon mix with vanilla, oak, black cherry, and dark chocolate. The palate begins with raw oak, followed by a sweet surge of brown sugar. Next up, chocolate develops into a dark roast which is then rounded out by vanilla. A light use of hops adds an herbal side that melds with the oak in a fairly nice way. An anti-climactic finish fades with hints of white sugar, a splash of black coffee, blackberries, and grape juice. Mouth feel is smooth, carried along by a surge of carbonation that soon finishes with a dull, milky emptiness. Lactic qualities smooth over the beer, but I can’t entirely say this is working to its benefit.
Well, Weyerbacher has yet to win me over. The flavors are alright, but fail to come together into a strong and cohesive package. I prefer more viscosity (thickness) on the feel, and dislike how the body dies down so quickly. Considering it’s only 8% I had also expected better coverage of the alcohol, but these flavors manage to penetrate the palate with some mildly negative consequences. I can tell it has a decent amount of malt to it, but there’s just not enough ‘umph’ behind it. This guy needs more depth, body, and finesse. I can’t say how it compares to its Old Heathen origin, because I’ve never had it. Anyone care to ship me a bottle? Maybe this goes to show, you can’t necessarily just throw a stout in a barrel and expect it to get better than where you started. It’s a decent double, but I’m not a fan. I don’t completely recommend it, but it’s worth trying.