Friday, June 22, 2012

Beer Review: BA Baracus

Reviewing the infamous BA Baracus from Revolution Brewing Company. This beer has long eluded me. Twice before I have sought it out, only twice to arrive too little too late. The third time was the charm, however, with me camping out near the front of the line at Revolution's grand opening until this beer was finally tapped. It was well worth the wait (especially since I got to drink a half glass of Bourbon County Vanilla while waiting).
Score: 96

6 oz tap pour served in a plastic cup at the grand opening of Revolution's new brewing/canning facility and enjoyed on 05/25/12. Thank you MasterSki (Alex) for muling me a second glass, which I ended up walking around with and sharing with various strangers at the party. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: The beer is a black coffee color. Served with just under a finger of creamy dark tan-colored head that settles to a thin layer. Noticeably awesome lacing and retention -- even in the plastic cup! 4.5/5

Smell: Rich vanilla frosting and chocolate cake. Raisin, molasses and sweet milk chocolate. There is a faint boozy heat in the nose and just a touch of oak. As the beer warms, it smells more and more like "syrupy raisins." 4.5/5

Taste: Oooh boy! Smooth and syrupy bourbon-drenched dark chocolate. Creamy vanilla bean, warm brown sugar/molasses, raisin and plum on the midpalate. Baker's chocolate and a little wood too. Rich milk chocolate and molasses aftertaste with excellent linger. As the beer warms, it becomes more molasses-y bourbon forward -- particularly in the finish. There's more alcohol warmth on the tongue than the base beer, but the beer is still quite smooth and unboozy for the ABV. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Syrupy and sticky mouthfeel. Modestly sweet. Smooth like the base beer, but with more "palate warmth" and dark fruit complexity. 4.5/5

Overall: This was the single beer I most wanted to try from Revolution, and finally getting to sample it was arguably one of the main reasons I decided to get tickets to the grand opening party. BA Baracus did not disappoint; it was much more complex than the base beer. If this gets bottled as part of Revolution's future portfolio, I will chase it down across the city of Chicago.

Recommendation: Seek this brew out. It's big, bold and flavorful. Second only to Gravedigger Billy amongst Revolution's barrel-aged wonders.

Pairings: French vanilla ice cream.

Cost: $4 for a 6 oz pour at the Revolution grand opening party.

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