Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beer Review: Rum Barrel Dark Apparition

Reviewing the Rum Barrel Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery.
Score: 87

Bottle is from batch 11. Served in a tasting glass and enjoyed on 08/25/12 at the second Chicago Craft Beer Lovers event. A big thanks to Jonathan for cracking this beer (in addition to a 1414 and Black Tuesday) before I had to leave the event.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a thin brown highlight strip atop the beer when held up to light. There is a thin film of khaki head off the pour. Below average lacing and slightly below average retention. It is hard to fairly judge the "appearance" of a beer from a few ounce pour in a taster glass, but this one looks like what you would expect from a Russian imperial stout. 4/5

Smell: Chocolate, desserty vanilla bean, pound cake, and sweet rum. The aroma components are each pretty prominent, but well balanced. I could smell this all day. 4.5/5

Taste: Sadly, the taste does not live up to the nose. Sweet, slightly sugary, rum hits you in the face upfront, followed by an artificial vanilla cake flavor that does not seem to blend well on the tongue with the rum. A little bit of chocolate flavor in the finish, but much less chocolate flavor than the nose led on. I was expecting much more balance from the aroma, but this at least still tastes good. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied and light carbonation. This beer is way too thin for a double digit Russian imperial stout. Slick and mildly sweet mouthfeel. 2.5/5

Overall: I loved the nose, but the mouthfeel here was a huge let down that really ruined my enjoyment of this brew. I like my stouts to be heavy on the palate, but this one was too slick and light. Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout and Haymarket's bourbon-aged Indignant are full-bodied beers by comparison.

Recommendation: I was really glad to get a chance to try this one, and I would drink it again, but it is neither worth going out of your want to hunt down or trading the high-caliber brews it takes to acquire this limited and sought after beer. I'd recommend chasing down a much easier to acquire bottle of Peruvian Morning instead.

Pairings: Chocolate cake.

Cost: $18 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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