Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau
Apr. 22, 2012
So it was 4/20 here in Boulder on Friday, well, I suppose it was 4/20 everywhere else on the planet as well, but in Boulder, CO (and my former home of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA) the day has some meaning. As for me personally, it’s not my cup of tea, so I stayed away from the giant pot-smoking festival on campus and instead enjoyed a cigar on the back porch after tasting and reviewing Beer #9 in The Avery Project – Uncle Jacob’s Stout.
Initially I thought I had missed out on Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s, but I had the good fortune of finding myself at North Boulder Liquors a couple of days ago (while unsuccessfully searching for a beer for The Barleywine Project) and I was thrilled to come across this monster of a beer.
I try not to get too excited about a beer I have not yet tried, particularly when reviewing it. I have often found that this leads to disappointment, but as with many others in the past, I’m not very good at containing my excitement, particularly when it comes to a style I really enjoy such as this one.
So, the details on this whopper of a beer; Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout:
Location: North Boulder Liquor
Cost: $10.99 per 12oz. bottle
Brewery Location: Boulder, Colorado
Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
Average Beer Advocate Rating: A/4.47 – Outstanding
My Beer Advocate Rating:A+/4.7 - World Class
Current Number of Reviews on Beer Advocate: 6
Brewery Description: Uncle Jacob's Stout
Bottled On: March 27, 2012
APPEARANCE: (4 out of 5) This beer pours absolutely black as night. Not even a hint of light is getting through this dark, viscous substance. An eighth of an inch-thick mocha colored head appeared for about ten seconds, but vanished even before I could snap a picture. It left a small ring of tan foam on the outer edges of the glass though. My guess is that there will be no lacing on this one as the beer is probably heavy enough to drag anything in its path off the side of the glass.
Yup. No lacing.
SMELL: (4 out of 5) Wow. Based on the smell, we might have another Bourbon County Brand Stout here…and I do not say that lightly. The Uncle Jacob’s smells like bourbon. It has some big oak notes with vanilla, toffee and a little boozy heat underneath. In fact, in some ways it is reminiscent of a cross between Bourbon County and Rumpkin. The oak, high alcohol content and what has to be the yeast makes it somewhat similar to the Rumpkin. The only complaint here is that the aroma could be stronger. The BCBS really attacks the nose.
TASTE: (5 out of 5) Wow. Yep, again, I’m starting a paragraph off with a wow. This is close. In fact, this is the most similar beer I have ever tasted to Goose Island’s Legendary Bourbon County Stout. There’s probably enough malt in here to choke a horse, but somehow it all balances out with an exceptionally pleasant oakiness. Unlike in the BCBS, chocolate is more dominant than vanilla, but the vanilla builds throughout the sip and is certainly noticeable. Also, somewhere in this wildly complex brew a tiny, tiny touch of lemon works its way onto the palate and lingers after the beer is gone. As someone mentioned on Beer Advocate, there also seems to be a hint of cherry. Again, wow. There is a lot going on in the Uncle Jacob’s Stout.
MOUTHFEEL: (4.5 out of 5) There are very few styles of beer that I want to have the mouthfeel of this one, but this is a wonderfully slippery beer. It is motor oil all the way, but never turns into sludge in your mouth. In other words, it is not mouthcoating. Sticky, yes. Mouthcoating, no.
OVERALL: (5 out of 5) Given that Bourbon County will be unobtainable for me this year, I am happy to have found a completely legitimate replacement. I am not prepared to say it is as good as BCBS, but just like I gave Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout a nice side-by-side comparison with it last year, I think Uncle Jacob’s Stout deserves a shot at it. While we’re discussing match-ups, I also think this could be the best Avery beer I’ve ever had, but I would have to put it up against Maharaja and Rumpkin. In terms of hitting the style, this certainly beats both, but as an overall beer, I will need to do a taste test. Maybe this will be The Avery Project’s halftime show.
As a side note, I did not realize this until after I wrote the paragraph above, but I have apparently given the three Avery beers in question nearly the exact same rating - 4.7 for the Maha and Uncle Jacob's and 4.68 for the Rumpkin. I think a recount is required here and I'll get to work on obtaining the supplies for that now.