Review: Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob’s Bourbon Barrel Stout (2018)

Review: Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob’s Bourbon Barrel Stout (2018)

Uncle Jacob’s Stout is the name given to Avery Brewing’s bourbon barrel-aged stout, released yearly as part of their Annual Barrel Series. It gets its name from Kentucky distiller Jacob Spears, a distant relative of the brewery’s founders who, according to some, was the first to label his whiskey “Bourbon.” In his honor, Avery created this stout and aged it for 6 months in “the very finest Bourbon barrels.” I was impressed with Tweak, Avery’s barrel-aged coffee stout, earlier this year, so let’s see how the standard offering compares.

This beer pours a dark mahogany color with a thin, cocoa head. The nose is restrained for a bourbon-barrel stout this high in alcohol with only trace evidence of the barrel. The initial aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts, but a lot of complexity emerges as the beer warms a little, revealing Kit Kat bar, Ethiopian coffee beans, and fire-roasted marshmallow. It’s syrupy on the palate, but not overly sweet either, which is something I experience with many barrel-aged stouts. The flavors are rich and layered, beginning with toasty malts and dark baking chocolate. A gentle bitterness arrives on the mid-palate and quickly fades to licorice, cola, and a creamy vanilla sweetness. The bitterness returns on the long finish as overroasted coffee beans, but the chocolate covered variety. I expected to be overwhelmed with bourbon notes given the gravity on this one, but Avery impresses once again with a remarkably balanced, barrel-aged beer.

15.9% abv.

A / $15 (per 12 oz. bottle) /

Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob's Bourbon Barrel Stout (2018)




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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