Name: Summon Up the Blood (BBA Heaven Hill Edition)
Brewers: Wylam Brewery, Old Chimneys Brewery (United Kingdom)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
Review Year: 2020
The limited Bourbon Barrel Aged (BBA) Heaven Hill edition of Summon Up the Blood is an Imperial Stout brewed by two English craft breweries, Wylam Brewery and Old Chimneys Brewery. At 13.5% ABV, this variant of Summon Up the Blood was brewed with coconut and vanilla bean back in July 2019 and was aged for eight months in freshly emptied Heaven Hill straight Kentucky Bourbon barrels.
This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B) and Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A), with Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Deep brown almost black with a thin brown head. The aroma evoked assertive malty chocolate accompanied by moderate aromas of toasted coconut, whisky, and coffee. Less dominant impressions of hazelnuts, wood, and vanilla surfaced upon revisiting. Medium-full-bodied, moderately carbonated; slight watery/ diluted impression but with a velvety texture. The afterfeel was a bit sticky. The flavor was robust, melding toasted coconuts with rich and malty chocolate with faint cherry, oaky, and whisky undertones. Roasty bitterness at a moderate level was a notch higher than the perceived sweetness. The aftertaste painted a picture of coconut dessert with chocolate syrup and cacao nibs.
Summon Up the Blood aged in Heaven Hill barrels is an excellent barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with coconut and vanilla. The theme was quite consistent from the aroma, flavor, and aftertaste without the over-the-top sweetness as found in some adjunct-driven “pastry stouts.” The roasty bitter backbone was robust and sufficient to keep the cloying sweetness at bay. The body was noted to be slightly lighter than an average Imperial Stout, but this can be expected due to the long conditioning this beer had undergone.
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