May 28, 2014

Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob’s Stout

I often bemoan the “one bottle per person” stipulation many beer stores slap on a brew. I understand with the increase in demand/popularity and the number of potential buyers, small business owners want to make sure that their customers (repeat or otherwise) have an opportunity to purchase said limited offering. I applaud their efforts, but I also know from experience that more than half the bottles thrown into this restricted realm aren’t worthy of the label.

Avery Brewing’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout is a beer that is completely deserving of this purchasing tag, but also one that I wish wasn’t. It’s a tremendous beer that the brewery only releases in limited amount every Winter/Spring so supplies are low. At least the company doesn’t hold a ridiculous event to celebrate its release.

Uncle Jacob’s Stout is an homage to Jacob Spears (a 6th Great Grand Uncle of the owners) who was a distiller some 200 plus years ago. This 14.88% ABV Imperial Stout — mine was bottled Feb 4, 2014 — is aged in retired bourbon barrels (first-use barrels only) for six months before they hit the bottling line. The result is a beer that I can only describe as refined, decadent and smooth. As far as bourbon-barrel-aged stouts go — and I’ve had my fair share of them — this is hands-down one of the best I’ve come across.

Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob's Stout photo


The beer pours think and viscous — blacker than the company’s brooding Mephistopheles with a dark brown cap of foam.


Molasses, wood, bourbon, chocolate, coffee notes, a touch of anise and burnt caramel combine for a truly amazing aroma.


The first two words of chicken scratch in my notes for this brew are “holy shit!” I could stop there with this review and it would be completely succinct and apt for this tasty stout. Molasses, anise, chocolate, soft roast coffee notes, smooth bourbon and wood dominate the flavor profile. The oats and wheat it’s brewed with offer a full, velvety texture and smoothness that carries you gently to a warming finish. A good bit of malt sweetness adds to Uncle Jacob’s overall decadent character.


Simply put, Uncle Jacob’s Stout is flat out amazing. I try to be objective when reviewing beers — especially those of which I am only able to purchase a single 12oz bottle — and rarely gush over a beer, but damn, this is a fine stout. Excellent bourbon presence, smooth, full flavored and rich without being cloying or over-the-top in any fashion. I just wish I was able to purchase more, there’d be a few bottles stashed away in the cellar for a later date, that’s for sure.

Rating: 4.75/5

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