Oct 28, 2015

Lickinghole Creek Fearnought

Lickinghole Creek’s Fearnought isn’t just named after a colonial-era stallion who pretty much started Virginia’s horse racing lineage, but is also brewed with Thoroughbred Barley grown on the farm where the brewery rests. The base for this big 10.3% imperial brown ale is the same as the company’s Mango Habanero Brown that I enjoyed back in April. This version of the beer is vastly different as you would imagine.

Aged for four months in retired Kentucky bourbon barrels, Fearnought is a rich and earthy beer that carries a rather rustic character from start to finish. The barrel influence compliments the beer’s overall nature, never dominating or calling for too much attention — sort of like its namesake, deep in the bloodline.


The beer pours a dark chestnut in color with a dense, creamy cap of light mocha colored foam.

Lickinghole Creek Fearnought photo


Smooth bourbon leads the way for a soft nuttiness, equally balancing earthiness, bread, a hint of cocoa and a touch of vanilla.


Right from the start, this beer is rich and earthy with a robust edge. A solid amount of bready malt, bourbon, cocoa, a nuttiness and moderate sweetness all come into play. A light amount of hop bitterness (28 IBU) arrives late and lingers for a good long while in the lasting, lightly drying finish. The elevated alcohol presence is noticeable, but not overly so.


Fearnought is a wonderfully rustic beer with and incredibly long-lasting finish. I love the interplay between the bourbon influence and the malty nuttiness that persists. For such a big beer, it goes down incredibly well. I wish I had picked up more of this one. It would be perfect for a cold and rainy October day like today.

Rating: 4.25/5

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