Boulder based brewing company Avery Brewing is widely known for producing outstanding beers. Not only do they have a solid line of beers available in six packs, but there big bottle series like the Reverend, Salvation, Hog Heaven, Czar, as well as their great beer they collaborated with Russian River on: Collaboration Not Litigation, are all top notch beers. In the last year they have developed a barrel aging program, releasing small batch beers, of differing styles aged in different types of barrels. Some of these barrels contained rum, zinfandel wine or whiskey. The first release of this series was the funky Brabant No 1, followed a few months afterward by Sui Generis. The next release was this ale dubbed the Black Tot, an Imperial Oatmeal stout aged in Giddings Rum casks (they've since released a 4th barrel aged beer).
The Beer: This one weighs in at 10.0% and pours a pitch black with a thick head of dense dark tan colored foam. The nose is of oats, molasses, chocolate, coffee, figs, and raisins. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly thinner than expected. Notes of chocolate, coffee, espresso, some acidity at the finish. Vanilla, a light oakiness and some licorice notes. A very complex ale that starts to show some slight funky tanginess brought forth from residual bacteria growing the rum casks. This tanginess gives the beer a presence of sour cherries covered in dark chocolate. This is a wonderful beer, and might be my favorite of Avery's barrel aged line of brews. This one gets an A- from me. Here's what the folks at BA think.