“Seances & Sacrifices Imperial Maple Stout aged in Maple Bourbon Barrels showcases the best of Vermont’s maple traditions. This stout’s rich maple flavor and aroma are derived from local maple sugar from Butternut Farm. The beer is then aged in freshly-emptied maple bourbon barrels, which infuse the beer with additional notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.“
Appearance: As black as midnight with a short brown head which disappears rather quickly. Practically no head left so no lace on the glass.
Aroma: Ooft…smells fiery. This is the 2023 vintage so we dare say the booze is going to burn. After a few whiffs it still maintains the warming booze but the sweet Maple Bourbon barrels are beginning to filter through. Thankfully! Other than that it’s just all out richness – leather, molasses, licorice, dark chocolate and espresso. We’re somewhat priming our palates for what we believe is coming.
Flavour: Much to our surprise it’s nowhere near as fierce as we’d anticipated. Yeah there’s a booze burn but that’s just immaturity which will settle after a year or so. We get some spice from it, reminiscent of rye but we’re pretty sure they haven’t used any in this brew. Most likely a by-product of the Maple Bourbon which is unfortunately shy and could do with a bit more oomph. Rich chocolate, molasses and oak rounds it all out. Good length on it.
Mouthfeel: Slick and oily, medium-full body, low-ish Co2. The 11.5% ABV doesn’t try and hide. It’s all out there baby.
Overall: Nothing will ever top Founders’ CBS in our opinion. Not a whole lot of breweries try their hands at Imperial Maple Stouts so there’s not much to compare to. This one clearly needs aging but even then the beer itself is only OK.