Aupa Tovarisch - Jack Daniels Edition | Laugar Brewery

From a 330ml bottle served at cellar temperature at 13 degrees Celsius into a TeKu glass. 2019 edition with a best before date: 09-2024. I'm assuming this was packaged in September 2019 - which would make it about 6+ months old. I acquired the bottle through a friend a handful of weeks back - I'm looking forward to trying this with higher than average expectations.

Appearance

The beer pours an opaque, oily black with no real head to speak of. Poor lacing. Black as pitch and that's it! This could use some head ;)


Aroma

Medium-strong intensity with good balance. The aroma has a classic barrel-aged imperial stout depth, character, and strength. Pronounced whisky barrel at the front with notes of woody oak and vanilla which compliment a strong dark malt character reminiscent of black licorice, smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. Hints of caramel/molasses along with some soy sauce from the age. Mild herbal-resiny hops at the back. The dry nose is very malty with notes of caramel, molasses, and some aged, meaty character.


Flavour

Follows the aroma with strong intensity, good balance, and assertive perceived bitterness. The palate opens up salty-sweet with notes of soy sauce, boozy dried fruit, and caramel making way for a robust center where the dark fruit (prunes + dates) takes center stage while being supported by lovely dark malt-depth (coffee + dark chocolate). The whisky notes seal the deal while the aged character of soy sauce and leather try to have their final word. The finish is long, strong, and quite balanced with notes of black licorice, soy sauce, whisky, hints of smoke, mild caramel, and a scintilla of herbaceous hops.


Mouthfeel

Medium-full body with mild carbonation. The mouthfeel is heavy, slick, and mouth-coating with restrained alcohol warming of moderate strength and a medium-sweet finish. Mild astringency on the palate with no actual harshness. Very good but lacking in carbonation and weight.


Overall

Laugar Brewery's Aupa Tovarisch Jack Daniel's Edition is an excellent beer. It pours an opaque black with no head - potentially because of the amount of travel and disturbance the bottle has seen. A head lost in transit is a head lost forever. The aroma really pops and captures my attention while the flavour doesn't quite deliver the same amount of excitement. The mouthfeel is very good but I find it lacks in carbonation and overall weight - the sheer amount of flavour doesn't really match up with the sensation on the tongue. I think this is a beer worth trying and I definitely recommend it to people who like barrel aged stouts and strong flavours. However, it doesn't stand out from the crowds like Founders KBS Espresso or Epic's Big Bad Baptist Reserve do - just to name a few recent examples. Nevertheless, Laugar's Aupa Tovarisch (Jack Daniel's edition) is a brew worth savouring. Next stop? Laugar's Funeralopolis.

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