Reviewed by Rob Frye
A full-bodied, Single Barrel Bourbon-aged Imperial Stout with rich aromas of espresso and dark chocolate, and smooth roasted malt flavor. Aged for 6 months inside charred Kentucky white oak bourbon barrels to add the natural vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors of the bourbon soaked wood to the beer. Each bottle run is drawn from a single barrel, making each batch a unique drinking experience.
This beer must be so named as DuClaw’s retribution for Sweet Baby Jesus. For everything SBJ isn’t, this beer is. Retribution is a delightful, strong Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout that pours a deep rich brown and leads with wonderful oaky bourbon and chocolate notes. Although the creamy head does not stand long, it produces a nice lace on the glass. There is a bit of alcohol burn at the end to remind the drinker of the 11.5% ABV, but not so much to overpower the smooth, rich smokey/oaky sweet bourbon flavors. Retribution earns a Beer Advocate rating of 91 and I agree. I thank the Total Wine employee who told me it was hiding in the back, and will look for it again!