Sean’s Sips – Avery Brewing Co. Uncle Jacob’s Stout


  • ABV: 17.42%
  • Brewed with: water, malted barley, flaked oats, hops, and English Ale yeast
  • Barrels: 1st use Marker’s Mark for 6 months
  • Production: 2nd in Annual Barrel Series, 694 cases
  • Bottle Date: March 27, 2012
  • Release Date: April 7, 2012


If you haven’t already heard how this beer got it’s name, here’s the story in a nutshell and in my own words (which means added fiction).  Adam Avery had a few beers and spent a night scouring, while taking advantage of their free 30 day trial no doubt, in order to finish the family tree he’d been working on.  In the process he discovered that his 6th Great Grand Uncle (apparently that’s a thing), Jacob Spears, was the first to use the term ‘Bourbon’ and built a distillery in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1790.  {Insert chiche statement about good alcohol running in the family here.}  Not that Adam ever needs a reason to build a huge beer, but this was obviously enough.

This will be the second beer in Avery’ new Annual Barrel Series, which is distinct from their one-off Barrel Aged Series (ie. Meretrix, Brabant, Muscat d’Amour, etc).  The first in this series of beers designed to be cellared was Rumpkin, a 15.90% ABV Pumpkin Ale aged in Dark Rum Barrels for 6 months.  Rumpkin started as a tap room only beer but soon developed a cult following.  This is not the story for Uncle Jacob’s as this is the first time this beer has been brewed.  At this point, Avery has not released how many beers will comprise the Annual Barrel Series but it looks like that number will be around 4 based upon the time between the first two releases.

Stop by the brewery tomorrow for the release of Uncle Jacob’s Stout.

English (sort-of):

Aroma – Bourbon, vanilla, oak (pretty much what you’d expect from a Bourbon-Barrel Stout)

Taste – Caramel, roasted malt, vanilla, toffee (the brewery also says coconut and dried currents).  This beer is fantastic.  Very smooth, just enough oak/Bourbon without being overpowering.  Ends with a nice sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability – Surprisingly good!  I have to admit, I could see myself having more than one of these if it weren’t for the huge ABV.  Sure it’s got a little booziness at the end, but it’s much more drinkable than Rumpkin was right off the line.

Verdict – As I said before, Avery intended for the beers in this series to be cellared and I have no doubt Uncle Jacob’s Stout will continue to improve in flavor and complexity for several years to come.  That being said, this beer is too delicious to cellar all of it… so drink a few and lay a few down if you can.  Tomorrow’s release has a 12 bottle limit so that should be enough for pretty much anyone.

[Disclaimer: I realize that I am in no way qualified to judge beer… so I’m not.  The goal of this post is to update you on a local beer that I think you’d enjoy.  It’s fine if you don’t agree with me, just don’t post angry comments about how you can’t believe I didn’t taste bubblegum, clove, and/or hot dogs in said beer.]

About Sean Buchan

Sean is a Physical Therapist and Photographer living in (and loving) Denver, Colorado. He enjoys shooting just about anything but his true passion is capturing the craft beer culture here in Denver. If you enjoy his photographs check out Beertographer.

  • Ericmsteen

    I thought it was super boozy! Okay to drink, yes. Fun? Hella. But definitely boozy.

    • Sean Buchan

      As far as Bourbon Barrel Stouts go I didn’t think this was that bad. It was definitely much more smooth than others I’ve had… and the others were nowhere close to 17%. Imagine what this will taste like in a few years!