Review: Elk Valley Whiskey Barrel Nemesis


A new age has begun here in Oklahoma with the passing of 424 taking effect back in August. Brewery-only releases are a thing now, and while it’s super cool that breweries can sell on-site, I have a fundamental hatred for lines, so I’m often torn on when to venture out and stand around for a beer.

Today, however, there was only one right decision. Elk Valley released their Whiskey Barrel Nemesis. Elk Valley is probably the most consistently delicious brewery in the state, so it would have been a real shame to pass this one up. Plus, it was on tap at the 424 day celebration back in August and I’ve been wanting more ever since.

I grabbed 6 bottles and headed home to chill one down as soon as possible, and now here we are. Let’s dig into it.

Company: OKCITY Brewing Company

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

ABV: 9.3%

Style/Description: Stout brewed with coconut, cacao nibs, and vanilla aged in whiskey barrels.

Price: $10 (750ml bottle)

Appearance: Pours like rich, dark coffee with a velvety tan head.

Nose: Tons of vanilla jumps out of the glass. Behind it is some nice coconut, brown sugary whiskey things, and hints of bitter dark chocolate.

Taste: Right off the bat I’m blown away by the silky texture and over the top vanilla. The vanilla isn’t overpowering though as it’s quickly balanced by boozy whisky vibes, bright coconut, and bitterness like a super dark chocolate. Seriously, this texture. Damn.

Finish: The sweetness and booze fades quickly leaving behind the coconut and rich dark chocolate bitterness like I just ate a 90% cocoa bar.

Overall: This stuff starts out sweet, gets all velvety in the middle, then ends dry with some great bitterness. It’s got everything. Like I said before, I bought 6 of these (4 of them are for Kate and I and the other 2 are for friends because I’m a nice man to other people sometimes). The plan was to drink 1 now and cellar 3. Normally these fresh BA stouts can be a bit hot and boozy and need some time to mellow, but this shit is ready to rock right now so holding on to those other 3 is going to be a challenge. Maybe I’ll just cellar 2 and drink 2 now…or  cellar 1 and drink the others this weekend…or slam all of them in the next 20 minutes. Hard to say. Man I’m glad I didn’t sleep on this one.

Rating: 4.5/5


2 thoughts on “Review: Elk Valley Whiskey Barrel Nemesis

  1. More and more I’m thinking John really must be a wizard. You nailed it by saying “Elk Valley is probably the most consistently delicious brewery in the state”. I haven’t had anything bad from his batches, and that Whiskey Barrel Nemesis is everything wonderful about stouts and everything wonderful about life, in a glass. The ONLY one from him that might be able to top it is the short run of Bourbon Oak Sweet Revenge Imperial Milk Stout. Had it today at Oak and Ore, and literally wondered how I could get the remainder of the keg into my car without being seen. True story.

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