Vanilla Bourbon Dosvidanya | DESTIHL Brewery
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Much like most barrel-aged stouts these days, DESTIHL’s Dosvidanya has returned in November! DESTIHL has seized on recent trends by releasing five variants of its award-winning barrel-aged stout in 16 ounce cans, half of which received the limited “Brewery Only” tag. Dosvidanya Vanilla Bourbon is one such variant.
But first, a short history of Dosvidanya. First released on draft only in 2008, DESTIHL first sold 500 mL bottles of it in 2014 (after some brewery expansions). The variants started slowly, with a rye barrel version released in 2015. 2017 marked a big jump for Dosvidanya, as two more variants (Vanilla Rye and 10th Anniversary) underwent bottling, as well as only being available at their new Dosvidanya Day. DESTIHL ditched the 500 mL in 2019, as Dosvidanya finally made it to 16 ounce cans. Dosvidanya won a bronze medal at GABF in 2015 (Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong) as well as a gold medal and Best in Show at FoBAB 2015. Dosvidanya Rye followed up Dosvidanya at FoBAB with another gold and a Best in Show Runner-Up in 2016.
For Dosvidanya Day 2020, DESTIHL decided to release a mix six-pack of Dosvidanyas featuring three brewery only and three distributed beers. Dosvidanya, Rye, and Mexican Chocolate got the distro treatment. Vanilla Bourbon, Orange Chocolate, and Brewer’s Blend stay brewery only.
Vanilla Bourbon Dosvidanya pours a pitch black with about two fingers of light brown head. That head slowly recedes to nothing. Some brown highlights and some alcohol staining appear while moving it in the glass. There’s even some roughness on the surface, or what could be described as an oily layer. Guessing the vanilla?
Did someone say vanilla? Vanilla hits big and fast and comes off as more of a marshmallow vanilla than anything else. Chocolate and cherry notes sidle up next, followed by some alcohol burn. Repeated sniffs lead the beer to smell more and more like a pastry shop than anything else. Oak and bourbon round out the arometer.
Vanilla Bourbon Dosvidanya features a weird progression across the tongue. It starts with some lovely marshmallow brownies at the start then shifts to a bitter chocolate in the middle. It then returns to the marshmallow brownies along with a little booze burn to finish it off. HInts of cherries and possibly mint hide out behind all the bigger flavors and the 14.8% alcohol hides well. The carbonation assists the beer very well, leaving behind only some of the marshmallow brownie notes in a subtle fashion. Everything in Vanilla Bourbon Dosvidanya is balanced well, never veering too sweet or too overly vanilla.
Dosvidanya started in 2008, when stouts featured less to no adjuncts and the base beer might feature some bitter notes. That remains in the Vanilla Bourbon Dosvidanya, but the addition of the vanilla is subtle and expertly integrated into the beer. It reminds me of a slightly more vanilla and chocolatey Vanilla Deth, speaking to the balance of the beer. The bitterness in the middle might be a put off for some that light their stouts the same throughout, but it really doesn’t detract from the beer all that much. Makes me excited to try some of the other variants from this year’s series that I got!