Origin: UK | Date: 2009 | ABV: 8% | On The Beer Nut: February 2010
And yes, it does. What I was expecting next is the lovely rich chocolate flavours to come pouring out, spiced up with some whisky heat, but that's not what happened. While there's a distinct honey-and-vanilla whisky aroma, the flavour is very muted, verging on bland. There's a mild whisky taste at the front, and a touch of bitter tarry coffee, but the whole taste fades out very quickly. I think that's because the base beer doesn't have the body to carry it: this is startlingly thin for the strength. I guess this is why brewers tend to use bigger beers when they're doing the barrel thing.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the beer, but it hasn't picked up any extra complexities through ageing and has quite possibly lost a few. I was surprised to see the brewery had put a mere three-year best-before on it, but perhaps this is why. Drink 'em if you've got 'em.