The beer pours a very dark brown, with dark ruby. There is over a half-inch head of thickly foamy light tan. The aroma is toasted and roasted malt, light chocolate, whiskey, oak, vanilla, and caramel. The taste follows the aromas, but adds in some dark fruits, especially dark cherry. The finish has the dry astringency of oak. The beer drinks smooth, but a bit watery for its big flavors. The carbonation is fine and intense, like a bottle-conditioned beer.
Regular Hibernation is a nice roasty, malty winter beer, but I don't think it held up particularly well to barrel-aging. I would drink the regular Hibernation again, but would save my money and pass on the barrel-aged (these often go for around $25 a bottle).