I agree - doesn't make sense. I've made a lot of high OG beers that force carbonated just fine. Since your buddy's portion won't carb either , I have to assume it's inherent to the beer. You say that you feel carbonation in your mouth, but no head. I saw the grist - what were your gravity readings? Just trying to get a feel for your abv. I have brewed several oaked bourbon stouts as well as Denny's BVIP and had no head issues. Let us know.