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Barrel Aged People's Porter - Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged People's PorterBarrel Aged People's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

121 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 121
Hads: 551
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 29.66%
Wants: 33
Gots: 107 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gford217 on 01-19-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 121 | Hads: 551
Photo of yourefragile
1.78/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

On tap the night before BASC release. Unfortunately BASC kicked before we arrived so I ordered this instead; shame on me.

Tastes, smells, looks and feels thin. Plenty of watery bourbon throughout and some, eff, who cares. Not much of a porter presence, this is the written essence of three quarters of a pint being drain poured.

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Photo of CBlack85
1.85/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Ont tap at Foothills the day of the BASC release.

I like the regular Peoples Porter so I figured I would give it a shot. WOW... and not in a good way.

The beer is a deep chocolate color with lots of ruby highlights. The thin tan head recedes almost immediately leaving behind no lacing whatsoever. The beer looks thin.

The smell is bourbon all the way. The bourbon smell is so strong there is almost no trace of the base beer in the aroma.

The taste is much the same as the smell, all bourbon all the way. Just an overwhelming bourbon presence. My wife and I both ordered one and she could only get through one or two sips before she could not take it anymore. The beer is thin and under carbonated. Hard to drink

Overall, I was completely turned off by the HUGE bourbon presence (and I like a good bourbon). Just poorly done. I am actually surprised because there are so many good reviews for this beer, and how well BASC is done. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and figure that this was a bad batch, maybe if I am feeling adventurous I will try this again someday and re-review.

They really missed the mark on this one...

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Photo of justintcoons
2.03/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pub-style pint glass.

Murky deep-brown (near black) with 3 fingers of creamy tan head. Excellent retention.

Bourbon, caramel, raisin, and slight vanilla. Very simple.

Ugh... Very astringent charcoal and black licorice flavor. Cloyingly sweet Cola aided by intense carbonation. Hints of harsh whiskey.

Medium-light bodied and over carbonated.

I was weary about buying a 6% barrel aged beer. I was right. Avoid this beer.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.33/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5


Acquired via trade
Thanks, Beerness!

Very, very dark brown, nearly black, with a large, quickly forming, and very persistent brown head. This leaves thick chunks and ribbons of lace down the glass.

The aroma is probably the most redeeming aspect of this beer, as there isn't much here to write home about. There's mild roast and a little bit of chocolate, There's also quite a bit of mineral, even metallic character.

The flavor is below average. There is very little barrel character. If given this blind, I'd never guess this was a barrel-aged porter. There's very mild chocolate and roast, though there's also quite a bit of metal and minerals. Moderate bitterness, and not particularly drinkable.

Medium bodied with very high carbonation, which isn't appropriate for a beer of this style. Prickly, and about as bad of a mouthfeel as I can imagine for a barrel-aged porter. Infected?

Not a lot of redeeming qualities.

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Photo of nickd717
2.51/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bourbon barrel aged People’s Porter? More like Bourbon...um...uh...yeah, just bourbon. This tastes like bourbon. If I wanted bourbon, I’d just drink bourbon. Well I do like some bourbon, but not all bourbon if you want to call yourself a beer.

Anyway, the "beer" in question here is dark brown with caramel bourbon-like tones and a very minimal tan head.

The aroma is bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, oakiness, and roast. Not too bad actually.

The flavor is BOURBON, bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, roast, chocolate, oak, and more bourbon.

Medium-bodied and boozy with lower carbonation.

This has potential, but hey guys, ease off on that bourbon next time.

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Photo of stakem
2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into a tulip. The brew appears dark brown in color with a bog billowing head nearly 4 fingers strong. Thick patchy lace sticks all over the glass and rising carbonation maintains an impressive cap.

The aroma is mineral filled and quite carbonic. This is honestly not that enjoyable smelling with the barrel presence being raw and woody almost like incense or cedar-like spice instead of the typical rounded smoothness indicative of other barrel aged beers.

The flavor is raw and woody, lightly spicy like cedar and raw woodiness like the arona led on. It is excessively carbonic with mineral character playing a significant role in the brew. Fighting to take in more character, slight citrus and some earthy bitterness is also present.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with an excessive amount of carbonation that is prickly and effervescent. Overall a really poor example of a porter and everything I dislike about barrel aged brews. It is spicy and raw, not smooth with the typical pleasantries that barrel aging can provide. Not worth seeking out, the over-carbonation really exaggerates the bad attributes of the aging.

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Photo of pschul4
2.69/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

A- Explosion of head (not in a good way) The bit of beer that is in my 22oz snifter is very dark brown/black. 4" of tan head sitting atop it though

S- Surprisingly faint on the nose. Hint of bourbon and roast but not much else there at all.

T- Hint of bourbon, hint of roast, lots of foam. Maybe some oxidation as well? Not a huge fan

M- Way too carbonated. Not digging this

O- Dissapointment

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown/black with a lot (almost too much) of mocha colored head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Not picking up a ton on the nose. Some roast malt, sweet chocolate and a hint of bourbon.

Again not much in the flavor department either. A little roasted malt with just a touch of bourbon. There's a weird sweetness as well that overpowers everything, but it still finishes a little astringent. Almost tastes oxidized as well. Strange for a fresh bottle.

Mouthfeel is probably the downfall of this. Just too much carbonation that doesn't let the flavors shine.

Disappointed in this one. Beer itself is fine, but kind of bland. Being that it is a bourbon aged beer, I would expect much more so the scores are all a bit lower due to the expectation from the style.

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Photo of caber2615
2.77/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- dark brown one finger white head

S- sweet, vanillia, bourbon

T- boozy, astringent, sweet

M- thin

O- first barrel aged porter I have had. It was ok. Good bourbon favors, but it took took much of the bite you get from a high alcohol bourbon. Being a 6% abv porter I did not expect the booziness.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from spring 2012. A bourbon-barrel aged beer at 6% ABV has me a little worried, but we'll see. Tasted 1 May 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black in the glass, deep brown at the edges. One finger of medium-light tan head, okay retention, decent lacing. Looks good.

Smell is pleasant, but it's all bourbon. This is feeding my concern about whether the base is robust enough to stand up to the barrel-aging. It's a powerful, slightly airy, sweet bourbon smell. I get no sense of the porter beneath that.

Taste is sharp, dominated by a bite that's my least favorite side of bourbon. In the smell, it felt like liquor I'd want to try. Here it's something I'd steer clear of. Again, I can barely find the porter underneath, which is sad, since it so wants to have some more solid support.

Feel is okay. Medium-bodied, relatively low carbonation. A little slick and oily. Fine.

A bourbon-heavy beer, which works in the smell but not in the taste. If it had a more solid porter base, it might work OK. But as is, it's good bourbon in the smell, bad bourbon in the taste. One glass was too much for me. And finishing a bomber - not a chance. Liking it less as I drink it.

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Photo of danwho
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in trade from inlimbo77, thanks Bill. Poured from the bomber into a tulip. Dark, dark brown, creamy head, nice foam, minimal lace. Looks good so far.
Smells mostly, overwhelmingly bourbon, I really get nothing else on the nose. Too bad it's not more complex.
Mouthfeel is a little too thin for me, not really watery, just thin.

Taste is just way too bitter, too much bourbon, no vanilla or coffee notes picked up at all. Not very complex, too one dimensional for me. Easy to drink, just too bitter. Limited flavor of the roasted malts.

Maybe this would age and mellow out a little, become more complex. I would like to try the regular version as a comparison.
I think the barrel ruined this one.
Overall, this one is average at best for me.

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Photo of Treebs
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split an imperial growler (32oz.) with a buddy. Poured into my Founders snifter.

A: Poured a dark chocolate with a nice 1 finger caramel head. Nice retention on the head with some splotchy lace on the drink's way down.

S: Wow, what up bourbon. It's hard to fight through the bourbon, but once I do I find some dark chocolate with some roasted biscuit malt.

T: The taste of the bourbon is even more pronounced than in the smell. Very sweet bourbon with dark chocolates and some light roast. Little bitter hops thrown in on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a nice carbonation. Nice sweet chocolates left on the palate.

O: This guy was a bourbon assault. I like BA beers, but this guy just throws the bourbon all over the place and the other flavors take a back seat.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to Netdigger2. I've had a fresh growler of People's Porter before and I liked it so I was interested to see how this turned out. Obviously it was very black and had a so-so head. The smell was boozy barrels. The the taste was completely dominated by the bourbon barrel to the point of hiding the porter completely. It did not taste like alcohol but I much preferred the regular people's porter.

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Photo of tewaris
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sent kindly by josefiak, thank Chris!

Pours a dark brown color with good clarity and a medium brown head. Wouldn't call it black or anything though, nor does it claim to be. While the text on the bottles talks about lots of things, all I smell is some tartness (not the infection kind, mind you! Just the dark beer kind). Then in the back end, some mixed notes. I might be wrong but I thought this beer was aged in some high end bourbon's barrels. Drinks more like plain oak, or maybe the barrels have been maxed out? Acidic, roasty and dark chocolaty with somewhat tannic finish that could be from roast but is most likely from wood. Overall drinks smooth and easy but I wouldn't call it remarkable. Medium body, medium-high carbonation for my tastes.

4, 3, 3, 4, 3

PS: Kickass artwork.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Patrick (kingkong) for this one!

A - Pours a dark brown color, mocha head, thin collar.

S - Overpowering bourbon and oak are right up front and dominate the rest of the beer. There's also some chocolate, light roast, and caramel in there as well. That said, it's just a bourbon bomb.

T - Similar to the nose, bourbon and wood. They let this beer sit in the barrels for too long, I'm assuming. Light chocolate, roast, and burnt sugars. Really though, a lot of bourbon and oak that kill it for the rest of the beer. Finishes the same...bourbon and wood.

M - Thin light body, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - This beer was "meh" for me. The PVW barrels only made this beer one-dimensional...too much bourbon and wood, too thin body and just an average porter. Give me HF Everett or CL Smoked Porter any day of the week and twice on Sunday's over this beer. Pass.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


Growler shared by Stawn, thanks!

A: Black with a big creamy light brown head. Pretty good retention and a little lacing.

S: Perfumy barrel phenols with pronounced vanilla and oak. There's a little brown sugar with a dash of green apple. Bourbon is really strong, accompanied by caramel and a touch of chocolate. Smells quite nice. 

T: Caramel and a little chocolate with oak. For the strength of the bourbon in the nose, it's really light in the flavor. I get oak, tannins, and astringency, but little bourbon.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

Overall: Just okay. The nose the highlight. The flavor was lacking.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark chocolate brown with a small milk chocolate head that settled to foam

S - Dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and lots of butterscotch from the pappy barrel

T - Roasted chocolate and bitter coffee with light butterscotch. Slight alcoholic booze and oak near the finish. The base beer doesn't seem to stand up to the barrel well which gives it an astringent and boozy bite

M - Medium body with a roasted presence. Slight oak tingle near the finish to it

O - Solid porter but the beer just can't fully stand up to the barrel. It smells great but there is just too much booze and bite in the flavor

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Photo of fmccormi
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Straight pour from a 22oz pry-off bottle to an oversized wineglass (HF stemware); no bottling date that I can see, but generally these don’t sit around for ALL that long on shelves in the Triangle so I’d imagine this isn’t any more than a couple months old. But that is purely speculation.

Appearance (4.75): Honestly, this looks amazing—it pours with nearly three fingers of fat, sticky, cappuccino-colored foam that dies down after a good length of time, leaving collars, legs, and swaths of thick lacing all around the glass and a film on the surface of the beer. The body is a very dark brown (not quick black), and translucent, showing deep reddish, root beer-looking corners when held up to the light. Phenomenal appearance.

Smell (3.25): At first whiff, it really just smells like Jim Beam but with some slightly roasty, molasses-chocolatey aromas blended in. Some earthy, herbal hops come in very, very lightly underneath it all. The fruitiness of the bourbon subsides a bit as it opens up, and the vanilla tones come out more and blend well with the molasses and mellow chocolate tones of the porter. Ultimately though it still smells like a good, medium-bodied porter with a lot of bourbon.

Taste (3.25): Oddly, this kind of tastes like a slightly watered-down version of People’s Porter. With surprisingly light bourbon tones mixed in. Coffee and unsweetened chocolate, marked by only moderately bitter roast, typify the malt body; herbal, slightly earthy hops come through underneath, but only very lightly; and finally slightly fruity, slightly boozy bourbon tones finish out the flavor as a whole. It smooths a bit and things mesh a little better as it warms up a bit, and the flavor actually comes in a bit fuller, too, although the external source of booze and the porter’s roast don’t mesh very well. To me, it comes off as maybe just a bit above average, at best.

Mouthfeel (2.5): Kind of thin, slightly tannic, dry, on the light- side of medium-weight, and with a carbonation that is somewhat light and bubbly—doesn’t match perfectly well, but it’s not off-putting.

Overall (3.25): This, to me, is maybe a slightly above-average porter, with some odd quirks that don’t sway the beer heavily in one direction or another, but with an unexpectedly fantastic appearance. I dunno. I wasn’t expecting a bourbon barrel-aged porter like this one (not a particularly thick or rich rendition of the style, even if the base beer is still a solid one) to really mesh well with the bourbon barrel aging. But in my mind, this beer’s only suffered from the treatment.

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Photo of argock
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $6.99.

A: Very dark brown with 1-finger beige head with decent retention and a few scattered lace spots.

S: Nice bourbon aroma with vanilla and oak with some coconut too. The base porter provides some musty dark malt aromas and not much else.

T: The flavor falls far short of the aroma with the bourbon character providing only a light kiss of flavor at the start with the rest of the beer tasting like a muddy dark beer. There is no roundness, only muddled flavor.

M: THe mouthfeel comes through with medium body and low carbonation.

O: A very disappointing beer. THe barrel ageing seems to muddle the flavor rather than add to it.

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Photo of Adrianized
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Loud PSST! when I pop the cap. Pours essentially black, but a little thin. Maybe a very dark brown. 2 finger tan head settles down to 1/2 finger.

First I get is a hit of bourbon and nuttiness. This is followed by sweet toffee and roasted malts. The bourbon I initially got actually seems to disappear. There's some cured meat/rauchbier thing going on as well.

Lot's of oak and a nice balanced amount of bourbon flavor. Flavor follows aroma with nuts, roasted malt, cured meat, and wood. Finishes with very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, People's Porter is a solid porter, and that being said... I think the original was better. I'm just getting this odd rauchbeir-like quality that I'm not liking.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

bottle picked up when i was in town a few months ago. enjoyed from a highland snifter.

brew opened with a big pop...no geyser, but the beer poured with an equal amount of head as it did beer. head way grey cream colored and creamy in texture. smell is fairly bourbon heavy with a creamy char. taste is burnt vanilla. booze soaked chocolate. very bourbon dominated. some toffee and caramel. boozy for just 6%. a bit over carbed for me. overall, as advertised...a barrel aged version of people's porter, which i found to be too burnt. the burnt seems to really amplify the barrel. good...not great.

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Photo of Etan
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, courtesy of Fortsambo, into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with a gigantic light tan head (almost too much).

S: Really nice bourbon and oak, maple, vanilla, faint cocoa and caramel.

T: Big wash of oak and mild liquor, faded roasted grain and chocolate behind. More oak and bitter tannins from the barrel in the finish. A bit smoky, even.

M: Relatively high carbonation, medium-to-thick body.

O: I'm getting tired of all these BA porters that end up dominated by the barrel, washed out and unpleasant. This isn't the worst offender I've tried, and I give it points for the aroma, but it certainly wasn't very good.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown, coffee like color with a 1/2" tan head. Good lacing with it as well.

S - Roasty, nutty, malts with hints of bourbon and a splash of coffee and a little dark chocolate. The roastness in here reminds be of a fresh can of nuts.

T - Bourbon and roasty nuts. Not much else for me.

M - Felt lightly carbonated and thin with only a slight bitterness. A little disappointing for me.

O - Not bad. Had it on tap months ago and I remember it better than this. Could be the batch.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours nearly black with a tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing behind.

S-Bourbon, coffee, alcohol, coconut, and more bourbon.

T-Very similar to the nose with bourbon completely dominating the flavor profile. There was some chocolate, coffee, coconut, and wood in the mix, but the bourbon overwhelmed everything. It was no where near as tasty as the regular People's Porter in my opinion.

M-super thin for the style.

D-The overwhelming bourbon flavor and thin mouthfeel made this a one and done for me.

Overall, this is average at best in my opinion. I absolutely love People's Porter and was excited about drinking this, but it had way too much bourbon and was way too thin.

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Photo of Freethyhops
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the BA Sexual Chocolate release part

a- pours a dark brown that has big transluscent brown tones when held to light. small cream colored head of the pour.

s- rich, sweet dark malts. a bit of caramel, wood, and a bit of tartness mixing with some fruity yeast esters. very light bourbon.

t- sweet malts up front; chocolate, caramel, light roasted. light bitterness balances the sweet malts. the tartness from the nose is even stronger here. I'm assuming it's tannins from the wood causing this. it's a nice complexity but it really doesn't hit my palate right. the bourbon is really light in this one.

m- medium-light bodied. moderate carbonation aides the fullness of this one. no alchohol warming.

d- good drinkability in the technical sense but the barrel really didn't do anything to improve this one. I stuck to the other options after one pour of this one. nice to see what happens when a lower ABV ale is thrown in some barrels.

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Barrel Aged People's Porter from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
86 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.