Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout - Foothills Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

127 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 35
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LauraAlberts on 07-02-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great growler received in trade with jpmclaug. Shared with nonstick...poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversay snifter.

A - Pours a jet black color with a thick finger of cappucino foam with pretty good retention. Thick "rings" of lacing left behind on the glass.

S - A nice mixture of aromas here. Getting lots of coffee up front in the nose with some bitter dark chocolate, burnt toast, molasses, some vanilla and a smooth, mild bourbon aroma that really sits nicely on top of the other aromas. To me, this is how bourbon barrel aging should be done - not over the top at all...unlike some others, the bourbon only complements instead of dominating...after all, it is beer and shouldn't have its base character obliterated by the barrels.

T - As with the aroma, there is a really nice complexity level and a smooth well rounded overall impression. The roasty grains with its coffee and bitter chocolate character are solid at the base. Bourbon kicks in next, really well adding dimension to the beer without a touch of warmth...not boozy at all. Rich caramel, molasses and creamy vanilla along with some light woodiness and the tiniest hint of dark fruits complete the profile. Barrel aging was integrated about as well as any I've ever had - really impressive.

M - This is another positive aspect of this beer. To me, the Great Lakes BA Blackout sets the standard for mouthfeel for which all others are judged. Although not quite up to that level, this shares a lot in common. Very rich and creamy in feel, super smooth. Full bodied with such a creamy carbonation. Just a touch slick/oily on the tongue, but this is hardly a detractor here. No alcohol/bourbon heat at all and no booziness. Excellent!

D - Drinkability on this really sets a standard for BA beers. This approaches what I'd call my ideal stout. Tons of character - lots of complex flavors and aromas to satisfy any RIS afficionado. Bourbon barrel aging only enhances this. Probably the best BA example I've ever had. The fact that so much can come out of a 7.0% stout only makes this better. Light enough to have a few of these in a sitting without causing you to fall asleep/pass out mid conversation (It's happened before...) Great stout that will sadly probably never be available to the masses - glad I got an opportunity to sample this great stout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily my favorite of the barrel aged beers I have had from Foothills.Poured near jet black with a deep brown hue when held up to some light,a thinner but well retained tannish colored head atop.Aromas of bourbon/vanilla and chocolate really stand out,its almost like a dessert in a glass- type aroma.Deep bourbon notes melded with fudge/chocolate,a great combination,there is a enough earthy drying in the finish to make it not only rich but drinkable.Smooth as hell and rich,I really liked this beer alot.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub.

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of vanilla and bourbon with good amounts of molasses and very mild hints of dark fruit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Molasses and dark chocolate flavors with faint roasted malt undertones upfront are quickly overtaken by loads of vanilla and bourbon. As with the smell there are hints of dark fruit midway through the sip that fade as the end of the sip nears. The ending is mildly bitter and leaves hints of dark chocolate and bourbon on the palate.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a solid BA stout however I prefer mine with a bit more roastiness. However, I have to admit that's nitpicking and this is still a very good beer and well worth a shot.

Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, duckworths park road

appearance: short pour, dark brown body, light brown head

smell: bourbon, vanilla, dry roast and not much else

taste: I think we're coming down from the peak of bourbon barrel aging - by now we've all had 14,000 stouts aged in barrels ranging from bourbon to tequila to god knows what else. So what makes this one special? Nothing really - a pretty average stout base gasping for air in a strong dosage of bourbon. The flavors weren't off by much, but this wasnt one of foothills finer products

mouthfeel: too booze-forward, dry

overall: just ok.

Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Foothills Brewing Company on 12/12/09 during the Olde Rabbits Foot release.

Pours pitch black, with a thin covering of brunt mocha colored head. Retains with some rich bunching around the edges of the glass, leaving mostly spotty lacing and some brown oily residues behind. Bourbon is pretty strong here in the aroma, but luckily isn't overbearing, with some equally assertive notes from the Stout of dark chocolate roast, caramel, coffee, and maybe a touch of some dark fruity tones. Overall, this leaves, a sticky, woody, and boozy feel behind in the nose, which I'm really digging.

The taste starts with a thick base of chocolate, coffee, and dark roastiness. The bourbon is well integrated here, giving this some extra sticky notes of vanilla and burnt molasses. Leftover tannins and wood stick in the finish, which has a VERY dry and spicy lingering feel going on with it. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge creaminess to the proceedings that spreads out across the palate. There is maybe just a touch of slickness from the barrel but for the most part, this retains that big mouth-filling feel to it. There's definitely some warmth going on with this, both from the ABV and bourbon character, but I found that just taking my time with it kept the palate from getting fatigued out.

The Total Eclipse was a great choice to put in a barrel, with its rich flavors and depth being more than up to the task of complimenting that added strength from the bourbon and wood character. Lots of spice & dryness here from those Pappy Win Winkle barrels. It was real pleasure to be able to try this version. Great stuff!

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. Served from tap at the brewpub into a Foothills pilsner. Poured pitch black with a hint of brown in the light with a one finger tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bourbon, cream, and slightly roasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, BIG bourbon, and roasted malt. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this one had a massive bourbon flavor to me. Almost overpowering if I'm completely honest. This still have a very nice aroma and flavor despite the bourbon. If the bourbon would have been a little muted, this one might have been great. Overall a must try and I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria, Greenville, SC. May 2011:

The beer appeared a deep black with a thin tan head that was well retained. The beer gave off a big bourbon aroma, with hints of vanilla, alcohol and a little chocolate. The taste, while perhaps a bit heavy on the bourbon, still had a nice stout-ish taste to it. Once you get past the bourbon/alcohol, there is a nice roasted malt and chocolate taste with a hint of earthiness. The beer had a heavy feel to it with lower carbonation, as expected. Overall, a good beer, but as some other noted, if the bourbon had been a little more in the background, I think that this would have been an excellent beer. But still a must try if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Macs Steel Creek.
Opaque black/brown pour with a thin layer of tan head.

Served waaay to cold, hoping that's why the nose was so muted. Malt cocoa, light vanilla. Not much barrel speak of.

More barrel presence immediately in the taste. Roast malt, chocolate, vanilla caramel and oak blend well. Caramel and oaky barrel dominate the finish.

The carbonation keeps it just shy of being creamy. Nice medium body. No alcohol presence. Still, another barrel aged stout from Foothills that I prefer the regular, the other being SC.

Photo of jsanford
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville on 5/28/10

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Large foamy dark tan head.

S - Bourbon! Touch of oak, tobacco and chocolate in the rear.

M - Dark chocolate, roasted nuts & malt, bit of date sweetness. Pleasant bourbon "burn" in the finish.

M - Smooth and creamy. Bit thinner then expected, but not necessarily a bad thing.

D - Amazing drinkability, could easily enjoy these all day/night long. One of my all-time favorite brews and probably the purest melding of beer and bourbon I've ever had. Great stuff!

Photo of wedge
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Ridgewood

Black with a small, thick white head that retains well and leaves tons of lacing behind. Smells of Bourbon barrel, vanilla, malted milk balls, and dark fruit. Some sharpness is present, but no booziness. Lots of wooden barrel and less Bourbon in the flavor. Things seem to stay brighter than expected, not very rich at all, with light coconut, vanilla, and bitter chocolate topping some charred malts and a bit of alcohol. Medium-plus bodied with a quick, dry finish. I thought this was alright, but the base beer was terrific the last time I had it and the barrel aging doesn't seem to do anything beneficial.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The final in the trio of offerings from Foothills that I was just insanely anxious to try. This a new takes on an old favorite.
 
The pour was the best I saw all day for a stout, hands down. Rich and completely black with a huge towering head on the top that would not quit. Spilling over the sides it left everything just completely soaked and sticky with a thin chocolate covered film. A wonderful mess indeed. Rich notes of bourbon and Vanilla welcome you in on this one and play off each other nicely. Warming lets a touch of the chocolate underneath peak its head up but not as much as I would have liked, still, very nice. As I take a sip, it crashes over the palate. Richness that is well served to say the least. Creamy and full bodied the deep chocolate and roasted malts interact with vanilla and a leather and tobacco note making it all so smooth and full that it was absurd. Enormous flavor here that was simply hard to withstand. I really could have just sat there with a glass of this all day, it seemed to really come together quite well. Long and very sweet finish had nice hints of molasses and vanilla leaving me looking around to find out just what had happened.
 
Overall solid as could be. It appears they cannot go wrong with aging their offerings. Very impressed with what was going on here and rightfully so. A lot of time went into these and it really shows. Very well done.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. Faint hints of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin tan head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edges.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging along with hints of dark malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Notes of warming from the bourbon barrel aging are also noticeable.
O: This stout isn't that difficult to drink and has nice flavors fo bourbon from the barrel aging process. No alcohol is perceptible.

Photo of Gfunk720
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sending this. Out of my Captain Lawrence glass.

A- A light blackish brown, with a healthy khaki colored head. The lacing is very nice. Definetely not very thick in appearance.

S- Rich notes of chocolate, malt, and bourbon. Some oaky and bourbony/whiskey notes.

T- A beautiful blend of rich oaky bourbon/whiskey flavor. Chocolate, malt, and a all around creamy complexion. Very very nice barrel aging. Nothing crazy, but extremely well balanced.

M- This is probably not the best part about this beer. It is rather thin, and light in mouthfeel. The flavor is very nice and complex.

O- This beer was a very nice sessionable barrel aged beer. It has a tremendous amount of depth for being a light stout. The barrel aging is probably the highlight, and just adds a ton to this beer.

-GFunk

Photo of jpmclaug
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an over sized brandy snifter from a growler. Growler obtained from the Piney Grove Green's. Thanks Joe & Wes for getting this one!

A - Black as can be with a light brown head on top. Lots of bubbles running up the side of the glass on this one.

S - Nice smooth bourbon and oak flavor over a dark malty body. Hints of vanilla and sweet notes in their as well.

T - Delicious. Much like the aroma suggests you are getting a nice smooth bourbon flavored brew. The bourbon is the first flavor that is picked up followed with a nice lightly roasted malt flavor. The base beer stands up well to the barrel aging and gives this a nice coffee/chocolate flavor toward the end of your swallow. The bourbon flavor is really smooth in this one and blends with the beer fantastically.

M - medium to heavy body. Light carbonation real smooth creamy mouthfeel. Right on.

D - I could drink this all day. And luckily I have a growler of it so I can! I have a feeling it will catch up to me the more I drink this one. Really drinkable because the bourbon blends in so well. Bravo Foothills. I don't think you have ever let me down and this one is no exception.

Photo of SCbrewdoc
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from the good fellows at the Greenville Beer Exchange.

A- Dark, black coffee color. Tan, retentive head. Good look for an Imperial Stout

S- The Whiskey is strong with this one... Also has a smell of cocoa/chocolate. A faint sense of oak. All that I would expect from a barrel aged brew.

T-Woof. I have never taken half a shot of good bourbon mixed with a good stout, but I am pretty sure this is what it would taste like in a dream. Bourbon taste up front followed by chocolaty coffee. Finishes with a very light note of oak.

M-Not as full bodied as I would expect but pleasant. Does not have the phenol/alcohol mouthfeel that many barrel aged RIS have. To me, this could be a sessional beer

O-Wonderful beer overall. A microstep below Bourbon County Stout, but for what they are going for Foothills nailed it. Highly recommend this brew

Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem, NC.

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown bordering on jet black in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some subtle dark amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall thin sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to heavy aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon with some lighter notes of oak and coffee.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste of this beer starts out with moderate flavors of roasted malts that quickly has the coffee and dark chocolate flavors take over. All of the that pales in comparison to the strong flavors of bourbon with lighter notes of oak and vanilla. There are light to moderate amounts of bitterness but they fade quickly with the bourbon flavors.

M: Medium bodied with just shy of moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly on the thin side with some light notes of alcohol warming towards the finish.

O: I found this beer to be easy to drink, especially for a BA stout, and the bourbon aromas/flavors really complement the base beer. Very enjoyable and one I would gladly consume when I came across it.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Sexual Chocolate release in February 2010.

Poured into my mini snifter. Color is black with a tan head and a touch of lacing. The nose brings some really nice notes from the bourbon-barrel aging, with bourbon, oak, and vanilla coming through along with some chocolate and roast. Taste is mostly bourbon and chocolate in a really nice combination. Good heavy feel. I preferred this to Sexual Chocolate and was really glad to have tried it.

Photo of grub
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 1, oct 8/2010. Jw347 contributed this one. thanks john!

64oz growler.

pours opaque black with a bit of brown around the edges. a thin ring of fine tan head forms and leaves only a few spots as it falls.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. dark chocolate. milk chocolate. biscuit. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. faint earthy and herbal notes.

taste is great. bourbon and vanilla. dark and milk chocolate. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. there's more chocolate and coffee than barrel coming through, but it's good. just under medium bitterness level. lightly earthy and herbal.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is excellent. great balance, both hiding the alcohol well and balancing the barrel against the base beer. nice and mellow and super drinkable.

Photo of Amedlin18
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewpub in Winston. Not too much nor too little bourbon taste. Just right for the style which isn't my fav but a really good beer

Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Brandon for sending this one out to me in a trade recently.

A: The pour is a dark brown color, nearly black, with a finger's worth of tan head.

S: Lots of roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate. The bourbon provides a nice booze note and some oak, too.

T: The roasted character is quite intense on the palate, giving off an almost charred flavor. Underneath there is a good chocolate flavor, some hints of caramel and vanilla, and bourbon.

M: The body is a little on the thin side from an imperial stouts. A moderate carbonation to go with it.

D: A pretty nice imperial stout, though I would have actually preferred a bit more bourbon character (surprisingly).

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with a thin, filmy, tan, clingy head. Nose of smooth chocolate, boozy bourbon, woody notes, vanilla crème, and rich mocha. Flavors are bourbon forward, with a bittersweet chocolate backbone. Smooth and balanced, with woody highlights, hints of coffee bitterness, and crème highlights. Deep and layered; smooth throughout. Boozy and vanilla highlights on an otherwise cocoa aftertaste, with a subtle warmth building. Smooth, bittersweet linger in the finish. Damn good brew!

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Low ABV really lets the bourbon through. Enjoyable but would like it more if it were an imperial.

Photo of kkipple
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap @ Foothills the day of the Olde Rabbit's Foot release.

A. Same as Total Eclipse. Dark black-brown, small bubbled red-brown head. Decent retention. Purty.

S. BIG bourbon warmth, smooth oak and vanilla blended with some rich bourbon sweetness and the tasty roastedness of the stout. The barrel is in full force here and is foremost, but the beer is no slouch either. Some chocolate and coffee peeks through. Smells very "complete", even if a bit aggressive.

T. Mm, bourbon. I love bourbon. I love Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. I love Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel aged beers. I love Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel aged Total Eclipse stout.

Just stellar bourbon complexity that comes close to overwhelming the (tasty) stout underneath, but never quite manages to, thankfully. Warm, peppery, vanilla, oak, toffee, cocoa, some (Cascade?) hops, mocha, roast. Delicious. It works.

M / D. Full, thick, warming. Wonderful bourbon-roasty finish. Not overly drinkable, seems more a nightcap than a lunch beer...

I'm pretty convinced that Foothills has this bourbon barrel thing down. A great stout kicked up a few notches by a lovely bourbon. Great if you like bourbon.

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.78/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes taken 4-13-11. Hooked up in a trade from Mikesgroove.

Pours pretty dark and vicious looking into my trusty Darkness snifter. Deep dark brown with a tannish two finger head. I pick up bourbon and molasses right away. Upon my first sip I notice how incredibly thin this is. Carbonation is scant. Based on looks you wouldn't think so. There is literally no other taste than booze. An imperial at 7% you wouldn't expect it to be overpowering, but it certainly was for me. Crap. I mean really? This is falling way short of what I was hoping for. In fact overall it is not good at all and I poured my glass out into the dump bucket. I wasn't the only one either. Almost the whole group did.

Maybe our growler was a touch off or it needed some time to settle. I'll bet the latter. I'd try it again but it commands a king's ransom. One I'm not willing to pay. Skip it.

Photo of cbros
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/1

I was fortunate to have this at the Foothills 'Beer School' they held on Saturday August 1st. I tried this first as a sampler but then had a full pint of this afterwards.

A- Pours a jet black with a nice 2 to 3 finger tan head.

S- They aren't exagerating with bourbon barrel aged in the title. This beer reeks(in a good way) of bourbon. The smell was so strong that I could smell the bourbon notes before the server even poured the taster. Behind the bourbon were some mid chocolate and tobacco notes but it is the bourbon that overwhelms the smell of this beer.

T- The bourbon experience does not stop at the smell. The bourbon flavor overpowers you at first taste however it mellows out nicely with the tobacco and chocolate coming through. This is a nice combination of flavors that normally I would not be keen on havinh however it works with this beer. I was blown away at how strong and mellow this beer would be simultaneously. Very good and very dangerous if consumed too much.

I am very sad to know that I had this for one day and will not be able to have this again. I was hesitant at first to try this because of my general lack of interest in bourbon but I am glad that I did. This was a very good brew, so much so that I tried bribing the bartender into selling me a growler, however to my dismay they only had about a pitcher of it left. After having this I would like to have more bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts to see how they stack up. A very good beer indeed.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout from Foothills Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.