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Bourbon Barrel Warmer - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel WarmerBourbon Barrel Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 23
Gots: 20 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SirSketch on 05-02-2010

Aged for 6-8 months in bourbon/whiskey barrels

2009: Pappy Van Winkle barrels
2010: Buffalo Trace barrels
2011: Wild Turkey barrels
2013: Willet barrels
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 39
Photo of rudzud
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured into a Kate the the Great tulip a clear honey hue with a thin head that fades quickly to leave sticky lacing. Thin wisps.

S - Aromas of caramel, vanilla, bourbon, light malt sweetness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, caramel, vanilla, oak, no booze. Smooth, caramel sauce, nice bourbon notes.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, not slick or boozy.

O - Overall this beer was really tasty, smooth. Super surprised

Serving type: bottle

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Oneinchaway's tasting.

Bottled 12/2014.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel toffee, vanilla, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of sticky sugar and bourbon characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

2010 bottle poured into a tulip glass ,

A: Clear chestnut brown with minimal head, slight tiny hiss when opening. nearly perfectly clear. Time in the bottle has let this one settle out.

S: Aroma of sweet cherry, caramelized sugars, plum, subdued barrel and barely present bourbon, I would hesitate to know how much time passed prior to the barrel being used again, or however long it was, the bourbon is very faint.

T: This beer starts like a nice english barleywine, very faintly hopped with a very low alpha hop, abundances of caramel, vanillin, some stale carboard / oak barrel flavors in the background. This was apparently the Buffalo Trace barrel year, which is a whiskey i have not had, and makes me curious to know where the flavor notes are in the whiskey itself.

M: Relatively flat and seems basically appropriate for an english barleywine, but just a little too flat for my liking. Based on reviews from years following this batch, it seems like they may have taken care of that item as it seems the 2013s are drawing a full finger of head. Maybe worth reviewing again, but then again.... I have a lot of barleywine in the cellar and I dont know when I will be trading again for more from out of state in IN.

O: Overall, there are some good characteristics here. I have been sitting on this bottle for a few years in my cellar and it is a good barleywine, but not overly impressed with some of the flaws that are going on here. Slightly stale, slight cardboard hints, not much bourbon flavors. Other than that, it seems like the body is on par, color is nice and I would have to assume has improved with more recent batches.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep brown almost in glass, a clear amber when pouring.

S-Mild bourbon, good deal of coffee and caramel. Earthy notes as well.

T-Starts with caramel and toffee, some bourbon, tad bit of oak. Dark fruits (cherries and plums) as well.

M-Medium bodied, tad velvety with nice carbonation.

O-A decent BA Barleywine, and even more importantly a cheap one.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had-ed this initially but after having it felt it was worth a review. Single finger off white head with decent retention although greater than most barrel aged beer though on a relatively clear amber body. Aroma is very full on the nose with vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel and brown sugar. Flavor is similar and complex with vanilla and caramel dominating. The sweetness is very well balanced by earthy oaks and flavors. The flavor takes a few sips to get used too. The initial sample was very metallic in the finish. Medium to full body, coats the palate a bit with light to moderate carbonation. Very good beer, wish I could try previous years in succession to see how they change.

Photo of martyl1000
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very much like Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

Pours a muddy water into a tulip, with a beautiful head serious lacing.

Bourbon and pancakes (with syrup!). Smells delicious. Plus vanilla and brown sugar and prune.

In the mouth a lot of vanilla and a courteous bourbon that greet the taste buds. The sweetness has a somewhat overly-rich brown sugar element, you know, that umami component in molasses. A hop bitterness emerges on the finish.

Creamy and medium- to full-bodied.

Very much like CW BB BW, but not quite in the same league.

Photo of Stevedore
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle of the recent winter 2013 bottling. Thanks Shaun. Poured into a Hoppin' Frog snifter today, 3/20/2014.

App- Dark caramel brown body with a nice one-1/2 finger white head that retains quite well and drops slowly. No lacing, looks darker than a typical scotch/wee heavy.

Smell- Initial nose impression is almost cologne-like, kind of a minty and even a bit chemical-like. It's interesting and a bit different. Also a very sweet toffee nose from the base beer, a little bit of vanilla and oak barrel.

Flavour- Caramel, toffee, hints of vanilla, a bit of oak barrel and sweet bourbon. A touch of dark fruits. But this is definitely a toffee-forward beer. It's solid, nothing mind-blowing. Would have expected a bit more barrel here.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, fine carbonation, on the thinner side of what I'd expect of an a BA English Barleywine. A bit hot and boozy.

Overall- Decent BA English Barleywine, nothing too special but certainly still a treat in of its own. I don't get any spices which you'd expect from a "Winter Warmer".

Photo of chanokokoro
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an unbranded snifter

Pours a murky mahogany capped by a more than ample one and a half finger medium beige head. Above average retention, evident, coating lacing. Caramel, light wisps of oak, vanilla, and booze on the nose. Opens with caramel, toffee, dates, fig, and hints of dried dark fruit. Big vanilla notes midpalate; finishes with pleasant oakiness, a hint of maple syrup and brown sugar & light bourbon notes and warming alcohol. Low level of carbonation, full smooth, syrupy body. A very nice brew. All the flavor components of an exceptional BA English barleywine are there, however lacks a bit in both depth and complexity. Certainly a solid brew that I wouldn't turn down, but just a step away from being a seasonal that I'd make a point of buying annually.

Photo of brentk56
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottling

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a frothy tan head that leaves a nice trail of lacing all around the glass

Smell: Caramel and Bourbon dominate the aroma, with vanilla and fig underneath

Taste: Caramel and Bourbon also dominate the front-end, with the fig and vanilla building, in the middle; vanilla flavors round out the finish with the Bourbon adding a boozy touch to the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and considerable warmth down the gullet

Overall: I suspect that this beer will improve with age, though right now it is a bit raw in the Bourbon-dominated booziness that masks any Winter warmer spicing subtlety

Thanks, fredmugs, for the opportunity

Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled in December 2013. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head light tan head that stays around for a while. There's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, molasses, and dark fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some caramel, nuts, brown sugar, bready malt and a bit of booze. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this brew, and it's certainly worth a try at $6.99 a bomber.

Photo of Etan
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a small off-white head.

S: Lots of tannic bourbon and molasses and caramel in the nose. Dripping with barrel. Lightly figgy, vanilla.

T: Taste brings charred oak, mild roasted grain bitterness, caramel, bourbon, tannic vanilla, plum, creme brulee. Gets nutty with lots of honey notes as it warms.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: A tasty beer that doesn't hold back on the barrel. Hints at the profile of top-tier BA barleywines but not quite there.

Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer shared at a tasting, not a very good beer. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin tan head, low retention.

Aroma is bourbon and malt, smells fine.

Beer is sort of a mess, it is malty and sweet with an odd finish, not much going on worth mentioning though. An interesting beer I suppose but not a repeat for me.

Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, barkingelectron!

Murky, cloudy dark brown with a small half-finger's worth of dark brown bubbles. This leaves small ribbons and dots of stick down the glass.

Caramel, toffee, some chocolate, well-integrated bourbon, and definite oxidation make up the aroma. Pleasant, though less complex and interesting in practice than it sounds in theory.

The chocolate flavors are more pronounced in the flavor than they are in the aroma, combining nicely with caramels, raisin, toffee, just a tiny bit of char, bourbon, and lots of oak. All the usual characters are here, and this is certainly very flavorful (and the alcohol's hidden well), but the oxidation acts as a definite intrusion on the integration.

Medium bodied with moderate, somewhat prickly, carbonation.

Good, but not great.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for handing this one off in our massive in-person trade last year! Thanks buddy! 2010 Vintage (Buffalo Trace)! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep brownish red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, wood, vanilla, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, dark fruit, vanilla, sweet alcohol, wood, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and raisin. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Upon first pouring it into my glass and taking the first hit of aroma I knew I was in for a treat here. Loads of complexity and a very nice balanced bouquet going on. The Buffalo Trace barrel is definitely still shining on this bottle just as you would hope. The flavor was more of the same with a nice balance that made it rather easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I really love how the citrus aspect on this one mixes so well with everything else going on in this massively complex brew. An absolute must try if you have not done so before especially if you get the chance to try the Buffalo Trace version!

Photo of AleWatcher
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. English barleywine aged in Wild Turkey barrels.
Bomber into Founders snifter.

This was tossed in as an extra by Khumbard-- thanks brother!

Pours clear orangey colored from the bottle but appears plum-colored and a bit murky in the glass. Tan head of 2 fingers settled quickly to a nice little collar.

I actually pick up a touch of dark fruit amongst the malt bill aside from the huge booziness to go alongside.
The flavor is surprisingly smooth considering how boozy I initially felt this beer smelled. The nose made me expect something unpardonably boozy, but I'm pleasantly surprised.
I actually want more caramel and toffee malt notes, as well as more vanilla and oak from the barrels, but this beer isn't bad at all as it is.

Feels a slight thinner than I'd expect for a BA version of the style, but good carbonation.

Overall-- not bad. Improved tremendously as it warmed up. I normally HATE winter warmers, but I enjoyed this despite the local temp being damn near 100 degrees this afternoon.

Other than the sours, this is EASILY the best Upland beer I have had-- is it world class? No. But it is very solid nonetheless.

Photo of davey101
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011: Wild Turkey barrels. Bottled on October 2011. 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A - Ruby red with a brown tint. Sits really still with no head or edging. Upon pouring a thin off-white cap does form and quickly fizzes away.

S - Loads of bourbon soaked dark fruits. Plums, dates, raisins, vanilla, oak, and toffee. A bot of warming alcohol on the finish.

T - Dark fruits initially, then large bourbon notes. Plenty of oak and vanilla. Finishes sweet and malty with notes of toffee and caramel. Medium to light mouth feel with a large alcohol presence.

O - A nice BBA barleywine. Its not as complex or flavorful as some of the other big guys (King Henry, Abacus, etc) but it can certainly hold its own.

Photo of portia99
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (bottled 3/10) poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A - Pours and orangey amber color, with a low off-white head and leaves behind some nice webs of lacing.

S - Malty sweet with bourbon, molasses and brown sugar on the nose. Little bit of booziness...overall smells sugary sweet.

T - Brown sugar, boozey alcohol, bourbon, surprisingly still a bit of hoppy bitterness, toffee, sugar

M - Medium body with a low, smooth carbonation. Overall sweet and caramelly...almost candy-ish.

O - Overall a good English style barleywine, barrel aging seems to complement the beer nicely...not overdone.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.72/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep mahogany and caramel with just a slight off-white head, a little lacing and some bubbles.

You can tell the barrel had an impact here. Sweet booze in the nose, but not overpowering. Rich vanilla notes with some wood and caramel as well.

Starts out with a sweet boozy whiskey flavor. Unlike the nose the booze dominates this. The vanilla and oak are barely present as everything tastes like sweet wild turkey. A few more flavors came out after warming, but still Wild Turkey shone through.

A tad light on the mouthfeel, but not too bad. Medium carbonation. Maybe a bit higher than others in this style.

The regular version is one of my all time favorites and I've loved this one the last few years, but the Wild Turkey barrels ruined a good beer IMO. It overpowers everything. Maybe it'll mellow out a bit and let more of the wonderful base beer shine through after some aging.

Photo of auroracrisis
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz dated October 2011 into a nonic pint.

Burgundy with amber highlights on the pour. A bit of foam on the pour but dissipates into a ring around the edges. Some bubbles can be seen, a bit of legging.

Strong notes of toasted coconut, vanilla, and oak give way into butterscotch and other confectionery sweetness. As the beer warms, it becomes more and more alcoholic smelling which takes over the sweetness.

A tad bit sweeter on the tongue but again, all about the bourbon and barrel. Rich vanilla and toasted coconut. A little heat as well.

Medium-thin with some heat and stickyness.

Good display of bourbon notes. I wasn't expecting much with this one but it wasn't bad. I should have picked up the non-barreled version of this one for comparison.

Photo of eclipse54
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle from fvernon; thank you very much for yet another want! Poured into a DFH signature glass...

Pours a dark brown/purple/mahogany color with about a finger’s breadth of fluffy, off-white head. Retention is short, which is to be expected I suppose. Small outcroppings of bubbles cling to the walls of the glass as lacing.

The aroma is of caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, date, hazelnut, and a touch of raisin and dried cherry. Very well balanced and highly inviting.

It tastes of caramel, toffee, and hazelnut on the front, followed by vanilla, date, and raisin in the middle. The oak and bourbon really come through on the finish, with a prominent alcohol moiety on the exhale. A bit hot, but not terribly so.

Mouthfeel is rich, but ample carbonation keeps the sugars from sticking to the tongue too much and helps bring out the more subtle flavors. Finish is rather dry from the oak and alcohol, but it keeps you coming back for another sip.

Overall, a great bourbon barrel aged barleywine. I think a little more time in the bottle would have helped pull some of the heat off of this, but I was too eager to dive in and enjoy it (and enjoy it I did!).

Photo of TroopScoop
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: murky, brownish/red, thin head that quickly disappears. For a barleywine, its solid

S: the bourbon aromas take charge as the beer warms. Slight nutty & earthy musks permeate when she's cold. For the style, I dig it.

T: very complex. The hops are bitter, the earthy tones from the smell are right there, and the bourbon - oh, yea, its just right. This is a sipper, with each consumption yet another attempt to define what is hitting my tastebuds.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation. Its nice & thin, and the bourbon is not overdone. Its exactly what the aftertaste called for.

O: I still have a hard time drinking the barleywine style, but this honestly takes the cake for me. The key to this beer is the Goldilocks Principle: not too much, not too little, but just enough barrel aging/bourbon. Its exactly why we all love KBS. Good stuff. Upland

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jdubFL, over on ratebeer, for sharing this beauty. Pours clear copper with half inch tall tan head. The aroma is spicy with a touch of tartness, mild sweet malts and caramel. The taste is sweet with smooth bourbon, some sweet malts, vanilla, spicy hops and then somewhat growing booziness that never gets out of hand. Smooth stuff that's sweet yet has a nice hop and barrel component too.

Photo of waltonc
2.21/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Opened this up last night, figuring it fit in well with the Christmas/winter beer theme. However, it paled in comparison to most of the other brews opened, and was thus poured down the drain.

A: Caramel with tan head.
S: Oxidation (even though I was told this is a 2010 bottle), light bourbon, caramel. Not an inviting or interesting smell for a bourbon barrel barleywine. I knew right away this wouldn't be good.
T: About as uninteresting and one-note of a bourbon barrel barleywine as I can recall having had (the only other example I can recall being potentially this bad is barrel aged Old Abominable). Again, bourbon, blah typical barleywine notes - high malt level, low hops, a little brown sugar here, a little vanilla and wood there.
M: Pretty thin body for the style.
D: Took two sips and poured the rest down the drain.

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one, Mark. Shared at the BABATT.

A: The pour is surprisingly clear amber/copper color with a short lived off-white head.

S: The nose certainly lets you know this one is barrel aged. Bourbon and vanilla start things off. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar follow. There's a bit of cardboard/oxidation going on too.

T: Surprisingly light in flavor for a -bal aged barleywine. Again, sweet vanilla and bourbon along with the typical brown sugar and caramel flavors of the style. A bit of warming alcohol is present as well.

M: The body is certainly on the thin side with a fairly lively carbonation to it.

D: Not at all bad, but not a homerun either (maybe a long single). I didn't find it bad, just sort of uninteresting.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.43/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a clear, caramelly color with a light foam cap.

S: Light aroma of bourbon and nuts. I pick up elements of toffee, vanilla, and toast. It's not very pungent, but the range is nice.

T: Bourbon, nuts, small elements of grape, toast, and brown sugar. Nothing offensive, but nothing outstanding, either. It nails everything I'd expect in a barrel-aged barleywine, though the flavors aren't very pronounced.

M: It's thin-medium bodied, with a watery finish. The flavor falls off surprisingly fast.

D: I know I'm in a minority here, but I thought Perfect Storm was barrel-dominated and sweet. I think this beer falls far below that one, and so I can't give it anything higher than a C. I suppose I'd have it again, but I wouldn't seek it out. This was one of the first dumped bottles of the evening. No one cared to drink it.

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Bourbon Barrel Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.