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Bourbon Barrel Warmer | Upland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
41 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
128
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
17
For Trade:
2
Bourbon Barrel WarmerBourbon Barrel Warmer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by SirSketch on 05-02-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 128
Photo of sulldaddy
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am splitting a 22 oz bomber with Stopper, the bottle is part of my winnings from the EPL league last season.
Pouring into a snifter at cellar temp the beer pours a rich mahogany hue with some light fluffy beige head foaming up about 1 cm and fading gradually to an edge layer.
The aroma is all malt, anticipated for an English b-wine. I get caramel and brown sugar with bourbon and vanilla hits as well, not cloying sweet but I dont find any hops in the nose.
First sip reveals a smooth textured fairly hefty bodied brew with average tingly carbonation. The flavor is as the nose advertises with caramel and brown sugar but mostly sweet bourbon notes and brief hits of vanilla. The hops dont show up anywhere and the alcohol is EXTREMELY well hidden for 9.0%. I think this beer could be in the category of dangerously drinkable!
I really enjoyed this one and wish I had a few more as I think this beer would be outstanding on a cold evening in front of the fire place. To be honest I would drink this one almost anywhere, very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

another night of epic tastings before i have to take a forced long break. i decided to go with six more new beers last night and had a really fun time with them. served in pint glass and consumed on 11/05/2010.

really enjoyed this one as it was not at all what i was expecting as it pours a wonderfully clear ruby color with a nice head of about an inch in height that settled down slowly and left a decent amount of lacing all along the sides of the glass.

aroma of deep vanilla and coconut, a rich balance of oak and warming alcohol notes welcomes me into its wonderful grip. really a wonderfully complex and sublime mixture of scents here. light feel was a little bit of a distraction as opposed to the big barrel aged beers i am used to. moving along though the sweet vanilla, coconut, maple flavors set this apart from anything else i have had in a long time! smooth and warming only evens it out even more, it was just sublimely drinkable and really just a wonderful way to end a night.

overall near perfection and a great offering overall.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish-orange color with a white head. The aroma is bourbon, brown sugar and oak. The flavor is dark fruit - mainly cherries - as well as toasted coconut, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of aasher
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. This offering from Upland poured a very smooth and murky, muddied cloudy medium to dark brown. It's almost caramel in color. It had a slight white head to it, which laced the glass. The smell was a very intricate collaboration of bourbon, malty sweetness, alcohol, and candied fruit. The taste echoed the aromas. It was very sweet with hints of vanilla and featured a moderate amount of bourbon barrel at the same time. It left a bready taste in my mouth, almost like a raisin bread or perhaps something with figs. It was well carbonated and crisp. It was delicious. I can't wait to see what this one matures into in a couple years. I'd recommend trying it.

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Photo of brewskis
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in December of 2013. Have had this for a long while after buying it at a discounted price of $3.99 for a bomber.

Pours a cloudy dark brown amber color. Lots of sediment. Finger and a half of a tan head.

Aroma is actually outstanding. Burnt carmel (creme brûlée), toffee, molasses, raisin bread, plum, vanilla, oak, smooth bourbon.

Taste follows the aroma closely. The raisin bread, toffee, and carmel pops up front. This then blends into a rich vanilla and smooth bourbon from the Willet bourbon barrels. The finish is more rich vanilla, burnt carmel, oak, and smooth bourbon. Outstandingly decadent.

Medium body. Nicely carbonated, creamy, oily, and sticky.

This was a big surprise, as I didn't expect much given the discounted price a while back. This was a very well done BA English Barleywine. The barrel presence, even after 2 1/2 years, was still very present and melded well with the base. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what Upland now calls their Barrel Chested Barleywine, as it is eerily similar.

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Photo of khumbard
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newly released bottle. Pours a deep ruby color with a small head. Appears very clear. Nose is full of bourbon, followed by some malty sweetness. Taste is very bourbon forward, which I like. Also some malty sweetness followed with a small amount of bitterness and booze. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still pretty solid. I like a little more thickness from a big barleywine though. Drinkability suffers a little from the strong bourbon presence, but I had no trouble with the bomber. Very nice job from my hometown brewery. Definitely a strong improvement over the regular Warmer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. Thanks to HosP for this generous extra!

A: Pours a clear dark ruby with a thick light brown head that faded rather quickly into a fuzzy film leaving a sheet of very sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of rich dark fruits, black cherries, vanilla, coconut and musty wood. Whiffs of bourbon and maybe currants and bready dough come through on the back end. Rich fruity vanilla and coconut dominate. Very good smelling.
T: Follows the nose with delicious flavors of vanilla, oak and dark cherries. A bit more bourbon comes through, especially in the finish and aftertaste. The aftertaste is sweet with just enough spicy hops to make things interesting. Very caramely and fruity, almost vinous.
M: Silky smooth with a medium-full body and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol and bourbon are very well integrated and never hot or overpowering.
D: Extremely easy and dangerous to drink. My two friends and I were very impressed with this bottle. I love the coconut-vanilla scents and flavors that are soaked into this one. Thanks again Mark for the great brew!

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Photo of rudzud
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
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

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Photo of Lukafer
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber red with about two fingers of reddish-tan head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Smells are dark fruits, raisins, bourbon, some alcohol. I taste sweet caramel malts, a touch of vanilla, oak, bourbon, it's nicely balanced and the alcohol didn't come in until the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, not overly sticky like a lot of barleywines, right in the middle. Drinkability is pretty good as this isn't overly sweet or bourbony. It's a pretty solid beer and with a little tweaking I think they could make this one an extremely good beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of Etan
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a golden / dark brown from a bomber to a dogfish head signature glass with a 1/2 finger light tan head that left spotty lacing.

nice strong caramel, bourbon nose that lasted throughout. very smooth, somewhat thick and bourbon forward. initially felt a little more carbonation than i expected, but it didn't distract much.

very mild, not excessively 'boozy', yet very warm on its way down. super malty, no hint of bitter hops.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A beautiful beer, with fine dark brown-red body. Slightly hazy but still mostly clear. Light tan head, huge lacing.

S - Vanilla, toffee, burnt sugar, molasses, wood, and booze.

T - Open with caramel, middle explodes with wood and wine notes, vanilla and a slight bitterness parries the sweetness.

M - Spiky in the opening. Sticky. Recedes quickly in the close.

O - Decent barleywine. Bright sweetness, slightly muddy close.

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Photo of brentk56
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of dontcostnuthin
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes- 10/11
Thanks to Kstrickler for the bottle

Beer pours a garnet color and fills my duvel tulip. I get about one inch of head which dissipates quickly. A little clingy lace is left after each sip.

My nose is greeted with the smells of sweet toffee, vanilla and dark cherries. Bourbon is certainly present but by no means overwhelming.

Sweet rich taste with cheeries and vanilla. There is also oak and smoky notes as a result of the barrel aging, but it is very well integrated. Certainly would qualify it a bourbon bomb. Reemphasize that this is a sweet malty slow sipper of a beer. Alcohol pretty well hidden for a high abv brew.

Drinkability and mouthfeel were slightly disappointing. My bottle had very little carbonation to balance out the heaviness and sweetness, which became bit cloying and overwhelming by the end. A 12oz pour would be more than enough for me. Would certainly try again, but would take a bomber myself.

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Photo of portia99
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
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!).

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Photo of TroopScoop
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of davey101
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.