1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bourbon Barrel Monster 29 - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Monster 29Bourbon Barrel Monster 29

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 169
Gots: 68 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  17.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: claaark13 on 12-13-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imfrommichigan
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

imfrommichigan, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of FosterJM
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1706th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
375ml

2012 vintage
Thanks to ErikKoppin for this.

Shared with Afrokaze

App- Looked exactly like a dark merlot or another dark red wine. A deep garnet with a stillness and liquid fruit appearance to me. No bubbles or lace or stick.

Smell- A large portion of this beer smells like a port wine. Rich deep prickly alcohol and a bit of a dark fruits. Lost is the bourbon to me. This was too port/quad and dark fruit forward. No burn, no oak or any other bourbon additions. The ABV was hidden as it warmed.

Taste- This blew me away with the complexities. I'm rating a little low for lack of bourbon on it. More quad/port notes come out with a strong dark fruit and alcohol note to it. Much more sweet and ruddy than I thought. A little let down but was still good.

Mouth- A medium full body with a medium low carbonation. A huge lack of bubbles contributed to me rating this a bit low actually. Residual dark fruits, candy sugars and alcohols.

Drink- A good beer but a little less than what I was expecting. It didn't have the carbonation to give depth of flavors and pop.

FosterJM, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of davey101
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml black waxed bottle into a Founders 15th anny glass. Label has a section for bottle count and batch # but was never filled out. 2012 4 Elf release. Drinking this a day after having the regular version. Thanks again to steimie.

A - Pours a very dark red/brown body. Appears to be more translucent than the regular version due to the absence of any head. Initial pour yielded some large brown bubbles which lasted less than a minute. A swirl produces some clear alcohol legs but no bubbles. Sits very still.

S - I've heard some reviews saying the bourbon is tame. I really disagree here. Siting a foot away from the glass it smells like I smashed a bottle of bourbon on the floor. Caramelized dates are quickly over washed with wall of oak, vanilla, butterscotch, and warm alcohol. The bourbon is super intense. If you like bourbon you will love the aroma.

T - Raisins, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and fudge. Decadent and super sweet. Less savory than the regular version. Aftertaste is syrupy sweet with some faint notes of oak, vanilla and charred malt. Bourbon is less intense than the nose but the finish is warm and boozy. Again, does not feel like its 17% at all.

M - Thick and syrupy with little carbonation. The alcohol burn cuts through a bit providing a somewhat clean finish. A sipper, but not as daunting as most beers in this range.

O - I much prefer this to the standard version, and that beer impressed the hell out of me. Super rich and sweet with a well incorporated bourbon presence. Massive and decadent while remaining somehow approachable and enjoyable. Excellent beer!

davey101, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

duceswild, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of C2H5
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

C2H5, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Mark000
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Mark000, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of jjheinrichs
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

jjheinrichs, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of siege06nd
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

siege06nd, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of rjacobs6
5/5  rDev +19.3%

rjacobs6, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Auztan
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Auztan, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

thebigredone, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of founder26
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage poured into snifter

A- pours dark, like a stout. Absolutely no head, if you can get a head on this beer you got skillz.

S- having this after king henry its pretty similar. Lots of bourbon, chocalate, vanillla, figs, dates, raisens, smooth and no burn

T- followed nose, lots of chocalate and bourbon

M- this is where the beer falls short to me, flat as a door, very syrupy, needs a bit more carbonation which probably wont happen since this was bottled a month ago.

O- if this beer had carbed up I would put it right up there with king henry, but alas it hasnt so I give it this score. Cant see age really helping it either

founder26, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of ROBSTARR
5/5  rDev +19.3%

ROBSTARR, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of hannydawg
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

hannydawg, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of stevec32
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

stevec32, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of vonnegut21
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep, dark black. Very little head that dissipates instantly.

S: Bourbon, caramel, toffee and vanilla. Lingering sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden.

T: Sweet, syrupy vanilla bourbon. Roasted malt. Dark chocolate and mild hops in the back end. Very tasty.

M: Flat and syrupy, but I don't mind that in this style. Big, bourbon barrel aged beers can survive being a bit flat.

O: Very tasty beer. This is allegedly 17% ABV, but you'd never know it from drinking. This is a sipper of a beer, but very, very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to opening my other bottle in a year or two.

EDIT: Opened a second bottle 8/10/13 and it was significantly worse than the first... not sure if there's huge bottle variation or this thing just fell off a cliff. Score indicates average of the two experiences in case I just got one bad bottle.

vonnegut21, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

I'm gonna put this out there right away: This stuff was very similar to the non-barreled version, so the following words are going to, in large part, resemble those from my review of the aforementioned non-barreled edition. Just sayin'. Anyway, this stuff pours a deep sunset garnet-amber topped by a half-finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises boozy molasses, candied orange peel, and plenty of bourbon. The taste brings in more of the same, with the bourbon continuing to power through. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, the barrel definitely helped things, but not enough to elevate this stuff to anything close to greatness.

TMoney2591, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -4.5%

enelson, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of homebrew311
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is slightly darker than the non ba version. Aroma is malt forward with heavy molasses and maple, vanilla, and oak all come through. A bit of heat on the nose. Taste is sugary with heavy vanilla and a bit of oak. The barrel does favors for this brew, enjoying it much more than the base. The flavor is smooth throughout the finish with no burn. Carbonation is nearly vacant with a hefty body. Overall, lots going on here with a nice mellow finish. The barrel tames this hefty brew.

homebrew311, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Florida9
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Florida9, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Gonzoillini, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375 ml waxed bottle into Kuhnhenn tulip.

A: Pours a very deep brown, not quite black. Has some lighter color around the edges. Very little carbonation and head, but what is there are quite large bubbles that dissipate very quickly, leaving a thin ring around the edge of the glass. There is very no lacing to speak of, but a couple swirls yields quite the color on the sides of the glass, very thick coating. Wow.

N: Like a glass of brandy, without a huge alcohol presence. Just crazy amounts of caramel and vanilla coming from the glass with a great hint of dried fruit, oak, and a bit of bourbon but not overwhelming. Again, the booze is very subdued.

T: Beautifully sweet milk chocolate with awesome notes of raisin, toffee, oak, and the bourbon plays a very limited supporting role. Very, very nice.

M: Wow. The lack of carbonation is perfect honestly. Once it hits your mouth, the carbonation is sufficient, and really helps with this wonderful mouthfeel. Creamy texture, with a really nice finish.

D and O: This is a great beer. They hit on a great Barleywine when a rival Michigan brewery had a very close to miss recently. It's a bigger than life Barleywine, but freaking fantastic. It's not overly boozy for being so high in ABV, and it drinks amazingly easy. A real treat. I plan on drinking a few more of these, and laying a few down for many years. World class...
This is the second bottle I have opened, and both have lacked carbonation, but actually the carbonation present is ample.

MarcatGSB, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of seeswo
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

seeswo, Dec 30, 2012
Bourbon Barrel Monster 29 from Dark Horse Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.