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Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's PorterAtwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter

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BA SCORE
77
okay

142 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 17.56%
Wants: 4
Gots: 21 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DrDoitchbig on 09-28-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
1.15/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the worst barrel aged beer I have ever had. It smells and tastes like tar and dirt. Burnt rubber throughout the beer. Sharpie marker flavor. Ashes and soot. There is little porter flavor in this beer. Do not buy it just because it is a barrel aged beer.

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
1.75/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of eorwar
2/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of fcdepalm
2/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of montesown
2.02/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not sure what they do with their beer - but this was terrible. No taste of the bourbon at all, in fact I am not really sure what I was tasting. Kind of like a bunch of chemicals added together.

Photo of DrDoitchbig
2.1/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Atwater Block we meet again. $1.59 for a single of a bourbon barrel aged beer? It's worth a shot.

Appearance: We're off to a good start. An aggressive pour yielded an impressive 1 1/2 fingers of creamy mocha colored head. The beer itself was jet black with minimal garnet hued edges when held to the light.

Smell: And the downward spiral begins. The aroma is nearly non-existent. There is a faint whiff of dark chocolate coupled with some roasted malts and perhaps a bit of booze hiding in there but nothing that specifically points to bourbon.

Taste: Sweeter than the smell would suggest but the taste still consists of mostly dark chocolate and roasted malts. If this stuff was barrel aged it was only done for an extremely short period of time. I do pick up some vanilla towards the finish which could be a byproduct of aging but that's about it. It's not horrible but it does misrepresent itself.

Mouthfeel: I wouldn't call it watery but it is too thin for the style. Carbonation is at an acceptable level but that hardly saves the experience.

Overall: Does Atwater have no quality control? Did anyone taste this beer before it made it to the bottling line? Calling this bourbon barrel aged is a joke. I didn't expect much at the cheap price point but I still managed to be underwhelmed.

Photo of StoutHunter
2.28/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

I picked up a bottle of Atwater's Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter last week for $4.29 at The Lager Mill. I reviewed this beer a few years ago when it had a different label that didn't really say anything about it being barrel aged, at the time I gave it a 1.86, so lets see what I think of it now. 2014 Vintage Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks ok, but i don't see how it goes with the name and I don't think it's too eye catching. It poured a dark brown color that was a little close to being black and it didn't let any light come through with a finger and half of creamy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy lacing behind. This a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a light roasted malt aroma being the first to show along with a little bit of chocolate and some coffee showing up in the background. Up next comes a watery aroma with a slight fruity aroma that goes right into the barrel which is really light and only imparts a light oaky aroma. This beer didn't have a great aroma, it was very light for the style and the barrels hardly showed up,

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and just as light, it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they only impart a light roasted malt and chocolate flavor with no coffee showing up this time. Up next comes a light fruity yeast aroma that leads right into the barrel s which show up more than they did in the aroma and they impart some somewhat lighter oak, bourbon and vanilla like flavors. On the finish there's a slightly higher amount of light bitterness with a light roasted malt and fairly like bourbon barrel like aftertaste. This wasn't a great tasting beer, the barrel showed up a little more than they did in the aroma, but the porter base was just as light and bland.

M- Smooth, fairly clean, crisp, a little prickly, sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't bad, but i wish it was less carbonated and a little less sticky.


Overall I wasn't a fan of this beer and I didn't think it was a good example of a Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter, the barrel was pretty light, but that wasn't the deal breaker, the deal breaker was how light and bland the porter base was, the barrel didn't have a nice base to be showcased. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was smooth, fairly clean, crisp, a little prickly, sticky, not too filing and the taste didn't do a good job at holding my attention, I got bored half way through this beer so one would be my limit. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance, it was a pretty nice looking beer and it was the highlight of this beer. What I like the least about this beer was the how light the porter base was, it really didn't bring much to the table and the barrels only showed up a little more than the malt base. I wouldn't buy this beer again, I should have just stuck with my original review, I don't thinks this beer changed much. I wouldn't recommend it since it's just not a good example of the style. All in all I still don't like this beer, for some reason I thought Atwater might have done a better job with this beer since last time I tried it, but that didn't happen and it's just as bad as I remember. It's one of my least favorite Atwater beers and it's my least favorite of the style. Better luck next time guys, I think you need to go back to the drawing board.

Photo of divzqt
2.31/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is honestly just awful. It smells like some artificial bourbon flavor was added. The taste is even worse. I'm not even sure how to describe it. It finishes like you just put a penny in your mouth. Very strong bitter chemical flavor. I feel like Atwater puts flavoring extract into bad beer and throws it on the shelf. Pass on this one.

Photo of SFNC
2.38/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Most likely my last beer from Atwater. I dont know why, or if it's just me, but all their beers taste like chemicals. This looks good in the glass, dark blackish brown with slight ruby highlights. A minimal head that leads to moderate lacing. Smell is light, not bad, some roasted barley, a whiff of wood and a slight chocolate scent. Then you taste it. Ugh. Cola like on the fromt end, followed by the oak, followed by Lysol. The aftertast is harsh, bitter and not of the natural world. The mouthfeel is thin for a Baltic Porter, low carbonation. I feel my liver retract with each sip. Sorry, this one sucks.

Photo of ThickNStout
2.39/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

12oz bottle from waston (thanks!). Bottled 11/2013. Served in a goblet.

Pours dark, near-black brown with an out of control four finger biege head. The bubbles slowly reced to a respectable layer of froth that leaves some decent sheets of lace.

Smells of sweet cocoa extract, cherry skins and a vague vanilla. Ok.

Strange flavors for a bourbon barreled porter. Semi sour cherry, bitter woodsy char, cocoa powder and cheap bourbon. Having never tried the base beer I'm not sure which is worse- the beer or the barrel taint. This is just a weird mess.

Fairly thin body with a little too much carbonation. Acrid imitation vanilla, cocoa and old dark fruit linger in the rather unpleasant finish.

Just strange all the way around. Not sure why they decided to barrel age such a thin, weak brew and why they chose whatever seemingly suboptimal barrels that this atrocity had apparently been wallowing in. I'm going to need to agree to disagree with the folks of Atwater. This is the fourth or fifth dark beer I've had from them and I just don't care for their take on things. For my tastes I say pass on this and perhaps on the brewery in general.

Photo of MasterSki
2.49/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased by Jason, although I think I picked this out at the store. Served in a tulip.

A - A thin tan foam settles to a collar and some wispy patches. Very dark brown, with a glint of red-brown transparency at the bottom of the glass. A few stray splotches of lace.

S - Intense bourbon and fusel alcohol, as well as some licorice. 6.8?! Really?!? Some oak as well. Base beer has been obliterated.

T - Dark chocolate, some mild vanilla, and significantly better hidden booze. Less barrel presence, and surprisingly mild compared to the aroma. Actually kind of dull.

M - Body is medium-light and too thin for a barrel-aged porter. Lower carbonation, and little tannic character - guessing this wasn't aged in barrels very long.

D - The excessive booze in the aroma was the highlight of this beer when it came to interesting features - unfortunately it was a negative. A pretty boring beer in most other regards.

Photo of Goldndomer
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of Dshep1340
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of tsauce2
2.56/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter

A: SRM is dark brown. Nearly opaque. Head is tan, 1 in, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Light roasted malt. Light notes of the sharp smell associated with porters. Vague bourbon and oak.

T: Light malt and chocolate flavors. A touch of bourbon. Slightly bitter. Aftertaste is lightly malted and a touch of bourbon.

M: Medium body. Something causes an adverse feel of bitterness and a lightly burnt/ash feel.

O: Swing and a miss. The flavors were not good, I hardly got any bourbon, no "classic" porter taste, and this beer was way overpriced. ($3.99) This is the first, and probably the last, beer that I have from Atwater Block. The appearance was nice, but the rest of the beer did not follow suit.

Photo of aaronblain22
2.6/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of miffsudd
2.64/5  rDev -21.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Tony412 for this one!

A: Pours a dark brown with a thin mocha colored head on top. Very little retention, settling to a thin cap. Thin lacing forms around the sides.

S: Some roasted malt, a little caramel, and if I make myself believe, there is a hint of bourbon and vanilla, but very faint.

T: Rather boring..tastes like a very generic porter. No bourbon influence at all. Some roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate.

M: Light to medium bodied for style. Medium carbonation.

O: Not very good. Would never have guessed this had a bourbon influence. Even compared to regular porters this beer is boring.

Photo of ShanePB
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of AngusOg
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Bad, avoid.

Photo of zenithberwyn
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Tracker83
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of ZEB89
2.87/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, I feel I must point out that I only purchased this beer because it was $6.99 for a 4 pack. That said, my hopes were not high despite liking some beers from Atwater in the past.

The beer pours a dark black hue which is probably the most striking aspect of the brew. Malt is the most striking part of the aroma which hints at the problems to come. The flavor itself is more malt than anything. One has to really use his/her imagination to detect any hint of bourbon barrel aging in the initial taste. There are some hints that there is something more to this porter in the aftertaste. However, it is not enough to save this beer from disappointing. The little taste of oakiness is too subtle. Perhaps the most average aspect of the beer is the mouthfeel, smooth as it should be.

When a brewery tries to make an elite/limited edition beer, it sets the bar high. The fact is, this beer is below others in the field.

Photo of Zaphog
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JNForsyth
2.98/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter from Atwater Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.