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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon Abominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

707 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 707
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 427
Gots: 219 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: olympuszymurgus on 01-15-2010

Lovingly referred to by Fremonters as the B-BOMB, this bourbon barrel-aged edition of our winter ale has a warming spicy aroma and rich carmelly notes of bourbon, wood and vanilla added to dark roasty chocolatey malt flavors and subtle hopping.

Down & Dirty: 2-Row, Crystal-120, Munich, Roast Barley, Carafa-2 & Chocolate malts with Columbus, Willamette & US Goldings hops.

Aged in 15 year-old American oak whiskey barrels. Blend of 24 and 12 month-old bourbon aged Abominable Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 707 | Reviews: 128
Reviews by ehammond1:
Photo of ehammond1
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, hoparoundnw2337!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Very dark in color; nearly black. No light penetrates through this one, that's for sure. If I was poured this blind, I'd definitely say it was a stout, and not a winter ale...though, stouts largely are my winter ales...so...whatever, this is a dark and pretty beer. Very little head, though a ring of dark khaki foam does remain around the edges of the beer. Leaves the glass nearly clean on the way down.

This doesn't have a particularly expressive aroma, unfortunately. I'm surprised at the lack of aroma because the beer really is delicious. There's a faint bit of chocolate and very mild bourbon, but I really have to search to find much of anything. It's been sitting with me and warming for nearly a half hour now, hoping to revisit the aroma as I drink down the bottle and continue this review.

The flavor, as opposed to the aroma, is something quite spectacular. Layers of chocolate and bourbon integrate incredibly well. This is a very drinkable bourbon barrel-aged beer. Some dark fruits and a bit of Christmas spice emerges as the beer warms. Balanced, warming, rich, and incredibly enjoyable.

Medium to near full in body, especially for the style. Some alcohol heat, but it's welcome in a brew like this.

Fantastic. This is special stuff. Disappointing (lack of) aroma, though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SuperbikeShaun
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my top 3 bourbon barrel aged beers of all time.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Dark and opaque mohagany. Mostly brown with the reddish hue showing up around the edges. Slight and brief sandy colored head.

Strong woodsy smell, like fresh cut oak, even a little cedar. Vanilla and coffee. Tobacco.

This is a 2013 vintage and still came strong with the big burn of booze. Oak, vanilla, butterscotch, coffee, leather.

Full and smooth mouthfeel with a boozy finish. Slightly dry on the back end.

A fantastic beer. Listed as an old ale but tastes like a top notch barreled barleywine.

Photo of tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to whomever brought this one to the tasting! Pours a dark brown, might as well call this one black, topped off with a light-tan colored head that doesn't stick around for too long. The nose is full of bourbon and oak with an underlying, woody-vanilla sweetness. Some lighter tones of cocoa, toasted caramel, and sticky molasses. Labeled as a "strong ale" but this could easily pass as an English barleywine.

Creamy and silky bourbon is the first thing to hit the palate, and it comes off as more of a sweet bourbon flavor than a harsh one. Light plums and dark cherries lead the forefront of the fruits, playing atop the hefty malt backbone, complete with molasses, caramel, and some other sweet and syrupy flavors, maybe even a bit of burnt brown sugar. I start to pick up some dark and bittersweet cocoa flavors as this one goes on, too. Woody and oaky with a nice helping of wet bark in the aftertaste, right alongside the warm bourbon flavor. Silky and creamy on the palate, heavy bodied and lightly carbonated.

Devilishly smooth and easily drinkable, complete with the traditional flavors you'd expect from a BBA barleywine, though it's labeled as a "strong ale". Creamy bourbon and oak, along with a unique bittersweet cocoa flavor that comes into play.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A huge thanks to Jeff for this rarity. 22oz. waxed and capped bomber into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a luxurious, 1 finger coffee colored head with moderate retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is spotty and thick with good stick. A nice looking brew.

Nose is chocolate, fudge, raisin, plum and sweet soy sauce covered with a molasses booziness. Deep, rich and very aromatic.

Opens dark fruit. Raisins, plum and prunes with layers of chocolate, fudge, molasses and sweet soy sauce. Rich, thick and decadent. Brownie and cocoa in the middle with a topping of molasses and bourbon heat. More dark fruit, leather and tobacco and wood at the finish with a sweet, peaty aftertaste. Phenomenal!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Thick and viscous in the mouth and goes down warm and hot. Finishes messy with a lingering, silky aftertaste. Awesome. Drinks huge, just like I like from the style.

This is as close to Bourbon County as I've had in a while. Thick, rich and decadent but not as boozy and sweet... which is a good thing. This beer is the real deal! Certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of OldGriz
4.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BBomb is the Bomb! Totally changed my mind about winter ales. I had it fresh from the tap, but I'm going to wait to open my bottle to see how it's changed. Cheers!

Photo of LouZ
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bottle; pours black with at least a finger of tan head that dissipates within a few minutes. Wonderful aroma of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a fig or date smell that is reminiscent of a barleywine. Taste is delicious; you get a nice amount of bourbon but not overpowering. Other tastes of vanilla, caramel, subtle chocolate, and again that fruity/fig-like essence. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth, nicely carbonated. Overall, this is a special treat that does not seem as big as it feels after imbibing 11oz of this toasty goodness.

Photo of therackman
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The finest beer I've ever tasted. Thank you Fremont.

Photo of woemad
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz wax-dipped bottle purchased at the Total Wine on Spokane’s north side for $16.99.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a muddy dark brown color, with ruby highlights and a creamy, dark tan head that left spidery lace on the sides of the glass.

Big, boozy aroma, with notes of cocoa and vanilla.

Big, boozy flavor, with quite a bit of alcohol heat. There are also tastes of vanilla, cocoa, chocolate and tobacco. This tastes like an imperial stout that is inclined toward the sweeter aspects of the style.

Sticky, coating mouthfeel.

If I hadn’t just recently had Spice Wars, I’d call this excellent. It’s still very good, but it doesn’t have the complexity or the smoothness of that beer. I’d be interested in getting another bottle or two and laying them down for a year or two and see what it’s like when it’s mellowed a bit.

Photo of M_chav
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a really well done beer. Initial thought as it hits my tongue is 'uncle jacobs' like. Which happens to be one of my favorite beers so that means I like it, I like it a lot. Very well balanced, not too much heat, lots of deep flavor and bourbon characteristics, creamy vanilla and sweet chocolate. The earthy, wood flavors hint in at the end - this is really good.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served alongside Cinnamon & Coffee Bourbon Abominable. Near black body with a small beige collar. Rich aroma of bourbon and malts. Big time oak presence with lovely notes of both chocolate and vanilla. Absolutely delicious.

Photo of MtnSoup
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Version. Drinking really smooth despite the heat and recent vintage. I'd buy this again and again (if I could find it). Heat from the bourbon and abv is warming but not so overwhelming that you miss the notes of chocolate and some vanilla. Slightly sweet too (with dark brown sugar notes). Really delicious.

Photo of ALC82
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thoroughly enjoyed this Fremont release.... wow!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.91/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Nearly pitch black

SMELL: Boozy, vanilla, wood, ripe cherries, rose water, vague spiciness, caramel, charcoal, mild coffee, molasses, burnt raisins

TASTE: Fresh barrel juice, pulling wood, vanilla, caramel, perfumey alcohol, warming, smooth, burnt sugar, more booze, ripe fruit, peppery, fresh, boozy semisweet finish

In a sea of bourbon barrel-aged beers that continues to trend, this one is above the middle of the pack. Smacks of that bourbon barrel it was aged in. Balances just enough, while still stirring the palate with interest. Damn tasty.

Photo of Svejk
4.95/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Served in a snifter and a fairly aggressive pour reveals a quarter inch off-white head. The smell is big vanilla, bourbon and malty sweetness, and the taste reveals much of the same. The mouthfeel isn't quite as creamy as I would have expected, but overall this is a fantastic beer.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a deep red color with an off-white head. The aroma has a ton of bourbon and wood notes, as well as some oak, maple and caramel. The beer smells amazing and has all the notes you want in a bourbon barrel aged beer.

The flavor is just as good as the aroma. I get a lot of chocolate and some light roasted malt notes, as well as some nice bourbon, maple and vanilla. There is also a nice oak undertone in the flavor.

Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to koufax21 for bringing this out to the post Christmas poker game of 2012. Broke out right around the middle of the night, in the midst of some awesome walezbro.

Looks a sturdy deep rich brown and black. Half inch head, dark tan on it, decent retention for a bourbon beer. I like how they push the nickname Bbomb, its far from a bourbon bomb, but every geographical entity needs its rare bourbon beer to push with a nickname. Aroma was straightforward, caramel, bourbon, butterscotch.

Taste reveals many of the same notes as the aroma, but a strong vanilla presence comes out. Chocolate has a small presence, not huge. Not absent. Oak or wood presence was even more reluctant to rear its head. Frankly comes off like it was really soaked or even bourbon added. There is a difference between a bourbon bomb and just boozy heat, and while this one wasn't terrible in that department, it also isn't the best bourbon heavy barrel beer that hides alcohol.

This beer has a moderate amount of booziness, but the sweetness and mild chocolate aspect with substantial vanilla does work out to be a decent beer. I don't think my rating is gonna be above the average, but, when judged by a non local, I think this will be an overall positive experience, just don't have your expectations so high that you think you're getting a world class experience, you're just getting a good PacNW experience in terms of barrel experiments, definitely one of their best yet.

Photo of jeonseh
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with small off white head.

S - Tons of bourbon and vanilla with a slight malty presence to it

T - Bourbon and vanilla dominate up front. Lots of oak, brown sugar and caramel. Light chocolate aspect to it near the back end. Really a flavorful strong ale.

M - Thick and velvety smooth body. Light oak and alcohol in the finish.

O - Great flavorful beer with lots of vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. The amount of barrel in this one makes you understand why they call it B-Bomb.

Photo of timc100
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance of a porter, minimal beige head with big bubbles and spotty lacing.

Rich barrel aroma, they extracted so many great flavors from the barrels. Tons of coconut, sweet oak, winter spice, mild chocolate and vanilla.

Follows suit on the palate - very smooth and well balanced. Nice booze heat and not too sweet.

Fantastic BA beer. Not the most complex one out there, but very good drinking with a great array of flavors.

Aged in 15yr old bourbon barrels - am interested to know which exactly.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Fremont. Review from notes. 2012 vintage.

A: BBomb was a very dark brown with a small tan head on top that lasts for a few minutes, reducing to a thin ring on top. Little bits of lacing form down the glass.

S: Plenty of bourbon upfront with vanilla and lots of dark fruit aromas. There is some raisin, plum, and a little cherry, along with some smooth chocolate.

T: Again, lots of bourbon and vanilla with even more chocolate than the aroma. More dark fruit, some raisin and figs. Brown sugar and a bit of caramel as well.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Extremely smooth.

O: A great beer, the barrel shines through nicely and did an amazing job of transforming ABomb into BBomb.

Photo of dirtylou
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, red wax - classy label

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, dark cola body, light beige film - minimal retention.

smell: rich waves of bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet dark fruits

taste: I've had this a number of times at festivals and at the brewery - a remarkable barrel aged beer from Fremont. The base beer, Abominable Winter Warmer, isn't one of my favorite releases from FBC, but the base is a distant memory in this beer. Very much barrel-forward, but delicate and refined - bourbon, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, chewy caramel malt, dark fruits. It's been a pleasure to share these bottles with my beer-connections back east. Bravo Fremont.

mouthfeel: great - rich, spicy, warming, sensual

overall: fantastic

Photo of tclipse
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A little too hot for my liking, otherwise it was very good. Probably not something I would seek out again unless it were sitting on a shelf, but I am glad to have tried it.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark, almost black. A few bubbles. Doesn't look too lively.

Smell - Incredible barrel. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and some rich chocolate.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Lots of bourbon and vanilla. Very syrupy, but it works. Dark malts are secondary and pop up just in time to keep it interesting.

Mouthfeel - Very heavy and sweet, but it doesn't seem to matter in this case. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Barrel is the highlight and the beer is just interesting enough to prop up the barrel flavors.

Photo of zonker17
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent nose and a bit boozy.

Photo of bum732
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Hugh bourbon, maple syrup and maltiness. Very intense, fairly strong barrel character.

L: Thick, very dark brown, boarding on black. Light tan head that dissipates.

T: Intense maltiness bordering on roastiness and peanut butter? Low bitterness with a prominent bourbon barrel character mixing with the rich maltiness with just a touch of roast. Finishes with some barrel and toasted marshmallow. Fairly dry finish. Lots of dark fruits as it warms.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Phenomenal. Intense maltiness and barrel flavors without being too sweet. Just amazing overall.

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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.