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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon Abominable Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

492 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 492
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 7.45%
Wants: 364
Gots: 150 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: olympuszymurgus on 01-15-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 492 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by xabyss:
Photo of xabyss
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle poured into Chimay chalice. Very excited to try this one.

A: Pours pitch black with barely a hint of dark tan head that's there and gone before I can write this sentence. No light at all getting through this guy.

S: I think I am developing an addiction to the smell of bourbon barrels. The aroma of this concoction is heavenly: strong vanilla and oak, spices, cocoa, caramel malt and bourbon. I agree with previous reviewers who say this smells highly stout-like. I could just sniff this forever.

T: Follows the nose. Highly complex and well balanced with hardly a trace of the monster ABV. Getting more spices than the nose along with a heaping brown sugar, especially present in the finish. Pretty sweet vanilla throughout the sip, balanced by some bourbon heat and a trace of hop bitterness. Really one of the better barrel-aged brews I've had.

M: Dangerously smooth. Medium-full bodied with subtle carbonation. Goes down too easy.

O: An outstanding barrel-aged beer. I recently acquired two bottles, and was planning on cellaring the second. We'll see how long I can hold out.

xabyss, Jan 10, 2013
More User Reviews:
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.

tectactoe, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

brownbeer, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Schlais, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

SkiBum22, Feb 03, 2013
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.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

gregmoscetti, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

NWer, Jan 19, 2013
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.

Svejk, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Jason, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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.

Mora2000, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of BigE90
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

BigE90, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Prospero, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

jaminjohnson, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

standardcherry, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

MicroBeerMan1980, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

mjtiernan, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of ehammond1
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

ehammond1, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Cynic-ale, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of CyPotter
5/5  rDev +12.9%

CyPotter, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Seattle_Suds, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of HoppySeb
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

HoppySeb, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

williamjbauer, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

stereosforgeeks, Jan 17, 2014
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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.