Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon Abominable Winter Ale

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581 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 581
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 383
Gots: 166 | FT: 24
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: 581 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by zeledonia:
Photo of zeledonia
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

B-Bomb. I lived in Seattle for 5 years in the 2000s, just blocks from the famed Bottleworks bottle shop, but was never all that into beer. Returning just recently, I had to try some of the area's best beers. Thanks to gueuzehead for hooking me up with this one. Enjoyed 29 June 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very very deep amber brown, nearly opaque due to the dark color, but clear and vibrant at the edges. One finger of yellowish mocha-tan head, an odd color for an old ale / barleywine, but nice. Good lacing and retention. The thing that really stands out is the depth, in color, intensity... I'm looking forward to this.

Smell is heavy on the barrel, but all the positive aspects. Delicious vanilla, oak, a light touch of whiskey that blends so well with the malt-heavy base. Dark fruits - plums and other stone fruits mixed with dates. Wow.

Taste is incredibly smooth for a big barrel-aged beer. The integration of the base with the bourbon barrel is nearly perfect. I've very rarely had a fresh -bal beer that's this smooth. Again, heavy on the vanilla and oak, but with great support from the hefty malt bill.

Mouthfeel is good. Heavy, syrupy, and sticky, with not quite enough carbonation to keep things moving. Definitely weighs down the tongue. Finishes with a light heat, but oh so smooth.

To describe this beer in two words: smooth and deep. Excellent integration of the base beer and the barrel flavors, bringing out the best of both. Sweet, rich, and fabulously flavorful. Up there with my favorite barrel-aged English barleywines (or whatever you want to call them).

More User Reviews:
Photo of Vonerichs
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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 -2.9%
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 brownbeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.91/5  rDev -11.5%
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 gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Svejk
4.95/5  rDev +12%
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 Jason
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  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 BigE90
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ehammond1
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
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, 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.

Photo of sourdog
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CyPotter
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.