Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon Abominable Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

128 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 772
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 433
Gots: 224 | FT: 34
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 128 | Hads: 772
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

2011 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and some slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody and bourbon forward finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice aroma and a great flavor that make it easy to drink. (697 characters)

Photo of nmann08
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage

From a bottle, this pours a dark brown mahogany with a big brown head.

The nose is a bit messy, lots of alcohol and booze. The bourbon barrel really hits you in the face, vanilla, wet oak, caramel, molasses, sweet brown sugar.

The flavor is really where it's at for me. Great bourbon character, strong vanilla notes, caramel, dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate. This tastes considerably better than it smells. A bit hot, sticky finish. Overall, just drink it. It tastes great. (501 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out with a fudge brown color and a modest head; not too much lacing on this one

Smell: Caramel, Bourbon, char, dark fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with caramel and dark fruit tones, with depth of char and molasses, underneath; in the middle, the Bourbon makes an entrance bring oak and vanilla elements, as well; the finish is somewhat boozy, with sweetness lingering

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A pretty decent beer but just a tad too boozy and sweet to me; still, glad to have tried it (547 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wonderful bourbon barrel usage here, as good as any, lots of burnt oak flavor with the attendant vanilla and booze, all are soft and gentle though, and none so dominant as to displace the strong ale base on this, which is a caramel malt bomb, super thick, and downright delicious, although a bit out of season right now i think. reddish hues of caramel and molasses color, and the aromas are similarly sweet, toffee and vanilla dessert come to mind, and of course the bourbon, which adds richness, sweetness, and the feeling like im having something of extreme quality. the flavor is sweet from the outset, but doesnt really finish that way, more of a quicker boozy hit to wind it down. vanilla is strong, and the oak contributes quite a bit, but the base beer is exceptional. as much sticky sweet grain as you can pack in here, which gives a luxurious mouthfeel to this highly viscous brew. carbonation is low medium, but its all i really need in this style. something more than a barleywine here, but in that sort of vein stylistically. my first brew from fremont is an absolute pleasure, made even more enjoyable by sharing it with some of the gentlemen responsible for its existence. a real treat worthy of its high praise. (1,227 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by pokgye. Thanks, hag.

Opaque dark brown body with low carbonation. Almost stout-like in appearance. The nose is great, heavy on rich brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. Plenty of bourbon barrel. Leather notes pop out as it warms, along with a little black licorice. The palate brings a nice mix of sweet burnt sugar, bourbon, vanilla and leather. Body is full, almost syrupy. Mellow heat. Finishes on the dry side, quite a bit of tannic oak. Surprisingly great beer. (481 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Javi.

The pour is dark brown in color with a small khaki head. The aroma starts off with lots of roast and a bit of coffee. Bourbon is there, but not very strong. There's more oak than bourbon. Some toffee sweetness with a bit of dark chocolate. Again, not much bourbon flavor, but there is some oak and vanilla. A bit of roast and coffee with a fair amount of dark chocolate. Moderate sweetness of caramel and toffee. Actually sort of mellow. (469 characters)

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Pours a dark brown color, this beer almost looks like a stout. The smell is sweet with some dark fruit and caramel notes. There is a strong sweetness in the flavor, but the roasted malt notes balance it out a bit. I enjoyed the caramel and dark fruit along with the bourbon. The finish is sweet with a roast bitterness. (368 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this beast.

Pours a nice fluffy dark creamy head, at least in my glass, that fades fairly quickly, just about pitch black beer.

Nose brings loads of bourbon, vanilla oak, toasted oak, just bourbon barrel city. Nice dark roasty like chocolate malts, dark cocoa and lots of vanilla, caramel, grainy toasty malt, tons of varied malts, juicy malt, etc.

Taste is great too, big dark malts, creamy dark choc and cocoa, with light roasty dark malt note, cocoa and char. Then big barrel, vanilla toasty oak barrel with tons of bourbon, so much bourbon juice, little biscuit cookie and toffee. Nice buttery oak, chewy nougat and fluff, charred candy bar. Nice buttery roast and bitter earthy hop. Finish is sticky semi sweet, nice roast dark malt and cocoa, fluffy nougat, very dark choc, and little earthy malt.

Mouth is thick, creamy, light booze, decent carb.

Overall amazing, but not really a winter warmer, more barrel aged stout. (965 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Carleton - thanks dude! Served in a Russian River tulip. I think this was the most recent vintage?

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and spotty lace. Body is a near-black, dark cola brown color.

S - This smells like bourbon barrel-aged Dr. Pepper. Mix of oak, bourbon, cola, cherries, dark fruits, caramel, perhaps a hint of spice and sarsparilla. It's a bit hot and heavy on the oak, but otherwise it's quite nice.

T - The taste is quite similar, with a heavy cola and spice note in the finish. Bourbon overwhelms, but with notes of chocolate, black cherry, caramel, and vanilla. Oak isn't quite as heavy here, which is appreciated.

M - A tad thin, with a flat soda kind of vibe going on. Medium-bodied, a bit watery, lower carbonation, but otherwise smooth and creamy.

D - Interesting stuff. It's definitely a 'winter' ale and somewhat hard to peg style-wise. A bit more heft and spritz would do this wonders, but it's still pretty enjoyable. I'd have this again, although I don't know if I'd go out of my way to trade for it in the future. (1,080 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small tan head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, cinnamon, toast, dark bread, pepper, clove, bourbon, vanilla, oak, toffee, raisin, brown sugar, and roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of malt, spice, and barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, cinnamon, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, toffee, molasses, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, cinnamon, dark bread, clove, vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee, brown sugar, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of malt, spice, and barrel flavors; with huge robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible barrel aged winter ale! All around incredible balance and complexity of dark malt, spice, and barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly amazing offering as expected. (1,383 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (223 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel DC for the bottle share. Vintage 2012. From notes.

A nice dark walnut brown body with a faint tan collar, some nice mahogany brown edges along the sides of the glass underneath.

Nose has milk chocolate, and a big candy malted whoppers feeling. Lost of milky powder sensations, Nestle Quik with a hint of mild caramel like sensations.

Palate continues the milky sweetness, and even some dense milk chocolate comes out. Faint mild roast but a good sense of playful carbonation. Carbonation hints at some Coca Cola like sweetness.

An interesting take and result for a barrel aged brew. Fun one to drink also, and very easy drinking also. (700 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Pours a dark ruby red color that appears almost black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lace left behind.  

Strong barrel presence in the nose which is dominated by bourbon and a strong oak presence.  Slight toothpick oaky character with a little bit of coconut, marshmallow and vanilla along with spicy and sweet bourbon notes.   As it warms, I'm picking up sweet and roasted malt as well as a bit of dark fruit.  Hints of chocolate cake, fig, dark cherry and other vinous berries. 

Fuller end of medium bodied with soft carbonation.  Really nice mouthfeel for the style.  Thick but not viscous with surprising crisp carbonation that really helps.  Again, the barrel presnce is really prominent with lots of bourbon flavor but it's not hot or overly boozy.  Sweet bourbon with some spicy rye along with dry, toasted oak, vanilla bean and some toasted coconut.  After the beer warms, I'm picking up more dark malt, spice and vinous fruit sweetness.  A little peppery spice and rye compliment the spirit flavors.  There's also some cherry and other dark berries along with some silky chooclate sweetness and subtle roast.  Still, this beer is a bit bourbon heavy but the lack of heat makes it pretty easy to drink. (1,339 characters)

Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stopped at Fremont a few years ago, and just missed chance to try this beer. Now thanks to Paul 510a I finally got to try it.
Just a lovely sipping beer. It's a great "Little Big Beer". It's a for real big, velvety wave of flavor and body...yet it's not overly complex...just a splendid BA beer that has a remarkable blend of delicious oak and bourbon blended with the chocolate/other malts and centennial/other hops. A lot of places try this...Fremont's is just so spot on. Just the way it"s supposed to be.
A: Poured a good 3/4" creamy head that had decent retention despite high abv. Very good lacing with a nicely maintained thin foamy ring around the surface of the beer, Very attractive.
S: Inviting! Vanilla is big, bourbon and dates are major partners, hints of cherries/cherry licorice.
T: Vanilla and bourbon very well balanced. Chocolate and Carafa malts fill out backbone. Even though Centennial and Willamette hops are reported more than Goldings...it still seems much more an English than NW barley wine. It's just so well rounded and subtle.
M: Mouth was so smooth and velvety. A bit of bright burn from alcohol...but not distracting. It was so creamy and rolled over the tongue. Decadent. This beer hugs ya.
O: Sitting on backyard deck, sun setting and chair reclining further and further back...this beer was a very nice sipper...Wonderful! Great job Fremont! (1,376 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5/21/2011

The rapture never occurred, so here I am opening up a barrel aged beverage. Huge thanks to bgramer for the super generous extra from a brewery I'd never heard of. Poured into a snifter. Bottling number 1 of the 2010 batch.

A: Ruddy dark brown and opaque with a big creamy off white head. Sort of ruddy and swampish. Not a particularly attractive color. Good retention and some scattered lacing.

S: Lots of vanilla and caramel with a moderately powerful wood profile. There's an unmistakable bourbon presence which seems to be of high quality. The oak is lightly spicy on the nose. Some earthy notes with a little chocolate as well, and alcohol is well hidden. All the different characteristics are well balanced and on the whole, the beer gives the impression of subtlety and nuance. Just a trace of smoke.

T: Very mellow, exhibiting exceptional balance. Notes of vanilla and caramel meld with bourbon, light chocolate, light roast, and a dash of chocolate. The balance is something to marvel at. Alcohol is restrained. Very nice. This is closer to a 4.25 in flavor. The marriage of caramel and bourbon is superb.

M: Creamy, silky, and sticky. Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A well balanced, highly drinkable, and thoroughly enjoyable bourbon barrel aged strong ale. I've been enjoying the hell out of this for the last two hours. Really killer stuff. (1,393 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice mahogany color with a dirty white head and good carbonation

S: Bourbon, lots of smooth rich cocoa and vanilla

T: Big blast of smooth milk chocolate upfront, then the bourbona nd vanilla lays infollowed by swet sticky caramel, toffee taste

M: Nice, coating, medium to big body, lots of flavor and nice booze feel, warming

D: Oh yeah. Easy to drink and a very good beer overall (396 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at HOTD for Fred Fest 2014.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with excellent head retention and considerable brownish, creamy lacing. The nose is every bit as impressive, as I pick up milk duds, chocolate, coffee, light bourbon, vanilla and a hint of underlying leather. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though there also seemed to be considerable underlying hops that countered and bouyed the moderate sweetness very well. Mouthfeel was full and fairly soft, with a long, slight dry and bitter finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, with no sense of heat or heaviness in the finish.

Not that I'm surprised, but this is yet another excellent beer from the folks at Fremont Brewing. Also, good as it tasted at Fred Fest 2014, I think this beer is built for the long haul, and will likely only improve with a few years of bottle (or barrel/keg) age. Impressive. (916 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head. Carbonation appears low.

S - Big barrel aromas dominate the nose, especially up front. Bourbon, vanilla and charred oak are all present. Some chocolate fudge and roast in the background accompany a big overall sweetness with some slightly noticeable alcohol.

T - Massive bourbon and oak flavours up front with some vanilla and char as the barrel aging really shines in this beer. Chocolate fudge and roast some through form the base beer along with a good hop bitterness. Warming alcohol is present throughout which nicely cuts through the sweetness.

M - Full bodies. thick and sludgy. Light carbonation.

O - This is close to being a flawless example of the style. Close, but not quite there. (783 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is also known as B-Bomb. The pretty mahogany of the base beer stays the same in this version, as does the the retention and lacing.

On the nose the bourbon is certainly noticeable, but not overpowering. The bourbon comes across a little bolder on the tongue and slightly detracts from the source beer. The body remains about the same. Drinkability will, of course, depend on your tolerance for bourbon. I like bourbon and it complements this beer nicely, but does overpower the tastebuds slightly.

This beer is worth seeking out, it's certainly worth the road trip from Portland to Seattle. If you're west of the Cascades, you should try this. (656 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black with red highlights at the edges. Thin fine light brown head dissipates into a ring, light lacing. Aroma is bourbon with slight hints of vanilla, wood and dark malt. Flavor is amazing, dark and caramel malt and dark fruit and strong bourbon. Oak and malt in the finish, with a hint of hops. Nice heavy, viscous body. The bourbon is so distinct this tastes like a boilermaker made with a stout and bourbon. Really tastes good. I'm very impressed. (517 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short tan head dissipates fairly quickly, collar left on a dark brown beer. Body is a dark brown...no shit?

Mega bourbony aroma. Not detecting a whole lot after that.

Barrel aging up front and center from the beginning. Sweet booze. Some roastiness. Omnom. 11%? Give this too me in bunches.

Medium mouthfeel, smooooth. Lower carbonation.

Sterling example on a barrel aged bourbon forward beer. Can tell why they call this the catch all "strong ale" as opposed to stout or barleywine. (487 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz waxed bomber into my Fremont globe. This is the 2014 edition.

Appearance: opaque black with a thin layer of creamy tan foam with a nice lace. Not bad at all, if I do say.

Smell: strong malt aroma with lots of caramel character. Sweet and vanilla-ey with plenty of bourbon to fill the voids. Very good indeed.

Taste: whoo, sweet and caramelly with plenty of boozy bourbon to fill it out. Vanilla and oak character are present, as you might expect. This is a very good beer, although it's run-of-the-mill as far as bourbon strong ales go (if that's even a thing?).

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a moderate carbonation. The thickness of the body goes a long way, though.

Overall: I like this beer a lot; it is very good for the "bourbon-barrel strong" category. I would love a dash more character -- which gets delivered in the cinnamon/coffee edition. (886 characters)

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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.