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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.

142 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 838
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 18.72%
Wants: 451
Gots: 232 | FT: 31
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 142 | Hads: 838
Photo of MtnSoup
4.6/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2014 dated bomber into a snifter. Pours like a stout, with a deep black body and a finger of khaki head. Nose of brown sugar, vanilla, oak and booze. Taste was brown sugar, vanilla, and a chocolate covered cherry finish. It was a little light in the mouth, but still satifying. Overall this was an outstanding beer. In the same class as parabola and bcbs.

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Photo of terabin
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What boots this rating down for me a little bit is that the mouthfeel is quite cloying and syrupy. The flavor is good overall: love the bourbon vanilla but it is a bit sweet for my tastes. A 4 oz pour would have been perfect. It's the syrupy, muddled finish that keeps the beer from an upper echelon rating for me. There are many breweries across the country that can create a barrel aged beer that finishes well all the way through the taste experience. This one doesn't finish well with that caramel-ly syrupy finish.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Pours cola brown with a fuzzy dark brown head that left spotty lace down the glass.
S: Sweet bourbon and dark malts dominate the nose with hints of raisin, leather, candied dates, caramel, dark chocolate, and tons of sweetness. I get a pretty heavy amount of vanilla as well.
T: Follows the nose with all the same flavors including vanilla, leather, bourbon, raisin, dates, and caramel. I'm getting a lot of chocolate and fudge in the finish too, with sweet bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.
M: Medium-thick body, smooth mouthfeel with a slight amount of warming booze. The carbonation is low but it has some texture to it.
O: A really enjoyable beer. I never had the original version but I would definitely seek out the other versions, and this one, again.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The aroma has sweet bourbon, toffee, cherry, sticky caramel.

The flavor follows with the bourbon up front with a thick woodiness throughout. Dark fruit and a touch of roasted malt offer the beer more complexities. The finish offers subtle hops.

A wonderfully complex beer with a balance of bourbon, caramel sweetness, hops, and a touch of stout qualities.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 bomber in a Teku

L: Pours a jet black with a 1-finger coffee colored head
S: Chocolate, sweet fruit, bourbon alcohol
T: Leather, sweet raisins, sweetness bordering on cloying
M: Viscous, noticeable heat from the alcohol,
O: A phenomenal beer - right up there with 4D but easier to get

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Photo of LouZ
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of timc100
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Dark creamy color. Not a lot on the nose, but some bourbon and raisin. Taste is a hearty barrel that is quite smooth with a small hearty bite at the end. Very good beer.

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Photo of woemad
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.51/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros and Threelions.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown when a good quarter inch mocha head that fades to leave a nice mocha halo.

S - Aromas of bourbon, light alcohol, nice light chocolate, good light winter warmer notes. super pleasant.

T - Taste is loads of bourbon and vanilla. Nice light chocolate, good winter spices. Not overly sweet, tasty, caramel, darker malts, nice smooth and mellow with nice rich bourbon. Really dense.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, smooth, creamy.

O - Overall this beer was really good, great bourbon notes, vanilla light spice, chocolate. Awesome.

Serving type: Bottle

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Photo of nmann08
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

2012 bottle, poured into a tulip.

I've been sitting on this bottle for more than a year, and oh my, is it worth the wait.

It pours very dark, with a very slight reddish tone. Almost no head and no lacing to speak of.

Aroma is bourbon and vanilla. Taste is more complex than that, with a bite to the beer. I don't find it sweet. It's like a mild barleywine. The alcohol is noticeable, but not the main reason for sipping ... the flavor has such power that you want to take it quite slowly, to savor all the goodness. And then of course there is the bourbon flavor, which always is a terrific complement to a beer, in my opinion.

One of my favorite barrel-aged beers, and a great example of Fremont's exceptional brewing skill.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.94/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of the 2012 vintage thanks to a trading buddy. Dark borwn color, short head. Smells pretty nice, bourbon, booze, wood. Flavor is pretty good too, heavily bourbon influenced, boozy, oak, vanilla, not bad at all. If I had to guess blindfolded I would have said this was a bourbon barrel aged barleywine.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Much darker than I'd expected. I'd anticipated a much redder brew, more like a barleywine, whereas this is dark brown, closer to a stout, albeit with ruby rather than black accents.

S - Vanilla and bourbon are present with glorious fullness. Sweet wood and caramel or toffee are also there in full force. Milk chocolate. This really does smell gorgeous.

T - Rich, creamy, vanilla-bourbon, alongside a not-too-hot-mellow-booziness. Tastes lovely, although it would benefit from an increase in cinnamon and nutmeg flavours to add depth and complexity.

M - Fairly syrupy which is to be expected in a relatively sweet beer such as this. It's certainly full-bodied enough to carry the beer, however.

O - Definitely one of Washington's finest beers. The bourbon character is beautifully expressed. I'd like a little more spice and perhaps a little more roasted malt flavour. This is nonetheless a wonderfully crafted brew, and, if it weren't for my preference for the flavour profile of stouts, (more chocolate, peat and coffee) this might score even higher. The abv. is entirely an afterthought. A must try, particularly if you like vanilla and bourbon.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of mabermud
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 2013 Abominable Bourbon Winter Ale was served to me, by myself, from a half growler I filled about half an hour ago. This ale appears pitch black with a smooth, tan, minimal head. There are ultra-fine bubbles that seem to melt from the sides as I move the ale around in my brandy snifter. As I give the drink some time to settle, the head has retreated back into a halo, with a spotty, uneven, smooth, fine cover of bubbles. The smell is of sweet vanilla, caramel, and a hint of alcohol, nothing else. The taste is rich, delicious, and decadent, like a fine desert. There is vanilla, light caramel, spice, molasses, and an obscure, taste of booze/alcohol/bourbon. The mouthfeel is faintly sizzling with sweet feedback. No bitter taste, no after taste, no complaints. Only recommendations.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Dark reddish brown coffee color, minimal head.

Smells good - sweet bourbon, spicy cigar tobacco, dark caramel, touch of dark fruit; good barrel presence; nice combination of freshness and depth; nice complexity.

Tastes like it smells - pretty delicious. Bourbon barrel is front and center; sweet, but well balanced by roasted nutty and tobacco notes, presumably partly from the malt and partly from the barrel. Really comes together. Fairly long finish, deep bourbon/tobacco.

Fairly full bodied, silky texture.

Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.