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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

543 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 543
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 374
Gots: 155 | FT: 22
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 543 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joedevivre
5/5  rDev +13.1%

joedevivre, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of sweemzander
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Big thanks to Matt for sharing! Been wanting to try this one for awhile! 2012 vintage.

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color, but more like a very deep burnt sienna brown. Some good tan froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A rich body of caramel, raisin, cocoa, and dry bourbon oak characters. Not super complex, but quite harmoniously integrated together into a really nice aroma overall.

(T)- Again, quite rich. Superb barrel notes throughout with caramel, raisin, cocoa, and maybe even a hint at some honey. I tend to overuse the word 'harmonious,' when reviewing beers sometimes, but it just fits into how this beer is.

(M)- A mellow but perfect carbonation level for the style. A superb balance too of rich malts with just awesome bourbon barrel characters.

(O)- Just a fantastic beer. Awesome barrel integration into the overall profile of the base beer. An american strong ale is kind of a catch all style in my eyes, but its been awhile since one has really impressed me in awhile. This is just plain good!

sweemzander, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of xabyss
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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
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.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of tomholland
5/5  rDev +13.1%

tomholland, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of CoryR
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

CoryR, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of PackerBacker
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

PackerBacker, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My thanks to gueuzehead for this special brew. Poured from 22oz bomber into tulip glass. Pours a dark brown/almost-black appearance with a half inch off-white head that dissipates within the next minute. The nose picked up oaky vanilla, light undertones of licorice, figs, mild chocolate, and bourbon. The flavor packs a nice, smooth, but a wallop of bourbon heat and goodness along with some caramel, chocolate, chocolate malts. Medium to just pre-thick mouthfeel with a nice stickiness to it. Nice, smooth, and warming backfinish with some pleasant bourbon heat. I was sure glad this beer was classified as a winter warmer because this bit a piece of Hardywood GBS (and the bourbon version as well) from behind for the all-time winter beers I've had to date. A really nice job by Fremont Brewing.

CuriousMonk, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of ijaap
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

ijaap, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of steinz
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

steinz, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of Treebs
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Waxed 22 oz. bottle served FFF teku glass. 2012 vintage. Big thanks to mfavoino for sharing this guy.

A: Pours a dark blackish color with some semi-clear brown edges. A tan head forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin ring. Some splotches of lace are left behind.

S: Some light all spice and nutmeg. Dark fruits and very smooth bourbon. Sweet malts with some light barrel oak.

T: Toffee sweetness with some bourbon and light roasted malts. A little chocolate, some light all spice and a finish of caramel with more bourbon.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with some medium to low carb. Some residual sugar sweetness as well leaving a little sweetness that coats the teeth.

O: This was very delicious. The spices still came through while the barrel really shined. I'd love to lay one down and see what some age does to it.

Treebs, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of siege06nd
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 512 Anniversary snifter...

A. Rich, decadent appearance of tarry brown black with oily tobacco legs. A finger of tan colored head that is uniform and tight. This settles to a half finger. Lacing is good...coats the glass in clumpy gobs. A dark, slick, sticky treat of a beer.

S. If I didn't pour this into the glass myself, I'd swear this is Bourbon County Stout. Eerily similar nose to both BCBS and another top rated stout I tried recently: RareRDOS. Yet this is no stout, it's a strong ale. Whatever. It smells like a damn stout to me. Cocoa, vanilla, molasses, oak, caramel, ripe dark fruit, and maybe just a hint of spice. Wow.

T. Very bourbon forward with some drying tannins blended with coconut popping out first. The edges are softened with vanilla, caramel, and some dark chocolate. Truer to the Strong Ale style, this lacks the roastiness and coffee flavors commonly associated with a stout. Instead, it has pronounced barrel presence that is backed with a complex foundation of caramel, vanilla, and chocolate. Drinks similarly to the creamy nougat inside of a boxed chocolate. Very very very good.

M. Light carbonation and an oily, coating mouthfeel. The barrel presence overdoes it just a little bit...comes off a little one note, despite the excellent flavors that emerge from the background. Would be interesting to try the base beer, because the aging has very much dominated this brew. I feel like a stout treatment would perfect this and provide an excellent counterbalance to the barrel. Still good, just slightly light.

O. I've heard this described as a barleywine but I would say it's closer to a stout. In fact, it reminds me very much of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout, perhaps with a slightly less decadent base beer. If you haven't figured it out by now, the fact that I am comparing this to BCBS means it is an outstanding brew. The effort and care that went into creating this is apparent from the first sip. Haven't had Kentucky Dark Star, but I am seriously ISO after Abominable here. If it is anything like this, than Fremont may just have a barrel program on its hands that rivals Goose Island and Firestone Walker. Very well done.

siege06nd, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of raffy313
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

raffy313, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of e30todamax
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

e30todamax, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Birdlegs, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of harrymel
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012

Pours dark brown on black with a slight etching of light mocha foam. Smells fucking awesome, bourbon, vanilla, nougat, caramel, vitamins and minerals, some marshmallow cream and a little bit of burnt cream. Taste follows suite - vanilla, nougat, marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, oak, smooth malts with a touch of alcohol. Really decadent. Full bodied with limited carb and a fantastically long and mouth watering finish. I'm really, really impressed with this beer. Wow. Nice.

harrymel, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of BigE90
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

BigE90, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of bifrost17
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

bifrost17, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of BAS
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid bourbon barrel that doesn't disappoint.

Appearance - I prefer most beers cold, so I kept it in the refrigerator overnight and poured it at around 45F. Poured with plenty of vigor, the beer is thick, almost as thick as the Old Viscosity which is one of my regulars, dark and opaque, and produces a thin brown head that tends to stick around for a while. and say, "Hello."

Smell - Strong mix of bourbon and coffee stout. "How are you?"

Taste - Definitely bourbon forward, evoking memories of drinking a whiskey chaser after a strong stout. "Quite well."

Mouthfeel - A little oily, but not too much. Nice and smooth. "Mmmm..."

Overall - Simply enjoyable. "Thank you very much."

An excellent whiskey beer. Rather expensive. I got mine for $18USD for a 22oz bottle at a local grocery, which is by far the highest price for any bottled beer I've seen in a non-specialty store. But I have to say that it was worth every penny. Would buy again.

BAS, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of ZedMikey
5/5  rDev +13.1%

ZedMikey, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of portia99
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz red waxed bottle (2011 Release - 9.5% alcohol) courtesy of hoppymcgee - thanks Greg! Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a deep brown color with some reddish mahogany tint when held to the light...clarity is good although not much light makes it thru except around the edges of the glass. A small tan head barely manages to form and then recedes to a thin off-white collar.

S - Sweet caramel and buttery toffee up front, touch of vanilla, hint of roasted grains, a bit nutty too. Booze is evident much in a controlled way that ties everything together. Touch of licorice may be present too - I get this only some of the time.

T - More bourbon than I'm getting in the aroma...a bit sharper in the profile, but overall very smooth. Sweet burnt brown sugar and toffee. Think I'm gettting some licorice here too. Vanilla and wood from the barrel, dark roasty malt. Very well balanced with some hop bitterness.

M - Balance is key...body is only medium - maybe a touch light to be ideal. Carbonation is appropriately low...barely demonstrating life in the glass. Feel is a bit sticky. Bourbon is mildly warm with a tingle on the tongue that makes up for the lower carbonation's lack of feel.

O - Really nice BA beer. Strong ale is probably an accurate term...maybe a bit of an American Barleywine...balanced without the over the top hops that can sometimes be found in the style. Actually, the more I drink this...strong ale is appropriate. Nicely complex with very good blend of sugary flavors, almost ideal integration of bourbon barrel aging...super smooth - alcohol is noticeable but in control with just enough intensity and not overpowering the beeriness. This is quite nice.

portia99, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of Brandywine
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage. 11%

Appearance: Dark brown verging on black. Not much head to speak of but a nice layer of big beautiful brown bubbles. Big sticky alcohol legs. Tight lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, sweet malt, brown sugar, cherry, molasses, dark fruit like a fig or date or plum, licorice, some vanilla, oak.

Taste: Bourbon, dark chocolate, roasted notes, a little charred oak. Nicely sweet. Definitely some molasses and vanilla. This is aptly nicknamed the B bomb. The bourbon runs throughout the flavor but it doesn't cover the other flavors either. Booze soaked dark fruits come through too, mostly raisin. Dark and milk chocolate war with each other. This tastes like a stout and an old ale had a love child and swaddled it in bourbon. Some booze from the high ABV but it cuts through the sweet bourbon nicely.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy without being cloying. Not too much carbonation, which I like in a style like this.

Overall: This is an awesome winter sipper. Sweet bourbon rich beer that doesn't fit nicely into any category. Good complexity. There are better BA beers but there's nothing bad to say about this one. Could be a little more balanced with the alcohol but it's never unpleasant.

Brandywine, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of suspect
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a Dogfish Head snifter glass. Split with mrmarmot. Review from notes taken on July 20.

A: Deep dark crystal clear brown color. Not much light escapes. Thick two-finger mocha colored foamy head that fades slowly. Lacing is thick and consistent as the glass empties.

S: Strong whiskey notes, plenty of oak. Vanilla and chocolate intertwine with each other in the nose as well.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely. Excellent cocoa and fig flavors. Oak and whiskey and hop bitterness round out the flavors. This is a wonderfully complex fruity, sweet, malty beer and the bite of the whiskey and oak really make this one of the best I've had.

M: Big body, thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect.

O: This is a most excellent beer. One of the best BA beers I've had. Would definitely seek this out on a regular basis.

suspect, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of markrmoser
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

markrmoser, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of DaveAnderson
3.53/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with red wax

A: Under the wax, the bottle cap is rusty. Hope that isn't a bad sign. A vigorous pour into a Darkness tulip reveals a dark brown, slightly crimson-hued liquid, but yields almost no head whatsoever. Does not appear carbonated. After the bottle warmed to room temperature, I could coax a small, foamy head from a strong pour, but it dissipated in about 20 seconds.

S: Smells a little like cookies before baking. There's a strong vanilla component, and some brown sugar. Bourbon is apparent, and there is plenty of oak. As it warms, I get some tobacco and black cherry. A second pour brings out something fruitier, like figs, but that disappears as soon as the head does. Do I detect chocolate?

T: Much like the smell. Sweet at first, but with a lingering sourness and bitterness left in the back of the mouth. The oak gets a little too much play for my tastes.

M: On the tongue, I can detect some carbonation, but I would call it little more than light effervescence. Not as flat as it looks, but in the end, it feels a little thin.

O: I actually didn't like this beer at first. I might have started at too cold a temperature, but even after letting it warm, I didn't think it improved significantly. On the other hand, didn't think it was worthy of being poured down the drain, so I opened an IPA, and found that alternating between this beer and an IPA made both beers better.

DaveAnderson, Nov 19, 2012
Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.