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: 774
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: 774
Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Label says 2011.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that doesn't retain long before reducing to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Pretty much no lacing as there's just a solid thin ring left behind on the glass.

S- Oaky, somewhat boozy aroma with little else coming through. Some caramel and molasses sweetness struggles to find its way past the wood and alcohol.

T- The taste is a different story. Wonderful chocolate flavors come through and play well off the bourbon notes creating a sweetness that's lovely. Vanilla, oak and caramel are all there as the slightly astringent aftertaste lets you know this baby's strong but there's barely any heat. I'm gonna have to be careful with this glass.

M- Creamy and slick with medium-low carbonation and a bold, hefty body.

O- This one kills it in the flavor category. Obviously, age has treated it well. Thank you SatlyMalty for dipping into your cellar to send me this dangerously tasty brew. (1,051 characters)

Photo of tut2528
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

lats night in Siesta Key... terrific vacation, finishing it off with this!

A: pours deep dark brown almost black with dark brown head formation that dissipates rather quickly.

S: as soon as the bottle was opened, i immediately got blasted with bourbon and chocolate. wow this is awesome. getting in closer, i pick up on an awesome sweet toffee, chocolate, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, caramel and an amazing vanilla creaminess that immediately gets the mouth salivating.

T: hot damn this is so fucking good! beautifully balanced beer between the chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. some alcohol heat is detectable, but its so inviting and the vanilla really blends nicely here.

M: full bodied, chewy, leaving a nice sugary film along with vanilla sweetness on the palate. some alcohol heat is felt along the upper gums and cheeks, but like the taste, its inviting.

O: damn this brew is so freaking good. and i will be always ISO for it. mouthfeel is everything that i want in a BBA brew. big thick, chewy, beautiful lingers sweetness that can cut out the alcohol heat. simply terrific. (1,089 characters)

Photo of spicelab
3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber shared with nicks6217. Reviewed from notes.

Choclolate brown with a minimal beige head that abates to a collar.

Liqourice, bark, nutmeg, port soaked raisins, redskins. Assertive barrel character and minimal sweetness.

Syrupy and full with surprisingly lively carbonation. Slightly biting booze with an odd tartness to finish.

Overall very nice. Restrained and untainted. (381 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with small off white head.

S - Tons of bourbon and vanilla with a slight malty presence to it

T - Bourbon and vanilla dominate up front. Lots of oak, brown sugar and caramel. Light chocolate aspect to it near the back end. Really a flavorful strong ale.

M - Thick and velvety smooth body. Light oak and alcohol in the finish.

O - Great flavorful beer with lots of vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. The amount of barrel in this one makes you understand why they call it B-Bomb. (504 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml red waxed 2012 bomber poured into tulip 13/5/13, cheers Rutager for yet another gem

A quite black right out of the bottle, deep cola edge with a thin film of dense mocha foam leaves a single ring of lace, looks thick

S chocolate syrup, vanilla, fudge, woody whiskey is hard to miss , faint spice, molasses, and some dark fruits I can't quite place but I can't place some raisins and faint booze but nowhere near 11%, smells strong and sexy

T even more barrel and the booze is stronger too, still loads of chocolate and vanilla but not quite as much going on in the mouth compared to the nose, I'm not sure how much bourbon I'm getting but the wood is quite noticeable

M thick and silky with low carbonation and just a little heat, slight tannins and slightly sticky on the lips with chocolate fudge and whiskey lingering on the finish

O I could've gone a little higher in a few departments so slightly higher here to compensate, looks OK but solid else where, quite rich and thick with the booze kept in check for the most part

easy to drink for a big beer and I'm wishing I had another couple bottles to age as I could see this improving with some time behind it. well worth seeking out but grab one now and one for later (1,238 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared with my beer buddy Pixieskid along with Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway while everyone was looking for him to go to his wedding ceremony. The best moments to be shared! Thanks Brandon!
A: Dark, opaque, almost no head at all. Some brown / mahogany glints come throughout the glass.
S: Nose on vanilla, coco, toasted and roasted malts, chocolate, dried fruits.
T: The palate shows much barrel flavors, with vanilla, courbon and alcohol. Also dried fruits, soaked fruits (grapes, figs and dates). Finishes on bitter chocolate.
M: The palate is smooth and oily.medium bodied but with a good carbonation, very easy to drink despite a detectable presence of alcohol.
O: Rich, complex, strong but easy to drink. Very pleasant. (723 characters)

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

22oz bottle, red wax, poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing this Ben!

A- Pours a super dark brown color, thin khaki head, recedes to a collar.

S- Lots of barrel character here, bourbon, which smells great, vanilla, and oak. There's also some chocolatey and caramel / brown sugar aromas from the base. Smells great.

T- More bourbon, dry oak, leather, the caramel and vanilla sweetness comes in towards the end. Nice amount of chocolate, molasses and subtle roasted malt.

M- Full-bodied, moderate to lowish carbonation, smooth, creamy feel.

O- A really tasty beer, the barrel flavors are sweet, rich, and just all-around delicious. I really enjoyed this one. (665 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared thanks to Bigsexy410, thanks Ben!

Pours a beautiful nearly jet black body with some nice lacing and a ring of tan head.

great smell. Tons of bourbon barrel in this beer, balanced nicely to the malt in the base beer. nice alcohol sweetness and complexity, its very warming and inviting for winter weather. brown sugar, oak, etc, all good stuff.

the taste is really nice, hits the right notes in terms of the leather, bourbon, oak vanilla, super big sweet dessert with lots of character. Feel is also well bodied and carbonated (not very carbonated, but I like that in strong ales), for the style.

Overall a very pleasant beer. (647 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brewpub draft, 2011 release

a: served in a small chalice, essentially black in color, sporting a lasting ring of tan carbonation

s: rich barrel sugars, bourbon vanilla, booze soaked wood, semisweet chocolate and rich roasts, toffee, pine hops, hugely complex, pretty great

m: carbonation low to moderate, smooth, with a slick, full body

t: loaded with bourbon barrel supplied vanilla over a body of black, smooth roasted malt carrying loads of dark and semisweet chocolate notes, sweet toffee and caramelized wood sugars, moderate pine hops, long lingering, delicious

o: a big fan of this one, almost running into stout territory, but more towards the balance of rich sugars and bourbon/vanilla with some chocolate accompaniment that roast-focused (752 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle.

Appearance. Pours a thick looking deep dark brown with a half finger of tan head.

Smell. Sweet and very woody bourbon, vanilla and maple, with some molasses and chocolate.

Taste. Dark chocolate, nice smooth and very woody bourbon, vanilla and a bit of molasses, Really nice.

Mouthfeel. Full body but not heavy, medium-low smooth carbonation.

Overall. A fantastic bourbon stout. Really diggin' this one and a perfect way to start a 4 day weekend! (464 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 bum732
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Hugh bourbon, maple syrup and maltiness. Very intense, fairly strong barrel character.

L: Thick, very dark brown, boarding on black. Light tan head that dissipates.

T: Intense maltiness bordering on roastiness and peanut butter? Low bitterness with a prominent bourbon barrel character mixing with the rich maltiness with just a touch of roast. Finishes with some barrel and toasted marshmallow. Fairly dry finish. Lots of dark fruits as it warms.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Phenomenal. Intense maltiness and barrel flavors without being too sweet. Just amazing overall. (591 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 tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (1,272 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, shared with friends.

Appearance: deep brown, mine as well be black. Dark tan head, finger, lacy.

Aroma: Bourbon, wood, alcohol, dark fruits, spice, leather, figs, vanilla, chocolate.

Taste: Toasted caramel, dates, bourbon, vanilla, oak tannins, molasses, earth, chocolate, toffee.

***Absolutely fabulous. Never felt daunting or Undrinkable, even for its size. Wonderful barrel characters and a phenomenal base. Easily in my top ten. (452 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 jmarsh123
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a finger of dark brown foam receding into a ring. Decent lacing.

Lots of barrel in the nose. Fudge, vanilla, bourbon, oak and some roasty malts.

Big bourbon flavors as well. A ton of bourbon, oak and vanilla combined with the spices make a dark chocolate fudge like flavor. A little subtle hopping and spiciness from the base complements the barrel. A little bit of warming booze on the backend cuts the sweetness.

Full bodied sticky chewy mouthfeel. Wonderful.

Fantastic beer. Thick and sludgy with a wonderful heavy barrel experience. This one is dripping in bourbon, oak and vanilla. Different style, but still leaps and bounds ahead of KDS as far as Fremont BA beers. I downed a whole bottle of this myself and it was good to the last drop. (765 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 ehammond1
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (1,373 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (1,463 characters)

Photo of mfavoino
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle with Treebs on 12/30/12.

A: Pours an almost black color with a light tan head that diminished quickly to a rim.

S: Spices, bourbon barrel, dark dried fruit, and some alcohol.

T: Caramel malt sweetness and bourbon forward from the start. Spices add more flavor along with slight vanilla. Smooth bourbon and booze as it finishes.

M: Not quite full-bodied with lowish carbonation. Pretty drinkable.

O: Another great one from Fremont in the barrel aged category. (488 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 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 sweemzander
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
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! (1,052 characters)

Photo of xabyss
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (1,100 characters)

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