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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark StarBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

228 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 228
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 256
Gots: 68 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 05-12-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of draheim


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (2012) into a snifter. Pours a deep brown/black w/ a fizzy mocha head that settles pretty quickly to a thin film. A narrow band of garnet light shines through around the perimeter of the glass.

Aroma is rich bourbon, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and dark fruit as it warms.

Taste is dark roasted malt, strong bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak, vanilla, and booze.

Mouthfeel is slick and coating, just a tad thin. Carbonation is just right. Finishes dry.

Overall a rich, solid imperial stout. Falls a bit short of the complexity of beers like Parabola and KBS, but a very enjoyable sipper of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 06:31:27 | More by draheim
Photo of SpdKilz


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to sukwonee for this beer. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a complete black into my darkness tulip. About a half finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, cocoa and milk chocolate. Quite intoxicating actually.

Taste – Bourbon up front, for sure. Heavy vanilla follows (rich, real vanilla flavor). Roasty oak and malts, slight bittersweet cocoa mixed with a silky milk chocolate. Wow.

Mouthfeel – I have read that people think this is a bit thin. I can see this, but only faintly so. It is, in my opinion, perfect for this beer. I personally don’t like overly thick mouthfeels and this beer has a nice creamy texture, albeit a hint thin. I think it goes well with it.

Overall – No alcohol in the taste, though you do get a nice warming as it goes down. It is an unseasonably cool night here in the Midwest for August (just broke into the upper 60’s) and a perfect night for this on the porch. This is a well done beer and worth the hype it is getting. I am enjoying this thoroughly. I think I enjoy the rich vanilla flavors most of all, and feel that this is what BCBVS could have been (this is less sweet, a bit more roasted and oaky, hence my liking it over BCBVS). Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 03:02:00 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of brystmar


4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Josh!

Pretty pour, dark body, plenty of tan head, leaves sticky bubbles on my glass. Smell starts off kinda boring but develops into a potent, complex aroma. Caramel and toffee atop the roasty bourbon, barely oxidized at all, really nice.

Conversely, the taste begins with a promising flavor profile that fades into mediocrity as it warns. Initially chock full of bittersweet dark chocolate, though this seems to die out as the bourbon takes its place. Can still taste the oatmeal; doesn't seem to be doing its job though. Body is somewhat chewy and smooth but surprisingly lacks the body expected from an oatmeal stout.

A good stout, not great.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 16:39:39 | More by brystmar
Photo of hopburster


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

08-01-2012 06:24:07 | More by hopburster
Photo of TheEarl


4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had my first non-festival pour of KDS, from a waxed 22 ounce bottle of the inaugural 2012 release, in a snifter, on 7/18/2012.

Appearance: Blackish brown with an oily looking tan head and sparse lacing.

Smell: The aroma is bourbon forward with oak/vanilla and a slight grainy/bready note at the end.

Taste: KDS tastes just like it smells. Initially, there is a sweet and remarkably smooth bourbon character that opens into oak, vanilla, and bread flavors, and finishes with dark chocolate. For a big stout, I get very little or no coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, viscous, and light on bubbles. Despite the 9.5% ABV, there is no heat whatsoever. For an oatmeal stout, KDS is, perhaps, a bit light bodied.

Overall: KDS is outstanding and, in my view, ranks alongside KBS and Parabola. I’m surprised at how much I love this beer as I’m not a huge fan of the standard Dark Star--a beer I find overly grainy and too thin. It will be very interesting to see how this beer evolves in the cellar and how the releases change year-to-year.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 20:49:53 | More by TheEarl
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle opened on 7.27.12.

A - Pours a dark opaque brown with a small thin light brown head that moves quickly to the edges.

S - Bourbon, molasses, chocolate, slight wood and vanilla.

T - Similar to the nose. Bourbon and molasses hits you first, then a sweet maple, vanilla and wood finish. Delicious.

D - A thinner body with good carbonation.

O - Very nice. I have had this on tap several times. While the bottle isn't quite as good, it is still expceptional. Nice molasses, booze, vanilla and wood. Thin, but delicous.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 05:18:16 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Lordkrystic


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

07-24-2012 03:16:35 | More by Lordkrystic
Photo of mfavoino


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 7/20/12 and served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Black with an espresso head that settles to just a rim of foam around the glass.

Smell: Immediately smell the bourbon and get some wood character as well. Vanilla and roasted malt character present.

Taste: Big bourbon notes, followed by smooth vanilla and milk chocolate flavors. Finishes with a great roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Still a bit of alcohol taste, even though the abv is lowish. Carbonation is low-medium. There seems to be a lot of people complaining about thinness, but considering this is an Oatmeal Stout, I don't think it's too off target.

Overall: Definitely worth the hype. Loving the bourbon flavor, chocolate, and roasted malts.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 03:25:16 | More by mfavoino
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for sending this beer my way! Thanks Hollis!

Appearance: black bodied beer with one finger of mocha head. Spotty lace.

Smell: Very bourbon forward nose. Lots of oak and vanilla notes. Mild roasted grain notes.

Taste: This beer follows the nose to a tee. Huge bourbon and barrel notes; lots of vanilla and oak. Slightly chocolate aftertaste with even more bourbon!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is really smooth. The bourbon has a strong flavor in the beer, but has no burn to it. I could appreciate a little more thickness to this beer, but it has got a fairly silky and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Fremont is one hell of a brewery. This is my fourth beer from this brewery and I continue to look forward to getting each beer! The is a really nice BA Imperial Stout! Impressive smoothness and drinkablity within this traditionally big and heavy beer style.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 13:31:12 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Smurf2055


4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sip of this at Back in Black at Brouwer's, and again with a mini tasting with a Portland BA.

Pours black with a finger of tan head, not much retention, and some good carbonation. Pretty stout.

Smell has all the strong bourbon flavors a big barrel beer lover would look for. It's a bit of a sweeter smell, not boozy, but a lot of bourbon vanilla and a tiny hint of red fruit.

Taste is fantastic, you can still get a lot of the base beer (which I enjoyed). I think that's why I prefer this to Bourbon Abominable, which was an absolute Bourbon bomb, so much so that I could only pick out hints of the base beer. This one, while more subdued, catches the best parts of the bourbon flavor without it overpowering a fine oatmeal stout. Creamy, grainy, caramel, vanilla, and roasty chocolate.

The mouthfeel is also incredible. It doesn't bombard the palate, it doesn't have a lot of heat (an imperial oatmeal stout), so it's a lot easier drinking than you might expect.

Overall, the best bourbon barrel beer I've had from Washington, and something to be very proud of.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 16:07:49 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of BillHilly


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

07-16-2012 01:15:22 | More by BillHilly
Photo of ENIGma


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

07-12-2012 22:14:03 | More by ENIGma
Photo of bonghitta


5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious, even better than the B-Bomb. Seriously great stuff. Very Bourbony, very strong. Caramelly on the front end, awesome aftertaste. Freemont really outdid themselves with this release, everyone knows them for the B-Bombs, but it looks like the KDark is gonna be a new favoritie from them.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 18:43:25 | More by bonghitta
Photo of Mages64


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle pour at cellar temperature into a cigar city snifter.

A: Brown/Black with hints of translucent brown towards the edge of the glass. rapidly disappearing head with minimal lacing. Head is fluffy light brown.

S: Huge bourbon and coffee nose. Vanilla, char, chocolate, toffee, and roasted malts. I could smell it all day

T: Huge bourbon presence which is nice to discover. Balanced and packed with flavor. I don't get the booziness described by other reviewers. It has some heat sure but not off-putting by any stretch of the imagination. Vapors on the back pallet maybe but not the huge, spicey, attacking booze i get from other imp stouts (Mikkeller!).

M: I agree with the thinness. I feel like it is more because of the carbonation level than the beer itself. It is hard to balance a barrel aged beer. I've had KDS on tap before with NEVER a hint of thinness so I must assume it is due to force carbing while bottling and not a defect in fermentation.

O: Divine. I'd still rather drink parabola because that is the be all and end all of bourbon stouts but KDS is absolutely a fantastic beer. This has the potential to be the first hyped beer from WA state that actually lives up to it!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 06:04:21 | More by Mages64
Photo of bespin15


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

07-12-2012 05:12:20 | More by bespin15
Photo of NWer


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

07-12-2012 03:46:58 | More by NWer
Photo of mv945


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

07-11-2012 20:17:21 | More by mv945
Photo of sukwonee


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black - looks a bit thin - body with half a finger mocha tan.

S: Bourbon, coffee, roasted malt, brown sugar,chocolate, very roasty and burnt smell. I love it.

T: Alright so... it doesn't taste as big as it smells. While I really like the taste towards the end and the lingering taste, it doesn't start as bold as I would like. Also for 9.5% beer (I know it's high ABV, but I have had better masked 14%-17% beer), I taste booze a bit much. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I strongly disagree with other reviewers below on this subject. Overall, very good tasting beer.

M: So, I think this is the area this beer lacks the most... It's a tad bit thin for the style. It's not as watery as CW BB Stout, but still it's not as thick as I want in an imperial stout. Also, not very syrupy either. There is no alcohol burn (although you can taste the alcohol). I want to give this a 3.5 or even a 3, but I don't think this beer overall is a 4.25 beer... I think the overall rating should be around 4.3 ish - so I gave it a 4 in mouthfeel to make this happen).

O: Very solid. I have had better bourbon barrel aged beer but this is very good. I prefered BA Abominable from Fremont much better, but until Winter time, KDS will do.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 04:58:26 | More by sukwonee
Photo of jmccraney


3/5  rDev -29.7%

07-08-2012 15:54:14 | More by jmccraney
Photo of jpbebeau


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

07-02-2012 21:46:07 | More by jpbebeau
Photo of OakedCanuck


4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited release, 2012, 1800 bottle release I believe

A - inky black, thin lacing but it lingers, light mocha half finger head

S - predominant bourbon but not burning, toasted coconut, bakers chocolate and a healthy dose of vanilla

T - the bourbon is perfectly balanced and with no heat. Char, vanilla, a hint of dark cherries, oats, and the amazing grip of bourbon.

M - velvet smooth, zero heat, slightly drying

O - one of the most balance bourbon BA stouts I've ever had. No burn allows the underlying flavours shine through. Incredible, incredible brew. Yet another homerun from the best brewery in WA state.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 04:59:16 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of waltersrj


4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, released today at FBC.
Abv = 9.5% not the 8% listed.

Second time tasting, first in bottle.

Pour: Ink black with a soapy ring of espresso tan head and thick espresso head at edge of glass.

Nose: Hits the spot big time! Vanilla, fudge, toasted coconut, caramel, malt balls, and smooth bourbon.

Taste: My god this beer is truly outstanding. It was my favorite at SBW, Back in Black stout Fest and now I remember why. Rich, oats, slight coffee, vanilla, fudge, coconut, slight oak, and smooth bourbon. WTH? No alcohol present here...at all. Just that smooth...

Mouthfeel: Perfectly creamy. This is less thick than most imperial stouts but it is perfect here. A truly impressive mouthfeel.

Overall: Like I always say, "Fremont owns WA." Their lineup constantly impresses me. 1800 bottles made. Seriously get some...it is impressive. I'm not a "homer" by any means but Fremont has never messed up a beer...never. This and BA Abominable are definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 04:53:35 | More by waltersrj
Photo of ithinkimasofa


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

06-23-2012 04:13:39 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of Toriless

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance: who cares! It was dark with a nice creamy head. what more do you want so long as it not grey or something weird.

smell: vanilla, chocolate, oak

taste: near prefect, this is exactly the taste that fills my brain when I hear the word STOUT. It was the best beer of the 20 I shared tastings with at the festival. I agree with the other reviewer about the vanilla, chocolate, oak, bourbon undertones but they were also nicely balanced and not cloying as vanilla or chocolate can be if over done.

mouthfeel: creamy and smoothe

I got to figure out where I can get this stuff on a regular basis. Yummy!

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2012 09:27:04 | More by Toriless
Photo of bifrost17


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

06-05-2012 00:59:02 | More by bifrost17
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star from Fremont Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.