Bourbon Sour Porter - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Sour PorterBourbon Sour Porter

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395 Ratings
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Ratings: 395
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 47
Gots: 72 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pkao on 12-04-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by Maurizio:
Photo of Maurizio
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great nose with faint but distinct fruit (cherry?). Lots of depth and complexity of taste. Very tart yet not too tart. Porter character is important but nothing too dark or sweet about it. Incredible beer! One of the best favorite dark sours that I've tasted.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Nose: bourbon, roast coffee, chocolate, a touch wine, prune,
Pours deep dark brown under a 1/2" tan tinted foam cap. Lacy
Palate: very tart, coffee, cocoa, large pitted fruit
Medium to medium full body, above average carbonation, creamy.

Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Disclaimer - I think that the 'dark sour' style tangent is a dreadful mess

on-tap, noble fir

This, like the other farm2barrel offerings, comes with quite the hefty price tag. Fortunately I found it on tap and got a nice reduction in the $/oz ratio. After the farmers reserve 3 and 4, this was just such a disappointment. It was sour, sure, but the combination of roasty and funky just doesn't make sense to me. The barrel notes were subtle to me, outweighed by char and roast, and a tannin sour bite.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a small khaki head. Nice surface wisps. Thin collar.

Smell - Vanilla. Has a cream soda aroma to it. Some acidity. Some chocolate malt. A little butterscotch.

Taste - Has a little bit of cream soda to it. Bourbon barrel and a bucket of vanilla. But then it sours. Dark fruit sourness. Coffee roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Well carbonated. Moderate sourness.

Overall - There's a dichotomy to this. The cream soda flavors are nice. The sourness is nice, but a little out of place.

Photo of mc4z
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with minimal head and lacing. The smell is sour oak with roasty undertones. The taste starts pretty sour but that fades leaving light chocolate and coffee along with some vanilla and bourbon. I like that the flavors separate because there's a lot going on here. This one is lightly carbonated and finishes smoothly with the bourbon flavors. Overall I like this, but I prefer some of Almanac's fruit-based sours.

Photo of Treyliff
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip

A- pours an inky jet-black color with a khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving a few patches of lace behind

S- bold and fresh oaky aromas up front smells like fresh mulch, which brings out notes of dried pork and hickory smoke. Some funky sour notes bring some vinous aromas with notes of blackberry and brie. Sourdough-like malt compliments the underlying chocolate sweetness with a hint of coffee. The bourbon is noticeable, but more-so on the barrel character, quite complex overall

T- blackberry sweetness up front mixes with a slightly chocolaty base porter, carbernet-like notes with some earthy flavors lead to a puckering sourness kicks in mid-palate and continues all the way into the finish, leaving a linger of oak & hickory wood

M- medium body with low carbonation lead to a slightly foamy mouthfeel, ending smooth with a dry, tart and puckering finish

O- an interesting creation for sure, the taste didn't quite live up to the aroma, but was still nice. The bourbon wasn't really noticeable in taste, but definitely picked it up in the aroma

Photo of nataku00
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark brown cola color with a thin half a finger of tan head. Head dissipates quickly to some loose foam.

Nose is roasted malt, with a bit of a lactic tartness. There is some light toasted coconut and vanilla in there as well. The aromas are all pretty mild though.

Taste leads with roasted and toasted malt before a lactic tartness settles in. Mild barrel character, toasted coconut, graham cracker and vanilla hits on the finish.

Light to medium body with some sharp carbonation that pricks at the tongue. Lingering bourbon and lactic tartness makes for an strange beer.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer that Raul is sure that the primadonna that is "the most interesting man in the world" wouldn't love.

Wild like. Bourbon... Porter.... No. Not really. The acidity and tartness take over this thang like a girlfriend that has to play Bon Apart on long car rides. Not that that's a bad thing (well, if she's hot) and as far as Bourbon Sour goes, she's a pretty hot chick. Now, the main main may not put down his jacket in a rain puddle for sour porter, but he'd definitely by it a present on valentines day.

Very clean. Tart, bright acidity... A bit strange/different, but good enough.


Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into a tulip to a deep black with a finger of dense and rocky light tan head that fades to a small pool and a large collar leaving a bit of lacing
S: smells of sourness, funk, chocolate and coffee
T: taste is nice and sour to start things off with a bit of chocolate and coffee, slight barrel presence as well in the middle. swallow is more sourness mixed with chocolate, coffee and a bit of bourbon and a lingering roasty finish
M: medium in the mouth with slightly prickly carbonation and a drying finish
O: Another fantastic beer from Almanac. I still can't get over how good their sour beers are.

Photo of rlee1390
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan head that lingers around and tries to leave some lacing.

S-Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, some beef jerky like notes (charred oak?), oak, not much bourbon or sour though.

T-The porter notes come through strong, coffee and chocolate, good deal of roasted malt as well. But little in the way of bourbon notes. very very very mild tart. Tartness comes out more as it warms.

M-Medium in body, slightly creamy.

O-Out of the three words in the title, only the porter really comes through. Some more sour and or bourbon would have been great.

Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to my cousin Sonny for sharing. Tampa visit review dump; full review to IPad at time.

A- 375ml bottle to two tekus with a black body and a thick frothy tan head. Decent retention of the cap. Eventually a large creamy ring exists leaving a few large bands of lacing and random spots.

S- Each whiff of this makes my cheeks sore. An insane amount of sour lactic rises from the glass. Beyond that is some soured roastiness, stale wet oak, dark fruits and toasted cereal grains with a sprinkle of cocoa. Dark grains strengthen with warmth.

T- Mostly sour and fruity for me with a touch of barrel and grains here and there. Lemon juice lactic sourness leads to raisins, chocolate, roast barley, old wet wood and vinegar. The barrel lends the least with a hint of vanilla.

MF- Body is fairly substantial but the dried out nature with the lactic and acetic sourness makes it feel slick and lighter. Carbonation comes in high leading to a foamy consistency. Puckering sourness in the end.

I am really cautious with sour Dark ales but beneath the sourness I find cocoa and roast barley. The barrel doesn't add much to me just some faint hints. Big sours with waves of rich dark malts and fruits coming and going.

Photo of jakewatt135
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sour bourbon deliciously roast malt flavor.

Photo of GoneARye
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

S: light sour smell, promising good things to come. The bourbon smells extremely faint, almost not present.
M:Thinner than I would expect. Nice tingle from the sour, plays off of the stronger carbonation.
Appearance: deep dark brown, half an inch of head, with very active bubbles. Light lacing as I drink.
T: Very nice sour pucker. Almost sour patch kids, but in a very good way. Porter flavors start to come through as the sour fades. I pick up toasty toasty flavors, and maybe some tropical notes coconut, unripe papaya. Bourbon is there but very faint.
O: A nice take on a sour, especially compared to some other sour porters/stouts that I've tried. Would definitely drink again.

Photo of SorachiBoy
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice complex fruity and sour aroma with intense bourbon. Pours dark black color of full bodied porter. Aroma reflects very much the taste. Bright fruity and sour flavor followed by full body taste of a nice bourbon barreled porter. Overall this one is truly an amaizing beer. Almanac did a great job!

Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Don't remember where I got this bottle.

Poured into an etched-logo Almanac pokal (OG). Very dark brown in color, with a finger or so of tan head that settled to a ringlet, leaving some wisps of lacing on the glass. Aroma of soured grains, cocoa, dark fruits, cobwebs. In the taste, lots of dark fruit, with an assertive sourness, chewy chocolate, roasty dark malts, maybe a little raisin. Mouthfeel was about as smooth as you can imagine for a sour porter, body was medium. Good overall, but I guess something I'd just have to be in the mood for to try again.

Photo of PPOmaha
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Clean sour aroma with a touch of metallic. When the glass is swirled, sour up front then bourbon, vanilla, and roast in the back. This is one of the best smelling beers I've had in a while. No DMS, no diacetyl.

Appearance: Black opaque. Off-white head with lingers for a minute or two.

Taste: Sour with roast, interesting. Starts with light tartness, then some malt in the mid and finishes dry with roast and sour on the back of the tongue. Can't pick out hops but there is some earthyness. No DMS, no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Light body and medium carbonation.

Overall: interesting interplay of sour and roast. The roast is more upfront than other sour dark beers like Jolly pumpkin, which I am not sure is the best balance of flavors. Glad to have tried this, solid work almanac.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a silky, ink black with a solid 1 finger khaki head. Doable lacing and retention. Formidable, no doubt.

S- The acidic, sour notes can be detected from about a foot from the glass. They then give way to some barrel character, damp wood, and finally some coffee beans. Slight chocolate in the finish. Not sure if the aroma has me entranced or confused, but either way, I'm eager to dive in.

T- follows nose quite well. The tart, sour aspects lead the way with sour cherries, vinegar, and dark fruits. The oak barrel follows (but where is the bourbon?), then the standard porter qualities come soon after. The sourness lingers until the lip smacking dry finish. On the sour-to-porter scale, I would say this one is 60/40 sour.

M- While the taste may lean sour, the feel comes at you more like a traditional porter. Moderately viscous, creamy at times, and subtle carbonation.

O- I'm still not 100% sold on this style, but this effort is pretty damn good. only other sour stout/porter I have had is JP Madrugada, and I seem to prefer Almanac's. Would prefer more bourbon character though.

Pair with oven roasted fish (cod/tilapia), most shellfish, and Rueben sandwich

Photo of PerHops
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Looks like a porter. Very dark brown almost black with a nice tan head.

S- Smells tart but also chocolate, char, bourbon, vanilla but all very subtle and interplaying quite nicely.

T- The taste starts sweet quickly moving to sour with a hint of smoke, coffee, dark fruits and chocolate.

M- Beautiful mouthfeel. It’s not too tannic or syrupy.

O- I think the lower abv really helps this one shine. I’m usually not a huge dark sour fan, but this one is actually spectacular. There is a light character to the dark flavor profile that I think works beautifully.

Photo of handcrafty
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

If being transparent is a thing, this beer is not that. Dark as night in no direct light, in some a slight brown - with a thin opaque lacing on top with lots of bubbles that diminish quickly. It smells like sour raspberry- woody bourbon. Slight astringency comes through and pierces the back sinuses like a fat glass of Pinot Noir.

This beer tastes nothing like what I expected. Huge jammy, red wine-esque qualities with major sourness. This beer might've been a porter in a past life, but now these notes are well hidden in the background giving way to fresh berries and bourbon. Great carbonation and plays well with my tongue.

This beer was a lot better than I thought it was going to be, and it's drinkability is impressive. Glad I was able to try!

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.24.13

A - Pours a dark brown with an active light brown head with good retention.

S - Sour cherry and some sweet bourbon.

T - Again, light bourbon and tart cherries and raisins.

D - Good carbonation with a mediumb body.

O - Interesting and drinkable, but nothing special here.

Photo of Maxwell
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a dark, caramelized brown, with a nice, rocky head of medium-sized, dark khaki bubbles that stick around and leave a fat, sheet-like lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer’s body is opaque, with just a hint of caramel light sneaking through at the edges. The beer appears clear and clean of particles as it poured into the glass. All in all, the beer looks like a nice porter, but it smells quite a bit different… On the nose, the beer smells fantastically funky. Cherry fruit leather blends with fruity vinegar, smooth vanilla, and even touches of milk chocolate. Chocolate cherry pie comes to mind when the smell is considered as a whole. Touches of acidic lemon, sweat, and prickly horse blanket can be sensed as the beer warms, along with soft oak. The bourbon on the nose blends beautifully with the beer, providing no alcoholic heat but a bunch of rich vanilla and caramel scents. I like the nose of this beer a lot! On the tongue, the beer tastes a little harsher than the smell. The beer begins with tart acidity, moving more into funky and fruity acidity. The beer develops more of a fruity sweetness soon after the sip which carries into the middle. Rich tannins strike into the mouth in the middle of the sip, putting up an interesting bitter structure on the palate and gliding into the finish where there is a touch of roasted malt bitterness and sugar. In flavor, the beer begins almost like a Flanders red, with tart vinegar and cherry fruit leather moving into an interesting middle of slight caramel malt and rich bourbon oak flavors that fold into bright citrus and bitter oak on the finish, and finally close with just the herbal and oaky bitters remaining on the back of the palate. The flavors are rich and complex and unfold on the tongue as the beer warms. The bourbon character is perfectly light and adds complexity; the oak, while a bit too bitter, adds yet another layer to the beer. In the mouth, the beer feels medium to full in body, with a smooth and silky mouthfeel that still provides a nice grip on the tongue. The mouth is left shockingly clean with just the acidity in the cheeks bringing out some saliva. Overall, this beer is delicious and complex. I like the nose a bit more than the beer; I think they need to ease off of the oak tannin on this beer, as it takes away from some of the other flavors in the beer. This is a delicious beer though, and makes me anxious to try more from Almanac. They seem to be doing things right over there on the West Coast. Cheers to my brother for the bottle!

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out black as night with a healthy 2.5 finger brown head with OK retention and some nice lacing.

Smell is tart cherries, maybe a little brett or lacto (can't really tell), and those really take the whole nose as far as I can see.

Taste is definitely some brett and maybe lacto, Definitely some tart cherry in there and not much else that I can pick out.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin as I would expect. Maybe a little thinner than I would have thought.

Overall a really nice tart beer with a hint of cherry but given it is aged in bourbon barrels I am a little perplexed as I don't get bourbon in the nose or taste. Perhaps it was aged for a really short time. I don't take it against the beer but it seems odd. Overall a really nice beer but I just don't get ANY bourbon. That being said it still is a great sour. Just weird that it is said to be bourbon barrel aged as it shows absolutely no charactoristics of it.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Chris. Batch 1, Winter 2013.

A very dark brown with a dense, creamy, brown head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose is what I want a sour porter to be. Roasty, chocolatey, a strong lactic sourness, coffee grounds, a moderate woody vanilla note and an undercurrent of burnt sugar, this is impressively layered and structured. Top notes of coconut are also present.

The palate opens a lot more straightforward with a big, lactic sourness, juicy and lipsmackingly puckering, with a dusted cocoa note. Behind this is burnt sugar, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and a bourbon warmth. The bourbon note is mellow and mildly fruity. Medium in body and moderately carbonated, this beer finishes long and sour with plenty of lactic acid and some porter sweetness. Really good stuff.

Photo of draheim
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375mL (Winter 2013) into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolate brown w/ a big mocha head.

Aroma is a blend of bitter chocolate and sour. The combination is vaguely reminiscent of chocolate-covered cherries.

Taste is tart with lactic acidity. The roasty, dark malt takes a back seat to the sourness; Bourbon is nowhere to be found. It's not bad by any means, but it lacks the balance and depth I was hoping for in something called a Bourbon sour porter. Just a touch of dry oak rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and slick, finishes semi-dry.

Overall a unique beer but unfortunately the sour aspect dominates everything else.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a slightly thin looking black color with a half finger tan head.

S- Not picking up a ton here. Light raisin, chocolate, blackberry and a bit of char. Very mild aroma, though.

T- Tart black cherry right away with a lingering, tannic pull to it. Dark chocolate, red cherry skin, underripe blackberry, light charred wood on the finish. Mouthfeel is slick and never gets too light. Very nicely done.

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Bourbon Sour Porter from Almanac Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.