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Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Barrel NoirBarrel Noir

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

399 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 399
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 74
Gots: 70 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.

(Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 02-14-2013)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 399 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by flayedandskinned:
Photo of flayedandskinned
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 1/30/13
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4)
Pours a midnight black with a nice, 2 fingers tall khaki head that has some nice retention. The head eventually falls to a nice quarter finger cap, leaving no retention behind.

Aroma: (3.75)
Rich aromas of sweet dark fruits waft up to your nose as soon as you pour the beer; mostly plum, cherry and fig. Building right alongside these sweet tones are impressions of coconut and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. As the beer warms, the barrel character begins to fade and more of the sweet fruit undertones, paired with a creamy chocolate presence become apparent. Underneath this sweetness, there is a very subtle astringent coffee tone.

Taste: (3)
Similar to the nose, your palate is struck immediately by waves of sweet fruit; mostly plums, cherries and figs. Underneath these fruits is a light streak of bitter coffee and chocolate. The beer finishes watery with lingering notes of chocolate, sweet fruit and coffee. There are some nice notes of coconut and vanilla from the barrel. There is a sizable alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: (3)
Thin, a tad watery with moderate carbonation.

Overall: (3.25)
I had hopes for this beer; A Dark Belgian Strong aged in Bourbon barrels and then blended with an Imperial Stout? This should be awesome! I was expecting a very robust, creamy ale and what this turned out to be is a thin beer with some decent barrel character. After trying Almanac's Farmhouse Reserve No. 3, and I had bigger hopes for this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one. Pours very dense and nearly black with the smallest, deep-brown skin at the time, a pretty long cry from being called a "head", even after a straight-down pour. No real lacing or legging of any sort, just a fairly dark and still, troubling looking beer. A little more carbonation certainly wouldn't hurt.

Somewhat musky and deep roasted cocoa beans are the first things to jump out and hit my senses. Quickly following is a brigade of woody and oak notes; surprisingly enough, the bourbon isn't that strong - actually, it's hardly even noticeable in the aroma. Light caramel and sweet, sticky brown sugar softens the finish, coupled alongside some plums, dates, and even a touch of apple skins. Solid barrel-stout aroma with a nice finishing sweetness at the end.

The first sip is pretty heavier up-front - a bit heavier than the smooth aroma would have you guessing. Boozy and strong, but not quite akin to smooth bourbon. It's more of a sharp and abrasive booziness; think straight Jack Daniel's whiskey. It hits hard up front and haunts the palate from start to finish. I'm typically a fan of some nice boozy flavors in my beers, but this one could use some time to mellow out.

Other actually flavors from the profile include some lightly milky chocolates, molasses, nuts, and a strong, woody, polished finish. Barrel Noir leaves your palate a touch sticky and coated with a nutty-oak flavor that's been soaking for days in a vat of Tennessee whiskey. The mouth feel is pretty nice - big and boisterous, heavy bodied and full of itself, and even slightly creamy due to the low carbonation.

I feel that if the bourbon character of this one was toned down a bit, it would be pretty damn great. As it stands, it's simply a good barrel-aged beer that is a little to boozy to enjoy for any prolonged beer drinking period of time. Perhaps waiting this one out is a better route.

Photo of Hamburgers
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of chossboss
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of standardcherry
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Nose: bourbon, chocolate with fruit, prunes and raisins.
Pours brilliant deep ebony, ½” finely bubbled tan foam cap. Lacy.
Palate: Starts with chocolate and bourbon, followed by prune and raisins with light espresso in the background mixed with bourbon and chocolate. The aftertaste is long and lingering.
The body is medium full to chewy but it is moussey and foamy due to the fine, soft natural carbonation.

Photo of ehammond1
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
san Marcos, CA

A delicious, refined, roasty, earthy barrel-aged imperial stout. The aroma comes packed with loads of chocolate and an integrated bourbon barrel character. It actually reminded me a lot of Parabola's aroma. The flavor isn't quite as successful, the but the usual players are all here and are delicious. Everything Almanac puts into barrels turns into gold. Another winner!

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jtladner
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of 01001111
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep, cola brown. Cloudy but neither very thick nor oily.

S: Let it warm. The vanilla, caramel, and bourbon notes strengthen as it heats up a little.

T: Strong bourbon up front with a coffee roast and mild bitterness on the back; like a bourbon barrel Yirgacheffe drip coffee.

M: A bit thinner than I had expected with only a touch of syrup.

O: As this warms I keep increasing my score. Not the absolute best bourbon barrel aged stout but one of the best; an amazing feat given that this is their first iteration. Another great beer from Almanac.

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.