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Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.

Barrel NoirBarrel Noir

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

317 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 317
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.14%


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 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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Ratings: 317 | Reviews: 62 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into an Idle Hands tulip.

A - Pours an opaque black color with no light coming thru at all around the edges. Two fingers of dense creamy head shows excellent staying power and a beautiful mocha color. Thick lacing is left on the glass completing this very good looking stout.

S - Lots of dark roasted malt with some char and licorice making a first impression. Combination of chocolatey aromas from sweet milk chocolate thru bitter dark chocolate. Smooth bourbon takes a bit of a background position, sweet vanilla and a tiny bit of tartness mixed in too.

T - Very smooth, but not very assertive flavoring. Touch of vanilla up front with slightly warm bourbon. Burnt malt, a bit of char, dark chocolate, touch of coffee. Touch of bitter hops and maybe a bit of caramel on the finish especially as it warms in the glass. I'm surprised how subtle the flavorings are here.

M - Very smooth, warm bourbon that leaves a bit of a burn on the throat after the swallow. Medium bodied with a tingly mid-level carbonation. Quite mild flavors, especially for the style.

O - Absolutely beautiful beer in the glass with an aroma that is really nice and inviting. Nothing wrong with the flavors, just not enough there. If the flavor matched the aroma in intensity and complexity this would be truly outstanding. Still a good beer, but had so much more promise.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 22:55:26 | More by portia99
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cpetrone84

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3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pour is extremely dark brown looking black in the glass with a tan head and large bubbles. The nose is nice, rich dark malts, light vanilla and a fair bit of milk chocolate. There are notes of wood and a faint touch of whiskey. Body is a bit thinner that I would have liked with a soft carbonation and creamy feel. The wood is stronger in the flavor, notes of vanilla thinning in the finish. Malt isn't as rich as the nose with some chocolate and hint of roast.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 19:24:57 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of busternuggz
busternuggz

California

4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Opaque brownish black with a puffy, bubbly khaki 1/2" head. Leaves persistent strands of lacing. Good retention, head holds at about 1/8" and comes back nicely with a swirl.

Big rich aromas. Fudge brownies, coffee beans, molasses, bourbon, vanilla. Very chocolatey. A little coconut, some roastiness. Immaculate, layered, and complex.

Similar notes in different order on the taste, leading with molasses and bourbon, dark chocolate chips, espresso, a little dark fruit- dates maybe, chocolate syrup. A bit sweet, but it ends with a little dry roastiness and lingering toasted oak that balances it well. As it warms the dark fruit starts to come off as acai berries. Everything comes together really well, like some delicious mocha bourbon berry milkshake.

Full bodied and creamy, smooth, ends lighter and a little drier than is starts. Not too thick, not too dry, compliments the taste well. Really nice.

Honestly this is one of the better imperial stouts I've had. Rich and complex, but balanced and well made. I am impressed. Dunno why this isn't more renowned.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 06:10:49 | More by busternuggz
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03-19-2014 21:46:43 | More by douginromeo
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closisinthehouse

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Blahstarr

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03-19-2014 03:37:54 | More by Blahstarr
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vitALEity

California

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its hard to review this because I like to review beers for how they represent or define a style. This is a blend of an American Stout and a "belgian-style" dark ale, aged in barrels.

A: dark brown with a finger of tan head. Dissipates a lot quicker then I would hope for a stout, but again this isnt a stout. Kind of a bubbly/carbonated mess. Decent legs though.

S: The lighter dark ale (lighter then a Stout) part of it allows the bourbon, vanilla and oak to come out more. There is some chocolate and some coffee and some alcohol there.

T: Same as the nose really. Alcohol is there but its not a problem. I'm wanting more stout and have to remind myself that this isnt a stout, its a blend of a stout and a dark ale.

M: Much lighter, less creamy then an aged stout. Its still smooth.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 05:40:39 | More by vitALEity
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ThickNStout

Georgia

3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375mL bottle from j47paco (much appreciated!). Bottled winter 2012. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours black with a finger and a half of soft tan head. The froth lingers but then settles to a thin cap, leaving small islands of lace.

The smells of smooth chocolate and sweet barrel dominate. I say barrel because the bourbon, vanilla and oak all seem to play in to one harmonious, inviting aroma that plays well with the chocolate, brown sugar and what seems to me like a hint of oats.

No surprises in the taste after that nose. Subtle bourbon, cocoa, slightly charred oak, vanilla, creamed coffee, mild roast malts, brown sugar and a touch of alcohol. A rounded and supple barrel aged stout that is quite easy to drink.

Creamy, smooth, medium body with soft carbonation. Aftertaste of bourbon, dark cocoa and hints of charred oak with a vanilla tinge.

I'm assuming that the 15+ months of age is what makes this such a soft and rounded imperial stout. Ultimately (and ironically) I think the smooth lack of edges that I like most in this is also what holds it back from truly standing out. A tasty and enjoyable brew but without anything to really raise it above the higher echelon of barreled imperial stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 03:24:43 | More by ThickNStout
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Georgia

4/5  rDev -1.2%

03-17-2014 00:44:33 | More by GABrew
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Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.