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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

365 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 69
Gots: 73 | 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 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: 365 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1.5%

02-23-2014 01:02:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at mhksuccess' tasting.

Bottled Winter 2012.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, brown sugar, smoke, char, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor and alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some tasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 04:19:23 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%

09-22-2013 01:52:01 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -20%

04-22-2013 21:06:10 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by an inch of foam; the retention is not great but there is some decent lacing left behind

Smell: Quite a lot going on, with chocolate and charred oak dominant; vanilla, dark fruit and marshmallow underneath

Taste: Opens very roasty, with the charred oak and chocolate flavors from the aroma dominant; in the middle, the vanilla and marshmallow flavors build, along with some earthy hops and walnut flavors; the aftertaste brings out a bit of the Bourbon as well as a nice blend of the various elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A really nice blend of what tastes like an Old Ale aged in Bourbon barrels and an Imperial Stout - I think Almanac is on to something with this brew

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 01:28:57 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

10-14-2013 16:46:44 | More by nmann08
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

09-22-2013 01:54:04 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.5%

08-16-2013 00:50:54 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

07-20-2013 03:20:51 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.5%

08-16-2013 00:57:02 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%

03-08-2013 05:07:56 | More by GRG1313
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to WST for this one! BBQ victory winnings finale, shared with Aaron.

Pitch black, some tobacco-stained chestnut highlights when held to the light. Thin vein of tan foam, spotty flecks of lace around the edges.

Anise in the aroma big time, licorice and roasted malt comprise the main elements, with some barrel heat as well.

Roasty char, malt sweetness, chocolate syrup, sweet pipe tobacco. Full bodied with a bite from the bourbon barrel, finish is a bit thin though. Werthers butterscotch candy and milk chocolate. Dry finish, fairly smooth. Overall it's pretty good, but is lacking a certain something to make it unique.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:44:25 | More by emerge077
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%

04-06-2013 20:27:26 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

03-16-2013 06:01:43 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Chris (spycow). Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, wisps, and minimal lace. Dark brown body with some ruby-brown transparency when held to the light.

S - Lots of bourbon barrel, oak, roasted malts, charred wood, a slightly buttery note, anise, dark chocolate, and well-concealed alcohol.

T - More malt character, with less overt bourbon and oak character. Caramel, roasted malts, vanilla marshmallow, fudge, and again the same buttery note I picked up in the aroma. Still, pretty enjoyable on the whole.

M - Medium body, and a tad thin and watery for the listed 10%. Dry, oaky, and tannic, with light alcohol warmth that is less than one would expect.

D - A solid barrel-aged stout, although it's marred by a mildly buttery note and an overly thin body.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 03:06:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first beer from this brewery. Cola-brown pour with a small tan head that retained moderately and left minimal spotty lacing. In the nose, dark malts, dark dried fruits, esters, yeast, oak. Hmm...well, really no bourbon, and all things considered, there were some traces of possible infection noted; nothing overly offensive, but something didn't seem quite right. Unlike the aroma, I did get some bourbon and vanilla in the taste, barrel, dark malts, plum and red grapes. Some astringent and estery off-flavors crept in towards the end, leading me once again to believe this beer (or this bottle anyway) was on the verge of being infected. And yet it was still at a point where I found it tasty. Medium body, which makes sense when you understand this is only 50% stout. Despite its "flaws" or whatever may have been going on in this bottle, it was still an interesting brew, and I'd like to try it again for a second opinion.

Want more from this brewery. Trade please.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 00:34:19 | More by Rifugium
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SocalKicks

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

06-05-2013 06:14:40 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4/5  rDev -1.5%

07-01-2013 18:44:07 | More by oline73
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Local Habit in San Diego. At first glance it's a total blackout in the snifter, but after some drinking it appears dark brown with a ruby glint. Just a brief rising of foam that settles down to an oil slick. Rather prickly on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a little on the goopy side. Hugely rich with a lot of sugar taste. Deeply toasted malt is the backbone, with just a little sharpness coming through eventually. Big burnt sugar taste provides some bitterness but hops are virtually absent. Dark fruity flavor of dates and a whiff of vanilla in the nose. A relentless and robust brew that is more like a too-rich dessert than a beer. Worth a try, however, for barrel aficionados.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2013 04:38:31 | More by mactrail
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours black with a medium tan head, some solid lace left over.

S: Lots of bourbon and vanilla. A cleaner smell than most bourbon barrel aged brews. Notes of dark chocolate and a hint of dark dried fruit.

T: Dark chocolate and vanilla dominate with secondary notes of plum and date. Definite high residual sugar count in this, but well put together. A lovely big stout.

M: Creamy, full-bodied, smooth as silk. Definitely easy drinking for its style.

O: I've been hesitant to try Almanac's beers due to the price point, but this was $6.50 for 12 oz. at happy hour so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Good stuff here and a great starting point to get into BA stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2013 20:35:33 | More by Halcyondays
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mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

07-01-2013 13:14:01 | More by mendvicdog
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beernads

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

05-08-2013 07:23:24 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.88/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

50% Dark Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. 50% American Imperial Stout. 10% ABV confirmed. Cast was $10 USD for a 375ml brown glass bottle with a branded pressure cap and a fancy etched label. Oak-aged according to the label. Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. Acquired at a local SoCal beer store; I've seen this around Westwood.

Served straight from the fridge but allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salted pretzels.

A: Pours a cola-esque khaki-tan head: quite thin, lacks substantial cream, but retains well (~5 minutes, pretty impressive for 10%). Body colour is a solid dark black; not a jet black or silky but black. No yeast particles are visible; it's nontransparent and opaque. No bubble show. Light thin lacing as the head slowly recedes.

Sm: Chocolate, chocolate malt, dark malts, buried roast, a bit of vanilla, light plum/stonefruit, and caramel. Not real bourbon-y, with the vanilla and caramel ringing distinct rather than as part of a whole. A bit of oak wood. No yeast character comes through. Alcohol is well concealed. Bready and a bit burnt. It's evocative but not very deep in terms of flavour depth. I'm excited to try it. A mild strength aroma.

T/Mf: Hrm. It feels like a messy blend of two different beers - probably because that's what it is. Bourbon-y oaky dark malts collide with competing plum notes, biscuit malt, and light vinous character. No balance here at all. The mouthfeel is a mess too; silky and artifically smooth up front which coarsens and dries as it hits the lees-like Belgian dark feel. Carbonation is good. Light oak is a highlight but lacks depth. Alcohol is evident. Heavy thick caramel and bready notes. A bit roasty on the finish, with hints of cold pressed generic coffee. Overly sweet, with artificial vanilla hitting on the climax. Hot and gushed. There's definite boozy warmth here. It doesn't lack body, but it's inconsistent and unfocused. Boy, this one isn't doing me well.

Dr: Something of a sipper, with boozy character warming the stomach. Its messy unfocused flavour profile coupled with its scattershot mouthfeel make it a tough one to drink compared to other beers in the style. This one misses the mark a bit; I feel like either of the two constituent beers would be better on their own. Priced high for the lack of quality. I wouldn't buy this again. I'm distrusting of Almanac now; I've had too many underwhelming beers from them. A very average beer.

C

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 05:46:39 | More by kojevergas
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-22-2013 01:33:07 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

10-09-2013 19:13:37 | More by imperialking
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Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.