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Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Barrel NoirBarrel Noir

Educational use only; do not reuse.

405 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 405
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.85%
Wants: 73
Gots: 69 | FT: 9
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:
Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 02-14-2013

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of threedaggers
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Great-Pyrebeers
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of busternuggz
4.56/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of Eighty
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of douginromeo
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of closisinthehouse
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Blahstarr
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of vitALEity
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.88/5  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.

Photo of GABrew
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Lighter brown, thin coffee lacing

S- lots of oak, not so much bourbon or anything like that.

T- Very thin taste, somewhat creamy on the end

M- Thin, not a huge fan of the attention to detail on the M

O- Not really impressed with this, I think they do better sours

Photo of khargro2
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of MJsGhost
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mvdillman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of CreativeJeenyus
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of WeisGuy
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of aasher
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of MarioM
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter

A: Dark with almost no light penetrating the glass. Light brown to darkish tan head that quickly dissipated to a nice rim of small bubbles with a patch of medium bubbles floating in the center. Nice looking brew.

S: Sweet whiskey aroma with a dark fruit roast thing going on. Definitely a lot of black patent malt making the dark raisinie dark fruit aroma. A lot of bourbon character on the nose but bitter roast is there as well.

T: Sweet and almost light bodied with a lot of bourbon vanilla oak flavor but very smooth and enjoyable. I'm not a fan of strong flavored bourbon aged stouts but this is a little more balanced. Not heavy but definitely a warmer and a sipper.

M: A little light but works well with the barrel aging giving it more body and character. Nice smooth roast without too much bitterness which lends itself very nice to the barrel aging.

O: A good beer with a lot of oak character yet suppressed enough that its not an alcoholic vanilla mess.

Photo of tomholland
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Booner818
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Rick778
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.