1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Barrel Noir - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Barrel NoirBarrel Noir

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

384 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 384
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 75
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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 384 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

on-tap, brouwers

I've really liked some of the farmers reserve beers, but this one didn't do it for me. Not much of a RIS, though I'm not really sure that was the intent. Cocoa powder, strong sweetness, trace bourbon, vanilla, chocolate covered cherry, a bit of oak. Just average.

dirtylou, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

mc4z, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of Unchi
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Unchi, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of strongaf
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

strongaf, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of thebigredone
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Almanac beer, I've really been looking forward to trying this brewery.

Taste is of dusty cocoa, sweet dark fruit, and mild oak. There's virtually no noticeable bourbon on the palate, I would have liked to taste a bit more.

Overall, this is a nice belgian dark ale/stout from Almanac. A little more roast and a fair bit more bourbon would have increased my enjoyment of this, but on the whole it is a solid beer.
And kudos to Almanac for their sweet bottle design, very well done.

thebigredone, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of maximum12
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kyle2k10 for this bottle during our second go-round. 375ML bottle with some pretty cool art tattooed right onto the bottle, poured in to my big old Terrapin chalice, which I don't use nearly enough.

Pour is black, showing faint signs of life. Nose is light barrel, vanilla mostly, with a bite of chocolate & significant roast.

Barrel Noir is smoother than Will Smith's smile. The whole beer has rolled in smooth, there's virtually no friction at all as it slides past the molars. After that distraction, the tastes takes a back seat. Plenty of slow roast, followed by the warming chest cavity by the booze; drinks a lot higher than it's labelled. Vanilla knocks only after the beer warms & fills the mid-palate to the brim. Bitter chocolate rounds out the lineup. I find myself drinking this far too quickly for a big-beer on a school night.

Did I mention this brew is smooth? This grew on me as it warmed; really unimpressive at lower temps, this one needs a warm fire or cupped hands to shine. This isn't Men in Black of I Am Legend, but it might be I, Robot. Very good beer.

maximum12, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of e30todamax
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

e30todamax, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of JOrtt
4/5  rDev -1.5%

JOrtt, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of toomuchhops
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

toomuchhops, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

tobelerone, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -1.5%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of SourAddict
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

SourAddict, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of GJ40
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 500ml? bottle purchased at K&L in Redwood City.

A - Beautiful bottle. And I love the farm to barrel concept. More brown than black on the initial pour but looks black once the glass is full. A small tan head.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate and brown sugar. Complex and balanced.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and roasted barley. It starts better than it finishes. There's an out of place bitterness toward the end.

M - A little thin for the style. Low to moderate carbonation.

O - Solid from appearance to aroma to it hitting the palate. But it goes down hill in the finish.

GJ40, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Hopsiam14
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Hopsiam14, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of jvillefan
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

jvillefan, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of cbutova
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on-tap at Stone in Escondido. Reviewed from notes.

A- Poured from the tap to an 8oz taster glass. Black as night with a small light tan head. Bubbly ring leaves spotty lace after the head falls fairly quickly.

S- Light barrel whiskey with oak and vanilla, smoothed out and not abrasive. Dark roast malts, strong dark red fruity yeast notes, spiced raisins and some cocoa.

T- Barrel comes to life a bit more in the taste. Rounded out Bourbon, vanilla and oak wood peek through a roasty, Belgian base beer. Aged caramel, intensely dark burnt grains, raisins, dark fruits, cocoa, fig candi sugar and Belgian yeast spice. The fruitiness reminds me of an Old Ale, perhaps a tiny bit of oxidation.

MF- Creamy and silky texture to a medium thick body. Alcohol provides a nice warming at 10% and carbonation is at a medium-high level. Goes down smoothly.

Grows on me with each sip. The Belgian yeast feel works with the Bourbon barrels and dark roasty malts, not an easy thing to do.

cbutova, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of CMack71968
4/5  rDev -1.5%

CMack71968, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle has no date, though I'm assuming this is a '13.

Appearance: Pours black, as a stout should, with one finger of fluffy beige head. There's lots of carbonation sticking to side of glass if you check for legs, which it has.

Smell: Dark fruit, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and slight coconut(from the barrel). There's definitely a detectable booze element.

Taste: Talk about barrel character...Beginning is dark chocolate with a touch of coconut that thereafter gets overpowered by a Bourbon punch with some tobacco-like spiciness. After the bourbon/tobacco subsides, you're left with some nice malty roast that fades out into a dry finish. Man, the Bourbon element in this is strong and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for the style with good carbonation.

Overall: Blind, I'd've pegged this at least 10% and 100% barrel aged. Though it was drinkable now, I'd personally lay this down for 1+ years. This is a bit boozy and could definitely benefit from some time in the cellar. Kind of reminds me of Parabola, which isn't a bad thing.

PsilohsaiBiN, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of StevenSpringer
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

StevenSpringer, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of BeerBuffalo
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

BeerBuffalo, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Kreko7
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Kreko7, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -1.5%

egrace84, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

ste5venla, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of emerge077
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.

emerge077, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of od_sf
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

od_sf, Oct 27, 2013
Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.