Bourbon Barrel Stout - Odell Brewing Company
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3.11/5 rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
It took some digging around on the internet, but I've finally ascertained that the bottle I have is a 2011 vintage. 11.5% according to the label. 750ml brown glass bottle with rustic barrel-like label art and branded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork acquired a couple years ago at Argonaut Liquor and served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high; I'm a huge fan of Odell and I'm in the mood for a bourbon barrel aged stout. "0554-2011." No bourbon brand is identified on the label.
Served chilled - after a period of rest following its removal from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
Yields only a minor pop upon removal of the cork; there's no carbonation hiss.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a half finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is poor - sub 30 seconds. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - almost a jet black. Sleek and glossy. Rich. No floating yeast particles are visible, but it's so dark I doubt I'd see them if they were present.
Overall, it's looking quite attractive for a bourbon barrel stout, but the lack of head and seeming undercarbonation are concerning characteristics. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.
Sm: Vanilla - not as authentic as vanilla bean, not as artificial as vanillicin. Milk chocolate. Dark malts. Cream. Light bourbon, but no real rich toasty oak or barrel notes. It's quite timid and reticent for a bourbon barrel aged stout, lacking seeming depth. Very subdued - this is not the intense aroma you'd expect from an imperial stout. Any coffee has faded with age. I'm also not finding any roasted barley. Plenty of sweetness here.
A pleasing inviting aroma of surprisingly light strength. It doesn't seem alive; there're no yeast notes. No alcohol is noticeable.
T: The subdued timid vibe from the aroma continues in the taste. Very reticent/closed-off. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Cream. The bourbon lacks depth, but as a trade-off is near seamlessly integrated; all I really get is some faint vanilla, but it isn't the rich vanilla bean of superior imperial stouts. Milk chocolate. Caramel. Faint marshmallow. It's nicely balanced, but the simplicity is a big drawback. Lacks the complexity, subtlety, intricacy, and nuance of the best beers in the style. Maybe it's withdrawn with age and was more bold fresh.
Roasted barley is sorely missed here. I need far more from the bourbon as well as from the base; it just doesn't open up to the drinker at all. And any coffee it's supposed to have is not coming through at all; age has likely taken its toll.
Below average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.
No yeast character or alcohol comes through. It's far less boozy than many examples of the style, which I admire.
It isn't as clean as I'd like, and has some earthiness and graininess lurking beneath the surface that I figure is left over from the absent coffee notes.
Has a bitter vinous off-note I'm none too fond of.
Mf: A big flaw here is the slight dryness and thinness/weak feel of the finish. Overly smooth and wet otherwise. Carbonation is near perfect. Lightly sticky. Sleek and slick. Pretty good thickness. Full-bodied. Nice presence on the palate. Soft enough, I guess. Could be creamier.
Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, rough, or boozy.
Dr: A drinkable bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, but not one that's up there with the best in the style. Its reticence is its undoing, and the barrel notes just don't add enough to the base beer. Not worth picking up at this price point. I do love Odell and I like this beer, but there are far superior options available at or below this price point. Hides its ABV pretty well.
Overall, this a middle-of-the-road bourbon stout that won't impress the discerning drinker. I'd like to revisit a fresh bottle, but apparently they're no longer brewing this beer so I won't have that opportunity. I can say that most bourbon stouts taste better with age than this does.
Serving type: bottle
12-14-2013 02:07:12 | More by kojevergas
4.21/5 rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Logged from notes, shared by a stranger at DLD '11. Pours opaque blackish brown with creamy tan head present. The nose is chock full of oak and vanilla. Some chocolate is present in there as well, but oak is the dominating force throughout this brew. Taste is chocolatey up front with mellow vanilla, and again more well integrated wood. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, right on par with the style. Nice balance here for a bourbon stout, very smooth and no booziness.
Serving type: bottle
08-12-2013 06:44:50 | More by homebrew311
Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.