Bourbon Barrel Stout - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

346 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 18.88%
Wants: 142
Gots: 99 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 09-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace and Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels. 2011 batch was aged in Stranahan's barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 188
Reviews by yemenmocha:
Photo of yemenmocha
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly opaque black with light tan head. Nose offers a nice reminder of Whoppers candy with the chocolate and nougat together into one. On the palate there's plenty of dark chocoalte up front, some espresso flavors, and then some dark fruits... almost like a black forest cake or something with the chocolate and fruit. Beer is a little boozy upon warming. Not as intense and rich as many other examples of the coveted style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black without being oily or heavy with a light brown head.

Very clean nose, which I think sets this one apart. Rich and bourbony with chocolate and coffee. Very well rounded.

The flavor has a fair amount of chocolate, the whiskey flavor comes in about mid-palate with a dry coffeeish finish.

So clean, soft and smooth. Just a wonderful experience for anyone who loves bourbon barrel stouts.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Black as a witch's feline familiar. Surprised at the head retention, as so many barrel-aged beers lose their heads quickly ... not here. Toasted wood, deep-roasted grain, caramel, faint vanilla and black currants flaunt an impressive aroma. A little velvet in that smoothness, the dry palate shows its fluffy medium body. Boozy up front with an initial blast of fusel alcohol, it fades quickly to let in the wood, vanilla and caramel flavors. Maltiness unveils a solid foundation for the complexities to perch on; even with its dryness and an unwavering barrel flavor, it stays true to its beery nature. Some warmth in the finish, with some residu- als as well, but it lands pretty dry for the most part.

While it is usually pleasing to have the overly sweet, barrel-aged Stouts, we prefer a drier and more drinkable version.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Loud cork pop after it was really hard to remove. Deep black pour a half inch of cocoa foamy head on top. Dark brown highlights. Aromas of smooth dark malts with cocoa, vanilla and wood. Coffee undertone melds with a sweet bourbon accent. Caramel with a hint of toasted coconut. Very nice.

First sip brings smooth, creamy dark malts with powdered cocoa and caramel swirls. Toasted coconut and vanilla meld with a lovely, yet not overpowering oak and bourbon flavor. Flows down easy. Bourbon is just right and not overwhelming in the least. Super smooth with no trace of 10.5% ABV.

Smooth, not too heavy, easy drinking. A damn fine bourbon stout to be had here from Odell. Would love to have this again sometime as it's just about perfect. Seek this tasty brew out.

Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown with a tan head. The aroma is dark fruit, chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is not as complex. It is heavy on the vanilla and here is also some oak and milk chocolate notes. The vanilla stands out. The alcohol is not detectable. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I like on big stouts and the carbonation level is low.

Photo of boatshoes
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother sent me this bottle as part of a graduation present package last year. Just getting around to drinking it now.

Appearance- Pours jet black out of the bottle with a surprisingly active and nice looking two and a half or so fingers of dark brown head rising of the body. Pretty good retention, with the head eventually dying back to a sheeting across the top of the beer. A solid amount of lacing left as I drink as well.

Smell- Wow, lots of vanilla right off the bat. Big on vanilla with some very sweet and mild smelling bourbon action working in the background. Big notes of roasted malt and some dark chocolate as well. Vanilla is most prominent for me.

Taste- Lots of vanilla and sweet brown sugar, with some evident barrel. A lot of rich roast but sweet flavors dominate over the burnt. Just a touch of bitter chocolate on the finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is quite good, being both substantial but nicely carbonated as well. Drinkability is decent for the style but a little sweet to be spectacularly drinkable.

Overall, a very good bourbon barrel stout and very approachable. May not be the best I've had in the style but yet another excellent offering from Deschutes.

Photo of rudylaw
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ordered from LiquorMax and sampled fifth in a ten stout tasting. Placing ninth for me, but top two overall. I will say that when it comes to bold, bourbon stouts, this is probably my favorite. It may have placed low on my board, but I will forgo that ranking for this review because I think drinking this on its own is the way to go.

Pours dark brown with about an inch of tan head.

This smells wonderful! Bourbon, milk chocolate and vanilla.

Tastes similar with the main attraction... bourbon! We have a lot of oak and wooden flavors as well. This is definitely still hot! It's smooth, but this could probably use some more time mellowing out. My guys absolutely loved this beer, and if you like bourbon bombs, this is for you! Goes hand-in-hand with GIBCS.

A nice mouthfeel and good carbonation. A solid effort from Odell, even if it's not right up my alley.

Photo of glid02
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Brad - much obliged!

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells...well, infected. Light roasted malts with large amounts of tart dark fruits. Also present are very light hints of dark chocolate.

Thankfully it tastes better than it smells. Heavy roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate and light molasses. Midway through the sip very slight amounts of oak flavors enter the fray. Slight tart dark fruits make an appearance near the end of the sip, fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this beer obviously suffered due to the infection but I'm not so sure it would be all that great uninfected - a bit disappointing for a brewery I enjoy immensely and a beer for which I'd had high hopes. If you've got a bottle drink it now, it's not getting any better.

Photo of CrossFitAlex
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at The Muddy Pig in Saint Paul, MN.

Chocolate colored ale.

Tasting notes: chocolate, coffee, alcohol and dark fruits on the nose. Alcohol over balances the flavor profile. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruits dominate. Cherry, whisky, oak notes. "Bold" mouthfeel.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from 2011.

Pours viscous and pitch black, with a 1/4 finger thick, pale cream head that dissipates into a layer of lace atop the beer. Not as heady or lacy as I'd hope, but the dark body is enticing.

Just what I'd expect from a BBA beer, oaken, vanilla, and spicy bourbon. Slight hints of dark and sweet malts, and some chocolate, are also present. It's tasty smelling.

I continue to get lots of oak and bourbony spice, but I suspect it's mellowed considerably as I'm not overwhelmed by these tastes. In fact, I notice the sweet vanilla and malt and some tasty dark chocolate.

Smoothness is heavy here. This beer has mellowed out excellently. No boozy burn. Silky, creamy and thick-bodied, there's only a slight bite to this and it's more from a rye spiciness than booze.

This beer is right there. The flavor offers many tastes and it's still smooth and silky. I would say this aged very well.

Photo of GilGarp
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

The cork takes some real effort to get out but eventually pops, instantly releasing pleasant bourbon-rich fumes.

It pours into a globe a very dark brown color with creamy alabaster head. The fine bubbles don't last long but they leave some nice lacing in their wake.

Aroma is sweet and full of bourbon and oak barrel. Dark malts come through but it's mostly the rich dark malts and whiskey.

Flavor is really enjoyable - each small sip bringing sweet milk chocolate to the tongue, followed by vanilla and carmel from the oak, and finishes with bourbon and dark roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and full bodied. Carbonation is minimal and the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

Overall another great success for Odell.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from JMBH, thanks Jason. Pours black with thick beige head. Rich bourbon and malt in the nose. Above average mouthfeel, this is a refreshing stout though very bourbon. Very good for what it is, with milky chocolate stoutness in the secondary.Sourness and sugar in the finish.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pitch black bourbon stout rears its ugly, tan, three fingered head at my mini colorado tulip glass and beckons my attention, big 'ol lacing as it lowers... Smells of new tire rubber and heavy hops cut through the air backed with a vinous alcohol spice. Dark chocolate, pomegranate, burnt cigar, rubber cork and huge roasted malts burn up the palate. A lot of new flavors in this bourbon buddy I have not experienced before. Big body and a medium to high level of carbonation make the experience a lively one.

Overall this was a nice experience however I am saddened to find how much this lacked compared to what I expected. Huge bourbon beers come out of the local CO breweries, Great Divide, Avery, Oskar Blues etc put out miracles of bourbon magic yet this BBS was considered the bar to beat a few years ago. Today for the Price point (between 17$-25$) this beer was a little disappointing.

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tasting notes:
I have been most found of this brew of all the Odell single batch series.
A: A deep, cloudy appearance. With excellent head retention and lacing, there could not be a better stout.
S: The notes at the time are a Nuclear Chocolate aroma, with a high intensity. This is the grand pooh-bah of all bourbon stouts.
T/M: A full bodied taste and mouthfeel. This is a bourbon blast, notes from a more mellowed out BBS, but when first released, this was almost too strong on the bourbon side, now a very nice and approachable Bourbon stout.
D: Lower on the drinkability side due to the thickness and after a taster, I feel that I could do more but not with ease or want. A unbelievable brew, but for sharing thats for sure.

Photo of dirtylou
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, paired with post-blizzard conditions and NFL action

2009 batch

appearance: corked & caged, served in an oversized snifter, big ebony body, big chocolate foam, patchy tan lace

smell: chalky, dry cocoa, light roasty notes, bourbon is trace

taste: It appears this beer has had major infection issues - i dont get much sourness but there is definitely a chalky taste and the flavors are off. The bourbon barrel provides some alcohol heat but really nothing in the way of flavor enhancement, carbonation is aggressive leaving a fizzy finish, dry roasty flavors, dry cocoa. If it's not infected, this beer sucks. My hunch is that this is one that got away.

mouthfeel: bad, fizzy foamy body, hot finish

drinkability: meh

Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with friends... sort of wish I'd had it all to myself. Unlike so many big barrel-aged stouts, the barrel doesn't dominate the character and the stout isn't too thick. This is a dark and deliciously drinkable beer. The barrel's actually added a little sour tang and the bourbon's vanilla adds a little candy taste before super smooth cocoa grains and roast roll in. The aroma is similar with vanilla bourbon upfront and chocolate beer undertones. Find this beer if you can. It's a great example of an expertly-made barrel-aged stout.

Photo of Brandt
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had to check this one in my suitcase to bring it back from boulder, CO and boy was it worth it!

this poured out a dark black with a frothy tan colored head

the aroma of this beer could be smelled before you even put your nose up to the glass. the main feature in this is obviously the bourbon and with that came some oak and vanilla notes. behind that is chocolates both bittersweet and a more subtle milk chocolate. there is also a good amount of toasty and more burnt black malts.

the taste what wonderful, this beer exceeded my expectations and was full of oaky character and a rich bourbon smokeyness. there was a softer vanilla and dark sugar taste in there that helped balance the bite of the bourbon and a warm boozeyness that was jsut plain welcome in this beer.

the beer finished out with a lingering bourbon and oak character and a warming efect on the chest. this beer was wonderful if you like bourbon and maybe even if you don't!? this showcases what a good bourbon barrel stout should taste like and i wouldn't hesitate to get another of these....if only they sold them in montana :(

Photo of dbossman
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was accidentally served in a pint glass (it was supposed to be in a 8oz snifter but the waitress was new and I didn't complain)

A: Black and opaque; 1 finger head that is dark tan--it dissipates to a minuscule film but overall there is fairly good retention, especially for the style; lacing is decent for a while but that eventually begins to fade

S: Strong bourbon and alcohol up front; there is a woody quality as well as subtle chocolate malts; not as complex as I would hope; as I continue drinking raisins seem to be present in the aroma

T: Obviously the bourbon is strong up front; it is a bit thinner than I expected; there are nice subtle hop undertones; alcohol is actually very well masked; despite its thinness, it is quite smooth

F:A bit thin for what it is; mouth coat is decent but thinness is wearing

D: Although I'm bothered by the thinness, there is a beautiful warming quality that this beer provides and I appreciate how subtle the alcohol and even bourbon is

Photo of mikey711
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this the night before thanksgiving with a good friend. Poured into two snifters.

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a good amount of head sitting on top. The head was slightly tan and the retention was very good. Also some legs are left behind when swirling and there was only a minor amount of lace.

S: At first it was very chocolaty and bready, with an almost sour note. As it started to warm more of the barrel came through provide a nice wood and bourbon note. The vanilla was mild and lots of roastines came through as well.

T: While there was lots og sweetness, I found that it had a bit more bitterness and roastiness to balance it out, which I prefer in a BA stout. The wood provides a bit of earthiness and the bourbon is rather smooth

M: It was much lighter than I like for a stout. Not a ton of booze, and it was rather smooth but the light body was disappointing

D: I could have finished a bomber myself but am glad that I share with someone else and would be willing to try this again in the future

Photo of kkrez
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes:

They started with an American Imperial Stout and then threw it into some Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels to age for four months. And wow, what an end product.

The nose holds very present bourbon aroma, and then roasted coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruit notes.

The taste tells a different story. What I like especially about this one is how the bourbon isn’t so powerful, it is just one very nice flavor amongst many nice flavors. This is definitely one of the most balanced bourbon or whiskey barrel aged beers I’ve had. Flavors of vanilla, roasty coffee, wood, caramel, bourbon, and slight hop bitterness all blend together to create quite a drinking experience.

And for as big a beer this is, it drinks perfectly, just the right mouth feel, creamy but not heavy.

You could finish this beer yourself, but you’ll want to share this with someone, just so you can share the feeling of joy that come from drinking this lovely offering.

Photo of mdvatab
2.01/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2011 Vintage
Poured from 750ml bottle into KtG snifter

I'd really been looking forward to this one based on great experiences with other Odell brews, and positive buzz about this one. I purchased in late 2011, and cellared the corked & caged bottle on its side since then. The cork was tight. In most cases, when a c&c bottle is properly carbonated, the cork will get easier and easier to pull as it works its way out. Unfortunately, this one was a struggle the whole way, leading me to believe the was a carbonation issue...

A hard pour straight into the bottom of my snifter only resulted in a small group of large bubbles--no tight collar of foam here. Reminiscent of one of my early homebrews that failed to carbonate. Color is a dark cola brown/black-- a bit thinner than anticipated.

Before even tasting this one, I suspect that there's a major issue. With a sip, this one falls flat, both with respect to carbonation, and also flavor. Some malty, chocolate sweetness, moderate cardboard, a hint of oaky barrel, and a slight bitterness. This is obviously not what the brewer intended, so I'll stop the review there. Proceed to kitchen sink. Pour.

Unfortunately, I believe this bottle set me back $18, which is very frustrating. After reading other reviews, it appears that there is some significant inconsistency with last year's batch. Short of being offered a free replacement bottle this year, I won't be going after this one again.

Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boy that cork was a bear to get off!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2+ fingers of caramel colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

Sourmash as soon as the cork is popped along with some dark fruit

T: Dark fruit, Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate & rum-raisin up front. Sour-mash comes through as this warms, along with oaky vanilla, cherry & many other dark fruits soaked in booze, along with some praline & leafy hops. Finishes dry with charred caramel & bourbon

MF: Fairly thick, dry & smooth

Drinks pretty easy but the but the ABV & style assert themselves as this warms. A nice one to share, I plan on getting a few bottles to cellar to see how time treats this. Right now, I'd say I prefer Schafly's or Boulevards take on this, but not by much ( although they are a few bucks cheaper ). If you like Bourbon, you'll probably love this I was looking for more coffee & chocolate...

Photo of BeerZack
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really dark, black with mahogany edges when held to the light. Small but dense head, khaki colored.

Strong sweeet bourbony vanilla jumps right up my nose. Roasted malt, cocoa and dark plum flavors. Sweet, bitter and hot alcohol sensations all at once.

Chocolate, marshmallows, dark fruit (plum, raisin) with nice bitterness showing up after the initial bourbon/vanilla sweetness up front.

Pretty damn drinkable. Most all of the flavor of a BBA Impy, but much more safe to drink.

Photo of heliosphann
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared by fellow BA infestaxion. Thanks Daive! Served in a pint glass in A2 after the P5 release.

A: Finger and a half of a fluffy but pitted, tan head. Hangs around forever and leaves some very nice lacing on the glass. Mostly black with some reddish brown.

S: Lot of sweet caramel, vanilla, chocolate up front. There's some earthy nuttiness competing as well (some hazelnut and amaretto perhaps?). I also detected a slight bit of faint coffee.

T: Big bourbon and woody notes right off the bat. In fact they seem to overpower the finer notes of the stout. The nose is a bit misleading as much of the initial impressions and malty sweetness is MIA. There is plenty of booziness to go around as well.

M: Medium to thick body. More than enough carbonation. In fact a little too much. Overall pretty smooth and creamy.

D: I had about 8-9 oz and it was more than enough for me. I'd have a very hard time taking down a whole bottle of this. The 10.5% ABV is definitely present and becomes very cloying.

Overall a little disappointing considering how well this beer presented itself. I'm finding more and more BA stouts just tend to have a hard time getting the right balance between the Bourbon and Beer. I do think in a year or so this might start improve significantly. If you can, I'd put this one back in the cellar for awhile.

Photo of thagr81us
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks goes out to the BA who sent me this one as an extra in a past trade (BM me if it was you) so that I could share it at one of our random Sunday tastings! Served from bottle into a Sweetwater 15th Anniversary snifter. Poured pitch black with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, wood, sweet alcohol, and metallic. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, wood, metallic, oxidized, and roasted malt. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a less than average brew. I’m not really sure what went down here, but this brew was not happy about sitting in my fridge for awhile before getting to open it. There was a pop when cork was pulled, but this one was definitely oxidized. Really hated to see this happen if I am honest. There was some nice notes going on in the nose, but in the flavor it was completely dominated by the oxidation. Such a shame.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.