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Bourbon Barrel Stout - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

343 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 343
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 18.88%
Wants: 142
Gots: 100 | 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: 343 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
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 UCLABrewN84
2.29/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

2011 vintage.

I have heard these have a track record of being infected and unfortunately I think I got a bad bottle.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson brown with a huge puffy 4 inch khaki head that doesn't settle. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour fruits, bourbon, and wood. I am getting no normal stout aromas whatsoever. Taste is of roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood along with abnormal sour cherry/berry and metallic flavors. There is a roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has way too much carbonation with an extremely bubbly mouthfeel (even more so than soda). Overall, this is just not a very good beer and some sort of infection is apparent here. I assume this could be really good with a normal bottle but this one is a drainpour for me. It's not completely undrinkable but pretty close in my opinion.

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few bottles while in Colorado at GABF. Lucky for me, it had just gotten to the store I chose to visit since it will clearly never be sold in Los Angeles!

Pours dark brown/black with a nice tan head. Good looking.

Nose of whiskey and oak. The oak (a vanilla character) is pretty assertive and gives way to coffee, roasted grain and black chocolate.

Mouthfeel is the most disappointing part of this beer as it is a bit thin. Some will feel that this character makes it more drinkable and it goes down easily, clearly one is unaware of the high 10.5% abv. Goes down too easy.

Flavors follow nose and are very complex with lightly creamy coffee with whisky and vanilla. Hints of sweet chocolate and bitter chocolate with a balance of pleasant hops and layers of roasted grains. Nice beer.

I'm a huge stout fan and love the thick, chocolate, coffee, whiskey etc. etc. character. (You get the picture...) This is very good. However, being a huge fan of the style there are examples that I'd rather drink.

This one is sure to age well. I'm not opening my next bottle for a year with hopes of a more refined and viscous mouthfeel and more integrated chocolate character. Time will tell.

Nice now but there is a chance for something really better here. However, very good with food and went extraordinarily well with BBQ.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Hawkeyedaz for this bottle. Opened at a recent tasting.

Pours a dark shade of brown with a tan head and some light lacing. Nose brigs some roasted malt, bourbon, and the always-feared (at least in most styles) light dark cherry scent. Not too bad in the nose and well integrated to an extent, but it let us know what was coming.

Taste brings the aforementioned roast but also brings a pretty good amount of sourness that does not work well. I'm not too sure how common this is, but I would consider drinking bottles soon or wait and let them develop, as a dark bourbon sour could be interesting.

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rather tawny looking for a stout with an auburn tinge amidst the darker liquid; the mocha head is impressive on the pour and though it fades quickly, it leaves a nice pattern behind

Smell: Rather fruity, with a black currant and caramel aspect on the nose along with the bourbon and barrel elements

Taste: Fruity flavors, up front, with the currants and caramel leading the way; the bourbon arrives by mid-palate; a building chocolate presence, after the swallow, though the fruity character dominates into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with frothy carbonation and a bit of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Not sure whether this beer turned out as the brewer intended as the beer is lighter and fruitier than many comparable brews; there may well be some infection going on but it doesn't render the beer undrinkable; many are quick to identify bourbon barrel beers as infected when they take on bit of sour fruit character but that may well be a characteristic of the barrel

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

A fascinating Stout that doesn't drink nearly as strong as the stated alcohol or the Double Stout classification.

Bourbon Barrel Stout pours a very dark brown but not black. Very dark but not opaque; maybe a medium haze. Light foam forms a lace on the beer and struggles to retain under the alcohol. Light lacing is evident.

Aromas of strong Columbian coffee and cocoa rounds into a roasty-toasty-nutty maltiness. The barrels give a lot of wood and vinous character instead of straight bourbon (as is with Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout). Fruity with sour cherries, under-rippened berries and green apples add to the complex nose.

Flavors are much the same. Instead of the deep espresso and extreme roast, the beer gives more moderate flavors of coffee and cocoa powder. These down-to-earth flavors allow the bourbon barrel complexities to bounce off in a more vivid and straight-forward way. Still, the vinous wood-aged character allows for a musty, tanin-y, dusty flavor that hints toward Wild Ales. Here the cidery notes and cherries begin to shine.

High carbonation and moderate body allows the body to seemingly evaporate to the mouth, helping the drinkability quite a bit. Well attenuated, the beer leaves little sugars or malt heaviness behind. Medium heat and alcohol also aids in dryness.

This is a Stout that sits somewhere between American Stouts and Imperial Stouts. The barrel aging seems to give wood flavor, light oxidation, and perhaps a few bugs that give the complex vinous notes that might go sour eventually. But for now, the beer shows great complexity and restraint. Thanks Waltonc!

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big want here I get to check off, that always makes for a good night! Served chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 11/12/2009.

The pour was huge, jet black with a big tan head that rose up nearly three inches across the top before finally settling down. Nice side glass lacing as webs of tan stretched out across it. Aroma is rich with notes of vanilla, woody tones, coffee, molasses, hints of cherries or dark fruit coming through now as well as warms, and as it hits room temp, the coffee really shines. Nice feel here, lots of carbonation lets the flavor really pop for me. Smooth, and subtle vanilla tones turn to coffee and hints of light hops, especially in the finish with a nice touch of dark fruit thrown in. The alcohol was totally absent for me here, really well done.

Overall this one was intresting and not at all what I was expecting. More in line with a belgian style stout it had the huge carbonation and nice use of fruit in it. I really enjoyed it through and was glad to be sipping on it tonight for sure.

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by HopHead84, bottle provided by mrkrispy. Thanks, guys.

Black body with a short-lived but creamy tan head. The nose has a light barrel mustiness, some chocolate and roasted malt, and an odd fruity tartness. Coffee in the background, and a bit of heat. The taste has the same tart cherry-like character that I detected in the aroma. Strange for an imperial stout, tastes like the beginnings of a lacto infection, but it's not too detracting at this stage. The cherry flavor combined with the chocolate/vanilla interplay from the bourbon barrel and the base beer gives it a chocolate-covered cherry flavor. There's some booziness mid-palate, but it's overtaken by flavors of coffee and a big tannic finish. Fairly hot, but the barrel flavor is reserved. Decent stuff, I'd like to try this sans infection.

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a murky dark, dark brown color with a brown, two-finger head of foam. The very bubbly foam receded to leave sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon and oak with strong roasted malt notes. There were also aromas that reminded me of a good port.

T - Very good flavor - bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Just enough bitter hop presence to even out the sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium to full bodied beer that hides its ABV quite well.

D - This is a very good barrel aged imperial stout. It wasn't overdone with the bourbon.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

Big thanks to therealnomayo for this bottle!

Figured I'd wait 'til I had people to share this with before opening it. Thankfully Dark Lord Day allows for just such an opportunity. It pours a dark black-sienna topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and light oak. I don't get much of the stout beneath, but the barrels come through loud and clear. The taste doesn't change all that much, though a light roasted malt character finds a way to make it through to my 'buds. Meanwhile, the barrels continue their rowdy shenanigans. The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a solid barrel-aged stout, but I think the barrels' influence was a tad too powerful, o'ershadowing the stout-ness nearly completely. Still, these were admittedly tasty barrels, so the whole thing isn't a net loss.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

Photo of oline73
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a ton of light tan head. The beer looks to be thinner than I would like and it foams up way too much.

Smell: Roasted malt along with some bourbon up front. There is a strong note of dark fruit and perhaps mild cherry. I'm getting a mild alcohol burn and some chocolate as well.

Taste: This one isn't bad at all. I was worried given the talk of infection, and I think it will end up being very sour in the future, but I'm enjoying it enough. Some bourbon and dark chocolate with hints of vanilla. The finish has some dark fruit and alcohol in it.

Mouthfeel: The body is definitely on the thin side with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This one is in the process of going bad. Still a pretty good beer, but we'll have to see in the future.

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 MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudylaw for busting this out at the CE release. Served in a weird conical pint glass thing.

A - Lots of foam that slowly dissipated and left tons of sticky lacing. Transparent black body with some ruby highlights at the fringes of the glass.

S - Tons of coconut and vanilla, roasted malt, oak, hints of smoke, cocoa. Very sweet, but also very good.

T - Taste is a little less complicated - it's very sweet with plenty of coconut, butterscotch, and baker's chocolate. Not much of an aftertaste.

M - Feel is very thin - somewhat underwhelming for a 10.5% brew. It's almost watery, with lower carbonation. A little bit of residual stickiness and char.

D - I can see myself getting really drunk on this, as the thin watery feel makes this go down super fast. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and the taste and smell are quite excellent.

Photo of drabmuh
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks. This was the biggest disappointment of the day, in fact I'd go as far to say that this beer failed completely.

Beer is dark brown and forms a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing, the beer is carbonated mildly.

Aroma is a little malty, a little bourbony, and a little...fruity. What is this giogn to taste like.

Its nearly impossible to be an active beer taster and not come across several bourbon barrel aged stouts, this is the worst. First off, its sweet at the front but super thin. The sweetness gives was to an odd funkiness and lactic acid. It finishes without bitterness but there is this odd tartness that lingers later, this was no enjoyable...at all.

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

C+

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.