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Bourbon Barrel Stout - Odell Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 331
Reviews: 185
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 18.58%

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:
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 added by: waltonc on 09-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 185 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Mahogany, not as opaque as most imperial stouts (or stouts period). A surprisingly large foamy head that mostly subsides but leaves lingering lace.
smell: Cocoa, dry and quite subdued. Smells more like a stout than an imp. Hints of bourbon but certainly not front and center.
taste: Tasty but a little thin for an imp. not very complex. Quite dry.
mouthfeel: Thin, quite carbonated.
overall: Nice, good beer, not great. 2 more in the cellar. Maybe some age will transform.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 22:36:54 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of sweemzander


3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks for sharing this one Matt! 2011 vintage.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Produced some tan froth and lace.

(S)- Some nutty oaky notes. Bits of prune and raisin.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Lots of raisin and oak with some bourbon notes (but subtle).

(M)- A rather high; almost fizzy carbonation level. So high that it actually makes this feel thinner that it probably is.

(D)- Not bad, though with the super ridiculously high carbonation level, it really throws this off for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 19:26:50 | More by sweemzander
Photo of alpineclimber

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml corked and caged bottle with a date code of 4069-2011. I popped this one because of infection fears.

A huge tan head on a black brew. The huge frothy head recedes to leave lacing and a small layer of bubbles. Good carbonation.

Smell is of bourbon, wood cask, cola, chocolate malt and a slight smell of booze. I don't smell infection.

Taste is of bourbon, wood cask, tabacco and chocolate. Alcohol is preceptible in the tate which I kind of suspected in a young beer that is 11.5% ABV. The finish is drier then expected and the mouthfeel is big, with a good amount of carbonation.

I think I got an un-infected bottle. I don't detect any cherry or sour notes. Overall it's a good beer. The bourbon barrel dominates the taste, more of the stout would have been desired in the taste. If I could even get this beer I would be inclined to wait until the infection issues are sorted out.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 01:05:30 | More by alpineclimber
Photo of FosterJM


3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

975th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 ml

2011 vintage

Thanks to poonamibaxter for this one (i asked for one, not his fault)

App- A very dark chocolate brown. Much like liquid chocolate in a glass. A huge 2-1/2 finger very craterous crackly head with only a small ring of bubbles and only a couple dots of cling.

Smell- Whispy booze notes open this one up. The vanilla, chocolate, barrel notes are gone. Replaced by a very prickly note of hop bitter and grainular impish malts.

Taste- I am so dissapointed in this one. I waited forever to land one. Nothing about this screams BA stout. This infected bottle is like a export stout with grainy malts and a bit too much bubbles.

Mouth- A medium body and a prickly high carbonation. A little too prickly from carbonation. No residual chocolate, barrel or vanilla notes.

Drink- 2 words- Damn it !!!! I wanted this for so long and wanted another gem like BASC! I hope one day I can find it on tap

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 07:07:37 | More by FosterJM
Photo of FightingEntropy


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bit hard into a pint glass, the 10.5% ABV imperial stout piles up high with a tan, thick, rocky head that looks like foamy snow drifts after a storm. Dark black body that's opaque except for fleeting dark maroon highlights that appear with a strong back light. Nose seems a little subdued, but a quick swirl opens up a very pleasant roast that predominates over bourbon, alcohol hotness, light hop spice and oak. Creamy roast taste to start the beer, and a clean spice with caramel, malt and vanilla. Odell website description includes coffee, but I get it only after reading it. For an imperial stout, it has a prickly mouthfeel, seemingly from a carbonic bite which contributes to the very strong head formation. Letting the bottle warm up while open, the top-off pour forms a more stable and tightly bubbled head. Might be a bit over-carbonated in the bottle. Oak off the back of the tongue with a sting of bourbon.

As this beer warms, the dark fruit, especially cherry notes come out strong. Didn't notice the fruit flavors at all when colder--a solid argument for drinking beer slowly. A strong beer should improve as it warms--an important trait for big beers for me. However, for this beer, the mouthfeel thins and the alcohol becomes very hot in the nose with the increased temperature causing the balance to worsen and become acrid. Nothing is wrong with this imperial stout per se, but tonight's pint lacks a certain pizzazz. Well worth the price of admission for a good beer that won't become a cult hero.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 01:11:36 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of harrymel


2.05/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2011 from the dentist

A: black with three fingers of persistent toasted foam. Spotty lace.
S: leather, green olive juice, hints of cocoa
T: mostly leather, some green olive juice, some coffee grounds.
M; thin and hi carb. Dry.
O: unimpressed at best. Tastes like it will be an infectious mess soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 04:20:36 | More by harrymel
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to daniloknezic for this beer sent as an extra!

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with a light to medium brown colored head that honestly looks like a rootbeer float. Massive head probably 3 fingers high. Super sticky lacing and decent retention of head.

Smell: Mild bourbon and faint roasty malts.

Taste: moderately sweet and mild roasty malts. caramel, bourbon, some vanilla, a little oak, and mild almost watered down coffee note. Getting a little fruitiness from this stout maybe cherry or currents that in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with high carbonation. I think that the body is bit to thin for the style, but it probably because of the carbonation being too much for this beer.

Overall: It is decent beer, but not my favorite in this style. Odell has alot of really great offerings, but this is not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 19:38:11 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of vobr0002


3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- no head at all really, but the beer is dark and no light is seen through it.

S- faint smell of bourbon and roasted malts. Idk if my mind is playing tricks on me from hearing so much about the infected beers, but I swear I got a hint of vinegar. Its probably just some of the faint bourbon hopefully.

T- roast flavors then then hints of bourbon come through. Maybe some cherry flavors in there too. Not like many other stouts. Reminds me of a bourbon like wine, maybe I'm crazy.

M- its very flat. I don't know if its my bottle or this batch was under carbed because of some of the previous over carbed issues. Almost feels like a wine. Full body but not creamy though. Interesting.

O- not what I was expecting. It seems like they are still trying to get this beer right. I can see what they are trying to do but it still needs some work.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 04:27:22 | More by vobr0002
Photo of TVolt1


3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Almost a purple/pruney color to it. No head, but clear annd great color like a deep red wine.

S: Has a mild smell. You can smell cherries, a little bit of dark chocolate as well as a little bit of roasty smell.

T: Reminds we first of a wine with a deep wine taste, the finish then reminds me just a little bit of a stout. Not much of a stout tasting beer though. Very interesting taste.

M: Good medium mouthfeel. Not very carbonated but it suits the beer well.

O: overall, this is an alright beer. Doesn't taste much like a stout but I don't mind drinking it.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 04:11:39 | More by TVolt1
Photo of russwbeck


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot of head from the pour, off white in color. Brown to black pour. Great retention and lacing. The smell as some alcohol, but is covered by chocolate and roasted malts. No bourbon is noted at all. The taste is a bit light. Chocolate, booze, oak, dry finish. A bit too much alcohol for my likes. Light in body and too much carbonation mix with the booze to make a beer I'm just not crazy about. I'm not a huge fan of oak forward BA beers, I much prefer the bourbon being at the forefront. Other people liked it but I thought it was just OK.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 18:27:23 | More by russwbeck
Photo of quaybr


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter a dark dark brown moving towards black. Had a thick and bubbly light tan head.

Smells gorgeous. Bourbon, cocoa, coffee, and a subtle vanilla aroma make up the nose.

Taste follows the smell: bourbon and malty goodness send the tongue into overload. This is just swell. As expected, this beer really comes to life as it warms up a bit.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Glides across the tongue. A few sips seemed just a tad too carbonated.

This is a great beer. Fortunate to have a bottle that was not infected. As always, enjoyed more thoroughly in the company of a good friend.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 06:31:11 | More by quaybr
Photo of gatornation


3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap in a 10 oz pour

A- pours a black thick color with a tan,cherry head and good lacing

S- was bourbon, cocoa,vanilla,roasted malts, chocolate

T- was pretty good with oak and vanilla mixed with roasted malts coffee,chocolate,bourbon in the finish

M- was thick and full but not creamy or silky smooth, the bourboun was there but was not aged or smooth

O - a good BB stout but 2nd tier IMO, but will drink this anytime i see it on tap,probably wont buy a bottle of it though

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2011 01:10:48 | More by gatornation
Photo of UCLABrewN84


2.3/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 00:13:31 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man.

The beer is dark brown with an inch of khaki colored head. Ample lacing left on the tulip. The aroma brings some malt with a musty, yeast character. The scent is generally pretty weak. Unusual, though not off putting. While the beer is not bad, this is without question a beverage that has been invaded by wild bacteria. Light tartness and mild sourness with hints of roast. Sweet and sour cherries. Bourbon presence is secondary to wild yeast flavors. Not at all what one should expect from an imperial stout. If the style category was changed to American wild ale, this beer would make more sense. Overall, interesting, and worth a try, especially if you're a fan of both stouts and sour ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 01:46:50 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of matttttYCE


3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into my Stone snifter, this beer is super dark black, no highlights. Head is pretty bubbly/somewhat rocky, very high, 2 fingers, barely receding at all, and light tan in color. Lace is substantial.

S - Aroma is pretty light in general. Notes of dark roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee beans/espresso, caramel, a bit of wood/oak, lighter but noticeable bourbon aroma and bourbon spice, and a bit of root beer. I think it takes some decent warming for most of the aromas to come out. Once it warms, the vanilla, caramel, oak, bourbon, chocolate, and coffee not only come out a bit more but they meld together very nicely to form one of the nicer smelling Bourbon barrel aged Stouts I've smelled that's lighter on the bourbon.

T - Taste is much the same as the aroma. Light but with notes of sweet milk chocolate, light but present roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, root beer, more chocolate, hints of bitter dark chocolate, bourbon, and oak. Taste doesn't open up as much as the aroma did after warming. Taste really doesn't bowl me over that much, for as nice as the aroma smelled, especially after it warmed a bit. Above average I would say.

M - Carbonation is a bit high for an imperial stout and detracts from the brew a bit in my opinion. Consistency is almost viscous, body is a bit higher than medium, and the finish is light and fairly short-lived.

O - A good barrel aged stout overall, but certainly not one that I'm really going to write home about. Carbonation hurts it in the mouthfeel section and somewhat in the taste. The aroma really led to a disappointment in taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 03:55:30 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of jmdrpi


2.3/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750mL corked and caged bottle. 5036-2011 is on the label.

almost black, massive thick tan colored head that leaves bid clumps of lacing, with great retention.

the aroma is not was is expected. instead of bourbon or roasted malt, I get maybe some malt, raisin, and a bit of black cherry.
taste is similar, a bit tart and dry in the finish. none of the flavors indicated on the bottle label (chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, caramel) show up at all.

smooth, but still significant carbonation. expected to be thicker.

overall, a big miss for the style. maybe some QC issues?
Unfortunately after I took the trouble of flying this bottle back from a trip to Colorado, I read about infection issues with this beer. So I drank right away. Can't say for certain if some wild yeast is talking hold or not. It's not bad, but not good. certainly not worth the price tag.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 02:20:30 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Rayek


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at City O' City in Denver. Served in a snifter. The deep chocolate hue borders on black. A small nougat cap slowly falls to a patchwork film. Leaves bits of lace.

This beer is fairly light for this much alcohol. Baking chocolate, espresso, burnt wood and a bit of vanilla do the bulk of the work. The bourbon barrel here is more subdued than in other barrel aged beers I've had. It adds a woodsy presence that doesn't get in the way of the rest of the proceedings. Even with the high ABV, the alcohol is well masked. It adds a touch of warmth going down. Overall balance is exemplary. The medium body is syrupy and has the right amount of fizz.

Overall, I liked this a lot. It has a good balance that many members of this style lack. As an added bonus, the bourbon barrel isn't overpowering. Instead, it lends a nice compliment to the other flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2011 02:01:09 | More by Rayek
Photo of Yesac


3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received on trade from someone, can't remember. Vintage 2009.

A- Appears black in the glass, a small khaki head forms which quickly thins out to a small layer. Nothing to exciting here.

S- caramel, faint oak, bourbon, dark cherry. Not to much going on here either.. everything is fairly faint and not that complex.

T- Along with smell... weak bourbon barrel, oak, dark cherry, root beer.

M- Medium bodied, light carbonation.

O- An okay bourbon stout, I've certainly have had better. Age didn't seem to do this one well but I've also not had a fresh one either.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 00:57:45 | More by Yesac
Photo of birchstick


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color with a 1 finger head into a 10oz snifter. The nose consists of molasses and oak with some bourbon and coffee. The taste is similar. Opens with spicy bourbon which seems to never really go away. A little bit of chocolate comes into the mix through the middle. Tones of vanilla and molasses show up toward the back and are kept in check by the spicy bourbon. Wow, this one is pretty hot. Leaves with vanilla and almost a spicy rum flavor on tap, This could use more age to mellow out a bit as it seems like the bourbon was overpowering everything else in its midst. I t is a solid beer nonetheless and Definitely recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2011 01:45:24 | More by birchstick
Photo of kkrez


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 19:13:38 | More by kkrez
Photo of Ilovedryhopping


4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Color is opaque brown. The head pours thick and stands well over an inch before diffusing to a perfect 2 finger head.

Smell: Defined bourbon barrel scent. Has a sweet scent of vanilla, yet a chocolate finish smell.

Taste: Very well balanced. It has a huge body, yet the oak and caramel notes make it smooth.

Mouthful: Although heavy, it has the carbonation to make it refreshing.

Overall a delightful experience!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 04:15:53 | More by Ilovedryhopping
Photo of JoeAmerican77


4/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 03:24:57 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of Phelps


3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black and thick as pitch. No highlights — or any light at all — coming through. The head is the color and consistency of spun brown sugar. It gets about an inch tall before slinking back down to half a finger and goes nowhere after that.

In the nose: acrid burnt bread, dried peanuts, lots of ethanol, a surprising amount of citrusy hops, and of course new oak and sweet bourbon. The booze is mild and smoothly blended in the background.

Flavor is a pretty perfect reflection of the nose. Bread, toasted to a crisp; peanut skins, roasted; lots of ethanol flavor, but less actual bourbon. Smooth, bitter dark chocolate and a hint if prunes dance in the back, as does smoky oak, as if the barrel was burnt instead of toasted. Some toffee, burnt sugar and occasional hits of butterscotch emerge as well. That all sounds better than it is, however. The good parts of the flavor are hard to pull out, and most of the time all I get is a big alcohol bite and bitter chocolate.

Gentle massaging carbonation in a velvety body a hair under medium. Silky in the tongue. Ethanol fumes in the nose, heat on the tongue. I'll at least give it this: it's not as hot as it should be.

Odell's Bourbon Barrel Stout needs something, I just can't quite figure out what. More bourbon? More stout? There's something missing here, and ethanol flavor is running wild. I was able to try the first batch of this beer on tap, and it was outrageously good. All subsequent tastings have either been infected or disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 23:48:54 | More by Phelps
Photo of JamisonM


1.88/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2011 Vintage poured into a Tulip glass big pop on the cork

A: A slow pour yielded a huge mocha head body is black as night.

S: No bourbon notes here? A musty citrus note here along with slight chocolate and vanilla notes. Smells off.

T: Yuck this is infected! Tastes just like there wild yeast strain. Musty Citrus some black malt vanilla and chocolate. The wild yeast taste is really overwhelming the beer. No body no sweetness it has a very dry finish, not what I was looking for.

M: Body is not what I expected, its med low. High carbonation too high for the style. A very dry beer too.

Overall: Another infected batch?? Really Odell?? I paid 14 bucks per bottle I expect something better. Looking and the bottle more closely I see there is yeast at the top of the bottle near where the cork was. Maybe one day I will get to try a really good version of this beer, this was a huge let down.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 13:28:19 | More by JamisonM
Photo of kbutler1


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Served at ABR. Pours a dark brown black color with a fluffy tan head. Aroma is bourbon and oak all the way with a touch of dark chocolate, vanilla, and some roast. Medium mouthfeel, lighter than I really want. Everything seems pretty balanced here but something for me is lacking here and I can’t quite put a finger on it. I find myself liking it but not as much as I want to. One sample was good for me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2011 16:20:29 | More by kbutler1
Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.