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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

346 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(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
Photo of rijanyoung
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is out of this world!

the smell is absolutly intoxicating, very potent even through a stuffed up nose!

the taste, is something else, you can really detect the burboun in this beer, very evident throughout the entire experience! drink it slow, love it more.

it had a balanced feel to it, even though i did think the burboun was a little strong, the oak character really made for a nice lasting flavour even after swallowing.
top notch

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 SpruceFish
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1st of all wow my hat goes off to you odell i am impressed

pitch black great just that way this style of beer should look the head is tan could be a bit darker the smell is great vanilla, oak, bourbon and sweetness like dark fuits. the taste wow a bourbon explostion tones of vanilla oak and tannens also drak friuts and some choloate delictious the carbonation a great not to stong but just enough to tickle the tounge phenomanle the drink is great for a bourbon stout and as fresh as it is there is relivaly no booze it is just geat

i cant wait to see how this beer ages im sure it will be great

Photo of Bitterbill
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a bottle I bought in Colorado for $14.99. Casper now has a couple of cases and they are going for $15.49. Either one is a good value for 750ml bottles of these fancy BB Stouts that seem to be all the rage these days. Of course, good value is in the eyes of the beholder and depends heavily on how good the beer is. I shall see....

After removing the cage and cork, I get a "mild" pop, so I pour the beer and get, what looks to be, a pitch black brew with a very impressive 2 finger head of billowy tan foam. I'm using my NB goblet and when a brew is this dark, I hold the glass up to the light to see if there's any colour variance near the stem of the glass. I don't see any red hues but I'm still not sure if this is pitch black or not. Enough ranting on that...

First whiff and wow. Big note of bourbon starts things off with an almost equal nose of vanilla. Those 2 dominate so much, I'm having trouble trying to pull anything else out. Yeah, some alcohol is also near the forefront but I was looking for more but I still hold the nose of this Imperial Stout in the highest regard.

The taste is very bourbon forward as well with vanilla notes that are delightful. Hmmm....now some light coffee flavour is becoming noticeable as well as a nice sweetness that smacks of chocolate.

I started this session off with the bottle near room temp, you know, so I wouldn't "waste" any of this liquid during the normal warm up that occurs if I pulled it straight out of the fridge. That usually pays off for me and I think it has done it again. Oh, and to go off on a tangent for a moment, I'm looking at my glass and the lacing is superb.

The mouthfeel is close to full with a light level of carbonation...perfection? In my book. I think if there was more fizz, I wouldn't be as happy a camper.

Drinkability? The abv, which I haven't addressed "directly" yet though bourbon forward might be a clue, is hidden so so but in all honesty, it's not a super hot warming that I'm getting so I can't really complain about it too much. Not when the flavours and smells and look of this beast are keeping me happily satisfied, not to mention how smooth of a mouthfeel it has. I think Odell has hit the ball out of the park with this beauty and I'm so glad I have the other bottles I bought in CO and now have access to it locally. A...wonderful...brew..!

Edit: I found the cork pretty easy to remove on the bottle that I've had. I've had some corks on other brewers' bottles that I've had to use a cork screw on!

Photo of mulder1010
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml poured into a redoak glass

A-- Cork was a pain in the butt to get off! Poured a jet black with a 1/2 inch of head, a light brown color. Left a little bit of lacing on the glass. Not a lot of carbonation

S-- Bourbon forward. Either that or I need to drink more bourbon! Next is the vanilla and then the sweet milk. Very impressive in the smell catagory.

T-- Same as above. Bourbon, sweet milk, vanilla, and chocolate. Very well balanced and in a lot of ways each ingredient gets its chance to stand out alone. Impressive.

M-- Full bodied yes, but still creamy, rich and stands out. A decent amount of carbonation in the mouth but the flavors really take shape well. At the very end and once the beers warms up a bit you do get an alcohol burn. Small one though.

D-- Scary, scary, and scary. Very drinkable for a 10.5%. Without the bourbon this would be an awesome sweet stout. With the bourbon it is still awesome, even though I am not a fan of bourbon. That said opnce the beer warms up the bourbon becomes much more apparent. Excellent beer. Why Odell's has been my favorite brewery for a long time! Will also add it might be a good idea to cellar this baby. It will get much better in time.

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 jkendrick
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I have had two of these since its release in bottles. Good God! This is a terrific stout. I had it on tap earlier in the year at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver and while it was good, the bourbon was way over the top. Now, even young, this thing is pitch perfect. I am leaving the country for a year and won't be able to age this thing for quite a while, but truthfully, I'm not sure how much better this can get. Odell is one of the most criminally overlooked breweries in the country, IMHO.

ETA: after reading some other reviews, I figured I should echo the comments about the cork being much too difficult to remove.

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

Note: This cork is ridiculously difficult to remove. Took me 5 minutes and made my hand absolutely raw.

Black, with no real hints of brown seeping until close to the end. Rocky and thick medium brown head that laces densely, but in a random pattern.

Wood (presumably oak) is the first notable aroma, but there's certainly some bourbon and dark fruit, with a bit of chocolate and sweet cream in there.

The taste takes a bit to decipher, as there's a lot going on. Obvious flavors - Oak, chocolate, raisins. Subtle flavors - Vanilla, Bourbon, coffee, bread. The alcohol is present, but is masked by a combination of a couple of the flavors pretty well.

I was expecting a little more in the thickness department, but I was pleasantly surprised how well the carbonation held up. Once you get used to it, the body is not necessarily a drawback, but I feel it could have been improved with some meat on the bones.

For what it is, this is a readily drinkable beer, but the wood flavors start to grate a bit throughout. I do enjoy this beer a lot, but maybe if there's a next attempt a better route may be a mixture of % barrel-aged like Deschutes is fond of doing.

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

750 ml corked and caged bottle shared by Scott, thanks for brining this over man, poured into a snifter, color is almost black with dark brown around the edges, 3/4 inch frothy brown head, nice retention and lacing, aroma consists of roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, caramel, and marshmallow, flavor starts with roasted malts and vanilla, bourbon in the middle, some oak and more whiskey in the finish, more cocoa and vanilla flavors come out as it warm, roasted, warming, and dry mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers well, drank half the bottle and wanted more, smooth and not overly sweet, not all the alcohol is hidden which is what ultimiately hurts its drinkability but still pretty easy to drink, heard they were in the process of making this when I was in For Collins back in April and have wanted to try it ever since, this beer is very good and will only improve as it mellows, little hot and the moment but a few months should make this even better, will drink again, recommended

Photo of riored4v
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A few minutes ago I was sitting at the fridge, wondering what to drink. It's a very cold day here in Colorado, despite only being Sept 22. Snow is here already, and its time to open a Stout. Lets go for the Odell. And wow.. I'm glad I did.

Appearance has a rich, 3 finger, dense, tan head. Hold nearly through the whole glass, with great lacing. Nice, black body, although it doesnt pour "thick"

Smell is filled with oak and bourbon, although the bourbon isnt overpowering. Blends nicely with the chocolately and roasted malts. No overpowering sweetness to found in the aroma, that you can sometimes find in an imperial stout.

Taste has a great, but mellow, bourbon flavor.. far from being overpowering. Excellent, balanced taste. Very very smooth and finishes fantastic. Smooth, milky, chocolately flavors that finishes out with a mildly bitter roasted flavor. Some subtle hints of vanilla as well. Of course the oak flavors are present as well.

Mouthfeel is silky, medium body, and medium carbonation.

Drinkability is amazingly good for such a big beer. Only reason i gave is a 4.5 is because of the ABV and this will ofcourse limit you. Slight stickiness in the finish but no signs of ABV.

Overall... amazing beer. So smooth and balanced while retaining EXCELLENT drinkability. I'll be making sure to get more of these for the very cold months.

Photo of rye726
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours near black with a silky tan head. Excellent lacing and retention.

Nose has Bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and ripe pitted fruits.

Well balanced flavor profile has whiskey, wood, cocoa, molasses, vanilla, dark fruits and espresso.

Creamy body is nicely carbonated. Just a bit thin for the style. One of the best beers to ever come out of Odell.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I heard Odell was purchasing dozens of used Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels, I think I wet my pants. When I had the privilege of tasting it from the barrel thanks to a very generous Odell employee, I nearly crapped myself. Now the day is here, I am sitting in front of a glass of Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout and I am so excited I just can't contain it. Did I mention Buffalo trace is one of my favorite Bourbons? That I have consumed half a bottle in the past week? Yeah, this is a big day for me...

The aroma is...EXCEPTIONAL. The Bourbon barrel is there, but it is only the first wave, then comes milk chocolate, vanilla bean and a hint of prune. My first sip was sweet milk chocolate but that was only the first of many layors: mild coffee, vanilla bean, toffee, oak, a just a hint of Buffalo Trace. The body is creamy like a milk stout, the finish long with notes of cocoa and Bourbon. I spli this bottle, but unlike 99% of the Imperial Stouts I have tasted, I think I would really like to sit down and drink a bottle to myself. It was just that good. Not too rich, no overbearing Bourbon, just a nearly perfect example of what Barrel-aged Stouts should be.

Today, was a very good day.

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

Pours dark brown to nearly black with an inch of tan head that recedes to a thin layer of foam across the surface of my entire tulip glass. Smells terrific - milk chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Tastes that way too. Bourbon and oak flavors are integrated well without dominating this brew. Fairly sweet, but not like an Expedition Stout or Darkness by any means. Body is medium, and I could see some folks criticizing this as being too thin for their taste (based on the criticism I've seen of Black Ops). Carbonation is fairly high. Not sure if this is force carbed or bottle conditioned. Bubbles are fairly fine and soft, a little like Black Ops' champagne yeast. Very nice brew from Odell. Glad to see them bottle a second adventurous beer (on top of Woodcut). Hopefully we'll see more interesting stuff from Odell soon.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler purchased at brewery and poured into Urthel chalice. Beer was black with a one-finger, toffee color head. Thick lacing around the glass.

Aroma was heavy coffee, vanilla and bourbon notes.

Taste was coffee, vanilla and heavy bourbon. Long, moderately bitter finish.

Very nice beer. Gets better as it warms.

Photo of rhinos00
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Falling Rock. Notes from the phone.

A- Pours a dark chocolate with a nice mocha head.

S- Lots of coffee malts and some vanilla. Bourbon slightly accents the scent.

T- Much like the aroma, the bourbon plays a secondary role, which is a good thing in this beer. Lots of roasted coffee beans and chocolate malts. Overall a nicely balanced taste.

M- Somewhat creamy and great mouthfeel. Coats the palate well.

D- I could have easily had two of these as they were served in a smaller glass. Alcohol was not really detectable making it pretty enjoyable.

Overall I really like the fact that this beer was not made into an RIS. I think the bourbon paired with a stout is great combination because it makes it more sessionable. More brewers should be doing this.

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 Kemmerlin
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at Odell's Brewery actually called Buffalo Bourbon Aged Stout. In reviewing this beer I had to really focus on the style and what the brewer was trying to obtain when crafting it. Just so you all know, I did not like this beer specifically because I do not like the taste of hard liquor. I tried to not let that destroy the review.

A: Color was black with a thick frothy brown head that had substantial retainability and lacing.

S: The bourbon oak barrel really came through in the smell with light vanilla and strong alcohol bourbon. This smell was so over whelming to me I could not smell anything else.

T: The taste was strong of bourbon whisky with hints of toasted oak vanilla, yeast, and charred cigar tobacco.

M/D: The brew was heavy and seemed to burn my mouth with the high alcohol content although this could have been my own reaction to the bourboness of the beer. The was not able to finish so I would have to say it is not very drinkable but that is my own issues and should not reflect poorly on the achievement.

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

I believe the technical name is Buffalo Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout as the barrels the used are from Buffalo bourbon whiskey casks. Sampled at Odell's, the appearance is a rich midnight black color. A frothy darker tan head with great retention and lacing throughout the tasting.

The nose is rich with malt and bourbon notes. Some really nice malt sweetness backing and noticeable chocolate and a hint of roast. A creamy almost oatmeal in aroma. The bourbon is subtle but easily detectable. Some noticeable yeasty notes that I get with all Odells beers, but in addition some alcohol notes but everything is blended nicely.

In the taste, the malt really takes over as the bourbon/cask notes are limited. To start a big malty backing comes out on par with a Imp Stout. The chocolate notes come out first but is balance then buy some roast and kettle melanodian notes. The chocolate malt flavor really lingers into the finish, but not strong in astringency. Some minor spicy notes and textures that I associate with oats. There are some nice wood notes and every once in a while a nice bourbon note really comes out but subtle mostly. Would like to have more of the wood/whiskey notes come out overall. Very clean in yeast though.

The body is on par with a Imp Stout as well. Big malt flavors with some minor alcohol heat notes. Some very nice smooth textures with only a minor astringent kick. The carbonation has a almost nitro effect which helps smooth everything out.

Overall a very tasty and savory beer. This is one of those beers you sit and enjoy for a long time.

Photo of mkorpal
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Choice City Butcher and Deli in beautiful downtown Fort Collins on a perfect fall day (no wind, no clouds, 70 degrees).

Served in a standard pint glass. Beer was a very, very dark brown with only a hint of amber at the edges. A 2 finger head in a very appetizing brownish wight color. Pretty much your standard Imp. Stout look.

The smell was very nice. Lots of roasted coffee and chocolate with a good background of bourbon. My smell isn't perfect, so please don't quote me on this.

The Taste was excellent. It started out with chocolate and coffee notes with just a hint of bourbon while the beer was still cold. But after a half hour of sips, the beer really opened up with a strong taste of bourbon and hints of coffee and chocolate. I loved this gradual shift in taste. That is why I rated it so high.

Mouthfeel was decent. it had a nice body to it and was pretty smooth. It was what you would expect from a imp. stout.

Drinkability was also very good. There was pretty much no hint of alcohol in this beer, even when it was warmer (for better or worse, I would really like to know the true ABV of this beer). I could have (and would have if it wasn't for class) had another or three. Also, this beer was very nice on my wallet. The pint cost me 4 bucks. Thank you Odells and Choice city for what was a very wonderful afternoon.

Photo of Teke0611
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

not sure if this is a new batch or left over from the small batch fest (this was my favorite that day by a big margin), but a growler of it was produced none the less through a rep from odell's. they have it on tap this week for the gabf i am told. tasted around 7-8 hours after pouring into the growler.
a - pours a medium to dark brown. decent head retention, perhaps 1/8in. light beige in color - would be nice to see it a bit darker, but that's okay. nice lacing.
s - mostly bourbon & coco on the nose. not much coffee at all, maybe some roasted malt? the nose in the growler is that of sweet. somewhat boozey. not sure what the abv is on this one?
t - where no coffee was picked up on the nose, it is present in the taste. could use more, actually. the finish lingers of bourbon and sweetness. lots of roasted malts that were picked up from the smell. very good.
m - not much body; it's a bit thin here. similar to czar i think, or perhaps a porter. no alcohol burn here. mild sugars; overall very mild. maybe they should start with an overmalted version of their imperial stout here.
d - both in the super heat of the small batch fest and now the 48 degree fall weather, superbly drinkable. as it clearly isnt over the top in abv, this one is pretty easy to have several of.

review was done at second pouring, 7-8 hours after pouring (there was a sampling done a few hours previous). surprising that this held up as well as it did, considering that it made a 40 mile trip to me, then another 5 mile trip in my truck to my house.

overall, a very good beer. it would be very interesting to see them make this into a future woodcut, but beefed up a bit on body and a little of abv.

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