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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Token Bourbon Barrel AgedToken Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

63 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 151
Avg: 3.35
pDev: 26.87%
Wants: 13
Gots: 52 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BdubleEdubleRUN on 09-02-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 151
Photo of N17shelfside
4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review comes long after I drank this beer and I drank my stock of them as soon as I knew they were infected. I have to say the infection actually did some interesting things with this beer. The fresh version had been blended with regular token which already made it a watered Down version, but the infection brought out some interesting favors to go with the bourbon. This has led to my interest in a rare style of Brett bourbon aged beers like some anchorage offerings that I think purposefully carry this style off really well, even if alpine didn't mean it.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.08/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours dark brown/black with a big creamy beige head and lots of bubbles.

Some sweet malt, vanilla, oak and a touch of booze present on the nose. Dark fruits and a touch of sourness.

Flavor is overpowered by the infection. Tart cherries and apple cider vinegar prevail. The porter flavors are completely lost and there is no bourbon presence.

Infection has made this one too thin bodied and way overcarbed.

I'd love to try a non-infected bottle. Sometimes I dig some sour flavors in porters, but this is definitely the bad kind of infection.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle on 1-21-12

A - A dark brown pour with a foamy tan head. Solid retention and spots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Strong bourbon, chocolate, and some wood.

T - Creamy chocolate with a strong bourbon finish.

D - Good carbonation, medium body.

O - Solid bourbon, a touch bitter, which made it seem unbalanced.

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Photo of axeman9182
2.55/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from Dobby. This one was allowed to warm just a bit before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Alpine's barrel aged Token pours nearly a solid black, but scant ruby highlights apper with backlighting. Maybe two fingers of khaki colored foam rise up on top of the beer, but the head quickly fades and doesn't leave any lacing. The nose is a little bit weak, but has some notes of vanilla and dark chocolate, but surprisingly no bourbon. There's also some sour cherries and dark fruits, but not not as much as I'd been bracing for. The infection is much more prominent in the flavor profile, especially as the beer warms. It definitely takes over from the vanilla and chocolate. The beer doesn't have a bad taste per se, it's just not anywhere near what a porter should taste like. Similarly, the mouthfeel is entirely off for the style. It's way thin and overcarbonated. I actually didn't hate the barrel aged Token, it's just not anywhere near being a porter.

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Photo of AleWatcher
1.98/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bomber courtesy of Sideswipe-- big thanks John!
Served in a darkness snifter.

Some sweet malt, vanilla, and oaky bourbon notes are prominent but a hair overpowered by some dark fruit notes holding a hint of tartness.
Feels a bit thin-- but it is a porter so I can deal with the thinness. A lot more carbonation than necessary too.

Overall-- a fun one to try, but not worth what people were trading to land. It might be infected, which will lead me say that I'll re-review it when I try a future release-- but til then, this review stands because it was released like this.

EDIT-- after letting it warm up, I think it must be infected... Dark fruits, tart cherries, and apple cider vinegar probably weren't intended flavors. Also, the body is MUCH too thin and overcarbonated.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler shared while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour fruit up front with some subtle roasty malt aromas if you search for them. Taste is of roasty malt, sour fruit, wood, and a slight funky flavor. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a decent beer but there is an obvious infection issue going on.

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Photo of gford217
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a small off-white head that recedes to a small collar quickly.

Aroma is nice and sweet with some cocoa powder, vanilla and caramel. There is some bourbon character well integrated in the nose. There is a faint sugar-coated cherry character in the nose but it's subtle and actually pleasant.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma as the tart cherries are a bit more prevalent. In fact, the nicest attributes of the aroma - chocolate malts, vanilla - are tough to find in the taste. The finish is a combination of roasty malts, tart cherries and bourbon.

The mouthfeel is thinish with low carbonation.

I knew the risk of this bottle going in but was still looking forward to trying it and I'm glad I did. This was nowhere close to a drainpour and I actually enjoyed some of the tartness. That said, it certainly doesn't stand up to the better beers in the style.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.4/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Block 15 snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a very fizzy and short lived light brown head. Tiny spotty lacing.
S: Chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, fudge, caramel, nuts, a hint of bourbon, and even more sugar sweet caramel. I’m getting something fruity as well….something infected. Smells great aside from the slight tart cherry notes.
T: Yep. Spritzy, sweet and fruity infected infectedness. Chocolate and caramel are still noticeable, but pretty much everything is overpowered by the sweet and lightly sour cherry/berry infection. Finish is sweet with fruity infection candy.
M: Spritzy and really bubbly carbonation. Body is fairly thick and the mouthfeel is fizzy yet slick and greasy.
O: I bought this bottle before I heard about the possible infection. I paid a lot for the bottle as well. Needless to say that’s what I get for not doing my research, but I’m still pissed this is even available for purchased. There goes an expensive drain pour.

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the brewpub.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with mahogany edges and one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streak of lacing left behind.

Sweet malty aroma with a well integrated barrel character.  Hints of spicy bourbon, dry oak and vanilla counted by dark chocolate, caramel and toast.  Some alcohol but not overly boozy.

Medium bodied with lots of malt and bourbon sweetness. Again, barrel well integrated with bourbon sweetness without being hot. Also some subtle dry, toasted oak and vanilla flavor countered by a slightly smokey malt character.  Hints of chocolate, toffee and rye creating some nice balance but it's a bit tame for my liking. 

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Photo of beerfan99
1.95/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2011 Release
22 oz bottle tasted on 2/10/2012

A: Dark brown in color with a small light brown head. I was expecting it to be a little darker in color, closer to black. Looks a little on the watery side.

S: Bourbon aroma first, followed by caramel and maybe a little vanilla. Very inviting and anxious to taste.

T: Infected. This promising bourbon token has been infected and tastes on the sour side. Unfortunately, this is not a good sour.

M: Low carbonation and a little watery.

O: I was anxious to try this brewery only limited release. Alpine is one of my favorite breweries, so I had high expectations going in. Unfortunately, this beer was infected and was basically a drain pour. This is not a good reflection on Alpine, especially considering that they really don't have a line-up of sours and cannot use cross contamination as an excuse. I'll update this review, if any of my remaining bottles are good.

For those of you considering trading for this beer, I recommend staying away.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Samuel Smith nonik.

Deep (yet clear) seal brown liquid with vague auburn highlights when held to a strong light support a heavily active raft of desert sand micro-bubbles which recede to a thin collar and a lasting slick.

Toasted malt, cedar, and charred barrel notes in the nose - faintly acrid quality is assuaged by a hint of butterscotch (no diacetyl).

Tart barrel-heavy palate entry with a second wave of smoke and harsh roasted tomato/bourbon notes. Bitterness increases as the sour notes subside and a hint of unsweetened chocolate seeps through the metallic elements. The barrel has taken over this beer.

Medium-light bodied, tannic, fizzy, and astringent mouthfeel.

Lightly infected or poorly aged/handled, I can't quite tell? A terrible value from a wonderful brewery, especially given how terrific the base beer is on its own...

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to CBS snifter on 1/5/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to Sebowski for the hook-up --

A: It looks ok I guess. Nothing crazy. A standfard pour yields a dissapointing one finger head, which has an almond-brown hue to it. Lacking retention and zero lacing.

S: A reasonable amount of wood, and what can only be described as a red fruit tanginess.

T: The fore is tannic and charry. Diacetyl attacks the mid, and adds a buttery quality to the beer which isn't warmly welcomed. The mid also reveals a mild funkiness. The finish comes off quite lactic. I will say that the infection takes a backseat as the beer warms, and recommend getting this one to room temp before consumption.

M: Just too damn brash. There's no finesse here, and the thin body only exacerbates the infection.

O: I absolutely love Alpine. It will forever hold a place in my beer filled heart. And for as much as I heart these guys, I cannot recommend this infected barrel aged porter.

I think I can see through the infection, that I'm able to get a decent feel for where they wanted to take this. And if this didn't have any outlying issues, it may've been a pretty damn good BA beer.

In the end though, this is just not up to snuff, and I sincerely hope that Alpine cleans this kind of thing up, as future bottlings cannot have this kind of issue. Here's to immediate and improved quality control.

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

98th Review
Bottle to snifter

From notes. Thanks jcon5 for sharing this at the DL Variant + Others Tasting in Chicago (October 2011).

A: Medium brown with a tint of burgundy. Half (light tan) fingernail head on vigorous pour.

S: Roasted coffee, dark malts, vanilla, and a hint of dark fruit. Not too over the top, but pleasant.

T: Quite sweet (butterscotch, caramel, and chocolate) with a faint hint of coffee. Roasted malt character comes thru towards the end, but this is not a terribly good finish to this beer.

M: Medium body with low carbonation.

O: I wish this beer were a bit more roasty and that you could tell that is was aged in a barrel. As you cannot, there is definitely room for improvement here. A good start to a beer, but there needs to be a few extra layers and just more robust.

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Photo of brydeen
2.34/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Pours a reddish brown with a tan, thin head. Little retention or lacing.

S: Huge buttery nose, with hints of caramel and vanilla. No real bourbon presence at all.

T: Tangy sweetness with a metallic tinge as well. Unfortunately, this bottle has also fell victim to the alleged infection issues. Total drain pour.

M: Very thin bodied for a porter. Not a lot of carbonation, but somewhat smooth and creamy.

O: I was hoping I would dodge the infection concerns, but I did not. Hard to recommend this one to anyone.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.09/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of many during my recent trip to San Diego.

A: Half fingered head formed atop this deep reddish brown brew and displayed little retention and only some lacing.

S: Vanilla and caramel blend nicely with the coffee and bourbon scents.

T: Vanilla cream front with a slightly sour aftertaste. Aftertaste worsens throughout the tasting, but although it's infected it remained drinkable.

M: Medium bodied and creamy, low on carbonation.

O: Would love to try the next batch.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a small, thin brown head. As the head slowly fades it leaves a decent amount of thin lacing.

Aromas begin quite fruity, with a large amount of Brett infection. As I further examine I get smells of vanilla and a mild roasted caramel. Hints of bourbon are also detectable as well as slight coffee. Definitely infected though.

The tastes begin with dark malts, toffee and butterscotch, with some sour dark cherries there as well. Finish has some light coffee and espresso notes alongside the butterscotch and tart berry and cherry fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is roasty and dry and tart. Light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Quite sour on the palate with hints of bourbon in the finish.

Overall, although this was infected and the version I sampled is nothing what the brewer intended it to be, I still enjoyed it. Judging it blind I would say it reminds me of a porter with Brett or maybe what I assume Tart of Darkness tastes like. Not amazing and probably not worth seeking out as this batch is clearly infected.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.11/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this one in a trade with NewGeneric a while back. Love Alpine's IPAs, so I'm stoked to try another style I love from this brewery.

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour produces a one finger, medium-thin, light mocha colored head with decent retention. Black body and medium levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a wisp and foamy ring. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bolder nose of toffee, dark malts and butterscotch. Some light coffee and burnt malt notes, but quite toffee and butterscotch forward, much like an English bitter on gear. Touches of oak, but not much bourbon at all. Smell alright actually, but nothing like a bourbon barrel aged porter.

TASTE: Dark malts, toffee and butterscotch, with some sour dark cherries there as well. Finish has some light coffee and espresso notes alongside the butterscotch and tart cherries. Medium but lingering aftertaste is sweet-sour with toffee and brett notes. Highly doubt the sourness in this one was intentional, but the infection is not too far along yet. As the brew sits in the glass, the sourness tones down a bit and a bit of bourbon barrel finally does make an appearance. Still off the mark, however.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down a little prickly and finishes quite sticky. Needs to be fuller, creamier and smoother.

OVERALL: Was looking forward to trying this one, but this bottle was showing the signs of early infection I think. The infection is not that far along yet, with just some sour cherries in there at the moment, so some people might really enjoy the bit of tartness in there. I’m not a huge sour fan myself, but this one was still drinkable, and I could tell there was a quality base beer under the all the problems. I’d pass on this release, but would gladly try it again if Alpine ever bottled another batch. Thanks again for the trade NewGeneric.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.69/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Strong Ale 2011

Pours dark brown in color with a finger of khaki head. Smells...off. Very buttery and almost a bit cheesy. Some oak and vanilla notes, maybe some roast and smoke, old chocolate, too. There is more butter on the flavor. A bit of cocoa powder, some roast, and a hint of smoke. A mild tartness as well as some astringency and metal. A bit thin in body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours very little head. Color is a caramel hued brown.

Aroma: Caramel and roast with a coffee flavor. I smell cherries. No barrel aged flavors.

Taste: Very odd. Vanilla and caramel sweetness. Chocolate and roast. Light oak. Cherries. Maybe a slight infection. Not very porter like.

Mouthfeel: Roasty and dry. Light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, not the best barrel aged porter n the world. I think this may have an infection issue or one coming on soon. I don't want a lot of this one.

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Photo of match1112
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: deep dark brown. half a finger of tan head. no lacing.

s: coffee, toffee, chocolate. no bourbon.

t: coffee, toffee, chocolate, malts, roastieness, maybe a little butter. no bourbon.

m: a bit thin with decent carbonation. a slight bittterness from the coffee and chocolate not hops.

o: very disappointed because there wasnt any bourbon flavors as advertised. dont know if i got a bad bottle or what the deal is. it's a nice porter, but a bad bourbon barrel porter.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black color, with a thin brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving a thick curtain of lace.

This beer smells of vanilla. I get a mild roasted caramel aroma also. Hints of bourbon are also detectable. I slight coffee aroma is present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Sweet caramel, with some oak and vanilla. Mild bourbon and coffee in the finish.

This beer is low in carbonation. It is full bodied and smooth. The alcohol is well hidden throughout this beer.

I doubt this beer would make a great session beer. It is too high in alcohol.

Overall: I dont get any hints of the infection others have noted. Maybe I am just lucky? Either wat, I liked it and would buy it again.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.53/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle, shared by Adam, served in a snifter.

First aroma upon cracking the bottle is tart. Errr, this won't end well as expected. Pours a near black with thin, weak off white head with little retention or lacing. Aroma is fruity, tart, maple, butter and light oak and vanilla. Flavor is ravaged by the fruit and tart, unpleasantly bitter and whatever trace of what the beer is supposed to taste like is too far gone for me to try to identify. Medium thin body, over carbonated. Unfortunately not worth seeking out if all bottles are like this.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber bottle poured into Boulevard Tulip glass.

A: Pours a really deep brown with some reddish hues. Only a small tan head. Some alcohol feet. Not a lot of lacing, but a little.

S: From the nose I get a good amount of chocolate and coffee. I don't get the bourbon at all. I get some faint vanillas and oak. A little caramel as well.

T: Taste wise it's very sweet and seems like it needs more time to develop. From the front of the tongue, it coats with sweet chocolate bitterness. There is some caramel and toffee there. And an interesting finish. The alcohol is well hidden actually. There is some warming, but no over powering. It's almost too thin for my liking.

M: Medium bodied. And it's surprising for a BA porter. Thought for sure it'd be full.

O: I don't think I tasted infection, but I don't know for sure. I will go with a B- to B on here. I really feel that more time in the barrel could have added more complexity. I also think that they needed more body. Alpine makes some great IPAs, but this isn't their best offering.

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Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let this warm some out of the fridge first. Poured a huge, thick, tan, creamy, foamy, somwhat frothy head that slowly settled and some lace. Color is an almost opaque (in thin part of glass, it's clear mahogany), brown black with red notes. Aroma is malt, roast, butterscotch, burnt sugar, cookie dough. Flavor's very similar to nose; sweet and carbonic tang on top, followed by the other stuff. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is very close to taste with alcohol warmth. Not bad; especially for cool temperatures. Be fun to cook with too.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronados

A: Very dark brown in color with a 1/2 inch tan head and some pretty solid lacing.

S: Toffee, a bit of bourbon, coffee and some chocolate.

T: The bourbon leads the flavor, but it feels pretty restrained, allowing the lighter coffee, toffee and roasted malt flavors to shine. Mouthfeel is a bit too thin for me.

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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.