1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Token Bourbon Barrel Aged - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Token Bourbon Barrel AgedToken Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 27.95%
Wants: 13
Gots: 53 | 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.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by jzeilinger:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.2/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Zwanze Day 2011
Bottle Share
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Dark brown with dark cherry red and auburn edges. Light brown head and spots of lacing left down the glass.

Wonderfully aromatic barrel aged porter. Lots of vanilla and wood, complemented by roasted malt and rich chocolate. No one aroma is dominant; this comes together incredibly well to form a divine, balanced, rich aroma.

Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate combine with very mild vanilla and oak flavors from the barreling. This beer will not beat you over the head with bourbon notes, but they are there.

Surprisingly light bodied for the style with ample carbonation. I would prefer it to be a touch thicker, but this is a very minor complaint.

A delicious barrel aged porter. Fantastic!

Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +25.2%
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.

Photo of beerfan99
1.95/5  rDev -39.4%
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.

Photo of augustgarage
3.1/5  rDev -3.7%
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...

Photo of thagr81us
3.84/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark red brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, wood, and butterscotch. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The barrel really manifested itself nicely in this brew. However the taste of butterscotch gives me some slight concern on this one... The aroma was quite nice for the style and one of the better ones I've come across. Just wish that the flavor would have followed suit... Still a definite must try for any beer fan out there.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both SDDanC and BdubleEdubleRUN for this beer (one more in the cellar). Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark brown, almost black color. About a finger of mocha colored head.

Smell – Slight bourbon, vanilla, quite realistic toffee, chocolate, and some buttery aromas oddly.

Taste – As much as I love Alpine, I feel this beer is a bit off. Not nearly as much bourbon as I was hoping. Some nice chocolate and vanilla flavors mixed in with a decent amount of buttery flavor that detracts from the beer. I get no tartness that some were describing though (thankfully). A hint of roasted bittersweet malt come sin at the end.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, a hint thin, spot on carbonation.

Overall – A bit disappointing to be honest. A couple of the flavors were just off and I am struggling to finish this bomber.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.08/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

Photo of largadeer
2.09/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks for the tick, Nick. Dark chocolate brown topped by a thin tan head with minimal lacing. Smells like cocoa powder, butter and cake batter. Bourbon is very faint. The palate is odd; mildly sour and lactic, buttery, slick. Raisin covered chocolate, not much bouton flavor but faint oak. Medium-thin body. Finishes on a buttery note with a slick mouthfeel. I love Alpine, but this isn't particularly good.

Photo of dmsohyea
3.02/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle bought at Alpine Beer Co. I feel the need to re-review this in the bottle because it's really falling apart. My tap review didn't taste the same at all. This beer either has a diacetyl problem or is infected. (going to be a short review)

A - same as before dark brown with good head and retention.

S - like a stick of butter melting in the microwave and a bit of brown sugar. wow is this one buttery.

T - taste is not nearly as buttery, but the flavor is there. Imagine a nice buttered toast and a bit of bourbon character.

M - Good and slick with moderate carbonation. Pretty nice, still.

O - butter flavors have ruined the beer I enjoyed so much on tap. Bummer.

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours nearly black with a little light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and a bit wine like. There is some roast, but dark fruit and alcohol dominates.

Taste: At least I can pick up some bourbon here. There is a sweet tart flavor that reminds me of red wine. A bit buttery. Some vanilla, but not much roast. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not really what I was looking for here. Not necessarily bad, but a bit too sour.

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look: Almost black in color with a 1/8 inch head and little to no retention

Smell: Hints of bourbon and cocoa but unfortunately a little butter from a diacetyl infection. It is faint but it is still there

Taste: Is similar to the nose actually with the buttery infection being upfront. The infection hasn't totally killed the other flavors quite yet and there are still some bourbon notes that save the beer

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to low carbonation

Overall: I really want to try this one when it is not infected. Sadly I have two bottles left in the cellar that I am not sure what I want to do with them just yet.

Photo of N17shelfside
4.02/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.22/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of rand
4.53/5  rDev +40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From growler to nonic pint glass

A: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Token pours jet black, the way a porter should, with a fluffy off-white head, tightly bubbled. As the head recedes, a few polka dots of lacing remain.

N: The nose yields a subtle bouquet, marked by notes of vanilla and caramel. Some woody, bourbon-y smoke lingers, but just barely. Alcohol is almost completely masked.

T: At the front, lightly sweet notes of vanilla poke through, backed by a touch of citrus-twang. Chocolate follows, pushing up against hints of wood and resiny cherry. A wood-soaked bourbon-tone works as a backdrop, accenting the flavor-profile without supplanting. Remarkably, there's barely a trace of alcohol - of the beers I've sampled, this is the least boozy of its kind.

M: The brew is light on the palate, almost delicate, allowing the complex flavors to do their thing. Carbonation is relatively low, but appropriately so. The brew rinses clean after each sip.

I was never a fan of the 'drinkability' category, but right now I can't think of a better descriptor. Instead of penetrating and coating the palate, B-A Token touches and glides across your tongue. All the while, the bold 9.5% alcohol remains perfectly hidden.

Porters aren't always my favorite style, but this brew is so fine-tuned and spot on I could drink this all the time. I'm really hoping Alpine expands their campus and starts to make more of these fine beers on a regular basis.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mdfb79. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a short light tan head and some spotty lacing. The nose carries a bit of light bourbon plus a good dosing of vanilla and oak. Flavor has slight bourbon plus chocolate. Oak and vanilla dominate. The barrel character is heavy, but not too dominant on the bourbon. Body is medium-heavy with light oak. Good character throughout. Pretty tasty. Thanks again, Dan.

Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to spycow for sharing this on a random Friday night.

A - Dark brown colored beer with a tan head that settled to a tight ring. A bit of lace left on the glass.

S - Cocoa, pankcake batter, butter, some sweet butter. Not what I was anticipating at all. There's a little bit of dark fruit but I think they might have actually forgotten to barrel age this.

T - Some chocolate, caramel malts, lot of butter. Also, not much barrel or bourbon on this. Slightly lactic/tart on the end. Infection?

M - Medium bodied, active carbonation.

O - Not particularly great. It's kind of an odd combination of flavors, particularly for a BA Porter. Not sure if this is what they were going for or it's infected already.

Photo of AleWatcher
1.98/5  rDev -38.5%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
2.69/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Photo of unseenbyyou
4.97/5  rDev +54.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared this with my brother in law on Saturday night...poured in a tulip served cold, but warmed as it sat out.

Beer of the year so far for me (and yes abacus and black butte 23 were a close second and third)

Divine beer! This is what barrel aging is supposed to be like. Ready to drink right now. We walked into the brewery a few months ago and asked the owner if it was ready, he kept holding off until it got the right kind of smooth...and it was. He's got the sensibility to release when it is ready, rather than have people buy and hold on to a bottle for 2-3 years to get the proper taste.

Barely any wood noticeable. A good smokey chocolate presence throughout. Minimal carbonation. Smell blew me away from the beginning. Anyone looking to learn what a stout or porter should smell like...open up a barrel aged token if you're lucky. If not, I heard barrel aged odin's raven should be out within 2 months!

Barrel aged token is divine payback for having to put up with the traffic on Alpine Blvd.

Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with a friend at Chuck E. Cheese.

A-Nice dark caramel color. Gorgeous tan creamy head.

S-Caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, dark chocolate.

T-A little like chocolate milk at first, dark malts, toffee in the middle then the barrel kicks in, bourbon, char, vanilla and some coffee on the finish.

M-Medium bodied and SMOOTH!

O-Damm good beer.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.07/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
2.4/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.23/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Jazz for the hookup on this one. Consumed while doing a little star gazing with the telescope. Jupiter looks amazing right now...

Poured from bomber into a RR snifter...

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head that dissipates at fairly hasty pace. Lacing is minimal...

S - Not at all what I expected this one to smell like. First off, no Bourbon comes through. What I do get is sweet malt, a good amount of fruity tart notes, a little roast, and an odd buttery scent...

T - Very interesting taste here. First thing I get is the tartness I picked up in the scent. Cherries, sweet malt, a little roast, and the creamy butter presence. Don't pick up any chocolate or oak the bottle talks about, and the Bourbon is very muted. I do get a little Bourbon in the finish, but agian, it is very muted...

M - A little thin. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes dry...

O - Not sure what went wrong, but something is definitely off here. Alpine brews some world class IPAs, but their other offerings have really been hit or miss imo. Think I will stick to their IPAs. Glad I got a chance to try this, but definitely not something I would purchase again...

Cheers...

to view more.
Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
75 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.