Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 63 | Hads: 151
Photo of maximum12
1.66/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to rmaste6282 for this bottle. As an official, albeit misplaced geographically, Alpine fanboy, I really needed to try this one. They have a way with the hops: lesse about the malts & the barrel.

Pour moves along the path from dark to light black, little carbonation. Smell is...interesting. Raisins? Or is that a raisin hangover from last night's raisin bomb? Malts, barrel make an appearance.

Barrel Aged Token ain't quite right in the head, Jeb. Dominated by a smooth butterscotch, which I didn't expect & am not terribly appreciative of. What the butterscotch doesn't overwhelm, straight-up butter does. Malts? Drowning. Barrel? MIA. Porter? What's that, you say? Ending is tart with the beginning of fruits. Sucks.

Well, this beer has gone to the Never-Never land where brews-gone-bad go to die. Alpine, why have you done this to me? I could drink your hoppy stuff all day long, every day, but this...this is an undrinkable mess. Can't believe I'm saying this but...drain-pour. This makes me sad.

 1,013 characters

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.

 995 characters

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.

 781 characters

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.

 544 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.09/5  rDev -37.6%
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.

 408 characters

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.

 2,003 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.12/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, John.

A: Pours a dark brown body with a suprisingly effervescent tan head, rising to 2" in height and sticking around a while.

S: Chocolate, butter (diacetyl), oak, vanilla. Mild roast. There's a touch of lactic aroma, but remembering that from the base beer, I am not too concerned. Not much barrel character aside from the oak and vanilla.

T: Bittersweet cocoa, mild coffee. Fairly buttery, and it doesn't make the beer awful, but it certainly takes quite a bit away from its potential. Butterscotch could even work for this flavor profile in some balance. But it missed that mark by quite a bit. Mild lactic sweetness on the end, just as it had in the base beer. I have a hard time picking out any bourbon, but vanilla and oak are noticeable.

M: Light-medium bodied. Very carbonated. The bubbles, as well as the off flavors and the lactic finish, could hint at infection. But given how the base beer tastes, I'm reluctant to make that call this early in the game. It's definitely an 'off' beer, though.

O: I normally love Alpine, but their diacetyl problems are an issue, and the beer lacks any significant barrel character. I like the base better.

 1,197 characters

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.

 540 characters

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.

 987 characters

Photo of waltersrj
2.49/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (an extra from a great trader).

Pour: Cola brown with a slight off white head.

Nose: Tart...buttery...grape? The butter is so dominant here...unfortunate diacetyl infection.

Taste: Slight roasted malts but mainly tart vinous grape, red wine, tons of butter, even slight butterscotch. This thing is infected.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin for the style...

Overall: Just plain bad. This beer if it was ever good has gone down a long and sadly infected road. Drainpour.

 473 characters

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.

 550 characters

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.

 971 characters

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.

 400 characters

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.

 539 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

 713 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.78/5  rDev -17%
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.

 630 characters

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

Thanks to Pete in San Diego.
I really appreciate him picking this up and sending it to me. I love Alpine beers and Pete is a great guy.

The appearance is nice and it has a thin layer of foam that lasts the entire glass. The color to me was a little more brown ale than dark porter but no ding for that. Maybe the intention was brown porter.

The aroma is average. Sugary smell with a very small hint of alcohol and a major vegetal aroma. Not at all what I expected.

The flavor – more vegetables – dominates the flavor – also burnt brown sugar. Like some green vegetables were cooked and burned in brown sugar. Very sweet flavor with no hint of hops.

Overall it may sound like I hated it but it wasn’t bad. I finished the bottle but at 9.5% I wished it was more like 6% to save my sobriety.

Very VERY glad I got to try this beer but a tad disappointing.

 866 characters

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.

 588 characters

Photo of dmsohyea
3.02/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

 681 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bdige for this beer. Brandon is an excellent trading partner.

I am keeping my fingers crossed here as I’ve heard stories of infected bottles. I am praying not to get a tart flavor with my first sip. We’ll see.

A creamy tan head is about two fingers thick and then settles to a finger of whipped cream that lies atop the dark brown beer. Ruby light shines at the edges. Sheets of lace stick to the glass.

Aroma is actually quite intriguing. Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Thick, chocolatey and sweet. Also a lot of butter here as well. Almost like butterscotch.

Well the good news is that I am not getting any tart/infected notes. However, this is a butter beer for sure. The diacetyl notes are front and center. Butterscotch is the word here. Same as the aroma. Dark roasted malt is rounded and covered like a box of popcorn in buttery flavor. I really don’t get much bourbon at all.

Smooth body that accentuated the buttery experience. Lays thick on your tongue.

First non IPA I’ve had from Alpine. Good thing they are awesome at making IPA’s ;-) This beer needs a little work. Thinking of reducing this and putting it on top of ice cream. Probably a better use.

 1,189 characters

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.

 475 characters

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...

 880 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well, I hate to be the first one to knock this beer but....
Thanks Chris for opening this the other night.

Pours a nice reddish brown. Very pretty. Not much head but some nice bubbles clinging the edges of the glass.
Smells like a butter bomb. Some sweet malts and light vanilly bourbon peaking through but its mostly just buttered popcorn all the way. Same butter aromas I have gotten off Duet and Pure Hoppiness before. Tastes similar... huge butter... its almost like the butter bourbon I get of some other barrel aged beers but with the butter enhanced. Would go great at the movie theatre. Well carbonated but the butter kills this one for me. Sorry Alpine, I love you guys but this one just didn't cut it...

 714 characters

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.

 1,379 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
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...


 1,210 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.