Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter - O'Fallon Brewery
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TrippnFiasco:
4.18/5 rDev +4.8%
A: No head, minimal lacing. What little foam was in the glass appeared to be dark brown before dissipating. Liquid is like a dark coffee.
S: Smells like smoked bacon/bbq (very strong). Hints of wood coming through.
T: Tastes oaky, not getting any whiskey flavoring. The most powerful flavor is the taste of smoked bacon (in a good way). Taste is very intense while in the mouth, but dies off very quickly. I've never had a porter quite this complex or original, very well done.
M: Medium bodied, nice amount of carbonation. Very well done.
D: While delicious, I wouldn't share this bottle with less than one other person, probably best split between 2-4 people.
05-04-2010 12:56:38 | More by TrippnFiasco
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +7.8%
I was suprised to find a bottle of this in a bar.
A- Creamy tan head sit atop the dark sienna, almost black beer.
S- Oak, subdued whisky, smoke(obviously).
T- Campfire, subtle sweet chocolate, but the smoke dominates and finishes dry.
M&D- Could use a little more body but still a great smoke beer that begs for BBQ.
10-05-2009 18:27:47 | More by brownbeer
4.25/5 rDev +6.5%
Beer review from BA Mag Aug 2007.
Here we have O'Fallon's famous Smoked Porter, brewed with over 60 percent smoked German malts, dropped into whiskey barrels and allowed to mature and worm its way through all that charred American oak. Oh, yeah.
Pitch-black, opaque and topped with a creamy coffee-colored head that drops to thin, large-bubbled ringed lace. Massive whiskey nose, a bit boozy; rich vanilla, some smoked meats, charred wood and ash. Round and smooth, a bit silky; lighter on the palate than anticipated. Sweet up front, with a touch of molasses, brown sugar, chocolate and coffee. Semi-sour, but not in a bad way; oaky flavor breaks through with a soft herbal hop note. Deep whiskey flavors throughout the beer, with vanilla and spicy alcohol. Smoky toward the finish, with more wood. Finishes surprisingly dry and clean, with some light whiskey residuals and a husky edge.
Though the smokiness has been dulled down a bit by aging the beer in wood, it's still very present and blends extremely well with the whiskey characteristics that it picked up, which are themselves not at all overpowering, but rather quite complementary. An incredibly complex and enjoyable brew--big thumbs-up to O'Fallon. Great on its own, as a digestif or paired with some chocolates.
07-06-2010 14:01:30 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.35/5 rDev +9%
Deep black pour with a nice light tan head and some spotty lacing. So far so good. Aromas of dark roasted malts off the bat with a nice smoky backbone. Bourbon, oak and some vanilla tones all mix into the overall aroma. The smoke and oak aromas work really nice together here.
First sip brings a smooth roasted malt upfront with notes of caramel. Flows into a solid smokiness that is met by a wonderfully smooth bourbon and oak flavor. The flavors meld very well and the smoky accents with the bourbon are great. Finishes smooth with a light bitterness. Damn good.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and medium bodied. Goes down nice. A very enjoyable brew overall with a tasty flavor profile. Definitely a winner from O'Fallon and well worth the trouble to track down. Shows how great barrel aging can be. Thanks to Vancer for this one.
02-07-2008 01:40:38 | More by orbitalr0x
4.45/5 rDev +11.5%
appearance - Wax-topped 22oz'er. No fancy handwriting on my bottle, so I'm not terribly sure which whiskey this was aged in... :-( Dark brown, bit light for a porter. Tiny bit of lacing here and there.
smell - Smoke, woody smoke. Smell a little bit of whiskey in there. Like my bbq'er, in a good way...
taste - Whiskey & smoke upfront. No real hops to speak of, not much porter to speak of either.. Little bit of sweetness here and there. Kind of reminds me of roasted red meat and an old campfire, in a good way... Boy, that doesn't sound right, but its not too bad. Some whiskey in the aftertaste; not too bad really, and I'm not much of a whiskey person. Definitely gets better as it gets warmer. Don't think i've had many beers that tasted better at room temperature. Man, I'd love it served right from the barrel..
mouthfeel - Definitely on the thin side, like the 'normal' smoke porter. Carbonation is about normal for a porter, a bit on the low side.
drinkability - Not too high, not too low. I like smoke beers, but its just not something I can drink a lot of. This is good, but I'm not sure if I like it a whole lot more than the regular smoked porter. The price definitely drives the drinkability down, and I appear to have gotten a better deal than most on this ($12). I'm conflicted a bit. I guess I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in smoked beers and whiskey-aged beers, but I don't think I'll be buying more. On the other hand, it'd sure go well with a nice steak. Or the bowl of chili i ate with it.
12-14-2008 04:00:52 | More by cschepers
4.33/5 rDev +8.5%
Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle. Bottle number 2138 of 2398.
The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the smoke and roasted malt. Surprisingly, I don't get much, if any, whiskey in the aroma. Somewhat disappointing, but still a very nice smelling beer.
The flavor is much more complex and more enjoyable. I get a lot of maple and chocolate notes, as well as some smoke and ash. I also get some whiskey and roasted malt notes. The bourbon notes compliment the smoke and roasted malt character very well and the chocolate notes are a welcome surprise.
Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
02-09-2011 04:53:47 | More by Mora2000
3.83/5 rDev -4%
(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer pours a jet brown body that holds a oatmeal tan lumpy head for a good while. The only carbonation is a few tiny bubble stuck to the glass.
S- The nose is very clean with a faint hint of smoke coming through but no band-aid qualities. As the beer warms quite a bit some lighter notes of dark malt come through but are still covered by the smoke.
T- The big earthy whiskey taste has some creamy flavors to it with some brown malt flavors. There is no boozy flavor to the whiskey but it does have a smoked bacon flavor. As the beer warms there is a watery taste that comes through followed by a light sweaty note that leads into a smoky note in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a watery texture but no alcohol heat is noticed.
D- This beer has a big smoky flavor with some whiskey flavors but I seemed to miss the porter. Most of the malt flavors are missing or covered up by the smoke but atleast the smoke is a good flavor with no band-aid/plastic notes at all.
04-16-2009 14:09:25 | More by rhoadsrage
3.63/5 rDev -9%
22oz waxed bottle, split and served in a large flute-type glass
A - pours with just a thin layer of light khaki colored foam. leaves bits of spotty yet sticky lacing down the glass. the beer is dark brown in color.
S - some woodsy campfire smoke and ash, just a light sour whiskey twinge...sweetness comes through with light oak and vanilla.
T - bright, sharp and almost acidic firey smokiness. dark roasted malts add a tiny bit of bitter and roast. sweetness again from oak, nuts, gradually takes over the taste. WHERE IS THE WHISKEY?
M - on the dry side, body is a bit sticky with medium density. light and fluffy carbonation.
D - what we have here is a decent smoked porter, nothing more. give me a myriad of others more readily available, and slightly better. an example of barrel-aging underdone.
10-29-2010 18:15:31 | More by Stigs
4.13/5 rDev +3.5%
Big thanks to hwwty4 for the chance to try this and a fantastic LIF! 2008 Pappy Van Winkle edition.
Opening the bottle I actually cracked a chunk of the lip of the bottleneck, so if I go down like a mafia kingpin in Em city, I blame O'Fallon. Pours a black color with ruby highlights and a white head that leaves pretty good lace. Nose is more vague than I expected, slight smoke. Taste follows with nice fairly subtle, yet clearly noticeable smoke flavor and some baltic like lagery grain taste. The whiskey is not terribly prominent here either, but is defenitely noticeable in the taste. A good slight fruit essence in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected. Drinkability is very very fine. Overall this is a good well made porter, and a very tasty yet smooth drinkable beer, but I really expected alot more flavor out of this one. It just seemed a bit thinner and more bland than I expected. (spoiled by alaskan and aecht?) Dont get me wrong, I am very happy to have tried this one, and think it is a great beer, I was just expecting something a little bigger. Recommended, really good, just in a different way than I expected. I love suprises! Thanks again to hwwty4 for the opportunity. good beer.
06-30-2008 07:07:35 | More by AKBelgianBeast
4.33/5 rDev +8.5%
An amazing delicious concoction that reminded me little of the non-barrel version I consumed a few days earlier. The smoked porter definately takes a backseat to the bourbon whiskey sweetness and sourness and some kind of full mouthfeel yeasty reaction that was a delight with a good spicey fish and meat dinner. I am sure it would be great with cajun. A bit woody and vanilla and chocolate. Blackened colour.
11-18-2007 03:56:17 | More by Sammy
3.93/5 rDev -1.5%
Many thanks to monsterfat for this one - been sitting on it for a while. Van Winkle produces my favorite wheated bourbons, and the 23 year old is distinguished by being from the original Stitzel Weller batches (as opposed to the Buffalo Trace owned barrels that Julian selects from now - which are terrifc in their own right). I imagine the barrels being that old will contribute less oak flavor than a newly charred barrel, but we'll see.
Poured from a red-wax capped 22oz bomber into a snifter. Bottled April 10, 2008; #517 of 960.
Lightless cola colored liquid with no real head to speak of (the ultra-fine collar appears to be tan, but I'm not sure). No lacing, syrupy clear fast running legs.
Lush tobacco, wheat, vanillin, cocoa, pepper, caramel, and toffee in the nose. Rich and lovely. A hint of smoke around the edges.
Faintly tart palate entry, thanks to the mild smoky astringency of malt and barrel char. The bourbon flavors are delicate but carry over from the aromas directly. A bit of fruit and a hint of hops comes out as well. The finish has chocolate, spice, and booze to round out the profile. My girlfriend notes peat moss and excessive sweetness...
Low carbonation and a thin mouthfeel detract somewhat from the overall impression.
The flavors are somewhat muted, perhaps so as not to overwhelm the base beer, but I wouldn't say they are dull or lacking. A good dessert (or in my case, breakfast/brunch) beer...
12-11-2010 20:56:04 | More by augustgarage
3.33/5 rDev -16.5%
Bottle #1873 of 2398
This one pours a darker, mahogany brown color. It's far from opaque. Backlighting reveals strong burgundy highlights throughout. A tan head caps it off and stands nearly two fingers tall. It dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving a moderate coat of sticky lace lining the glass.
The nose is disappointing. Very average. Up front, there's a little cocoa-ish, chocolate malt scent. There's a light smoky aroma that follows. There might be a little roasted coffee, but my mind might be playing tricks on me. Unfortunately, I'm not getting any whiskey or oak. That's too bad. All in all, it lacks strength and character. Very, very average.
The flavor's a little better. Light cocoa kicks it off. The chocolate malt base isn't very substantial. Eh. Light roasted coffee follows. There needs to be more of a coffee presence. The smoked flavor comes through loud and clear and is actually appeasing. It works well with the Porter elements. There might be a very light whiskey presence, but it's really not much. I don't know how long this stuff was in barrels, but it couldn't have been long. No oakiness or wood-like flavors at all. Alcohol is buried well. Finishes smoky with a cocoa twist.
The body is on the lighter side of medium. It feels too thin. Carbonation seems a little active. It's not exactly smooth, but it isn't bad. It'd definitely benefit from more body though. Drinkability is rather average. The flavor's alright, but isn't all that entertaining. I'll finish off the bomber. That's more than enough for me.
I had somewhat high hopes for Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter. I'm walking away disappointing. Overall, it's lacking in a little bit of everything - aromatics, coffee, whiskey, body. You get the picture. I'm actually stunned by the lack of whiskey and oak flavors. Was this barrel-aged for a day or two? I don't know. If you can ignore that and just take it for what it is, it's not horrible. Maybe worth a try. But definitely stick with the single bomber.
08-27-2010 01:57:56 | More by prototypic
4.43/5 rDev +11%
1 pint 6 fl oz bottle, poured into a very large mug. Label has some writing in marker reading, "#221 of 960" and the date April 10, 2008.
A: Black as midnight with a huge tan head. Retention and lacing were excellent, considering the beer is almost a year old.
S: A very woody aroma up front. It's hard to pick up anything other than the oak, but I managed to smell some smoke and roastiness. Very strong. It's like smelling a fresh-cut oak log, almost.
T: A strong oak character in the taste as well. The roasted character comes out a bit more, as well as the bourbon flavor, which seems surprisingly well-blended. Sort of reminds me of sitting around a campfire. Smoky, complex and delicious.
M: Heavier side of medium-bodied with lower-than-average carbonation. Feels very slick and velvety.
D: Forget the 7% alcohol content. This beer is a sipper, and a damn good one at that.
The card that came with the beer informs me that the beer is O'Fallon's Smoke porter aged in barrels that previously held Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbon. While I do not claim to be a whiskey connoisseur, I can tell that the flavors meld very nicely. The oak character was a bit overpowering in the smell, but the taste made up for that. I saw this bottle on the shelf for months at my local beer store. I bought it up when it was the only one left, and I'm glad I did. This is my first go at a barrel-aged beer, and I'd call it a rousing success. I don't know off hand if this is a yearly release, but if you find it, BUY it!
03-13-2009 07:49:58 | More by PirateUlf73
3.83/5 rDev -4%
Picked this up in KC ( Gomer's), bottle 2248 pours a brown tinged mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing
S: Coffee,toasty malt, & a touch of cherry & iron
T: Slight hickory smokeyness, dryness, along with cocoa & some coffee up front. A touch of sour-mash as this warms, plus a some prunes & figs & some restrained smokeyness & a hint of herbal hops
MF: Medium bodied, semi-smooth, fairly lively carbonation, thins out as this warms
Drinks alright, not a solid enough porter or a smokey enough one to get too excited about either way. Give me an Alaskan Smoked or Stones Porter any day, cheaper by several bucks per bomber too...
04-19-2010 04:45:49 | More by russpowell
4.1/5 rDev +2.8%
Update on Batch 3, Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 Year, bottle 946 (of 960) courtesy of hwwty4.
The nose is pleasantly smoked with a strong bourbon presence of vanilla and oak. The bourbon is smooth, well-ingrained in the beer.
The taste is sharp with the smoked malts driving a chewy, meaty flavor. The bourbon is hot, a counterpoint to the smoke, that is vanilla and pepper and wood. The smoke is fuller, overtaking the porter, and an improvement over Batch 2. The bourbon never overpowers but does leave a sweet boozy finish.
A wax-capped bomber of Batch 2, the Buffalo Trace Ancient Age barrel, courtesy of hwwty4.
A: The porter is a dark cola-colored ale, dark caramel and chocolate in tone. An off-white tan emerged on pour quickly melted away to a thin band.
S: The aroma is a tempting blend of smoke and whiskey. The smoke is the more dominant aspect, thick and meaty, but the whiskey is not slouch. Sweet corn and vanilla augment the smoke without getting in the way.
T: The ale is surprisingly smooth, neither element overasserts itself. Darker malts, touches of chocolate and burnt bread signify the porter. They are mixed with relaxed smokiness. The smoke is much more focused in the aroma. As the smoked porter flavors pass, the Buffalo Trace Ancient Age whiskey emerges. The flavor is surprisingly boozy, much like a glass of bourbon. Corn, char and vanilla beans highlight the whiskey, along with a peppery bite. For as strong as the flavor is at times, it is fleeting, quickly vanishing to leave only a touch of bourbon on the tongue.
M: The mouthfeel is not as robust as I'd expected. The plus side is that the whiskey flavors don't destroy the tastebuds and this is a much smoother beer to sip over the longhaul.
D: The alcohol level is nice n' low, even if the ale has a distinct whiskey kick. From a snifter, the bomber'll last several hours, assisting me as I watch Resident Evil: Extinction.
5-Jul-08 Batch 2: 4/4/3.5/4/4.5/3.85
04-04-2009 01:03:33 | More by akorsak
4.15/5 rDev +4%
"#862 of 960 April 10th, 2008" is handwritten on the bottle, this is the batch aged in 23 yr. old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. It was dressed up in a cellophane wrapper with a ribbon, and a neck tag about the history of Pappy Van Winkle.
Served in a Kentucky Breakfast goblet, around 50º. Dark woody color, nearly black in the glass, with an auburn edge in the light. Tan foam is a little thin with a cluster of larger bubbles on one side.
Smouldering campfire smoke, mixed with sweet bourbon notes in the nose. Very woody. Smooth feel with a touch of whiskey warmth in the finish. Complex flavors of smoke, wet barrel, tobacco leaf, and mellow bourbon traces. Earthy finish, and a hint of dryness from the bourbon barrel. Body was fairly thin, it could use more heft. Low level carbonation. Not too overbearing, it's an interesting blend that's overall cohesive.
08-30-2008 01:50:19 | More by emerge077
4.4/5 rDev +10.3%
22 ounce bottle, bottled on 1/10/2010, #1792 of 2398 handwritten on label. A very nice surprise when I saw this at the store the other day! Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about an inch tan head. The head didn't stick around for too long, and there isn't much lacing either. Aroma is smoked and roasted malt, chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon. Taste is similar to the aroma, all of the flavors are pretty well balanced as the bourbon taste in the beer isn't overpowering at all. There's also a nice lingering smoky finish. I wish there was a little more of a bourbon taste in this brew, but that's a very minor complaint as it's still pretty tasty. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is great, it's very smooth and easy to drink. Hopefully O'Fallon will make this beer more often!
01-30-2010 23:20:19 | More by bluejacket74
4.1/5 rDev +2.8%
bottle 275 out of 2398
pours dark amber brown with a 1+ finger head that lecft spotted lacing
smells of smoked meat (bacon) along with fruity malts
taste is solid - smokey/fruity malts but overall a smoke flavor left in the mouth
mouthfeel is medium body with a some what crisp and smooth body
drinkability is good - one of the best smoked porters on the market
02-01-2010 05:57:31 | More by jsh420
4/5 rDev +0.3%
A: Dark brown in color, with a bit of red at the edges when held up to the light. A bit of tan head. Looking good.
S: Smoked gouda and almonds is the first thing that comes to mind. Bourbon, and a little bit of sweetness from the malt. A smell that is reminiscent of fireworks, bbq's, and bourbon. I could smell this beer all day.
T: Big smoke, one the first sip. Like a mild bacon, or smoked cheese. Followed by a sweet malty flavor, and a little oak in the finish. It seems like the first few sips really wow, but then it fades a bit. Not as much bourbon as I would like though.
M: Thin mouthfeel, but fairly creamy, carbonation works, but a little thin for the style.
D: A nice change from the usual, but for the price not something I would get a lot of. The smell is awesome, but the flavor does not follow through enough. Still a good beer, and I am glad I got it.
03-05-2010 03:03:56 | More by Beejay
4.83/5 rDev +21.1%
I was super thrilled to be able to score a couple of these, I had waited a long time to try this gem. A smoked whiskey beer, what more could I ask for! Served chilled this twenty two ounce bomber was poured into a pint glass and consumed on 12/22/2008.
Wonderful rich looking pour. A deep, dark brown color with a ton of rich tan lacing throughout the glass. Competely opaque with no light shing through and the two inch head of chocolate on top only settled down gradually by the end of the session.
The aroma was to die for. Rich notes of whiskey and campfire aromas mixed seemlessly into a roasted malt and light coffee like smell. The flavor though was simply superb. Touches of oak and roasted caramel mixing with lots of peat and whiskey barrle goodness. So rich and full, even as it warmed it was second to none in the smoked flavor. This was easily the best smoked beer I have ever had. Such a rich mix of barrel flavors and the whiskey just presented itself in the perfect mixture. Full bodied with wonderful carbonation and the alcohol was no where near too strong, in facvt it came off just right.
Overall I was floored by this one. One of the better beers I have had this year hands down. I am very happy to have a couple more of these to settle down with, they will make fine additions to the cellar.
12-24-2008 02:17:09 | More by mikesgroove
4.08/5 rDev +2.3%
22 oz bottle. Pours a very dark brown. Huge fluffy, mocha head. Almost seems a bit overcarbonated. Great head retention and lace.
Good aroma of smoke, roasty malts, oak, and booze. All seem to meld well in the nose.
A fair amount of sweetness up front. Some light roasty and chocolate malts. A faint smoke flavor, and a hint of oak. A hint of booze, but really well balanced.
Medium body, maybe even a bit thin. Carbonation is light. Alcohol well hidden. This is a very drinkable one here.
12-06-2009 18:18:34 | More by Bierguy5
4.47/5 rDev +12%
Damn...where to start. I guess at the beginning, right?
I love the base beer for this experiment, one of my real 'local pride' beers. When I was told about this experiment, I was psyched and brewed up a whiskey oak smoked porter based on their recipe, just to hold me over...and its a good thing I did.
Pours deep brown with garnet highlights and wisps of foam.
The aroma is mesmerizing, wood, smoke, caramel, vanilla, char, chocolate, maple syrup, molasses all fade in and out with the substantial malt and bourbon.
The flavor really backs up the aroma and delivers all of the above with a nice whallop, however, the smoke has noticibly faded out. Between the age and the bourbon the hops are effectively gone, simply providing balance, which is all this treat needs.
Soft carbonation, slightly coating in the mouth and quickly fades away.
Drinkability is crazy for a barrel aged beer. I could have several pints of this, something I can't say for most barrel aged beers which I would either be tired of by then or be passed out.
My only complaint is that the smoke has faded out too much, something which I believe will be rectified on the next batch. However, this double wooded assault is one of the best American Porters around, I'm just glad I have one more bomber in the fridge.
08-05-2007 17:43:53 | More by drewseslu
Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter from O'Fallon Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.