Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter - O'Fallon Brewery
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
4.88/5 rDev +22.3%
Shared a bomber with Dave at O'Fallon as he brewed a new batch of Smoke and second batch of 5 Day IPA. Spending a day with a brewer and alternately filling your glass from his tap and bright tanks with these two great beers is my idea of heaven.
Toss in an unlabled bomber of Bourbon Oaked Smoke and it just doesn't get any better.
I find this one time release most interesting as I have a 53 gal Jack Danniels whiskey barrel (identical to the one used for this special release) waiting in the garage for a mid march filling.
With 60+% Bamburg Smoked Malt and clean lager like Kolsch yeast O'Fallon Smoke can give Alaskan Smoked Porter a run for the money. I still prefer the Alderwood smoke to Beechwood smoke but a year on the heavily charred oak staves has metamorphed this beer to another level.
I am predicting that this rare beer will win more recognition for Brian and Dave.
A lot of work goes into a barrel conditioned beer - as the barrel is moved back and forth from walkin cooler out into the brewhouse to allow the wood to expand and allow the porter to interact with the wood. This was carried out for a full year. Result is a super smooth elegant oak dominated smoked porter. Whiskey harshness is non existant. AMAZING!!
Key to a good CAT 22 smoke-flavored and wood-aged beer is balance and a good underlying beer. Here the base beer's medium-light to medium body leaves me yearning for a little bigger mouthfeel. Especially since you want to hold this as long as possible to savor each sip. I think of O'Fallon Smoke as lying between the softer Brown Porter style and the less caramelly Robust Porter with its fuller MF and higher carbonation.
House yeast is WLP 029 German Ale/Kölsch yeast which accentuates flavors. I find no trace of the usual slight sulfur produced during fermentation that has long since disappeared with a year on wood and left a super clean, lager like ale. Hops provide a subdued support. When the labels reach the brewery a few lucky beer lovers will get an unforgettable treat.
Special thanks to Drew for introducing me to his friends at O'Fallon. I can see why you speak so highly of O'Fallon brewers.
03-03-2007 14:54:31 | More by karst
4.88/5 rDev +22.3%
O'fallon Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter aged one year according to the 22 oz. bottle. Only 15 cases produced from one Jim Beam barrel, so this is a rarity, although the brewery did get two more barrels. Bottle has a Maker's mark look to it with the red wax over the cap and a similar colored label with a barrel printed lightly in the background. The back label gives some nice information on the beer. Great presentation, too bad that it won't sit on the shelf long enough for others to see, as most of it, if not all, was sold on the first day or at least spoken for.
The beer pours a dark brown with some ruby hues into a snifter with about a finger of tan colored head. Aroma is wonderful. There is definitely whiskey in the nose along with some smoked malt. Also present is charcoal, vanilla, oak, and a bit of grass. This beer has a very scotch-like aroma to it.
Upon entering the palate, there is a touch of sweet cocoa and a hint of caramel initially. This sweetness is then followed up by some charred oak. Next up is a touch of vanilla quickly giving way to a nice bourbon flavor. The bourbon has a great pressence in this beer, it is definitely noticeable but not in an over powering way and no harsh alcohol pressence. Towards the end of the beer, the smoke makes an appearance. The smoke is definitely mellowed from the original Smoked Porter, and it works well. The finish is a bit of bitter grassy hops. Great flavor and very complex.
Mouthfeel is great. This beer is smooth and creamy in the mouth. Carbonation is at a perfect level. This is full bodied for sure, it sort of coats the mouth. Drinkablity is great even at 7%, which is basically unnoticeable. O'fallon is really stepping up their game between this and the 5 Day IPA. I look forward to seeing more great things from this brewery. Luckily I have one more bottle to hold on to.
05-09-2007 03:06:28 | More by hckyfn9999
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
4.68/5 rDev +17.3%
I was lucky enough to grab the last bottle of this at a whole foods.
It poors a very dark brown with very very little tan head.
The whiskey really comes through in the smell. There are some of smokey notes, but overall they are very subdued compared to it's un-aged brethren.
It starts out unbelievably smooth, with dashes of the smokeyness which gives way to an unbelievable bourbon-finish which lingers for minutes after sipping it.
There is very little corbonation to this beer, but that only seems to enhance it. Overall it is a great beer and if I manage to see it again I will not hesitate to get another bottle or 10.
02-11-2008 05:05:20 | More by ASymon13
4.65/5 rDev +16.5%
A big thanks to tedpeer for this one!
L: Pours a deep black color with a short and thin tan colored head that laces a bit on the way down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet toasted and roasted malts, and then a huge whiskey and rum aroma that comes through strong at the end of the nose.
T: Much like the aroma, this one has a very nice sweet roasted malt base, a hint of rum, then a nice big bourbon taste that wasn't as powerful as I was expecting, which is nice. The flavors blended very well for a really nice porter flavor.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this bomber was done in no time.
05-27-2009 10:57:13 | More by erosier
4.65/5 rDev +16.5%
Big thanks to BrewCzar for pointing me in this direction with my ISO: Under the Radar brews, and even more thanks for sending one my way.
This pours nearly black with brown/ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is fizzy at first, like a cola, but dies down into a resilient full crown. Very nice lacing.
Smell is very light in the whiskey note, which is nice to not have it beat you in the face every time. Smoke, tobacco, some light chocolate, and vanilla, but that may be a product of the whiskey.
Taste is very very good, just the right amount of whiskey. When I have a barrel aged beer, I like when the barrel flavor compliments, not overtakes the characteristics of the base beer, and in this case, you have an already good base with O'Fallon smoke, with some just a little more than subtle hints of whiskey. This is really great, and goes down so easy.
Mouth is thin to medium, which is unfortunate because I think a little more body could have elevated this into the stratosphere. It works and I can't really deduct points because it is to style, but my thoughts none the less.
Wow, this is excellent. Very rarely will I trade for a beer more than once, but this may be the exception. Thanks again BrewCzar, if your other offerings are anywhere near this one, you and I may have some more business to take care of.
04-20-2009 02:09:33 | More by sonicdescent
4.65/5 rDev +16.5%
22 oz bomber
Pours a deep brown color with quite a bit of red noticeable when held to the light. A thin head forms and quickly retreats to a partial ring around the glass, leaving no lace. Looks delicious.
The nose is my least favorite aspect, though I love it - it probably deserves a 5 - but I find myself unable to avoid disappointment that the smoke aroma I love on the original beer is so well covered by the Jim Beam and oaky vanilla smells. Oh, the smoke is there, but it is light - I'd agree that with the Beam it makes the aroma scotch-like.
I guess I'm glad that if the smoke had to be hidden, it was in the aroma and not in the taste, which is my favorite part. It is a beautiful combination that is at the same time lightly bitter and charred, with some nice pleasantly sweet chocolate and caramel malt, ample bourbon and vanilla, and...well, shit, you'll just have to try the next batch!
Extremely drinkable. I'd like to see it amped up and given a bit more body as it is just a tad too thin to be perfect, but I suspect when the brewery is licensed for such things we'll see such an offering. Until then this will have to do, and is a wonderful effort.
I loved this beer each time I had it. To avoid ridicule I won't go into detail about the ridiculous lengths I went to to get multiple bottles, but suffice to say it is a sad day that I am down to one bottle, which is promised to someone else.
08-10-2007 21:52:50 | More by udubdawg
4.6/5 rDev +15.3%
I had the regluar version first. Enjoyable indeed. Let's see what this version does:
A - Nice black color with a decent light tan head.
S - Bourbon, oak, light notes of dark malts, husky smoke and some vanilla mix perfectly!
T - wow, there's a similarity to the non-barrel aged porter but the jim beam barrel aging takes this to a whole new level. Similar to the notes above for aroma but wonderfully blended. the smoke blends with the oak to a subtle aspect that enhances the other flavors and mixes with the bourbon to find a perfet balance!
M - medium bodied, creamy smooth softly carbonated.
D - Yes sir, may I have another. Never heard of this one before and now I'd love to have another!
Thanks to Vancer for sending this along my way!
02-25-2008 20:47:01 | More by barleywinebrewer
4.58/5 rDev +14.8%
22 oz bottle, wax sealed and hand numbered, #143 of 900 April 10, 2008. Came packaged in a clear cello bag tied off with ribbon. What a nice gift to ME!
Poured into an imperial pint glass. Initial head is medium tan color, with a creamy texture. Recedes after a while, but no real lacing. Color is a dark silky brown, almost black.
Smell is very boozy, but I like that. Pappy Van Winkle is a fantastic bourbon. Vanilla wood and grain aromas are dominant. Hints of mocha coffee. Taste is a smooth shot of bourbon dropped into rich chocolate. Those tastes blend together very well. Very smooth.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and silky smooth. There is a bit of a grit to is that I can't quite figure out. It's not bad, it's like rough ground cocoa beans in a fine chocolate bar.
This is a slow sipper for sure, even with the lower ABV. I think it would be more enjoyable during colder weather, so I'm going to have to get another one and set it aside.
06-23-2008 12:16:23 | More by bort11
4.55/5 rDev +14%
I was lucky enough to get a bottle of this at the 2007 Peoria Brew Fest... What a treat! The bottle was a nondescript bomber with no label or makings on the cap... Made it have that black-market kinda feel.
I tried to let it warm up a smidge after pulling from my fridge, in the meantime I was smelling all that great aroma that I expect from the regular "Smoke". This was even better, it had a hint of wood goodness. You could almost eat the aroma.
You almost have a sense that it should be real heavy and thick, but it pours "light". Maybe its just me, but its not a bad thing, it actually makes this beer seem friendlier.
The taste is brilliant. Lots of nice smoke flavor. That same smooth smoke flavor you expect from the classic O'fallon brew... But it also has this tasty bourbon-woody thing going on. What a great combination. Unlike some other bourbon aged beers, this one does not have a big alcohol taste, and I think that contributes to its drinkability.
I will find this and have it again!
08-07-2007 19:29:12 | More by grouchomarkks
4.5/5 rDev +12.8%
Poured from an oxblood-red wax sealed 22oz bomber into a Kentucky Breakfast snifter.
A: Pours a sinister looking pitch-black color, with only the slightest bit of lighter brown at the edges. Capping this is a darkish khaki-colored head that dissolves rather quickly and turns into a thin skim and thick & bubbly ring. Some random ropes and splotches of lace left behind.
S: Delicious aromas of deeply roasted malt, campfire, whiskey barrel oak, and dark chocolate.
T: See above. Subtle hints of whiskey along with roasted malt, milk & dark chocolate, cherry, firepit, oak, and citrus-y hops. Nice whiskey flavors in the lingering finish.
M: Porter thinness that thickens as it warms and a creamy texture that is complimented by a bit of spicy bitterness and tangy citrus.
D: Begs to be consumed. Very easy on the palate and doesn't destroy the tastebuds like I expected. This was my first beer from O'Fallon and I must say I'm very impressed.
01-01-2009 00:30:22 | More by GbVDave
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
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
4.43/5 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
4.43/5 rDev +11%
Seriously Paul, where did you get all this glorious beer? Oh yeah, you trade. Thanks to all the other BAs who helped make this happen (whether they knew it or not).
Reviewed from notes from my mindbogglingly awesome beer infused pre-wedding party on 10/10/08.
Oh, and it looks like this review pushes me into the Zealot of Beer category. Yet another reason this was an amazing weekend I will never forget (in case the wedding wasn't enough).
a: The body is the color of coca-cola.
s: pure bourbon. ok, maybe a little smoke too.
t: Bourbon-soaked smoked ham in a bottle. Why don't they call it that? Bourbon, smoke, vanilla, oak, a little sourness and some smoked meat.
m: Medium body, not as heavy as I expected, which helps.
d: Sweet! Smokey yes, but there is so much more to it. Stone and Alaskan might have the rep, and they deserve it, but O'Fallon makes a smoked porter that is as good or better and this barrel aged version is even better.
How long will O'fallon continue to sneak under the radar?
10-17-2008 03:24:04 | More by BradLikesBrew
4.43/5 rDev +11%
This is one of the many beers I got from Hwwty4. Thanks Bill!
A dark, almost opaque brown with ruby colored edges. A nice looking brown head that rises about two fingers but disappears quickly, leaving just a thin layer on top of the body. Has some nice, thick sticky lacing.
A distinctive smell of smoke and whiskey comes through; a pretty good combination.
I like the original smoke, and I think this is a well-done barrel aged version. Up front is a molasses type sweetness that fades into some moderate whiskey flavors. After that comes a good blast of smokey flavor with just a touch of dark fruits. The smoke is much stronger and goes through to the finish and leaves a smokey flavor in the aftertaste too.
Mouthfeel is about par for the style.
This is a drinkable porter. I love how the smoke and whiskey complement each other; a nice balance.
06-12-2009 02:17:33 | More by Hojaminbag
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
4.4/5 rDev +10.3%
Bottle. Pours a blackish-brown color with a thin light-brown head and little-to-no-lacing. Strong aroma of vanilla, whiskey, and wood. Very nice. Easy-drinking mouthfeel. Flavor is very complex and balanced. Flavors of whiskey and vanilla are strong, but the smoked malt is still very apparent. Not sure it is worth the price ($9.99 for a bomber), but a very nice beer.
06-27-2007 02:25:54 | More by Dansting
4.4/5 rDev +10.3%
Bottle #576 of 2398 from 01-10-10. From a Chicago trip almost two years ago.
Solid black color with a fizzy tan head that shrinks down to a ring very quickly. A little lacing however.
The smell is basically two components and they are both awesome: smoke and whiskey. Almost like a straight up shot of whiskey with a piece of smoked wood dropped in.
Holy hell! Huge smokey bacon and campfire malt flavor with a very nice backing of whiskey. Not hot and boozy, just mellow smoke and whiskey. A nice smokey charred wood and bacon flavor all the way through and into the aftertaste. Just awesome. So much flavor for a seven percent brew.
About medium bodied and pretty smooth. Dry and smokey feeling.
Really, really enjoying this. I think the close to two years of age has a lot to do with the flavors just marrying and bringing the flavor profile together. It's nice too, that it's only seven percent. Most beers with this flavor are around the double digit mark. Hopefully I come across this beer again in the future.
12-07-2011 03:41:24 | More by jera1350
4.4/5 rDev +10.3%
A: pours out a dark brown with a tan head. fell quickly
S: smells smoky, some roasted malt, hints of coffee and chocolate and some sweetness from the whiskey.
T: Tastes of roasted malt, smoke, and some hints of whiskey and maybe some vanilla.
M: medium body with medium carbonation.
D: i could drink this all night. very good beer. and goes down smooth.
03-02-2010 01:26:22 | More by ottovon
4.38/5 rDev +9.8%
22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.
Bottle number 1131 of 2398, bottled 01-10-10. Hand numbered and dated, waxed cap; nice presentation on the whole. I was kicking myself for passing on this the first time around (a little over a year ago), and was extremely happy to make up for that mistake with a second release.
Pours a deep, dark brown, opaque with just the slightest ruby highlight. Capped by a frothy light tan head.
A lot going on in the nose, and all well integrated. Smoke (campfire-like) and fruity esters showing undefined red fruit up front, with a big but subtle whiskey undercurrent. There's a lot of whiskey character in this beer, but it's far from being overwhelming. Earthy cocoa powder and maybe a hint of leafy hops show up as my nose gets accustomed to the other aromas.
There's more porter character on the palate than on the nose, but otherwise the palate is spot-on with the nose. Subtle but complexity-adding smoke, red fruit, and whiskey notes of caramel, toasted coconut, butterscotch, and grainy wood. Finishes with a light bitterness. Fades into creamy dark chocolate and cocoa powder, with a long lingering whiskey undertone.
On the medium side of medium-full bodied, soft on the front end but finishing firm. A touch of creaminess mid-palate, but dry on the whole. Well-balanced, complex and delicious. A must-try if you get the chance.
01-31-2010 23:48:06 | More by wnh
4.38/5 rDev +9.8%
Finally broke down and popped this one open and I cant wait to get some of the next batch. This is a perfect sippin <session> beer (its appx 6%).
Coal black pour, just a minimum of head after aging for over a year. Malty and sticky ivory laces, but any carbonation is almost gone.
I take a whiff, and whoa, Im stunned by the maltiness aroma and hey, the Jim Beam is lurking just beneath the surface. Coffee, chocolate and or course, a hint of smoke.
Im digging subtle way the J. Beam is interfused in this brew, quite a strong entrance but the smokiness mellows er out. A bit on the dry side to finish.
What an easy drinking, smooth, wholly enjoyable porter.
08-20-2007 16:21:18 | More by Vancer
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
Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter from O'Fallon Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.