Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter - O'Fallon Brewery
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev -2.8%
Bottle 1671 of 2398; bottled 01-10-10
A - pours black with a pure white head that has pretty solid retention
S - I got sweet vanilla and quite a bit of spicy bourbon, which dominated the nose. Based on what I have heard about this beer, I was expecting much fainter bourbon tones on the nose.
T - starts off with a bit of sweet chocolate malts that fade to a bourbony vanilla. The bourbon has a nice spiciness to it. Lots of smoked malts / ashy smoke appear on the backend of it. The smoked section of this beer is just about perfect for me as it isn't huge or distracting but rather complements everything else going on around it.
M - Good mouthfeel...went down full and smooth
D - This was a good barrel aged beer. I feel like it didn't hold my attention as well as others in this style I have had do, but it was still pretty solid. Very solid effort on O'Fallon's part. Hopefully once they get up and running they'll bottle this one again!
05-14-2011 04:02:18 | More by birchstick
3.85/5 rDev -3.5%
Presentation: 22oz brown pop top, waxed, hand numbered and dated...this one's just over a year old
Appearance: Black beer w/brown hints around the edges...light tan head sinks to a thick film and ring w/pretty good retention
Smell: More subdued smoke than I was expecting out of this, though it's been awhile since I've had the regular version. Getting some mild smoke here, although not much in the way of whiskey. Almost getting some red winey notes, oak and earthy dark fruit. Maybe getting a hint of chocolate as well, but very mild.
Taste: I finally cracked this because I'd read some people's reviews that said this was really going downhill. I don't know what this was like originally, but it's pretty tasty still. Very mild notes of whiskey barrel, charred oak and light notes of sweet caramel/vanilla boozy notes. A decent amount of dry roast here, almost like a dry stout, but with a decent kick of dark fruit as well. The smoke comes through much stronger in the flavor than it does in the aroma. It's got a fairly strong charred character to it, without any of the bacony, smoked-meat flavors characteristic of rauch-malt or the briny, herbal notes of peated malt. There's a touch of something in here that reminds me of a vinous, dark, smoky Left Bank Red Bordeaux.
Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium-bodied
Overall: I'm not exactly sure what people meant about this beer, suggesting that it had gone downhill. The flavors aren't exactly vibrant or over-the-top, but they're not muted either. For me, it actually comes together pretty well. The one downside to this beer, in my opinion, is that it was $10.00. I've been hearing some very disturbing rumors about O'Fallon being in trouble...some of their beers are definitely hit or miss, but the regular Smoked Porter and the 5 Day IPA are pretty tasty, and this beer is certainly no exception. For the price, I certainly wouldn't buy it often, but this was really a pretty nice surprise, even after a year in the bottle.
05-07-2011 03:09:05 | More by BedetheVenerable
4.2/5 rDev +5.3%
Acquired from abrand so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle #2020 of 2398 into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains smoky roasted malts, dark fruit, coffee, whiskey and a touch of hops.
T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character that is quickly followed by a strong but not over-powering smokiness. There are flavors of coffee, dark fruit and chocolate in the background. The hops presence is mild but where it should be for this type of beer and brings a good balance. The flavors of smoke and whiskey barrel-aging seem to complement each other well. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.
M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is very good beer with a lot of flavor and substance that make it worth drinking for a long time.
03-03-2011 05:50:51 | More by TheManiacalOne
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%
While rearranging beers in my cellar I found this tucked away in a box, bottle 1838/2398, dated 01-10-10. Not sure which barrels were used, I've heard that a previous year was PVW bourbon, but maybe this year is something else.
A barrel aged smoked porter. The obvious comparison will be to the Fear & Trembling series, but that might be a little unfair as those are so unbelievably good.
This pours very dark, nearly black until held to a light, then a little reddish at the edges (although still nearly opaque), with a couple fingers of tan foam. The nose is nice, the smoke comes through first, then the whiskey/bourbon. Smells like beer jerkey dipped in bourbon, actually something I'd like.
Initially a little sweet, some dark sugars like molasses or brown sugar, then the bourbony notes, with a long sweet and smoky finish. Nice smoked malt character, maybe a little too sweet for my tastes but still tasty.
Lightly carbonated, a kind of creamy mouthfeel, this goes down easy except for the sweetness which is getting a little tiring.
02-07-2011 00:51:58 | More by TurdFurgison
3.08/5 rDev -22.8%
Thanks to beandip for this bottle, which has been resting comfortably for over a year. I like my smoke subtle & quiet, so most of my smoky beers age a bit. Bottle 1171 out of 2398, bottled 1-10-10. Split in twain, shared with my smoke-shy wife. And Cocktail is on TV. Wow. I miss the 80's.
Pours black shaded with crimson around the edges. Smell is smoke-soaked-bacon. That is all.
Barrel Aged Smoke tastes much better than it smells; the one-dimensional aroma gives way to more subtle plays of light & dark. The smoky malts come hard, but they're cut nicely by quiet layers of wood & whiskey cum vanilla. My wife takes one drink of the smokiness & hands me her glass. Dammit.
Mellow, understated, simple, but a little too simple. A little barrel, a little porter, a little smokiness, but not really enough of any of them. Decent enough beer. I'm not going to be able to down the whole bomber.
02-02-2011 03:33:30 | More by maximum12
4.08/5 rDev +2.3%
Thanks to a very generous BA for sharing this. Review from notes.
Poured a murky deep brown with a slightish head that died shortly after, leaving nothing but a trail around the edges. But the smell! Oh my this is quite a trip! I get a nice soft vanilla blended with a hint of chocolate and oak, and then a slab of maplewood smoked bacon. This is fantastic. This is nearly overwhelming. However, the taste falls a little short due to the flavors being somewhat muddled and subdued. Can't really tell the cocoa any more, and this carbonation is horrid. Way too much carbonation. Had to swirl a while to get it to where I wanted it to be. Upon which made for a hearty quaff.
01-27-2011 06:34:48 | More by DmanGTR
2.85/5 rDev -28.6%
Bottle number 747 of 2398, hand dated 01-10-10, into The Bruery tulip. Another thank you to Jeff (Alewatcher) for this gem picked up while he was on vacation, no less. Always above and beyond with him. Much gratitude, my friend.
Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that disappears quickly. Retention isn't too great, nor is lacing, but within the parameters that are this category, it's a nice looking beer.
Nose is interesting - smoke comes through first, a bit meaty, with the whiskey adding some big, oaky notes, a bit sour even. Bit of chocolate underneath. Very sausagey.
Taste is... odd, really. The whiskey comes through as particularly oaky, and with the smoke, the effect is really odd and a bit vegetal. Just a bit of sourness from the merging of the whiskey, and a bit of a chalky sensation on the finish that for some reason reminds me of campfire that's long been put out and rained on. This one is all whiskey and smoke, with a splash of sugary molasses adding sweetness, meshing in a way that doesn't work at all for me.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the slick side, carbonation is a bit too soft, feels lazy, chalky as well.
Nothing in the way of alcohol, but overall a rather bland, weird tasting beer. Loads of whiskey, big smoke, quite sweet, all weird when they get together. This is like an awkward beer road trip.
01-06-2011 02:36:00 | More by JohnQVegas
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
3.63/5 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
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
2.78/5 rDev -30.3%
Had this at Dvelcich's tasting on 07.31.10 - reviewed from notes. I picked this up on my way home from a vacation in MO-- glad to share it with the fine Ba's in attendance.
This pours out and looks like Pepsi. It looks like a dark cola. Some amber hints around the edges, but even the head reminds me of Pepsi. I prefer Coca-Cola, but not bad.
So before I even finished looking at my glass I heard 3 of the other tasters say, "This smells and tastes like a hot dog..." Hmmm. I can't wait to try it now. It looks like a soda but tastes like a hot dog! Here we go:
I smelled it and I can understand what they are talking about. There is some quality in the nose that reminds me a 100% Vienna beef hot dog. I can't explain it exactly, but it isn't completely bad. There is a huge note in the nose that reminds me of Wild Cherry Pepsi. Very little whiskey or smoke on the nose.
Taste starts out with some sweet malts, leads into a little smokiness, and then just a touch of hard liquor-- whiskey and bourbon. As far as it goes, this is one of the most easy drinking barrel aged beers I've ever run across. This is such a weird beer from the variety of odd notes and flavors I am picking up.
This beer is medium bodied with a whiskey bite hiding at the finish. Could use a touch more carbonation, but the overall drinkability is pretty decent. This is a VERY easy drinking beer for being Whiskey barrel aged!!
08-04-2010 04:38:24 | More by AleWatcher
4.08/5 rDev +2.3%
A. Dark black with a slight red-brown tint. It A. Dark black with a slight red-brown tint. It pours with a nice head that settles into a thin ring.
S. A sticky sweet concoction with hints of dark toasted malt and some mellow whiskey aroma, along with hints of chocolate and raisins.
T. It is smoother and mellower than I expected. The whiskey and dark roasted malt are slightly more prominent in the taste than they were in the nose, but all of the flavors are balanced well and work together.
M. This beer was thin and maybe a little watery. From the taste I expected it to be heavier and a little chewy. That was not the case.
D. Very drinkable, but not quite a favorite. I would drink another but I'm not in any rush.
07-14-2010 17:00:39 | More by hopstradamus
4.15/5 rDev +4%
From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.
a - Pours a dark brown color with light carbonation and no head.
s - Smells of rye, whiskey, oak, roasted malts, and has some smokiness to it.
t - Tastes of smoke, rye, whiskey, oak, and roasted malts.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.
d - A pretty good smoked porter. Quite enjoyable and easy to drink. Would like to try again.
07-13-2010 02:39:38 | More by mdfb79
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
3.7/5 rDev -7.3%
Big thanks to Draught2010 (Jimmy J) for providing this beer.
Bottle is individually #'ed 2372 of 2398 and was bottled on 1/10/10
(hand written in maroon Sharpie)
Pours with a pillowy/creamy light tan head. This eventually settles to a thin film of foam atop the Cola colored beer. Brown with almost burgundy highlights at the edges. Some nice lacing.
Aroma is musty, smokey and of sweet malt. Daughter and son both said it smelled like bacon and meat... I hadn't said a word to them regarding this being a smoked beer.
Interesting beer but my first reaction is about the finish. Almost seems like a diet soda with that flat diet drink finish. Lots of oak and smoke character, that's for sure. Just for a moment you do get the whiskey before the smoke takes over. Interesting combination. What's funny about the smoke is that it reminds me a little of liquid smoke that you use in cooking. The more I play with this beer the more the oak notes come to the forefront...
Body is medium/light and carbonation is very slight. Almost creamy... kind of he consistency of skim milk.. Trying to be creamy, just not quite making it.
A fine little beer. The smoke certainly add character and melds nicely with the oak notes. If the finish didn't have that diet feel to me (almost bland finish) then I think I'd really like this.
07-02-2010 01:54:17 | More by Reagan1984
4.22/5 rDev +5.8%
#1359 bottled on 2-10-10. Many thanks to busternuggz for the trade!
Bomber pours a thinnish, dark mahogany-black body that lets in some cola color at the edges. The beige head retains well and maintains a creamy, custard-like consistency for much of its duration. The aroma is light, but brings with it some delectable smokiness inherent in the original O'Fallon Smoke. The whiskey added a hint of oak and vanilla, and the malts smelt of elderberries (umm...I mean chocolate).
The flavor is exceptional: dark rum, darker fruits, vanilla bean, smoke, and Baker's chocolate. Not the most flavorful Whiskey-Barrel aged beer I've had, but it is certainly tasty. Vinous in the finish with a bit of chalkiness and grainy dark malts. Mouthfeel is porter-thin and nicely carbonated, but a little too dry and lacking in any residual sugars. BA Smoke is one of the more drinkable in its category, with lots of flavor and complexity, but not so 'in your face' that it wears on the tastebuds. Easily recommended.
06-28-2010 01:31:43 | More by wagenvolks
4.03/5 rDev +1%
Pours a really dark brown with tan edges when backlit and a soft, light brown head that rings the glass nicely. An impressive looking porter for sure. The smell is sweet and smoky, like sugar dipped oak wood chips. There's a hint of some darker, burnt malts and a little alcohol.
This is a real good porter, though it's a little sweet, sugary all the way through. The smokiness is apparent, and with the sugars comprises the main flavor of the beer. There's a little chocolate [covered banana?] and vanilla in the finish, and a dry whiskey flavoring in the finish/aftertaste.
Good mouthfeel and good drinkability. It is well carbonated, and thicker than I was expecting. A well done beer all around.
06-23-2010 03:41:32 | More by jdklks
3.9/5 rDev -2.3%
Thanks Dan for bringing this one to Ratman's last night; I'd been wanting to try something from this brewery for a while now. Pours a nice dark black color with a nice light brown head. Nice bourbon on the aroma, along with some light smoke, cocoa nibs and vanilla. I was a little surprised at how thin this one was, and incorrectly assumed its abv to be around 5%. The bourbon does a nice job merging with the chocolate, roast malt and smoke on the palate. Nice.
06-13-2010 04:33:11 | More by emmasdad
District of Columbia
3.65/5 rDev -8.5%
22 oz bottle, number 564, dated 01-10-10.
Slightly thin looking, cola colored body with a bubbly, quickly dissipating tan head that leaves a few streaks of lace. Aroma is very smoky, much more so than sweet from the barrel. Pleasant, if not mildly one dimensional. Medium thick body with thin carbonation, not quite as full or long lasting as expected from this beer. Flavor is that of a very nice, balanced smokey porter with some oak sweetness, but very little bourbon or alcohol presence. A pleasant, albeit unremarkable beer, it would have been nice for the barrel aging to be a little more prominent and have a fuller body.
06-06-2010 02:22:01 | More by yourefragile
4.35/5 rDev +9%
Bottle 579 out of 2,398, hand-written in marker. Waxed cap with a minimalistic label. Bottle presentation looks nice.
Poured into a big snifter. It's the color of a dark cola. The foam is kinda lazy upon pouring, but you can swirl it around and raise it a bit.
In the aroma, some toasted coconut and peat from the barrel aging. Also some earthy coffee aroma, like a Sumatran blend or something.
If you're into smoked porters, flavor is excellent and quite well-balanced between smoke, coconut, peat, coffee, earthy hop and a hint of malt sweetness. I think I was expecting something more intense, but this nuance and balance works for me, too. It's kind of a delicate barrel-aged beer that throws a lot at you, but doesn't go whole hog with any of those elements, leaving you to pick out what you're tasting.
In the feel, it's not that well-carbonated, but that's fine with me. The soft carbonation lends it a cask-like feel that to me is entirely appropriate, and makes this disappear perhaps quicker than it should. The 7% ABV is stout but entirely manageable.
Those who like a little smoke in their beers will have not the slightest bit of trouble putting this bomber to rest. It'd be nice if I had another of those 2,398 bottles; I'd probably drink it tomorrow.
05-15-2010 19:56:17 | More by Patrick999
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
3.7/5 rDev -7.3%
Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of oak alcohol, yeast, sweet malt, and slight hop. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oak alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight yeast, and slight hop. Overall, the alcohol dominates the blend, but otherwise a good beer.
05-02-2010 23:52:02 | More by Tone
3.85/5 rDev -3.5%
Review #100... Oh baby, this should be a good one too - it's like bottle 847 out of 2,398, and I love the style, so this should be epic.
A: Quite carbonated with a small amount of head and little retention or lacing. Dark brown, but very thin.
S: Smoky aroma and faint whiskey/vanilla present. Calm and mellow smell.
T: Disappointment!!! Tastes a bit thin, but very mellow on the taste as well. Easy to drink with a smoky taste that is balanced by the smooth whiskey flavor. Surprisingly the whiskey adds no harshness to the brew.
M/D: Thin, but quite drinkable at 7%. Bubbly, but pretty smooth.
Overall this is a solid beer that is easy too drink, but not worth the price tag. Oh, and by the way, if you're thinking about buying this, just buy Stone's Smoked Porter... it is way, way, way, fuller, creamier, and just betterer, like choosing between Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox; no contest.
04-22-2010 05:15:37 | More by jt31914
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
Whiskey Barrel Smoked Porter from O'Fallon Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.