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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

109 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 22
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.85% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Released February 2008

Label: "After its initial release in February 2007, Top Sail was aged for about 10 months in bourbon casks from Kentucky. Top Sail Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter has hints of chocolate, figs and oak. Cheers!"

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 02-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stakem:
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, I opened this up last month. Have I really held on to this beer for this long? Bomber into a snifter, the brew pours black in color with a skimpy tan head. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass but the head remains faint and a bit lacking.

The smell includes notes of raison and molasses. Some milk chocolate, oak and only a faint touch of booziness. Overall it doesnt smell too bad but is slightly muted. Considering how oxidized the flavor is, no oxy notes to be found in the nose.

The taste is quite oxidized with a flavoring not too far off from cardboard/paper. Raison and molasses with suggestions of earth and faint chocolate malt are an afterthought once your palate becomes accustomed to the oxidation.

This is medium to light bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Not terrible but certainly its better days are behind it at this point. Dont cellar a porter for 6 years...that was dumb.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 15:16:06 | More by stakem
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellared at 55 degrees F for about 6 years.

Dark dark brown. No head.

Smells like coffee, mild bourbon, vegetal hops, and - strangely enough - fresh cucumber. Not bad, but certainly odd.

Tastes like smooth roasty coffee, mild bourbon, and some earthy, slightly vegetal hops. Some nice flavors, but also something a little off. No explicit oxidized character, but seems to have lost some vivacity (not that I remember what it was like fresh).

Good creamy smooth texture.

Fairly enjoyable overall, but far from great. I agree with the last reviewer: aging this for 6 years was dumb.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2014 08:27:18 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of LumpkinBrews
LumpkinBrews

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +10%

12-30-2013 15:01:25 | More by LumpkinBrews
Photo of Quafftastic
Quafftastic

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

12-10-2013 20:00:17 | More by Quafftastic
Photo of Caleb
Caleb

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

09-15-2012 18:52:22 | More by Caleb
Photo of staggerlee024
staggerlee024

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black with little to no head or lace.

S - Oh Boy! Bourbonville here. The smell of the booze almost burns. A touch of roast and char. Really liking the smell.

T - Bourbon, Bourbon and more bourbon. It is hard to find anything else in this beer. There is some slight roasted notes, some char, sweet chocolate. But you really have to think about them. This is all bourbon all the way.

M - This is where the beer really starts to fall apart. As others have mentioned, this is incredibly thin. Nothing in the beer can stand up to the Bourbon. It is just too weak.

O - Not a bad beer overall. But falls short of other Bourbon Stouts in its class. Perhaps the issue here is that they used a porter instead of a stout. It is just so thin. I love bourbon barrel aged beers. I probably rated it higher than I should have based on that. I had this on the same day as the Abyss. They are the same price. Nowhere near in the same league. I will drink again. But not if there are other Bourbon Aged options available.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 21:46:09 | More by staggerlee024
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Provided in a trade from doughanson way back when. Been holding onto this for no particular reason, and eventually having a 4 year old bourbon barrel aged porter became too enticing to hold on to any longer.

A: The pour is muddy and black, giving off about a finger of bubbly, fluffy, brown head that recedes rather quickly. A nice ring remains around the top of the beer, lacing nicely down the side of my Deschutes snifter.

S: A lot of chocolate and booze aromas wafting up from the dark liquid below. Dark fruits (I believe the bottle said to expect figs, which I think I'm smelling). Notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak are all very nicely integrated. The aroma overall is deep and complex, but a bit too harsh on the booze.

T: Top Sail has aged well, but I think this might be on its way downhill. Some roast and dry dark chocolate are holding on to their last breathes, but booze, oak, and bourbon are beginning to win this war of flavor. A bit too focused on the barrel treatment, the taste is lacking additions from the base beer that are so important in a good bourbon barrel aged beer. Roast does take the cake on the backend, providing a little balance...just a little too late.

MF: A bit too thin, low carbonation, pretty dry finish, warming alcohol finish. I still enjoy drinking it, I just wish I had a few years ago.

O: For all its faults, Top Sail Brewmasters Reserve is still pretty good. I'm impressed this porter was able to still impart something to try and balance the additions from the barrel. It just falls a bit short. Overall, I would absolutely still recommend it to a friend. Especially the 2010 version.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 22:46:25 | More by russwbeck
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

01-29-2012 06:14:08 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

01-16-2012 02:44:07 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of joshrosborne
joshrosborne

Michigan

4/5  rDev -2.2%

01-03-2012 00:39:38 | More by joshrosborne
Photo of bespin15
bespin15

Washington

4/5  rDev -2.2%

12-30-2011 19:40:49 | More by bespin15
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

11-29-2011 03:42:52 | More by brandoman63
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.2%

11-18-2011 23:01:40 | More by imperialking
Photo of twowheelssoar
twowheelssoar

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

11-15-2011 19:50:32 | More by twowheelssoar
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't remember who shared this, but thanks, drank at Sean's place.

A - Black beer with a small tan head. Stuck around for a bit and left some spots and slight lacing.

S - Decent barrel and bourbon comes through on the nose. A bit of roast and chocolate with bitter coffee note coming in on the end.

T - Pretty big for a porter, but I guess that's why it's called an imperial. A little hot, with some roast, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, barrel, vanilla. Pretty nice meld of favors.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit hot.

O - A pretty good beer. I think it's cooled a bit since the last reviews, but there is still a little alcohol burn.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 23:49:41 | More by AgentZero
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small tan head. Big roast, oak and booze, with some vanilla behind it. Exactly as you might expect. Smells good, not decadent. Roast dominated imperial porter, with a slight cherry cordial flavor. Oak and integrated booze. Pretty tasty, though the cherry cordial flavor was curious and I was wondering if it was intended. Either way, it worked at the moment. A good bit of booze hangs through, but otherwise is pretty drinkable with a medium mouthfeel and low/med carbonation. The whole thing was very solid, but unspectacular.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 14:53:11 | More by seeswo
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

Pretty much impenetrably black, very active, 1 finger mocha head lingers and leaves spotty lacing.

Bourbon and barrel both come through strongly up front. Later, with a swirl, start to get an unusual strong Earthyness, possibly from the oak, and the bourbon is less prominent. Mellow boozy esters emerge and take it to the finish. Long legs.

Sweet malt, chocolate, and roasted barley mingle and merge into the base upon which bourbon, oak, coffee, and mild bitter layers are stacked nicely.

Carbonation bite, full body, and strong warming. Pretty dry, a little bitter, and feels thinner than expected.

A sipper, of course. Extremely tasty and complex. Pretty smooth and balanced. What a treat! Try it if you can, and put some away for later.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:49:59 | More by sprucetip
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark black liquid with darker tan colored head.

S-the nose is huge, tons of bourbon and some dirty messy malt presence. notes of chocolate and anise with hints of meat in the back.

T-the taste is a little hot with a good bit of bourbon, notes of dark chocolate and some light meat flavors in there with a touch of burnt coffee bitterness.

M-creamy feel on a medium body with low carbonation and thins out in the back.

D-shows the booze a little too much and the bourbon is extremely strong lacking the malt presence to balance.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 15:14:44 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a small tasting thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Pours a dark black with less than an inch of tan head.

s - Smells of whiskey, oak, sweet, sticky dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of whiskey, oak, roasted malts, vanilla, and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer, but still a tiny bit hot. Would give another shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 02:22:30 | More by mdfb79
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and black with a small tan head.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugars, wet oak, caramel and a hint of bubblegum. A little more sweet than I prefer my Porters, but still a good scent.

Taste of charred oak, bourbon, caramel, ash, roasted malts and a very mild alcohol. Decidedly less sweet than the aroma in favor of dry barrel characteristics, this is very tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a low amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 18:41:19 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for sharing this beer at thirdeye11's tasting.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with roasted malt and dark fruit. I could smell this beer all day. The flavor is pretty sweet with oak, vanilla and bourbon as well as roasted malts and chocolate. The alcohol is slightly hot but goes well with the rest of the beer. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 23:55:27 | More by Mora2000
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a dry, earthy, black malt scent with adequate warmth and a killer bourbon barrel aroma. The taste is good. Again, the bourbon character is bold and up front, but well integrated into a bone dry black malt flavor. It goes down silky smooth and finishes with a nice bit of warmth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. I really like the bourbon aroma in this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 16:53:25 | More by WesWes
Photo of kbeals
kbeals

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tremendous thanks to JohnGalt1 for shipping this brew my way!

A- 22 oz. bottle decanted into a snifter glass reveals an inky, jet black liquid. A vigorous pour gets some head to appear, a good finger and a half of tan, soapy head. Lacing is good given the not so good head retention. I never really expect too much head on an imperial porter or stout.

S- Wow! Deeply complex, tons of chocolate, dark fruits, a hint of roasted coffee and a mild smokiness to it. As it warms the bourbon definitely makes it's presence known. One of the better BBA brews that I've smelled.

T- Just what I was hoping for, very similar to the smell. The dark fruits and bourbon seem to head up the flavors along with sweet, dark chocolates and a nice roastiness to it. The warmer it gets, the hotter it gets. I thought this would be less hot from the bourbon given the aging on it, but I have no comparison from a fresh one.

M- A bit thin, but overall very smooth and rich. Definitely warms up the chest as you drink it and was much appreciated on a cold winter night in Northern MI.

D- Despite the hotness of it, this brew left me wanting more. The overall complexity of it was excellent, and it wasn't overly sweet. A fantastic brew!

Thanks again Toby, truly appreciated!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 16:44:50 | More by kbeals
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest of lighter colored hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy light beige head that fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Lots of bourbon in the nose with lots of earthy oak and deep roasted malt. Hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, burnt toast, smoke, roasted coffee bean,vanilla, toffee, licorice, leathery malt and sweet alcohol. Smells pretty complex but the oak is the most prominent characteristic followed by the heavy bourbon presence.

Slightly chewy medium body that is a bit lighter bodied than I expected with lots of hot bourbon and earthy oak flavor lingering throughout over the dark roasted malt notes. Underneath the strong bourbon flavor is a strong roasted malt profile that is slightly smokey with hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, roasted nut, coffee bean, burnt toast, licorice, sweet alcohol, sweet alcohol and subtle vanilla. Again, the oak presence is very strong adding a nice earthiness and level of complexity. A bit too hot still with too much of a bourbon presence for my liking and lots of warmth in the finish. This beer could be a little more balanced and is surprisingly very hot after over a year of aging. It definitely needs a bit more time to mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 09:37:08 | More by corby112
Photo of bret27
bret27

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt

A: Black body w/very dark brn head. minimal.

T: Bourbon, choc, vanilla, roasty and robust. Slight alcohol finish.

M: Medium/thick, good for style and strength

D: Ok for a big beer

Overall: Good balance, quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 23:23:23 | More by bret27
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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
91 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.