Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 7
Gots: 19 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: beertunes on 02-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

After its initial release in February 2009, Top Sail was aged for about 10 months in Bourbon casks from Kentucky.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 66
Photo of Beerzebub
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cellared for about 4 years at 55 degrees F.

Dark dark brown. A bit of tan froth.

Aroma is somewhat muted, but quite nice - dark chocolate, oily dark roast coffee beans, bourbon with a good charred/soot aspect, and a bit of earthy hops. Lacking in intensity, but deep, cohesive, and fairly complex.

Tastes like dark fruit - along the lines of dried cherry, almost red winelike - along with bourbon/char, dark chocolate, and coffee. Cohesive, balanced, and quite tasty. Long tasty finish.

Smooth, velvety texture.

This has aged surprisingly well; far better than the 2008 version I opened alongside it. Probably a good time to drink this up.

Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass, unknown freshness. This pours a pitch black color with a large but short lived tan head. The smells are of bourbon, oak and alcohol, a little overpowering. The feel is medium to a little thicker. The taste is okay, it might need a little age, anyways I get a full coat of dark roasted malts, a mouthfull of bourbon, the alcohol is very present. Not bad though, and I do love these bourbon barrel aged beers.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the FW Invitational earlier this month. Nice gem, bringing a 2010 keg to the party. Poured black, good head, especially for being a bourbon barrel beer. Aroma was pretty deep, oak, bourbon, dark fruit fig, cognizant deep burnt and roasted malt.

Taste, wow, pretty smooth, not massive, but not a delicate beer either, puts itself firmly in the middle of substantial and warming. Good vanilla accompaniment. Sweet at times without going overboard (although that can be damn fine sometimes). Good thickness and consistency, neither sludgy nor thin, dare I say this is balanced, and not in the way people say their ipa is (i.e. to make up for the best part not being there or severely unrepresented). Chocolate well represented.

Drank this towards the end of the day at the festival, it was easy to taste, easy to drink, but not simplistic, and I knew with the amount of palate fatigue going on, this was pretty substantial. Would recommend.

Photo of boralyl
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark tan head with decent retention that leaves a little lacing. The beer is a dark brown-black with just a bit of light coming through near the top.

S - The aroma is very bourbon forward, along with some vanilla and oak. There is a little bit of roast present as well.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. It's a little thin for the style.

T - A little bit of roasted and chocolate malt are up front. It's quickly followed by bourbon, a bit of oak and vanilla. The alcohol and roasted malts intertwine into the finish.

A good beer, but the barrel character is a bit too strong for the base beer.

Photo of silentjay
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

jet black with a smallish dark mocha head that quickly recedes to a thing spattering of film with some slight lacing left behind.

bourbon is definitely most dominant in the aroma. vanilla, wood, charred wood. nice, but one-dimensional.

very bourbony. slight molasses and chocolate. charred, but with a touch of vanilla and wood.
medium bodied. subtle carbonation, with a sticky sweet finish.

hmmmm. Not bad, but for the price and style I can see a few better alternatives. Not enough of a backbone to hold up to the bourbon barrel aging.

Photo of PerHops
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 bottle to highball glass in hotel (no more room in suitcase).

A- Jet black. Half inch head dissipates into a pencil thin layer that hangs around just fine. Sporadic lacing.

S- BOURBON. A little hot at first, but then other flavors emerge. Vanilla, chocolate, toffee, toasty malts, more bourbon. I have a feeling this one is gonna be boozy. I probably should have aged it, but have no choice because I have a lot of other great ones to bring home.

T- Well, let's just say I'm glad I didn't open some of my other ones to save this. It tastes like bourbon with a splash of coke that has sat on ice for a long conversation at the bar. I could get into the nuances, but really it's not worth my time.

M- Medium to high carbonation makes this even lighter than it already is.

O-Not sure if it's the brewery, or the style, but I will not revisit this one, even with age on it. Dissapointed, but not shocked.

Photo of davey101
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewmaster Reserve 2012. This vintage was aged for about 12 months in KY bourbon casks and clocks in at 9.5% abv. 22 oz. bomber into a DFH signature glass.

A - Pitch black body that allows the slightest bit of light to shine through. Light khaki head dies down quickly to some edging and a small cap. Moderate lacing and retention with some lasting alcoholic legs.

S - A really great blend of vanilla and oak notes from the barrels, and some roasty malts, sweet milk chocolate, and coffee beans.

T - A real letdown. This seems watered down almost. Some light coffee bean, chocolate, and oak notes with a roasty finish. This is beyond boring. Its drinkable with a light to medium body, higher carbonation, and undetectable alcohol.

O - Great nose with a boring taste. Perhaps I was hoping for a thick and hearty stout, but the porter notes seem rather tame and the barrel aging hasn't helped all that much.

Photo of FishPondManager
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep black with a one finger head. A soapy consistency that fades to a thin layer.
S - Raisins, dark cherry. Bourbon is prevalent, along with the booze. Not the best.
T - Bourbon right off the bat. Sweet, oakey notes follow next. The malt and slight bitterness don't show up well.
M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. It coats well. Too bad the flavor is a miss
O - One I'm glad I didn't have to pay for. Received it as an extra when I bought a bunch of bottles. Probably won't try again. Plenty of better options at the price.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Bittercreek Alehouse, Boise ID. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours an opaque deep dark brown, with a brownish-tan head, decent lacing and alcohol feet.

S: Lots of smooth vanilla and balanced bourbon notes, dark malts, chocolate, light oaky notes, toasted coconut and wood. Pretty nice, I think some age has smoothed this one out.

T: Taste follows the nose, with a light but present alcohol burn, lots bourbon flavors, touch of burnt caramel mixed with the vanilla and oak notes, toasted coconut, lots of chocolate as well. Finishes with a flash of a bitter burnt flavor.

MF: Medium to full bodied, creamy, spot on bitterness and a touch of dryness, light carbonation.

O: Pretty nice, I like this a bit better than Black Gold. Pretty drinkable, good array of flavors, and a present but not overwhelming bourbon presence. I did I side-by-side with the 2012 offering and they are very similar.

Photo of JustinQ
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

:NOTE:

I HAD THE BREWMASTERS RESERVE 2012 VERSION.

BOTTLE SAIS: AFTER IT'S INITIAL RELEASE IN FEB. 2011, TOP SAIL WAS AGED FOR ABOUT 12 MONTHS IN BOURBON CASKS FROM KENTUCKY. TOP SAIL BOURBON AGED IMPERIAL PORTER HAS HINTS OF CHOCOLATE, FIGS, AND OAK. CHEERS!

9.5 ABV

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle poured into snifter

Appearence: Totally opaque in any angle of light that i could get. Nice head on the beer. looks like a dark stout.

Smell: Strong notes of bourbon, no hop aroma, Maybe a background hint of malt

Taste: Roasty, Oaky, Not strong on the bourbon flavor but there is complexity from the oak. Very woody.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated and dry. maybe more of a ripping dry bitterness then carbonation co2 bite.

Overall: Damn good beer, im usually not big on Bourbon aged beer but this one is definantly good. If i can find another bottle i will be sure to throw it in my cellar.

Photo of biglite351
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Strong bourbon, vanilla, malt and dried fruit. Hint of candy.

S - Sliver of red around the edges, nearly non-exhistant dark tan head.

T - Mostly a weak bourbon. Vanilla and raisin. Hint of a dirty water type taste in the finish.

M - Meduim coating with fleeting tingle on sides of tongue.

O - It had a ton of potential, but fell very flat.

Photo of EricCioe
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very deep brown with a little head rising and falling with a bit of lace. On the nose there is an immediate but not overpowering bourbon note with some oak and vanilla in there too. I wonder what the base beer smells like. In the mouth the bourbon is dominant with acetone, some roasted malt, and oak behind it. The body is thin, much too thin for the style, with a long, slightly hot finish.

Overall, this is an example of a brewery not being able to balance the beer with the barrels. The thin body makes me think maybe this beer wasn't such a great target for barrel aging in the first place.

Photo of RuckusDu
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very porter like in color. Deep black. Poured about a finger head of fairly dark cappuccino head. Head sticks around for a while and produces some good lacing.

S - Very bourbon. A lot of vanilla as well. Is there cocoa there? I think so, but very faint.

T - Starts off a little sour. Bourbon and vanilla show up as well as some chocolate. The hops are a bit much right now, I would like to see them cool off a bit. Just a little alcohol burn on the back-end.

M - I try to keep in mind this is a porter, but the barrel aging makes me want something thicker. Too thin. Carbonation is pretty average.

O - A little one dimensional, but not bad. I like bourbon flavoring so this is good. Can't see why we need a thinner barrel aged beer, but its not bad by any means. Could see this as a nice dessert beer without the bitterness on the end.

Photo of MBrausen
2.31/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a Town Hall Snifter

A. Pours a pitch black pour, 1 mm thick head, dissipates very quickly to a thin mocha ring.

S. Smells like light chocolate and TONS of bourbon. Almost only bourbon. All Bourbon...

T. Tastes of toffee, some light chocolate, some oak, but pretty much all bourbon. Lots and lots of bourbon with a hint of beer.

M. Medium-thin body, dry and somewhat coarse

O. This beer is just overbearing. Far too much bourbon. It's just one flavor, no other angles to be viewed from. This was a drain pour for me.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage two year old cellared bottle poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours black with only a hint of reddish brown at the edges. Thin medium tan head dissipates to a ring around the glass and lacing. Aroma is dominated by bourbon with light hints of oak and dark malt. Flavor is also dominated by bourbon. Moderate dark and roasted malt, oak, dark fruit. Rather dry finish with a hint of hops. Medium bodied; perhaps a bit light for an imperial porter. The astringency noted in the fresh bottle has attenuated. This porter is now much more integrated and mellow, however the flavors are also attenuated. The flavor is good, but somewhat underwhelming. Definitely redeemed by the bourbon barrel aging, Better than a standard porter, but not quite up to imperial porter flavor density. I cellared a few of these and they will probably be pleasant to drink, but I do not see this improving much with age. A decent, but somewhat lightly flavored imperial porter.

Photo of velosuds
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster Reserve 2010 - 9.85% ABV per label.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. Paid $9.95 at Corvallis Brewing Supply.

A-Pours a very dark brown almost black hue with a scant 1/2 finger tan head that dissipates too quickly leaving virtually no lace.

S-Bourbon from the oak barrels is foremost. Also sweet caramel notes, charred marshmallow (like when happens over an open fire before embers appear), some coffee, and faint licorice. The smell is this beer's best attribute.

T-Bourbon again is the strongest taste attribute, like the nose. Bitter and astringent (from over mashing the malts?). I don't get the impression it is from the hops. These attributes mask the malt sweetness, which improves as it warms. Nowhere near the rich malt texture and flavor expected in an imperial porter. Taste definitely improves as it warms, but not enough to alter my score. Maybe enough to run to the liquor store for some fine bourbon, though. Not the best outcome for a beer advocate, eh?

M-Adequately carbonated but a tad thin mouthfeel; not luxuriant enough.

O-This is a disappointment and overpriced compared to the Full Sail barleywine at $4.29 a bomber.

Photo of matttttYCE
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Fairly high rate of pour into my Stone IRS snifter glass yields a nice 2 finger smooth and creamy looking head. Head diminishes somewhat quickly, but not immediately. Leaves quite a nice amount of lace on the glass. Carbonation seems medium. Looks nice. Color is a very deep, dark that even when held to the light only barely shows hues of dark fig.

Smell - Immediately after pouring I can smell this beer. I should say, I can smell bourbon. Those Kentucky Bourbon casks are no joke apparently. This things been out since 2010, so aged about a year, and the smell is still pretty heavy Bourbon. Also in the smell are hints of dark fruit like figs, lots of vanilla extract, brown sugar, wood/oak, and maybe some dark cherry. Hiding somewhere in the back there are hints of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, but they are overpowered by the intense barrel aging. Smell is nice, but I wish the Bourbon notes would have been a little less overbearing. I really do prefer subtler Bourbon aromas (and flavors).

Taste - As strong as the Bourbon aromas are still, I expected to get more overpowering notes in the taste. The Bourbon flavors are apparent, but not in your face. The year of aging seems to have done this one pretty well, but I think I might prefer it if it had another 1-2 years. So, the initial taste is of lighter Bourbon notes, lots of wonderful vanilla, figs, some sweetness, and cocoa. Afterwards I get some of those porter coffee flavors, lighter roasted malts, and some caramel, then some oak on the finish. Again, for as much as I was expecting overpowing Bourbon, I was pleasantly surprised. That and all the nice complexities of this one lead me to think it's deserving of a 4.0.

Mouthfeel - Consistency is actually smooth, body and carbonation are both light like a number of regular Porters. For having a lighter drinkability like a regular Porter (i.e. non oak Bourbon barrel aged Porters) the finish is sticky, wet, and lingering. It's not a bad aftertaste though, so that doesn't get it marked down at all in my book, just interesting really. With the ABV at 9.85%, this is a very drinkable beer. The alcohol (after a year of aging granted) is pretty well hidden with only a slight burn on the way down. Quite drinkable overall.

Overall - Overall I think this beer is nice. So is Full Sail Black Gold. With a year on this one, I think it was quite nice. Could it have used another year or two? In my opinion, yes. I'm sort of torn between a 3.5 and a 4.0 because I enjoyed this in that the Bourbon wasn't TOO much after a year, but it wasn't spectacular really. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to go with a 4.0 overall. I'd love to have this again (especially with a little more age on it).

Photo of rapidsequence
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, a gift from Mike.

Appearance: Its black, opaque with a tiny rim of red light passing through the surface when the head fades. The head was a good looking dark brown, but faded quickly and left scant lacing.

Smell: It really smells great. Chocolate and vanilla with cake like notes. Lots of bourbon too- the booze and oak in addition to the vanilla notes. Some dark fruit.

Taste: Decent, but a big let down after the smell was so inviting. Bourbony and roasty. Very little of the nice chocolate cake. Some fruit in the finish, which is bitter with alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thin. Finishes very dry. Not what I want or expect.

Overall: This is OK. Not really interested in having it again, but wouldnt turn it down. Taste is all bourbon with little complexity, and the mouthfeel is thin and dry. I think the problem is that its not malty/sweet enough. Its like they took a regular porter and just added enough bourbon to make it 10% abv.

Photo of meatyard
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown with a short, brown head that dissipates quickly to a ring with a partial cover.

The smell is only a light bourbon aroma, some roasted malt and a dab of vanilla.

The taste is dark roasted/burnt malt up front with a muted bourbon flavor at the finish. In between, as it warms, is some molasses, licorice and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thin with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This isn't quite what I expected/hoped for. Everything seems to be just too muted. It really does open up as it warms. I found it much more flavorfull when warm though it never quite strikes enough notes to make me want to try it again. It's not bad/pretty good/I can't complain, just make sure it's not consumed too cold.

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very thing ring of tan head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Tons of cocoa and chocolate. Bourbon shows decently with some oak and vanilla. A light roast here. This is definitely smelling like a desert beer.

Taste: Wow, the cocoa flavors are unlike any other. Cocoa and chocolate. Roasted malts. Some caramel. Bourbon kick with some vanilla. Oaky.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, creamy, and a bit warming. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a really big surprise from full sail. This beer was actually enjoyable. Granted the price is a bit high, this beer has a lot of flavor. Gotta give em props for this one.

Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a deep, opaque jet black, with maybe an inch of medium-dark brown foam. Nice aromas of bourbon, cocoa, vanilla and oak. Some good roasted malt flavors, along with strong dark coffee, bourbon, chocolate and roasted malt. A nicely composed beer.

Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a whim one day when nothing else looked appealed & heck, always nice to have another barrel-aged something or other on local shelves. Being a relative unknown, this one lingered for quite a while; I bet I could still find it in some random corner of the Cities. Split with my wife, hoping our depressing beer night gets a little better.

Pour is imperial black, only the ring-around-the-rosie head shows any sign of color, & that's a dark tan. Nose offers up a harsh shot of charred wood & a bit of vanilla. The base beer isn't in evidence.

Top Sail BA Porter is a toasted-loving beer guy's wet dream; there's enough char here to start a grill (you know, the old ones, not the ones you press a button to start). Harsh, violent char gives a shiv to the tongue & buries the other, more forgiving characteristics of the brew; even the bourbon takes a back seat. The Kentucky-sippin' adds another layer of harsh; man, I can feel the rough edges getting sand-blasted off my cheek & gums. There are hints of earthiness, chocolate cake, nougat nuttiness. A healthy breath of alcohol sweeps into the back-end & actually smooths out the smouldering forest. I'm going to be sipping this one for a while.

Good beer. Doesn't reach up & shake my world, but the extreme char of this porter appeals to me, & I like the jolt-on-jolt that the bourbon adds. Not for the faint of heart.

Photo of robbrandes
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 reserve.

Pours very dark brown, almost black. Relatively thin head w/an aggressive pour. Aroma is a nice mingling of molasses, smokiness and alcohol. The bourbon barrel aging almost comes off as a pleasant, faintly red-wine-ish aroma.

Nice toasted malt assertiveness and molasses. The alcohol is a bit astringent, I'm curious to see how it ages with another year or two. Mouthfeel is good, not great, a bit thin for a porter.

Overall, a nice, big beer. Certainly worth a try or two.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of ehammond1
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A vigorous pour leaves little hint of carbonation. There's some bubbling and an extremely thin head but this beer has a distinct lack of carbonation. The beer is beautiful and menacing all at the same time; it has a shimming black as night body. Very little lacing. Other than the color, very disappointing.

The aroma is an interesting combination. The strong punch of bourbon is here initially, melting away into strong scents of chocolate and raisins. There's some wood in here as well and an earthy sweetness. (When I smell this, I kind of wish this was a dessert cake/ breakfast pastry instead of a beer (blasphemous?). I wish there was significantly less bourbon and even more malt character in the nose, as the bourbon is clearly front and center.

The barrels as opposed to the beer take center stage here. The initial flavors are of Kentucky bourbon and oak and then the warm alcohol. The porter is lost underneath. There's some malt character of chocolate and toffee, but I really have to search for it.

Perhaps if it were better carbonated I'd have experienced a better taste and mouthfeel, but it is what it is, and this one doesn't score particularly well with me.

Not particularly drinkable or enjoyable. Unfortunately, in this beer's case, I think a decent porter was actually made significantly worse by aging it in bourbon barrels.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It was short-lived and left little lacing.

S - Strong vanilla aroma. Bourbon and oak is present but not as strong as the vanilla.

T - This is a vanilla-forward bourbon barrel aged beer. Some chocolate, roasted malt and some mild oak flavors.

M - It was a little light bodied for the stye, but still smooth and crisp.

D - This is a nice bourbon barrel aged brew. Again, it was vanilla dominant.

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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
85 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.