Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012)Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012)

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BA SCORE
78
okay

44 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 44
Hads: 138
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 19.35%
Wants: 8
Gots: 30 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 03-18-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 138
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is very much the same. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good porter with a nice barrel aged presence. (340 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger and a half high dense mocha colored head that has good retention properties and consistently left a half finger high head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present, although no beer is noticeable—it's almost like smelling a glass of whiskey.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has noticeable traces of the underlying beer in the form of hints of chocolate malts, the latter of which become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Some alcohol warming is also present.
O: Although this beer is rather drinkable considering its strength, it tastes too much like watered down whiskey and the underlying beer isn't all that noticeable.

Note: 2012 vintage (848 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

strange brew has maybe not aged as gracefully as it could have. nice dark brown color and rising inch or more of tan froth after the bottle opens like a shotgun. the nose is bourbon heavy, with the barrel effects crowding out the gain. as it warms the alcohol becomes more detectable, and a slight metallic property appears. the taste is quite nice when its cold, with the barrel being evident all the way through, not just in the finish. alcohol stays hidden until it hits room temperature, and it becomes hot, real hot. also, there isnt much body on this, not quite enough to support the flavors and strength. i like the bourbon forward flavor, but the beer underneath is underwhelming. the price isnt bad though, and if you like your beer barrel heavy, this may be a solid choice for you. full sail is totally hit or miss, and this one wasnt my favorite. (857 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.21/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes taken while beeradvocate was down. Expectations are high given the style and label.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a half finger "head" of laughably bad retention (~ four second) and slight tan colour. The retention is too awful to gauge the thickness or cream. Colour is a solid black. Carbonation bubbles are abundant.

Sm: Chocolate and oak are prominent. Fig when I look for it. Rich and fruity but strange. A mild strength aroma.

T: Chocolate and oak are dominant to the exclusion of other flavours. What little fig there is is nice, but it gets drowned out by the oak - which isn't particularly refined here either. Dark malts form the foundation. It's pretty bland and boring considering the style. Quite simple. Not at all subtle. A poorly constructed imperial porter. Not worth the time spent aging methinks. Badly executed and poorly balanced. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thick. Overcarbonated. Somewhat syrupy. Poorly executed.

Dr: I really like the fig, but it's downplayed. This was a waste of oak aging and brewer's time. A very badly made imperial porter. Why brew this? I'd never get it again. Overpriced, especially considering its low quality. A major disappointment from Full Sail.

(1,573 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.63/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A disappointing beer. Pours nice enough, almost pure black with a relatively nice head that sticks around. The aroma is somewhat light, but does have a nice undercurrent of Bourbon. Unfortunately the taste is much too thin and somewhat sour. Really very little to tell here- fairly uninspired and poorly executed for what it could have been. (341 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage
22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is big and malty, nice touch of bourbon, woody, nice touch of vanilla, some toffee/chocolate, with some nice tones of caramel. The taste if very nice, malty, very nice notes of vanilla, very nice touch of bourbon, slight woody taste, a very nice balance of toffee/chocolate. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, another great brew from FS that is here in Utah, highly recommended. (565 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of Libbey, one of the final few from an awesome box. Pours black with just a bit of brown showing around the edges. Shows a fair amount of tan head with some lacing and average retention.

Nose is very bourbon-laden with lots of wood as well. It really hides most of the malt, yeast or hops that lie beneath.

A bit more malt comes through in the taste...dark chocolate and a touch of licorice. Bourbon is still heavy, but not as overbearing as I had feared. Although the lines of a stout and porter can be blurred at times, this one feels much more like the latter than the former. Its a little more roasty with a thinner body. There is also the slightest sour twang that can be found in a good English Porter. Maybe this one needs some time in the cellar, but it was too bourbon-y and woody for me right now. (832 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
2.12/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, $10.49. I haven't has this one since the 2008 edition which I enjoyed, this sucked. Aroma was a hint of wet moldy wood and straight booze. Mouthfeel was thin. Flavor had a tinge of sour and a lot of booze, extremely poor. I love bourbon barrel aged beers but very few breweries know how to pull it off. This was garbage and I couldn't even finish one snifter. I'd say I ended up pouring 19.5 ounces down the drain. Stay away from this. (448 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

consumed on 7/18, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up locally. enjoyed from my SH IRS snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black with a finger of spongy foamy greyish cream colored head that hung out for a while. a small mass of bubbles lay below the head seemingly holding it in place. as i swirled the oversized snifter, i could see streaky lacing of the same greyish cream color left on the glass.

s - when i poured the bottle a very pleasant balanced chocolate boozy smell started to fill the air, but upon closer inspection in the glass, the booze leads the way heavily. beneath the woody slap you in the face alcohol is a chocolate vanilla.

t - not as boozy as the nose suggested, but the barrels are definitely present. vanilla is much bigger in the flavor than the nose and is surrounded by a milk chocolate glaze. kind of milk stouty. not really any roast or char to speak of. certainly a malt beverage aged in oak bourbon barrels as promised.

m - fairly creamy, but still has a lot of porter char.

o - this one was good, but i had really high expectations after being blown away by black gold and this one doesn't hold a candle to black gold. much more milk stout than porter. the barrel adds a nice element to the beer, i'm glad i tried it, but if you've been looking at this one on the shelf like me, thinking that you needed to get it because black gold was so amazing, it is not black gold. it is not bad, but not a must try.

bottle (1,448 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle.

Pours black with a big tan head that recedes slowly to a thick cap and leaves some decent lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the bourbon and oak with some vanilla and dark chocolate sweetness. Roasted malts in the background.

The taste is a little unbalanced with the bourbon dominating with less base beer coming through. The base beer I do get is heavily roasted malts and bakers chocolate. The finish isn't so great with the oak barrel and alcohol burn standing out.

The feel is light to medium bodied with the barrel thinning things out a bit too much for me.

This isn't a terrible beer but I just don't think the base beer stands up to the barrel and the resulting beer is unbalanced and less than drinkable. Not as good as Black Gold. (749 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with some brown around the edges. The head is short but dense and creamy looking; settles into a thick ring.

The aroma is sweet and has a pronounced bourbon scent. The aroma is of vanilla and bourbon, not much balance from the malt. I like it but the bourbon dominates the malt.

The taste is of bourbon but not nearly as strong as in the aroma. Its a nice bourbon flavor without too much heat, with good notes of vanilla. The malt does provide a light roast flavor, dry. A light lemony twang.

The feel is moderate, almost light. The carbonation is fairly soft, not too much action. The porter starts off sweet but finishes quite dry with a light roasted bitterness. ABV well hidden.

A tasty bourbon porter, remarkably well balanced. Does not quite have the depth of flavors a stout would have but still good. Perhaps a touch too dry. (862 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.51/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage.

4.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of light brown, frothy/creamy head. Retention is pretty good given the ABV and a good sized ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Bourbon heavy to the point that I can't really smell the base beer aside from some roast and maybe some chocolate. Otherwise, the bourbon is leathery and earthy with plenty of vanilla. Light apple fruitiness. Smells good, I just wish I could get more of the base.

2.0 T: Like the nose, the bourbon rules the taste. Unfortunately, it doesn't taste all that great. It's pretty much just watered down bourbon. Roast from the porter, but not much else. Bourbon and barrel give leather, apple, earth, vanilla, and oak, but none of these flavors are satisfying given their intensity.

2.0 M: Medium body. Too thin for what this should be. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess big time.

2.0 D: Perhaps my scores are a bit harsh, but after you get past the nose, this beer is wholely unsatisfying. Very little upside to this. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Dope
2.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours black with a big dense light brown head. Fades slowly, leaving fairly thick lines of lacing on the glass.

S: Loaded with strong bourbon. Huge oaky vanilla aroma with some big toffee and caramel notes. Biting alcohol. Just a hint of roasted malt behind it.

T: Overpowering bourbon notes. Harsh flavor and harsher alcohol kick. Super oaky, like licking a charred 2x4. There is just a hint of roasted malt from the porter and the rest is all bourbon. The worst part about all the bourbon flavor is that it doesn't even taste like good bourbon.

M: Medium-heavy bodied, a little thinner than you might expect. Carbonation a bit low.

O: Decent idea, poor execution. Probably spent way too much time in bourbon barrels. Maybe it's better with a year or three on it, hard to say. Doubt I'll buy any more to find out though. (830 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.22/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very dark, essentially solid black body with a rich, thick, tan head. Bittersweet chocolate and figs and dates in the aroma, all wrapped up in a noticeable but acceptable alcohol presence; some roasted grains, too. Bright, somewhat sour flavors overall with a strong, boozy character; bitterness and malt notes seem secondary. A somewhat weak and fizzy feel to the beer.

A rather disappointing offering from Full Sail with this year's imperial porter. Where I would have anticipated a more malt-centric character overall, this particular beer screams with its high ABV and notes of cherries and dark fruits. with little harmony with whatever hops and malts they may have used. Personally, I think it suffers because of this. It's not a bad beer per se, just wild mish mash of crazy, non-integrated tastes with poor balance and eccentric complexity. Eh, maybe next year for something better... (893 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.76/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger mocha head that reduced to a puffy layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, spices, and a little smoke too.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, spices, mocha, boozy alcohol, smoke, ash, and

Mouthfeel: Smooth, boozy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and a little campfire bitterness.

Overall: A nice imperial porter that is nice with the barrel aging, but the bourbon barrel can be a little overpowering of the beers natural characteristics. (646 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful dark brown almost black pour with 2 fingers of foamy brown head.. great retention and nice lacing too. smells of vanilla, wood, raisins, bourbon, coffee, chocolate. the sweet sugary taste of bourbon that comes off as vanilla/raisins hits you immediately.. hints of cocoa, coffee, caramel in the finish.. a lovely sweet delicious treat. medium body with a thick feeling, moderate carbonation.. rich and creamy.. sticky on the lips.

this is a great beer.. my only nitpick is that i wish it was stronger on the other flavors and not just mainly bourbon. honestly though, i think this is excellent and should probably be hyped up to the point of bcbs. (661 characters)

Photo of Braz
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Purchased at Tacoma Boys cause it looked interesting and I love porters. Black to dark brown in color with a tan head that's not thick but sustains well. Tastes of chocolate and booze. The high alcohol tastes ruin this for me. Tastes like porter mixed with Jack Daniels. This tastes so much like Jack Daniels or bourbon in general that I'm suspicious of the given ABV. The feel and body are great but this is whiskey beer, that for all I know could become a new genre. (468 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: black beer body, 1+ finger of dark foam head; modest lace

S: fairly light - some bourbon, chocolate malt, and espresso - but nothing really leaps out

T: wet espresso beans and bourbon, some dry cocoa and vanilla alcohol

M: roasted bitter on the tongue, sweeter vanilla notes on the aftertaste; medium-full bodied, low carbonation

O: I was expecting to be blown away by this, but it comes off like a weak Imperial stout - it doesn't have that refreshing drinkability I expect in a porter, but it also lacks the staunchness I want in an Imperial beer - especially a stout. I thought the flavor profile slightly reminiscent of an English porter, probably owing to the drying effect of the bourbon barrel-aging. (714 characters)

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.86/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - an aggressive pour into a 22 ounce glass yielded a clear nearly black brew with a two finger head that recedes gently leaving behind ample lacing.
S - the smells are fairly subdued with malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee coming to mind but nothing is outstanding except a woody resinous aroma but not in a good way.
T - the taste is significantly better than the smell with burnt chocolate malts and roasted coffee dominating. The middle of the palate reveals bourbon barrel aging with the woody resins taking over.
M - fairly thin with adequate carbonation and a long lingering astringent feel likely from the resins.
D - an enjoyable if not somewhat mixed up brew. The 9.5% abv is not as dominant as I expected it to be.
I don't regret the $6.50 I paid for it. (773 characters)

Photo of StArnoldFan
2.01/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2012 Reserve

22oz bomber poured into a DC Brau tulip.

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a nice thick mocha head. As I take a second look at my glass in the light I see sediment floating around throughout the glass. All I get from the nose is strong bourbon scent. The taste is just foul, somewhat sour, and mostly bourbon. Very thin, makes me think the base beer couldn't handle the barrels, or they aged it too long (the bottle says 12 months). Quite simply the worst barrel aged beer I have ever had. This is defiantly going to be a drain pour. I bought the BA porter and BA stout from Full Sail at the same time, looks like I'm just going to tuck the BA stout way in the back of the cellar and forget about it, maybe time will help it. (751 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
2.71/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours out decently dark with a full hand's worth of light brown head. The retention of the head is great, and it laces here and there on the way down. Exactly what I expected the beer to look like and more. 4.5

S: Bourbon, dark fruits, and vanilla greats the nose initially. Not a lot of roast or chocolate, which I was hoping to get more of, but I do really like the hints of alcohol I'm getting. The bourbon is assertive, and slightly intrusive. 3.5

T: The taste isn't really that great. The bourbon takes the forefront again, with vanilla and an ever so slight amount of roast in the middle. The end is offensive alcohol, with some roast trying to balance it out. The balance just isn't there, and the alcohol is weirdly assertive. This needs another aspect to be considered a good bourbon barrel aged porter. 2

MF: Thin body with a normal amount of carbonation. The alcohol makes it tough to say it's all that drinkable. The aftertaste isn't the most pleasant I've come across. 2

O: Overall, not much else to say. Not a great beer for its style, but if you've never had a bourbon barrel aged porter before it wouldn't be a bad starting place. (1,162 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter glass.

A- Poured black with fluffy mocha colored head that left splashy lace.

S- Big whiskey and alcohols, some chocolate, and coconut. Very boozy aroma.

T- Dominant whiskey and alcohol notes up front, some chocolate, light roasted malt, coconut, and sweetness on the finish.

M- Medium body, soft carbonation, dry, and light warming on the finish.

O- More of a middle of the road bourbon barrel porter than a special beer. The booziness and bourbon notes are not very nuanced or balanced in the beer. Still very easy to drink, but not in the same league as other barrel aged porters or stouts I have had. (638 characters)

Photo of KajII
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a murky dark brown almost black with an average (1-2 finger) medium brown creamy head that had great retention, eventually reducing to a thick puddled film and large collar, which in turn created some really awesome full sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt, mild resin hops and a bold leathery yeast along with notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, a bit of oak cask and a decent hint of bourbon.

The taste was a roasty and malty with a nice chocolate sweetness from the beginning, slowly progressing with a slight coffee bitterness and a mild woody alcohol finish. The flavor lasted a decently long time following the swallow, with a nice roasty alcohol warming sensation lingering on.

Mouthfeel was quite a few steps beyond medium in body with a oily and slightly dry texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall this brew settled very nicely on the taste buds, allowing for a nice robust mocha coffee taste to take hold, which just left you wanting more while doing a great job of concealing the high ABV...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,129 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
2.59/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured aggressively into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a slick almost completely black with a massive 3 inch head, that leaves lots lacing. Smell is bourbon, smoke, tobacco, vanilla, and diet coke. Taste is a big miss for me. A Jack and diet coke with a hint of licorice and vanilla. Body is thin, enough carbonation, not dry, and not very drinkable do to it being blended poorly. The beer and the barrel just don't mesh for me. Going to be a struggle to finish. (459 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.22/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Dark brown, almost opaque. Fairly thick mocha head on the pour that mostly recedes. Not a stunner but handsome to be sure.
smell: The bourbon barrel aging is in your face, in a good way. Personally I like this, prefer it over the more subtle barrel aged brews. A standard porter with chocolate and a slight burnt whiff follows.
taste: Much like the nose though not quite as good as expected.
overall: A fine brew. Very easy drinker. Despite the 9.5%, it's a mellow fast drinkin muscle bound nice guy. (512 characters)

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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
78 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.