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

Not Rated.
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
81
good

137 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 19.1%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 44
Photo of Braz
2.95/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of beergoot
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
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...

Photo of negroobserver
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Chilled.

The beer pours beautifully. It's very dark and pours with about 1 inch of cappucino colored head, which lingers for a bit of time and then depreciates and recedes to the edge.

The alcohol is what dominates in the aroma here. There is a light scent of chocolate / cocoa in the back end hidden behind the alcohol.

Light banana notes in the back end. Mostly coffee/chocolate/malts. There is definitely some bitterness, but not dominant.

The mouthfeel is what is to be expected of a porter, but that is part of the problem.

OVERALL... i was looking forward to this one quite a bit, but I am now a little bit disaapointed. In hindsight, I would've rather spent a few extra bucks a gotten the Allagash Curieux instead or an imperial stout. Again, not bad, just not my taste.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Top sail pours like molten chocolate. Deep and rich, not letting much light through except on the pour where theres the thinnest amount of liquid. The head is amazingly thick and the color of cappuccino.

The nose makes things very apparent that that is a bourbon barrel aged beer. Vanilla and boozy notes with a backbone of deeply roasted grains. A good nose but there is a hint of some fruity tartness.

Wow, talk about a slip in the experience. This beer drops the ball with a thin flavor for a dark beer and especially for an imperial porter. That tartness takes over from the nose and yields a tin-like apple flavor. The bourbon vanilla notes goes into the sidecar and unfortunately doesn't reappear until the finish. Follow all of this up with metallic grains and bitter coffee. Not great.

The mouthfeel comes redeems a little but not enough to get past the poor flavor. Soft carbonation gives a smooth, creamy feel and there is a decent bourbon and grain finish but it's a lot to go through to get there. I really wanted this one to work out because it looked and smelled so good. Maybe some aging will mellow it.

Photo of Rizalini
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours virtually black, with a thick brown head 1 finger head.

S - The smell is dominated by bourbon, with a slight bittersweet chocolate aroma.

T/M - The taste is barrel forward, with a tobacco/bourbon finish. There are notes of chared and chocolate malts. Medium mouthfeel, maybe slightly over carbonated. Great aftertaste.

O - Another great barrel aged release from Full Sail. I like this because the bourbon barrel is not hidden. Big bold flavors, and very easy drinkability. I will be buying this one again to age,

Photo of facundoCNB
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

Photo of KajII
4/5  rDev +12.4%
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

Photo of jtd1969
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with brown head, creamy, but light lacing

S - bourbon, oak and some coffee

T - oak, bourbon, some coffee and vanilla

M - heavy medium bodied(Probably full, but had a thin feel to me), fairly smooth

O - To me the oak and bourbon really overpowered this beer. I love bourbon barreled aged beers, but this one seemed to be a tad disappointing for me. I still recommend a try or I might even age one a year and try again. Not a bad beer, just was wanting more.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass black with a slow forming tan head, great retention and good lacing. Scent has a strong bourbon scent with not much else. Taste really is a disappointment. I can't come to the decision if the bourbon flavor or the porter flavor is awkward. But something strange is going wrong with this beer. The porter and bourbon just isn't coming together to make a great beer. I'm thinking that the baseline porter just isn't robust enough to balance out the bourbon. Label says it was aged for 12 months, maybe that was too long. The mouth feel is medium bodied and carbonation is right on for the style.

Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up while on vacation in Denver. Deep black pour with creamy one and a half finger tan head with great retention and crazy lacing. Huge bourbon nose with loads of mocha and oak along with hints of vanilla, toffee, and a touch of coconut and booze. The taste follows suit with the bourbon being the star once again. It's nicely complemented with hints of coffee, tobacco, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, and a bit of figs and coconut as well as a touch of black licorice. The mouthfeel is creamy and surprisingly bitter and has more body than most Porters, but did seem to thin out a bit on the finish. Overall, a very well done Porter that I will definitely revisit.

Photo of Greywulfken
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.63/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Sierra Nevada Snifter. As close to black as you can be while still being brown in color. Slight dark brown highlights. Strong foamy tan colored head. Little film of the froth stays through the whole session. Each time you take a sip there's a coating left on the glass, sort of a syrup effect but not quite as thick.

Smell is good, but not great. Large amount of roasted grain in the nose. The mix is fort of a oaty and fresh grain smell along with bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Very woody and some bourbon aromas as well. Very weird there's a slight tang in the smell, it doesn't smell like infection but it's still a little funky and throws it off slightly.

Taste still has the nice roasty grain aspect which is good. Again some nice coffee and this time the chocolate is sweet. There's some of the base beer (I'm assuming, because I've never actually had it), then it's unbalanced out by the bourbon. However the bourbon provides some nice notes of vanilla. It seems like there's a slight funk again, but nothing overwhelming at all.

Mouthfeel is good. About full bodied, low carbonation, but it works well for this. Bourbon isn't hot at all which is nice, especially considering it's fresh. Not super, but pretty smooth with a luke-warm finish. Pretty drinkable but more of a sipper. Overall a pretty good beer.

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown with a thick off white head that leaves pretty good lacing.

S Some light bourbon, alcohol and what I think might have been some caramel.

T Lots of alcohol and bourbon with a hint of chocolate. Very harsh.

M Slightly thin with a bit of a warming feeling going down.

Overall this is a bit of a disappointment and another mediocre beer from Full Sail. The bourbon overpowers what ever base beer is there making this a boozy alcohol flavored mess. The only saving grace was the fact that it was 5 bucks.

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.51/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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

Photo of henrysunset
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from malt and vine, about 12$.

jet black with a fine head of dark tan.

scent is caramel, coffee, sweet malts, smoke. not discernibly bourbony.

taste brings the bourbon, but it is not as forward as some other examples. malty, alcoholic, a bit thin. Easy drinking for 9.5% abv.

drinkability / overall is pretty good. I enjoy it but might not seek out again given the price.

Photo of zander4dawin
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark beer with a thin head. The taste and smell are high on soft vanilla notes. Robust and smooth, finishes with a slight tartness. Overall this is a solid imperial porter with an interesting finish to it. Worthy of a try, but at the price point there's probably better options.

Photo of Sweasty
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full Sail gives us another bourbon barrel beer. I'll try anything aged in bourbon at least once. Full Sails BBA Imperial Porter looks the part of a proper porter. A dark brown, near black body is topped off by a healthy finger or so of khaki head. Head settles to a thick ring, leaving plenty lace down the glass.

Initial whiff gives loads of sweet bourbon on the nose. Some dark roasted notes crack through the bourbon. Oak and vanilla come through as well. Some coffee and light chocolate notes round things out.

The bourbon in the nose takes on a boozier quality on the palate. Vanilla notes are much stronger. Drying tannic wood takes hold mid palate. Some caramel and milky chocolate notes hit next. Light roast coffee present as well. Bourbon reappears in the sweet yet tannic finish.

Top Sail Imperial porter has a nice medium body. Carbonation is adequate.

Full Sails BBA Imperial Porter is a nice enough brew. The bourbon barrel takes hold of this beer and never lets up. This porter has a too much bourbon character, preventing the porter qualites from shining. This brew might benefit from some aging, but fresh is a bit of a letdown.

Photo of Dope
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

'12

A: Opaque blacke as far as I can tell. Off white, light khaki spumy bubbled head.

S: Mildly tannic, whiskey, wood, melow raisonous fruit, wet mesquite, warm buttermilk, chocolate.

T: Smooth slick, yet thin, WHISKEY syrup, the bourbon qualities are seriously muted and this is more twangy a la whiskey than bourbon. Roasty qualities populate but are quieter than barrel commotion.

M: Quite drying and unpleasant much like a lager somehow.

O: Good, worth the price ($10.99), would try again but seem like a huge joke compared to midnight sun barrel aged stuff.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Bfarr
1.81/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Deep brown with foamy brown head, poor retention, and little lacing. Stale oak, alcohol and notes of vanilla. Very hot alcohol, chocolate up front and thin bourbon vanilla. Very dry sharp oak finish and linger. Thin sticky feel in the end and dry.

Very dominating wood flavor and dryness makes this taste like licking the inside of a bourbon barrel. I really loved Black Gold but this beer didn’t seem strong enough to support aging or was aged in very young barrels.

Photo of GregSVT
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a tulip

A: Pours a dark brown, pretty black in the glass, with a nice light brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, cocoa, fudge, and molasses. Smells like chocolate fudge cake with white frosting in a glass.

T: The taste is very different though with roasty coffee on the front followed by vanilla, a bit of chocolate fudge, and some molasses on the finish. The coffee was a surprise after the nose but it tastes great. It would be nice if it was toned down just a touch to let the barrel shine.

M: The feel is nice and creamy with a medium, almost light body. The feel could be bumped up a bit more in body but the creaminess helps.

O: I didn't expect a lot from this one and it surprised me how good it was. I love that this is in TX now and hopefully we get their other barrel aged offerings.

Photo of SawDog505
2.59/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
81 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.