1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 19.44%
Wants: 7
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wasatch on 03-18-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of henrysunset
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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 +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 duff247
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Sweasty
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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 Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Dope
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
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 bsimms
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Telestic
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of EzraAtom
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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 -0.6%
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
1.78/5  rDev -49.9%
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 Exiled
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of GregSVT
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
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
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Stumpy29er
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of gford217
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
2.18/5  rDev -38.6%
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.

D

Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a charcoal black with half a finger of tan head. Poor head retention.

S- rich dark chocolate and sweetness up front. Huge oaky nose on the finish with a hint of vanilla and serious sweet bourbon.

T- big dark chocolate with a note of molasses and burnt raisin. Slight char in the mid palate. Finishes with a huge punch of bourbon and aggressive oak with notes of vanilla and warm alcohol. Big flavor just a little one dimensional.

MF- slick mouthfeel with a medium body. Higher than average carbonation.

D- decent drinkability.

Overall it has big solid flavors but lacks the depth for it to be a truly phenomenal brew. Tastes like a chocolate with a bourbon center.

Photo of Auror
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2012) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
81 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.