Bourbon Stout - District ChopHouse & Brewery

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Bourbon Stout
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BA SCORE
89
very good

39 Reviews
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Reviews: 39
Hads: 56
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
District ChopHouse & Brewery visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2003

A portion of our Oatmeal Stout is aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels. Six weeks of conditioning lend it a bourbon overtone with mellow vanilla flavors from the American White Oak barrels. Served cool, not cold, via a traditional English beer engine. Intense and bold! Try it with dessert.
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 56
Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On cask at the brewpub.
essentially black body with a decent head.
Lots of bourbon flavor and aroma, suggesting the bourbon barrel was not ruined before brewery use.

Smooth but overly light body. (197 characters)

Photo of challenja
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a cask into a shaker pint glass at the chop house.

A: thick dark chocolate with a consistent light brown finger head.
S: sweet milk chocolate, vanilla bean, cooked oatmeal, Woodford reserve bourbon, sweet cherry wood, maple syrup with bakers chocolate vapors.
T: This is the most bourbon ever placed in a mix with oatmeal stout! I caught a serious buzz just off one beer. You get a full milk chocolate mouthful in sweet oaked bourbon. Very heavy presence of cherry wood and sweet corn mash. Luscious vanilla bean.
M: very smooth. Medium bodied. Frothy and easy drinking deliciousness. You get a nice bourbon lingering finish that drags the cherry maple corn mash with you.
O: this is a delicious cask bourbon stout. Frothy, sweet, booze filled chocolate stout goodness. Not to sweet but damn heavy on the bourbon. (827 characters)

Photo of TheLittleMrs
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My husband and I were incredibly pleased with this beer. We're planning our next visit from NJ just to get this again; hopefully they'll have it! I could taste the vanilla and we both thought it was velvety smooth. I wish DC Chophouse could sell growers and get a place near us. Definitely one to get again. (307 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the cask into a shaker pint.

Great looking large one finger super soupy light tan head. Surprised by the head size on this. Sits on an almost jet black body with some hints of red hues. Great looking beer here.

A real good solid nose of vanilla, some chocolate milk, and just a hint of heat. Not much else but no complaints that's for sure.

However, even out of the cask the feel is quite light bodied, even just a little too wet for my tastes. There's a small hint of whiskey just barely, but there is still the flavor in the palate that was hinted on the nose. A big vanilla finish on the swallow, some mild chocolate sensations, strangely also some sour fruitness but not much luckily

Overall it's a great example of an easy and not booming bourbon barrel beer. This is the kind of beer I would give someone new to try this style first, before diving into something large. It's quite easy drinking too, just felt a bit too light in body. (956 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a finger high beige head that has excellent retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: The taste is very well balanced and is not overpowered by the bourbon flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, very smooth and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The bourbon flavors are well incorporated into the taste of this beer and this good balance makes it relatively easy to drink. (619 characters)

Photo of joshuaseresse
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the brewery while in D.C. At first the guy didn't tell me this was on cask, so my first thoughts were quite odd and sort of negative towards the brew, but when I found out that it was, I understood the beer better. This is an oatmeal stout aged in Woodford Reserve whiskey barrels. It was tapped on 3-18-2011, so it was pretty fresh. Poured into a pint glass:

A - Pours a dark brown, coca cola black with fizzy bubbly head that starts to die in the middle and leaves a solid foam ring around the edges. No lacing. Looks like soda.

S - Wow! Huge bourbon whiskey notes. Oatmeal, toffee, earth and oak. Minor roast notes but huge booze notes, which I liked quite a bit.

T - The taste was kind of a let down. Kind of thin stout with minor roast and oatmeal. The bourbon notes are there but in the background. I know that it was served from a cask, but it seemed like they also just washed the glass with hot water, so it wasn't that enjoyable. Bit of heat and oak and slight chocolate.

M - Thin and watery. Very little carbonation. Heat from the barrel.

D - I was expecting so much more when I saw this on the menu. I'm huge into barrel aged brews, but this wasn't it. Not sure if this might have been a bad base beer to start with but the really only good thing about this brew was the smell. (1,314 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.11/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown bordering on black. No real head, legs, or lacing. The nose is just a straigt bourbon bomb and is incredibly hot. With both the nose and the taste, I'm struggling to get anythig other than fresh bourbon and a lot of alcohol. Mouthfeel is a mess. I did not enjoy this. (313 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Inky black in color. 2-finger dark cream head.

Very strong alcohol aroma. All I'm gettin is the bourbon. Faint anise makes a small appearance as the beer warms.

Thin hit, much thinner than expected from the nose. Quickly, the bourbon takes over and it is very strong in flavor. Slight caramel malt in the finish.

Body feels more of a porter than a stout.

The bourbon is just too strong here for me to really appreciate this one. One and done. (447 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from cask at District Chophouse in DC.

a - A dark brown/black color with a brownish head that leave after about a minute. No carbonation, looks great.

s - Smells heavily of bourbon, a little bit of oak and some chocolate. Don't really taste the oatmeal stout that they claimed.

t - Very good taste. Warm because it's cask and a good burbon taste. Some oak and chocolate just like the smell.

m - medium body, no carbonation at all. Kind of creamy and smooth for a boubon stout.

d - It was a good bourbon stout but not as good as the GI Bourbon Country. If you ever find yourself at the District ChopHouse in DC and like Bourbon it is a very good choice. (663 characters)

Photo of CaptYellow
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

d: I just wanted to note that this was one of the most drinkable beers (for me) that I've ever had. There are few drinks that I've ever come across that are dangerously good- so easy to drink that it could cause problems of restraint. This is one.

t: And the taste was delicious. The bourbon came through clearly but without the alcohol punch. The stout flavor was a nice platform, not in itself powerful like many stouts are- but perhaps the bourbon just put it in perspective. However, this came across to me as lacking complexity in flavor range. But whatever- I'd rather have delicious and drinkable with my meal than hunting for flavors.

a: And that's how I think of it: simply good. Just like pasta with pesto can be uncomplex and heavenly, so is this pairing. Perhaps boring if taken every night but always something to come back to and enjoy. The appearance is the same: just a good dark brown-to-the-point-of-being-black beer with little head retention, mildly carbonated, served warm (the menu says in the English style). Not magnificent or beautiful like a nitro but faultless.

Notes: I'm glad my group wound it's way over when in DC. Not offered in the sampler. A sign at the entrance says formal wear required- but they didn't stop us who were modestly well dressed and I saw patrons in jeans. Lunch is affordable, brunch starts at 3, and I would avoid dinner (prices). An interesting restaurant. The portions were too large for anyone in my group to finish. The brown ale of a friend's that I tasted was one of the better brown ales I've tasted- tasty and drinkable but not as drinkable as the bourbon stout. The waiter did insist on bringing me a sample of the stout before I had it as it seems many people don't like it.

28 nov. '9 (1,751 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An iconic draft/cask offering from the District Chophouse. It fluctuates a bit from batch to batch but it is typically a great brew to have, and revisit often.

Presentation: Draft serving at its own brewpub. The menu offers a good description of the brew and how a portion of their oatmeal stout is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels noting the vanilla effect. The chalkboard notes Alc. by Vol (7%). Served in a shaker pint glass.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, nice 1" frothy head, fair retention, and some nice lacing.

S - Bourbon and vanilla scent, very pleasing and obvious withouth being overwhelming. Notes of the roasted malt also present.

T - Good bourbon, vanilla and a minimal sour roasted malt taste that works very well in the finish.

M - Creamy and smooth, and in this cask offering almost a touch watery but not in a bad manner, actually the flatness and coolness give it a nice range of flavors and adds to the smoothness.

D - Rather drinkable, works well on a pint but would probably benefit from another type of glassware.

Notes: It goes up and down in quality, typically a good one but sometimes it feels extraordinary. This tasting was one of the best I have had in a while with a difference. Rather tasty and pleasing. Not too assertive for a barrel aged stout but with a nice sense of balance and memorable stimulation. (1,354 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask version had at the brewpub. Aged in Waterford Reserve barrels.

Pours one shade from black with a large-bubbled brown head. The head dissipates fairly quickly into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing.

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, and dark chocolate, in that order. As the beer warms the intensity of the alcohol increases a bit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The roasted malt flavors hold a bit more sway than they do in the nose and kick things off, eventually giving way to large amounts of vanilla and bourbon. The ending holds a small amount of dark chocolate that gives way to a good amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's not quite as thick as I'd like but the cask conditioning gives it a nice smoothness.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass fairly quickly and could have another.

Overall I have to say I'm a bit jealous that Washingtonians can have a cask-conditioned bourbon stout whenever they like. If you're in the area give this one a shot. (1,005 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: black... full creamy khaki head off hand pump. Decent retention.

S: Smooth burbon, vanilla and ash. slight hints of coffee, chocolate and brown sugar

T: Heavy burbon.... decent amounts of oak, ash and valilla...very little oatmeal stout charachter

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied... no realy creamyness.

D: Heavy burbon, lack of beer charachter and thinner body keeps me from wanting another. (407 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one cause it seemed to be the most interesting of the options available. Looks solid, although the bubbles of the head are too big and dissolve quickly leaving a murky dark brown near black color. Aroma is monstrous - huge the whiskey smells, with some solid roasted malt in there. Flavor is similar, if not quite as strong or in your face - strong on the whiskey flavors, along with some chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of hoppy bitterness in there too. Feel is a little thin, although solid. Overall, a nice beer and one I'd get again, although I felt like the appearance/body needed a little work.

DCH/$5.25/16 oz (636 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask Pint
$5.00
District Chophouse

District Chophouse's Bourbon Stout was served in a pint glass with a black body that was dense enough to keep any highlights shining through at the dimly lit bar. A one finger head of soft beige sat atop the body and showed respectable staying power while leaving thin spotty lacing as the beer underneath disappeared.

The nose brought along a rich chocolaty roastiness right off the bat with nicely integrated bourbon not far behind. The bourbon is the standout in this beer but the stout/bourbon mixture is very well balanced. Semi-sweet oak, vanilla, coffee, and caramel all play secondary roles and are all very enjoyable.

The bourbon jumps out right away in the flavor but is quickly pulled back under control by the chocolaty and mildly roasted maltiness. The flavor follows the nose closely with the coffee, vanilla, oak, and caramel all playing meaningful roles, in that order of intensity. The barrel aging has been nicely done in that it balances with the stout in an expertly crafted way.

This beer rolled over the tongue. The medium-full body and soft carbonation left this beer to work through my mouth slowly. The bourbon left behind a mild sweetness.

I drank two of these while sitting at the bar and would have gladly stayed for another if it wasn't time for me to get moving. This beer has the big flavors of a sipper but the carbonation and feel that keep it flowing without a problem.

I was very surprised by this stout from the Chophouse. The restaurant gave off the feeling that the brewery and bar was an afterthought so I assumed the beer would follow suit. I'm glad to have been wrong on this occasion. If growlers were sold in DC I wouldn't have hesitated in bringing one or two home. (1,755 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: big tan head with excellent retention over a black colored stout, no lacing

s: semisweet chocolate with a boozy bourbon note, earthy hops and a mild roast, not bad

m: wasn't expecting it, as it wasn't identified as such on the chalkboard, but this is immediately identifiable as a cask upon first sip...room temp, minimal carbonation, medium body

t: pretty disappointing to be honest, this would be a subpar oatmeal stout on its own, and it really doesn't provide an adequate base for the addition of Woodford Reserve, which is really the most enjoyable part of the experience - as I'm not one to order a bourbon stout and complain about too much bourbon - and basically dominates the palate, cheap chocolates and a mild roast, lacking and depth of malt flavor, earthy hops and a mild bitterness

d: not terrible, and even worth a try if you fancy a cask, but certainly not something I'd want more than one of

visited with the family before heading across the street for dinner (984 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had several pints on cask on my last trip to DC. Review is from notes. This peer pours pitch black with a nice tan/espresso foam head. Aromas are big bourbon and heavy duty malt (chocolate/coffee/caramel/bread/etc). The taste is all about smooth creamy bourbon mixed with the chocolate/coffee/toffee malts. Hops are leafy green but totally in the background. Mouthfeel is cask goodness. Creamy, smooth, and thick, but not too thick. Drinkability is GREAT (454 characters)

Photo of orangedive
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Octopus Ink Black in color - 1/2 inch cappachino colored head-dissipated slowly.

S - Brown Sugar, alcohol, molasses. Not much else--a little roastiness

T - A little oak, nice blend of all the flavors--no one flavor is dominant: roasted oatmeal, a little chocolate, a little vanilla, a little bourbon---lots of sweetness.

M - thin, a little velvety

D - pleasant, easy going down, a little too sweet. (406 characters)

Photo of sholland119
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not a fan of this beer though I liked the lineup at the brewpub in general.

Pours a nice deep brown with an oddly frothy brown head, probably due to it being from the cask.

Smell is way too dominated by bourbon with just a hint of oatmeal sweetness.

Taste, following the nose, it oddly simple and just flat out bourbon and vanilla. Hard to know it's beer.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin for the style. Too much booziness for me to enjoy drinking it.

Saved this for last, expecting it to be the highlight. It wasn't.

HV (527 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on cask, the perfect presentation the brewer says, at the brewpub. The aroma is tremendous, but otherwise I enjoyed the stout as it were without the corn alcohol. It is not as black as the regular oatmeal. It is dark with material carbonation bubbles. Served at just below room temperature. Too much bourbon there to be great. Roasted coffee. (350 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a shade lighter than black with a huge frothy, light brown head with great lacing and retention

s - smells of bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla, dark roasted malt as well

t - big brown sugar and vanilla notes all the way through, dark malt on the midpalate, finish is strong bourbon and oak, pretty boozy actually for only being 7% abv, but not ovewhelming

m - very low carbonation from the cask, full-bodied, well-balanced on the finish

d - the bourbon flavors are nice, but a little too prominent to make this overly drinkable, a sipper for sure, fairly easy on the palate however

Overall, I was slightly let down by this stout. Definitely a good effort, but the bourbon takes over the taste a little too much. Well worth stopping in for a pint if you're in DC. (777 characters)

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from cask into a standard pint (looked a bit small--sub 16 oz maybe?).

Appearance was dark brown, far from black, no attempt to darken it unnecessarily, with a nice tan head.

Aroma was smokey with a nice roast bite.

Tastes roasted without char, some coffee and chocolate and hint of vanilla or toffee.

Mouthfeel is great, balanced bitterness, very smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional. This one goes down smooth, clean and crisp with plenty of carbonation given it was served with a beer engine from cask. Might have been slightly too cold for the style.

Highly recommended. (586 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown body with a good, creamy head that left some lacings. A bourbon heavy smell that overpowered the malts in this stout. The beer has a bourbon taste to it, but it is also somewhat sweet due to maybe some chocolate malts and/or roasted/coffee malts. Also, maybe a touch of caramel, but this beer does contain a little spicy edge to it with the bourbonesque qualities it contains. This is probably where the oak kicks in, giving it that edge yet overall it is very smooth. Unlike a real shot of bourbon that gives you the whiskey face, this mildly heats up the tongue before settling down. Man this was a good beer. (629 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a chilly, grey, and rain-swept Sunday afternoon at the start of December what I needed most on my journey was a place to settle in and quietly enjoy a smooth and creamy dark beer with a little bit of extra warming power. The ChopHouse's cask-conditoned Bourbon Stout fit the bill perfectly.

It was delivered to the bar with the expected dark brown almost black body beneath a creamy head of dark tan. The retention was good, and it left some nice lacing about the glass as it went.

Bourbon was quite obvious in the nose, but the roasty, chocolatey malts were more than present as well.

In the mouth it was utterly smooth, like velvet. The medium body was silky soft due in part to the intial carbonation level, and then probably even more so due to the beer engine pour.

The flavor displayed all of the bourbon, vanilla, and oak that the nose suggested, soaked in a rich, black-coffee-like and darkly chocolatey malt base. There was more Bourbon and alcohol to it than hops, but that was OK, because at that point nothing more was needed to cut through the malt. It finished smoothly malty, and surprisingly gentle without dark malt acidity; althought the alchol from the Bourbon was always there, ready to step forward and give you a little slap across the face with the back of its empty glove.

Bold. Smooth and relaxing, but with a kick. The perfect beer for a grey, chilly day. I wouldn't expect to have more than one, but the one I had was quite drinkable. (1,470 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice deep black color with a big puffy head that dies down rather quickly. It's so dark that you can't see thru it to note any carbonation. A small amount of lacing is left behind.

S: Big smoky ashen bourbon aroma with hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: What you smell is what you taste. Tons of Bourbon with hints of vanilla. Charcoal is heavy on the tongue with hints of choclate way beneath.

M: Way too watery for a stout. This beer was just too thin sorry.

D: Due to the thiness you could probably drink more but who would want to. A Bourbon Stout is a sipping beer that is to be enjoyed in moderation.

Overall: A pretty good brew. The first brew pub I have ever been to that has a Bourbon Stout on tap. I do have to take issue with the bartender though. He poured the brew which had a huge head. He immediately passed it to my waiter and by the time he brought it literally ten feet to me the head had died down leaving my pint only 3/4 full. What the hell is up with that?

That aside it was a pretty good brew. (1,034 characters)

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Bourbon Stout from District ChopHouse & Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.