Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
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Ratings: 516 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BlurryVisi0n:
4.03/5 rDev +11.6%
Served in a Sam Adams signature pint glass. Vintage bottle October 2010 (limited release #3), poured 10/29/2012.
Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy amber with heavy bubbles (small) on the body. Had slightly off white about 1/3" at best off a vigorous pour.
Smell: Very nice bourbon scent. Not too overwhelming but obviously a little room for improvement.
Taste: Complex and good. It has a light lager feel to it offset with a sweet taste that reminds you of a borderline carbonated whiskey,. It is lightly bitter but feels heavy in alcohol because of the bourbon taste that goes with it.
Mouth: Strongly sticky, you lay this glass down and you feel the after taste of brown sugar but of what real beer is supposed to taste like.
Overall: A beastly beer, I am not crazy to begin with on the bourbon or oaked aged beers but this one is a gem. I know there are different versions that might not live up to the expectations of this one aged two years just right did it for me. I have had this bottle for about a year and thought it was time. Enjoy and drink up....Salud!
10-29-2012 04:43:11 | More by BlurryVisi0n
More User Reviews:
3.5/5 rDev -3%
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):
The brothers are continuing their quest with this reserve series. Tawny clarity, a beautiful head rests on top. Oak and alcohol are the first to the nostrils with clean solvent, trace vanilla and toasted wood. Full-bodied slickness. Barrel flavor has a slight chokehold on this beer, tasting a whole lot of wood; toasted, watered-down bourbon to faint vanilla and a dry pull on the palate. Modest hop profile, and the maltiness is quite dry. Expected more of an alcohol presence between the barrel and higher alcohol. Mellow up front but warming in the back. A bit more malt to back up the barrel flavors would have worked. Wood seems to take over.
02-04-2011 02:27:39 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.38/5 rDev -6.4%
I am a sucker for these reddish tinged beers; they're really pleasing to the eye.
This was a clear cherry amber color with a medium-sized tan head that reduced quickly.
Nice aroma. Vanilla Coke, sweet caramel. Alcohol noticeable, not unpleasant.
Alas, the taste did not live up to the aroma. While what I noted in the aroma was present in the taste, it was on a much smaller scale. Muted.
Fairly sweet mouthfeel.
Nice enough, but close but no cigar.
10-22-2010 01:52:40 | More by lordofthewiens
3.73/5 rDev +3.3%
Medium amber color. Hints of Vanilla, malt, and bourbon. Bourbon bomb. I love bourbon forward beers, but there is so much bourbon that theres not room for much else. Some malt, maybe a hint of vanilla and citrus. Carbonated, light mouthfeel. Good, but not up to the pre drink expectations I had on it. Might still get another bottle to age, but then again...maybe not.
05-29-2011 22:07:16 | More by 1Adam12
3.85/5 rDev +6.6%
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Fall 2010 release, reviewed Fall 2012) opens to a lovely sugary, malty, slightly alcoholic aroma. Immediately noticeable are big vanillas, caramels, brown sugar, and molasses, with strong support from rising wheat dough, floury baguette, and toast crust. The bourbon barrel aging is subtle, mostly adding touches of vanilla and oak, and is nowhere near the overwhelming whiskey aroma that sometimes happens with barrel aging. There is a good citrus note in the background, with lemon and pink grapefruit, as well as lighter pine notes from the hops. Fruit esters aren’t quite as powerful as the basic vanilla and brown sugar notes, but do include apricot and berry. As a whole, the nose is surprisingly light for a 9.4% ABV beer, and I expected much more in terms of bourbon. Instead, this comes across sugary and light, almost light a sugary fruit spritzer with just a touch of whiskey. The effect is pleasing, but does want for a bit more earthiness, including breads and bitterness, as well as gusto, to help balance things out.
On the tongue, the beer opens with a quick shot of brown sugar, then merges into a nice, satisfying mouthful of decent ale, with strong brown sugar, honey, and caramel notes, as well as toast crust, floury baguette, and rising dough. Bits of orange, apricot, and berry fruit esters add further complexity, and hops provide a light tinge of grapefruit and pine. The bourbon barrel aging is stronger here than on the tongue, initially providing a light oak and vanilla undertone, which gains in strength as the beer is held on the tongue and the sugars die off, so late in the mouthful a touch of charcoal and whiskey-like alcohol emerges. In subsequent sips many of the initial sugars and more nuanced flavors are lost under the bourbon and piney hops, and the beer begins to taste more like watery bourbon. The aftertaste is also dominated by watery bourbon and pine, and lingers for a short while. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, this is good fare, but not quite what I was expecting. The beer comes across well at first, but the bourbon notes, even though they’re somewhat watery, tend to dominate later mouthfuls, and the beer wants for a better malt base to help sustain the fruit and sugar notes. There’s also a slightly-too-large remnant of whiskey-like alcohol about the edges, and even more noticeable in the aftertaste, the malts not quite capable of hiding the higher ABV. The ultimate effect is that, despite the high ABV, this comes across as a mid-grade ale that was barrel aged for better flavor.
10-22-2012 19:33:45 | More by jondeelee
3.9/5 rDev +8%
Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. 2011 vintage bottled on 8/12/11.
Appearance: Pours a bright and clear brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent two fingers of off white head that quickly fade into a thin patchy layer.
Smell: Smells a lot like bourbon. Has a fair amount of woody oak and vanilla along with caramel and toffee malts that are lightly roasted. Also some light hints of the typical winter warmer spices of cinnamon and ginger. A little bit of alcohol. Oak and vanilla stand out the most.
Taste: Big taste of bourbon, oak, and vanilla up front. Caramel and toffee malts come towards the finish along with some light hints of winter spices. Also a little taste of alcohol. The oak and vanilla flavor is pretty strong while the malts and spices are subtle. Somewhat sweet but not overbearing.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Feels thin for such a high abv barrel aged beer but it is easy to drink and the alcohol heat is mild considering.
Overall: Quite an interesting take on a winter warmer. Oak and vanilla flavors are nice. Could of been a little more full bodied.
12-10-2011 05:53:16 | More by MattyG85
4.18/5 rDev +15.8%
Poured from a 22oz bottle in an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: Reddish-orange. Clear. Little carbonation, minimal head. Not a lot of lacing.
Aroma: Bourbon and malt. Smells like some one dumped an ale into a bourbon bottle. I like it though. I figure that was the intention.
Taste: Like the smell, Bourbon and Malt. Not a lot of malt though, but those are the main flavors. It's the best bourbon aged beer I've had to date. Pairing with a Nub Conneticut cigar (which is creamy) is perfect. This is the beer to pair with a cigar. Very nice. It's pretty boozy, but that compliments the bourbon flavor nicely. Tastes like a shot of bourbon with a shot of beer.
Mouthfeel: Nothing to write home about. It's kind of dry, but not like bourbon is.
Overall: It's what I expected. Pretty good. It's great to pair with a cigar. I would love to get it solely for that purpose. Not for the $15 price tag I see everywhere though. I would struggle to spend $9 on it but that seems more reasonable. Good, but overpriced. I would suggest trying it once if you have some extra money in the winter when it comes out.
03-23-2012 23:09:58 | More by StogiesandBrews
4.1/5 rDev +13.6%
Sincerest thanks to my friends in Portland: Dick and Rosario for this wonderful gift of beer!
Pours the color of iced tea, check that, it actually looks like bourbon whisky. A thin layer of beige foam forms and then fades leaving a few spots of tightly packed bubbles. Carbonation is still active with small bubbles still rising.
Aroma-Malty, dried fruit and a very nice sweet, booziness that obviously smells like bourbon. The overall maltiness is very reminiscent of an English barleywine.
Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation delivers a quick hoppy bitterness.This is immediately overcome by the sweet malt and it transitions to a wonderful bourbon flavor. There is a bitterness that lingers in the back on the finish, but I am left with a sweet lower-proof bourbon flavor. A froth on the palate gets the alcohol warmed up and some mild oaky barrel flavors emerge. If you can envision a pefect combo of a beer mixed with bourbon this ale hits the spot. I like the subtle oak flavors and the sweet bourbon flavors are pleasing to me. I am big bourbon fan so this was a great brew to try. Cheers to Widmer Brothers on this special release.
02-23-2011 16:23:06 | More by ByTor2112
4.5/5 rDev +24.7%
2011 Seasonal BARREL AGED BRRRBON is an amazing beer, enjoyed it today at the Foodie Festival in Westport CT. Its one of the more impressive offerings from one of the most impressive craft brewers nationwide. One of the highlights of an event that featured a diverse variety from Widmer, BluePoint, Goose Island, Southern Tier and a host of locals.
Widmer Brothers states: FOLLOWING THE INITIAL BREWING PROCESS OF BRRR, THE BEER WAS GIVEN A FRESH CHARGE OF HOPS DURING SECONDARY FERMENTATION AND THEN PUT INTO KENTUCKY BOURBON BARRELS AND AGED FOR FOUR MONTHS. AFTER BARREL AGING, THE BEER WAS ALLOWED A TERTIARY FERMENTATION FOR FINAL CONDITIONING BEFORE RELEASE.
Nice auburn copper pour.
Frothy with sweet smell reminiscent of oak with vanilla. Little bourbon smell mild not overpowering. Texture is slick with taste of sweetness coupled with some alcohol but not negative. Solid hops composition with a little bit of a burnt earthy smell and feel. Finishes spicy like the Falconer IPA but not as hoppy just peppery smoothness. Really enjoy the texture and taste of this beer. There's essentially no cloying bitterness as its nicely hopped but maintains a 40 IBU and its potent at 9%.
It's not hot like a bourbon but if you don't like bourbon or whiskey you probably won't like this but I highly recommend it as one of my favorites from Widmer where I think the SXNW and the Pitch Black and the Falconer IPA are spectacular.
10-28-2012 02:15:58 | More by JHS123
3.48/5 rDev -3.6%
This looks similar to the original, a thick but opaque orange-brown with maybe slightly more brightness, perhaps slightly more thinness in the edges. It develops a little less light orange head, just under one finger with pretty good retention but less heaviness or stick to it, though it puts down some decent spotting and patching.
The bourbon comes first on the nose, ethanolic but with a bit of vanilla and wood to it. Dark fruits are there, though covered over a little, while, interestingly, the note of grains is lessened. There's still a sturdy hops presence by way of resin and citrus rind, while The toffee and spiciness and toffee are somewhat enhanced, though the spiciness is more heat here.
In the flavor, the wood seems to overtake most of the other elements. I like wood, but I like it to be integrated for depth rather than overshadowing everything else. I do still get a hint of tobacco leaf, and I like the sweeter hints of vanilla, toffee and caramel. Hops take their place in the overall profile, and the sulfuric note I got in the buildup is diminished.
The sturdy malt backbone in this medium-bodied beer seems to have been thinned slightly by alcohol. Carbonation is still light but enough to support, but the transition from crisp in the front to smoother in the middle isn't as good. The finish does remain dry.
01-09-2014 19:40:09 | More by Brenden
2.93/5 rDev -18.8%
This is one of the few times I'm going to agree with the rating as spot on. About an 80% overall score for this one. I've had my fair share of bourbon aged beers and this falls short in so many ways. First of all it's not a stout so don't expect one. It pour s a medium transparent brown color not a lot of carbonation in the liquid nor head on top. Sweet bouquet where I pick up some notes of oats and barley. The initial sip is watery. Doesn't seem like a 9%+ abv beer. Not much flavor lingers on the tounge and almost no taste of bourbon. All hype and no deliver. Too much bark and not enough bite for this beer. Seems like I paid $13 simply for the wax they put on the top of the bottle.
03-15-2014 00:52:23 | More by Ryanm1
3.55/5 rDev -1.7%
Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass:
Pours a reddish, orangey brown color. Looks like your typical ale. A good amount of lacing boils up and subsides after a moment. Fairly sticky lacing rings the glass. A deep whiff earns me the scent of apples, but is a bit muted. I wonder what else is in there. A quaff reveals the flavor of apples, toffee, dark fruits, malts, vanilla, and cream. A little smokey. Overall, an enjoyable arrangement of flavors. Mouthfeel is dry and light, and the flavor radiates well. I wouldn't mind revisiting this one in the future.
12-24-2012 02:51:23 | More by McD0uche
3.09/5 rDev -14.4%
Had on -tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA
Appearance - A clear, reddish copper served to me with a thin, off-white head.
Smell - Smells like watered down bourbon. Sweet, oaky and boozy.
Taste - Follows the nose: watered down bourbon. Touches of caramel. Boozy. Not much else to describe.
Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low carbonation. Smooth. Goes down easy enough.
Overall - Call me unimpressed. Truly tastes like bourbon that's been cut with water. That's it. Really nothing else to it. Definitely a beer that won't be on my future want list.
03-09-2013 20:55:19 | More by TheSixthRing
3.68/5 rDev +1.9%
Bottled last fall, 2010.
Server cool into a goblet, Bourrrbon is a striking red color with great clarity.
Aroma is sweet and boozy with obvious bourbon barrel influence.
Flavor is strong with heavy bourbon character. Unfortunately not a lot else going on. Burr is a great hoppy beer but this aged version doesn't have much depth.
Mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol is subdued.
Overall not a bad beer if you like bourbon but otherwise not much to like.
01-03-2012 02:13:59 | More by GilGarp
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.