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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)

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516 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 516
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.24%
Wants: 18
Gots: 119 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 9.4% ABV
Original Gravity: 20° PLATO

Released: September 2010

(Beer added by: BarrytheBear on 09-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 516 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylehay2004


3.83/5  rDev +6.1%

Two finger off white head on a hazy amber orange body. Excellent retention and nice lacing. Flavors of vanilla, toasted malts, brown sugar, spices, bourbon, caramel and hints of toffee. Aroma hides under the thick head ad is mostly of candy sugar, dark fruits, orange peel and caramel. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A little oily on the palate. A lot of flavors in this one but for me they do tall come together in the end to form a memorable or great beer.

11-14-2012 12:59:36 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of jondeelee


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
Photo of cdkrenz


3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

Cellared for 2 years at 42.5 degrees.

The look is a light brown with nice head. The body is medium and the flavor of bourbon is evident. This is a nice, smooth, enjoyable brew. Whether or not the time in the cellar helped or hindered isn't really an issue with the beer because the characters of the beer are in good shape.

10-04-2012 01:33:21 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a slightly hazy surprisingly light rosy golden amber color with a shallow wispy fizzy white head that's gone in a flash leaving little Belgian lacing at all. Microscopic effervescence is unable to sustain a collar, but suggests a reasonable carbonation will follow. The nose is REALLY timid until it warms up..then it's all about the vanilla creme brulee. The taste is BIG on the sweet vanilla character of the Bourbon treatment..a little caramel creme brulee thing going on. The mouth feel is tangy and creamy all at once and it compliments the flavor nicely...it has a sturdy medium weight to the body. It finishes on the dry side with a meager lingering aftertaste. Quite the reasonable drinker for one up at 9.4%. I would definitely pick this one up again if it was on the shelves...but I'm a sucker for Bourbon treatments.

12-30-2010 00:07:10 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

3.88/5  rDev +7.5%

Served in a tulip glass

A: Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head that dissipates quickly, leaves a slight amount of lacing

S: Strong alcohol scent, deep whiskey notes dominate the scent, very slight underlying sweetness

T: Great tasting brew with very nice whiskey notes that are not offputting at all

D/M: Slight carbonation tingle, warms the pallet and the body as it is sipped sue to the whiskey notes, smooth on the pallet, drinks quite easily

12-21-2010 18:50:52 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of MattyG85


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
Photo of cbarrett4


3.9/5  rDev +8%

Poured the 2010 batch from tap at Belmont Station.

Time does wonders for this beer. Pours a nice brown/dark amber clear hue though the head is almost non-existent and quickly vanishes to a thin lace.

The aromas center on bourbon cask, vanilla, cinnamon, and dark fruit. Rather light and a little muddled though...

Flavors are subtle with a lot of influence from the oak aging, very faint dark fruit (black cherry?), some toast and hints of caramel.

Texture is velvety and liquor like. Really nicely balanced. Subtle bitterness, some alcohol noticeable but not too over the top.

Overall a very good beer, but not one that I will be buying regularly or even ordering on tap if there are other interesting selections. I do like the effort here though.

10-22-2011 19:42:35 | More by cbarrett4
Photo of Beermasterjarrett


3.93/5  rDev +8.9%

Vertical pour of the 10' 11' 12' from 22oz

Clean amber with a nice white head

10' soft oak, vanilla, weak bourbon.
11' big caramel, vanilla great balance and aroma. Honey, toffee, sweet oak
12' big bourbon and oak sweet caramel

10' fell off, not a lot of barrel presence. Light vanilla and caramel.drink em if you got em.
11' this is the best of the batch. Huge caramel and vanilla. This style really highlights the bourbon notes. I think it's a bock? Great malt sweetness gives a long finish and really masks the abv.
12' just a little harsh. The bourbon bite was more pronounced than the previous pours,as to be expected from a barrel aged beer. Nothing a little time can't render.

I have to say the 11 was the hit of the tasting and the creamy mouthfeel with the big body and killer finish made for a great sipper.

02-22-2014 08:06:13 | More by Beermasterjarrett
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +8.9%

Pours an off-white, one-finger head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon nose, flavor is bourbon, vanilla and hints of sweet caramel, higher ABV is hidden. Expensive at $13.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

01-15-2011 23:27:35 | More by jdhilt
Photo of drpimento


3.93/5  rDev +8.9%

Poured with a small light tan head that mostly subsides in short order with a bit of lace. Color is a clear, rich, medium amber, with slow bubble trails. Aroma is malt, brandy, dark ripe fruit. Flavor is like nose with the malt and brandy more pronounced plus the tang of carbonation. Body is a little thinner than I'd expect in this style but good and carbonation is assertive. Finish is like flavor with lots of warming alcohol. Decent beer for a sipper. Not bad, but not great.

10-23-2010 21:14:55 | More by drpimento
Photo of bluejacket74


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

22 ounce bottle, Fall 2010 (stamp on bottle says October 2010) vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is a bit boozy, the brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, coconut, caramel malt and some dark fruit. It tastes like bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt, coconut, and a little bit of sweet spices and dark fruit. But the bourbon flavor in this brew is stronger compared to the other ones. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating, smooth, and has moderate carbonation. Aging this brew for a little more than a year certainly hasn't hurt it. I thought it was good, now I might have to buy a bottle of the 2011 version to try.

01-02-2012 00:52:41 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of KickbacksSteve


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage. Off-white head, moderate retention on a slightly hazy, copper body. Clear and soapy, sticky lacing. Aroma includes (suprisingly) earthy piney hops with some citrus. Slight vanilla, caramel malts and marmalade. Taste is again dominated by earthy hops and bitterness, some caramel malts again and vanilla sweetness. Not at all what I expected, very drinkable for the abv and quite tasty.

12-30-2012 06:21:35 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of JamesShoemaker


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

22 oz 2011 vintage poured out into three regular size wine glasses. Thanks to RyanSchwam for this extra beer in a great trade!

A - pours a dark orange, a little brown, not unlike an English BW. Foam recedes quickly, lingers on the edge.

S - I like the smell, some bourbon notes, woody, sweet, flavorful.

T - also pretty good. I like the fact that it's not quite as sweet as some BBA brews. A little bit of caramel, woody.

M - meh. The carbonation hurts this beer, and maybe the extra age does too. The alcohol is undetectable.

O - a good brew. I'd like to try it on tap.

11-22-2012 21:56:30 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of PainkeepBrewing


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

Impression after multiple bottles over course of past 6 months. All served from boxed 22oz bottles into snifters.

A - Hazy amber, nice head with nice lacing on glass as it is consumed.

S - An almost sour nose with a lot of alcohol and bourbon. I enjoy the bourbon scent but if I was judging this beer on aroma alone I'd be disappointed.

T - Yesss. Caramel, alcohol, bourbon, alcohol, in that order. Very pleasing alcohol and bourbon notes, though the bourbon is what really shines here. Aftertaste is a smooth whisky that lingers for a couple minutes after last sip.

M - A little thin for my liking as far as barrel aged beers go, though I'm used to stouts, not aged winter ales that are relatively thin to begin with.

O - When I go to review this beer, I find myself nitpicking and finding reasons not to give it an "excellent" review, but I like it enough to have bought numerous $10-12 bottles throughout the last 6 months and recommend it to many friends. I really love the bourbon taste in this beer and the overall package.

03-21-2011 06:32:38 | More by PainkeepBrewing
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

Looks nice on the pour. Feels extremely silly and smooth. Flavor profile is nice and smooth. Mild hop spice tones. Lots of malts. I'm getting a bit of a vanilla tone here too. Overall, this is a very smooth beer. I get no boozy tones, and I'm pretty sure it's close to 10% on the abv, from what I recall when I saw the bottle. A nice easy drinker. Pleasant.

05-09-2012 06:04:13 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of robbrandes


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%

poured from a 22oz bomber, dated 8/30/10

nice, deep tan color. understated head, recedes to a not-quite-covering-the-glass film.

huge bourbon and oak aroma, a little malt and even less vanilla; however, it works for me.

taste - wow, this is a crazy dry beer. i was initially wondering if i'd get through the bottle, but it seems to work. the oak is hu-freaking-mongous, the alcohol is big; no joke - i've had boilermakers with less fuzz on 'em! but everything seems to still come together. there's not a huge malt backbone, and the mouthfeel suffers a bit as a result.

I'd like to definitely give this another run. maybe pair this bad boy with some fish tacos, or jamaican jerk chicken.

06-08-2011 05:06:38 | More by robbrandes
Photo of david18

New York

3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

I had a small draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A very good beer, especially for a "Winter Warmer" which I typically don't like. The bourbon was very present and added a lot to this beer.

Color was lighter than I expected, a dark copper with a low amount of carbonation.

Aroma was a great balance of roasty malt, hops and the bourbon/barrel.

Flavor as well was very balanced and had a great warming to it without any of that crazy fruitiness or spiciness that you can get from winter ales.

A great beer drank at the perfect time of year for it.

01-24-2012 23:48:50 | More by david18
Photo of ToasterChef


3.98/5  rDev +10.2%

Reviewed from my notes. A 22oz bottle was split three ways, poured into pint glasses.

A: Translucent copper, small tan head, a bit or rising carbonation. A coating of film and foam is left behind.

S: Spicy oak and bourbon. Possibly a bit of raisin.

T: Dark fruit malt base. Bourbon is strong but doesn't burn. A bit of sugar provides sweetness. It all balances well.

M: Good coat. Plenty of flavor. Med/full body and noticeable carbonation.

O: Very good winter ale. Bourbon improves it. I would drink this again.

05-06-2011 13:20:31 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of MeadGuyfromMD


4/5  rDev +10.8%

02-16-2012 21:24:56 | More by MeadGuyfromMD
Photo of ElGordo


4/5  rDev +10.8%

2011 vintage sampled at a group tasting of several new releases. Pours a pretty orange-tan color with just a hint of a creamy white head. Aroma is big on the bourbon, with strong notes of wood, vanilla, and a spicy note of caraway or anise. Palate is rich and sweet, with a lightly fruit hop profile mingling with the assertive malts and the strong bourbon edge, leading up to a very warm finish. This is a very nice beer right now, but I think a few months of aging will round out the edges and make this an excellent beer.

11-18-2011 06:37:44 | More by ElGordo
Photo of GRG1313


4/5  rDev +10.8%

12-17-2011 18:56:17 | More by GRG1313
Photo of cougarbait


4/5  rDev +10.8%

01-21-2012 07:44:43 | More by cougarbait
Photo of tourdot


4/5  rDev +10.8%

01-18-2013 02:07:13 | More by tourdot
Photo of stampfler07


4/5  rDev +10.8%

02-05-2012 01:43:55 | More by stampfler07
Photo of rogerthegill


4/5  rDev +10.8%

01-26-2012 03:38:38 | More by rogerthegill
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.