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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

227 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 227
Hads: 566
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 24.93%
Wants: 20
Gots: 134 | 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:
Beer added by: BarrytheBear on 09-24-2010

Bitterness: 40 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 9.4% ABV
Original Gravity: 20° PLATO

Released: September 2010
View: Beers (81) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 227 | Hads: 566
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours brilliant chestnut under a thin cream colored foam cap. Caramel and toffee flavors and aromas meet big alcohol for a satiating, fulfilling and warming after dinner drink. Soft carbonation and medium full body.

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Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
2.84/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bland....blah....weak nose...weak taste...so not worth the $$$ or effort..faint hint of bourbon....thin appearance...thin taste

nice ABV%...all I can say

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Photo of John_M
4.26/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I confess I have not been a huge fan of this beer in the past, but the recent version (sampled on tap at Growler Nations last night) was flat out outstanding. The current version seemed to have a lot more bourbon, which blende well with the underlying, fairly sweet base beer. There was a lot of vanilla and brown sugar as well, with the beer reminding me more of a barleywine or old ale. Alcohol was very well integrated into the flavor profile, and the beer was very soft, smooth and long on the palate. Had no problem drinking my 8 ounce pour, and was tempted to get another (but there were other beers on offer that required my attention).

Nice effort from the folks at Widmer.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured a light brown body with two finger and lace ring down glass.
Aroma has hints of everything: piney hops, vanilla, caramel, booze, wood, roasted malts - nothing really stands out.
Smooth yet a thicker beer so I sipped on it, maybe too woody/boozy or vanilla sweetness for some and not enough hops but I really liked this beer.
As you sip on beer the alcohol creeps in a little more but it's not hot.
Maybe too simple or sweet for some but I really enjoyed sipping on this beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2012 vintage, bottled on 8/28/2012. Pours fairly clear reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, pear, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, pear, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and moderate robustness of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop flavors; with a nice malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice barrel aged strong ale. Good balance and complexity of malt, barrel, and light-moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Ryanm1
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of t420o
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2013 Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon

A- pour yields a 1-1/2 finger off white/light tan head. Recedes quick leaving spotty lacing. Beer is ruddy brown with copper hues. 3.5

S- at cellar temperature the smells are very subdued. Some light bourbon, brown sugar, light spice, light hops. Doesn't improve much as it warms. 3.25

T- at cellar temp it's got bourbon in the forefront. But it is not the rich bourbon, it's a bit hot and the alcohol shows a lot. There is a nice wood presence. Base beer is alright. Caramel malt, a certain spice, perhaps from the hops (?). The flavors come together more as it warms. 3.25

M- very thin. Carbonation is a bit higher than I like and am used to in a barrel aged beer. 3

O- nothing impressive, but good enough. Could improve with age, but with the vast amount of great bourbon barrel aged beers out there, I won't buy more to find out. 3.25

High C

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Photo of Beermasterjarrett
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

2012 Vintage

A-Pours a clear, amber color. Head is mild, it makes the beer look flat. Minimal lacing.

S-Aroma is where you'd expect it to be. Bourbon-forward with a complement of sweet, Winter Warmer aromatics. I'm actually impressed with the intensity if the oak.

T-Bourbon lays it on heavy. It doesn't seem to match well with the beer's base surprisingly. The bourbon lingers and dries out the palate. Dried out oakiness and Christmas spice. Very sweet.

M-Softer carbonation. Booze isn't very well integrated, even after a year. Too sweet. It isn't a mess but it's nearing one.

O/D-Didn't love the feel all too much but aside from that it could be worse. Bourbon seems to disagree with the other flavors.

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Photo of Brenden
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

'12 poured to a snifter

Decent head that dissipates quickly, leaves a little lacing. Nice red / amber color with a light haze.

Aroma has good bourbon and strong oak notes,. A bit of odd malty mustiness, but not enough to detract

Flavor is malty and brown sugar with noticeable bourbon and oak, hint of butter and vanilla

Mouthfeel is slick and buttery, decent body.

Not as Bourbon as last year. A touch diacetyl/buttery, but that is interesting note with oak. A bit more CO2 or hops or hot alcohol might add a needed counterpoint... it's all bourbon and oak and limited bubbles. A darn good beer, a bit south of great.

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Photo of bmwats
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Hazy amber hue. Light rising carbonation. Pours a slight, bubbly, white head which quickly disappears. Very slight lacing.

S: Molasses, licorice, raisin, and bourbon.

T: Light malt grains and bourbon. Bitter pecan shells.

M: Boozy. Bourbon character overshadows any other components.

D: Sipper.

Atmosphere is okay. No real head or lacing. Nose is sweet and boozy. Light flavor in general, except for some bitterness and booze. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A barrel aged winter warmer, it SHOULD be pretty good, although their Reserve Series have always seemed like they should be good, then end up a bit lackluster. So we'll see about this one. Release #3 from Fall 2010, so a few years of age to help.

Light fizzy head covering that fades pretty quickly, typical for a 3 year old 9+% beer, sediment laden hazy but semi clear auburn almost mahogany brown color.

Nose is loaded with bourbon still, almost all bourbon, some barrel notes with a little toasted oak and some vanilla, and it has a nice bourbon barrel juice like aroma, as well as hints of bourbon soaked raisins and a bit of dark fruit, little caramel and toffee, mild booze and perhaps a hint of phenols.

Taste starts with bourbon again, lots more bourbon, a nice barrel juice flavor with decent bourbon but not great, more like a young bourbon, as well as some vanilla and toasty oak but not a ton. Malts come in with sweet characters but not super sweet, candy malts, lots of caramel and toffee, caramelized sugars, some bourbon soaked raisins, little nuts and figs like. Mild bitterness too, mild hop character, slightly earthy and spicy, as well as mild baking spices. Booze brings some warmth with a little ester profile. Finish is fairly bitter, bit of spicy hop character, some mild warming booze, decent bourbon character lingering but it fades a bit, bit more barrel and caramel, dark fruits, little baking spices lingering too.

Mouth is fluffy and a bit smooth, med to a bit heavier bod, decent carb esp for the age, decent warming booze.

Overall not bad, nothing too special but decent overall, nice bourbon characters although not great, nice barrel characers, decent malts and hops, hint of baking spices, booze is just enough to bring some character without being too much.

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Photo of rEBELlION
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this as part of a bourbon barrel aged beer tasting with friends. This was my least favorite of the bunch, which is not to say that it was terrible. As a more economical barrel aged beer, some simply outclassed it. However, even at the price point there were others that were far more enjoyable. The biggest problem with it for me was the flavor. It tasted more like it had whiskey added to it and less like it had acquired the characteristics over time. The swallow left a sort of cheap whiskey burn. I enjoy the mellow bourbon flavor that most barrel aged beers leave.
I would try it again if handed to me but I see bourbon barrel aged beers as an experience and there are far better experiences out there.

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Photo of Dr__MantisToboggan
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottling. Chilled, poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a nice cloudy amberish color. Gives a thin, off hite head.

S -Oaky, somewhat malty, also some vanilla, pretty good.

T - Tastes like it smells, which is delicious. Bourbony, malty, vanilla deliciousness in a snifter.

M - smooth, low carbonation. Really smooth. Goes down easy.

O - Pretty good. Bourbony, which is nice, but its smooth, and I think that at its price point, its definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a deep orange, almost amber. Just a few wisps but not much by way of a head.

Smell - Caramel malt, some herbal and earthy hops. Bourbon is secondary. Some oak. Not what I was expecting.

Taste - Hops right up front, some vanilla and bourbon follow, but not the main attracting. Monotonous caramel malt followed by a nutty and oaky finish. Moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel - As unenthused by this as I am, I'm having no trouble drinking it. Not very heavy when I think of the nature of the beer and not really boozy.

Overall - Not bad, just dull. No real barrel character to it.

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3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Clear Vibrant Amber. Small offwhite cap that dissipated quickly. light fine lacing left along the way.

Strong bourbon barrel in the aroma. touch of smoke. strong oak. vanilla, booze, hot fire. banana and cherry.

big bourbon barrel flavor as well, overpowering the beer. rich caramel. vanilla. oak. black cherry. banana. medium light bitterness. booze in the back.

Thin watery body for the style. not smooth nor thick. some drying. low carbonation. some sweet mouth coating going on.

A thicker body and more age might do this some good. nice aroma and flavor from bourbon barrels. but light on the beer part makes this a thin watery bourbon flavored beverage.

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Photo of srhoadsy
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottling. Served slightly chilled into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy copper color with very slight head and no lacing.

Strong aromas of caramelized sugars, dried fruit and vanilla.

Flavors of caramelized sugar, candied citrus peel, toasted coconut with a touch of booze.

Medium to heavy bodied with a surprisingly crisp finish on the tongue. Mild and sweet aftertaste with just a hint of alcohol burn.

Surprised at some of the lower scores on this one. Maybe the aging helped this one immensely, but I can definitely say this was one of the better beers I've had in a while. Kicking myself for not having cellared several more bottles of this.

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Photo of khensley
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Red in color, spider web lacing, faint rings per sip.

Smells like black liquorish in the woods.

Sweet front of tongue, intriguing bubble-gum/mike and ike's type of finish. Intriguing transition from sweet, to tart, to bitter in the back of the throat. Very sophisticated profile of flavor. Alcohol content is masked in the myriad of flavors that present themselves. A truly one of a kind flavor, which makes this beer worth sampling.

Big enough to fill the mouth, but not too big to be chewy. A bit undefined in the tongue tickle, but not so much than I mind.

I'm taken back to my days of a bourbon aficionado, when I drank too much whisky and coke. This beer tastes as close to whisky and coke as I could possible imagine. I love whisky and coke! Never saw this coming. How did they do it? A whole new category of beer. Try it, at least for the sake of sampling a one of a kind beer!!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Fall '10

Appearance - pours a cloudy light reddish amber. A thin head of tan breaks up quickly, just a scattered cover after setup, yet somehow manages some impressive lace patterns, apparently from the collar.

Aroma - faintly malty, only because the vanilla and wood are pretty dominant. Not an aggresive smelling beer by any stretch, but it's obviously bourbonized.

Taste - some light toastiness to the malt, going a bit bitter mid-palate as wood, spices, mild caramel, and some abv heat kick in. The wood continues to show on the aftertaste, providing a little twangy bite on the finish. Ends warmly, decent lingering boozy flavor but not especially layered or complex.

Mouthfeel - smooth, weighty, low key carbonation. Very enjoyable.

Overall - a fine sipper for the last few weeks of winter '13, it aged nicely.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber, with limited head of carbonation, and not much noticeable lacing.

Nose is some vanilla and oak.

Taste is rich and sweetly malty, but I don't get much of the vanilla-like bourbon tones. The finish does showcase the warm whiskey character, though. Comparable to Alltech Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Ale, this one's not bad, though perhaps a tad high on the price ($14.99/bomber).

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Photo of ranger60
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap at Buckeye Beer Engine.

A - dark caramel color, almost looks like a dark cream soda. off white head that really laces the glass.

S- picking up hops, not much else overly characteristic.

T- tasting alcohol more than anything. some hops, and if I let it linger in my mouth and think about it, I'm picking up the bourbon.

M- a bit harsh and strong alcohol.

O- not bad, but disappointing for a bourbon aged.

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Photo of Amalak
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. It has a nice caramel color with a slight haziness to it. Some bubbles, small head.

S. A metallic malt scent.

T/M. It has a balanced malty taste. Some hops and a bit bitter. A slight alcohol taste, but not overbearing. Smooth and full bodied.

O. Very nice, smooth beer. For a winter warmer, it's a very nice offering.

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Photo of JayQue
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall this is pretty good. Was expecting an overly sweet bourbon and caramel concoction. Other than the strong alcohol presence, this was nicely balanced and even a bit muted.

Poured a murky dark orange color with a small but stubborn off white head and some good lacing into a pint glass. Smell was fairly light, some oak and bourbon but not that pronounced.

Taste is pretty good. THe bourbon and oak were not overdone, some bready and sweet malts evened things out and there was even a mild hoppy presence.

The dominating mouthfeel aspect was the strong alcohol presence. I had this sitting over a year, and it was still "hot". The alcohol is a bit overdone but after all this is a slow sipping winter beer.

I drank the whole thing myself over a few hours. A fairly nice accompaniment for a cold night.

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.