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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

520 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 520
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.56%
Wants: 18
Gots: 122 | 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
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Ratings: 520 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ken's bottle. Nice drinkability. Corny bourbon aroma. Yellow body lagerishg look with carbonation bubbles and big soapy head. Orangey oil. Herbal, orange flavours surprisingly. Bourbon in secondary. maybe some vanilla and sugar.Booze felt, but not predominant.

Sammy, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

t0rin0, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

2012 vintage.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a decent example of barrel aging.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle opened by Jared. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin tan head and not much in the way of retention of lacing. Thin collar as the head falls. The nose definitely packs in the brrrbon, but that's unfortunately about it. There's some slight malt character in the background, but nothing all that complex about this. The taste is comprised mostly of brrrbon along with some sweetened malt and perhaps a touch of dark fruits. Mouthfeel is a bit boozy and medium. Drinkability is decent, though there's really nothing at all special about this.

Thorpe429, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly disappeared and left delicate lacing in the center of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are light aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of bourbon dominate the taste although these are not very strong. The strength of the bourbon flavors becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. There are hints of alcohol in the finish.
O: This is a good choice if you are looking for a beer that has bourbon flavors but isn't very overpowering.

metter98, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange with an inch of foam; rather nice bit of splashy lace

Smell: Toast, caramel, pine, vanilla and a moderate Bourbon aroma

Taste: Caramel and toast, with a developing pine character in the middle; at the same time, the Bourbon and vanilla elements also build; more Bourbon, after the swallow, but the base beer flavors balance out the whiskey; not very boozy, despite the ABV

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Reading through the reviews, I wonder whether the recipe may have changed here as I found this beer to be extremely well-balanced, with a very deft handling of the Bourbon in a way that really complements the base beer

brentk56, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Candied orange peel with brighter Sunkist edges and an expansive crown of khaki colored foam after a spirited pour (pun intended). Tiny divots are appearing on the upper surface as tiny bubbles pop-pop-pop. Pretty nice lace too, considering the ABV and barrel-aging.

The nose is too subdued and features bourbon whiskey much more prominently than the base beer. Equal contributions would have been fine. Warming does nothing of note and the whole thing strikes me as merely average.

Q: is Barrel Aged Brrrbon be as good as Brrr? A: no, it isn't. I'm not sure what happened here, but this is an experiment that Widmer Brothers doesn't need to undertake again. The one-off nature of the Brothers' Reserve Series means that that isn't likely.

Barrel-aging appears to have taken something away from the caramel malty and fruity hoppy nature of Brrr, rather than adding something to it. Truth be told, bourbon isn't even that great a contributor, at least in terms of quality. The list: toffee pudding, grapefruit zest, burnt sugar, a small splash of vanilla, hints of oak.

There is not a palate punch of flavor, which is unusual in a 9.4% ale that has spent time in bourbon barrels. Even though warming brings out a little more depth and intensity, it's too little, too late. Good sweet-bitter balance is a quasi-positive.

The mouthfeel is thinner than expected (though not thin) and doesn't have the lush and creamy quality that it should have. The bubbles are neither too many, nor too few, but don't impress either.

Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon is a classic example of the adage that it's best not to mess with success. I'm sure the brewery's goal was to improve upon an already good beer. Sorry, but mission *not* accomplished.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon is quite powerful with notes of sweet malt. Taste is also dominated by lots of vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel with a balanced sweet malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and light apparent alcohol notes. Interesting though not properly balanced with too much bourbon.

Phyl21ca, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With heavy bourbon overtones, the Barrel Aged Brrrbon carries an immense abount of caramel and vanilla along with heavy boozy overtones through a malty-rich body that stablizes the bourbon attack.

Pouring a deep amber color with a medium haze, the beer has a chesnut-like appearance. A sturdy and froathy off-white head caps the tumbler. Stubborn retention leads to pockets of foam and lace along the insides of the glass.

Strong caramel aromas are met with malt richness, light nuttiness, and then the heavy scent of distilled spirits. Where caramel sweetness is prevailant, a cherry-like ester helps with added complexity.

Dense malt sweetness in the form of straight caramel is heavy handed, but accents well the attributes of bourbony alcohol flavor along with oak, medium toast (bread crust and mild buttery nuts), and sweet vanilla. Again, the welcomed cherry esters help with added complexity, however more of this would have really rounded the beer. Somewhat one-dimensional, the beer begins and ends with caramel and bourbon flavor.

Rich malty richess and unresolved caramel sweetness lead to a sweeter texture, just shy of cloying by the complex bourbon tanins/intensity/warmth in the finish.

An aggressive bourbon barrel aged beer that is akin to Lexington's Bourbon Barrel Ale. Where BA Brrrbon has a more heafty malt base, the bourbon character lacks in taste but makes it boozy- more than it needs to be.

BEERchitect, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with only slight bits of light coming through to change it from a back note. a huge tan head then rose up from the depths and settled across the top of the glass. really just a thick look to it.

the aroma was boozy, with lots of peat and smoked malts that really filled the air. hints of molasses, chocolate, rich caramel and dark fruits all make their presence known. with the thickness of a milkshake the first sips slide over the palate doing their best to coat it so fully you do not even know where to start. just tremendous in every aspect. rich smoked malts and sweet flavors finish the job with a kick of smooth boozy oak and bourbon to round it out.

mikesgroove, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +11.1%

GRG1313, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

spycow, May 01, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

kylehay2004, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

jaydoc, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $12.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. What appears to be a brewed/bottled on date of Nov 14, 2011 in teeny tiny white font on the label.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, reddish-amber body with a foamy, off-white head. Little bitlets of lacing on the descent.

Smell: Moderate bourbon wafts in between notes of resinous hops, toasted grains, juniper berry, light-colored brown sugar, and week-old lemon rind.

Taste: Toasted bread malts with some crystal sweetness with an edge of brown sugar and quickly dunked into (and out of) Kentucky bourbon. Two lone drops of pineapple juice. A little hint of spruce tips. Remains fairly resiny (though this is boosted by the tannins), with some muted citrus, and a scant grassiness. Moderately bitter. Very, very subtle vanilla and toasted coconut. Still closes out bittersweet like the standard Brrr, but now with some drying, tannic oak action enduring into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Slightly smooth stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: It's ultimately just OK, I certainly don't feel as though I got my thirteen bucks' worth with this one.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking amberish brown color. The head was an off white and looked pretty nice for the most part. The lacing didn't exist. The smell was a little sweet and had a touch of booze on the nose. The taste was nice, it had some good bourbon flavors in there. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad smooth and carbonated. Overall It was a pretty tasty brew.

Knapp85, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

An appropriate beer while watching Barry Melrose dish out some harsh words for NHLers. Ain't that right, VDubb? It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by nearly two fingers of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises coconut-enhanced suntan lotion, oak, caramel, light cocoa powder, cheap whiskey, circus peanuts candy, and rye bread. The taste bludgeons me with rubbery whiskey and oak, while the caramel, rye, and light hot cinnamon cower in the corner, lest they get the full wrath of the drunken, abusive brrrbon tones. Man, they are really trying way too hard here. The body is a strangely stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a slimily dry finish. Overall, I'm not at all impressed with this brew. It tries way too hard to be a nice barrel-aged WW, but instead succeeds only at making me angry. I don't want to drink any more of this again. Period.

TMoney2591, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, golden amber color with a one-finger tan head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Some caramel sweetness.

T - It tasted strongly of vanilla, oak, bourbon and caramel. There was a touch of toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty barrel aged winter warmer. I liked the regular version of Brrr, but this is even better.

zeff80, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
2/5  rDev -44.4%

JAHMUR, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

RblWthACoz, May 09, 2012
Photo of nickfl
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

nickfl, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Kegatron, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up at Goebbels in Wichita, bottled in October

Pours a chill-hazed amber with a sliver of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Slight Bourbon notes

T: Follows the nose, some toffee. a touch of vanilla & boozeyness up front. Apricot notes as this warms along with slightly boozey toffee, oaky dryness, with woody hops & vanilla. Finishes with oaky dryness, a touch of honey & boozey vanilla, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, fairly smooth carbonation, nice warming sensation to this

Drinks easy for the ABV, a nice take on the style. Not the best barrel aged beer I've had in a while, I would certainly buy this again if the price is right

russpowell, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon '11. Widmer Brewing, Portland, Oregon, since 1984. Alchemy Project. Seasonal Ale aged in bourbon barrels. "This smooth, chilly winter warmer goes through a secondary fermentation as it ages in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. After months of maturation in the barrels the brew is allowed a tertiary fermentation for final conditioning before release." "Flavored Ale." "Combine inspiration and experience. Repeat often." "Prost! To improving with age!"

Okay, I'm going against all this and trying this out young. Maybe I'll buy more to save for later…if this one is good. We'll see. For now, let's open it up.

Clear, bright crimson coloring, slim, but lasting off-white froth.

Aroma: bourbon. Oak and vanilla. Whatever particular aromas Brrr gives us, it's drowned out by the bourbon barrel-aging. Very nice, but I wish it was deeper, and more complex. Rather simple, overwhelmed by the barrel aging.

Taste: boom, here comes richness, raisins, grapes, cherries, oak and vanilla, and, of course, bourbon. Really rich, really thick, much malt, covered in bourbon and oak. Yet not as full bodied, as I'd like for this treatment, perhaps because the base beer just is not thick and full enough to hold up for this type of treatment. Those flavors return sip after sip, but they're just not enough. Bourbon barrel-aging is best done with imperial stout or barleywine, but not necessarily winter ales or winter warmers that may have a certain heft, but not enough to carry this extra weight.

Will this one really improve with age? Maybe, a little?

I don't know for sure, but it's not good now. There's a flurry of flavor at first, mostly on the sweet side, but after that, the pleasures dwindle. A light bourbon-y flavor lays over this very average winter ale. Sweet, whiskey-ish, vanilla-y, and utterly boring. Completely forgettable. Far too sweet, too much bourbon barrel work, without enough dry, roasty malt below. Maybe bourbon barrel-aging a winter ale is not an awesome idea. Maybe you need a bigger beer, to make it worthwhile? Maybe after 28 years, they'd know that?

Eh, I keep giving them chances, and I keep trying them out, and, dammit, I keep spending my money on them, but I'm starting to wise up.

feloniousmonk, May 22, 2012
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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.