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.
BA SCORE
81
good

226 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 226
Hads: 558
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.2%
Wants: 19
Gots: 132 | 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 (75) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 226 | Hads: 558
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (648 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a suprisingly light reddish copper/amber colour, with a filmy, but relatively firm head of almost-white. Lacing is speckled and patchy in places, but it exists at least. Body is solid, and holds some large bubbled carbonation when swirled, or tilted. Looks alright.

Nose is slightly spicy, with undertones of vanilla oak and a touch of aniseed. It's a little thin overall, and the oak characters start to seem a bit sharp without some sweetness or body to back it up. It seems a little bit like it's an oak beer done for the oak and very little else.

Taste is similar, with oak and vanilla underpinning... well, very little else. Slight boozy twinges around the edge, again with a slight hint of spice, but it's all very hidden and underhanded. The only character that is confident enough to make itself felt is the oak, and that's always felt like a character to complement or accentuate other characters, not to be the be all and end all.

Drinkability suffers because of the heat, and the lack of complexities and characters to make it really worthwhile. I love bourbon oak in things, but maybe this beer is telling me that I just really like the base beer in others. (1,178 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear bronze colored ale with a scant off-white colored head.

Smell is lightly sweet with vanilla and bourbon there but not super strong. Vanilla and coconut stand out in this. Still, not the most aromatic ale.

Starts out semi-sweet with big coconut and vanilla. Whiskey is in here but it doesn't take over like in some beers. Little bit of spice here but only cinnamon stands out from the bourbon. Decent hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side; bourbon adds no body at all.

Overall an OK beer. I would buy again if it were $5 a bottle or less and I wanted a cheap bourbon barrel beer. (596 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2/10/2012

On tap at Churchill's.

A: Dark orange and transparent. The white head fades quickly.

S: A pleasant blend of caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon (faint). There's earth and a dash of grapefruit. Smells nice but it's not very expressive. Takes a lot of coaxing and swirling to bring out the aroma. Butterscotch comes to mind.

T: Caramel and restrained bourbon notes. There's a lower moderate bitterness and a little citrus. Vanilla is faint. Alcohol is quite strong.

M: Upper medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky and sticky.

Overall: A decent barrel aged Strong Ale, though a bit inexpressive. (634 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a ruddy dark red color with good carbonation and dirty white head

S: Light bourbon, wood, vanilla

T: Follows nose very well, wood, vanilla, caramel

M: Thin. Carbonated well, sticky, bourbon dominates booze not feeling like 9+ ABV

D: Not a bad beer at all, pretty tame on bourbon and all. Still drinkable for price (327 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.26/5  rDev +19.7%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (311 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from AJ's Fine Foods on North Central in Phoenix. 22oz into a chalice, 2011 vintage bottled August 21 of the year.

Poured a translucent brownish orange, with about a finger of white head. A bit of lace and a film of retention. Nose has some orangey hop notes that are a bit resinous, a touch of oak, vanilla and only a slight suggestion of bourbon. Taste has quite a bit of the same, orangey-like hop notes (which, as I move through the bottle, come across as more and more artificial), with lots of oak, butterscotch - almost along the lines of an Innis & Gunn. Some bourbon flavour, without any bourbon burn. A hint of spice, bitter in the finish with a dash of alcohol. Heavy medium body and carbonation is quite low, slightly more drinkable than some pure 'sippers' out there. Too sweet for my liking though, and lacks any real complexity to make this stand out. Despite the nice looking bottle and packaging, this was certainly not worth the $14 I dropped on this. 22oz ended up being too much, half of this was disposed of. (1,037 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up tonight for me by the wife at the Boise COOP.. $11 made for a good stream of expletives.. oh well... I would have done it too... shared this one with my good buddy inflatablechair... Poured into my Sierra Nevada XXX goblet... very thin white head... no retention or lacing... the brew is a lite amber.... Weird... with good swirls at room temp, lacing and head was much better.

Nose begins pretty thin ... lite caramel and bunches of a mash-up of odd wood/whiskey/ and bits of dried fruit..

9.4% isn't readily available, but the overall brew is thin like a bigger amber that has some obvious barrel work... caramel and minor pick-up toasty malts.. I wish the hops had any play at all... really.. I wish anything with depth played ball tonight.... just nothing except the EtOH to really write home about....

I really wanted to like this one... actually, I really wanted to APPRECIATE this one.. but it is a big let down. Honestly it reminds me of a standard well made Amber that was dosed with wood and okay bourbon.

Welll... Too expensive... thin brew on the nose and palate.... not alot to look forward to = ehhhh... not my bag... I think many BA's will like it... just not for me.

3.5/3/3.5/3/3.5 (1,219 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased somewhere localish.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear copper brew. Head quickly recedes to the rim, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is vanilla and alcohol, as expected.

Taste is syrupy sweet to start, a peek of fruit/tart in the middle, and then vanilla, alcohol, and a lingering coconut close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is easy, especially for the abv. Nice brew, even though I'm not the biggest coconut flavor fan. (484 characters)

Photo of beertunes
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into 16oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear amber, with just a thin cap of off-white head that had low retention and minimal lacing.

There was some bourbon notes upfront in the aroma, with mere traces of malt and hops behind it. The flavor was equally meh. The barrel gives it the dominant bourbon taste, but otherwise this is just kinda OK.

The body was a bit too thin. Drinkability was OK, but I don't think I'll want more than this one 22. Overall, not a "bad" beer, just a boring one. Try it if you want, but I think your time will be better spent elsewhere. (567 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium red-orange amber, thin head dissipates quickly, minimal lacing. Aroma dominated by bourbon with sweet malt. Taste follows, with bourbon dominating, decent wood notes, vanilla and faint hops. Light to medium bodied. The bourbon is nice, but the elements aren't that well integrated. The vanilla leaves a slightly diacetyl taste. Overall a satisfactory, but not noteworthy effort. (427 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has been sitting in my fridge for quite a while.

Pours a mild red color with a thin head into my glass. Very nice color for the style. I didn't expect it to be a winter warmer though.

Lots of bourbon in the nose with alcohol heat. Malt is nutty and sweet. Again, bourbon dominates.

Whoa, too much bourbon for my liking. It must have mellowed a bit but still, that's a hell lot of bourbon in one beer (well, from the barrels, obviously). Only a hint of malt underneath.

Lingering alcohol heat and bourbon as far as the taste buds can tell. Nothing out of the ordinary.

If you buy this, you should age it at least 6 months to allow the bourbon flavors to mellow out. It's strong but it won't kill your taste buds after a month or two. Unfortunately, it's a pretty shallow beer that only exists to showcase bourbon barrel aging and nothing more. (852 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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. (734 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a free 3oz sample of this at my local beer store during a tasting.

A - For a bourbon barrel beer it poured a rather light copper color. A very little head and moderate lacing.

S - Nothing really stood out maybe slight bourbon, caramel, and sweet malts.

T - Wow that's the smoothest bourbon beer I ever had so I was impressed! Not outstanding but mild bourbon, caramel and a pretty sweet yet boozy finish made this a good taster beer!

M - The bourbon made the mouth feel heavy for sure but it went down pretty well.

D - Great to try not to buy it was great to have a bourbon aged beer not a whiskey bomb but clocking in at 16.99 I didn't even dare to consider buying a bottle, but you pay for the process so its high for a reason. Would be better if the price was a solid 10 then I would have got it for sure. (817 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split in a Sprecher snifter. 9.4% ABV, check box for brewed by Rob, Aug3010 on the neck.

Thanks to TheDTrain for sharing this boxed bottle with me!

A - Pours a bronzed amber color with a light haze through the beer, it's topped by a small cream-colored head. No real retention or lace left over.

S - Not over-the-top in any way, I get smooth notes of oak, vanilla, and mellow bourbon. The toasted malts are there but lack a strong backing presence to really get noticed. The bourbon addition takes over. No hops are in the aroma.

T - Again, good subtle notes of vanilla and oak with a bourbon kick that's not too strong but it's just lacking anything to back it up. Subtle amber malt flavor with a minuscule hint of spice on the back end.

M - A bit thin actually, this lands around medium-light in body. The alcohol has a very light warmth to it. Crisp and thin, it's got a mild spritzy carbonation finish.

D - For $13, this is not worth it in the least. Maybe at a $5 or $6 price-point it would be worth getting again for a cold winter day, but this is far too overpriced. Even with the bourbon as mellow as it is, it still overpowers everything. Too thin. Also, why was this winter warmer released in September? (1,232 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma has a decided overtone of bourbon-soaked wood, as well as fruity and malty tones. It pours a beautiful clear golden amber with a decent light golden tan head. Flavor has a strong woody bourbon overtone, which dominates the flavor but still lets through malt and apple/pear notes, plus just a hint of caramel. Smooth texture has slightly above average body and quite a bit of fizz, leaving a tingly, woody finish. This is a bold beer for bold people. (462 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%

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. (483 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy amber/reddish color. A one finger white head forms at first, and recedes in a second. No lace to speak of.
S: Plenty of burning right of the bat. Some harsh nondescript whiskey, alcohol. Sweet malt, maybe some hops, and light vanilla.
T: Sweet malt, fusel alcohol, vanilla. Not much going on.
M/D: A much lighter body than I was expecting. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Though it is just to thin. To much fusel alcohol, and nothing else to keep me interested.

A disappointment. No nuance, nothing is incorporated well, and just not very interesting. Widmer just jumped on the barrel aged band wagon here without any thought of the end product. I would not recommended this. (698 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,337 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a small white head. In the aroma, dark fruit and a small alcohol. In the taste, oaky bourbon and a dark fruitiness. A small fruit bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry oak and bourbon like aftertaste. A nice bourbon presence in a barleywine, but just about average. (321 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The name on this one does not really give me high hopes, but let's give it a go.

A - Brownish yellow color with a finger of off-white head. Little bit of red on the edges, quick dissipation with nothing left on the sides. A little ugly, but probably fine by winter warmer standards.

B - Kind of a hodgepodge of spices, some hops, big malts, and vanilla all mixed together and then dumped into a bourbon barrel. Pretty harsh bourbon on the nose (or perhaps I should say brrbon).

T - Vanilla, bourbon, some bittering hops, and surprisingly muted winter spices, although this is mostly because the much too harsh bourbon is beating everything else in this beer senseless. Not a winter warmer fan, and this one is not changing my mind, doesn't taste very good.

M - Almost full bodied, healthy carbonation. The carbonation only adds to the harshness that is this beer.

D - This beer was pretty bad, hard to drink, and I would not drink it again. (945 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (480 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Vintage 2011. Bottled 14 November 2011.

A: Clear light-molasses, heavy lace, light head.

S: Loads of bourbon. Sweet malt. Heavy fruits. After a sip, a touch of metal.

T: Not very interesting. Flat malts, vanilla, raw sugar, and a touch of whiskey. Jack Daniels. The aftertaste is uncompelling and easy forgettable.

M: Smooth, but cool. Nice enough. Pleasant for a winter warmer.

O: A touch of spice, but loads more fruit and oversweet molasses malt. I didn't think it was great; the bourbon was heavy-handed, but whatever. I wouldn't recommend it. I won't have again. (625 characters)

Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.