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

Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)

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

491 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.28%


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)
View: Beers (71) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 223 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 22:17:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.73/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful clear, caramel color with a nice topping of foam.
citrus aroma, some pine.
caramel front, pine-y hop flavor as it slides past the middle, and clean and refreshing finish. doesnt taste like there is alcohol in here, yet it says 9.4% abv
overall, i really like this. i like this 'alternate' version of the previous brrr i tasted and the bourbon barrel flavor goes hand in hand with the hops and 'pine'. this really is a great brew. however, i am not sure we are all reviwing the same beer, are we? my bottle says '12 and yet the reviews go all the way back to 2010. this appears to be an annual product and i noticed there was an '11 version also. the brewery's website even advertises the '11, but not the '12.... confusion, but who cares? darn fine product in my hands. and since i still dont know if aliens exist, i suppose i can live without knowing whether this review should be for a '12 . . . . but i gave the taste part a 5. this is an awesome job of producing beer. 9.4%....even...

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 20:57:12 | More by pkalix
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22oz bottle poured into a dfh snifter.

A: pours a nice brown ruby with a finger if slightly tanned head... Excellent lacing.

S: nice burbon on the nose along with light oak, I get notes of caramel, toffe, vanilla, mic maltiness.

T: much like the nose nice barrel aged notes over a nice malty base, kind of scotch ale like.... I get brown sugar and a citrusy note of wet mango along with toasted caramel and vanilla And a light touch of burbon. Also a touch of spices.

M: nice lush medium mouthfeel with creamy carbonation, nicley drinkable. A bit dry and Sticky on the finish.

O: this I a nice beer for a cold night... Very nice notes from the barrels, though they are not wet burbon notes, wich aloes tem to just add some nice barrel flavors to a tasty malt backbone... Nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 23:55:24 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 04:43:11 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of JHS123
JHS123

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

22oz bottle.

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 02:15:58 | More by JHS123
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 19:33:45 | More by jondeelee
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a full of oak, vanilla, and Bourbon, with some holiday spices, sweet toasted caramel and bready malts, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet toasted caramel malts, some light spices, vanilla, dark fruits, and some residual sugars. Through the middle, the oak and Bourbon comes through with some more spices and some bready malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and bready malts with some dark fruit, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, spices, and some booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice barrel character balanced nicely by the big winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 04:14:57 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov 2011, had 7/23/12

A: Dark Reddish orange with thin white head that slowly dissipates and laces nicely
S: Malt and whiskey and almost a tiny citrus underscent
T: Forefront is malt, middle of the tasting has a distinct bitter almost sour feel, and the end of the taste is all bourbon and warming alcohol
M: Thin and smooth. Very light carbonation.
D: Definitely a sipper, not a chugger. The alcohol is very apparent (probably because of the bourbon smell), so this lends its self to slow enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 00:36:21 | More by DRyan
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

3.0 A: Opaque mahogany brown color. About one finger of frothy beige head. Retention is a bit below average and a very short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Bourbon is the lead character in the nose. Earthy and musky with a sharp fruitiness. Vanilla and oak from the barrel. The base beer offers a tangy caramel, a light toastiness, and a sugary doughiness. Not overly complex, but good enough to be pleasant.

3.5 T: The base comes out more in the taste. Toasty malts with caramel and brown sugar. Sweet, but savory, like a thick flan of sorts. Sugar cookie dough. Hints of tobacco and plum. Bourbon is now more complementary, but still adds the earthen muskiness and vanilla and oak.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use some more creaminess, but good enough.

3.5 D: I haven't had this fresh, so I can't comment on how it's aged, but it's tasty in its current state. Well balanced with a decent amount of depth.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 05:18:14 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours a translucent deep amber / copper tone with orange highlights while yielding a frothy 3/4" beige head that lapses fairly quickly into a collar around the glass. some lacing evident. nose is perhaps more subdued than i was expecting but i do get notes of bourbon, vanilla, to accompany a big malt-forward aroma.

taste follows the aroma with some added secondary notes of oak and a bit of spice. a bit hot, drinks more like an 11 or 12% ABV brew. medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

overall, a solid barrel-aged winter warmer. not an eye-opener but enough there to enjoy on those frosty nights. won't kill myself for a revisit - too many other good ones out there.

(originally reviewed: 10-31-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 21:12:41 | More by BostonHops
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty straight up caramel, light near white head, some cling lace.

S - Sugary, vanilla, malty, less on wood and booze.

T - Taste is close to smell, but bourbon is much more evidient.

M - Errs to the sweet side. A little overwhelming.

D - Good one to try.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2012 03:34:17 | More by srandycarter
Photo of tlazaroff
tlazaroff

Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On the nose it smells pretty good. Its a complex mesh of caramel, burbon, and vanilla.

Hazy dark amber in appearance with a somewhat tan head which doesn't last as long as it should. The beer highlights a wonderful clear light orange when light strikes it.

This tastes like bananas foster without the banana! I get brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, and burbon (with some alcohol taste and burn), and slight vanilla on the finish.

Decent amount of carbonation in this one with a full body. I get a bit of alcohol burn on the first sip, but it's replaced with a menagerie of flavors that just overwhelm the palate and make you forget that it's slightly syrupy. Overall, not a bad effort.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 00:02:13 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark copper with a milky finger of short-lived off-white head which fades off to a neat collar and pinpoint lacing. Some pretty imposing alcohol legs as well.

Interesting aromas coming from the glass - dark juicy fruits, burnt toffee, some booze, a bit of vanilla... not at all what I was anticipating but appealing nonetheless.

If nothing else, this beer is certainly unique. Lots of soft vanilla-y wood notes... Alcohol has taken a back seat to smooth fruits and tobacco. A touch of warming heat but not any kind of burn. It's the type of alcohol presence that actually adds to a beer.

This beer has become entirely balanced. Nothing sharp about it.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 04:16:30 | More by yamar68
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

S: Bourbon, toasted oak, some caramel sweetness, vanilla, an earthy note, strange.

L: Hazy dark amber, carbonated head that dissipates.

T: Bourbon up front with an almost dark breadiness. Very toasted bread crumb like. Medium low bitterness with some coffee. Finishes with an unpleasant bitter note, semi-dry. Some oak as it warms.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation, some alcohol heat.

Kind of strange, i don't think it really works bourbon aging this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 03:14:48 | More by bum732
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 05:50:05 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

California

2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: Widmer Brothers Brrrbon '11 -- 22oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance (3.0): Two-finger, eager head when poured into pint. Very active - lots of cratering. Receded quickly, leaving heavy lacing around glass. Very thin head still coats beer a minute later, but is insubstantial in the center, and barely-there along the edge. Bright copper, it's surprisingly translucent when held up to the light. I was expecting a heavier looking beer.

Smell (2.5): Sour-mash bourbon. Not sweet like Basil Hayden's, but rather funky and pungent like Jack Daniel's. A little hint of oatmeal-raisin cookies and bran flakes. Right at the very end of the aroma there's something vaguely metallic and salty - almost like a very faint hint of raw oyster and wet sand.

Taste (3.0): Bourbon and oak dominate the flavor, with a dose of dark Myer's rum. Despite the fully boozy flavor, the beer goes down smooth with little residual heat. The alcohol itself is very well masked, hiding under a thick blanket of brown sugar oatmeal and black strap molasses. Delicate hints of spice - especially nutmeg - are present, but fleeting and underdone. Long after the swallow, there is a bit of soy/ponzu flavor that lingers, reminding me of the salty, metallic note I got at the tail end of the bouquet. Altogether, generally pleasant and satisfying, but nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Full and round. Creamy with a well balanced carbonation. Dries the mouth out a bit well after the swallow. Thicker on the palate than it appears in the glass. Fairly pleasant, with a lingering buttery-ness on the center of the tongue.

Overall (3.0): A drinkable beer, that I would enjoy at someone else's expense again, but probably won't spend $11 on again myself. I had been considering putting a few of these in the cellar to see how they age, but after trying it, decided against it. I think my money will be better spent on other offerings in this category. Still, a palatable brew that gets the job done.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 07:11:25 | More by Sunhunters
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 05:47:03 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness

New York

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is from the 2010 release. It's been aging in my cellar boxed and in the darkness since.

A- Pours a rusty, ruddy golden mustard brown into my Bruery tulip. Has a nice 1 1/2 finger head that faded rather quickly and left just little drips and drabs of lacing sticking to the glass. Not much carbonation at all.

S- Caramel, licorice and some notes of dried cherry, raisin, leather, vanilla, and charred wood. Nice, but not as complex as I was hoping for. I was hoping for a little more depth after a year and a half in the cellar. Still has some faint alcohol in the nose. Has some whiskey scents that linger and open the nasal passages.

T- The bourbon really comes out here! WOW! I don't remember it having as much bourbon when it was fresh. Time has really brought out the vanilla, caramel, charred wood, raisin, fig and licorice flavors. Nice spice... some nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and dates still shine thru on the finish.

M- A touch thin, but that may be because of the alcohol presence that wakes your tastebuds up and makes them sing. Has a slightly oily feel, but that's probably just from the caramel sweetness.

O- Oh well, I guess everything that comes out of the cellar can't be an over the top winner. Not bad, but I almost remember liking this one better fresh. I shoulda drank this one by the fire place this winter instead of waiting until spring... oh well! A touch too much bourbon, but decently drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 01:16:16 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a narrow-mouthed De Molen beer stemflute in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. I forget where I purchased it. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I love winter warmers but I've had pretty mundane experiences with this brewery afore.

Marked Nov 14 2011. This is the 2011 vintage, and I can confirm the ABV as 9.40%.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salad.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent cream, decent thickness, and average retention for the high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper-brass. It's not much to look at. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's somewhat vibrant.

Sm: Gives off a toasted malt character - which is right on the money for the style. I don't get any bourbon, but a hint of toffee is there. Spices are present but limited. Some cream. It bodes well. I hope the flavour profile satisfies the promise of the aroma. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Bourbon stands out as a very present overt tone, lending the climax some added sweetness. It also gives it a butterscotch-esque flavour that suits the beer nicely. Toasted malt forms the foundation but is rather restrained and largely obscured by the bourbon - an effect I don't particularly care for. Hints of red wine esque estery notes. No real spice - a letdown given the style. Caramelized malt is present. Maybe a cherry juice note. No yeast comes through, but some alcohol does - though I wouldn't refer to it as boozy.

All around the balance is off, with the toasted malt character competing with the bourbon. Built interestingly - I like the experimentation with bourbon barrel aging, but it just needs to be executed to balance. More toasted malt might add alcohol, but would really help the balance - and the ABV presence would decline over time. As a beer meant for aging, that would be appropriate.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice thickness. A tingly coarseness emerges from the toasted malt but is only present in the late second act. Too smooth for the remainder of the structure - a feature lent by the bourbon. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Age would do this well. I think bourbon barrel aging complements the style surprisingly well, but unfortunately the execution here is far from optimal. It's very drinkable for the high ABV - which is very nicely concealed. It met my expectations considering the brewery, but they weren't very high to begin with. This is pretty pricey -at least as an import - for its limited quality. I'm a pretty big fan of winter warmers but this fell short in the toasted malt area. I wouldn't recommend it to friends.

Low B-

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 06:46:09 | More by kojevergas
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mactrail

California

3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seriously barrel flavored. Lighter bodied than barley wines. Rather sharp and thin. Attractive dark orange amber color with a swirly head. Fairly sprightly in the mouth, but not over-carbonated.

Big aroma of whisky and oak. A touch of vanilla. Malty sweetness shades into tartness. Tastes hot with alcohol. Seems overbalanced on the hot and boozy side. Hops don't stand out, but clearly there is bitterness in the aftertaste. Vegetable taste, mineral, butter. Less interesting than most of the other Widmer beers.

The '11 edition, bottled Aug 12 (20)11. I'd have to say it's overpriced at $15.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 06:00:31 | More by mactrail
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StogiesandBrews


4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 23:09:58 | More by StogiesandBrews
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.