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

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

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538 Ratings

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Ratings: 538
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.79%
Wants: 19
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)
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Ratings: 538 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2011

A very dark and clear orange amber body, consistent throughout but with hardly any head presence at all. Small collar seems to remain with some whispy top, head was a light caramel that disappeared very quickly. In sunlight though the body has a wonderful gorgeous ruby red color.

A real nice whiff first of cherry like fruit and spices, followed by bourbon style barrel aged notes of caramel, oak and thick vanilla. Really nice.

Taste is a mild mix of barrel aged thickness, but also some wet cherry body. Palate has a light caramel malt and warming spices, but also a very wet finish. Carbonation feels just interesting enough to not take anything away from the drink.

Overall rather enjoyable take on a winter warmer and a nice break from the giant barrel aged stout beers. I would have this again anytime, real nice nose on this too.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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. still, won't kill myself for a revisit.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color w/ a thin sliver of an off white head. Moderate carbonation and lacing on my snifter glass. Beer appears clear, and somewhat easy to see through in spite of the color. The nose is mainly bourbon, oak, vanilla. A little on the simplistic, non-complex side, and a little thin. Taste is a little better, but not great. A little boozy, w/ vanilla and oak coming through as well. Mouthfeel is thin and syrupy. Overall, this beer is a bit of a mess. I probably won't pick this up again.

Photo of cbarrett4
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured the 2010 batch from tap at Belmont Station.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ryanonline
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brownish read with a very hazy attribute to it. Thin and whispy off white head does not stick around, it is a barrel aged beer anyhow.

Smells unique, a somewhat spicy yet hippy nose with a mild whiskey aroma, with a very sweet up front scent that is somewhere between toffee and caramel. Hops are sort of piney.

Cinnamon, malt, peppermint and piney hops right out of Tue gate yield to a very present whiskey flavor, almost scotch like in its sweetness. I'm not a huge fan of the "Bourbon" taste I'm getting off of this.

The mouthfeel is rather thin with some alcohol heat and almost no carbonation to go with it.

Not very drinkable, to aggressive.

I'm a bit disappointed, the scent really implied that this beer had potential. I personally, however am not a big fan.

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

Pours a rich red-amber colour with decent crown of cream-coloured foam, sinks to a cloud of bubbles. Lace is lovely and sticky. Nice.

Don't get a whole lot from the nose. Actually smells fairly ethanoic, with a sharp boozey aroma. Hint of vanilla, fresh straw and maybe some caramel sweetness. Would like more aroma, it's a bit lacklustre, although inoffensive.

Taste is far more sweet but still very lacking. Lots of toffee, touch of caramelised pecans for nuttiness, and some slight citric/herbal notes just taming the sweetness late and making it a bit dry. Booziness on the back with oaky bourbon notes, but it ultimately tastes like the sweetness is just swimming in an otherwise empty palate. Nice back, but otherwise uneventful and uninspiring.

Yeah, it's a light-tasting brew, but there's enough body there to keep it going; very dry and boozey at the back.

Feel like this beer misses the mark. There might have been a really nice palate here but it's just gone missing, and you're left with little more than warm booze notes and some sweetness around the edge.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.43/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of cwguy5
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 10.27.10. Reviewed from notes.

A - rich amber, clear color with one finger head that faded pretty quickly with little left besides a ring
S - aromas of oak, melon, fruit, light vanilla
T - understated flavor from beginning to end; oak and bourbon are clearly present but never burden palate; also some dry fruit or honeysuckle; alcohol is barely present at 9.4%
M - very smooth bodied with light-medium carbonation
D - very smooth and surprisingly light; overall very drinkable

Photo of zander4dawin
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber, with white head that dissipates quickly, decent clarity.
Smell - Malty with a slight oakiness
Taste - Suprisingly smooth for the amount of alcohol, on the same token I felt it was a little bland. Sweet roasted malts with just a hint of bourbon oaks on the tail end.
Mouthfeel - Rather crisp and snappy for a winter warmer. Little too light for the style.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer for a couple months now in the cooler and it seemed like a good time to review it. Let's see what this Brrrbon beer has to offer:

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear dark reddish brown color with a small 1/8" head at the apex and faded back into the beer pretty much right after I got done pouring it. There was a very small ring of bubbles where it meets the glass.

Aroma: I initially got a decent amount of vanilla from the wood aging, and some toasty notes from the malt. There are evident fruity esters in this beer and the alcohol is already adding some spicy complexity in the cold beer. The hops are starting to be more apparent as the beer warms up, and seem like British varieties.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma pretty well. There is a bit more malt presence in the mouthfeel than I expected. It has a caramel malt edge to the flavor that goes well with the vanilla notes from the wood. I don't get much Bourbon, but I definitely pick up the wood. The overall body is quite thin and the carbonation is low, so these actually go together pretty well, but it leaves the palate feeling a bit disappointed in the end. The finish is owned by the malt, and it is hard to pick up much hops in this beer except as balance in the finish. As the beer warms up, the hops start to show up in various places in the flavor profile.

Opinion: I have been pretty happy with this beer. For a Winter Warmer, it is pretty darn good...and definitely warming. There are some mouthfeel things about this beer that I would like to modify, but that is just tweaking. Even as a low carbonated beer, it comes across well, and I wouldn't mind drinking this beer again. I look forward to finishing this beer, but it will most certainly "put me to bed" tonight.

Photo of YouSkeete
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep orange/copper color, mildly cloudy. Practically no head at all with lots of lacing.

S: Bourbon, wheat, malts, and peppery spices. Big bourbon and alcohol lift in the aroma.

T/M: smooth and mild bourbon flavor right off on the initial sip. Relaxing caramel malt character with a subtle amount of hops and wheat barley. Bourbon and mild caramel sweetness on the finish. Light gravity on the overall body with high carbonation.

D: Not a terrible brew, but not very impressive. Nice balance between the bourbon and the winter warmer, but the body overall was a bit watery, and the overall flavor was too simple for my taste.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of Diesel76
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had seen this in bottles, but wasn't willing to fork over the amount of dough they wanted for a bottle... then when I was at the Widmer Gasthaus in Portland, they had this on tap, so I gave it a try.

Since I love the Widmer Brr winter release, I figured my love would follow to their Brrbon. It looked and smelled fantastic... but it must be that I am not a big hard alcohol fan that all I could taste was the Burbon... Couldn't even taaste the Brrr beer... I am glad I only paid a few bucks for a glass vs the cost of the bottle.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a nice head Not a lot of head with lots of lacing.

Smell: Spices and bourbon.

Taste: The first two sips I got all spice and malt. After that the bourbon seemed to come to the forefront and dominate.

Mouthfeel: low key for a barrel aged and not over powering which is a good thing for me.

Overall: this is the first Bourbon Barrel Aged beer thst I have had that was not a stout and I like this better than most of them.

Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of russwbeck
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this a long time ago on tap at the Z Bar in State College.

A: Brownish red pour with a thick white head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Slight bourbon smell but dominated by the spiciness of a winter warmer.

T: It really only tastes like a winter warmer with hints of bourbon. Spicy and caramel mainly. One of the more watered down bourbon aged beers I've had.

MF: Decent amount of carbonation with hints of the alcohol.

O: A miss. Wanted more bourbon, less winter warmer. With that said, it's a damn good winter warmer considering this is easily one of my least favorite styles.

Photo of robbrandes
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of WastingFreetime
1.95/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bomber Date Stamped 8/30/10
Pours a murky rusty copper color with residual head. Aroma is super saturated with bourbon wood and very rarely wisps of wood-extracted vanillins. Can't smell any malt at all. Taste is way too filled with tannins. I think my tongue is being turned into leather, because I start tasting leather on top of the overwhelming tannins. This brew has NOT cellared well at all. The malt and hops are obliterated. All I have left is the distinct impression and mouthfeel of gnawing on a dusty old doggy rawhide chew toy and than chewing my way through an entire oak tree. :(
It was pretty good (B grade) when I tasted fresh, but damn, the speed with which this one fell apart in the basement is startling.
The second drain pour I have ever had to do, and documented because even the cellaring mistakes are important to learn from (and not repeat)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Whobody
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- amber red color in appearance. Lighter color than I thought it would be. Poured from a bottle, not too much foam up top.

S- light hint of alcohol and bourbon. Apple, vanilla and malt

T- On the first swig I tasted the bourban/whiskey finish. Very warm alcohol taste. not a lot of carbonation, seems to be just right. Caramel malt stands out.

M- kind of silky. Rich. Low carbonation and smooth.

O- I'm not a huge whisky guy but this is delicious. I'm drinking this on June 1st and I'm visualizing myself sipping this near a fireplace on a cold night. The ABV may warm you up on a chilly night while camping. I'll be looking for this again when available.

Photo of scottfrie
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into New Belgium snifter. Split with mjyoung.

A: Pours an even, clear, dark amber with a thin tan head. Not much lacing.
S: Spicy apple smell with boozy notes more reminiscent to a spiced rum than a bourbon.
T: Tame, spicy flavors of vanilla, winter spices and light bourbon. Pretty mellow overall. Touch of caramel in the finish with some more vanilla.
M: Alcohol is hidden very well, almost too well since I can barely taste the bourbon.
O: Super tame but what's there is good.

Photo of mjyoung
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, split w/ scottfrie. Drank 5/29/11

A: A clear amber color with the slightest hint of yellow-green tinge when held to the light. Not a lot of head, and the lacing was sporadic.

S: Definitely a hint of whiskey. Spiced apple cider was mentioned, but I'm not quite getting it. It's a pretty one note smell, without much depth to it.

T: Pretty mild. Definite notes of malt and whiskey. A hint of spices, but nothing too provocative. Slight taste of caramel in the finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

M: Pretty good carbonation and a solid body. Nothing about the mouthfeel messes with the style or the taste.

O: The flavor that is there is tasty, but it isn't very bold. I like what's there, buuut....

Photo of 1Adam12
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber color. Hints of Vanilla, malt, and bourbon. Bourbon bomb. I love bourbon forward beers, but there is so much bourbon that theres not room for much else. Some malt, maybe a hint of vanilla and citrus. Carbonated, light mouthfeel. Good, but not up to the pre drink expectations I had on it. Might still get another bottle to age, but then again...maybe not.

Photo of tapman
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A level brown color with a thin off-white head that disappears as quickly as it appears. Very thin head. Carbonation is moderately ample and in a different light the brew gives off a pretty good mahogany.

Oak, vanilla, over-cooked caramel a warm bourbon notes.

Same as the nose.

Pretty thin with a little carbo-bite.

Why so high on the "D"...because you could drink a million of these. Plus, they are at 9%+, so the one that you bought at approx. 60% discount because they weren't sellling, becomes a nice jem of a brew to bring to a barbeque. Seriously, perfect for grilled or smoked anyting. Light enough to be refreshing yet with those bourbon flavors that go so good with food. Why is this a winter warmer? Should be a summer brew for BBQ

P.S. Marinated a brisket with this beer and it is wonderful. In a different category this beer would be all 4.5s.

Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.