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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)

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520 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 520
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.56%
Wants: 18
Gots: 121 | 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
Ratings: 520 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WastingFreetime
1.95/5  rDev -45.8%

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)

WastingFreetime, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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 Whobody
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

Whobody, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

scottfrie, May 31, 2011
Photo of mjyoung
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%

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....

mjyoung, May 30, 2011
Photo of 1Adam12
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

1Adam12, May 29, 2011
Photo of tapman
3.78/5  rDev +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.

tapman, May 29, 2011
Photo of megahurts4
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%

Widmer Brothers Reserve Barrel Aged Brrrbon

Appearance: dark red, medium head, and good lacing.

Smell: bourbon sweetness with a floral maltiness.

Taste: bourbon sweetness and malted faint hop.

Mouthfeel: medium and rich.

This has a great aroma and a nice taste. It has that bourbon sweetness.

megahurts4, May 27, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this beer.

A- Pours a deep coppery color. Half finger tan head shows light retention. Some long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass when drinking.

S- Caramel malts with hints of darker fruit shows up first in the aroma. Hints of vanilla florish toward the middle with a hint of oak. Strong bourbon aroma toward the ending of the aroma that makes your nose tingle.

T- Darker fruits in the front of the flavor profile with a hint of warming alcohol. Toward the ending of the front of the beer there shows a light sweetness from what I would guess is vanilla. Middle of the beer has the caramel malt base show with a long oaky tone. Ending of the beer shows more bourbon tones that kills off a lot of the ending flavor. Some vanilla shines through along with another light darker fruit tone to it. Alcohol is hot on the ending.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low for the style I thought. Darker fruit, oak, vanilla, and hints of bourbon are left on the palate. Aftertaste is bourbon alcohol, hint of vanilla, darker fruit, and light oak. Flavors were underbalanced with the alcohol being alittle too much at times. No real off flavors are here but the alcohol at times seems to be a off flavor. High alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was average at best with the flavor profile I had. It could be it needs to lay for a bit but I thought the bourbon was a bit too much. The other flavors never had a chance to shine which was my only problem with this beer.

alleykatking, May 25, 2011
Photo of Kendo
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

A: Poured from the growler into a Piraat Tulip/Snifter-type glass. Body is black. No head - appears flat.

S: Some bourbon over dark malt, a touch of smoke or char. Not as strong as expected though.

T: Tannic, bourbony - but not overwhemingly so. Some charcoal/char over roasted barley. Lingering charcoal or woodsy bitterness.

M: Thin - surprisingly so. It's flat, but that might be because the keg was tapped awhile ago.

O: It's OK. Flavor is actually good, but it loses points on everything.

Kendo, May 21, 2011
Photo of Adrianized
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

A- Clear copper with only a small head that clings to the glass.

S- Malty, lots of bourbon, vanilla and oak.

T- Malt backbone with a pretty stong bourbon flavor. Still has a slight burn of alcohol.

M- Medium body, leaves a nice sticky bourbon reside.

O- Overall an okay beer, but probably not worth going crazy to seek out. Either way, I enjoyed it... more so on the second glass.

Adrianized, May 19, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%

Boxed 22oz bottle poured into snifter.

A - Pours a reddish copper amber colour with off-white head. Slightly rocky and didn't retain very long. Little to no lacing

S - Sweet caramel, some vanilla, hot bourbon, oak.

T - Main flavour is a sweet bready malt with undertones of dark fruit (plums and raisins) and cherries. The bourbon is very subdued and doesn't seem well integrated into the beer. Caramel, oak and sherry also faint.

M - Somewhat thin and watery. Medium body and noticeable alcohol.

O - An average beer. The bourbon seems unbalanced and not profiled effectively. Not a bad drinker but I wouldn't look for this again.

OakedCanuck, May 18, 2011
Photo of ToasterChef
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%

Reviewed from my notes. A 22oz bottle was split three ways, poured into pint glasses.

A: Translucent copper, small tan head, a bit or rising carbonation. A coating of film and foam is left behind.

S: Spicy oak and bourbon. Possibly a bit of raisin.

T: Dark fruit malt base. Bourbon is strong but doesn't burn. A bit of sugar provides sweetness. It all balances well.

M: Good coat. Plenty of flavor. Med/full body and noticeable carbonation.

O: Very good winter ale. Bourbon improves it. I would drink this again.

ToasterChef, May 06, 2011
Photo of RDHerm
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%

Pours a deep copper color with yellow highlights. Has a thin white head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a thin ring with average lacing.

Strong smell of bourbon, with notes of malt, nuts, and dark fruits and hints of vanilla and oak. Lots of alcohol in the nose.

Strong flavors of bourbon and alcohol up front, with a very oak-y finish. There finish also has hints of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits. The alcohol presence gives it a bit of a bite.

Medium in body, light/medium carbonation level. A bit strong upfront, but finishes quite smooth. The carbonation level is good, and the flavors linger nicely on the palate, but it's also a bit drying.

I feel like I would have enjoyed this a lot more on a cold winter night than on a balmy spring one. Not bad by any means, but not particularly spectacular either. Overall, it's worth giving a shot.

RDHerm, May 06, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%

22oz bottle split and shared with a mate who is a fan of Makers Mark. Served cold in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Clear amber color with a thick off-white head and decent carbonation. My glass was clear and my buddy got some goodies at the end of the bottle.

S: Spices, lots of caramel and toffee notes, some tart cherries, some nuttiness, vanilla, and some oaky-bourbon and hops.

T: Flavors follow the taste, tons of buttery toffee and sweet caramel malts with a small amount of spicy hops detectable underneath. The bourbon is quite evident even after 6-7 months, and leaves its 'Mark' on every sip.

MF: Pretty viscous, medium to full bodied and creamy. The alcohol cuts through and lowers the 'felt' mouthfeel.

O: Unimaginative, this beer doesn't really boast anything impressive. All in all its above average but it seems to be little more than sweet buttery malts and bourbon.

Scotchboy, May 03, 2011
Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

Brad007, May 02, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

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 PDXHops
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Deep see-thru amber with a fat and fluffy off-white head. Lacing and retention are pretty good.

The barrel elements- oak, vanilla, bourbon- are rather restrained in the nose. Vaguely fruity and hoppy. I taste some of the prickly hoppiness of Regular Brrr, but it's somewhat neutered. I'm not sure the base beer has the malt profile to hold up to barrel-aging. The body seems on the thin side, the bourbon is so subtle as to not add much to the equation, and the barrel notes are more raw wood than buttery/oak/vanilla. A decent beer for sure, but something seems to be lacking. Regular Brrr is certainly superior.

PDXHops, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%

Reviewing this from notes that I took a while back Poured this into a pint glass. This one pours with an amber body with ruby highlights. Not much head on this, just a thin layer of off white foam that doesn't retain.

Toasty malts and syrupy toffee with a dark raisin aroma to round it out. Kind of a spicy cinnamon aroma in the background. Really only a faint hint of bourbon. Kind of a toasty flavor with a weak caramel finish and kind of an overly ripe boozey dark fruit flavor. Just a bit of bourbon. Honestly, the taste was a bit medicinal.

Medium sticky body on this with soft carbonation. Overall, this was a bit of a let down. I didn't care for it. I wonder how the regular version is though.

Bendurgin, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

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 Suds
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%

Ultra-clear, deep copper in color, with a very slim head, this beer has a boozy, malty aroma. Some woody, smoky aroma, but very distant. Vinous, semi-sweet, warming, and malty. The beer has a distinct vanilla flavor. Mouth-filling, smooth, and very enjoyable. This is surely a sipping beer. Solid bitterness, but hop-restrained. The beer becomes more enjoyable and intriguing throughout the bottle. Very good.

Suds, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%

22 oz dark brown bottle. Fall 2010 release.
Served in an Allagash stemmed goblet.
It pours an impressive deep oxblood color with a fair-sized beige head, along with a substantial amount of lacing.
The aroma, to the style, is relatively mild. Smells of sweet malt, chopped green hardwood, peat, citrus and a little smoky bourbon are all quite subdued. A faint whiff of orange liquor seems a bit peculiar, though not at all unpleasant.
Tastes of doughy, brown bread and burnt caramel are front and center. Sharp grapefruit bitterness, a mildly astringent medicinal harshness and metallic bite balance the malty sweetness.
The bourbon taste is certainly there, but not as a main flavor profile.
It's a pretty nice strong, bourbon barrel-aged ale, but the price ($12.95) is out of whack. Would the rating be higher if it were $9.95? No, but it would have been a far more reasonable value.

BeerResearcher, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Had this in December so this is from my notes. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A The beer poured an amber color, with little head.

S Right up front the beer has a strong bourbon smell, mixed with oak overtones. Other then that not much else here.

T Again very strong bourbon taste especially as it warms up. There is no complexity here just bourbon and some woody flavor from the barrels.

M The beer is surprisingly light. Not terrible but not good either.

Overall this was an enjoyable beer, I enjoyed drinking it but it had no complexity whatsoever, just bourbon. It was worth trying but for how much it costs it really wasn't worth it for what I got.

beerandcycling88, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of PainkeepBrewing
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

Impression after multiple bottles over course of past 6 months. All served from boxed 22oz bottles into snifters.

A - Hazy amber, nice head with nice lacing on glass as it is consumed.

S - An almost sour nose with a lot of alcohol and bourbon. I enjoy the bourbon scent but if I was judging this beer on aroma alone I'd be disappointed.

T - Yesss. Caramel, alcohol, bourbon, alcohol, in that order. Very pleasing alcohol and bourbon notes, though the bourbon is what really shines here. Aftertaste is a smooth whisky that lingers for a couple minutes after last sip.

M - A little thin for my liking as far as barrel aged beers go, though I'm used to stouts, not aged winter ales that are relatively thin to begin with.

O - When I go to review this beer, I find myself nitpicking and finding reasons not to give it an "excellent" review, but I like it enough to have bought numerous $10-12 bottles throughout the last 6 months and recommend it to many friends. I really love the bourbon taste in this beer and the overall package.

PainkeepBrewing, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%

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