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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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537 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 537
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.83%
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)
View: Beers (69) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 537 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grittybrews
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brownish amber with a faint red tinge into a tulip with a finger of quick-receding light khaki head. Aroma of mild caramel roast, faint vanilla, and just a hint of bourbon.

Moderate carbonation and a mouthfeel that starts a little thin but builds in creaminess. Mild bourbon and vanilla up front with a touch of oaky caramel malt and some gentle hop spice on the slightly bitter finish.

The bourbon flavor was a little subtler than expected with almost no alcohol burn. This drank quite easily and was pleasant enough, but it didn't really attain memorable "big bourbon beer" status.

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

I drank this one on tap at the Ojai Beverage Company. Says Bourbon, smells bourbon, but not so much taste of bourbon as in other bourbon barreled beers.

Looks good, nice amber color,

Smell promises a bourbon taste

Taste wasn't as bourbon-like as I had hoped.

Good mouthfeel and nice carbonated.

I liked but couldn't buy that one yet, maybe with time it will improve, but a tap is supposed to be the top taste right?

Photo of csiewert
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy brown color with two fingers of foamy off white head. The smell is strong with hops and a hint of bourbon from the barrels the beer is aged in. The taste starts with some malty sweetness and then hits you with hoppy bitterness. The taste finishes with that hint of bourbon, but is not very overpowering like some other bourbon barrel aged beers. The high alcohol content is obvious within the taste which is the only big detractor. The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, although you are left with some bitter aftertaste.

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

I split this one with the brother-in-law on New Years Eve. Poured into a modified imperial, the beer is dark brown with garnet highlights. I was presently surprised by the head & lacing.

The beer has a nose of vanilla, roasted malts and a whiff of bourbon.

The taste has molasses, brown sugar, some vanilla, some woody notes, dark fruit and in the background some bourbon notes. The bourbon was dialed down a little to much, but the base beer was pretty tasty.

The mouth is slightly thick and a bit oily. The mid-level carbonation works with this beer.

I thought it went down pretty easy and both of us like it. I wish I would have bought a few more and the price is right at $12.95.

Photo of djmichaelk
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a pale amber, with a finger or so of off-white head. It recedes to a slim ring around the glass, with little lacing.

S - Bourbon and vanilla, a bit of spice, and more hops than I had expected. The bourbon gets very strong as it warms. It's fairly bitter, but not in a bad way.

T - Vanilla extract, bourbon, some oak, and a touch of hoppy bitterness. Some moments I enjoy it, and other moments the flavor seems thin and bitter. I like the individual components but they're not meshing in a pleasant way.

M - Decent carbonation, reasonably full mouthfeel. Nice and creamy but thinner than I'd like.

D - The abv is par for the course, and it definitely warms, but the flavors aren't doing it for me. One and done.

O - For the price, there are many, many beers that are better than this one.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy surprisingly light rosy golden amber color with a shallow wispy fizzy white head that's gone in a flash leaving little Belgian lacing at all. Microscopic effervescence is unable to sustain a collar, but suggests a reasonable carbonation will follow. The nose is REALLY timid until it warms up..then it's all about the vanilla creme brulee. The taste is BIG on the sweet vanilla character of the Bourbon treatment..a little caramel creme brulee thing going on. The mouth feel is tangy and creamy all at once and it compliments the flavor nicely...it has a sturdy medium weight to the body. It finishes on the dry side with a meager lingering aftertaste. Quite the reasonable drinker for one up at 9.4%. I would definitely pick this one up again if it was on the shelves...but I'm a sucker for Bourbon treatments.

Photo of kwjd
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange colour with small white head. Lack of lacing on the glass, poor head retention. Smells like oranges, bourbon and vanilla. Flavour is quite boozy. Not very carbonated. My review may make it sound more negative than I thought about the beer, I did enjoy this one enough. One of the better Widmer beers I've had.

Photo of emmasdad
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although I initially balked at buying this one due to the perceived price/quality ratio, I relented the other day because I had a gift card I received for Christmas, and the curiosity was killing me. That said, I enjoyed the beer, but was hardly blown away. Poured a hazy dark orange color with a finger of dense yellowish head. Aromas of bourbon, light floral hops and a hint of caramel. Medium bodied, with flavors of bourbon, oak and caramel. An enjoyable beer to be certain, but not worth the $12 asking price.

Photo of Fnord
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Clear amber with a wispy white head.

Smell - Whiskey, alcohol, molasses, and some flowery hops.

Taste - Lots of sweetness and alcohol, plus a fair amount of oak. The bourbon really comes through as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and low carbonation.

Notes - It may have been unfair of me to review this beer since I'm not a fan of bourbon (I prefer Irish whiskey). It's a bit impressive how much bourbon character they managed to impart; I was expecting it to be more subtle. I remember Brrr as being pretty hoppy so I was expecting more hop presence, but I guess the aging process killed it. I would recommend this beer to a bourbon lover, but others should probably pass.

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

I apologize up front for the low scores I gave this beer. It is delicious and I would drink it in a house, with a mouse, in a box and with a fox. I am a bit judgmental tonight and this may negatively affect the scores I give.

Thin white head disappeared quickly. The color is very much like a nice bourbon, carmel in color.

The smell it very oaky. Very sweet.

The taste is similar. I feel like it is a three ring circus of flavor.It starts like bourbon, a little sweet and warm.. Then the hops come in a little. It finishes as this nice bourbon/beer marriage with the oakiness and maltiness together with a nice slight hop background.
A really nice beer. Perfect to have after shoveling snow(like I just did). It warmed me right up.
Thank you widmer.

Photo of philosobeer
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on 30th August 2010. Enjoyed on 24th December 2010. (Way to go for including the bottling date, Widmer!) Poured into a goblet and a tulip glass. Allowed to warm a bit before drinking.

A // Looks... like bourbon. Except cloudier, a little darker, and maybe a tad more red. This might be reasoning by association. Head is thick and white, but does not retain well. Lacing is also pretty good. Cloudy, but definitely appealing.

S // Smells .. like bourbon. A lot of those oak and whiskey notes just jumping out at me. I can smell the malt down there somewhere, and I'm getting some spiciness. Hey, I do like bourbon.

T // Ok, so the oak is very present on the tongue. And the whiskey, of course. The sweetness of the hops really stays there. The alcohol is a bit hot. It's also fairly warming, and the bitterness is ok. Taste closes with... yep, bourbon.

M // Heavy-ish. Not more than you'd expect from a beer of this character though, and I found it fairly nice, with some carbonated sharpness.

D // Well, it is bourbon aged and around the 10%abv level, so... no, not the easiest drinker in the world. But, grading to the style, it's probably very close to average, and there's no 2.75 here.

This lost a few points because anyone can just put beer in bourbon barrels, provided they have the funds to do so, and the rest of the beer's character isn't showing through much. Don't get me wrong, I can't say I disliked drinking this with a friend at all.

Photo of budgood1
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out of the 22 ounce bomber a clear but darker shade of mahogany. a very thin head and sparse lace. bourbon nose...very light with a malty sweetness accentuated by some noticeable citric hopping. taste is a boozy snooze fest of high ABV amber ale like qualities with corn whiskey nuances and wooden notes. not sure if the booze flavours are from the barrel aging or the 9.4% ABV. some bitterness leads to an off putting aftertaste. light bodied for an ale of this sort. uneven mouthfeel. uninspired finish. something isn't working here. drinkability is only acceptable for the fact it's winter and this high ABV barrel aged ale has some definite warming qualities to it.

wow...how disappointed am i?? this is not a good beer and for the price i am doubly disappointed. not recommended.

Photo of BigPlay1824
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass

A: Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head that dissipates quickly, leaves a slight amount of lacing

S: Strong alcohol scent, deep whiskey notes dominate the scent, very slight underlying sweetness

T: Great tasting brew with very nice whiskey notes that are not offputting at all

D/M: Slight carbonation tingle, warms the pallet and the body as it is sipped sue to the whiskey notes, smooth on the pallet, drinks quite easily

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

Went over to a friends last night and he had a surprise for me. It was poured into standard pint glasses. The pour was copper with a medium white head, light lacing. The aroma is sweet, vanilla and bourbon. The beer was sweet, some honey. The main theme was light bourbon, very warming but not overwhelming. The beer was medium in body and had a sticky mouthfeel. The beer was dangerously drinkable. A good beer, but overpriced.

Photo of Avagadro
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: copper in color, free of haze, little head formation or retention.

S: almost no bouquet to speak of. A couple wisps of honey are barely detectable.

T: malty sweet with a touch of hoppy bite. Caramel, vanilla, and honey are the main players of this brew.

M: full body, slightly sticky, and low carbonation.

D: nothing too impressive, but interesting nonetheless. give it a try if you feel like paying a premium price for a mediocre brew.

Photo of Gmann
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light brown color with a smallish off-white head that settled into a light ring around the glass.

The aroma is of light bourbon, nothing overpowering. There is a candied honey malt, some musty notes and a peppery spice.

The taste is of light bourbon, vanilla and diet coke with loads of saccharin. It has an out of place bitterness which is probably from the hops, but it is harsh. The brew has a caramel malt base with some candied honey, perhaps a touch of berry sweetness. The bourbon flavor and malt flavor are nice but the rest is kind of a mess.

The feel is light to moderate with prickly carbonation; finishes surprisingly clean perhaps a tad sticky. Finishes with a rough bitterness, like sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery.

This is very meh. The bourbon is perfect for the malt and the malt is fine but the spice and the hops just don't work for me.

Photo of ronniebruner
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything told me that this would be a great and amazing brew. At $10.99 for a 22oz bottle, it had better be! Widmer is the only American brand in which Id risk this purchase, but wow! Widmer has outdone themselves again! This is by far the best new beer I have tried in a long time. This beer pours a beautiful dark amber color. The aroma of the bourbon barrels mixes well with the light citrus and vanilla aromatics. There is little head, no carbonation, and the perfect taste. If there ever was beer perfection, this is it!

Photo of Pencible
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This poured clear copper with some fizzy tan head.
S: It smelled like sour cherry and sweet caramel, with dry french oak and a bit of honey wheat. A little musty.
T: It tasted like sweet caramel and dry earthy honey wheat, with some dark fruit and oak and vanilla. It had a mild bittersweet aftertaste, with a little alcohol warming.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation. Didn't seem right for the style.
D: This was not bad, but not great. The scent and taste and body all left something to be desired. Alcohol was noticeable but not bad, so it was easy enough to drink. Even though I tried this fresh, it seemed like the bottle was old. So this probably won't improve further with age. If you want a barrel aged ale (non-stout), you can find better elsewhere.

Photo of mentor
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly two fingers of light tan head over a mahageny-colored liquid. Smells bourbon, vanilla, oranges, caramel, raisins, bright cherry, figs and leather. Pretty nice with a clean alcohol just zipping the nostrils a bit.

Tastes strong barrel, some cherry, some raisin, but finishes with a strong butterscotch that I find off-putting. There is a candy-like fruit/sugary sweetness. Salty and lotsa light fruits, such as plum meat (not tangy skin). No evidence remains of the winter warmer character of this beer. The bit of spicy zip, I attribute to the oak and alcohol.

Md-light body with some dextrinous and creamy character. I like the clean alcohol sting at the end. It carries with it some baby aspirin flavor to dry out the finish.

Photo of TheBigE5
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Definite caramel color that is superb. Has an average smell that really gives off the bourbon flavor. I personally love bourbon so this beer is right up my alley. Not an overwhelming flavor but the sweetness and alcohol does hit you in the finish line.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a pale ale color with a healthy white head later turning into just lacing

Strong smell of vanilla , bourbon, oak

Taste of vanilla , bourbon whiskey, and a light pale malt flavor. The body of this beer is pretty underwhelming as is the complexity. Not many if any at all roasted / caramelized flavors which I would expect with a beer this big. Its not really an old ale, which is perhaps what I would expect at 9.4 abv and with bourbon barrel aging. Overall, slightly disappointed. This is not great , nor bad , but nothing out of the ordinary other than the fact that it has been in a barrel.

Smooth and drinkable, perhaps the best qualities of the beer, only there is a light mouthfeel, where I would prefer a little more body.

Photo of JoePat
4.55/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours an clean and clear amber/brown with a thick pale head that leave a lot of lacing on the glass.

I get a lot of cascade like citrusy/piney hops dominating the aroma with only slight notes of bourbon.

The flavor in this beer is very well balance and I only get slight hint of each (hops, malt, bourbon, barrel from most to least). It is almost like all four of these flavor combine in to one continuous flavor.

The mouthfeel is silky and smooth coating your mouth with each sip but fading quickly so you just want more.

A dangerously drinkable beer at 9.4% but drinking like a 4-5% beer. Extremely clean and blanced. It's a good thing I only have one.

Photo of MaGno
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber in a special box. The packaging is a weak try at making this seem like a SPECIAL reserve. It is a simple cardboard box and the label is very plain.

A - Mahogany color with a thin/fine head. I poured it into a goblet and it is a very nice color but thin head.

S - Very average, hard to pick anything out of the smell other than a hint of bourbon. Hints of vanilla but all in all very weak.

T- A little hint of toffee, caramel, but the bourbon comes thru at the the very end. Seems really thin. A little sweetness with an slight medicinal finish.

M- Thin and light with a slight carbonation.

D- Easy drinking because the body is thin. I think this is an average beer and the total package seems overpriced. Does not leave me craving more and really does not seem all that special.

Photo of PBoegel
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a Brooklyn Tulip Snifter.

On pour this beer looked rather appealing, though lighter than I anticipated in color. It was really a cooperish red tone body with a very fluffy cream white colored head which showed some lacing. Unfortunately that is about the best this beer got.

Aroma, bourbon. A little more bourbon. Some bourbon and for good measure bourbon. Modest oak tannins and very very faint maltiness with a touch of earthy hops. Now to be sure, the bourbon was no offensively hot or irritating it simply dominated the aroma characteristics too much.

The taste profile was more of the same, but the beer showed a substantial pleasant bitterness in the finish. The flavor though was bourbon upfront, with some hints of oak wood tannins. The middle was bourbon with a touch of caramel sweetness and the finish was warm and bourbon dominate on the tongue. The overall alcohol notes were again not unpleasant or harsh, but simply too one dimensional.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thin, woody, and the lingering bourbon note from beginning to end did not help. Finish was very dry and the carbonation was medium.

Not very drinkable due to the one dimensional nature of the flavor and aroma. Not something I would seek out again.

Photo of dfernandez77
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Vanilla, caramel, mandarin orange, and dragon-fruit. Background of grassy floral notes. Sweetness in the aroma is more fruity than malty. No discernible hop character. A little bit of wet brown paper wrapper aroma - but not enough to detract from the overall appeal.

Pours with a small head, light tan color. Medium head retention and strong fine lace. The color is coppery amber about 17SRM, with a very slight haze even poured at 55F as I did this glass.

The bourbon barrel aging comes through in vanilla, and caramelized sugar flavors. Forward herbal flavors like bitter orange peel (Bergamot). There is no distinguishable malt character, and mild hop bittering without a discernible hop type. Finishes slightly bitter and astringent.

Medium heavy mouthfeel with a light slickness. Finishes dry in the throat with sweetness in the front of the mouth as saliva works on the residual sugars. Nice complexity with different things happening in different parts of the mouth.

Overall Impression:
Some very complex characters going on in this brew. Some of which are not completely complimentary. Altogether though it is somewhat pleasing. And although I like Bourbon as much as the next fellow - a beer that is more like a hopped Bourbon, than a beer kissed with Bourbon character doesn't do it for me. Perhaps it would benefit from a year or more in the cellar, but at this young age it reminds me too much of when I used to drop a shot-glass of Jack into a frosty mug of Bud. Before I knew what good beer was.

Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 537 ratings.