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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BA SCORE
82
good

555 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.79%
Wants: 20
Gots: 132 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BarrytheBear on 09-24-2010

Bitterness: 40 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 9.4% ABV
Original Gravity: 20° PLATO

Released: September 2010
View: Beers (73) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 229
Photo of Sunhunters
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
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-

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of StogiesandBrews
4.15/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - amber in color, mostly clear but with a slight haze, and about a finger and a half's worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - malty in general with a hint of whiskey-like quality.

Taste - tastes more like whiskey than it does a beer. Maybe a little bit of malt is noticeable, but beyond that, it's all whiskey business.

Mouthfeel - definitely leans more on the watery side.

Overall - not a bad brew in general, but very odd-tasting. My guess is people will probably love it or hate it.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10 Feb 2012
I will start by saying I think this beer was a bit past it's peak, which is confusing because it was a bit hot too.

Appearance: Orange/red body under a 1/4 inch eggshell head with lacing that sticks to the glass well.

Smell: Bourbon and Oak predominate giving way to butter, oil, and toffee, all this is followed up by something a bit weird, like smokey peanuts.

Taste: Oily/buttery bourbon supported by roasted malts and oak. The peanut comes back here with a bit of burnt malt and a smokey flavor. If it ended here the beer would be much better, but all of this gives way too a hint of cardboard then a hot alcohol finish.

Mouth: Slips and flows on the tongue but the great body is hindered by the slight bite from the hot alcohol finish.

Overall: Complex though a bit too smokey and burnt. In all honesty this has probably just aged a bit too long, which makes sense given that it's a shade under 10%... I so wanted this beer to be excellent, but sadly it disappoints

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint

A - Clear light copper hue with a wispy, white, one-finger head. Dissolves into some pretty decent lacing of tiny bubbles, but after a while was left with a completely flat looking beer with zero bubbles anywhere.

S – Powerful woody aroma. Some esters of vanilla and sweet malt as well.

T – Taste follows the nose. Whiskey, vanilla, oak, ash, and sugary malt. Some hint on winter spices like juniper, cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Slight amount of piney hops rolling around in the finish. Finishes hot. This brew just revels in its 9.4% abv. Overall the bourbon character pretty much slaps you in the face, and the overall flavor is brash.

M – Low carbonation. Thin bodied, and I found it a little sharp and syrupy. Kind of hangs on the palate.

O – Huge bourbon punch both a plus and a minus. At times this tastes like decent bourbon that someone just poured some beer into. Overall, everything doesn’t really come together very well. A solid idea, but probably could have been better executed. My bet is that this beer is a little young. Would like to taste this once it has had a chance to age and mellow and lose some heat.

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

22 ounce bottle - $12.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. What appears to be a brewed/bottled on date of Nov 14, 2011 in teeny tiny white font on the label.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, reddish-amber body with a foamy, off-white head. Little bitlets of lacing on the descent.

Smell: Moderate bourbon wafts in between notes of resinous hops, toasted grains, juniper berry, light-colored brown sugar, and week-old lemon rind.

Taste: Toasted bread malts with some crystal sweetness with an edge of brown sugar and quickly dunked into (and out of) Kentucky bourbon. Two lone drops of pineapple juice. A little hint of spruce tips. Remains fairly resiny (though this is boosted by the tannins), with some muted citrus, and a scant grassiness. Moderately bitter. Very, very subtle vanilla and toasted coconut. Still closes out bittersweet like the standard Brrr, but now with some drying, tannic oak action enduring into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Slightly smooth stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: It's ultimately just OK, I certainly don't feel as though I got my thirteen bucks' worth with this one.

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.99/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dirty Brown color with a moderate haze to it. Pours a 1 finger head that quickly vanishes. Not too much going on here.

Smell - Caramel, Vanilla, Bourbon with a touch of brandy, oak and figs. Smells pretty sweet and there's also a sort of a "creamy" smell to it, almost like an Irish Creme.

Taste - Caramel, Bourbon, and Oak are all pretty powerful. In fact, it almost tastes like straight up bourbon! The figs and sweet malts just add to that overall sweetness that comes with bourbon. The Oak also adds a distinct dimension to what is already a complex flavor. Aftertaste is pretty much straight oak and bourbon, like I have just finished a couple shots of bourbon

Mouthfeel - It's fairly light in body and the carbonation is very subdued, this gives it a very creamy feel. For a beer that's 9.4% ABV, it's pretty easy to drink!

Overall - Some will be not like the sweetness due to the bourbon present. Otherwise, this is a great bourbon style ale that offers something unique and enjoyable to those looking for something a little different.

Photo of arizcards
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in late January 2011 for $10.99. Sat in the Wine Cooler since purchase.

Beer poured a garnet color with not much of a head. 3.0
Nose was pretty strong bourbon upon initial pour but has faded after about 10 minutes. 3.5
Taste is a big dose of warming bourbon to go on top of the big malt base. Oak and vanilla are present. Northwest hops have faded over time and are just a hint in the back of the palate. 3.5
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and not really smooth. 3.0
Overall this is not a bad beer but definitely not worthy of the price. 3.5

Photo of HopHead84
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2/10/2012

On tap at Churchill's.

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

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

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

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

Overall: A decent barrel aged Strong Ale, though a bit inexpressive.

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber dated 10/2010 poured to tulip.

Poured from 22oz bomber dated 10/2010 to pint glass. The beer pours a deep ruby copper color with a two finger lighter tan colored head. Good retention and lacing throughout. I am enjoying this aroma: nice blend of vanilla, caramel, oak, figs, and a hint of bourbon. The flavor very much follows suit though the bourbon is a bit more pronounced on the tongue. The vanilla, caramel, and fig flavors blend well with a medium bitterness. Coats your palette. Medium bodied and adequately carbonation. Overall, I enjoyed this beer. Aging seemed to mellow the bourbon flavors but not as much as I anticipated. A brew I look forward to every year :)

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper-amber with purple highlights. A large light tan head dissipates quickly to leave some good oily lacing.

Smell is bourbon and wood, sweet and pungent.

Taste is close to smell, bourbon and it's barrel, not much beer flavor though. A touch of char on the after taste rounds it out.

Beer texture is smooth and full bodied, yet for some reason difficult to drink.

I still have no idea what kind of beer this is. The barrel and bourbon are so forward as to hide the beer. If you like the hard alcohol aspect, this could be good, but I didn't find this all that great.

DOA

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter with just the lightest had on top. I let this one sit out of the fridge for a good 25min to warm up some. The aroma is somewhat light but I am getting some malts, booze and some cherries.

Oh man, the bourbon and wood are for sure there. There is some sweetness that is like a caramel chew but it really doesn't stand out. The wood flavor is pretty much from the beginning to the end. Though it isn't harsh, like take the smell of those balsa wood planes when you were a kid and make it a flavor. Kind of awesome actually.

There is hardly any carbonation and it very drinkable. Was so glad to see this again for 2011. It is just one of those winter seasonals I don't mind paying for. Very enjoyable.

Photo of david18
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a small draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A very good beer, especially for a "Winter Warmer" which I typically don't like. The bourbon was very present and added a lot to this beer.

Color was lighter than I expected, a dark copper with a low amount of carbonation.

Aroma was a great balance of roasty malt, hops and the bourbon/barrel.

Flavor as well was very balanced and had a great warming to it without any of that crazy fruitiness or spiciness that you can get from winter ales.

A great beer drank at the perfect time of year for it.

Photo of tut2528
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

S: hops and malt dominate the aromas, there's also some fruits present mainly apples and cherries. there is a slight burn of alcohol.

T: very bold bourbon and very strong alcohol. There is a quick taste of sweetness from the fruits described above and hops but almost all aspects are ruined by the intense alcohol character.

Now I know why this one hasn't moved off the shelves. Very disappointing. Everything seems off.

Photo of whatthehull
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tulip

2011 edition

A - Nice copper color, half finger white head and some slight lacing

S - Not a lot of nose. Malt, yeast, some spices, wood, soil, some booze and a slight hop

T - Wood, whiskey, earth, winter and fall spices, slight vanilla, flowers, hop comes in and out, a bit of booze, roasted malts, sugar, nutty, an almost Belgian yeast note and lots of minerally soil

M - Medium minus body, no acidity, low complexity, medium minus balance and medium finsih

D - Very drinkable ale, a good starter for people who want to have a "big" or "bigger" craft brew. Okay for a winter warmer, nice and refreshing but not much else to ad

Final thought - $13 and only 9.4%. Way to high of a price for a beer that is just OK. I would get one a year if it was half the price

Photo of liamt07
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

Photo of GilGarp
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled last fall, 2010.

Server cool into a goblet, Bourrrbon is a striking red color with great clarity.

Aroma is sweet and boozy with obvious bourbon barrel influence.

Flavor is strong with heavy bourbon character. Unfortunately not a lot else going on. Burr is a great hoppy beer but this aged version doesn't have much depth.

Mouthfeel is smooth and the alcohol is subdued.

Overall not a bad beer if you like bourbon but otherwise not much to like.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, Fall 2010 (stamp on bottle says October 2010) vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is a bit boozy, the brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, coconut, caramel malt and some dark fruit. It tastes like bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt, coconut, and a little bit of sweet spices and dark fruit. But the bourbon flavor in this brew is stronger compared to the other ones. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating, smooth, and has moderate carbonation. Aging this brew for a little more than a year certainly hasn't hurt it. I thought it was good, now I might have to buy a bottle of the 2011 version to try.

Photo of flexabull
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled last night at the Alehouse.

Pours a bright orange/amber color with a pretty good off white head.

Aromas are very bourbon forward, boozy, with some roasted nuts, light cola, and mixed spices.

Taste is a bit of a let down. Caramel malt sweetness, light cola, some nuttiness, and a general booziness. But it lacks complexity, and comes off as an odd mixture of booze and spices.

Thin, but smooth mouthfeel, but leaves a bit to be desired.

Overall, this is ok. I really enjoyed Brrr, but this treatment of that beer doesn't work all that well. I guess it's something to try once, but not something I'd like to revist.

Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.