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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

549 Ratings

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Ratings: 549
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.83%
Wants: 19
Gots: 127 | 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 (75) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 549 | Reviews: 228
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
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
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
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Photo of Buckmaister
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A lighter auburn/copper color with a 1-inch head that shrinks to a quarter-inch quickly. A great bit of lacing left over.

The hops and malts are easy to smell.

Aside from the known malt and yeast taste that you should expect from any beer, I sense the slightest bit of cranberry as well. Perhaps there's some orange zest mixed in there as well albeit these are VERY faint.
Mouthfeel is ordinary if not slightly below average. It's not smooth and the slight carbonation only seems to annoy me.

Good. Despite the ordinary taste it doesn't offend either so I could swig a couple of these back no problem...but I'd be feeling it with the 9.4%.

This is a decent beer. Not worth the price though in my opinion. So far I like this the least of the 3 limited releases by these guys but then again they always say the 1st is the best.

Photo of Overlord
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly light ruddy amber, no real head, just maybe half an inch of big bubbles. Settled down to flat pretty quick.

Smells like wood chips (not oak, wood chips ... almost pine chips, actually), faintly of vanilla, and strongly of alcohol/bourbon.

Tastes better than it smells, with some interesting piney/oaky wood, some bourbon, a weird woodsy aftertaste, and the vanilla comes across fairly strongly.

Too thin.

All in all, a mixed bag. Some weird aftertastes going on here, and it ain't cheap, but I find it growing on me. I can't imagine the ingredients are all that expensive (are they?) so why the high price?

Photo of Lucklys
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I poured this beer, despite it being very faintly chill-hazed, it appeared a clear auburn polished cherry wood with coppery-ruby highlights in the sun. I managed to get a 2.5 finger thick head made of large fawn-colored soap bubbles that held fairly well. As the foam gradually dissipated, it left thick sheets of lacing that stuck in rings around the glass and receded into a thick collar and a large frothy island. Until the beer reached just below room temperature, there were lots of visible streams of slow bubbles that kept the remaining foam alive.

The nose was full of the sweet bourbon it touts in the title, but it was slightly reminiscent of whiskey in strength. There were some toasted malts, caramel, and an almost unnoticeable vanilla that begins to emerge as it warms, but everything was rather overpowered by the bourbony sweet alcohol and the obvious damp oak from the barrel aging. Every other whiff I would catch something that smelled like dark bing cherries, but again, what little they may have offered was quickly wiped clean with the alcohol. It wasn't a bad smelling beer, it was just more bourbon than beer, and the few malts seemed too generic while the lack of hops was glaring.

At first, while the beer was still cold from the fridge, the taste was nothing spectacular and immediately presented a bourbon burn at the back of my throat when I went in too fast. My second time around, I took it slower, still feeling the bourbon melting my insides as it slid down my throat, and tasted around. Other than some wintery spiciness, I pulled out some piney/resiny hops that were missing in the nose, lots of damp oak and wood, sweet toffee malts, caramel, and light vanilla - all of which combined on my tongue to make a thin, sticky syrup flavor/feeling that was slick going down. It held a light to medium-light body, which I did not expect, though with the amount of bright, tingly carbonation in this beer, there's not much room for it to be thicker. I guess I assumed it would be more rounded and smooth, but instead it popped in my mouth with the bright bubbles. Ending on a slightly dry note, the Barrel Aged Brrrbon wasn't too shabby. It's not going to be my go-to winter beer, regardless of how warm it made me with it's 9.4%ABV, but it was definitely unique. I only wish it was more like beer, with more diverse grains, malts, and hops, and focused less on the woody bourbon barrel aging flavors. Though I suppose without all the wood and sweet, warming alcohol, it wouldn't have much place as a limited release Brothers' Reserve, would it?

Photo of roblowther
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear copper and headless, to be a bit ghoulish. Looks like bourbon, really. Smells like wood. It smells, specifically, like wood stored in a cellar: earthy, damp, and metallic. Taste is strongly woody with orange notes and a honey-like finish. Too sweet in the finish for me. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and slick. The drinkability is limited by the sweet, woody finish. This is a great idea, but the wood aging just seems to overpower everything else.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours barleywine-like in appearance with larger tan head than expected. Nose has some woody toffee notes, and perhaps a whiff of mixed nuts. Alcohol warmth is noted right away on palate with the bourbon influence revealing itself right away. Some of that woody toffee comes through on the palate as well, but not terribly sweet. Black tea flavors there too. Finishes semi sweet with boozy quality.

Photo of cmannes
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle poured into a Surly Tulip.

Appearance: Very nice reddish amber color. Thin white head.

Aroma: Bourbon. Lots of bourbon.

Taste: I like Bourbon beers, but this one might be too much. The bourbon is quite strong, I think it overpowers the rest of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, a little syrupy.

Overall: I don't think I'll drink this again. Too much bourbon, not enough beer.

Photo of gregshead
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a copper color with a finger of head that dissipates quickly.

S: Bourbon and Caramel/Toffee Smell.

T: Reminds me of a barleywine with a bourbon shot dropped it in. Caramel and coffee taste with a bourbon bite to it. Alcohol heat is more prevalent as it warms up.

M: Very little in carbonation present. A little on the syrupy side.

D: Don't get me wrong. I love bourbon barrel beers. But if I want something like this, I'll grab either a bourbon barrel stout for more pronounced bourbon taste or a barleywine.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a medium shade of brown with light hints of crimson and mahogany. Looks almost like bourbon, actually (except for the bubbles). A finger and a half of loose, cream colored, foam makes the head. This dissipates to a surface covering foam. The lacing is thin, but nicely sticky.

This is not a big nose kind of beer, apparently. The bourbon notes are here, but they are somewhat muted. They blend nicely with the warming, holiday-esque, spice notes. Light traces of cherries and butterey caramel and vanilla.

The taste falls a touch flat, after the mildly complex nose. A generic maltiness aligns with some wood and earthy notes. Light traces of vanilla and some mild caramel sweetness. The spices and bourbon notes come through on the end, almost as an afterthought.
Not horrible, but somewhat disappointing.

Medium-bodied with a high level of carbonation make this one fairly crisp. It is bright and sharp, around the edges.
This ought to be thicker and smoother.

It's okay and I guess that technically it's drinkable, but I'm not in a hurry to track down some more of it.
My least favorite of the Brothers Reserve Series, so far.

Photo of olmatty
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a clean, thin, rusty brown liquid with a light white head and poor retention and no lacing.

Smell-Bourbon oak barrel, vineous, acidic with some biscuity sweetness lurking behind.

Taste-Lots of oak barrel, fresh grapes, honey, caramel sweetness with a floral and spicy boquet of hops bringing up the rear. Bourbon barrel and some wine notes linger for a long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Dissapointingly thin body, carbonation is already on the lower side and it's still quite young.

Drinkability-It's probably unfair to judge this one at so young an age. Likely these flavors will get better with some time in a cellar. That being said, some other young beers that are similar aged were much smoother. Surprisingly smooth flavor for a high alcohol beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

An appropriate beer while watching Barry Melrose dish out some harsh words for NHLers. Ain't that right, VDubb? It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by nearly two fingers of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises coconut-enhanced suntan lotion, oak, caramel, light cocoa powder, cheap whiskey, circus peanuts candy, and rye bread. The taste bludgeons me with rubbery whiskey and oak, while the caramel, rye, and light hot cinnamon cower in the corner, lest they get the full wrath of the drunken, abusive brrrbon tones. Man, they are really trying way too hard here. The body is a strangely stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a slimily dry finish. Overall, I'm not at all impressed with this brew. It tries way too hard to be a nice barrel-aged WW, but instead succeeds only at making me angry. I don't want to drink any more of this again. Period.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a thin tan head, and leaves nice lacing. The aroma consists of overwhelming bourbon notes, along with some caramel and brown sugar, dark fruit notes, piney and citrusy hops and a big whiff of alcohol. The flavor is also dominated by bourbon notes, with some caramel and toffee and brown sugar, along with piney hops, dark fruits and alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick and drinkability is pretty limited. Really this just tastes like a slightly toned down bourbon, and the alcohol overwhelms anything else going on in the beer.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a SA perfect pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing some bourbon up in hurrr!

This beer looks a nice orangish amber color with a fluffy white foam that laces well. The smell is citrus and oak. There is a slight malt aroma mixed with the pleasant hop aroma. The woodsy aroma is mirrored in spades with this beer's flavor. There is a strong boozy flavor with this beer that bites on the tongue. I really don't like the fact that I have wood in my mouth. The mouthfeel while spicy isn't that bad. The overall drinkability comes into question here solely due to the taste here, the rest of it is the saving grace. Holy crap this is intense. If you like barrels you can taste this one. Enjoy!

Photo of MidasAg
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I really can't add much that hasn't already been said.

A-Nice reddish/orange color, not much of a head to it.
S- Sweet smell,Cant really get much else
T- Irish red taste to it, with a slight bourbon taste, but not much.
M- Sticky thick mouth feel, not in a good way
D- Not great, and not sure what you would want to drink this with. To me drinkability is wanting to drink this beer with something to eat, or even drink on its one. Not so here.

I've had bourbon barrele beer before, and it was phenomenal. I've had other Widmer Brother's brews that were great. This one is simply average, and for the price, would not recommend, or buy again. Only reason I'm still drinking is I don't want to waste $10 worth of beer.

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 549 ratings.