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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 Buckmaister
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
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
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
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
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
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
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
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
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
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
2.45/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Really nice clear looking golden reddish copper color. Really nice looking beer. Minimal white head with no lacing.

S: Lots of sweetness in the nose. The more it warmed up the more the bourbon came out. Tons of bourbon. It kind of overwhelmed everything else going on in the beer.

T: Lots of sweetness up front even with quite a bit of bourbon. For the ABV there really is not the complexity of flavor that I need to justify the amount of alcohol.

M: Little bit sticky. Nice full mouthfeel.

D: The base beer was just not complex or big enough to handle the barrel. Just because you can throw a beer in a barrel does not mean you should.

Photo of djbreezy
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Widmer Gasthaus in Portland, OR.

appearance - sticky lacing, good retention, big head, dark cherry in color, no transparency

smell - bourbon, sweetness, alcohol, wood

taste - caramel/toffee base, notes of wood, big bourbon alcohol all around, hops

mouthfeel - medium body, light for a 9.4 abv, some foaminess/medium carbonation

drinkability - moderate complexity, a decent sipping brew, would likely age well

Photo of champ103
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy amber/reddish color. A one finger white head forms at first, and recedes in a second. No lace to speak of.
S: Plenty of burning right of the bat. Some harsh nondescript whiskey, alcohol. Sweet malt, maybe some hops, and light vanilla.
T: Sweet malt, fusel alcohol, vanilla. Not much going on.
M/D: A much lighter body than I was expecting. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Though it is just to thin. To much fusel alcohol, and nothing else to keep me interested.

A disappointment. No nuance, nothing is incorporated well, and just not very interesting. Widmer just jumped on the barrel aged band wagon here without any thought of the end product. I would not recommended this.

Photo of beertunes
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into 16oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear amber, with just a thin cap of off-white head that had low retention and minimal lacing.

There was some bourbon notes upfront in the aroma, with mere traces of malt and hops behind it. The flavor was equally meh. The barrel gives it the dominant bourbon taste, but otherwise this is just kinda OK.

The body was a bit too thin. Drinkability was OK, but I don't think I'll want more than this one 22. Overall, not a "bad" beer, just a boring one. Try it if you want, but I think your time will be better spent elsewhere.

Photo of DaveHS
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours the color of dark stained wood. Almost no lacing.

S-Light on the oak, some fresh, bright fruit notes.

T/M-The barrel is light on this one, allowing the traditional winter warmer flavor profile to come through. Not much bourbon character, but some new American oak character. Nothing special. The finish tapers off into light bittering hops, which cuts off any sweetness that might serve to bring out the bourbon character.

D-Okay, but not worth going out of your way for.

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

22 oz. Clear amber pour, just a whisp of white head. Quite a few bubbles throughout though.

Rum cake and booze, some malt and caramel. Vanilla, barrel in there as well.

Caramel, toffee, oak and smidge of vanilla. Just a bit too boozy throughout. Finishes with some vanilla.

More carbonated than the appearance would lead, plus the rather high warmth of it, make it fairly average in drinkability. If this were knocked down a bit in abv, I think it would shine a bit more.

Worth a try though.

Photo of billab914
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured caramel brown in color with a thin, white, sticky, transparent head barely covering the top. The head concentrated around the edges of the glass where it did leave some nice lacing.

The aroma shows mostly the bourbon and barrel characteristics with the bourbon alcohol, oak wood and some vanilla flavors all coming through. A bit of the beers maltiness and spices come through, but they are pretty well hidden behind the barrel flavors.

The taste is similar to the nose with the barrel flavors dominating. It had some great vanilla and oak notes to it. They were very pronounced but also pretty smooth. The bourbon plays a big role but is pretty smooth and not that hot for how much it comes through. Like the nose just a bit of the beers malty and spicy flavors come through the barrel flavors. The taste is really all about the barrel in this one.

The mouthfeel is heavy and pretty silky smooth. Carbonation is moderate, and perhaps a little high overall. Drinkability isn't bad, it really had some good bourbon and barrel flavors that were surprisingly smooth. What it didn't have though is depth. The base beer just didn't bring enough to table to add much to the barrel flavors. It was a decent drink on this cold evening, but not a great one.

Photo of JLeege
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance- Pours a clear deep amber with a 2 finger slightly off white head. Decent lacing.

Smell- Actually smells fairly hoppy. Some caramel and sweet malt undertones. Oak and vanilla.

Taste- Subtle bourbon notes, vanilla, caramel. Some subtle hops. There is also something I am having trouble putting my finger on, it may be coconut!?!?

Mouthfeel- Light and crisp, sort of cola like

Overall- Alcohol is hid well. This is not bad, it is very thin in the body, thats the only real knock on this beer. Could be thicker, have another bottle to age, in about a year we will see whats up.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ken's bottle. Nice drinkability. Corny bourbon aroma. Yellow body lagerishg look with carbonation bubbles and big soapy head. Orangey oil. Herbal, orange flavours surprisingly. Bourbon in secondary. maybe some vanilla and sugar.Booze felt, but not predominant.

Photo of DanOLeary
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Fresh white oak, if there is such a thing. I say fresh and white because the wood character comes off the top edgy and young. Second to the oak you'll find Bourbon notes and alcohol, with the Bourbon slightly winning over. No hop aroma, little to no malt in the nose either. There is an underlying 'rust' aroma, and I don't mean to imply Metallic. Simply an earthy blend of wood and alcohol.

Appearance: The lightest brown to mahogany red with crystal clarity. Head is but a trace of an off-white ring at the edge of the glass. Touches of lacing here and there.

Flavor: Sweet toasted bread malt with the expected wooded bourbon quickly following up the malt. These two flavors dominate the palate, while black pepper, some clove and all-spice blend into the mix. Finish is biting from the bourbon, but the malt sweetness hangs on.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation. The carbonation is similar to cask conditioned ales, with only the slightest presence. 9.4% Alcohol hits the back of the throat in the finish

Overall: There is a welcoming Winter Brew character to this beer that fits the season nicely. The Bourbon oak aroma is like sticking your nose in a freshly toasted oak barrel. Typically I find oak aged beers have a deeper wood presence, but the barrel aging here tells of youthful oak. Personally I enjoy the change, but some will find the wood to be too 'green' I imagine.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.65/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cold and rainy, so what's better than this, right (ok a bunch of things, but you get the point)...

Pours a ruddy amber with a quickly-disappearing finger of soapy head. This settles into a rim of persistent bubbles and leaves very little lacing. Very little carbonation. Nose sure does carry bourbon whiskey, that's for certain. It's very nice...A certain sweetness in the nose too, so I suspect this'll be very alcoholic (9.4% ABV actually) and probably bitter. Flavor is characterized by bourbon, malt and brown sugar. Extremely robust. Most will not be able to handle it. It's like Jack Daniels fell on top of a keg of beer and it exploded into your face...The two flavors seem to compete more than they mesh. One moment, it's like a nice barleywine, the next like a glass of JD.These two flavors wrestle with each other until the finish, which is heavily whiskey-soaked, and bitter from some hops and alcohol. This is a big beer for big beer lovers. If I had to attach this beer to a popular Internetz girl, I'd equate it to Jordan (fka Katie Price) - enormous upfront, but it's more nuture than nature, if you get the drift, and it's kind of a mess. Insanely expensive at $10.99/bomber.

What I like most: The bourbon soaked aroma.

What I like least: the price and competeing flavor profile.

Verdict: crazy, alcoholic and fun (like Jordan) but not worth it.

Photo of GregSVT
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a murky amber with a nice light tan head that fades to a small layer leaving a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is sweet caramel, oak, and malt with a tiny bit of hops in the background.

T: Starts off with a huge wave of caramel which develops into a sweet vanilla and bready malt backbone with the smallest tinge of hops to balance things out on the finish. This reminds me of beers like Nemesis 2009 and Insanity...sweet but not cloying.

M: The feel is creamy and medium-full bodied. Not overly carbonated and not flat...just right.

D: The alcohol is hidden well for a 9% beer and I wouldn't hesitate to have this again.

Don't let the bad reviews fool you...this actually a well done barrel aged beer if you like things like Nemesis 2009 and Weyerbacher Insanity.

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