Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter
Innis & Gunn

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel PorterInnis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter
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Porter - English
Ranked #186
Ranked #31,942
3.74 | pDev: 7.75%
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom
Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel PorterInnis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 37 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mister_Faucher
Mister_Faucher from Washington

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Four pack of 330ml bottles picked up at Total Wine in Lynnwood, Washington.
No dating. Poured in to a pint glass.

Look- Slightly hazy dark mahogany/cola color, nice light khaki head that recedes fairly quickly to a thin cap, a fair amount of lacing. Light carbonation streaming as it sits.

Smell- Rich toast and caramel type malt, brown sugar, dates and raisins, chocolate and vanilla, light roasted coffee and nuttiness, light bourbon and spice notes.

Taste- Follows the nose well, fairly sweet with a bit of tangy cherry cola and citrus type finish.

Feel- Medium/light bodied, smooth with a lightly bitter finish, nicely balanced. Moderate carbonation on the tongue.

O- Interesting take on a porter, maybe I'm just used to American porters though. Worth checking out if you see it.

Feb 01, 2020
Photo of Gordono
Gordono from Nevada

3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black. Dark but thin head that disappears quickly. I smell the bourbon, which also comes through nicely in the flavor. Dry finish, slight bitter after taste but not unpleasant, subtle reminiscent the bourbon. A nice very beer.

Jan 05, 2020
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with a purple pry-off crown cap nabbed at Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie, LA for $2.40 USD plus tax. Best before: March 2020.

I've liked the two Innis & Gunn beers I tried (albeit 10 years ago), so I'm excited to try this.

7.4% ABV. "Barrel aged" "bourbon barrel porter." Label mentions Kentucky and Tennessee bourbon barrels but there is no age statement or bourbon specified.

APPEARANCE: Typical porter...opaque body with an off-white head. Head retention is nice - ~8 minutes.

AROMA: Baker's chocolate, cocoa powder, dark malt sweetness, and very very faint bourbon barrel notes - vanillin, barrel rich white virgin oak or coconut (or orange, which the label claims is in there).

Suggests an enjoyable albeit basic porter with barely noticeable bourbon barrel notes...this seems more marketing than execution with respect to the bourbon barrel.

Aromatic intensity is quite low for the style/premise; this is a remarkably timid bourbon barrel aged beer.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, wet, and coating, with a silky softness that accentuates the vanillin flavour nicely (a flavour that is far more present than the aroma suggested). Dark malt sweetness gives this its mellow backbone.

A biteen chewy. Well carbonated. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

The bourbon barrel is quite mellow to say the least, failing to bring any rich white oak, toasted coconut, or (as the label perplexingly indicates should be present) orange.

Yes, it's balanced, but the mediocrity of the bourbon barrel presence coupled with the very basic base beer makes it a bit underwhelming.

OVERALL: I do like it, but the contemporary beer landscape has far more worthwhile bourbon barrel porters. This is a very rudimentary execution of its premise, failing to stand out with either its bourbon barrel flavours or its base beer. A more robust base porter with more complexity is needed and I'd like to see them age this longer in more flavourful bourbon barrels (an age statement and bourbon brand callout would inspire consumer confidence, by the way).

I do really dig the creamy silky mouthfeel and the way that accentuates the vanillin from the bourbon, but the whole package just isn't up to par with the best porters...Ballast Point's Victory At Sea is more complex and Deschutes' Black Butte Porter is more robust (both are available in damn near every U.S. market this is for less per bottle).

Low B- (3.28) / WORTHY

Dec 15, 2019
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EmperorBevis from England

3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled and purchased in a cardboard four pack purchased from budget supermarket
Pours a dark brown body with big white foaming big head
Aroma is cocoa and whiskey
This is angry level whisky bourbon

Oct 09, 2019
Photo of animal69
animal69 from Louisiana

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown hue with amber tones and a thin off-white cap that lasts all the way down leaving little lacing
Smell is mostly toasted grain with hints of burnt sugar, dried plum and smokey wood, occasionally a touch of alcoholic bourbon pokes it head out
Flavor is about the same as smell, starts off a slick, minerally, slightly acrid dark toasted bready malt and dried fruit flavor drying out with a hint of smokey wood and not over the top whiskey notes in the finish
Mildly carbonated yet bubbly enough to support the dry light-med mouthfeel in this one, very slick yet not overpowering body
Overall for a "true" English porter this is one of the best I've ever had, i would recommend this to anyone searching for the best example of an English porter hands down

Aug 13, 2019
Photo of DonBowman
DonBowman from Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark beer with cream colored lace and light head. Moderate taste of bourbon but more of a woody taste. Good beer but not great for the variety it is.

May 24, 2019
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle. Revisited in September 2019.
Nicely balanced aroma with dark dried fruits and Scottish malts in the forefront.
Flavor: Lots of dried plums and raisins with whisky barrel (wood) and light whisky.
Feel: medium-full body with medium carbonation that is a bit too fizzy (bottle #1only) .

May 21, 2019
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CodyBasden from Texas

3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice and dark almost black with nearly Carmel thick head with good lacing and retention, a metallic smell no notes of really anything, super roasted barley taste with a slow taste of coffee, medium body high carbonation

Apr 20, 2019
Photo of Trailboss76
Trailboss76 from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer flirts with the edge of greatness but doesn't quite get there... still very, very nice overall. Quite a dark brown bordering on black. Thin, fairly quickly disappearing tan head. Not a great deal of aroma - what's there is a little nutty & sweet at the same time. Pleasant brown beer taste that's a little thin on the finish. The bourbon barrel action is very subtle but does throw that little complexity into the equation - I wouldn't have minded a little more of it. Strong showing overall. Decent as a stand-alone offering and I can see it paired up with anything from snacks to pizza to a host of other things - so "versatility" is an appropriate tag for this one.

Apr 15, 2019
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown in color with a small amount of light penetrating when held up to light. A fingernail of beige surrounds the rim and the vast majority of the top. The aroma is of toffee and caramel. I'm tasting caramel, a light smoke note, and there's a suggestion of bourbon in the finish. The mouth seems fairly smooth and lightly warm with alcohol.

Mar 03, 2019
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 9/2019. Pours crystal clear very dark ruby red/brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and brown bread; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, date, red apple, orange, smoke, wood char, leather, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and brown bread; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, date, red apple, orange, smoke, wood char, leather, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Mild herbal, grassy, roast bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, brown bread, light molasses/dark fruit, smoke, wood char, leather, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a nice roast/hop bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 7.4%. Overall this is a delicious English porter. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Great balance of nicely rich malts and barrel presence/integration; with mild fruity yeast and earthy hops against sweetness. Not a ton of barrel presence, but definitely adequate. A very enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

Jan 12, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep tawny color with a half finger lighter beige head that is gone pretty quickly,a rich looking pour.First whiffs I get is hard water wich is a bit odd,some caramel and faint bourbon underneath.Some what earthy and woody upfront on the palate,some mild caramel tinged with bourbon gives it some sweetness.A really a full bodied porter and the bourbon is a little understated,in saying that it's not horrible but pretty average.

Jan 05, 2019
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MesaDan from Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown amber hue, smooth lacy head, Sweet nose with whiskey vapor & vanilla note, carbonation is a bit sharp with a medium mouthfeel; deep malt roast, but not burnt with just an edge of whiskey noted; can't discern the chocolate they say is there & the orange is muted with the malt taste & whiskey background; finish is semi-dry as it lingers for a while.

Nov 15, 2018
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

2.64/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Bottle to sniffer.

Look: cola in color and initial head. Head fades and retention is poor.

Aroma: strong raw barley, strong whiskey,

Taste is barley, grape. Wood and tar in finish

Feel: thin for a porter. Astringent bite at end.

I kept lowering my numbers as I made my way through this one. It started around a 3.2 and fell well under 3.


Nov 09, 2018
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter has a very thick, beige head, a very dark red-brown appearance, and some glass lacing. Aroma is of rich, but not bold, malt, with syrup and dark bread crust. Taste is similar, with a shade of bourbon. Some minimal, balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter finishes sweet & mellow.


Aug 19, 2018
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Innis & Gunn Brewing Co. "Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter"
11.2 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, seemingly without production codes or freshness dating
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So this one is a new one for me, I don't believe I've ever had a Bourbon barrel aged porter before. I've had stouts, including Imperial stouts, but never a porter. It's poured a typical porter: very dark mahogany brown that appears almost but not quite black in the pint, with a creamy head of tan to top it off. The head retention doesn't seem that great though as it's already dropped quite a bit but I guess that's fairly common for barrel aged products as they get moved around so much. Head retention properties are limited so every time you foam it you're losing some. Anyway... I'm not getting a lot of Bourbon in the aroma but there's some, and some very nice chocolate-like maltiness. On to the flavor... unfortunately pretty similar. I was expecting more, or at least hoping for it. It's fuller of course, but the Bourbon is limited, and there's not much more to the porter base either, just a hint of caramel and standard grain. I'm getting a nice note of orange though, that's pleasant; and it's nicely balanced across the board. I don't think it's that bitter though, there's just enough to balance it. There's a hint of vanilla as well but I'm missing oak. I'm not finding anything that I can clearly say is "oak", neither aroma nor flavor nor dryness. Meh. It's OK, but not as good as their other beers. In the mouth it's medium to medium-light in body and soft and smooth with a moderate carbonation. Ahh, that's probably part of the reason the head fell so quickly. I can take that trade-off, smoothness for head retention, but in this case it just seems a little too low and it leaves it dull. I wish there was more to it all around but as a basic porter with a little bit of extra thrown in it's OK. Worth trying I guess, just to see.
Review# 6,143

Jul 17, 2018
Innis & Gunn Bourbon Barrel Porter from Innis & Gunn
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 37 ratings