Bourbon Barrel Warmer | Upland Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel WarmerBourbon Barrel Warmer

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged for 6-8 months in bourbon/whiskey barrels

2009: Pappy Van Winkle barrels
2010: Buffalo Trace barrels
2011: Wild Turkey barrels
2013: Willet barrels

Added by SirSketch on 05-02-2010

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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 129
Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one, Mark. Shared at the BABATT.

A: The pour is surprisingly clear amber/copper color with a short lived off-white head.

S: The nose certainly lets you know this one is barrel aged. Bourbon and vanilla start things off. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar follow. There's a bit of cardboard/oxidation going on too.

T: Surprisingly light in flavor for a -bal aged barleywine. Again, sweet vanilla and bourbon along with the typical brown sugar and caramel flavors of the style. A bit of warming alcohol is present as well.

M: The body is certainly on the thin side with a fairly lively carbonation to it.

D: Not at all bad, but not a homerun either (maybe a long single). I didn't find it bad, just sort of uninteresting.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.43/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a clear, caramelly color with a light foam cap.

S: Light aroma of bourbon and nuts. I pick up elements of toffee, vanilla, and toast. It's not very pungent, but the range is nice.

T: Bourbon, nuts, small elements of grape, toast, and brown sugar. Nothing offensive, but nothing outstanding, either. It nails everything I'd expect in a barrel-aged barleywine, though the flavors aren't very pronounced.

M: It's thin-medium bodied, with a watery finish. The flavor falls off surprisingly fast.

D: I know I'm in a minority here, but I thought Perfect Storm was barrel-dominated and sweet. I think this beer falls far below that one, and so I can't give it anything higher than a C. I suppose I'd have it again, but I wouldn't seek it out. This was one of the first dumped bottles of the evening. No one cared to drink it.

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Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Womencantsail shared this one. Thanks, Andrew.

Hazy light amber with a reddish hue. A finger of foam rises and quickly recedes.

Caramel and brown sugar are evident on the nose. Integrated bourbon, light alcohol, berry preserves. It's pretty light for the style, and there isn't much to it.

Toasted malt, brown sugar, berry-like fruitiness. Grainy, a little alcohol, though it's mellow overall. The body is pretty thin, and the flavor profile a bit simplistic, though it does nail the key notes of the style.

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Photo of dontcostnuthin
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes- 10/11
Thanks to Kstrickler for the bottle

Beer pours a garnet color and fills my duvel tulip. I get about one inch of head which dissipates quickly. A little clingy lace is left after each sip.

My nose is greeted with the smells of sweet toffee, vanilla and dark cherries. Bourbon is certainly present but by no means overwhelming.

Sweet rich taste with cheeries and vanilla. There is also oak and smoky notes as a result of the barrel aging, but it is very well integrated. Certainly would qualify it a bourbon bomb. Reemphasize that this is a sweet malty slow sipper of a beer. Alcohol pretty well hidden for a high abv brew.

Drinkability and mouthfeel were slightly disappointing. My bottle had very little carbonation to balance out the heaviness and sweetness, which became bit cloying and overwhelming by the end. A 12oz pour would be more than enough for me. Would certainly try again, but would take a bomber myself.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

another night of epic tastings before i have to take a forced long break. i decided to go with six more new beers last night and had a really fun time with them. served in pint glass and consumed on 11/05/2010.

really enjoyed this one as it was not at all what i was expecting as it pours a wonderfully clear ruby color with a nice head of about an inch in height that settled down slowly and left a decent amount of lacing all along the sides of the glass.

aroma of deep vanilla and coconut, a rich balance of oak and warming alcohol notes welcomes me into its wonderful grip. really a wonderfully complex and sublime mixture of scents here. light feel was a little bit of a distraction as opposed to the big barrel aged beers i am used to. moving along though the sweet vanilla, coconut, maple flavors set this apart from anything else i have had in a long time! smooth and warming only evens it out even more, it was just sublimely drinkable and really just a wonderful way to end a night.

overall near perfection and a great offering overall.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. Thanks to HosP for this generous extra!

A: Pours a clear dark ruby with a thick light brown head that faded rather quickly into a fuzzy film leaving a sheet of very sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of rich dark fruits, black cherries, vanilla, coconut and musty wood. Whiffs of bourbon and maybe currants and bready dough come through on the back end. Rich fruity vanilla and coconut dominate. Very good smelling.
T: Follows the nose with delicious flavors of vanilla, oak and dark cherries. A bit more bourbon comes through, especially in the finish and aftertaste. The aftertaste is sweet with just enough spicy hops to make things interesting. Very caramely and fruity, almost vinous.
M: Silky smooth with a medium-full body and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol and bourbon are very well integrated and never hot or overpowering.
D: Extremely easy and dangerous to drink. My two friends and I were very impressed with this bottle. I love the coconut-vanilla scents and flavors that are soaked into this one. Thanks again Mark for the great brew!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am splitting a 22 oz bomber with Stopper, the bottle is part of my winnings from the EPL league last season.
Pouring into a snifter at cellar temp the beer pours a rich mahogany hue with some light fluffy beige head foaming up about 1 cm and fading gradually to an edge layer.
The aroma is all malt, anticipated for an English b-wine. I get caramel and brown sugar with bourbon and vanilla hits as well, not cloying sweet but I dont find any hops in the nose.
First sip reveals a smooth textured fairly hefty bodied brew with average tingly carbonation. The flavor is as the nose advertises with caramel and brown sugar but mostly sweet bourbon notes and brief hits of vanilla. The hops dont show up anywhere and the alcohol is EXTREMELY well hidden for 9.0%. I think this beer could be in the category of dangerously drinkable!
I really enjoyed this one and wish I had a few more as I think this beer would be outstanding on a cold evening in front of the fire place. To be honest I would drink this one almost anywhere, very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of crusian
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from... crap, cant remember, if you sent me this, please let me know and I will update my review. too many trades recently.

anyway... pours a burnt amber color with a few centimeters head into my scotch glass... looks perfect! not too much not too little. bottle is dated April '10.

smells bourbony, but not overly so. smells like a weak bourbon, no hops, no malt no anything except diluted bourbon. it is really pleasant. There are hints of caramel in there, with a hint of sour... just a tiny hint of sour... I dont know if this will hold up in a cellar with that on the nose. I suggest drinking this soon if you have one.

bourbon is the first thing on the palate. honestly, not much more. it tastes well aged, very smooth, but bourbon is about the only thing there. dont get me wrong, this is nice. I like sipping on a good bourbon, and thats what this tastes like, a nice carbonated bourbon. alcohol is covered very well, not too strong... I get some brown sugar and caramel in there as well.

anyway, not sure this is a barleywine, but it is pretty good. Grab one if you see it.

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Photo of Lukafer
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber red with about two fingers of reddish-tan head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Smells are dark fruits, raisins, bourbon, some alcohol. I taste sweet caramel malts, a touch of vanilla, oak, bourbon, it's nicely balanced and the alcohol didn't come in until the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, not overly sticky like a lot of barleywines, right in the middle. Drinkability is pretty good as this isn't overly sweet or bourbony. It's a pretty solid beer and with a little tweaking I think they could make this one an extremely good beer.

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Photo of aasher
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. This offering from Upland poured a very smooth and murky, muddied cloudy medium to dark brown. It's almost caramel in color. It had a slight white head to it, which laced the glass. The smell was a very intricate collaboration of bourbon, malty sweetness, alcohol, and candied fruit. The taste echoed the aromas. It was very sweet with hints of vanilla and featured a moderate amount of bourbon barrel at the same time. It left a bready taste in my mouth, almost like a raisin bread or perhaps something with figs. It was well carbonated and crisp. It was delicious. I can't wait to see what this one matures into in a couple years. I'd recommend trying it.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hard pour yields an ivory head of dense froth that wants to hang around for a while. Clearish dark ambery red color.

Malty nose of grain with some bourbon caramel and vanilla. Kind of woody with some light spice depth. Overall not a strong smell, very pleasant, but a bit weak.

Taste is interesting. A little bitter at first, very weak as a barleywine, losing much of it's malty bigness in the barrel aging. Bourbon comes across buttery and woody with some nice oak and a little vanilla. A little leathery, but also a tinge salty, which really doesn't help. Leaves a very pleasant sweetness on the lips.

Mouthfeel is medium, almost light. Carbonation is weak, and there's not much body to speak of for a barleywine, seemingly not enough to make up for one to be aged in bourbon barrels.

It's tasty and drinkable, but not highly so. Interesting overall beer. Good for a try, and admittedly I'm liking it more as I go, but not one I feel like I need to have again.

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Photo of wchesak
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Spiegelau Tulip....thanks to robwestcott

A - amber brown in color, not a lot of off white head with random sized bubbles, left some circular lacing

S - almost like a toned down Raison de Extra from DFH, with some port, vanilla, and oak notes, smell the bourbon only in the heat

T - deep dark caramel then some dark fruit, slight tinge of hop dryness at the end, bourbon is there but never takes a leading roll, a bit of it felt in the chest

M - lighter bodied than expected for a barleywine, almost like a thick, toned down hoppness English IPA, rather smooth though and above average carbonation

D - enjoyed this greatly, however i do prefer if a beer is gonna be bourbon barrel aged that the bourbon comes through more

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish-orange color with a white head. The aroma is bourbon, brown sugar and oak. The flavor is dark fruit - mainly cherries - as well as toasted coconut, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a golden / dark brown from a bomber to a dogfish head signature glass with a 1/2 finger light tan head that left spotty lacing.

nice strong caramel, bourbon nose that lasted throughout. very smooth, somewhat thick and bourbon forward. initially felt a little more carbonation than i expected, but it didn't distract much.

very mild, not excessively 'boozy', yet very warm on its way down. super malty, no hint of bitter hops.

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Photo of khumbard
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newly released bottle. Pours a deep ruby color with a small head. Appears very clear. Nose is full of bourbon, followed by some malty sweetness. Taste is very bourbon forward, which I like. Also some malty sweetness followed with a small amount of bitterness and booze. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still pretty solid. I like a little more thickness from a big barleywine though. Drinkability suffers a little from the strong bourbon presence, but I had no trouble with the bomber. Very nice job from my hometown brewery. Definitely a strong improvement over the regular Warmer.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, translucent auburn color. The head is very light, fluffy and beige in color.

S - Huge bourbon character similar to their Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Stout. Some raisin character and a scotch ale-like maltiness.

T - Vanilla and oaky bourbon flavor dominat the tastebuds. Very sweet and undoubtedly boozy. A bit harsh actually. Ends pretty bitter.

M/D - Medium to full mouth with a sticky feel. An improvement on their regular Winter Warmer, in my opinion.

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Bourbon Barrel Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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