Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Big Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration Ale | Shoreline Brewery And Restaurant

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Big Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration AleBig Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration Ale
63 Ratings
Big Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration AleBig Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration Ale

Brewed by:
Shoreline Brewery And Restaurant
Indiana, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hoppymeal on 08-18-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by CrellMoset:
Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL red waxed bottle courtesy of pittsburghkid66 - thanks! Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter. 2007 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a rusty, mahogany hued body, filtered and transparent when held to extreme light, but opaque enough when full by virtue of the depth of its color. An intense pour yields a very slow rising head, with millions of fast furious bubbles rising slowly like cola bubbles towards an equally fast fading head. An equilibrium is achieved at first, but for no more than sixty seconds - creation, destruction, rising, falling, cresting, breaking, until after thirty or so seconds it calms, still, relaxed. There's very little side lacing of which to speak, nor is there much of a lacing presence on the surface, though that's to be expected - 13% abv definitely leaves a path of destruction in its wake.

Aroma: Hot and a little harsh in the nose, in a spicy, chemical-y way at points. It seems to hit a particularly nasty point midway between chilled and room temperature, which is nice in a way (all things must pass), though the esters and wafts of alcohol notes are present at most points during the experience. Perhaps this beer's weakest aspect, though honestly not all that terrible given the age and abv%, this one showcases an interesting array of dark malt notes (mostly smack in the middle of the spectrum), a few fruity notes (apricots, prunes, and cherries), faint oxidation, tons of vanilla, and a few wafts of bourbon.

Taste: Toffee ahoy. A huge, fat toffeebomb, this one's definitely mellowed out in to a fantastic malty treat. It's still fairly sweet, with the sweetness perhaps intensified relatively vis a vis the faded hops, though there's plenty of crisp, attenuated, toasty dryness. From caramel and honey to the aforementioned fat toffee to hints of butterscotch (diacetyl is beginning to sneak through around the edges on this one, fairly intensely at points, and particularly as it warms) to toast and faint cocoa, just at the tips, really. It's thick and creamy, intensifying the malts excellently. Thick tropical fruits mingle with the free sugars nicely, pineapple and stone fruits, cherries and raisins. One of the most intense flavors around is vanilla, courtesy of the barrels. It far outshines (at least, relative to what you normally get) the bourbon, itself spicy, only faintly warm, and very earthy, as well as a few hints of coconut and oak. The hops interplay well with the fruit notes, adding a little bit of levity to the dark/stone fruit presence, though there isn't much here in the way of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A thick, fat, flat(-ish) beer with a slick, oily kick to it that makes for something that's a little slippery, but that slides down easy despite its heavy, borderline-cloying nature. The carbonation on this one is subtle - it seems to explode early, as noted above - and I'm sure at one point it was more intense than this. That being said, it's not terrible now, and the oilyness and the slickness does a lot to prevent it from being syrupy.

Drinkability: A mixed bag, this one. It's not so much about the bourbon at this point - even as it warms, the bourbon is only, maybe, 10% of the flavor/aroma components here. There are a ton of barrel notes wafting around, particularly vanilla, though this one really does taste like it might have at one point been a strong, feisty, bourbon-y, hoppy barleywine ... and is now just a malty, faded, oak bomb. That's not a bad thing (plenty of people like their malty oak bombs), but it is something to note going in to it. The 13% isn't hidden, and that is here more of a negative than it is in other 13% beers of this heft - that is, the 13% comes across as boozy, chemically, abrasive, though not hot. Some people like bourbon in their barleywines/RISs (count me as one of 'em) - this one had very little of that presence, and a lot of what I wasn't after. All that being said, it was good to see this one holding up after nearly four years of cellar treatment, and I think what was here a year or two ago would have been excellent. Crack 'em now if you got 'em - they ain't on the incline.

 4,109 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap last night at the brewery.

A- Poured a golden orange color with some amber highlights. One finger off white head shows low retention which I understand from the higher ABV. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet malts in the front of this. Lots of brown sugar and caramel malts. Light toffee note from time to time with darker candied fruits. Backend of the nose is sweet sugary bourbon notes if that makes sense.

T- Sweet caramel malts in the front of this blends well with a light darker fruit like presence. Light plum and raisin notes mesh with a light woody tone. There is a lot of alcohol in the backend of the beer and it shows in the heat and medicinal taste in the ending. Light bourbon tone also in the ending but gets overtaken from the medicinal alcohol taste.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Light caramel malts and oaky notes left on the palate. Bourbon and alcohol in the aftertaste. Big drying on the palate from alcohol. Flavors were blended well but a little age will help with the heat.

D- On tap this beer needs a little time to age. The ABV is very in your face with this beer on the backend. Almost like doing a shot at times. It overall grows on you and this kind of calms it down. I would like to drink this from a aged bottle to get what the overall flavor is going to be like.

 1,366 characters

Photo of tourdot
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, 750 ml yellow wax capped bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch light tan head that fizzled away quickly. Not much lacing at all. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, caramel, brown sugar and wood. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some raisin, nuts and molasses noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. This brew just got better and better the longer I drank it, I think it's a good barleywine. Kinda pricey at $21.99 a bottle, but I was glad I got to try this one.

 606 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Footbalm brew.. Eric always throws down.. this one was very unexpected... Thanks Eric!!

Pours deep amber with a healthy off white head.. good retention and lacing.

Nose shows thick caramel and vanilla.. the bourbon is not really present as a whole, but scattered among the traditional BW aromas.. boozy, but not that bad.

Flavor is a big barrel presence with good caramel and more than a little oxidation.... some lite cardboard has snuck into the mix.. the hops are gone and left behind are shards of vanilla candy and oaky remnants.

Expected thick body.... carbonation seems a tad light.. Too bad.. this bottle shows all the bones of a great barleywine, but age grabbed it too soon.

Cool Eric.. nice bottle, but just not for me I guess... I bet this was fantastic fresh.


 801 characters

Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of teamwiggum
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TerryB
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of bespin15
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage. Big thanks to Rempo who sent this ages ago.

3.0 A: Opaque purplish black color. Just a tiny, tiny frothy beige head despite an aggressive pour. I'll give this a bit of a break since it's four years old, but there still should be more carbonation in this.

4.0 S: Nice nose on this. The bourbon is leathery and earthy with hints of peat. There's hints of astringency among the oak and vanilla. The barleywine gives lots of plum and prune and caramel and toffee to a much lesser extent. Molasses and brown sugar. This is almost unique in how earthy it is. Booze is nonexistent. A touch of oxidation, but just a touch.

4.0 T: A lot more caramel and toffee than the nose suggests. Plum, prune, and black currant fruitiness. Molasses, brown sugar, roastiness. Leather, peat, and earth from the bourbon. Good amounts of vanilla and oak. There's a bit of booziness in here, but not nearly as hot as I'd expect a 13% brew to be. A touch of chocolate and even a light vinous note. Sweet overall. Interesting and not bad.

4.5 M: Heavier body. Surpringly, there is enough carbonation in this. In fact, it's an ideal amount. Creamy without being chewy. Good here.

4.5 D: A couple categories could have been a half point higher, so a 4.5 here. This is both sweet and earthy, which apparently works fairly well in a barrel aged barleywine. Solid all around. Easily the best of what I've had of the series so far.

 1,439 characters

Photo of RodneySeeley
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lefty418
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was gifted this for my birthday in April but I waited for the perfect time to open it. Last night was the perfect time. When it was open it smelled delicious. It poured beautifully in my tulip. The taste was amazing and just what I had hoped for....barrel aged deliciousness. This was perhaps the best birthday gift I've ever recieved.

 342 characters

Photo of Shanin
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of lightindarkness
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black waxed 750mL bottle, 2008.

Hard pour yields a strong ivory cascading head over deep coppery amber body. Nose of earthy bourbon notes, some dark soft fruits and green wood. Pear and brown sugar.

Taste is initially soft and delicate with pear and light grains, but quickly intensifies into hot bourbon notes over strong barleywine flavors of tightly packed warm grain. Nice mix of depth and up-front flavors. Moments of sweet mixed with bitterness and a deep richness under it all. Bitter bite and hot on alcohol, but quite tasty.

Full and round on the palate, not quite syrupy, but definitely sticks. Overall very very tasty and well worth the try.

 657 characters

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ptwnblr for this 2008 vintage. Been hanging on to it for a while, and finally got around to cracking it.

Pours an awesome head surprisingly, fizzy and fluffy white about 1 finger head that fades super slowly with nice lacing, super dark molasses brown colored beer.

The nose brings dark malts, Belgian like, bottle conditioning, lots of dark fruits, brandy soaked raisins, fig, plum, date, etc, cinnamon, hint of cocoa, nougat, cognac, light barrel and bourbon aromas, quite malty, with a hint of booze.

Taste starts a bit sweet, malty with molasses, caramel, hint of chocolate, etc. Then fruits, fig, date, brandy soaked raisins, cereal flavors, fairly sweet with a bit of warming and tingly booze kick. Fluffy nougat, malty, light toasty oak barrel flavor, and a bit of whisky. Finish comes with more fig, candied raisin, molasses, fairly sweet still and out comes a fairly bitter kick of earthy spicy hops.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, good carb, bit of warming and tingly booze.

Overall nice, good dark malts, decent bitter finish even after 4 years, nice whisky and barrel additions, bit of booze but still drinkable for 13%!, and lots of great fruits, and a great beer all around.

 1,206 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of sweemzander
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Mark for hooking me up with this one.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin layer of off-white head.

S: A noticeable oxidation to the nose lends the beer a chocolate aroma which goes nicely with the sweet caramel, brown sugar, and molasses notes. A hint of fruits and bourbon.

T: This is definitely a sweet beer with plenty of caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, chocolate, and vanilla flavors bombarding the palate. A hint of bourbon flavor and oak round things out.

M: The carbonation is quite low, but this is appropriate for the style. A medium body (maybe on the thin side for a barleywine).

D: As far as barleywines and 13% beers goes, this one is quite easy to drink and very enjoyable at that. Three of us took down the bottle without a problem.

 781 characters

Photo of zrab11
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikeincharleston
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of gpulam
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Not the biggest fan of barley wine, but this is better than what I was expecting.

2011 vintage. Taste is less intense than the very pleasant bourbon and oak aroma it produces, a good sipper. Small amounts of brown sugar and bourbon notes give way to the oak/wood and vanilla, with a slightly boozy heat. Not the thickest of bodies, more of a caramel color, which suits the flavor profile by not being too aggressive. Pleasant.

Price is a little steep ($22 for a bomber) but it's definitely a good quality drink for bourbon-aged fans.

 537 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Bourbon Series Discombobulation Celebration Ale from Shoreline Brewery And Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 63 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.