The Colonel - Barrel-Aged "Wild" Porter | Cambridge Brewing Company

very good
15 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This wild, slightly sour porter has been aged forover two years in American oak bourbon barrels.
These barrels are home to various strains of Brettanomyces from previous batches - wild yeasts often found in aged beer. The “brett” contributes notes of fruitiness (dried cherries, cranberries), farmhouse-y funk, and acidity. This aged-and-blended strong porter pays homage to Colonel Albert Blanton, founder of the Buffalo Trace distillery, and is our modern interpretation of the ‘entire’ original porter-style
beers of the nineteenth century. While the contribution of bourbon flavors is slight, the wood itself has contributed smoothness with notes of vanilla and charred oak rounding out the beer’s complex flavors of berry, roast, and caramel. Its well-attenuated body and acidity remind you that this beer makes no attempt to fit in with modern times.

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 04-18-2009

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 54
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours dark. Minimal light penetration. Tan head pops away to nearly nothing.

S-Complex aroma. Lightly sour. Bourbon notes are slight but noticeable. Decent mixture of cocoa and roast and a big Bretty component.

T-Flavor brings more of the beer's base. Porter flavors of roast and powdery chocolate. Then the Brett and tartness kick in. I enjoyed how the okay bourbon rounds out the flavors.

M-Fuller bodied. A bit boozy. Feel is creamy. Moderate carbonation.

O/D-A neat beer. Really experimental. Some tartness and bourbon blended into a Porter.

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Photo of Jakk
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap

A: Dark, slick black

S: Heavy acidic vinegar, with a fair amount of bourbonesque oak and alcohol

T: Heavy initial yeasty attack, with a strong flavor I can only identify as Brettanomyces- tarty, and funky. Finishes nicely into a strong oak/vanilla bourbon flavor.

M: A bit more carbonated and lighter than I was expecting.

O: This is a fantastic beer, and one of the most interesting I've had in a while. The yeast and bourbon characteristics blended better than I was expecting, and it's lighter-than-expected mouthfeel made it quite drinkable.

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Photo of Damian
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA
Served in a fluted glass

The beer poured an absolute pitch black and looked silky and shimmery in the glass. A small crop of khaki colored froth topped the liquid. The head soon dissipated and fell to a lasting ring of foam.

The nose was incredibly unique and complex. Strong wild ale-like characteristics. Lots of balsamic vinegar and sour cherries notes. Good dose of acetic acid. Tart yet semi-sweet. Hints of oak. A touch of roasted malts came through as well.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose, except perhaps it integrated more porter-like qualities. Tart, semi-sweet, balsamic vinegar-like notes melded with roasted malts on the front end. Sour cherries, black currents and raspberries came through in the center. Lots of oak and red wine character. The finish was a bit disappointing. It was quite tannic and woody with slight metallic and bitter notes.

The beer was medium bodied with a crisp, spritzy effervescence. Somewhat thin for a porter, yet acceptable for a wild ale. The carbonation died down as the beer sat, leaving the liquid feeling a bit flaccid.

Cambridge Brewing's "Wild" Porter was one of the most exciting and memorable beers I have tried in quite a while. While the wild ale qualities definitely outshone those of the porter, the flavors melded seamlessly. If you are a fan of creative wild ales, you should definitely seek this out.

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Photo of cbutova
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Phone notes from last night:

A- Black in a flute like glass. Small off white tan head forms to a thin layer without much retention. Small foamy ring leaves a few lace pieces but not much.

S- Tart Brett cherries off the top. Some nice vanilla and smoothed out oak hints open up. Roast grains round it out.

T- Complex and interesting here. A lot going on but for the most part it is complimentary and makes each sip bring a new feel. The slight funk and tart fruits open it up and are followed by some whiskey and the porter malts. Pepper, smooth oak, raisin, grape as well. Tart fruit flavors build with time as the whiskey fades. Some acetic toward the end.

MF- Dried out lighter end body with silky moderate carbonation. A good creamy feel for a wild. Tart feel builds with time but never reaches a puckering level.

The Brett cherry tarts build with each sip but the vanilla oak and roast malts keep it in check. Seems like CBC really has their act together with sours. Very interesting beer. Whiskey comes and goes, seems like a new beer each swig.

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Photo of Tschnab
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- a very dark pour with a slightly ruby tint on the edges when held to light. The head does not stick around long.

S- tart cherries and red wine vinegar, very faint suggestion of dark chocolate and oak

T- the initial taste is more on the wild/sour side with vinegar and tart cherries on the forefront, but that is immediately mellowed by a mildly toasty and oaky dry finish presumably from the barrel. As the beer warms the tart cherry flavor really opens up.

O- yet another innovative and well-crafted barrel-aged beer from CBC. A great spin on the porter style which brings great balance, although even more porter character would have been nice.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at CBC

Dark black pour, with a wispy off-white head that completely disappeared after a minute or two. Strange aroma, roasty and yeasty, and actually reminded me of the monster flesh from my Mad Scientist Monster Lab I had when I was a kid (one of my favorite toys). But nostalgia aside... In the taste, a good mix of Brett tartness and dark malt roast, cocoa, notes of pine and booze, though nothing really resembling bourbon. Body was about medium. Overall a tasty and interesting brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.61/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Pour yields a very, very dark brew with a thin tan head and a bit of lacing as it moves down the glass. The nose is really quite off. There is the bit of earth and lightly-puckering sourness, but behind that there is some cardboard oxidation and a bit of a spruce character. Very strange. This comes through even more in the flavor and puts the Brett and porter notes in the background. Feel is oxidized with a bit of sourness and moderate carbonation. This seems like it could have been good, but something was off in what I had.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tulip glass.

The color was a dark black and was almost completely opaque except for a glimmer of maroon when the light hit it right. A slight brownish head with some little lacing.

The smell was a little roasty but a bit funky at the same time. some interesting coffee flavor in the nose.

The taste was really something else. My mind was expected some thing with a deep roasted malt flavor and I got a real interesting sour flavor that I was not expecting from a dark beer such as this. There was a bit of a creamy flavor that seemed to mix into the sour flavor well and get lost within it then be found again.

I have had a limited number of brett beers but this is really an interesting beer. It had a good body and went down smooth with good sourness to it. It was pretty drinkable and had a bit of a creamy feel. Very good.

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Photo of clegolfski
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is a bit shorter as it is from memory.

Dark dark beer with a limited head, it almost has a purple tinge to it. Sour chocolate? This is what comes through in both the smell and the taste. Although the smell is very mellow it is very very unique. On the taste you get the sour up front and the chocolate porter on the back end. Although this is an excellent beer i would have liked the flavors to be more distinct. It seems that the balance almost works against this fascinating little fellow. I have never had anything like this before but will order one whenever I get the chance.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice dark back color a finger of white head nice looking beer

S little bit of lacto and a ton of Bret really nice nose a touch of Bret little bit of booze from the barrel touch of oak

T really awesome really nice Bret the barrel and Bret are really working well together. sweet dark fruits just a really complex beer that is really enjoyable

M creamy mouthfeel very nice carbonation

D all day good people writing this on the iPad of a fellow noon beer drinker awesome beer

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Photo of u2carew
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Dark, nearly opaque with some reddish hues. Creamy tan head.
S) Mellow coffee and cocoa aroma. There are slight earthy sour notes.
T) Sour but not overwhelming. Chocolate notes, roasted barley and a hint of smokiness.
M) Tingle on the tongue. Chewy. Full bodied. Some pucker factor.
D) Decent. Intriguing. The sour works with this porter.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This version of the colonel has been aged in Buffalo Trace barrels with BRETT!!! Brett is in the Porter! yikes!. Poured into a flute glass.

Jet-black, one-finger, mocha-froth head, is it dissipating? I'm not sure, it sure is slow!! very healthy looking.

The nose has a big-time wild, yeastie Brett aroma, no mistaken this smell!! There is also vanilla beans and roastie, smokey malt. Brett mostly though.

The malt is smokey and very hearty, dark fruits quickly pop out, zesty medium bodied feel with a nice balance of Brett and roastie malts. This is my first beer with Brett that is not a Pale style beer. The Brett is unique and tangy in the big maltiness. Brett has the abiltiy to completely dominate a beer's flavor, this one is in good balance with the rest, very wild with only slight medicinal qualities. The Brett can become bitter and harsh and this is not the case here!

a very adventurous brew.

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost head. Nose indicates a strong malt presence..Taste does not disappoint..cask oak taste. malts...dissolve into a great hop finish. Mouthfeel is dry, yet smooth, a quality I like in the style. Very smooth on the dri9nkability scale...a nice offering from the brewers.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not that familiar with this style of beer, but of course couldn't pass this one up when I saw it. Absolute noire when served, it came topped with a 1/2 inch of coffee crema style head on it, nice. Aroma held the promise of oak and vanille, intriguing. Tastewise, this comes across as a complex meld of chocolate, woodiness, the bourbon also comes through. Some mild acidity/acridity, but overall this was fine drinking. I thint the only other comment I can make is for me personally, one glass is enough, not really sessionable.

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. This is the standard Colonel porter, not the cask one with treacle.

This beer poured a black body with a small off-white head.

The nose was a nice mix of dark malts and a strong oak/wood touch.

Taste was very nice. Medium bodied, rich and smooth. Dark roasted malts, coffee, even chocolate, yet not quite as in your face as a big stout. Still very porter like. The overpowering flavor of this baby though is the oak aging. Bourbon, touches of vanilla and wood. Not much in the way of smoke, although the roasted flavors gave mild hints. Milder bitterness that flows under the radar but sits just well enough in the mix to add balance.

Overall a really nice beer. Oak, oak, oak. Reminded me of like a session version of some of the big oaky imp stouts like great divides yeti or the magic hat one (whose name escapes me. Good beer.

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The Colonel - Barrel-Aged "Wild" Porter from Cambridge Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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