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

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Very Good
54 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of jlordi12
5/5  rDev +26.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

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4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Damian
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

 1,437 characters

Photo of Jakk
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

 567 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 1,055 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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

 479 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 922 characters

Photo of kirkse
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of resistdefy
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of jrstamp
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tschnab
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 658 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 857 characters

Photo of mike22ne
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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The Colonel - Barrel-Aged "Wild" Porter from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 54 ratings