Barrel Aged Porter
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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American Porter
4.12 | pDev: 9.71%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pulled from the depths of decay, Sierra Nevada dusts off this relic of a recipe to display at a highly specialized tasting at Lexington, Kentuckys' Pazzo's Pizza Pubs' special tasting of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons and the brewery's bourbon barrel aged beers!

This bourbon infused Porter is a masculine pour of dark brown, easily mistrued as black as it layers into the glass with a creamy and soothing pour. As the beer nestles into the snifter, its dainty and creamy froth of mocha-stained froth blankets the top and "legs" the glass as much as it laces it.

Smoky and sultry aromas of heavy toast, dark chocolate and coffee wrap around a center of caramel, vanilla and oak for a balanced taste among Porter and bourbon. Where the ale character stands slightly above the booze, its mild cherry and spice from the barrel gives as much strength to its nose as does the toasted scent from ale.

Its delicious taste kicks off with a strong malt presence that relies upon burnt caramel, heavy toast, medium-intense coffee and bitter chocolate. But its strong bourbon presence becomes undeniable in the middle palate as its wood-derived caramel, vanilla, oak, and cherry flavor is paramount. Trailing with the taste of booze, the bourbon masculinity easily rivals that of Porter for a strong and mysterious taste.

Medium-bodied, the Porter is somehow thinned slightly because of the cutting action of bourbon. Yet it adds sweetness and dampens the carbonation for a weighted feel. Finishing silky and smooth, the ale glides down the gullet with ease and pleasant warmth.

Its a ballsy move- to take an ale as finesse as a standard American-type Porter and to age it for so long in Bourbon Barrels. Yet it turns out both fine and surprising. Its strong bourbon presence easily rivals its beery counterpart; not adding "hints" of this or a "pep" of that. The bourbon really turns the Porter into a bourbon-flavored beer with Porter-esque influenced, and in the most sultry way possible!

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Photo of Radiodred
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a treat if you can find it. Went to KNB for Sierra Nevada night with 29 of there beers on tap. Looks like night and puts you in a comfortablly numb state. Smells woody with hint of smoke. Maybe a slight vanilla smell. Taste like it smells. Overall a very well balanced robust drink.

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served jet black with an off white/tan head. Excellent head retention. The smell almost made me fall off of my chair. A wall of whisky soaked oak and vanilla. Oh man. The taste does not let down. The same flavors punch through with authority. Damn! Creamy, full and delicious on the palate, sensational. This beer is listed at 9.5% and I would have never known, exceptional.

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Photo of flexabull
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the 30th Anniv. Party. From notes...

Pours a dark brown color with a small off white head.

Aromas are of light caramel, roasted malts, oak, coconut, and light booze.

Taste is very barrel forward. Caramel sweetness, big creamy malts, coconuts, and warm boozy oak. There are light cocoa, coffee and chocolate in the backdrop. Finish is warm, with more boozy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is nice. Maybe a touch thinner than I like in a big porter though.

Drinkability is good. I enjoyed this one. Maybe not as much as others that I talked to though. Just wanted a little more porter and a little less barrel. But with that said, this is still a very nice beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a becher at ChurchKey.

After my encounter with Doug Bradley's makeup-laden proctor of the netherworld here at CK, I moved on to this little gem. It pours a deep black-brown with a minor head of tan bubbly foam. The nose holds notes of oak, vanilla, dark malts, and bourbon. Straightforward and just plain yummy. Right on. All of these elements return in the taste, joined by newcomers caramel, walnut, and a helf-loaf of bread (not as flashy as "Half a Loaf of Kung Fu", but tasty nonetheless). This is how a porter ought to taste, baby, surpassed only by the dark, rich, and sexy lady consistently put out by the boys in Grand Rapids. The medium body sits on the lower end of the carbonation spectrum and is the epitome of silky smoothness. I think it's fair to say I loved this brew, and I'm not ashamed to say so. Now all I need is some albino shouting gorillas to let the world know how I feel...

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC during unofficial DC Beer Week (aka Savor Week) - 06.04.2010.

A: Poured a near-black with a thin, tan head.

S: Very rich bourbon notes alongside chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, and oak.

T: The bourbon comes through even more. It's the most dominant flavor, yet at the same time it's incredibly subtle and delicious. Pairs mightily well with the chocolate and vanilla undertones.

M: Super creamy and simply outstanding. The bourbon provides just the right amount of heat to pair with the rest of the flavors.

D: A fantastic sipper. If this were a bottled limited release, I'd be clamoring for it. As is, I'm very happy I was at least able to try a glass of this on draft.

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Barrel Aged Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 27 ratings