Bourbon Barrel Black Maple
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Bourbon Barrel Black MapleBourbon Barrel Black Maple
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American Imperial Porter
Ranked #8
Ranked #215
4.48 | pDev: 7.81%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Bourbon Barrel Black MapleBourbon Barrel Black Maple
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 1,099 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jrc1093
3.89/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2019 Vintage

Pours from the bottle a deep golden brown and sits in the glass an inky, jet-brown verging on black; topped with a small khaki froth that recedes almost immediately to a slight collar, a few paper-thin islands of cap, and sparse strands of lacing.

Aroma opens with level, sweet tones of oaky bourbon barrel, vanilla, rich chocolate, and caramel, becoming increasingly roasty leading into lighter tones of smoked malt, toffee, and cherry skins.

Taste features a litany of fudgy bourbon notes, toffee, and oaky barrel upfront; sweet, smoky malt peak over the mid-palate into the finish of now semi-sweet campfire and vanilla bean touches; lightest bits of maple imbue every aspect of the profile.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and low carbonation guiding to a silky, slick mid-palate; slightly creamy all-around; a soft warming teams with a bare minimum alcohol presence into the finish while a minor roasty bittering comes through on the exhale.

This is a good imperial porter that is both tempered and hindered by a more passive barrel presence lacking intensity. Along the way, the maple interacts awkwardly with the roasty bitterness of the porter base as well, but doesn't delay the beer from taking its sweeter, smokier, and lightly bitter form. Solid overall, though unfortunately a bit too complacent and safe for my tastes.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2014 bottle from the reserve collection at Jackie O’s production brewery served in a snifter.

Look- A dense black with a little less than a finger of dark mocha head. Surprised that there was virtually no lacing with this one.

Smell- Tons of vanilla, maple, and bourbon with a nutty aroma mixed in. The barrel doesn’t really dominate like I expected.

Taste- I’ll start by saying wow! The vanilla and bourbon mix is fantastic. The hazelnuts and chocolate are there, too. The maple has mellowed with age but probably gives some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation with a creamy smooth finish. The subtle sweetness hangs around with every sip.

Overall- A great offering from Jackie O’s. Not certain about this being a porter but it was still great. Definitely worth the trip.

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Photo of Damian
4.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12.7 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a snifter

Dark cola brown appearance. Slightly thinner in body than I anticipated. The liquid was capped by a small, bubbly, khaki colored colored crown that quickly dropped to a frothy collar. Tiny dots and streaks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was really malty and robust. Nice melding of caramel and roasted malts. Slightly sweet. A bit nutty. Bourbon notes came through big time. Super boozy but not excessively so. A subtle wet paper-like quality also detectable. Touch of smokiness too. Zero maple character however.

The flavor profile was basically a toned down version of the nose. Big and malty. This definitely had an “old school” imperial porter-like quality to it. The beer was anchored by a robust caramel and roasted malt base. Boozy, bourbon notes appeared in the center and intensified as the beer moved along the palate. More roast and lingering booze in the finish. Like the aroma, there was absolutely no maple character.

The mouthfeel was somewhat disappointing. Slightly thin for the style. The liquid contained a larger bubbled, moderate effervescence that frothed up on the palate.

I have found most of Jackie O’s porters and stouts to be pretty disappointing, and Bourbon Barrel Black Maple was underwhelming as well. Both the aroma and the flavor profile were straightforward and devoid of any maple character, and the mouthfeel was quite thin. I remember this brewery’s beers being highly coveted a few years ago. Either they have gotten significantly worse with time or people’s palates have vastly evolved.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark dark brown with a half finger head that fades quickly
S: Caramel, vanilla, and oakey/roasty
T: Char and roast dominate with some caramel and/or maple notes
F- Decent weight
O: Jackie O's never disappoint - even the least of them.

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Photo of kitch
3.88/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A 12.7 fl. oz. bottle, 2017 vintage, poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a thin mocha brown head that dissipated quickly and left only some sparse spotty lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, booze, molasses, licorice, with a hint of herbal and char.

Taste: Roasted malts, chocolate, cocoa, herbal, molasses, licorice, bourbon, caramel, brown sugar with only a hint of dark fruit, char and maple syrup.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Nice to drink but the maple just seemed to be overpowered by the bourbon, molasses and licorice.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well executed combination of maple and bourbon barrels... both are very prominently displayed without overpowering the other.

Maple is a more subtle/natural component, and not an overly-sweet/ artificial flavor.

Really easy to drink with medium body.

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Photo of Holderness
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L -- Pours a very deep brown body with a scant half finger of pale brown head produced with aerated pour. Head recedes quickly, leaving a small ring of foam around the edge of the glass. No lacing
S -- Smoke, maple, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, sugar-dusted dark fruits, dark chocolate
T -- Largely follows the nose. The maple is noticeable but doesn't overpower and instead integrates very nicely with the rest of the smokey, barrely, fudgy tastes going on here
F -- Big mouthfeel, minimal carb. Nice silkiness to it, much more than the other Jackie O's stouts I've had
O -- The major downfall here is the price, at $15/13oz bottle... Otherwise this stuff is fabulous. Just about as good as BA Oro Negro


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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2018 vintage - Pours dark brown-black with a khaki tan foam head. Smells like maple toast, roasty nutty bready malts, graham crackery, slight coconut, dark fruits, hint of dried cherry, maple syrup, bourbon, oak, mild vanilla, caramel, chocolate, some coffee, light smokiness, with mild earthy hops. Tastes like dark cherry, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, nutty roasted malts, coffee, toasted bread, maple syrup, vanilla, bourbon, oak barrel, mild smoke, hint of coconut, graham cracker, maple toast, with earthy hops to balance. Smooth thick medium body, moderate low carbonation. Really nice bourbon barrel aged imperial porter with maple syrup.

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into snifter, 2017 vintage bottling. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, marshmallow, bourbon, toasted oak, nuts, and dark/brown bread; with light notes of coconut, coffee, molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Touch of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, marshmallow, bourbon, toasted oak, nuts, and dark/brown bread; with light notes of coconut, coffee, molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Mild herbal, roast, char bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, fudge, marshmallow, bourbon, toasted oak, nuts, dark/brown bread, light dark fruit/smoke/char, leather, tobacco, herbal, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a solid roast/hop bitter/sweet, and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/char bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mildly increasing warmth of 12.1%, with minimal barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic BBA imperial porter! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drip on for the big ABV, with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Amazingly rich/well rounded malt complexity and maple syrup presence; with perfect barrel integration/balance. Not overly roasty/charred on malts, or boozy on barrels. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example as expected.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Similar to lots of their beer this imperial (porter?) stout shows some oak notes which make it kind of vinous. The bourbon is light and the maple absent. Lots of nuts notes. Quite drinkable despite the high abv

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into large snifter
2016 vintage gifted to me by EZ

Pours medium to dark brown with almost no head to speak of. This really speaks to the light carbonation of this brew, because it doesn’t taste oxidized at all. Very light and smooth. Nose is bourbon heavy and brownie batter. Sweet chocolate and bourbon are present but take a back seat to roasted walnut/pecan. Maple doesn’t become present until the chill is broken and it warms a bit. The warmer this gets, the more the flavors pop off the charts. All the flavors meld together well. If I had to say that one thing shines in this beer it has to be the nuttiness, hands down. Fantastic brew!

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Photo of NathanBeets
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Pours a deep black with a tiny caramel colored head, no lacing present.

Lots of sugary sweet maple syrup on the nose. Hints of the barrel (oak and bourbon), along with some caramel.

Sticky maple syrup on the taste and feel. The syrup lingers on the palate. Some chocolate notes, but the maple syrup is what is most present.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with no head and minimal lacing.

Aroma is oak, bourbon but don’t get the maple I expected.

Taste is very solid and I do get maple in the aftertaste that lingers. I will say the alcohol is very well hidden.

While I enjoyed this beer, mouthfeel did not live up to the rest of this beer.

Overall this is very solid beer from Jackie o’s. I loved the lingering maple on the back end of the sip. Barrel comes in nicely and easy drinking for an 11.0 percent beer. Mouthfeel holds this beer back. That being said, a very good beer

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Photo of buschbeer
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a Jackie O's snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with a skim of mocha head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and alcohol.

The taste is caramel and vanilla from the bourbon. I also get chocolate and sweet maple notes.

Viscous, thick mouthfeel with low carbonation

This is an amazing beer. It hits all the right notes for me. This is the only JO beer that I have broken the bank and bought a case of in the past.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon Barrel Black Maple pours a very deep brown and sports a light brown head of foam. The head dissipates fairly quickly. The beer smells quite good - it's certainly sweet, per the nose, but also has a bit of booziness.

While cold, the beer has a slightly dry mouth feel. The barrel is definitely present. It is, per the smell, very sweet. The maple somehow fails to be all that present in the taste.

As the beer warms, it just gets sweeter. It has a nice bit of heat to it, but the alcohol isn't present in the taste.

As with CBS - I'd expected more of this beer. I like maple, in general and as an adjunct, so the last few maple beers have let me down a bit. Great Notion's Double Stack has been the only one to really impress me thus far. Wish it was easier to get!

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Photo of gcamparone
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Jackie O's tulip glass. Acquired in a trade. 2015 bottle.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a two finger brown head that reduces slowly to leave a ring of foam and little lacing.

Aromas are heavy on the bourbon, cocoa and light vanilla, dark- bittersweet chocolate, lightly roasty with coffee aromas. Not getting much maple on the aroma.

On the tongue is dark chocolate and bourbon, roasty malt, marshmallow, caramel, sweet vanilla, chocolate cookies. A slight oxidized off flavor included. Mouthfeel is kinda thin with medium-low carbonation.

Overall decent. For a bourbon barrel aged stout, this is on point, but I didn't get any maple whatsoever in the taste or aromas, so I have to give it a 3.75 final rating because it wasn't as advertised.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the shorty bottle from the brewery in a snifter. This beastly little brew pours a rich
opaque with a nice head of dark brown foam that settles to a thick ring , a thin pool,
and shows some nice light lacing. Nose of boozy bourbon, subtle vanilla, mild oak, light
char touched marshmallow, sweet dark maple, and rich malts. Flavors nail it out of the park
with rich toasted nutty malts dancing about maple and deep brown sugars that have become
drunken on boozy bourbon. Mild vanilla and more assertive oak give richness without being overly
cloying to a lightly char touched marshmallow and dark rich cocoa that has a subtle coffee note on
the back that has of course gotten drunk on bourbon as well. Fantastic mouth feel; full lightly slick
body, low carbonation, and a rich boozy finish laced with more flavor than there is characters on a
keyboard. Exceptional.


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Photo of Jason_Schroeder
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic aged stout from Jackie O’s - all of their aged stuff I’ve smtried is fantastic, a step above others. This one was kind of boozy in a good way, and the maple was present but not obnoxious.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd been looking forward to this for quite a while and, although there were some unexpected things about it, it didn't disappoint. Poured from a 12.7 ounce 2017 bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. Very dark brown color (would've said black but near the end you can see it's brown) with a small beige head. Smell has a very strong bourbon presence and a sweetness but not specifically maple. Ditto on the taste but with some vanilla and dark chocolate notes. Feel was pleasantly light; I'm wondering if this is why this is an American Porter but the Vanilla BBBM is an Imperial Stout; I've got one of those for future consumption so we'll see.

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Photo of aoampm
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a dark mocha colored head that is less than a finger high. No lacing and the head vanishes almost immediately leaving a small ring of foam around the glass.

Aromas of sweet bourbon, vanilla, maple, and a nutty hazelnut type of smell.

Taste is awesome! Enormous bourbon and vanilla up front. Roasted malt, chocolate, hazelnut. The maple definitely is there but is subdued probably due to the age.

Really smooth and creamy. Not overly viscous or thick. Extremely mellow from the 3+ years of age.

Overall this was an excellent offering! My second beer from Jackie Os, with the first also being a stout, and I think they hit it out of the park with both.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolute GEM of a porter once she warms. Thought I wasn't getting any maple until she sat. Thin and extremely flavorful. Could sip on this forever. Slightest touch of abv.

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Photo of Jshbrown40
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great beer, reminded me A LOT of KBS (in a good way) if there was maple to it. Its strong and a touch boozy but not overpoweringly so. Light carbonation, pours black, small khaki head, great nose of bourbon, maple, and chocolate.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A fine BA stout but it's hot, thin, and there's very little maple to my taste. Less clear and distinct as KBS, nor as luxurious as BCBS. Not the biggest fan of the JO profile I guess.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with slight tan head. Sweet maple and caramel aroma. Taste is a very pleasant maple bourbon with a little caramel with no alcohol bite at all

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Photo of joe1510
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml Bottle

This one come's my way courtesy of Dave! Thanks a million, guy!This beer is black. No shadows, no hints of anything, just black. The foam is a little hard to get going but it rose as I finished pouring. The head grew to a thin cap, shy of a finger in height, and was the color of milk chocolate. A thin ring remains with a tiny island traversing the surface. Thin drink lines are left after each drink. This beer looks and acts like an 11% porter.

Oh, man. The nose on this beer is decadent. A big ol' flash of pecans gets the ball rolling. Burnt sugar and molasses join he fray shortly thereafter. There's a moderate roast in the middle high cocoa content chocolate, rich yet bordering on bitter. I don't get a ton of maple but the barrel aging was deftly handled. The barrel aspects compliment, instead of overtake, by wrapping the base beer in an embrace of toasted marshmallow, damp oak, and rich caramel. I love the toasted marshmallow quaility when pulled from barrels.

While the nose was very good, the flavor actually tops it. Walnut and pecan in the flavor, a nice nutty start. Burnt sugars and molasses again in the middle. This follows the nose fairly closely but the components are more well integrated. Dark chocolate picks up mid palate and pushes through to the finish where it's met with those fantastic barrel characteristics; toasted marshmallow sweetness, tannic bourbon soaked oak, and rich caramel. A soft peppery heat wraps it up. There are no hard edges. This is an outstanding sipper of a beer.

The body is lighter than expected yet works amazingly well. It's a couple ticks above moderate in weight with a really soft, velvety feel. It literally feels like velvet. The carbonation is dialed in perfectly. There's a little sweetness on the swallow but it's in no way cloying. Alcohol fumes get exhaled through the nose but there's no heat on the swallow. Excellent.

Bourbon Barrel Black Maple is a really outstanding beer from Jackie O's. It's rich and decadent, silky and smooth, flat out delicious. The brewers did a great job with the barrel aging and integration. They pull out all the best characteristics of the barrel while keeping the actual beer at center stage. This is some great stuff. Thanks, Dave!

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Bourbon Barrel Black Maple from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 1099 ratings