Bourbon Barrel Black Maple
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Bourbon Barrel Black MapleBourbon Barrel Black Maple
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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #8
Ranked #220
4.48 | pDev: 7.81%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Bourbon Barrel Black MapleBourbon Barrel Black Maple
Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 1,107 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BartS:
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BartS from California

4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May 03, 2017
More User Reviews:
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AlienSwineFlu from Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A- Straight, thick black. Held in front of a bright light and there is still no transparency. Not too much head on this one, but what is there is light tan.

S- Lots of bourbon, some dark fruit, and a hint of dark chocolate.

T- Does not follow the nose to me. The bourbon really takes a back seat to the more prominent flavors of nuts, chocolate, and maple. For contrast, I get much more maple out of this beer than I did with Beyond Good & Evil from Hill Farmstead. The bourbon has what I would define as a perfect subtleness... it complements the other aspects without emerging into the foreground. Extremely drinkable for an 11%+ brew. Delicious.

M- Heavy and warm, exactly what I would hope for out of an Imperial Porter such as this.

O- Jackie O's has knocked it out of the park yet again. I love this beer and am left just hoping I can get some more. Cheers!

Aug 06, 2014
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cmrncrzy10 from Ohio

4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Gorgeous. Liquid magic. Dark with minimal lacing. Any that is there dissiaptes
S- Like a true bourbon beer should smell, a little boozy, almost cigar like. Chocolate and a hint of maple.
T- Can not verbally do this justice. Truly a top tier beer. And not just for porters. Dark, slight smoke, chocolate, bourbon that presents itself perfectly. Then a great maple finish. Just the right amount of sweetness.
M- After a taste like this, who cares what the mouthfeel is like
O- Certainly not someone who tends to over rate beers. If its possible to get your hands on this brew, accomplish that. Well done Jackie O's, youve knocked it out of the park

Aug 13, 2014
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kingston2 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, Jackie o's has done work on this beer. The pour is solid dark brown/black with dark 1/2 inch head formation. Rapidly dissipated leaving gentle lacing around edge of glass.
The smell is divine. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate..just glorious.
The taste is every bit as perfect. No burn or bite from bourbon, but all the lovely nuanced flavors are there. Sweet but never cloying. Very long finish.

Really fantastic beer. Brilliant I'd say. If you can get it you need to do so.

Aug 14, 2014
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WesMantooth from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a thin head that disappears quickly.

Smells like bourbon, maple syrup, milk chocolate, and wood.

The bourbon is noticeable, and very smooth in the taste, but takes a back seat to the maple. Real maple. No imitation here. Incredibly smooth overall. Rich, but easy to drink. No heat from the bourbon and the 10.5% ABV. A little bit of malted milk chocolate, and some lingering oak and caramel.

Lighter on carbonation and thinner bodied. It should be pointed out that people are comparing to a lot of stouts. It is listed as a porter though, so a little on the lighter bodied side other than the syrupy feel.

They set the bar pretty high with Dark Apparition. This one cleared it by a foot. Not cheap at $12 for a 375 ml bottle, but worth every penny. World Class.

Aug 17, 2014
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TWStandley from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev -1.8%

Poured from the bottle into a HF tasting glass.

Appeared a jet black, oil color.

Smelled of sweet dark fruits, a bit of char, and slight maple.

Taste is delicious. Rich, dark fruits covered in dark chocolate. Maple isn't too prevalent in the taste but might add to the richness.

Mouthfeel is thick with little carbonation.

Overall a delicious brew.

Sep 14, 2014
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SHDoyle from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Description: Pours a dark black with just a small amount of tan/coffee colored head. Bourbon is very present and also hints of wood and dark chocolate; as it warms you pick up more sweetness from the syrup. Taste is similar to the smell: bourbon,wood, chocolate and getting progressively sweeter as it warms. The maple is there, but it's certainly in the background. Smooth mouthfeel with minimal carbonation and, as you can probably guess, the alcohol/bourbon is present.

Suggested food pairing: Prime rib, cooked medium rare

If you like this beer then you should also try: KBS

Ideal time to drink this beer: A sipping beer for sure, this would be great to enjoy next to a warm fire on a cold, wet autumn day, while you peruse your collection of leather bound books that smell of rich mahogany.

Overall: 4.5 (This beer is very good and I would definitely drink it again) The only real knock I have on this beer is that I would have liked the maple flavor to come through more prominently. I was expecting something akin to CBS but found it more similar to KBS (although not quite as good). Having said that, this a very good beer and one worth seeking out. With a price tag of $12/bottle it's a bit expensive, but I bought a six-pack and don't regret it at all. With the explosion of craft brewers over the last few years it can sometimes be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. By brewing beers like this (and some of their other recent stouts) I think Jackie O's is firmly establishing itself in the 'wheat' camp. With each solid new beer it produces, this brewer's following continues to grow and deservedly so.

Oct 04, 2015
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown/black body. Slim collar.

S- Definitely sweet on the nose. Hints of vanilla no to a lesser extent oak.

T- Roasty up front. Maple sweetness comes out at the tail end of each sip. Would guess this at around 12%abv if for some reason there was a guessing game. I am glad there is not.

M- Low, fitting carbonation point. A mouthfeel swish gives way to a certain creaminess that is pleasant.

D/O- Huge thanks to @egrace84 for the share...I will now stop whining that you drank the previous three without me, jerk.

Mar 06, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.71/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle split 4 ways. Poured into a taster glass 9/5/2014.

A- Dark brown body, looks a bit watery coming out of the bottle but certainly quite dark. Minimal half finger brown head that disappears in a flash. A bit disappointing in appearance. [3.75]

S- Bourbon, milk chocolate with maple syrup sweetness similar to Better Half. Not a ton of complexity and it needs to be opened up closer to room temperature to bring out the right amount of whiskey aroma. [4]

F- Lots of bourbon at first, not a whole lot else. As it warms, more milk chocolate, espresso and a distinct maple syrup sweetness comes out more. However, the base beer seems to be lost in the bourbon; and the maple syrup is there but as more of a supporting component. So, essentially this is bourbon and maple syrup. I would have expected more contribution from the base beer. [3.75]

M- Disappointingly thin bodied, slightly watery with very little thickness to the feel. Finish is dry bourbon for the most part. [2.75]

O- I was surprised to see that this beer is rated a 4.71 as of this writing. There is not much in way of subtlety or complexity here. The mouthfeel is disappointingly thin. I'm not sure what I am missing here; perhaps I got a bad bottle. I would recommend Hill Farmstead Beyond Good & Evil instead if you have not had that yet. [3.75]

Final score: 3.70

Sep 06, 2014
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blankenhoney from Ohio

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

375ml bottle from the 2014 release, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Dark brown and cola-like, with a thin, mocha head that recedes to a ring around the glass. Not thick or turbid looking.

S: Just a lovely nose, but not what I was expecting from a maple beer. The major players are bourbon-soaked fudge, vanilla, and a cinnamon-like spice. Also some molasses and a cola or root-beer sweetness. Not much maple aroma on the nose. The maple's definitely there, but to my mind it's working as an emulsifier or binding agent that ties the bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla together and makes the nose far greater than the sum of its parts. The nose really made me think about french toast with maple syrup.

T: Sweet vanilla, creamy cocoa, and bourbon-soaked coconut shavings. Fudge, molasses, and more vanilla. Delicious stuff, but a tiny tiny bit disappointing only because the nose promised (me) bourbon-drenched french toast.

M: Spot-on for a porter: smooth, on the lighter side, and just a tad viscous. Really love the lighter mouthfeel and how it contrasts so sharply with the intense flavors. Smooth and creamy as all get out.

O: Great stuff. I think I prefer BA Dark App to this, but this beer is the superior product. Incredible nose, great flavors, and a lighter mouthfeel that really draws your attention to the intense flavors this beer offers.

Jan 30, 2015
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon, Wood, Maple, Roasted

An 11.0% abv Imperial Porter aged in Bourbon barrels with a generous addition of maples syrup. Nearly a breakfast beer. Warming with light overtones of maple and dark sugar, slight roasted grain throughout with hints of ripe dark fruit. Toasted wood, bourbon, and more maples blanket the palate far into the finish. Delicious and well rounded but so mellow as the 11% doesn’t show its true strength.

STYLE: Imperial Porter | ABV: 11.0% | AVAILABILITY: Rotating

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #96 (JAN 2015)

Aug 25, 2015
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MasterSki from Canada

4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Spycow. Thanks! Served in a tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a collar, a few wisps, and minimal lace. Near-black body that seems appropriate for the name and style.

S - Smells like barrel-aged maple syrup. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, maple. There's a bit of dark bread and nutty malt in the background. Perhaps a hint of booze as it warms, but reasonably well-hidden.

T - The taste is a bit more heavier on base beer's malt character, with dark bread, nuts, and chocolate fudge. Less bourbon and maple, which is actually the detriment of the beer. Still pretty good; just not as great as the aroma.

M - Big and chewy body, with lingering stickiness. Minimal alcohol heat and a surprisingly soft texture. Minimal tannins present.

D - Quite good, although it's a tad too sweet and heavy to drink it large quantities. Still, really good brew that is reminiscent of the barrel-aged maple syrup Brad let us try at Jackie O's. Still, nice to see this brewery back on track after a stretch of middling brews.

Nov 27, 2014
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml poured into a matching Jackie o's snifter. The brew is black in color with less than a finger of tan cap that fades quick leaving spotty lace.

This smells of toasted coconut, vanilla, caramel and an all around fudgy feel. The booze is present with soft oxidative notes and plenty of chocolate.

This tastes of full on barrel character: toasted coconut, caramel, vanilla and chocolate fudge with mild oxidation and bourbon warmth to the finish.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. A very enjoyable sipper with full on barrel flavors with decent warming alcohol inclusion. Its been awhile since ive had any of Brad's barrel aged creations and damn he hasnt missed a beat, still amazing stuff. Well done.

Aug 18, 2015
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toppoop from Ohio

4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours out pretty dark. Almost completely opaque. Head lasts for maybe a second then fizzles out. No lacing. Smell is terrific. Bit of bourbon, bit of dark chocolate and a slight hint of maple. Taste is about as good as any bourbon aged brew I've had. Extremely smooth. Bourbon hides very well within the roasty malts and REAL maple. The maple is fantastic. Great mouthfeel too for an imperial porter. Thought the carb would be more intense after watching the pour but it was unobtrusive. Smooth as can be. Overall, the hype is real on this one. One of the best bourbon barrel beers I've had. Get one!

Aug 12, 2014
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notchucknorris from California

4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with a half finger tan head. Really doesn't look like a big beer at all.

S: A touch boozy with a good amount of sweetness, though I'm not really getting maple. Bourbon, toasted coconut, fudge, caramel, vanilla and some toffee.

T: A buttery smooth blend of burnt brown sugar, fudge, a touch of raisin, chocolate cake and some tootsie roll. Maybe a touch of cola and wet barrel on the finish as well. Mouthfeel is a touch lighter than I was expecting, but still hearty enough to stand up to the heavier flavors in here. I don't know if I'd put this in the elite class, but it's very good.

Apr 28, 2015
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kscaldef from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Rich brown sugar and maple on the nose. Chocolate brownie. Wouldn't hurt to have a little more carbonation.

Nov 03, 2014
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Beerandboards from New Mexico

4/5  rDev -10.7%

Dec 10, 2014
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Josbor11 from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -7.4%

Aug 17, 2014
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Norvelljeff from Iowa

5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jan 11, 2016
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The beer was an inky black color with few bubbles noted near the top of the glass.

Smell - The bourbon was noted in the aroma, but it angled toward sweetness. This was a direct affect of the maple interacting with the bourbon.

Taste - In the initial taste, it is noted that the maple smooths out the bourbon. I would never describe this one as being "hot". The malts in this porter possess a sweetness that is downright sticky. In the aftertaste, the bourbon and maple continue to linger.

Mouthfeel - As far as porters go, this one is smooth and possesses a quality of stickiness. The carbonation was very modest.

Overall - This is a really good beer. As far as maple beers go, CBS is the only other one that belongs in the conversation.

Jan 01, 2015
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ThoughtiLickAGrrl from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Dec 05, 2014
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julielynndubee from Virginia

4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dec 07, 2015
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage drank in a snifter on 2/11/2017

Overall this has the look and feel of the great J O's barrel aged stouts. This one certainly has faded some, and I would love to try this fresh. The chocolate and barrel came through nicely, however, there was only a little bit of the sweetness from the maple. Certainly a great beer, but probably one that shouldn't age for 2 years. I did read that this vintage had some infection reviews, so I was excited to had a good bottle.

Feb 13, 2017
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kjkinsey from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Nov 17, 2014
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krl2112 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -16.3%

Oct 11, 2014
Bourbon Barrel Black Maple from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 1107 ratings