Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #10
Ranked #3,337
4.2 | pDev: 7.86%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Notes: Imperial amber ale aged in bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 103 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of trevormajor
trevormajor from Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12.7 oz bottle, 2016 vintage, poured into a snifter at 58 degrees F:
L - dark with a maroon hint, head lingered around the edges
S - bourbon
T - very boozy, better as it warms
F - medium to thick mouthfeel, very little carbonation as is the norm with Jackie O's and barrel aged beers
O - I like this beer so much better at room temperature, not my favorite style, but still a pretty good beer. Jackie O's is the king of BBA

Jan 04, 2021
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12.7 Fl Oz bottle
Served in a Jackie O's snifter

This beer appears to be brown, but when held to the light it reveals a deep garnet hue. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is caramel and vanilla with hints of alcohol.

The taste starts out with vanilla and caramel. As it warms the alcohol taste opens up along with oak flavor. The finish is dry and oaky.

Medium bodied with syrupy and dry mouthfeel

At first this beer was sweet like a dessert beer. As it warmed and the bozziness came out it helps cut the sweetness as did the dry finish.

Jan 15, 2019
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JohnnyMc from Ohio

4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a dark amber color.

Aroma is very malt forward with toffee and caramel being the dominate notes. Bit of vanilla, coconut and oak followed by sweet bourbon.

Taste is also very malty up front with caramelized sugars, toffee, caramel, vanilla, coconut and even hints of dark fruit. Big oaky notes finish the beer out with a rounded bourbon note too. Very rich.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel, kind of sticky and a warming sensation. Pretty smooth for the ABV!

Great beer, but it's not quite on the same level as some of their other BA beers. Still worth trying!

Feb 23, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Murky coffee brown with a slight red tinge and a tan half finger head that quickly fizzles out to a thin ring.

Caramel and lots of bourbon dominate on the nose, with oak and butterscotch almost giving a rum smell. Something floral or fruity is in the background? I would say this is more sharp than it is hot.

Taste is sticky toffee, cherry, and lots of booze, but again it's not hot and is more like spiced rum and toasted coconut than bourbon, with some some light yellow raisin. At times, it even resembles brandy.

Medium body, slightly fizzy, and wet. This is a unique bourbon barrel beer, as there is an underlying sweetness that is sharp and bright that tries to break through the oak and booze that you don't often find. It's almost like a strawberry coconut treat that's just out of reach.

Oct 18, 2016
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cosmicevan from New York

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to dirty33 for keeping the Jackie o's flowing for me. this is an interesting one. Bourbon comes across in a light way over an unasuming base beer...everything is belneed tastefully...just very ordinary. I like it though...kinda like an everyday barrel aged beer...a session BA beer if you will (I know, I know 11%).

Oct 09, 2016
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TheElectricOne from Rhode Island

3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, poured into tulip glasses:

Appearance: pours reddish brown in color, with some lighter Amber highlights around the edges. Not much head, some light khaki-colored foam that dissipates quickly to a thin foam ring.

Aroma: loads of heat here, pretty barrel-heavy scent. Some butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla aroma. Smells barleywine-esque, and at the 11% ABV, it really is more barleywine than "amber ale."

Taste: the barleywine characteristics are definitely there, with some nice caramel and butterscotch notes. Loads of barrel, but in my opinion, its too much....I love J-O's BA stouts, but this came across way too hot and boozy for my liking, and I like big barrely stouts.

Feel: thick, syrupy, and hot, this is definitely not your average amber ale, and it's not a bad thing.

Overall: not my favorite Jackie O's beer. It's unique for its supposed style, but it's way too boozy, even for a barrel-aged beer. The bourbon barrel isn't subtle at all.

Aug 22, 2016
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ONUMello from Ohio

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle ,2016 edition, poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a thin head
S: Lots of caramel, some toffee/brown sugar and a bit of malt & cherry
T: Lots of cherry up front folowed by caramel/toffee/brown sugar then malt & a bit of bourbon
M: Full-bodied, fairly sweet but keeps the alcohol in check
O: A bit full & sweet for what I would typically consider an amber ale but the barrel aging adds complexity

Aug 03, 2016
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barczar from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is decadent, with malt sweetness combining with caramel from the bourbon to almost make a brownie batter scent. Amber malt fruitiness plays well with dark fruit notes of dates and figs.

Flavor is rich, fairly sweet, becoming dry and oaky in the finish. Bourbon weaves throughout, very well integrated. I typical don't care for ambers, but the specialty malt fruitiness is tempered well by the bourbon. Lots of caramel malt.

Jul 31, 2016
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pants678 from California

3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown like a barleywine, thin head.


A soft bourbon, doesn't have that sting or piercing heat. Strong vanilla with mostly hidden hop finish. Not much resembling an Amber. Distinct, nothing offensive but not much going on.

Thin stout's body is fitting.

Jun 27, 2016
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Mateo2699 from Texas

4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a darker brown with hints of red/maroon. Tight bubbled off white colored head that slowly dissipates to nearly nothing but a ring.

Very interesting aroma, getting this burnt orange, candied chocolate initially. Nice hints of caramel, vanilla and wood. Bourbon is in the background. A lot of burnt toast and charred oak, more dominate as it warms.

Taste follow nose very well. Minus the orange, now getting more dominate caramel, vanilla and toffee. Definitely had characteristics of a very sweet barleywine. After the sweet caramel, vanilla and toffee a subtle rush of oak and bourbon come into play.

Mouthfeel is quite low on the carbonation, with a medium-to-thick mouthfeel. Velvety and smooth, and bourbon flavor coats the palate very well.

Jun 25, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with JLindros, received in a trade.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice darker brown red hue. Nice one finger head and excellent legs.

S - Aromas of chocolate orange, excellent bourbon barrels. Huge caramel notes, light almost cherry aroma, excellent coconut barrels, really good sweetness without smelling sticky.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Huge gooey caramel notes, bourbon juice, barrel, coconut, light cherries, nice soft chocolate. No discernable alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden excellently.

O - Overall this is a really really good beer. Stylistically I'm not sure why this is an "amber", as it looks smells and tastes like an old ale. That being said, this beer was just delicious. The cherry barrel notes are real fun...I'm guessing Eagle Rare barrel.

Serving Type: bottle

May 27, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud

Light fizzy head fades sticky, big legs, dark murky brown color, nice but not even close to amber.

Nose big sweet candy malts, toffee, loads of caramel, reddish candy malt, little fruity note, dark fruits big raisin dried cherries, into nice fruity bourbon, vanilla oak, big caramel covered raisin, caramel cream vanilla ice cream.

Taste brings big sweet candy and tons of fruit, caramel creams, caramel covered sweetened fruit, raisin, dried cherries, little nutty note into sweet fruity bourbon, little barrel juice, nice vanilla oak, vanilla ice cream, rich chewy caramel, no booze, a little spicy hop in the background. Finish drier touch sticky, lingering big caramel toffee and little bourbon barrel juice lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, no booze.

So... This beer was awesome, so tasty for a barleywine or olde ale, wait, this is an "amber ale"?! So delicious but knocking it a bit since even they called it an amber ale but it's clearly not.

May 27, 2016
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer sent to me from Ohio. I thought it was quite good.

(L) The color is dark brown with a tint of orange and a thin off white head.

(A) A nice aroma of bourbon and chocolate.

(T) The taste is dark fruit, chocolate, there’s some nuttiness, caramel, and lots of bourbon.

(F) A tad watery feel, but overall a very tasty beer.

Apr 13, 2016
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zimm421 from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 10th anniversary glass. Appearance is a deep amber to brown with hints of ruby. The head is small and bubbly and dissipates to a bubbly ring around the edge of the glass. The nose is oak, bourbon, sweet caramel and toffee. The taste yields sweet, smooth caramel and toffee followed by oak, a touch of alcohol, bourbon and vanilla. The finish is back to the toffee and full of oak and bourbon. It's a nicely sweet beer, yet not overly so. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Overall, it's another great BBA beer from Jackie O's.

Apr 12, 2016
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

375 mL bottle. Amber body. Kinda murky. Jackie O's barrels always seem to give off a nutty aroma. This is no different. Whiskey and nuts. Caramel malts. Taste is bourbon, nutty malts, and caramel. Oaky in the back end. Boozy. Medium body. Nothing wrong with it, but it's just as described. Amber with some bourbon.

Mar 22, 2016
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CaptCleveland for this 375ML bottle dated 2016. Given the witchy label & name, I popped in some Game of Thrones while this warmed up.

Beer. The beer comes out the color of Melisandre’s hair, which I hope to touch someday. Nose is surprisingly light even after fifteen minutes of warming: little barrel, rusty malt. Minimal.

Lanthrone: may red-headed sorceresses flourish forever! Bourbon leaps from the amber & I feel it immediately grab hold of my forebrain: the forecast is fog & early bedtime. Robust alcohol twines with the barrel, hot caramel, evident oxidation (from the time in the barrels perhaps?). There’s a oak spindle in my mouth wrapped with leather, too (& I like it, Mel). The extreme dryness makes me want to drink more. So I do. Repeatedly.

Amber? Especially with the creeping oxidation & king-sized ABV, this touches me more like a barleywine. Excellent touches.

Mar 18, 2016
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I rated this one a 4.25 overall because I really enjoyed it, and it is an excellent beer. However, objectively scoring it as an "Amber Ale" is a different story.

First thing first. If you are not a fan of bourbon, or like your barrel aged beers to be subtle, you likely won't enjoy this one.

It is a red mahogany color. Minimal, short lasting head.

Bourbon dominates the aroma, and for the most part the flavors. Lots of vanilla, toffee that borders on buttersctoch, wood, and caramel malts. There is some chocolate that shows up in the taste that I don't smell, and there is a late showing of hops that offer some rye like kick at the end along with some pine and floral. Lingering carmalized sugars and toffee with a touch of leather.

Carbonation is minimal, but the body is nice otherwise. A bit warming even though the alcohol is masked well. Not too thin considering the style and time in the barrels.

As I mentioned, I rated it based on the categories to style across the board. Not a great example of an amber in that aspect, and objectively speaking, it is pretty unbalanced. That being said, I dig it personally. In no way am I disappointed. Even if it is more of an English Barleywine/Amber hybrid.

Mar 06, 2016
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glass_house from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another homerun out of the barrel for Jackie O's. Amber ale, barleywine, stock ale, whatever you want to call it, I thought it was delicious. The bourbon characteristics are strong, but that's the way I like it. Plenty of vanilla, toffee, roasted malt, leather, and wood. Heavy and sticky with a pleasant bourbon warmth on the finish.

Feb 29, 2016
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Zonian1 from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a dark brown with a small bubbly tan head that quickly dissipates. After the bubbles pass, this looks like a barleywine, still and golden brown. A lot of bourbon on the nose, with a malty background. Taste is malted toffee with a lingering bourbon burn. Delicious. The mouthfeel is smooth, but it's not the smoothest barleywine you'll ever try--seems like the bourbon gives it a rough edge. Note to beginners: This is not an amber ale. It's a serious barleywine. Don't expect any carbonation, and don't expect to drink three in a session. That said, this is a marvelous brew from JO's, and I must go find me some more.

Feb 18, 2016
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do_ob from Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours a burnt orange/brown (reminded me of whiskey) and settles as a dark amber/ light ruby in the glass. About 1/4 of a finger of vanilla-colored foam that quickly receded to a spotty lacing. No retention at all on the glass.

On the nose, bourbon, charred oak, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and dark fruit. The aroma is well-balanced with strong notes of bourbon, although not overly boozy.

On the taste, huge notes of bourbon, dark fruit, and salted caramel accompanied by hints of light chocolate, vanilla, and leather. Moderate bourbon and oak throughout, which flare up again on the finish. The aftertaste is caramel and boozy bourbon.

Good feel, although a little thin, especially on the finish. Not terrible. Got slightly better as it warmed up.

Overall, very tasty. I love the dark fruit characteristics, and although the bourbon presence is strong, this beer isn't overly boozy. Another good one from Jackie O's.

Feb 16, 2016
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12.7 ounce bottle. 2016 vintage. Served in a Jackie O's snifter, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. I like the aroma of this brew, it smells like bourbon, raisins, figs, toffee, nuts, caramel and vanilla. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also some coconut, woodiness and a chocolately Tootsie Roll flavor noticeable, too. It's a mostly sweet and malty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit syrupy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I liked this a lot, it's certainly not what most people would think of a typical amber ale. I'll have to grab another bottle soon and see how this one ages, although I think it's drinking pretty good right now. $11.99 a bottle.

Feb 16, 2016
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madelfonatree from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Early 2016 release enjoyed 2/8/2016 in a stemless wine glass.

Look - Deep murky orange. Off white large bubbled head that isn't thick, but does stick around. More than a ring. Lacing all the way down.

Smell - Bourbon. Toffee. Caramel. Chocolate. Burnt toast. Molasses.

Taste - Toffee. Caramel. Bread. Molasses. Tootsie Rolls. Bourbon is strong.

Feel - I was worried I ate too much with this beer but kept going down smooth. Dries up with bourbon.

Overall - Drink this expecting a barleywine, not an amber. I have a lot of barrel aged barleywines on deck. Not quite as good as BCBW, if we want to compare.

Feb 09, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at tap room

A- pours a deep Amber color, small creamy white head

S- melted caramel, brown sugar, toffee, butterscotch, bourbon, oak barrel, cherry

T- much more malty than expected, almost drinks like a Barleywine with plenty of caramel/toffee, spices & cherry, hint of coconut followed by strong bourbon barrel that continues to the finish

M- medium body and carbonation, slightly warming and viscous finish

O- better than expecting, plenty of sweet malty notes to match strong bourbon

Jan 30, 2016
Lanthrone from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 103 ratings