Beastie Barrel Porter | Barley Island Brewing Company

Beastie Barrel PorterBeastie Barrel Porter
30 Ratings
Beastie Barrel PorterBeastie Barrel Porter

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by roadhouse on 05-09-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of mwbrady12
2/5  rDev -46.5%

Photo of TMoney2591
2.77/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Wait, there's a Jethro Tull whiskey? This stuff pours a clear brown topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose mostly consists of cheap whiskey, but deep beneath that is a mixture of mild roasted malts, light cola, and lightly-toasted caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, with that cheap whiskey flavor dominating the proceedings, with nothing of value backing it up. It's situations like this that lead to groups' lead singers thinking they can strike it out on their own (though their mileages have varied). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, there's too much of a mediocre barrel in this too-thin-for-its-own-good porter, which doesn't really even try to express itself anyway. If it doesn't wanna try, why should I care about it?

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Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep, dark copper color, nice tan head
S: medium nose, roasted malt with strong bourbon-barrel notes and EtOH
T: exactly what was advertised and well-made, not your really rice malty porter, more bourbon barrel than roasted malt, somewhat thinner in body
M: bourbon barrel is evident but seems a bit thin or watery

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found a bottle of this on the sale shelf at Binny's in Naperville. $2.99 for a barrel porter? Bring it on! And a new brewery too.

No date on the bottle, except for a "copyright 2009". Maybe a two-year-old bottle then?

Appearance: Outrageously carbonated! It overflowed and made a mess even though I didn't shake it. After that, a huge Belgian-style head that never completely dies and a brown-colored brew resembling something like a "Belgian barleywine". Odd but cool!

Smell: Bourbon and then some. This is like sniffing a barrel, rubbing your nose on the wood. Beyond the bourbon and the barrel, some sugar, caramel, Old Ale-like sweetness. A porter, though? Don't get that.

Taste: More bourbon, followed by a tad of roasty-toastiness and some chestnut puree. Drink this by a fire in late autumn! Slight German smoke around. Finishes bitter (a smattering of hops) and dry, almost aggressive, with freshly-ground coffee beans in the aftertaste. One-dimensional (nothing but bourbon here) and yet delicious, if you like this kind of thing.

Mouthfeel: Full body and carbonation, but waaaay too much carbonation. Too filling. A bit on the boozy/burning side. My least favorite part of this beer.

Overall: I give it high marks for being original, wild and from a tiny brewery. The carbonation is a bit annoying and the bourbon is overpowering, but this is still mighty drinkable, deliciously woodsy and weird.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from tburkhart, courtesy of the Under 100 IV BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, coffee, the essence of oak aging, a touch of hops but also a bit of metallicness to it.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and creamy flavors of coffee and chocolate. Then some mildly sweet flavors of dark fruit and bourbon come in. the hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid dark beer with a little extra flavor that makes it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark. Blackish with huge mocha colored head.

S: Some dark chocolate with citrus hops and a hint of bourbon.

T: Lots of dark chocolate and roasted coffee up front with some bourbon flavors in the finish.

M: Just on the heavier side of medium.

D: Hard to tell without knowing the abv but I'd say medium.

I like that there is some bourbon flavor without overpowering the porter. It makes you feel like you're drinking a barrel aged beer and not a beer with bourbon poured in.

*Possible carbonation issue here. Head exploded out of the bottle as I took off the cap and had to pour very slowly to avoid foam coming over the glass.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, a huge thanks goes out to ptwnbwlr for this great extra. Cheers!
Appearance - Pours a hazelnut brown into my SA Perfect Pint. LOADS of head is achieved with a mild pour - over two fingers of tan, mocha colored head is achieved that dissipates quite slowly leaving fat, chunky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, slight dark cherries, bourbon, molasses.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Heavy roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, slight oak, etc. I'll be damned but I love porters. Yes there are better ones out there but this one is hitting the spot right now.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, loads of carbonation.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Glad I was able to try this. Quite good after having a couple IPA's tonight.

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Photo of Bung
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Ruby brown pour, just a ring of off white bubbles.

Aroma is muted roast malt, peat and chocolate. Just a hint of vanilla, barrel, booze.

Taste is a bit malty with vanilla and caramel. A bit sweet really. There is also a harshness, almost spicy that is unpleasant. Whisky barrel is there a little warm in the finish. Not sure the barrel did this much good, not really sure where the beer underneath is either. Maybe this one has wasted away a bit. It is pretty average at this point. Which, shouldn't be that bad, other than by this sites ratings.

The carb that appears not visually present is there in the throat. Kind of thin but scratchy. I don't think it is very high abv, but it is not one that begs for another. This paled significantly in comparison to their Beastie Barrel Stout.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Biggish (3 finger) head on a pitch black body. Lots of texture and big bubbles in the head, but it's fading fast. Looks like decent active carb.

S: Potent, bourbon in a beer sort of smell I guess. Sweet and something funny, a little sharp, not an off-flavor, just a sharp oddity that I don't like.

T: Hmm, that same taste, though I think I maybe have identified it. Roasted grain done less than well. It's a little astringent. I think, sadly, this beer was better fresh.

M: Light, sort of English Portery, more like Sam Smith than Founders.

D: Drinkable, but I'd rather have a lot of other beers.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with amber edgework and an inch-plus head of fizzling tan. Retention similar to a cola with a placid surface showing itself quickly after the pour and zero lacing.

Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, with hints of espresso and Kahlua following through. Faint cherries step forward as well which hints at an infection.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a slightly sharp edge.

Heavy roast, coffee, bakers chocolate, and bourbon start the palate. Cherries and drying oak follow through.

Finishes with a boozy warmth, roast, and a hint of tartness.

I think this one is going south. The body is a bit thin for my tastes and the slight tartness detracts.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.12/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with 3 fingers of head that leaves good lacing in its wake.

Aroma is pungent with an odd sweetness that somewhat reminds me of fruity lip gloss. Not really too promising.

The flavor is not as off-putting as the nose, but it really isn't noteworthy either. A few light barrel notes in the form of vanilla and toffee. Perhaps some oak. Roasted maltiness underneath. The odd sweetness is present but it is in a very small dose.

Mouthfeel is medium boded. Drinkability is slightly above average simply because there are a few nice flavors hiding in there that make me want to revisit.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with some light passing through, generous 2 finger head that appears light brown, the head leaves splotches of foam around the ring of the glass

S: chocolate and coffee on the front with bourbon in the background. The bourbon is definitely there, but seems to take a back seat to base beer.... as it warms, the bourbon makes itself much more known

T: the smell doesn't translate to the palate like I expected. The chocolate and roast are much more subdued and the vanilla notes from the bourbon seem to dominate. I'm used to bourbon aged beers having a bigger base to hold up the bourbon flavors... that is not the case with this beer. It tastes good, just not as good as it could.

MF: thin body, high carbonation

D: not the best experience for a bourbon aged beer, something seems to fall a little short here. I didn't pick up any oak and the bourbon just doesn't seem to meld with the porter

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Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hwwty4 for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The porter is a dark caramel brown color, syrupy-looking in its opacity. A finger (almost a finger and a half) of off-white head is lacing nicely.

S: Bourbon takes a heavy-handed approach in the porter, leading off with oak, vanilla and brown sugar. Booziness is at a minimum, as are porter aromas. I do love the bourbon though.

T: A warming bourbon flavor leads the porter off. Vanilla is strong but beyond that there isn't much. Porter flavors do appear here (finally), roasted and deep. The dark flavors nicely support the bourbon, which re-appears shortly after the porter side. Brown sugar and oak comes through this time around, adding depth to the flavor. An excess of carbonation detracts from my enjoyment of the bourbon, which lingers after each sip.

M: The mouthfeel is a little thin, fleeting at times. While it does stick around, the flavors are strong and domineering over the porter.

D: I like the bourbon punch that the porter delivers. I'd drink another if I had one.

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Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with amber highlights and a dense mocha head of whipped foam that melts slowly leaving some patchy lace behind. Roasty malt, cocoa and mild oaky bourbon are all present in the nose. Rich and smooth, the bourbon is there but doesn't dominate the flavors, chocolate, honey, coffee and vanilla bean mix nicely with toasted oak. The body could use a touch more heft to suit my personal tastes. Creamy and smooth with mild carbonation. A nice porter.

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Photo of Contagion
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a dark, black coffee like color to it, with a hint of ruby coloring to it. It is so dark that light barely passes through it. When poured into the glass, a creamy tan head. The head fades slowly leaving a good thick lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is an enticing combination of chocolate and caramel malts followed by the scent of the oak barrel. The scent sets up the flavor. The taste consists of chocolate malts backed by oak. Some caramel malts are noticeable as the beer washes over the tongue. A good hop finish on it rounds off the beer. There is a smooth aftertaste, just a hint of coffee malt that is pleasant.

This is a medium bodied beer with a nice creaminess to it that coats the mouth. The carbonation is mild and unobtrusive.

This is a very easy to drink beer. A nice flavor, low carbonation, creaminess; it has a complete mouthfeel that makes this a great beer to drink with friends. I could see myself sitting down and sharing a couple with some friends, especially during the winter months.

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Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from stfun37. Thanks a bunch.

Dark brown in appearance, almost completely opaque. Two fingers of light tan head forms from a hard pour, which settles to a thick quater-inch that retains well.

Roasty, chocolatey aroma. Hints of barrel; a bit of vanilla, a touch of caramel. It's a subtle but nice aroma.

Bal is a bit more noticeable on the palate, lending the faintest up front heat and a dash of bourbony caramel. This leads into flavors of dark roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The barrel comes through again briefly on the mid-palate, leading into a roasty, bitter, semi-dry finish.

Pretty nice stuff, this beer. It's good. I don't know what else to say. Guess I'll stop reviewing now. OK bye.

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Photo of drseamus
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with chestnut notes at edge. tan head.

S: Good bourbon with some sweet malt, touch of roast character.

T: Bourbon right up front, almost dominating, but not quite. None of the typical sweetness usually associated with bourbon, light roast at end.

M: Medium bodied

D: Good drinkability especially for a bourbon beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a straight black liquid with dark brown highlights reminiscent of cola. The head is only one finger after the pour, but a nice light brown color. After a couple of sips, the nice brown head dissipates to nothing. Brownie malts wwith some oaken bourbon barrel as well in the nose. Nice roasted malts with a little sweet bourbon up front. Chocolate hits the middle with some dry vanilla powder. The finish lingers long and smooth, maybe still dry, but flavorful, and urging you to take another sip. Could be a session beer, don't taste much alcohol. But the price for a 4-pack was a little steep for a session brew. Still a beer worth trying and enjoying.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out the right color, nice dark brown, and it's fairly clear, though you can't tell once it's all out. The head falls back soon, but it starts out quite big, 2+ cms. Still leaves alright lacing. The smell starts with CO2, which isn't too inviting, but once the head fades back a bit, an incredible woody sweetness emerges. It's like bourbon candy sort of - not as sugary-smelling as candy, with a nice malty sort of fresh-baked cookie smell. There's a hint of coffee and chocolate as well. I may have made it sound to be a bit sweeter than it really is, but not too many beers I've had recently are very sweet. The taste comes on like bourbon blended with coffee. There's a brilliant, burnt, caramellized sugary taste, nice and toasty bready maltiness. Very smooth, and the sweetness mixed in with the bourbony, woody flavor makes this nice and interesting. I would say that this could improve on its maltiness, not sweetness though (it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it doesn't need it), and a bit more on the chocolatey end could be pleasant. The body is kind of medium, good enough, could be improved, and the carbonation is a little too prickly for my tastes. But this one almost clings to my teeth, keeping the flavor around for a while. Overall though, it's a very ernjoyable beer, and it was definitely one of the cheapest bourbon-barrel aged beers I've ever had. I'm a fan.

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Photo of littlekidlover
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured this into my beer tasting wine glass. The appearance is dark dark brown with a khaki medium head. The nose is a bit of bakers chocolate, oak, and boozey bourbon. The taste is like the nose with a bit of caramel and a slight bit of plum. The mouth feel is silky and not sticky. I could drink a couple of these, but I think the booziness would become too much after that. All and all, not one I would run out for every time, but would try again when the mercury starts to drop.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BitterPachyderm for this beer! Aged in the barrels of my favorite bourbon, buffalo trace.

A: three fingers of tan head is millimeters away from foaming out of the glass. Creamy and bubbly, all over a super dark brew, black with brown edges in the light. Great retention and beautiful cascading lacing. This one is a looker.
S: aromas are chocolate, wood, and sweet vanilla from the bourbon. The flavors are unrefined, and even a little "dirty" from the barrels, but so inviting.
T: starts with a sweet vanilla bean paired with strong espresso notes, quickly followed by a bite of dark chocolate. The end of the sip brings about a citrus hop twang with a pleasant melding of bitterness sticking around.
M: medium body, and quite syrupy in the thick residuals it leaves behind. Perfectly carbonated.
D: I don't know the ABV on this beer, but I was so happy with the flavors that my pint glass was empty soon after I cracked this porter open. All I ask of barrel-aged beers is that they are drinkable, and this one certainly is. I highly recommend it!

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Photo of beertooth
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Dark brown liquid with a finger or mocha swirled head.

The nose is full of dark roasted malts, coffee, oak, a little bourbon, green banana.

The first sip gives me roasted malt, coffee, oak, chocolate. It's quite tasty! I'm getting a little more oak and bourbon as it warms.

Mouthfeel is soft and full.

I'm putting this beer down pretty fast. This is my first beer from Barley Island and I look forward to trying others.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Opaque dark-brown/black color with a very nice tan head.

S: Lots of roast and chocolate on the nose, with a woody oak character that ties it all together.

T: Oak dominates more in the taste, but still with nice notes of roasted barley, chocolate and coffee singing backup. Very nicely blended.

M: Medium bodied and quite palatable. Just enough carbonation to prevent it becoming sluggish and overweight. Finishes fairly clean with a subtly oak-like flavor.

D: Let this one come near room temperature for best results. An easy drink that rewards careful examination.

Although the "barrel aged" ground has been trod before, I like this offering from Barley Island. I really like what they were going for: a subtly complex, yet easy-drinking porter aged in oak barrels. Very enjoyable, for me at least.

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Beastie Barrel Porter from Barley Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 30 ratings
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