Beastie Barrel Porter | Barley Island Brewing Company

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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
Reviews by PirateUlf73:
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick creamy head of light tan that sticks to the glass with each sip. There are thin bubbles that are only visible in the top of the body as they collect at the head.

S- This beer has the smell of 2% milk with some roasted malt notes and a dry fresh cut oak note.

T- The dry oak flavor leads to dark chocolate malt with some more milk chocolate notes. There is a soft water and bourbon note in the finish with a slight bitterness that is not really a hop bitterness.

M- The light mouthfeel has a fizzy tight finish with no real alcohol.

D- This beer has a nice oak flavor with some malt flavors the finish takes on a dry chalky bitterness that is a bit off and the watery notes make it a little to thin.

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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 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 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 bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is OK, lacing is pretty good. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and some vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrel aging. However, the bourbon aroma isn't very strong. Luckily, the bourbon comes out more in the taste. The beer tastes like bourbon (oak, vanilla), roasted malt, and chocolate. The bourbon flavor isn't overpowering, but you know it's there. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit rich and feels right for a porter. Carbonation is low. Drinkability is good, it goes down easy and it's nice to drink. Overall I think this is a good beer. I'd try this one again.

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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 danwho
4/5  rDev +7%

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 paco1029384756
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with one and a half fingers of creamy light tan head.

Scent of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. The oak smells fresh and is a bit overpowering, but it still smells good.

Taste of roasted malts, burnt coffee, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and tobacco. It's good, but it seems like there is a bit too much going on and it loses some balance.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied, a bit watery with low carbonation.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a deep brown hue with some red highlights. A one and a half inch light tan head forms on top and subsequently falls back down to a cap. Big rings of lace left on the glass.

Aroma has some chocolate, a very light vanilla, no bourbon or oak aged character? Very mild considering.

Taste is chocolaty up front with the bourbon character entering in the middle. There's a pretty strong bourbon taste, light vanilla and a bit of a woody character.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty smooth and creamy texture. Quite drinkable.

I enjoyed this one more than the Beastie Stout, it has a lot more bourbon character. Either way, it does not stack up to many of the higher profile bourbon aged beers. It's like it was aged in barrels that have been rinsed out.

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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 jwinship83
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up singly from a new brewery to hit the chicago suburbs. poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a dark brown colored body with ruby red highlights coming through around the edges. a rather large beige colored head made up of tightly knit small bubbles forms and lasts for a long time. it leaves solid rings of sticky lacing behind after each sip.

S- the first thing i think is uh oh, no bourbon or barrel odor. smells like a pretty basic porter. a little bit of sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. maybe a bit of vanilla if i try really hard.

T- the barrel comes through a bit more in the taste than the smell. good. chocolate upfront and bourbon barrel in the end. vanilla from the oak. no one part of it comes across as overpowering.

M- medium to full bodied. a nice low level of carbonation and a dry finish.

D- the price is a major concern with this one. something i probably wont try again. nothing wrong with it except for the price tag. glad to see this brewery on a shelf near me.

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