Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
Alewerks Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #22
Ranked #1,052
4.29 | pDev: 8.39%
Alewerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
Notes: Annually-released Imperial Porter, brewed with Caribbean unrefined sugar and aged in Virginia Gentleman Bourbon barrels. Notes of rich chocolate and caramel are complemented by vanilla and the aroma of Bourbon. Exceptional depth and balance in a rich, seductive experience.
Reviews: 187 | Ratings: 631 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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brewerburgundy from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle, tulip, 2020 release.

Milky, hazy brown with Cabernet highlights. The head is a pretty creamy mocha affair, all the more impressive for the lacing that defies the ABV.

Cedar, maple syrup, chocolate syrup. It’s cloyingly sweet, tempered by some bourbon booze that comes through as vanilla, hot cocoa, and salted caramel.

Sweet, smooth milk chocolate and pretzels with a punch of smooth bourbon. The bourbon is clean, oaky, full of vanilla. The finish is woody and a bit tannic like very dark chocolate.

Thin, but also a little syrupy. It’s a bit contrary and is on the thin side with low carbonation.

Dude, this is a good beer! Balanced barrel flavors even though it’s freshly bottled.

Nov 29, 2020
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured moderately hard from a bottle into a Guinness glass, resulting in a bit of head that faded to a ring of lacing. Smells of sweet bourbon. Taste is strongly bourbon when cold, but mellows out to hints of chocolate along with the sweet bourbon as it warms. Sweet throughout, but not quite too sweet. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Intense bourbon flavor when cold had me worried, but it didn't get too sweet when it warmed, so this turned about to be an excellent bourbon aged porter/stout.

Jan 21, 2020
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Want to compliment Colts9016 for recent excellent review @ 11/26/19.
Could not describe better.
I enjoyed on tap at brewery and subsequently over a 4pack I purchased as well.
Beautifully crafted BA Porter.
This and this year’s Jubilee were both outstanding.

Dec 15, 2019
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been sitting idle in the beer cellar for quite a while now. Tonight seemed like the perfect night to consume this beer. The beer is a barrel-aged porter with sugar. I hope the beer does not come off too sweet or overly charred. The beer is 46 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour of the beer produced a one finger medium tan head. The head did not last long, dissipating quickly and not leaving any lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 38 a dark brown nearly black in color. The beer is opaque. The head just left a tan ring around the glass.

The aromas in the beer are medium roasted coffee, caramel, toffee, anise, oak, solvent, biscuit, toasted malt, roasted malts, milk chocolate, yeast, earthy, subtle char, and a hint of floral.

The flavors in the beer are, roasted coffee, char, caramel, toffee, figs, raisins, oak, oranges, cinnamon, toasted malts, a hint of smokiness, roasted malts, burnt sugars, a hint of solvent, yeasty, earthy, floral and a hint of herbal.

The mouthfeel of the beer is coating and lush.

The body of the beer is medium, the carbonation is medium, and the finish is full.

The flavor profile in the beer is incredible. The sugar does give the beer a bit of sweetness, but not in an off-putting way. The char notes in the beer are kept in check. The beer is well balanced and flavorful. I enjoyed drinking this porter. The warmer the beer got, it started to have come to life.

Nov 26, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a well retained one inch tan head that left sticky lacing. Smells of bourbon, molasses, chocolate, oak and some char. Tastes of dark chocolate, cocoa, bourbon, oak, vanilla, slightly burnt molasses, figs, coffee and roasted malts. Full bodied for a porter, lightly carbonated, creamy mouth feel with a slightly sweet finish.

Mar 10, 2019
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Beejay from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown as it pours, but near black in the glass. With a fairly strong pour you can coax some dark brown head out of it.

S: smells of creme brulee, vanilla, oak, and and bourbon. Rich and sweet

T: sweet vanilla, oak, and brown sugar. Some decent dark malt in there, but there is a lot of bourbon flavor. After taste is coffee and malt.

M: medium thick, but with higher carbonation than others of the style. Done thickness in the finish.

O: overall a damn fine beer.

Feb 15, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours an opaque color with a generous head and lacing
A-Aroma has nice Bourbon, dark chocolate and caramel hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a Bourbon dark chocolate and caramel flavors
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A well balanced Porter

Feb 01, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, opaque body; thick, frothy tan head; sticky foam clinging to the sides of the glass. Rich aroma of bitter chocolate, dates and figs, some booze; a bit of licorice. The taste amplifies what comes through in the smell; cocoa and bourbon. Heavy, chewy mouthfeel; lushes and velvety; robust sweetness coats the palate.

Well, I must say this is one fine barrel-aged porter. It really steps up its sensory game when the beer hits your taste buds and palate. Incredibly deep and complex and very satisfying.

Jan 31, 2019
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a quarter finger light khaki head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, milk and dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and a little oak. Flavor is dark toasted malt, bourbon, dark chocolate, oaky vanilla, light molasses and a hint of coffee. Finishes a little bourbon boozy. Medium bodied with light creaminess and sharp carbonation. A richly chocolate porter that is also quite bourbon forward. The chocolate and vanilla character is excellent and and the malt is robust enough to support the bourbon. The bourbon barrel character is a little overwhelming in the finish, cutting through the malt in the finish, however the overall flavor is so rich that it invited repeat tasting. My second beer from Alewerks: both were impressive.

Jan 25, 2019
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 10/24/2018 oozes into a classic hotel room glass and boasts an ebony colored body favoring cola highlights that briefly floats an 1/8in cinnamon colored head of medium bubbles leaving spotted lacing steps.

Aromas up front evoke a bourbon soaked, candied, bacon with the expected colors of vanilla, oak, char, leather, brown sugar, and tobacco.

Flavors match with an emphasis on booze leaving a sugary aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full and just short of creamy with a wet finish.

Overall a really fine example of the style. Thanks to Craig for the opportunity.

Jan 19, 2019
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another big thanks out to Craig!

BBP pours black. It looks viscous coming out of the bottle. The deep abyss of a body is capped by a thin bubbled tanned head, which recedes into small islands and a fading coastal blend of colors.

If there has ever been a beer that smells like straight up fudge, this is it. Liquid fudge doused in oak and booze. It smells decadent.

And it is. Dense, rich, chocolatey fudge with caramel and walnut highlights make this a euphoric dessert experience. The oak and booze play supporting cast perfectly, rather than dominating the delicious base. A slight dark cherry tartness only elevates the flavor.

The feel matches just as it should. It is in fact decadent with it's smooth, creamy, syrupy body. It's no question on the sweet side, but has a wonderful charred and oaky presence to keep it in check. Every sip coats the mouth, and let lingers lung enough to allow intermissions between each sip.

This beer is amazing. Perhaps a bit too bold to be labeled a "porter", but who gives a shit? This is a wonderful experience. If you find it, consider yourself lucky, and indulge. Thanks again Craig. Cheers!

Feb 14, 2018
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Slack from Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015-03-14 bottle date

Deep brown to black with a hint of brown tinted head

Nose is bourbon but not booze, notes of barrel, notes of caramel, and notes of coffee

Taste is the same - bourbon and caramel, a bit of vanilla, some coffee, charred barrel character, and subtle sweetness

Mouthful is medium and smooth. Carbonation is low. Finish is semi sweet accented by barrel.

Overall aging this bottle worked out very well. The booze notes abated and all you were left with were the bourbon character. Very much recommend aging a couple of bottles.

Jan 01, 2018
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TijuanaTovar from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aged almost a year. Solid BA porter. If you like desserty porters and BCBS, grab this. Very impressed with Alewerks’ BA dark brew offerings! Similar to Cafe Royale, but I like Cafe Royale a little more since cafe royale is more full body with more Fudgy bourbonness. Love it!

Dec 25, 2017
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JTK111 from Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark, syrupy beer with a tan-brown head. Smells boozy. Tastes boozy up front (it's 9% ABV and you can taste it). Some bourbon flavor, but the brown sugar and molasses flavors are right there. Fells like a heavy beer, syrupy. Overall, I love bourbon but I thought this one was a little strong.

Nov 22, 2017
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Nearly opaque dark brown color with a modest tan head. Bourbon, vanilla, and honey on the nose - only a slight hint of roasty malt. More porter-like up front on the palate but quickly enveloped by a nice warming bourbon presence. Slightly sweet and woody. Also a noticeable cherry tartness on the finish that melded well with chocolatey notes. Full-bodied but easy to drink. Really enjoyable.

Nov 08, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a deep black color with just a hint of light creeping through, one-finger creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- plenty of barrel notes on the aroma with woody oak, bourbon and vanilla. Roasted malt gives some chocolaty aromas as well as caramel

T- bold bourbon notes up front, wet wood, barrel juice caramel and coconut. Mid-palate gives roasted malt and layers of chocolate. The finish gives more bourbon and chocolate on the linger

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a viscous velvety finish

O- bold flavors with plenty of barrel notes and roasted chocolate, very good

Nov 04, 2017
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

15 June 2020 - Beer #120

Corona Day #95

Price: $7.25 at Craft Beer Cellar in Washington, DC

Appearance: 4 - almost all black. A bit red at the edges. Small tan head.

Nose: 5 - very pleasant barrel notes. I doubt it spent just 2 months aging. Description must be an error.

Taste: 4 - as basic as a barrel aged beer can get. Fairly roasty, fairly sweet from the barrel. At 9.0%, eminently drinkable.

Mouth: 4 - fairly thick with plenty of bubbles. Nicely done.

Overall: 4 - nothing special, not if you want to drink barrel aged beer all day, this is a prime candidate.

Stay safe out there, my friends.


Sep 01, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a speiglau BA glass.

Look is pitch black with just a thin cream white head.

Aroma is deep bourbon with notes of vanilla and charred oak.

Taste is astrigent heavy barrel in the best way possible.


Feb 27, 2017
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WindUpBird from California

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, sweet and boozy, this beer is like that friend with the loud voice who won't be ignored. It pours a thick dark brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is oaky with burnt sugar and alcohol dominating. The taste brings more burnt sugar, and dried fruits, The mouthfeel is heavy and thick, demanding to be savored slowly. A pleasant porter, perhaps more than pleasant, but one whose flavor profile and aroma demands the drinker's full attention. If you're drinking this, you're not multitasking.

Dec 17, 2016
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JohnKristan from Ohio

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oily black with no head. Rich boozy flavor with a fair amount of roasty malt keeping the bitterness in check. Nice use of the bourbon barrel. Worth a try.

Dec 11, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from share on 6/11/16. Dark brown, muddy pour capped off with a small beige, tight head. Barrel aging takes center stage in aroma and taste.Bourbon really brings out the smoky, chocolaty nature of the porter. Really knocked my socks off.

Jun 17, 2016
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Xenoreactive from Virginia

4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A phenomenal porter. Next to world-class.

Look: Pours thick and oily. A viscous and luscious beer looking at that low carbonation, next to no lacing and liberal amount of overall foam.

Smell: Bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, plums, milk, and cookie sweetness.

Taste: Similar to smell, but far better. You get a buttery and textured taste that announces all those nuances in flavor. This is an incredible porter that will only get better with age. The bourbon presence is certainly established, but not overwhelming. This is essentially a chocolate mocha with a heavy dosage of vanilla, bourbon and charred malt. This is reminiscent of Alewerks' Cafe Royale, but more oily with a boozy complexion that equates to a porters' smokiness.

Feel: Medium-bodied with low carbonation and a lingering aftertaste. Keep enjoying it.

Overall: Will continue buying as long as I see it on shelves. This is a phenomenal beer that will do well with cellaring. Will update with a 6 month and 1 year date.

Edit: 1 year aged is incredible. Very few barrel-aged beers hold up nearly as well as this deliciousness. Bourbon and wood somehow got more pronounced while the smoky characteristics of the porter died away.

Jan 01, 2016
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KYGunner from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly full and very well done this showcases every aspect of the barrel. Woodsy oak, vanilla, coconut, chocolate, bourbonesque creaminess with a bit of toffee. Delicious!

Nov 27, 2015
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WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poyrs a fluid black with a trace of tan head. Sweet aroma bourbon and toffee. Rich bourbon boozy taste with hints of toffee and caramel. Fullbodied mouth...guite wonderful.

Nov 22, 2015
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MyThoughtsExactly from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber (dated March 15) into a pint glass
L: Black in the glass with a thick finger of mocha head.
S:Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel, and chocolate notes on the nose.
T:Follows the nose with lots of bourbon, toffee, vanilla and caramel flavors. A little alcohol warmth and lightness is present, and the it finish with more toffee, caramel, and chocolate notes.
F: Creamy but more towards a medium-light mouth feel. Consistent with other Porters.
Overall this beer has great bourbon flavor. Would like to try this with maybe a year on it to see how it changes.

Nov 15, 2015
Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP) from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 631 ratings