Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
Alewerks Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
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American Imperial Porter
Ranked #22
Ranked #972
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: 185 | Ratings: 627 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EnderFett11
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.

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EnderFett11 from Virginia, Jan 21, 2020
Photo of BillRoth
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.

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BillRoth from Maryland, Dec 15, 2019
Photo of colts9016
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.

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Photo of EMH73
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.

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EMH73 from New York, Mar 10, 2019
Photo of Beejay
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.

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Beejay from Virginia, Feb 15, 2019
Photo of VABA
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

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VABA from Virginia, Feb 01, 2019
Photo of beergoot
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.

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beergoot from Colorado, Jan 31, 2019
Photo of LiquidAmber
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.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Jan 25, 2019
Photo of GrumpyGas
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.

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GrumpyGas from Illinois, Jan 19, 2019
Photo of Lingenbrau
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!

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Photo of Slack
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.

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Slack from Virginia, Jan 01, 2018
Photo of TijuanaTovar
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!

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TijuanaTovar from North Carolina, Dec 25, 2017
Photo of JTK111
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.

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JTK111 from Virginia, Nov 22, 2017
Photo of Buck89
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.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Nov 08, 2017
Photo of Treyliff
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

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Nov 04, 2017
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
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.


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Photo of WindUpBird
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.

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WindUpBird from California, Dec 17, 2016
Photo of JohnKristan
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.

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Photo of stevoj
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.

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stevoj from Idaho, Jun 17, 2016
Photo of Xenoreactive
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.

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Xenoreactive from Virginia, Jan 01, 2016
Photo of KYGunner
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!

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KYGunner from Kentucky, Nov 27, 2015
Photo of WillieThreebiers
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.

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WillieThreebiers from Connecticut, Nov 22, 2015
Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle.
Rich and rather boozy although the alcohol is well hidden in the mouthfeel. Still, warms as swallowed. Light wood but plenty of whisky in this ale. Full body with good if light carbonation. Bitter sweet with too much booze in the flavor.

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chinchill from South Carolina, Nov 01, 2015
Photo of WesMantooth
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in March of '15. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.

It is almost pitch black in color. Slight ruby hues in the light. A frothy tan head that is very impressive and lasting for a barrel aged beer.

Tons of bourbon dominates the aroma. Vanilla, chared oak, alcohol, and even the mash bill junp right out. Their is subtle chocolate and roasted malts in the background.

The chocolate is much more prevalent in the flavor. Especially in the aftertaste. Fairly sweet initially, with oak, vanilla, and molasses. Then some charred flavors along with a lightly bitter milk chocolate and maltiness.

The carbonation is a tad prickly, but otherwise I am really impressed by the mouhfeel. The body approaches those blurred lines (not Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye style) of stout - porter. Especially considering it is a barrel aged beer.

I highly recommend this one. I think my favorite aspect may be the ABV. You usually don't come across a quality beer like this under 10-12%, and this one comes in at 9. Easy to polish of a bomber on a Sunday afternoon and not time travel to Monday. For me it is as good as Framminghammer, maybe better.

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Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP) from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 627 ratings