Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
Alewerks Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP)
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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #22
Ranked #1,021
4.29 | pDev: 8.16%
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: 630 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mhksuccess:
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mhksuccess from California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Jan 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
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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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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.6%

My favorite beer. So damn complex and drinkable, huge aroma and flavor. As good as any beer I've ever had. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark northwest cherries, freshly picked blackberries, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, butterscotch, oak, and bourbon. Yea I said all that. One bottle I swear tasted a little coffee even. Beyond smooth, and drinks much bigger than the listed 9%. Must be some damn good barrels, and the base beer is also amazing. Reasonably priced and overall perfect every time. Yes, perfect.

Aug 18, 2014
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WesMantooth from Ohio

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.

Oct 25, 2015
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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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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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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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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency at the edges. Small khaki head and a very thin collar.

Smell - Bourbon is strong. Oak behind it. Vanilla rounds it out. Some milk chocolate and roast.

Taste - Bourbon is equally strong. Dark chocolate. Coffee roasted malts. Oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Impressive. Great bourbon flavor that works well with the beer.

Feb 17, 2015
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josh32219 from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Aug 11, 2013
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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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TonyTalon from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Jul 28, 2013
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ksurkin from Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first rating! bottle #21/2009 from grape & gourmet. pours a beautiful, slightly oily, very dark brown, with a thin, light khaki head and great lacing. aroma is excellent with huge notes of praline, vanilla extract, burnt caramel, and sweet brown sugar with hints of dark chocolate, toasted coconut, maple, and roast coffee with the slightest touch of oaked bourbon. flavor is absolutely decadent and honestly tastes like german chocolate cake dipped in bourbon. big, sweet notes of chocolate, vanilla cream frosting, coconut, brown sugar, and toffee up front followed by bitter, roast coffee, nutty malts, and a hint of dark fruit with smooth, slightly smokey, oaked bourbon notes elegantly coming through in the long, lingering, roasty finish. palate is silky smooth yet full bodied and mildly carbonated. the flavors in this brew peak after about 15 minutes in the glass and that’s when it become spectacular. call me a homer, but this is a perfect example of barrel aging done right and one hell of a great brew. *UPDATE* fresh, 2010 edition, bottle #2008/2010. wow, hard to believe that this one is better the second time around. tasted on tap @ greenleaf and out of the bottle the aroma and the flavor have a massive kick of roasted coffee, burnt caramel, and wood (those new barrels are the real deal!) with a more elegantly integrated bourbon and vanilla presence with huge dark chocolate on the finish. palate is more substantial than last years version as well. wow, this is truly an unbelieveable beer. i am now forced to do an ’09-’10 side-by-side!

Aug 25, 2011
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Kramerbarthomer from Colorado

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

Sep 07, 2015
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GRG1313 from California

4/5  rDev -6.8%

Jan 20, 2014
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egrace84 from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Feb 23, 2014
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BoilerUpNavy from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +16.6%

Nov 15, 2011
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rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

May 07, 2017
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KickbacksSteve from Florida

4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bomber into Efes tulip. Bottle number 2011-2145. Off-white head, low retention. Body not totally opaque, but close to black with a touch of ruby. Clear, oily lacing sticks to the glass. Aroma is dominated by coffee, malt sweetness and a touch of chocolate and vanilla. Nice, thick mouthfeel, very smooth. Taste includes vanilla, malty sweetness, coffee, slight alcohol. Overall, highly drinkable, especially considering the abv, really a delicious beer.

Sep 04, 2011
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VeganUndead from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Aug 29, 2013
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SMason from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Feb 05, 2012
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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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MetalHopHead6 from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Williamsburg Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter is remarkably smooth and creamy, rich, and oddly refreshing.

It poured dark brown to black, like dark chocolate, with a short fleeting tan head that left a thick tan lace curtain. Booze dominated the aroma, but the flavor was also sweet, with hints of whiskey, caramel, and chocolate, and strong long-lingering vanilla. The feel was remarkably smooth and creamy with nothing at all left behind. As a result, it was surprisingly good on a very hot day.

Williamsburg Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter has great flavor and ridiculous drinkability; however what sets it apart is the good-news-bad-news feel. The good news is the clean and crisp finish that makes it so much more than a dessert; the bad new is the complete lack of lasting impact.

Jun 27, 2010
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Jasonrm72 from Colorado

4/5  rDev -6.8%

Aug 10, 2014
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DeutschesBier from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Sep 16, 2013
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mkirkland80 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Oct 25, 2014
Bourbon Barrel Porter (BBP) from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 630 ratings