Bourbon Barrel Porter | AleWerks Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel PorterBourbon Barrel Porter

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerSox on 08-03-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 597 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of sodensp
2.5/5  rDev -40.6%

Photo of mhaugo
2.75/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of BeerImmediately
2.84/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2011 - 4646 bottle into Chimay goblet.

Pours w/short brown head over deep brown body with amber edges. Head fades quickly, and body leaves no lacing to speak of.

Aromas are heavy on the bourbon and oak/vanilla, but backed up by molasses and maple syrup sweetness. Inviting.

Thick on the palate. Flavors are ... whoa. They're thick with bourbon, real maple syrup falls to the background, and the alcholic heat just takes over the finish. Some burnt bark-like bitterness also accompanies the finish. Tastes like I'm eating a burnt bourbon barrel.

Rich and chewy mouthfeel - a little much, but not unexpected given the style, ABV, and barrel aging.

Overall, I can't recommend this unless you are simply in love with bourbon. It takes over the beer, and does not let go. Maybe a couple years of cellaring will smooth things out? Had to drain pour the last half of this $10 bottle.

 884 characters

Photo of YumYumGumGum
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of pperez38
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of Raziel313
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of damngoode
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of corby112
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a half finger mocha head that immediately settles into a very thin ring. Minimal lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasted aroma with a nice bourbon barrel presence that's countered by the dark malt notes. Subtle toasted oak with lots of sweet bourbon and vanilla followed by some chocolate cake, toffee and coffee bean. Bourbon well integrated into the nose without overpowering the other characteristics.

Medium bodied with a blast of sweet, boozy bourbon that dominates the flavor lingering over the other barrel notes and roasted malt into a fiery hot finish. Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon along with some dry wood and very faint vanilla. Could use some more to balance things out a bit. Underneath the bourbon there is subtle sweet and roasted dark malt. Hints of chocolate, coffee, toast and oatmeal but the bourbon really overwhelms and overtakes these notes. The oak compliments the roasted notes, lingering into a dry finish.

Overall this beer started off nice with a decent pour and an impressive aroma but it's very one dimensional with too much bourbon flavor and lingering heat for my liking.

 1,128 characters

Photo of d5001986
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

22oz bomber poured into Spiegelau tulip.
Bottled 7-5-13

A: Thin and dark, but not quite black. A finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Molasses, black licorice, bourbon, alcohol.

T: Booze forward. Molasses, bourbon, a hint of vanilla and cherry. Alcohol in the finish.

M: Smooth with low carbonation, but not enough body.

O: Too boozy and just lacking overall complexity. Can't recommend this one.

 428 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of brystmar
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dtmets84 for sharing!

Black body, plenty of tan head leaves beads of bubbles on my glass. Aroma is exceptionally sweet: smells like sticking your face into a vat of liquid caramel. Taste is equally sweet, akin to drinking a jar of caramel ice cream topping. Supremely imbalanced, though I actually like overly sweet stouts.

Glad to try this but it's not a very good beer.

 383 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a brownish/black, tan-colored head, thin ring.

S - Very sweet upfront, chocolate, caramel, oak, and light booze. A lot sweeter then I expected, but not too sweet for me. The booze is pretty smooth and enjoyable but not as roasty as I would like.

T - Not nearly as good as the nose. It's just cloying sweet but the booze is nice and smooth. Too sweet for me to really enjoy much of this in one session. Not much balance, no roast at all, which is a disappointment.

M - Light to medium, a bit too thin, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Not a huge fan of this porter, but not terribly bad either. I'm not a fan of the huge sweetness and the lack of roast is what really hurts this beer for me. I wouldn't try and obtain another bottle, and I'm not really sure if I'd even go for another pour, if offered.

 848 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this one at TJs during the "The Scraps" event last weekend. Reviewing this one from notes.

Ruby hues show up in the light through a garnet/brown body. There is only a thin layer of creamy head, and it produces no lace. A quick swirl reveals a generally thin film of liquid that doesn't really create any legs or any oily slick on the glass sides.

There are hints of barrel notes in the aroma, along with toffee, chocolate, a light roasty character, and some coffee, but everything seems a little bit subtle for the style and the fact that this is a -bal. The flavor intensifies the notes more, as the vanilla, oak, and bourbon come through and balance well with the toffee and coffee notes in the porter base.

Overall, the feel is thin and fairly average. I would have liked a little more body, though the texture that was there was nicely creamy for the style. Carbonation is low, so the properties of the beer really do come into the spotlight. Unfortunately, this is just a slightly above average beer.

 1,016 characters

Photo of MGibbons
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of aasher
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this up at the Greenville Beer Xchange a couple months ago during a trip to the Carolinas.

It pours a medium bodied, dark chocolate brown in color with no head at all, just a slight beige lacing around the snifter. The aromas consist of chocolate, cream, vanilla, and a touch of bourbon. It's really smooth and I appreciate the level of authentic bourbon present in the nose. The flavors consist of chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee with cream, vanilla, barrel and alcohol. The 9% isn't hidden at all and after the nose, is pretty surprising. And it isn't the bourbon that is overpowering, it's the abv of the beer itself. It just drinks really, really boozy. It's too bad. I thought we were going somewhere but this just didn't finish with the complexity it needed or that I wanted. As it warms the booze lessens a tad but it is still pretty prominent. Overall this was a decent bourbon barrel aged porter but it needs refined in my opinion.

 957 characters

Photo of hippityhops85
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a chilled bomber into my Victory snifter. Label says 2011 - 4297. Purchased from Whole Foods for like $7 I think. You'll basically get me to buy anything that says bourbon barrel on it.

Pours a midnight black with a tan/mocha head that dissipates quickly down leaving only a thin layer on top of the brew. It leaves spotty lacing.

The nose has tons of vanilla on the front. There is a slight chocolate tone to the beer but there's also a really nice, dull dark fruit aroma. Kinda happy about that. Definitely not one-noted.

The taste is literally like chewing on vanilla beans but not in a bad way. The beer totally coats your entire mouth. There is a definite alcohol presence on the back end which distracts from the beer a bit. Lots of milk chocolate, tons of vanilla, not too bourbon-y.

This beer has a HUGE mouthfeel. It is super, super thick. I'd like to have seen a little more carbonation out of it... there seems to be virtually none.

Overall the nose was the best part of this beer. I think it may do well with some time to let the vanilla flavors tame down a bit and let the more "stout" characteristics come out. Overall, not a bad beer but probably won't go out of my way again for it.

 1,219 characters

Photo of imbibehour
3.49/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Limited Release 2011 - 5132.

Out of the bottle she pours chestnut brown, but hits the glass and doesn't quite suds up. Barely a one finger cocoa brown head manages to form, but settles into a thick 3 millimeter sized puck for a bit, then gives a solid obvious nice collar. Body color is dark garnet red and dark walnut brown, but the beer when poured looks a little flat.

Nose is rich and huge. Classic bourbon aging character of thick rich sweet cream. Some vanilla, but one giant creamy sweet bomb. I am rather enjoying that, even if it is a little one dimensional.

A light body porter taste indeed, but doesn't seem to go well with barrel aging. The palate hits with a real light feel, good for a porter, not so much good for the sense of the big nose you expected. Malt flavors come with a light char, and almost a fruity yeast quality. Light texture continues on swallow but there is some strange carbonation on this which is kind of hot and sting the middle of my palate after awhile. Slow warming stomach quality as your gut fills up. After sometime there is a distinct aftertaste, and it took me awhile but I know exactly what it feels and tastes like. It feels like mud, literally dirt and soil on the rooftop of my palate, swishing around in a thick sensation, and then drying out on my tongue with an arid dustbowl dirt sensation and bringing some carbon roast character with it as well.

Overall you get the impression of something really robust is coming but it doesn't happen. Rich malt textures and tastes don't come out, it's sort of a mismatch between two great ideas but they just don't seem to work that well when put together (at least for this beer). I get a rich thick nose, and then a light drink, with robust character, and a drying powdery feel afterwards. It's drinkable, interesting, certainly passable, but perhaps I don't think a real good marriage. It is taking me some time to think if I really would get into this idea of barrel aging a porter, because there is no question in my mind the brewery was doing everything right here. But I guess I am just not a fan of a barrel aged porter (or at least not this one). I don't think this works. Still like the brewery though, keep on going there and thanks for making this and I am glad I tried it.

 2,326 characters

Photo of ArtZan
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mkh895
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of tard24
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of pixieskid
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of suckaj
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of clayrock81
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle 0284:
Poured a black body with a frothy offwhite head that left a little lace. An oaky, roasted malts, caramel, vanillla and toffee malt smell (did not really pick up any chocolate). A smooth, creamy yet slightly sticky/syrupy medium body that mixes sweetness from vanilla and caramel and a little chocolate but mixes a dry roughness from the bourbon barrels and toffee/roasted malt presence. It has a sweet taste but I felt it was slightly unbalanced with the strong bourbon/wood presence and 1 bottle is enough for me.

 527 characters

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Bourbon Barrel Porter from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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