Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Amber | AleWerks Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CrellMoset on 09-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by DoctorB2B:
Photo of DoctorB2B
3/5  rDev -24.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: murky brown in color, capped with an off-white head that shows average retention

s: rich amber malts create a thick base upon which the bourbon barrel is applied - pleasant and not too alcoholic with loads of soaked oak, various dark fruits and a full earthy hop aroma, lacking the complexity of a really fine barreled beer, but the bourbon is really well done

m: full bodied with a smooth, moderate level of carbonation

t: dark fruits and sugars from a full malt body, big flavorful bourbon and spicy oak flavors with smooth vanilla, moderate booze, well hopped with a moderate bitterness in the finish

d: no problems with this one, inherently limited and not one to keep returning to, but a welcome experiment nonetheless

 730 characters

Photo of ksurkin
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FRESH growler direct from the brewery, January 2011 edition. pours a hazy, reddish amber with a thick, creamy, eggshell head and great lacing with excellent retention. aroma is fantastic with huge notes of sweet vanilla cake, nougat, toasted oak, and light floral esters backed by buttery toffee, subtle, spicy bourbon, and orange creamsicle with unique tropical notes of candied pineapple and pears and a trace of piney hops as it warms. flavor is great as well with the piney hops, orange citrus, and toasted malt coming through a bit more behind smooth, oakey bourbon, vanilla, pear skins, and caramel giving this a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness and finishing with dry, woody hops. palate is medium bodied, nicely carbonated, and smooth without a trace of harsh bourbon bite making this one dangerously drinkable despite the 10.5% abv. overall, another great barrel aged effort from Geoff at AleWerks.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear dark amber color, minimal head and little lacing. Scent brings an attractve blend of pale and aromatic malts, piney and floral hops and a solid bourbon barrel notes (vanilla, cocounut, char, oak). Taste is as scent dictated, the bourbon barrel aging does nothing to cover up the solid amber ale (edit: a little research leaves me to believe the base beer is more of an IPA) underneath aside from cutting out the hops ever so slightly. Medium bodied, lightly coating, slight lingering notes of vanilla. A nice surpise of a beer, truly unique. Left wondering what other styles would work aged in this method.

 627 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed amber brown auburn, pretty nicely colored, actually, but with practically no indicia of any sort of head - at least, once it arrives at the table. Only a few windy stray slices of head on the surface and a few streaky, nearly uniformly vertical runs of lacing indicate a head was ever even on top of this one to begin with. Very slow streams of carbonation are visible from the top.

Aroma: A little better. Spicy bourbon intermingles with spicy, leafy hops in a toasty, bready, equal parts dry-and-sweet malt foundation to create a reasonably pleasant albeit a little faint aromatic profile.

Taste: A mixed bag, but one that plays to its strengths. Bourbon is large here, spicy and earthy with only a kiss a char, but it's not brash or offensive. It plays reasonably well off what is a very earthy, leafy hop profile - hints of tobacco dominate the profile on this one, really - and a wholesome, fairly heavily roasted/borderline toasted malt bill, with hints of toasted bread, bread crusts, . Though the hop profile is in some places soapy (a problem that seems to plague Williamsburg Alewerks), that's covered well by the bourbon in an inoffensive way.

Mouthfeel: Thicker, slightly, though with a fair amount of internal carbonation that does a solid job of being buoyant. Not cloying or sticky.

Drinkability: I almost want to down this one a little on drinkability, because it is rather alcoholic, and not really in a "worth it" way. It's worth it to try, certainly - it's not a bad beer, it's interesting in many ways, and it's a bit of a case study in Williamsburg Alewerks - but I found myself growing a little tired of it near the end, and a pint was a bit of work. However, I am glad that this brewery is branching out, trying new things, and I hope that this gives them the knowledge they need to fix old things, other things, that will enable them to become a better brewery in time. If I had to guess on the abv% of this one, I'd guess between 8% and 10%, and though this one was interesting to try, I wouldn't call her the next morning. Worth it once, I s'pose.

 2,212 characters

Photo of BayouBreweryRob
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Went in and bought a growler straight from the source in Williamsburg. Got a chance to talk to the employees about this one of a kind drink. Apparently this brew was born from a combination of fowl-up/innovation: they were not satisfied with an attempt at a new imperial IPA, so they decided to age it in bourbon barrels for several months. Gotta love the idea.

A: Poured a rich amber brown with about a 3:1 head to liquid ratio. After the initial head died down it looked almost like a big glass of whiskey. Overall excellent color, but very poor head retention. Relatively no lacing on the glass. Amazing streams of carbonation rose to the surface, but only for a few minutes.

Aroma: Man I love me that bourbon smell in a beer. Best way to describe it is a pungent combination of spicy bourbon alcohol mixed with a curious combination of citrus hops. I'm glad they told me it was originally an IPA or else I would have thought I got a skunky-amber ale!

Taste: BOURBON, big time bourbon taste (which I love) hits the mouth like a ton of bricks. Very spicy, like a little piece of charcoal was marinated in whiskey. The earthy/citrus hops complement the spiciness of the bourbon profile extremely well. In the middle, I got a slight toasted malt taste, but this was wiped out very quickly by the great combination of spicy bourbon hop. Overall, extremely tasty and original.

Mouthfeel: First glass had an excellent carbonation character; however, as I kept pouring out my growler it became extremely flat for the last half.

Drinkability: Well, this is a tough one b/c of the problems I had with sustaining carbonation in my growler. Initially I felt like this was a succulent sipping beer. But then, as it lost its carbonation, I found myself gulping a good amount and then just letting it sit for a while towards the end b/c it tasted a lot more like a thawed out glass of bourbon on the rocks than a beer. Like I said, I love me some bourbon, but not so much when I'm drinking half a gallon of it.

Overall, interesting and original concoction. Would definitely recommend a glass if you see it on tap somewhere.

 2,120 characters

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Amber from AleWerks Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.
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