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Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter | Atwater Brewery

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Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's PorterAtwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DrDoitchbig on 09-28-2011

For Trade:
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 181
Photo of mntlover
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black some red brown showing around the edges. Finger and a half dark tan head that falls ring fairly quickly with some sparse lace.

Aroma is light bourbon barrel, burnt malts or maybe more toasted and a good ripe dark fruit aroma.

Taste is bourbon upfront then toasted malts little bit of the burnt notes along with earthy hints and a good smoke notes. Finish seems little watery but for a regular porter that seems fine.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation seems peppy but does not come off fizzy. Fairly smooth just light on back end.

Overall not bad brew bourbon is on the light side but it is a regular porter so that seems fine also. A decent enough brew not one to seek out but worth a try for sure.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Champane's Cellars. Underrated Baltic porter. Some decent taste. Black coloured body and some retained head. Roast aroma. A little much roast but liked the bourbon and chocolate, nothing overpowering. A bit thin for the description, but good drinkability.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.27/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Bourbon: drink of the shamans. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I remember hearing that sometime during sophomore year... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises bourbon, mild cocoa, light roasted malts, and a hint of what may or may not be oak. That bourbon is definitely the star of the show. The taste reinforces this notion, though now the bourbon comes across as, well, cheaper (for lack of a better word at the moment). Some cola is tossed in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, an overly-thin, cheap-whiskey-centric porter. It's not terrible, but it's not all that great.

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Photo of dfillius
4.38/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of TIGHT tan head with superb retention. Near opaque dark brown with the slightest red hue on the edges.
S: Slightly sweet caramel bourbon aroma. Dark chocolate and pumpkin when you scoop it out for a Jack-o-Lantern. Subdued, could be a bit bolder. Bananas Foster.
T: Nicely balanced and not boozy. Roasty cocoa and essence of bourbon. Slight tobacco, tangy caramel, slight tannin. Bourbon becomes a bit more dominant later. Bananas Foster.
M: Smooth, silky, chewy. Slightly warm - in a great way.
O: High drinkability for a BBA beer. Lovin' it! I'd definitely order another. I might buy 6!

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Photo of jeremy13586
3.82/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

September 2011 Bottle Date

Jet black. Absolutely no light getting through this one, even around the edges.
Had a one-finger tan head that didn't last for too long, but it did leave behind a little bit
of lacing.

Some roasted malt and coffee up front, but then there is a fairly strong aroma of sweet chocolate. Some minor notes of wood and bourbon, but not that much.

Roasted malt hit first and was pretty consistent, but just enough to provide a good backbone for everything else. coffee, vanilla and licorice changed to sweet chocolate which became the prevalent flavor, but was controlled by the roasted malt. Light oak at the end and a clean finish

Very smooth and a little bit syrupy. Full bodied, but just heavy enough. Again, very clean finish.

A very drinkable and interesting porter. Didn't get too much of the bourbon barrel aging, so it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. All the flavors that were there were pretty well laid out and it surprisingly wasn't muddy.

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Photo of n2185
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with three fingers of dark tan head that fades into a thin ring with barely any lacing.

S: Roasted malts with sweet cocoa up front followed by vanilla and a touch of licorice. There are also hints of oak and bourbon, but they're faint.

T: Roasted malts with semi-sweet cocoa and coffee at first. Licorice and vanilla come through here as well along with just hints of the oak and bourbon.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer could use a creamier body or more carbonation to avoid feeling watery.

O: An alright beer overall, though not great. The licorice notes are a bit weird and the bourbon is almost undetectable. Still, it's far from undrinkable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Tony412 for this one!

A: Pours a dark brown with a thin mocha colored head on top. Very little retention, settling to a thin cap. Thin lacing forms around the sides.

S: Some roasted malt, a little caramel, and if I make myself believe, there is a hint of bourbon and vanilla, but very faint.

T: Rather boring..tastes like a very generic porter. No bourbon influence at all. Some roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate.

M: Light to medium bodied for style. Medium carbonation.

O: Not very good. Would never have guessed this had a bourbon influence. Even compared to regular porters this beer is boring.

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Photo of silentjay
2.99/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

6.8% seems kind of low for a barrel-aging candidate, but we will see how it held up in the barrel over time. Never really had luck with Atwater, so I'm not expecting anything special.

pours black. pretty decent-sized dark tan head that quickly recedes yet laces well.

roasted malts, some butterscotch, light caramel, a bit of toasted nuts and absolutely no bourbon in the aroma. pretty on-point for an English-styled porter, though.

pretty on-point with the aroma. lots of candied nuts, sweet malts, butterscotch, caramel. no bourbon again. at all. a bit of char on the finish is nice and really saves this beer from being below average like the rest of Atwater's lineup that I've tried. It's at least average.

lighter side of medium-bodied with subtle carbonation and a watery finish.

I don't get it. I mean, did they put this in a bourbon barrel for a day? Why bother if you aren't going to test it to see when its ready? no bourbon, no wood, no oak.... wtf? Its just an average porter.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.49/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased by Jason, although I think I picked this out at the store. Served in a tulip.

A - A thin tan foam settles to a collar and some wispy patches. Very dark brown, with a glint of red-brown transparency at the bottom of the glass. A few stray splotches of lace.

S - Intense bourbon and fusel alcohol, as well as some licorice. 6.8?! Really?!? Some oak as well. Base beer has been obliterated.

T - Dark chocolate, some mild vanilla, and significantly better hidden booze. Less barrel presence, and surprisingly mild compared to the aroma. Actually kind of dull.

M - Body is medium-light and too thin for a barrel-aged porter. Lower carbonation, and little tannic character - guessing this wasn't aged in barrels very long.

D - The excessive booze in the aroma was the highlight of this beer when it came to interesting features - unfortunately it was a negative. A pretty boring beer in most other regards.

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Photo of tsauce2
2.56/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter

A: SRM is dark brown. Nearly opaque. Head is tan, 1 in, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Light roasted malt. Light notes of the sharp smell associated with porters. Vague bourbon and oak.

T: Light malt and chocolate flavors. A touch of bourbon. Slightly bitter. Aftertaste is lightly malted and a touch of bourbon.

M: Medium body. Something causes an adverse feel of bitterness and a lightly burnt/ash feel.

O: Swing and a miss. The flavors were not good, I hardly got any bourbon, no "classic" porter taste, and this beer was way overpriced. ($3.99) This is the first, and probably the last, beer that I have from Atwater Block. The appearance was nice, but the rest of the beer did not follow suit.

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Photo of BBP
4.12/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark yet clear black. Head is present very quickly but it doesn't fly up or maintain itself well. Lacing is nice.

The aroma is really solid. There's a definitive bourbon without the heat. The next smell up is roastiness which is embedded into the bourbon. Dark malt is there, but it's pretty minimal. There might just be a sliver of caramel malt that works underneath the bourbon as well.

The taste was a bit lighter than the aroma suggests. I sort of expected a stronger taste, but this brings the bourbon out without any heat and it has a pretty solid balance. The drinkability is tremendous for that reason too. The malt bill and the bourbon don't really meld all that well, but it doesn't clash. First the bourbon comes in and really makes an incredible taste, but then it fades away to leaving the malt looking a bit unimpressive. Overall, this has tremendous potential, but I felt that the malt wasn't sufficient to hold it's own after the bourbon faded.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and medium to high heaviness. The finish is moderately dry and considerably sticky.

Overall, this was a solid beer, but I wish they put just a little bit more into the malt and hop bill. I'm very curious to try all their other offerings now though. This was very tastefully done.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, I feel I must point out that I only purchased this beer because it was $6.99 for a 4 pack. That said, my hopes were not high despite liking some beers from Atwater in the past.

The beer pours a dark black hue which is probably the most striking aspect of the brew. Malt is the most striking part of the aroma which hints at the problems to come. The flavor itself is more malt than anything. One has to really use his/her imagination to detect any hint of bourbon barrel aging in the initial taste. There are some hints that there is something more to this porter in the aftertaste. However, it is not enough to save this beer from disappointing. The little taste of oakiness is too subtle. Perhaps the most average aspect of the beer is the mouthfeel, smooth as it should be.

When a brewery tries to make an elite/limited edition beer, it sets the bar high. The fact is, this beer is below others in the field.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.28/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

POurs out a black hue with a 1 and a half inch tan head that maintains good retention and some nice lacing. The nose is a pleasant aroma of burnt roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The taste is a nice balance of some sweet malts, chocolate, coffee and a hint of hops. Some bourbon comes in at the finish. This is a very nice smooth creamy medium bodied beer that is a pleasure to drink. This is by far Atwater's best beer. This is one of those beers I would have expected from Dark Horse or Founders, not Atwater. A very nice surprise from an unexpected source.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recommended by local beer guy who said it was a new arrival and very good. Label is marked Sep 11, and so I told him it was old (thinking it was a best by date) but he said it was the bottling date. I'll take him at his word since he's never steered me wrong before.

Pours a very deep black color with slight hues of red around the edges. A less than one-finger mocha head that does leave a little lacing.

The aroma is fairly muted, but yields a small amount of roasted malt and a touch of chocolate. A hint of coffee but no bourbon in the aroma that I can detect.

The flavor is not terribly close to the aroma. Much more bitterness from the roasted malt is present, standing out with the coffee. Not much of the coffee flavor present either, but there is a small note of bourbon coming through. Honestly, the bourbon flavor does not mix very well with the other flavors for me.

Medium to light mouthfeel and no real notice of alcohol. Assuming this is fresh by the dating, it may mellow and blend better with age.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.25/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Traditionally brewed in the Baltic Region". "We use the finest ingredients including; Munich, Chocolate and Black Malts (plus, German Hops)"
ABV 6.8% IBU 32 per the bottle, $1.79 for a 12oz bottle.

Pours out to a clear very dark brown, near black, forming a nice creamy tan head with very good retention and solid sheets of lacing. Mild carbonation. The aroma is quite nice, much better than the Shaman porter I had back in 2006. Black walnut, burnt chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, and burnt marshmallow. Reminds me a bit of Bells stout in the nose...nice black patent roastiness. Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the nose...lots of dark malts, and the mild woody green leafy hoppy bitterness is balanced nicely by long lasting roasted notes and a light sweetness. Very nice balance here, although it's definitely not as sweet as a baltice porter, nor does it have those fig/date/prune notes. There is a just a hint of bourbon in the finish, although I would be hard pressed to guess it was even there in a blind tasting. No off-flavors or aromas here. Seems they have improved their quality control.

This is a really good porter, and considering the price, I would buy it again. The first beer I've tried from Atwater that I can recommend.

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Photo of DrDoitchbig
2.1/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Atwater Block we meet again. $1.59 for a single of a bourbon barrel aged beer? It's worth a shot.

Appearance: We're off to a good start. An aggressive pour yielded an impressive 1 1/2 fingers of creamy mocha colored head. The beer itself was jet black with minimal garnet hued edges when held to the light.

Smell: And the downward spiral begins. The aroma is nearly non-existent. There is a faint whiff of dark chocolate coupled with some roasted malts and perhaps a bit of booze hiding in there but nothing that specifically points to bourbon.

Taste: Sweeter than the smell would suggest but the taste still consists of mostly dark chocolate and roasted malts. If this stuff was barrel aged it was only done for an extremely short period of time. I do pick up some vanilla towards the finish which could be a byproduct of aging but that's about it. It's not horrible but it does misrepresent itself.

Mouthfeel: I wouldn't call it watery but it is too thin for the style. Carbonation is at an acceptable level but that hardly saves the experience.

Overall: Does Atwater have no quality control? Did anyone taste this beer before it made it to the bottling line? Calling this bourbon barrel aged is a joke. I didn't expect much at the cheap price point but I still managed to be underwhelmed.

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Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shaman's Porter from Atwater Brewery
3.32 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
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