Bourbon Barrel Brown Bear Brown Ale | Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
6 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DaPeculierDane on 11-23-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
4.81/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown, bordering on black with a purplish red cast. A small cap eventually recedes to a wispy haze and leaves a thin collar and some light lacing.

S - Smells like a good bourbon! Brown sugar, red wine, oak, hints of vinegar, raisins, brandy, and a huge whiff of alcohol. Damn this smells good! I love bourbon and scotch almost as much as I love beer, and for me this is a match made in heaven.

T - Sweet bourbon, brandy, oaky red wine, and raisins. Brown sugar, caramel, smoke, chocolate, and heavy whipping cream. Outstanding.

M - Full bodied, creamy, thick, rich, mildly carbonated, and very warming. All that is beautiful and right in the world.

D - Good stuff. It's too boozy have more than one....ok, maybe two. But I tried to get a growler of this stuff to take home and sip from a snifter on quiet evenings, sadly they won't send you home with a big jug of this glorious stuff. After trying the very average and forgettable standard Brown Bear and Rock Bottom's other mundane brew, I was shocked by out awesome this brew is. Kudos to the brewer.

 1,074 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.61/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Say that name 5 times fast. This is third of Rock Bottom’s current 4 bourbon barrel beer showcase. While better than the barley wine in my opinion this brew still falls short primarily because any interesting aspects that it may have had at one time are completely covered by an intense molasses and maple syrup alchohol smell, flavor, and feel.

The beer looks well enough. It’s flat, however, the rich tar color and nice deep brown hues offer up a really pleasant looking appearance.

Then comes the smell. Maple syrup, molasses, and booze.

The taste is the same.

The mouthfeel is way too sweet.

The drinkability is nonexistent due to the over the top (in a bad way) sweetness.

Bourbon fans with sweet tooths might enjoy this one but as far as I am concerned, Rock Bottom took a beer with great potential and trashed it by over aging it in some goram bourbon barrels. Drinking this beer was like drinking a new castle mixed with a shot of Beam, a shot of maple syrup, and a tablespoon of molasses. Yuck!

 1,026 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a dark black body with a thick creamy tan head. No sign of carbonation in that body but there was a slight bit of lacing in the first few sips.

S- The smell of big oak and bourbon were the dominant aromas with a slight vanilla and dark malt hint as it warmed.

T- This beer has a big oak and smooth bourbon flavor with notes of brown malt and chocolate malt. As it warmed there was a faint pot caramel note and a soft alcohol taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel but it was a bit watery in texture. A soft alcohol heat came through as it warmed.

D- This beer has nice big oak and bourbon flavors but the beer body just can't hold up to those big flavors and it was lost.

 747 characters

Photo of ndekke39
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ordered on-tap at the restaurant and brewery in downtown Chicago. Poured an almost opaque, reddish-brown color with a very thin white head. Medium amounts of lacing. Aromas of the bourbon (very strong), sweet malt, hints of nuttiness. Taste of bourbon was stronger than expected, and it lingers all throughout. Overall sweet quality to the flavor - sweet malt. Hints of nuttiness and some hops in the aftertaste. Really love the bourbon, although it doesn't travel a whole lot. Brings a lot of sweetness to the flavor, although not as much of an alcohol flavor. Medium creaminess in the mouthfeel, balanced by medium carbonation. Overall excellent drinkability. Would gladly order another one. A good brown ale enhanced by the bourbon.

 735 characters

Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon barrel brown bear brown. Deep dark chestnut almost opague. Coffee hued head dissipates quickly. Sweet bourbon roasted grains. Taste is very sweet and deeply roast hints of oak vanilla and raisins. Some alcohol notes. Mildly carbonated and slightly chewy. I enjoyed this quite a bit. The bourbon was perhaps a bit too strong which is my only complaint. Other than that a good offering from a usually mediocre brewery

 423 characters

Bourbon Barrel Brown Bear Brown Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 6 ratings