Isabel | Blue Mountain Brewery

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36 Ratings

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 05-29-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by rudolphjacksonm:
Photo of rudolphjacksonm
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the Brewpub on 6/23/12.

A - Deep brown, almost black color. Barely any head except for a residual tan layer. Rich color that almost begs you to drink it. 4.0

S - Moreso dark fruit (figs, black cherry) than bourbon, cacao nibs or orange zest. I was a bit confused by this, as most bourbon barrel porters/stouts I've had usually come out swinging with bourbon aroma. 3.5

T - Hmmm. So the bourbon and cacao flavors come out first, very muddy and mixed together. I could only really taste the bourbon on its own by the very end of the sip. The cacao seemed to overwhelm the entire tasting. As for the orange zest the menu referred to, I never tasted it, not even once. I was a bit bummed out by this, as orange zest, chocolate, and bourbon would go extremely well together. But as a whole, the cacao nibs overpower the rest of the flavors and steal the show, even from the porter itself. 3.5

M - Rich, but medium bodied. Little carbonation tingle. 4.5

O - This beer depends on the batch you get (or at least from other reviews I've read) and has the real potential to be great. Blue Mountain just needs to get its recipe right and then this beer will be a game changer. Tone down the cacao nibs, bring in more bourbon flavor (but only a little!) and dump in a ton more orange zest. Then you'll have my attention. 3.5

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More User Reviews:
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the brewpub. A bourbon barrel-aged robust porter with cocoa nibs and orange zest.

A: The porter is appropriately dark, a black color that has a cup of coffee look. Not much head comes along.

S: The bourbon aromas are deep, vanilla and coconut, mix with and generally overpower the chocolatey porter aspects. Cocoa nibs add some additional bitter chocolate aromas; the orange however is reticent to come through.

T: Rich bourbon and chocolate, a pretty damned good tasting ale. Sweet vanilla and oak drive most of the flavor, the cocoa nibs adding a semisweet bitterness that does well within the confines of the porter. The orange zest struggles at first - too cold to come through. Only as the porter warms and the roasted chocolate flavors ease up do the sweet zest flavors, a distinct citrus, come out. The entire package isn't too big, so the flavors never get out of hand.

M: A perfect ale to drink on the Blue Mountain patio with a slight breeze. Strong but not intoxicating - a well made porter.

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Photo of VeganUndead
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Sanchezrox23
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of obywan59
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown in color with a tan 3 1/2 finger head that recedes rather quickly leaving moderate lacing.

The aroma is of bourbon and spicy orange peel. A bit light but nice.

Taste of sweet malt, tart orange peel, and in the back of the mouth a hint of bitter dark chocolate. The bourbon appears in the aftertaste.

Thick and creamy on the tongue. Call it medium-thick. The first glass also had the bite of hard cider. There is a definite warmth in the throat.

This seems a bit raw yet. The flavors perhaps don't quite mesh. A little more time in the bottle might serve it well

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Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From 750mL C&C bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/22/12
*From notes

-- NOTE: I lost more then half the damn bottle to a geyser-like gushfest, as it exploded when I pulled the cork. Please be careful when opening! --

A: The beer's a reasonably dark brown, though the head is much too bubbly. It fades to a creamy, bubbly collar.

S: Some brash wood and cherry pie filling. I'm not getting a lot of bourbon or orange zest.

T: Very earthy. It's got a sawdust-on-the-floor quality to it. I get some of the fruit, but I also get a big dose of heat and spice. If I didn't know better, I'd think they used a new barrel, chips or staves, as I get zero bourbon. Not the beer I was hoping for. It all comes across like a rough draft, not a finished product.

M: Extremely overcarbonated. It drinks like a soda. It's also thin and it's lacking complexity and proper texture.

O: I'm gonna knock this hard for gushing. I know that this is a brand new line, and the first from the "Barrel House". But the bottom line is that I lost over half the bottle, or in other words, over $5 to the counter and drain. Unacceptable.

The beer itself is decent, if not a bit underwhelming. I'd really been looking forward to this, and was rather disappointed not just by the geyser of a bottle, but by the beer itself. I still love Blue Mountain's beers, but this is one I won't reach for again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA.

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown (almost black) in color with some dark amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted malts with intense notes of chocolate, coffee beans, vanilla, and bourbon barrel/oak.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted malts with some milk chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes. There are some notes of oak and bourbon with just a touch of orange rind acidity.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin and over carbonated but still creamy.

O: This beer is good and interesting but seems like it might be a little immature - there is a lot of potential with this beer but it seems like it might need to age a bit more...

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Photo of PGVG
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of teromous
4.32/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It has a very dark brown color to it, and it appears very murky when shining a light through it. There is a huge head coming out of the Belgian bottle, leaving a fluffy tan pillow on top of the beer.

S: I can smell some of the cocoa, which is pretty amazing. It's not a strong scent, but it is there. Sniffing the neck of the bottle gives the cocoa scent even more pronunciation. There is a light oak scent to it as well.

T: I get a rich roasted flavor, with some light dark hints of chocolate. The chocolate stays pretty strongly in the back of my mouth. I get more oak flavor than bourbon, but the beer still tastes fantastic.

M: The mouthfeel is perfect. It is just smooth enough, with just the right carbonation, just the right bitterness without it being overwhelming...everything just sits perfectly. This bottle was freshly purchased from one of the brewery reps, and it has sat for about a month or so in my refrigerator. It has fantastic they must age it very well at the brewery.

O: Overall it is not my favorite dark beer, but it is very good. I would buy it again, and I heartily recommend it.

 1,128 characters

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of ghirsh
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of ncaudle
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of russwbeck
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: The cork comes out pretty easily and bottle relinquishes a nice brown liquid giving way to a few fingers of brown head. The retention of the head is great, and a thick cap forms on top of the beer. It laces nicely as I drink.

S: Really nicely balanced aroma, it's inviting. Bourbon and chocolate take the forefront. Vanilla, oak, booze, slight hints of fruit, and some roast hide underneath. The orange is a really interesting addition, and my nose picks it up in varying strengths with each whiff I take.

T: The chocolate and orange are yet again the focus here, but the bourbon and other barrel aging notes have taken a step back. The deep oak and booze provide the backdrop for the chocolate and orange, but the Bourbon has basically gone except for a slight boozy sweetness. The aftertaste is roasty with some more chocolate.

MF: The body is a little thin, but the carbonation is right where it should be. While I get some booze throughout the aroma and taste, the alcohol is not pervasive (as shown by the 6% ABV).

O: This beer was outstanding! One of the better bourbon barrel aged porters I've had. The orange was a nice addition and the bourbon wasn't too strong. Give this a shot!

 1,196 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of DaveBlack
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, not quite black, with reddish tints. There is zero head.

S: Not much of an aroma. Some sweet molasses notes, and dark chocolate, but that's about all.

T: The orange peel comes through on the palate, as well as some dark chocolate, and a nice malt bitterness comes through with woody notes. Like the aroma, the flavor is far from overwhelming, but it is pleasant.

M: Moderate body, zero carbonation. The beer is much more watery than the color would lead you to believe.

O: The beer is quite "meh." It's not especially good or bad, it's just there. The orange peel adds a nice element, I just wish that there was more of everything. More aroma, more head, more flavor.

 686 characters

Photo of mrterdferguson
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Ozurr
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of docmoran16
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bpgpitt10
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Below average all across the board. It doesn't have really any essence of the kicked up qualities it says it has... barrel aging, cocoa nibs, and orange peel. The main flavor I get is roasty (like a normal porter) with the second big flavor being a burnt, overly bitter flavor. I almost want to say I get some oxidation to it as well. This tastes like burnt chocolate with the smell having almost a soapy-ness to it.

It certainly isn't horrible, but it's not something I would recommend at all.

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Photo of bigbutter
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

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Isabel from Blue Mountain Brewery
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 36 ratings