Isabel | Blue Mountain Brewery

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
Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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...

 892 characters

Photo of billab914
2.17/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle poured into my Deschutes glass. It poured dark brown in color with a foamy tan head filling the top inch of the glass. The head took a while to settle down, but when it did it left some pretty good lacing.

The orange peel is immediately noticeable in the aroma and definitely overpowering. It actually smells pretty much like orange juice with a hint of chocolate to it. The orange flavor is way overdone, it's tough to get much else past it.

The orange juice flavors are again overpowering in the taste. Strong orange citrus presence with just a hint of chocolate peeking through in the finish. If I was blindfolded I could definitely be convinced I'm drinking carbonated orange juice.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the style with carbonation being above average. Overall, it was a very disappointing beer. It was all orange citrus and no barrel, chocolate or porter. The orange was just way overdone and dominates everything else. I feel very misled that this even had the word "barrel" in the label. I may save the rest for breakfast tomorrow morning.

 1,083 characters

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of VeganUndead
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 mltobin
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

 1,017 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black garnet with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like rich dark chocolate and orange peel, with some roasted coffee and toasted oats and cinnamon.
T: It tasted like dark chocolate and dry roasted coffee and cinnamon, with some orange peel and toasted oats. It had a clean and earthy bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Light body.
D: There wasn't much bourbon barrel, but this was still a good orange peel porter. It had an enjoyable scent and taste, and appropriate body. The finish was smooth too, so it was easy to drink. Nice to try once, but not really worth the price.

 639 characters

Photo of jaymo18
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of siege06nd
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A porter aged in bourbon barrels with cocoa nibs and orange peel? Yes, please.

A. Pours a dark ruby brown, not quite as black as most porters I have had but good looking nonetheless. About three fingers of tan colored head explode from a careful pour. Beautiful and consistent lacing leaves gobs of good stuff behind as I enjoy the glass. Very good head retention as foamy half finger cap sits atop the beer for the duration. I am digging what this porter is selling.

S. Creamy decadence wafts from the glass. Plenty of milk and baking chocolate, some brownie batter, traces of coffee beans, and vanilla. Picking up just a slight touch of coconut type notes which hint at the barrel aging. Orange peel isn't apparent to this nose. This is a near perfect bouquet for a porter. Wish I was picking up more orange, but that's okay.

T. Roasted malt, milk chocolate, a good dose of oak, and some crisp acidity from the orange peel. I also get some fairly bright hop notes that blend with the orange to provide just a subtle hint at a Black IPA.

M. Moderately carbonated with a nice creamy mouthfeel. A little thin for a porter, but flavors are nicely balanced.

O. A nice porter here. The barrel aging is subtle and at 6% this shouldn't be a surprise. It's not anywhere near the revelation that, say, Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter is, but for a relatively easy drinking robust porter, this fits the bill nicely. Orange peel becomes more apparent as this warms up, but it tends to clash with the lighter bodied base beer as opposed to complimenting it. Overall, though, it's a solid, if unmemorable, porter.

 1,606 characters

Photo of ncaudle
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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 dwoolley1
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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 PGVG
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Sanchezrox23
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of djre4orm
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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

 583 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.24/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vanilla and milk chocolate on the nose with a slight roast. It's round and robust (to borrow a term from the style), and very inviting.

Quite black in color with a light tan head that dissipates pretty quickly back into the beer. Lacing is absent at best.

Light chocolate and somewhat heavy roast on the palate. Very drying, moderately heavy carbonation with a light-medium body. Not too special, but not bad either. I probably wouldn't seek out this beer again, but I wouldn't turn it down if given to me.

 508 characters

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

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