Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged | Mission Brewery

very good
16 Reviews
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Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel AgedDark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Mission Brewery
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.25%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheCrowsNest on 12-19-2013

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 78
Photo of ovaltine
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This hits all the right notes for a BA RIS - jet black, dark tan head, beautiful beer. The bourbon is pretty forward on the nose, so I was a bit leery, but my concerns were ill-founded, because the taste had the bourbon, but also loads of dark chocolate, cocoa, oak, and stone fruit.

I had low expectations when I got this, but it exceeded them, and left some money in the bank. I'd buy this again, especially in the winter in Minnesota. After the 8" of snow we received yesterday, this is helping me recover nicely.

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Photo of pkalix
4.31/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

chocolate bitterness, vanilla, cocoa. smell is much the same. smell is better than the taste, though. surprised by the three low ratings before me,, especially as the original, non barrel-aged, rates overall a 91.
some bourbon is coming though and this is a decent stout. dark cherries with roasted malt lie on top of a bed of slightly earthy bitterness. i'm not very familiar with this brewery and the ones I have tried from them have been C+ / B- range, if I remember correctly. I haven't tried the original to make the comparison, but this one is quite smooth. nice chocolate-milk froth on a more vigorous pour, the medium-creaminess lather holds a bit on the sides before breaking down and leaving the original high-water mark.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Waxed top bomber.

Pretty thin headed fizzy pour.

Smells like charred chocolate malt with a hint of sweetness.

Very strong tobacco flavor. Also a lot of ashy/charred taste and cocoa powder. A touch of vanilla. No bourbon at all. My brother even said "I thought this was barrel aged". I even checked the bottle again. Literally nothing.

The body and carbonation borders on sucking. Very fizzy and prickly. Almost like there is something wrong with it.

Not a bad tasting beer overall, but nothing that stands out, and very disappointing from a bourbon barrel perspective.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Capped and wax sealed 22 oz. bomber poured into a globe glass. The pour is deep and dark with just a hint of ruby in the light. A thin cap of foam doesn't linger for long. Available to kick up a surface film through the pour and its associated aromas nonetheless. Deep mocha with a fresh pour.

Aroma of alcohol and chocolate spice imbued with a moderated blast of bourbon barrel. More oak than bourbon initially with the bourbon component becoming more prominent with warming. Pleasant and curious though a bit subtle. Needs a bit more carbonation to throw esters into volatile mode.

Taste of bourbon infused chocolate malt and a touch of spice. Creamy and moderate sweetness on the finish though still undercarbonated in my view, barrel aged or otherwise. Vinous on the finish as a result.

Overall hint of oak, light bourbon influence, undercarbonated, fairly well balanced, bit chewy, light to moderate complexity in malt structure. Decent but not world class.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.72/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: nice head off white to mocha head body is rich and black looks like great lacing

S: Dark chocolate, more of a sharp Whiskey smell than bourbon, smells dry, leather, mail pouch tobacco if that makes sense to people who chewed it's sharp smelling

T: Dark chocolate on the taste not very sweet which is surprising the taste is not heavy with toffee vanilla like you would expect it's sharp and clean with a bourbon taste that is bam and gone and a little coffee it's actually amazing it's so clean

M: Medium to full it's not lush but the bit of dryness and cleanness of the finish is very appealing

O: This is a great stout that isn't crazy bourbon forward or crazy sweet, not that either of these characteristics are bad but it makes this beer interesting because you can really define the beer in which a lot of barrel aged beers get lost in their barrels. I can see where people are going to ding this beer for not being barrel forward or lush but that's what makes you stand up and go damn this is pretty good .

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Photo of retry4z
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. A glaring omission of bourbon on the palate and in the aroma. Brownish red with small head. Burnt biscuit, roasted grain, cola flavor, some heat. Overall a decent stout but comes up short for a BBA stout. Maybe longer aging would help.

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

2014 bottle I held for a while. Poured into Carton Dubvariant glass. Little head, very dark, anything knocked down quickly by ABV. Bourbon barrel smell along with roasted malts. Taste is mostly bourbon and oak with roasted malts and vanilla on back end. ABV disguised reasonably well, but some warming. Medium to full-bodied, slow drinker. Balance is OK, but nothing to write home about. Flavors mellow and soft after aging, which I think brought this up to a decent standard vis a vis earlier reviews.

 502 characters

Photo of ccg
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It doesn't look barrel-aged, but it does look like a decent stout. Not much lacing, but the head retention is pretty good. Plenty oily looking with a layer of tiny bubbles clinging to the surface.
Unfortunately, it doesn't follow up with much of interest to smell. At first, there was a generic grain scent, and then it started turning into olives.
A bit of a generic stout flavor upfront with a bit of bitterness on the end. It gets a little bit of chocolate and vanilla going in the middle as it starts to warm up. Still not a whole lot of evidence of the barrel-aging.
Mouthfeel is OK, but it's rather thin for a stout, let alone a barrel-aged stout.
Overall, I'm sorry to say, this beer was a letdown. It not _bad_; it just doesn't stand out at all in what has become a crowded field. I'd be less upset if I hadn't paid the BBA price and dealt with the annoying waxed bomber.

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Photo of Original_Gravity
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. I don't get any bourbon smell or flavor, it just tastes like the base Dark Seas (which I like). I've read other reviews that claim that this has great bourbon flavor, not sure what's wrong with mine (or me). And at $20 for the bottle, I have to say I'm incredibly disappointed.

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Photo of mjwellman
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I think it's a good beer. Nice dark color with a good head. A light aroma of coffee & malt. A sweet aroma but it is lacking the bourbon. It's a nice drinking beer and there is a slight hint of bourbon but much less than what you would expect. A good beer but misses the mark in being a great beer

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A- The highest mark I gave it, looks good and dark with light lacing

S- Some dark roast, and vanilla, typical RIS but kinda muted

T- Pretty disappointed for a BBA at any price. Some decent RIS flavors of roast, vanilla, dark fruits and hardly any BBA detecting on the nose or palate.

F- Nice full feel and slickness that coats the tongue

O- Like I said, pretty disappointed in it as a BBA, decent flavor but as a BBA sourly lacking and wont ever buy it again in the BBA price.

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Photo of chakadrum
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at the brewery on cask in a nice beer snifter. Great dark tan lacing as I sip. I wanted more bourbon barrel out of this. Supposedly aged for a long time in Four Roses barrels. Being on cask definitely is a factor in the mouthfeel but it is smooth and a little creamy. There is something a little odd in the smell. Seems to be missing something.

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Photo of RobertClevenger
4.49/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 22oz bottle poured into 2 large snifters

Pours a dark brown almost black with thick dark brown head that slowly subsides to thick lacing

Aromas of sweet bourbon, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate

Sweet Bourbon flavor is pretty forward, but not overpowering. Followed by dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt

Fairly viscous, medium to thick body. Holds flavor very nicely.

Overall an excellent beer especially with a year on it. I picked up two of this years with equal expectations.

 497 characters

Photo of Nathaniel4321
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall Good Beer. Cool malt hop balance, some complexity from the barrel aging. Lacks a tiny bit of the mouth feel I was looking for, but an excellent beer.

 157 characters

Photo of DragonsMilk
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Don't waste your money! This is a good beer but....

Tastes exactly like Stone RIS which is a great beer but Stone RIS is $6.99 and this was $21.99

Didn't deliver in the Bourbon department, had no influence that I could detect.

Overpriced Overated

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Photo of Jkashuk
2.36/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had high hopes for this beer. An imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels from a known San Diego brewery. Upon opening the smell was a bit harsh but had notes of the bourbon. When pouring it looked great with good viscosity. On my pallet the beer was flat tasting and bitter at the end. Maybe I got a bad bottle but overall I was very disappointed

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Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged from Mission Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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