Bourbon Barrel State Pen Porter | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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22 Ratings

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
You know what out State Pen Porter needed? A little time in solitary confinement. So we put it in a whiskey barrel for 9 months. No time off for good behavior. The result is what you hold in your hand. It’s a meaner, stronger and more potent version of out State Pen Porter, with hints of nuts, chocolate and subtle bourbon flavor. Enjoy this limited release, because it may not get out again.

Added by RocPorterFanatic on 10-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by Hojaminbag:
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Remembering my love for Santa Fe's State Pen Imperial Porter, my buddy from New Mexico snagged this Barrel-aged version of State Pen Porter for me.

The body is a the darkest shade of brown and proves to be fairly opaque. The brown head is small and leaves only a speck or two of lacing on my glass.

The aroma has some roast and a large helping of black patent malt. The barrel characteristics are small, with a hint of wood and a lot of char.

The flavor pretty much follows the nose here, except the barrel flavors are a little more noticeable. The bourbon flavors, however, are somewhere between extremely mild and non-existent. A touch of vanilla, a little bit of wood, and a good dose of char are what make up the barrel contributions. All of those flavors are fairly toned down, with the char being easily the most powerful. Lightly roasted malt, molasses and a lot of black patent malt round things out. Light notes of coffee and chocolate are in there also.

The mouthfeel is a little too thin, and a bit undercarbonated.

This bourbon barrel-aged state pen porter will definitely leave you asking yourself what happened with the bourbon. With that said, it is exponentially better than the non-barrel-aged versions that I have tried (although not as good as the anniversary version). I think my buddy said the bomber cost him 5 bucks, which was a perfectly fair price for what he got.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.09/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep dark brown with very little off white head. Leaves only a slight amount of lacing.

S - First sniff, all I get is apricot, with just a hint of tart cherry. Almost smells infected, but the taste says otherwise.

T - Hint of cocoa and burnt marshmallow up front. Bourbon is just a thought as it goes down, with a splash of vanilla. There's a bandaid thing going on here that is surprisingly not unpleasant. Very bad, sour after taste, kinda ruins the moment.

M - There's a surprising creaminess here, backing up a beer that is otherwise overcarbonated.

O - Glad I got to try this and share it with a friend, not sure its somthing I'd go out of my way to find again.

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Photo of ncfrey
3.6/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber purchased for $8 at Jubilation. Poured into New Belgium globe.

a - Pours a (surprisingly opaque) very deep brown with a thin tan head, decent retention. Leaves lots of fine, spotty lacing.

s - Chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, roasted barley, wood, and vanilla.

t - Bourbon barrel character much more pronounced than in the nose. Plenty of vanilla, burnt sugar, wood, and straight-up bourbon flavor. Mellow chocolate and roastiness, with a mellow, smooth finish dominated by dark fruits.

m - Heavenly. Soft and pillowy, full-bodied and creamy. Not quite chewable, but perfect for what it is.

d - Fairly high, though I doubt I'd be inclined to crack open a second bomber.

State Pen really isn't robust enough, I think, for bourbon barrel aging. That being said, I enjoyed this beer, though probably not enough to purchase again.

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Photo of ivyman
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Beejay
3.26/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to RocPorterFanatic for sharing this guy with me.

A: mohagany as it pours. Dark brown in the glass with a light tan head, they sits almost effortlessly on the top of the beer like a nice foamy cloud.

S: Some roasted grain notes as well as a bit of a grassy note. There is a slight tart scent as well. The oak is a little hard to pick up, and there is very little bourbon smell. There is almost a chemical like smell in here, which seems a touch odd.

T: The bourbon barrel comes out in the flavor. Oak and Vanilla mix with the roasty grains. There is a nice subtle sweetness to it that I like. The chemical smell transfers over to the flavor, but it is fairly minimal.

M: Fairly thin on the mouth, with an interesting smoothness. The carbonation seems a bit high for the style, but I think for this beer it kinda works.

O: Overall a pretty decent beer, but the slight flaws bring it down a few points.

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Photo of galileo61
2.1/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Sad to say, carbonated out of the bottle & into a glass like a cheap cola. No flavor of the aged process. ABV at 7 was worth a taste, but without a distinct aroma or hint of barrel aged, I am left puzzled. Wanting so much more, as in their Java Stout which is consistently good on tap or poured into a glass from that can.

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Photo of jeg518
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at Jubilation while I was visiting Albuquerque.

Clear near black colored beer with a small light brown colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt with a nice vanilla aroma. Vanilla, oak and chocolate are the main aromas here. No real whiskey aroma, I think they tried to spread the barrels to thinly.

Starts out mildly sweet with a chocolate and vanilla flavor. Little bit of whiskey taste to go with the chocolate, vanilla and oak. Little bit of smoke in the flavor. Still this is under-flavored.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall this is OK. This is just OK; I hope I didn't spend a lot for it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing, Tim.

Pours dark brown in color with a small off-white head. A good nose to this beer: nice roasted malt followed by plenty of wood/oak and chocolate. There is a fair amount of vanilla with a little bit of bourbon. However, there is almost no flavor to it. Very watery and sort of just "meh". The roast, barrel, chocolate, etc. flavors are all very muted. Unfortunate this beer doesn’t taste very good/like much.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Shared by Tim at Kill the Cellar day, thanks!

A: Deep brown, near black, with a fleeting light brown head.

S: The aroma is delicate and takes a bit of coaxing, but what is there is pretty nice. Cocoa blends with oak and a little vanilla. There's not really any bourbon to speak of. I get a dash of caramel.

T: Very mellow. A little milk and dark chocolate. No bourbon in the flavor. Maybe a little oak. This is really muted.

M: Medium body, a touch thin, with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: Nice aroma but the flavor is incredibly bland.

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Photo of Tsrohnek
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of djmichaelk
2.5/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of sunkistxsudafed
1.99/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- a dark mahogany, with an almost eruptive head... this is the first sign of an infection.... uh oh.

S- smells of figs, green apple, roasted malt, and brett? this is looking worse... but i'm interested.

T- taste follows the nose. This tastes like it has an infection. A sour bourbon aged imperial porter. I'm adventurous, so i decide to continue drinking it. This is a big mess though, and not what the brewer was aiming for... it can't be, the bourbon barely comes through, and i definately taste a a sour yeast...

M- the carbonation is really heavy due to the infection. it stings my tongue the same way a Wild ale does..

O- I'm a fan of fruity porters, so the infection didn't ruin this beer for me entirely, but it was an infection none the less. i was expecting a BA imperial porter and got a sour imperial porter. Not awful, but not what i signed up for.

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Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of jroberts8811
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of marine1975
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of mthomas84
2.5/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Cstromberg57
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of calcio360jrd
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of Zard
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Lincoln
2.75/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of cfh64
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Bourbon Barrel State Pen Porter from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 22 ratings