Papier - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
The Bruery

Papier - Bourbon-Barrel AgedPapier - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
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The Bruery
California, United States
Old Ale
4.36 | pDev: 9.4%
Jun 07, 2018
May 17, 2009
Papier - Bourbon-Barrel AgedPapier - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
Notes: None
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Photo of stakem
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stakem from Pennsylvania

The Bruery just celebrated their 10th anniversary so I figured it was time to bust these old gems out. Drank along side the other 2 100% BA Papier versions.

Bottle into a snifter appears dark brown with a light brown head formed by some large bubbles that quickly fade.

Aroma has a pleasant bourbon tang to it with the typical oak, vanilla, caramel and molasses-like sweetness. There is also a solvent booziness to this.

Taste is bourbon forward with oak, caramel and vanilla sweetness sharply contrasted by booze and earthen roastiness like tobacco and leather.

Medium to fuller in body with light carbonation. This is a bold sipper that is boozy as all hell still after 10 years. I like it a lot yet the nuance between this and the brandy iteration are quite mild.

Jun 07, 2018
4.62 by TNeedles from California on Mar 16, 2015
4.55 by Nightrain87 from California on Jan 12, 2015
4.38 by wethorseblanket from California on Dec 26, 2014
4.25 by BAsbill from California on Dec 14, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -8.3%
by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

Bottle received in trade from TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity!
Shared with a few folks sitting around a campfire at Rob's
Huge oak and brown sugar with lots of fruit and a touch of warming alcohol. Not much of the spirit left, but a great beer to sip with friends.

Oct 01, 2014
4.25 by kscaldef from Oregon on May 05, 2014
4.5 by zestar from California on Oct 24, 2013
3.5 by CityofBals from Illinois on Sep 12, 2013
3.5 by 2beerdogs from California on Aug 25, 2013
4 by claaark13 from Indiana on May 06, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5
by UCLABrewN84 from California

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, and lots of bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is an alcohol kick after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors but it's still quite boozy.

Apr 06, 2013
4.25 by Crookdrain from New York on Mar 04, 2013
4.25 by t0rin0 from California on Mar 02, 2013
3.75 by jbuddle from New York on Feb 25, 2013
4.5 by mindfuldave from New Jersey on Feb 24, 2013
4.25 by Azrael on Feb 09, 2013
4 by MrFootstones from California on Aug 26, 2012
3.75 by seeswo from Ohio on May 23, 2012
5 by whartontallboy from New York on Jan 14, 2012
4 by ygtbsm94 from Utah on Jan 12, 2012
4.5 by clarkenstein from Illinois on Jan 08, 2012
5 by photomike from California on Dec 15, 2011
5 by spycow from Illinois on Dec 14, 2011
5 by GRG1313 from California on Nov 24, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
by AgentZero from Illinois

Thanks to Alex for sharing.

A - Doesn't pour with much visible carbonation. Pretty thick looking. Brown bodied beer with some reddish highlights.

S - Nice caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Really everything you could ask for as far as an Old Ale goes.

T - Love the taste of this. It's slightly hot, but the bit of alcohol warmth is great with the caramel, barrel, and vanilla. Bourbon is great. This is a fantastic beer.

M - Full bodied, pretty low carbonation.

O - Fantastic beer, drinks well enough for something with this much ABV. Quite smooth. While it's a little more rough than the newest beer in this series, it's also less sweet and I like it a bit more. Would love to drink this again.

Nov 21, 2011
5 by Jstark5150 from California on Nov 19, 2011
5 by jerz from California on Nov 16, 2011
4.5 by westcoastbeerlvr from California on Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Sean9689 from Illinois

Thanks to Alex & Bryna for this one. Big 750ml bottle with into mini-snifter.

A - Pours a reddish brown color, totally flat.

S - Well, there's probably some beer in here somewhere mixed with all this bourbon! Smells Burnt sugars, oak, bourbon, hot, dark fruit. If you enjoy bourbon, you'll enjoy this.

T - Uh yeah, bourbon. Not a crappy cheap bourbon note, but rich, smooth, a higher-end. Burnt sugars, dark fruit, oak. Like the nose, a lot of bourbon, smooth, sweet.

M - Body is medium, flat, oaky sweet finish.

O - If you like bourbon, you'll like this. A sipper for sure, no doubt. Really enjoyed this one, and at 17%, it's a nice after-dinner drink to split many many ways with friends. Recommend.

Aug 01, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

Thanks to d0b for this one. Bottle #353. Served in an Alvinne snifter.

A - Pours still. Ruby brown body, murky, some legs.

S - Surprisingly mellow for 17% (although still clearly boozier than Adam from the Wood). Dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, light oak. Extremely raisin-forward, with great complementary barrel flavors.

T - Taste is hotter than the aroma suggests. Lots of bourbon, oaky vanilla, dark fruits, raisins, prunes. Even though there is tons of brown sugar and caramel flavor it never seems to get cloying.

M - Again, nearly still with only the vaguest hint of carbonation. Full-bodied, with some moderate alcohol warmth and a lightly sticky finish.

D - Pretty drinkable for 17%, although I think 4oz is an appropriate serving size for this sort of beer. A very nice old ale, but not as good as Adam from the Wood, or even 100% BA Coton. As the Solera method works its magic, subsequent Bruery Anniversary beers should get increasingly smooth and mellow. That being said, it's nice to see where the magic started. I found the Brandy and Rye versions of Papier more interesting, and I hope those variants show up again in the future.

Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by Halcyondays from California

750 mL bottle, song on the stereo, Steve Miller's Jet Airliner,

A: Pours brown with no head, great colour and a nice viscosity to the look.

S: Great smell. Bourbon, wood, vanilla.

T: Wood, sweet bourbon, very good flavour. Vanilla on the finish. Tasty, but not as good as the rye. Still a little bit of booze on the back end.

M: Smooth, creamy, very full-bodied and viscous.

D: A real nice beer here. I like the rye barrel aged a little better, but I enjoy how the bourbon takes over in the end here with this beer.

Feb 24, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by mothman from Minnesota

Had this at the bruery reserve initiation. I did a side by side of each of the 3 papiers. Third was the bourbon.

Again, the appearance was very similar to the rye and brandy. Pours no head.The color was a murky ruby hued caramel brown. It seemed to be more hazy than the other two though.

Aroma: Big oak and bourbon flavors up front. Vanilla, toffee, caramel. This one was my favorite based off the aroma.

Taste: Lighter bourbon flavors than I was expecting. There was a lot more oak here. I was a little disappointed, because the aroma was so inviting. It has lots of vanilla, toffee, and caramel just like the other versions. This one just seemed to have a lighter flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry with some heat.

Overall, this was my least favorite, not to say it wasn't bad. I was just a little let down after having the first two. Again, I am really shocked as how this beer hides the abv. Hardly any traces. I would still like to try this one again someday.

Jan 29, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5
by nickd717 from California

Bottle poured into glass at The Bruery Reserve Society Initiation. Thanks to our massive beer-pooling efforts and relentless attacks on the tasting table, we were able to amass quite a bit of each -bal aged Papier incarnation. Bourbon was my least favorite of the -bal aged versions, but hey, that's like picking the biggest wimp in a roomful of Chuck Norris clones, is it not?

Pours a cloudy brown color, pretty similar to the color of one of those bears that you see on the Discovery Channel grabbing at salmon as they try to jump up a waterfall. Unlike those bears, this beer does not have a head. Pretty flat-looking.

Smells of sweet caramel and toffee, bourbon, vanilla, spice, and oak.

Flavor is nice and tasty, with -bal aging evident. There's lots of bourbon in there for sure. Also caramel, toffee, vanilla, mild oak, raisin cake, and pie spices. A little on the hot side, but not terribly. Definitely smoother and mellower than regular Papier, although not nearly as much so as Brandy & Rye Papier.

Body is fairly full and carbonation level is low, although not quite Angels Share low. (Side note: I just tried the latest release of Angels Share and it's actually carbonated, so this is the last flat Angels Share joke I plan on making! Congrats, Tomme!) The low carbonation works well in this beer. Really smooth on the palate, although not quite as smooth as the other -bal aged versions, which are at Rico Suavé levels of smoothness.

Drinkability is pretty high. Overall a really solid beer, one I feel very lucky to have tried.

Jan 20, 2010
Photo of bulletrain76
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bulletrain76 from California

Bottled at the Bruery's anniversary. Dark brown with red tint and barely any foam. The aroma is an assault of rich bourbon, caramel, and vanilla, The sweet malty base is there, but the barrel dominates. The flavor is a mix of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, and lots of bourbon. Lacks the hotness of the brandy version, though the bourbon is still the overriding characteristic. Full bodied with low carbonation and light stickiness. Smooth bourbon domination, but is a good way.

Nov 07, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by OlieIPA from California

Poured into my Bruery tulip glass and shared with Mauerhan and Tdizzle.

A: Poured very similar to a flat bottle of Bourbon Angel Share...sorry Lost Abbey. LOL. No head, no real excitement going on with the look. When I held it up to the light, I was able to find this solid black mass surrounded by this lighter brown liquid...similar to miso soup.

S: Hot bourbon upfront with tons of maple and brown sugar. The spices that were easily noticeable in the other versions seem to be masked by the bourbon, but the oak backbone really kept my nose inside my glass for quite a while.

T: The first thing I noticed was the thin and alcohol-like bourbon flavor up front, followed by strong maple and brown sugar. Not as complex as the Rye Whiskey, but a bolder taste that reminded me of a better and woody version of Angel Share. I think the bourbon, and I'm being really picky here, masks the spices a bit too much. But overall, a near perfect flavor profile.

M: Almost zero carbonation and full-body.

D: A little too hot for me...but great flavor profile!

Overall: An excellent brew! Cheers!

Sep 19, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by HopHead84 from California

Thanks Overlord!

Poured into my snifter, Bourbon Papier is nearly still, with a few small bubbles that disappear in the blink of an eye. The color is very dark brown, which is a bit lighter near the edges of the glass when held near light. An aggressive swirl brings the liquid to the top of the glass, yielding attractive legs as it slides back down.

The nose is extremely boozy, which isn't surprising given the strong ABV, but it isn't completely dominant. Notes of rich toffee, dark fruits, and oak are evident. Bourbon character is massive in the aroma, and it smells superb. I notice some vanilla and tannins, as well as maple and candied sugar. This might be the best aroma I've ever encountered. Wow.

The flavor exhibits strong bourbon and toffee notes. Lots of candied and brown sugar is present with some maple and a lot of oak. I notice subtle vanilla notes, along with dark fruits and some caramel. The booze is powerful. The bourbon barrel has left a strong mark on this Papier, and it's very hot, but absolutely delicious. This beer is a sipper, but it was too easy to put down half a bottle and I believe I'd have no trouble drinking the entire thing myself.

The carbonation is very low, almost to the point of nonexistence, but I find it complimentary to the beer, allowing the subtleties of the oak to be noticed. I don't expect bubbles from a beer this high in alcohol, and frankly, I wouldn't want them.

Seek this beer out. It's excellent. I'm thankful to have tried this one, as I wasn't able to procure a bottle for myself.

Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Overlord from California

Opened a bottle of this with Hophead84.

Pours brown. Yeah, basically, brown. Some bubbling, but essentially a flat brown liquid that's translucent on the edges. If I was going to be fair, I'd actually give this beer a 2.0-3.0 for appearance, but because of the ludicrous weight given to a beer's looks under this site's scoring system, I'll be generous and give it a 4.0.

Absolutely. phenomenal. aroma. One of the best smelling beers, ever. Immediately upon opening the bottle, I was blown away. Bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, a whiff of dark candied fruit, just fantastic. A 6.5 in terms of aroma. Perfect.

The taste basically delivers what the smell promises, although it also delivers a leathery, slightly tannin-ish oak backing to the bourbon malt base. The dark fruits make a strong appearance, as overlapping molasses, brown sugar, belgian candi, and vanilla give it a decidedly sweet character. Is that maple syrup. Mmmm...

Unbelievably smooth. Better integrated by far than the Rye version, and clearly the superior offering. Sad it will never come my way again. For what it is, quite drinkable. As with the "normal" and Rye papier, needs more carbonation, but it works despite it.

Jun 30, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by largadeer from California

Patrick Rue was pouring a bottle of this at City Beer Store last night. Had no idea what this was until it landed in my glass, and then my mind was blown. Hazy tawny appearance, no head, very little carbonation. Massive bourbon barrel aroma, the richness of the oak and bourbon are backed by an equally huge caramel malt backbone. Hands down this is the best smelling bourbon barrel aged beer I've ever encountered. Brown sugar, caramel and vanilla are prominent on the palate, with a hint of tannins from the wood and a bit of leather and tobacco toward the finish. Sweet and heavy on the palate, but never cloying. The ABV is barely noticeable, for better or worse; it seems almost irresponsible to make a beer this drinkable clock in at 17%.

Jun 17, 2009
Photo of 0110x011
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5
by 0110x011 from California

One of the single-barrel versions that Patrick was popping on the hour at the Bruery's 1st Anniversary Party. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours cola brown with dark ruby highlights. No head whatsoever, but at 17% ABV, that kinda has to be expected. A quick swirl leaves wine-like legs streaming down the sides of my glass.

S - Insanely aromatic. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar abounds. Some dark fruityness from the original Papier comes through, with figgy, pruny notes. Some earthy leather in the back. The 17% makes its presence known with a whiskey-like sting in the nostrils.

T - Even more barrel influenced, if that is even possible. Huge bourbon and vanilla flavors, with toffee, caramel, and toasted oak as well. The fruityness pokes through just slightly, along with the leathery earth. This beer is miles deep. You get a new set of flavors with each sip.

M - Shockingly smooth. Thick and creamy. A bit on the syrupy side, with a tiny amount of heat, but nowhere near what one would expect at 17%. Mind-blowing.

D - This beer defines the term "sippin beer". 4oz would be more than enough for me, but it would be enjoyed for a long, long time. This is the kind of beer that you drink slowly, with about five other beer geek buddies.

The Bruery blew my mind over and over at this party, and this one was damn near best-of-show. Considering that Melange #3 won't be bottled (at least not any time soon), I think this is the beer that will move The Bruery fully into the upper echelon of Craft Brewers. Absolutely outstanding.

May 17, 2009
Papier - Bourbon-Barrel Aged from The Bruery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 40 ratings