Bourbon Barrel Brown | Court Avenue Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Court Avenue Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brown Ale aged in Heaven Hills Distillery bourbon barrels.

Added by BuckeyeNation on 02-27-2006

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Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 4
Photo of birchstick
2.18/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on cask at the brewery.

A - pours brownish red without a head on it.

S - smells of sweeter caramel malts with a little bit of spiced bourbon. Not as much going on in the nose as I had anticipated.

T - starts of with some syrupy caramel malts. This transitions to some grainy cereal malts. A subtle amount of vanilla and some spicy bourbon show up on the backend with a touch of charred oak, however these flavors are very underwhelming. Pretty weak profile overall.

M - super watery and syrupy. Feels weird as it goes down

D - this beer could definitely use some improvements. The base was rather flavorless and the barrel aging didn't add much to it all.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Transparent dark brown with generous orange highlights; radiant ruby with backlighting. The cap was light beige in color and about one finger to start. Trouble was, it begin fizzing away immediately, was a thin surface film by the time I got to a bar table and was gone in minutes.

I had to check the chalkboard behind the bar after smelling the beer to make sure it actually read 'bourbon'. There was no hint of my favorite liquor coming from the pint glass. None. It smelled like a lackluster brown ale, too weak to make an impression. Not a good portent for the flavor to follow.

The flavor profile, as well, held no hint of bourbon, so let's eliminate the first and second Bs right off the bat. So now, instead of Bourbon Barrel Brown, we have just... Brown. The beer was waaay undermalted with a serious shortage of flavor. Some mild cocoa notes and a weak sour fruitiness was the sum total.

It was neither sweet nor bitter, possibly favoring the latter on the finish. Ah, the finish. Can a beer that only imparts flavor as long as it's actually in physical contact with the taste buds be said to even have a finish? The mouthfeel was so insubstantial that I began to wonder if this was the brewer's attempt at a Light Brown Ale. Slightly too fizzy to start, undercarbonated by midpint.

Brown is not good beer. Any 'bourbon barrel' beer that lacks even a inkling of bourbon is suspect right out of the gate. Add to that the lack of brown ale maltiness and the vanishingly brief flavor and you're left with one of the worst Court Avenue beers that I've had yet. If I had it to do all over again, I'd have added a shot of Jim Beam Black after the first disappointing sip.

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Bourbon Barrel Brown from Court Avenue Brewing Company
2.58 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
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