Battleaxe - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon

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Baltic Porter
Ranked #13
Ranked #2,010
4.29 | pDev: 8.39%
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States
Notes: 33 IBU
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHDoyle
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Description: Not really black, but a dark brown or ruby color with a only a little coffee colored head. Bourbon and oak dominate the smell but there are some dark fruit and sweeter notes, even vanilla underlying. Taste follows the smell with bourbon and oak the most noticeable with the same dark cherry, hint of vanilla and sweetness in the smell. Nicely balanced. Feel is what you'd expect from a porter, even a little on the heavy side.

Suggested food pairing: BBQ ribs

If you like this beer then you should also try: Bourbon Barrel Black Maple

Overall: 4.25 (This beer is good and I would likely have it again) When I think of Fat Head's I automatically go to IPAs and with good reason: Fat Head's crushes it in the IPA department. However, this porter might make me rethink that. It's good and on the borderline of being very good. Lots of flavor, good mouthfeel and everything you'd expect from a barrel aged porter. I got this on draft and it was advertised as "2015" BBA Battleaxe so maybe it had been cooking in the bourbon barrels for longer than normal. In any event, a really solid brew that you should try if you get the chance.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic. Had this at Fat Head's Pittsburgh.

Only aged 18 weeks? I don't want to hear people complain about a lack of bourbon presence in beers because they weren't aged at least a year. These barrels must have been wet or something -- but the beer itself was still nicely balanced. Vanilla, chocolate, a little coffee, nice amount of bourbon... also silky smooth for being over 9%. Looks and drinks more like a porter than a stout, which I appreciate -- nailed for the style, which is why I'm giving this some nice, fluffy scores.

Would love to try this again at some point.

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SerialTicker from Michigan, Jun 30, 2016
Photo of rudzud
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Mike, shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue, not quite black with a thin head that fades quickly to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of light oak barrels, faint bourbon, lighter dark fruit, raisins, faint vanilla.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of sweeter dark fruit, light vanilla, softer barrel, really light bourbon. The flavours are relatively soft/thin.

M - Mouthfeel is rather thin, very light body.

O - Overall this was a rather underwhelming beer. Nothing really pops on it, with the flavours and especially mouth being rather thin.

Serving Type: growler

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Apr 22, 2016
Photo of jlindros
3.74/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler thanks to rudzud

White fizzy small head, thin looking brownish reddish color.

Nose brings a fair barrel thing, toasted vanilla oak, light bourbon, fluffy nougat, dark chocolate cocoa, milk chocolate m&m aroma, little malt note.

Taste brings mild chocolate, milk chocolate candy bar mixed with water, then some booze heat, thin watery malt, little barrel faint bourbon, some booze warmth, little vegetal malt thing, candy syrup note, little bitterness, some dark fruits candied, quite fruity.

Mouth is thinner and syrupy at the same time, booze warmth and decent carb.

Overall bah, not so great in any way.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Apr 22, 2016
Photo of WesMantooth
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very bourbon forward, and a tad boozy, but it becomes more balanced if you let it warm. Lots of oak flavor and dark fruit among the malted milk chocolate with vanilla and bourbon. Very creamy body for a barrel aged beer. Especially after 18 months.

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Photo of Bone53
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mad Mex

Appearance: Black with a thin light beige head

Smell: A ton of bourbon, but done right. Vanilla, oak, cpconut, i even get lime for some reason. Undertones of dark fruit and chocolate

Taste: Bourbon foward, but like the aroma, perfectly ececuted. I get a lot of the oak with vanilla beans, awesome bourbon character. Once again undertones of dark fruit, chocolate and roasted malts, and caramel also

Mouthfeel: Heavy medium body; Goes down great for the abv. Moderate carbonation and Subtle bitterness throughout

Overall: I enjoyed this offering immensely. I love the instense bourbon quality to this with undertones of dark fruit and roasted malt. I think we have a winner here folks. Fatheads should distribute more of this. Highly recommended

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Bone53 from Pennsylvania, Mar 20, 2015
Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with brown edges and a light tan head. Nose is chalky malt, chocolate, faint barrel, caramel, toffee. Taste has more barrel, milk duds strong, some roast and bitterness in the finish. Medium to full body with gentle carb and a smooth feel.

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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

64 oz brewery filled growler. Pours a ruddy amber/brown in the glass, topped with a rich mocha cap. This maintains some frothy ringing around the edges of the glass, leaving back a smattering of spotty lace and light brown oils which slowly drip down the sides after each sip. The aroma has a good bit of smoke going on with it, which mingles with notes of cocoa, vanilla, dark fruit and burnt sugars. The smoke and bourbon really work nicely together here. The taste is very similar to the nose, with a rich and complex mix of smoky roast, cocoa, vanilla, molasses, some dark fruitiness and a sweet yet charred bourbon character on the edges that lingers pretty deep into the finish. More and more sweetness emerges as this warms. The mouthfeel is full bodied and with some sharpness up front that quickly gives way to a firm chewiness behind it. The body itself is pretty smooth for 9-10% but the barrel aging does add a bit of a warm sting to this in spots. This is damn nice Barrel Aged Baltic Porter with a ton of complexity and power yet still remains extremely smooth despite the alcohol and bourbon flavor. This one really grew on me the more I drank it. Love it!

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Kegatron from Pennsylvania, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft offering at the Pittsburgh location served in a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin penline of head holding around the perimeter of the glass. Some spotty tan lace hangs on the glass.

The smell is strong of vanilla and coconut with chocolate and bourbon. Some dark fruit and chocolate qualities blend with caramel and the burnt sort of sugary appeal extracted from the barrel aging. The nose on this is all barrel and hardly any baltic porter. I dont know if that is a good or bad thin but I like it...a lot.

The taste is like raisony alcohol blended with chocolate-like grain notes. A whiskey kick of alcohol brings out oak and earth with lots of vanilla, toffee and caramel with a sort of smoothness and mild sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth yet warming. The barrel aging pretty much dominates nearly all aspects of the base beer but honestly it is smooth and dangerously drinkable.

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stakem from Pennsylvania, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of BB1313
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Fat Head's in N. Olmsted, Ohio

Pours black with brown hues; small kakhi head that leaves great retention and lacing. The aromas are loaded with milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak/wood, bourbon. The flavors seem to really match. The bourbon is there with every sip, but it never dominates or diminishes the flavors. The chocolates really shines with this one. Very nice oak characteristics. Mouthfeel is great and on the lighter side of full-bodied. It has moderate carbonation and it's fluffy and creamy; almost syrupy, but barely. It's not hot or boozy at all. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's dangerously drinkable.

Wonderful barrel-aged porter. They should throw this in bottles one day.

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BB1313 from Ohio, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of rodlavers
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a chalice. Dark chocolate cloudy brown in appearance, very dark tan head disappears relatively quickly leaving a thing layer; no lacing. Mild dark chocolate aromas. Sweet. Taste is similar, but with bourbon and bitterness, some coffee too. Smooth but also dry, low carbonation. Overall a great Baltic porter with the barrel thrown in, unique, not always like a BARIS, but smoother and sweeter. Another good offering from fat heads. Cheers.

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rodlavers from Maryland, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of ChrisMon02
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. pour at Fat Heads taproom.

Awesome deep mahogany brew with a healthy off-white head that fights to survive. Clouds of sticky lacing wins.

Vanilla, oak, molasses and a kiss of anise fill the nose.

Tastes follows the nose-very well blended.

Very smooth. Tight, soft carbonation results in a fantastic drink.

This beer proves that Fat Heads can brew other awesome beers that are not hop bombs. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. Its essentially a Barrel Aged RIS but its "actually" a BA Baltic Porter. This beer is just delicious, it has some chocolate notes with hints of vanilla. Its a very smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, which is just perfect and what I prefer. Not too syrupy and not too thin, a perfect harmony of the two. The nose on this beer is strong and the batch I was lucky enough to try had a sweet roasted chocolate smell. I had a snifter and grabbed a growler today from the brewery. They told me this was the first time they've released this beer and that its insanely limited so if you get a chance to try some DO IT UP!!! Its cott damned dee-lish-us. Lawdy lawdy!!


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Photo of UA8
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another gem from Matt

Pours a syrupy and viscous dark dark brown with a slow to move thin brown head perfect for a barrel aged cask beer.

Big notes of caramel, vanilla oak, molasses, and heavily roasted malts.

Sweet and slick excellent marriage of bourbon and baltic. Sweetness from the baltic malt body is accentuated by the vanilla from the barrel aging. The bourbon edge saves this one from being too sweet by balancing out the syrupy nature.

Syrupy, viscous, and velvety.

Overall a great example of what a casked baltic porter aged on bourbon barrels should be. Light handed on the booze yet with all the complexities of the bourbon added to the equation.

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UA8 from Washington, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Fat Heads. 10oz, served in a snifter. Thanks, Mike!

So, this is the Battelaxe Baltic Porter aged in bourbon barrels. The beer looks nice enough in the snifter - a deep brown, nearly black body with a little tan head that recedes to some soapy bubbles.

The smell is nice as well, it could just be a touch more defined and expressive, although it gets much better as it warms. As it is, the vanillin from the barrel makes a strong appearance alongside caramel sweetness and a touch of chocolate. The bourbon is also there, adding just a touch of sting.

This beer really tastes good, nice job on the barrel aging here. The bourbon is prominent and the barrel gives some vanilla and wood notes, plus just a touch of tannins. The base beer is very sweet, and this makes it sweeter, holding this back from the holy grail of a perfect score. There's a ton of caramel and a touch of chocolate, plus some coffee and dark fruit. But certainly one of the better/best barrel aged Baltic Porters I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium and smooth with creamy carbonation, but just a touch oily and syrupy. In fact, I can say the only thing I didn't love about this one was the somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this was a nice treat. It should be on tap in the next week or two, so I'm excited to see what other reviewers think. Plus, look out for the blend of this and bourbon barrel aged Up in Smoke.

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Battleaxe - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 99 ratings