Tongue Buckler (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
17 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 04-14-2011

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 49
Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Barleywine-esque in terms of its size, booziness, feel, and complexity. An awful lot going on here, which in many cases can easily come off as muddled, but here tows the line (barely) of cohesion and makes for a very interesting slow sipper.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ballast Point's Barrel Aged Day

A: Amber color with a thin cream colored head.

S: Wowzers. I'm not getting a ton of bourbon, but I do get a lot of coconut and vanilla. Almost like the inside of a mounds bar. A touch of bourbon and wood as well.

T: Lots of sweet malt, coconut, vanilla and a ton of caramel. It's not bad, but I expected to like this one a lot more. I would say the standard version is better.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really happy to be able to try this one, i cracked it open before we lit the firewoks.

nice dark orange color with a huge head of white that capped the top rather nicely. first shot of aroma is deep hops balanced perfectly with bourbony notes of vanilla and oak. seriously well blended to damn near perfection, i am beyond impressed here as the flavor comes around full circle for me and leaves a smooth, caramel flavor that mingles with the hops to give a clean and wonderful finish.

overall you have to love this one, not enough big hoppy beers put into barrels

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Photo of Sebowski
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks great. Carmel and clear. Big creamy head after an aggressive pour.

Smells fantastic. Love the smell of bourbon and barrel. Also get prune and vanilla. Smells a lot like BA Barely Wine with some oak and red in there.

Tastes really good. Bourbon, barrel, vanilla, with a hoppy red oak bit. Building bitterness that separates from a barely wine. Would really love to try to age this.

Mouthfeel is good. The oak bite leads to a very dry bitter finish. long bitterness sticks around and buckles the tongue, if you will.

Overall I really like this beer. Hope to see it make a semi-regular round.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Capone’s (Norristown, PA) on 6/9/11. Served in a goblet.

Pours a deep, hazed, ruby, with a thin cap of off-white head. This retains with some nice looking robust edging, leaving back a creamy cascade of foamy lacing. The aroma is floral and oaky, which is layered on top of notes of sharp pine, tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, and bread. Some alcohol heat sits tight across the back of the nose. This is an overall fairly decadent smelling mix of hops, malt, and barrel and it’s got some power behind it.

The taste has a LOT of vanilla flavor to it, with works in a wonderful tandem with the bright citrus flavors (orange in particular stands out) that are present. Strong grapefruit and pine still add some aggressiveness to this though but are mostly backed by a combo of roast and caramel character from the malt. Dry oak and hops just parch the finish on this but it’s mostly a burnt and bitter feel here that lingers the most. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a strong assertive sharpness to the carbonation. A sweet slickness still helps keep this mostly smooth thoughout and I must that this drinks VERY nicely for a BA 10% beer. There is some beefy power to the profiles but the alcohol never gets too warm or distracting.

After being disappointed in the regular Tongue Buckler, this barrel-aged version more than makes up for that beer, with those oak flavors in particular really working nicely with the hop and malt flavors that are present. This was just really delicious and accessible and I could have easily gone for another glass of this if other beers hadn’t beckoned as well.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's. Served in a snifter.

Pours a slightly-hazed dark amber color with a single-finger white head that sticks around for just a bit before falling into a thin cap, leaving some spotted white lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose carries strong hops with just a bit of bourbon. Pine and floral hops, mostly. Some earthiness there as well.

The flavor works wonders in combining the bourbon and the hops. It's one of the first bourbon or oaked IPAs that I've really enjoyed. There's a light bourbon presence and I'm thinking this has to be a second or third-use of a barrel given how light it is. It provides a nice creaminess to the feel as well. In the foreground is plenty of piney hops with a bit of an earthy character. Bitter finish. Really well done.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 64 oz. growler courtesy of Centennial. Opened with a couple friends for Game 5 of the Stanley cup finals. Had three pours by myself, poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Dark orange to red in color. Amber highlights. Growler opens with a little hiss. Pours a one finger beige head on all three pours.

Aroma: Pine hop notes definitely take the forefront. Nice caramel and butterscotch in the background. Bourbon is definitely present as well. The hops are definitely more present, but the balance is impressive.

Taste: Hop notes again dominate, with pine and citrus leading the way. The bourbon provides a pleasant sweetness and enhances the malt. Caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and coconut notes are all present and create a nice backdrop for the hops. I've had a couple other attempts at a bourbon barrel aged hoppy beer, but this one does the best of balancing the two flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full mouthfeel with lower tahn average carbonation. Not sure if the carbonation is the result of the growler or the style (I think the later), but it works well with the style actually.

Overall, a really nice amber ale. I actually really enjoyed the barrel aged aspect and went back for a couple pints. WEnmt down surprisingly smooth for 10% ABV. Definitely a nice rare tick.

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Photo of sholland119
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 6/6/11.

A-Pours a clear orange with sticky lacing from a thin white head.

S-Hints of bourbon barrel, lots of malt, faint hops.

T-But boy are the hops here in the taste. Extreme bitter hoppiness overwhelms all but a bit of vanilla/bourbon character. I like hops, but this is way out of balance.. Very disappointing.

M-Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, tongue scrapingly bitter.

O-Quite disappointing really. I am a big fan of BP beers, but not a huge fan of this one.


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Photo of Centennial
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - nice golden orange base color with amber overtones. When held up to light this displays bourbon sugars tracing in quite a remarkable swirling fashion.

Smell - Bourbon-vanilla-wheat, cinnamon raisin with less emphasis on cinnamon and more on the bready, honey-like out of the oven freshly baked sweet bread smell.

Taste - sweet-wheaty smoothness with a nice boubon undertone...or is that an overtone melding nicely with the hops? not sure which prevails here, which makes this 10% monster seem real smooth.

Mouthfeel - smooth, but a bit sticky

Overall - Nice job guys, good base for a bourbon barrel aged brew. Can hold it's own with Nemesis 2009, and backwoods with a few years on it.

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Photo of mfunk9786
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's during Philly Beer Week.

I was rather interested in the idea of a very hoppy red aged in bourbon barrels, so I decided to give this a try. It looks lovely in the glass, and smells like bourbon through and through. It's an omen for the rest of the beer, which delivers some sweet malt, oily alcohol esters, and big bourbon flavor. The hops and a lot of the body of Tongue Buckler, well... buckle under the pressure of the bourbon barrel, leaving this beer feeling a bit overwhelmed by its aging. I'd still recommend giving it a try, but there are better bourbon barrel beers out there to direct your attention towards.

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Photo of koopa
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one during PBW at Capone's.

Appearance: Pours a pinkish red, fairly transparent, shows little to no head / retention / or lace.

Smell: Lots going on here....healthy dose of vanilla, some supporting bourbon of course, oaky tones, a hint of leather, a hint of fruity malt, and some citrus hops.

Taste: Same as the nose but some flavors get drowned out.

Mouthfeel: Fairly nice and light despite the big punch this sipper presents.

Overall: Decent brew to enjoy slowly!

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at capone during pbw.

A- small cap of light tan head upon arrival that leaves just a few spots of lace on the glass. Deep yellow orange in color with a bit of hazy to it.

S- bourbon forward but not to heavy with bits of vanilla and caramel. Hops are piney and resinous and seem a bit faded. Probably due to the time in the barrel. Malts come of sweet and bready.

T- solid balance between hops and barrel. Bourbon isn't the edgey aggressive type and comes off with a touch of spirit, toasty wood and hints of vanilla. The hops are mildly bitter and on the oily pine sap side of things, kinda flat and muted. Malts step thing up a little and bring a caramel and toasted wheat bread sweetness. Finish is on the sweeter side.

M- a few steps above medium I'm body and a good carb that gives it a bit more lift. Almost no heat from a big barrel aged beer.

O- solid stuff not the best imp red or barrel aged beer but as far as barreled reds goes this is quite good. I would have like some fresh hops notes but maybe that's just me.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a reddish auburn, slightly cloudy, a nice topping of off-white head, spotty lacing and retention.

A blast of juicy hops and bourbon barrel, caramel malts and sweetness with bitterness and booze.

The bourbon and hops combine for a complete palate assault right up front, which dominates the flavors. Pine and resin with bitter grapefruit and pith. Dries out the tongue with some caramel malt sweetness followed by vanilla and oak. Bourbon throughout the finish with heat and lingering bitterness.

Fuller medium body, nice carbonation, tingly and a bit rough on the tongue. If you like aggressive, attacking beers, this is pretty much it - an absolute avalanche of bourbon and hops, and I love it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap At Capone's.

Barrel Aged Tounge buckler came to me looking very red but not rose de gambrinus red, this was more of a faded red with bronze and orange. A nice cap of melted sugar foam on top leaving some stickies. The smell is what you would expect with the bourbon/barrel/oak/ vanilla up front and kinda muting out the base beer. How long this was in the barrel is anyones guess, but it seems like a long time. All I really get is the bourbon which is fine by me. But what's this, a big ol red ale under it, yes. Tounge buckler(BA) is super hoppy and kinda tounge stripping reminding me of Devil Dancer, this tastes much better though. It also reminds me of fresh Double Bastard without the bourbon. Vanilla is wayu up there with oak and some bourbon intertwined with a gorgeous display of caramel malt that leads for a sweet middle. I could also detect a note of chocolate with extreme warming. Feel is a big medium and the IBU's have to be big, the bitterness is there but it is layered with the malts and the vanilla from the oak leaving for a great feel and not totally tounge stripping in the end. This was carbed up fine off of the tap. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would and I drank it super quick, which is rare for a beer of this size and style. A great beer!!

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Photo of HopHead84
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Ballast Point Old Grove. Aged for "a couple months" in bourbon barrels.

A: Slightly hazed reddish amber with a small off white head.

S: The short time in the barrel left a distinct mark on Tongue Buckler. Vanilla is huge, and there's just the right amount of bourbon to accentuate the rich candied caramel that has become quite apparent. There's still some dank pine and evident citrus, but this smells a lot like a bourbon barrel aged Barleywine.

T: The flavor is aggressive but good. High level of bitterness with big pine notes. Caramel malt is really strong and melds wonderfully with bourbon, vanilla, and toffee. This is quite boozy, and it's probably a bit too aggressive at this point, especially when combined with the bitterness. Finish is caramel, bourbon, pine, vanilla, and a blast of booze.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry.

Overall: An aggressive hoppy red with an excellent barrel presence.

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Photo of Enish266
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Scripps Ranch, $5 for a generous half-pint pour. Tasted along side fresh Tongue Buckler.

A - pours a deep amber/copper color

S - bourbon is very present, hops are non-existent but perhaps masked by the bourbon, slight biscuit notes

T - compared to the fresh batch hops have faded quite a bit, bourbon/vanilla dominates with a nice malty blast mid-palate, mild caramel flavors also linger

M - medium carbonation, bourbon coats the mouth, a little sticky in the finish

O - a pretty tasty beer that is very different from the regular version, barrel aging this beer rounded out the flavors but lost the big hoppy bite present in the original

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Photo of tyrsis
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Scripps Ranch location, in to a pint glass.

Pours a dark red, but fairly transparent. Slightly darker than the non BA version.

Smells just great. The bourbon is very faint, it's more of a malty caramel smell.

Yeah, I like the taste of this better than the regular version. The aging seems to have just mellowed out the intense hop bitterness at the forefront of the brew. The malts at the back get this treatment too, and here is where the barrel comes through. It's just so much more mellow now; I really like this (I ended up having two servings.)

I'd love to see this bottled (hint hint, guys.)

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Tongue Buckler (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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