Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star | Fremont Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark StarBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star
708 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark StarBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: English Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 14.0%, IBU: 50
This year’s release is a blend of 18, 12, and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. The roasted and chocolate malts complement the smooth oats to bring you a stout delight wrapped in the gentle embrace of bourbon barrel-aged warmth."

Added by acurtis on 10-07-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 708 |  Reviews: 100
Reviews by msumike89:
Photo of msumike89
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours out in a dark color with a touch of brown in the light. The beer is oily black in the glass with a slightly fluffy dark tan head.

The aroma hits of bourbon, tons of vanilla, a touch of coconut, fudge, milk chocolate, chocolate mousse, figs, dark cherries.

The flavor hits up front of vanilla, almost like Vanilla Rye, but without getting to an extract flavor. Bourbon, caramel, coconut macaroon, Whoppers, milk chocolate, as the beer cleans up with some residual sweetness, but a crisp finish leaving longing lingering of vanilla, coffee, and coconut.

Easily one of the best BA stouts around, beating many heavy hitters like Assassin and Vanilla Rye.

 669 characters

Photo of cavedave
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More big thanks to kemoarps for this masterpiece of brewing excellence

Pours a monstrously thick looking black with tan head that leaves oily slime legs that only grudgingly slide down glass. Gradually the head kicks back to a tan ring. Beauty, thou art a thick and oily stout!

Bourbon goodness fronts a full strength+ bouquet that features bitter chocolate, vanilla, light sherry notes, general dark fruit goodness, especially sweet cherry, some roasty notes that resemble coffee as the beer warms, some delicious black malt goodness as well. Astounding. Alluring.

All the flavors of the aroma are here in the taste, brightly displayed, balanced perfectly, each of them compimenting the others like a well practiced orchestra, creating a taste that is just off the charts delicious.

Creamy, viscous, perfect low/med. carb., alcohol completely hidden, superb finish that has a linger that inspires poetry.

Never thought I would taste a stout as good as original Rare, but this one is its equal in every way, and more drinkable to boot. Highest recommendation.

 1,069 characters

Photo of woemad
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bottle of the 2015 vintage I purchased at the Total Wine on Spokane’s northside for approximately $17. I thought I had drank it before but apparently not – though I recently had a year old bottle of the coffee & cinnamon variant, and had the Spice Wars variant last year.

Following a viscousy pour into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a super dark shade of brown that was essentially black when held up to light, with a good looking , creamy foam head that was colored somewhere between tan and mocha.

Woodsy, boozy and sweet in the nose.

The taste starts off with a roasty, dark maltiness. I initially got a bit of coffee and chocolate. Then the bourbon kicks in, and does so quite firmly. There’s a tiny bit of a sharp dry note at the finish for the considerable amount of hops that are in this, but the BBAing give it such a soft, velvety ride, it’s barely noticeable. What does become noticeable as it warms is the booziness, so it’s long, sensuous ride with this beer. I may need a cigarette afterwards, and I stopped smoking those in 2001.

Silky, creamy, velvety mouthfeel to this beer. Big bodied, and oh, so smoove.

If this beer had a voice, it would sound like Barry White, baby. So, yeah, it’s a hell of a nightcap. After a frankly unexpected Seahawk victory, this is the perfect dessert. Ahhhh, yeahhhhhhhh.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Toby for this 2017 bottle!

Pours pitch black with a small head of tan foam. It looks so thick and creamy during the pour.

Nose is big notes of bourbon, roasted malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, oats, and yeah, a heaping helping of booze.

Big bourbon taste initially but that gets swallowed up by massive roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Sub flavours include vanilla, oats, coffee, mild hoppy bitterness. Yikes. The alcohol is assertive but not overwhelming, imho.

Full bodied. Carbonation is healthy. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth. A sipper that I can't resist sipping on. Another beer that will make me sad when the bottle is empty. That Fremont!

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Photo of Vidblain
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've felt for quite a while that Dark Star gets overlooked a lot - it's an easily traded beer... but it's exceptionally good and doesn't really receive the acclaim that it deserves.

But I say that having had not a whole lot of it. I'm aiming to rectify that in the coming days. What better way to start than cracking a bottle today? I invited friends, but apparently drinking on a Tuesday just isn't for them. More for me, just fine.

Bourbon Barrel-aged Dark Star (vintage 2017) pours a very deep brown, though the pour does look a bit thinner than I might have suspected. There's a deep bourbon and dark fruit aroma to the beer while cold. I decided to pause and let the beer warm, and began on cooking my dinner instead. At a more suitable temperature, the dark fruit had subsided and the beer had a distinct chocolate nose and taste - like, a lot of chocolate. I love how oatmeal stouts add so much richness and thickness to adjuncts. It's definitely a chewier beer, contrary to the thin appearance. While cooler (not cold - still warming though), the barrel lacks a bit of definition. At a certain temperature, the barrels really began to come alive though - at which point, the bourbon, chocolate, and barrel notes were tremendously complementary.

This is just a terrific beer. I can't help but think that it's underrated or taken for granted; yes, it's an easy item to pick up in trades, and apparently it sits on shelves... but that doesn't mean a thing to me. I'd happily stock my cellar full of Bourbon Dark Star. It's not a 5, but it's damn close - and even as rich as it is, I'd love to drink it constantly, and for long periods of time.

BA Dark Star is a winner. Well done, Fremont.

 1,698 characters

Photo of deford
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Saints & Sinners Snifter.

L- Beautiful deep, dark black with a slight burnt orange head that fades quickly.

S- Luscious on the nose....cocoa, vanilla, cherry-raisin kind of thing here. There's a hint of the barrel.

T- Perfect...molasses and dark fruit with a sweet side to it. Again, vanilla and cherry-raisin. I really get the alcohol heat on the long slow finish and it's fantastic.

F- A little swishing really activates the carbonation and fills your mouth with fuzz...thick, slow moving fuzz.

O- Simply fantastic, a new one for my top five or ten.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Motor oil black with a relatively slow to die mocha foam settling to a faint ring.

Smell and taste are closely and expertly aligned, bringing raisin and smoky date, dry oak, melted dark chocolate, nutty wax, light bourbon and spiced maple. On the palate it seems like the malt brings a little aeration, but all in all, it honestly becomes strikingly reminiscent of nutty fudge covered ice cream, without actually being too sweet.

Feel is smooth and slick, yet not hot, with a semi-dry, sticky finish.

 502 characters

Photo of zoober911
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - This looks awesome when poured. A nice tan head forms that falls back into the glass and leaves a small ring of bubbles behind on the edge of the glass.

S - Smells a little 'hot' with the bourbon. But also pick up on chocolate and nice roasted malt.

T - I can taste chocolate and the roasted malt that are on the nose. Also like the nose, the 'heat' carries over in the taste. Nothing overwhelming or that a little bit of age can't cure, but nonetheless a delicious tasting beer.

F - Smooth and rich as expected with the style. Nothing mind blowing but still a very nice representation of the style.

O - This is a damn great beer. Easily on par with Bourbon County and could easily replace it in my mind. If it was easily accessible here I would have a boatload of it here waiting for me consume.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle enjoyed from a teku.

A: BA Dark Star pours a thick, rich black velvet with a an intense, almost rusty mocha head. Head recedes pretty quickly.

S: Fantastic aromas of cocoa, vanilla, oak, tobacco (srs.), and straight and slightly astringent alcohol.

T: Rich milk chocolate, caramelized molasses, vanilla, and A LOT of bourbon. Definitely on the sweeter side, but the strong alcohol presence keeps it from being cloying. A big beer that manages to taste a lot bigger than its relatively modest ABV.

M: Thick and syrupy, yet highly crushable

O: One of my favorite BA stouts, mainly due to the interplay between the sweet cocoa flavor and the stark bourbon presence. I would love to try the base version and the other variants.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz waxed bomber into my Fremont globe. This is the 2014 edition blended from 18, 12 and 8 month Dark Stars.

Appearance: completely black with a finger of creamy dark tan head with decent retention. Very attractive indeed.

Smell: definitely big bourbon aromas here, but on top of a sweet and rich base that stands up to the booze pretty damn well. It's quite well-rounded for a beer this big.

Taste: rich and sweet with a big toffee and caramel flavor; the roastiness only comes through a little bit and that toward the end. In the middle is the big booziness, with vanilla and some burnt caramel. It holds together damn well.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a good creaminess and silky smoothness. Wonderful.

Overall: there's a whole lot to like about this beer. It's pretty huge, but it really delivers.

 827 characters

Photo of Dope
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle. Thanks Daniel!

A: Pours pitch-black with a large, dense dark brown head. Excellent head retention but no sign of lacing.

S: Ohhhh yeah. Heavy bourbon with burnt sugar and caramel. Quite oaky with a touch of vanilla. Swear I get some brown sugar in there.

T: Oh man. Heavy, heavy bourbon up front. Big alcohol sting with a huge amount of toasted sugar, caramel and a hint of marshmallow. A hint of dark fruit here and there, figs I think. Smooth and creamy graininess with a touch of dark chocolate, especially towards the finish. Aftertaste is all bourbon with more caramel, charred oak and plenty of alcohol burn.

M: Big, heavy and sharp. Carbonation is fairly high for a beer like this.

O: Damn, might be the best oatmeal stout I've had. Great bourbon flavor and strength. It's a bit overpowering, likely due to the length of time in barrels. Base beer is still there with a nice smooth, creamy oatmeal stout quality. But that bourbon...wheewwww.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Psyched to get my hands on a 2017 bottle. My experience thus far has been that an oatmeal stout is second to an Imperial Stout for barrel aging; maybe it's about being unable to hold the BA character or whatnot, but WRONG. Split three ways, enjoyed by all.

Motor-oil pour that sides out of the bottle. Thin cardboard-colored head that surfaces after a hearty pour but eventually fades away. Small swirls of brown bubbles left behind.

The aroma is fucking fantastic - just what I look for in a BBA stout. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, fudge, oak, light booze, toasted coconut, char. Sets the mouth watering and lingers throughout the glass, greeting you before each sip with a huge smile and a warm embrace that says - “So glad you’re here. Enjoy.”

Taste is dark chocolate fudge, bitter chocolate, light coffee by way of the malt, roasted grains, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses. Sweet but not cloying or sticky with a balancing char and bitterness holding the proceedings in check. Nice bourbon-kicker hits on the backend.

Velvety smooth, viscous and heavy on the palate. A big beer that makes you feel every ounce. Pleasant alcohol warmth fees like a fireside seat for the soul. Damn delicious.

 1,211 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Pitch black with some ruby red on the edges. Half a finger of almond-colored head

S - Sweet, sticky bourbon, chocolate, coffee, oak, char, tobacco, caramel, cherries, plums, figs, nuttyness, vanilla. Holy crap.

T - Matches the nose pound-for-pound. Bourbon covers everything in its path. Dark fruits are huge. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, char, marshmallow, creme brulee, even some hop bitterness. Liquid Viagra.

F - Thick and full, but fluffy thanks to the flaked oats. Alcohol brings some heat and warming with each sip, but its a refined flavor and adds to the complexity.

O - Among the best of the best world-class stouts. Up there with Bourbon County and Parabola (arguably passes them). I give it six swims!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.04/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $17.99. Black, 2cm tan head. Alcohol in the aroma, tinges of wood, malty,roasty, but mostly very boozy. Flavor is delicious, boozy as hell, chocolate and vanilla, spicy too, Overall this is pretty good but not quite Parabola or BCBS level.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of lateralundertow
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of oddlandf
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JayGreezy
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bishopdc0
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of mmcurran
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chossboss
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 708 ratings