Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition
Fremont Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee EditionBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition
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Style:
Stout - Oatmeal
Ranked #3
ABV:
13.6%
Score:
99
Ranked #152
Avg:
4.52 | pDev: 5.75%
Reviews:
117
Ratings:
888
From:
Fremont Brewing Company
 
Washington, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  345
Gots
  179
SCORE
99
World-Class
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee EditionBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition
Notes: Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Coffee Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

2019: Blend of 24, 18, 12, and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 7-12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. ABV: 12.4%

2018: Blend of 24, 18, 12 and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 7-12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. 13.6%

2017: Blend of 18, 12 and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. 13.1%

2016: Blend of 18, 12 and 8-month bourbon barrel-aged Dark Star in 12-year old Kentucky Bourbon barrels. 14.5%
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 888 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of backblast
backblast from Alaska

4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage

Taste the dark roasted malt and dark espresso up front then the dark fruits and bittersweet chocolate appear. Definitely get the barrel and booziness in it. Nice viscous mouthfeel and is surprisingly light on palate. Very enjoyable.

Mar 03, 2021
Photo of Guaro
Guaro from Italy

4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle 2018
Black with compact and creamy hazelnut foam and good hold. Scent of coffee, chocolate, toasts, wood, vanilla and bourbon. On the palate coffee chocolate, molasses, cherries in alcohol, vanilla, notes of wood and light ash, resin, bourbon. In the finish there is a great return of the chocolate immediately attacked by the roasting of coffee and a resinous bitterness. Complete all the constant ethyl friendly hug. The body is viscous and full, the carbonation fine and low.

Jan 27, 2021
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hops_for_thought from New York

4.46/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (2016 vintage) into a taster glass

L: pours a deep, dark brown with basically no head that completely dissipates after a few seconds. Minimal lacing, nice abv-expected legs

S: rich, deep chocolate with roasted coffee aroma fills the nose. Brownies, chocolate chips, chocolate cake, well roasted black coffee, raisins, some bourbon. Not much abv heat here, will revisit once it’s warmed somewhat. Dark caramel

T: follows the nose beautifully, like an amazing sip of coffee and chocolate ice cream. Rich chocolate flavor opens (again thinking fudge brownies, chocolate chips) moving to this great black coffee note that asserts itself and remains through the medium-long finish. Slightly bitter, find it fitting with the coffee flavor. Get raisins as well, bourbon, some notable barrel character. Just slightly thin, what’s holding me back from calling this world-class. Very close!

F: medium body (knock here, would have liked it thicker), low carbonation, quite smooth oatmeal doing it's job

O: a serious BA stout that delivers handily on the nose and palate. Small ding on the mouthfeel, would have liked it a bit thicker. That said, an amazing beer that seers clear of sweet while providing a rich, decadent experience

Aug 02, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage. Black pour with a filmy beige head. Coffee leads the aroma, persitent but not overwhelming. Taste starts sweet, then the bitter coffee comes in. Barrel aging is evident at the finish, both with woody notes and hints of bourbon. Latent heat. 3 years on, still great.

Jul 17, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared bottle. Black with brown shading, edging, and cap. The coffee takes this to the next level in both smell and taste. Smell features the coffee with bourbon, bigger oak, dark chocolate, oat, and black strap molasses. Taste is right up there for best oatmeal stouts: take everything from the nose and add char, raisin, toasted caramel, soil and vanillins. Not sweet or coffee bomb or booze to the face, just a melded oatmeal stout with great layers of flavor with a rustic and classic feel that stay decently light through the sip, great characteristic finish with oat froth and dryness

Jun 29, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance -The beer was silky black in appearance with a slight head of off-white bubbles.

Smell - Darker notes came from the notes with coffee and chocolate leading the way.

Taste - My initial impression was fudge flavored iced coffee. The coffee notes were dark, but not bitter. There was a light burn of bourbon toward the back. The fudge notes were able to linger for quite some time.

Mouthfeel - The beer was very full bodied for an oatmeal stout. It was not quite a Russian Imperial Stout in feel, but it had viscosity. The smoothness of the pour allowed the delicious fudge notes to hover on the tongue for quite some time.

Overall - I definitely enjoyed this beer on a cold summer night.

Jun 13, 2020
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jheimbigner from Washington

3.97/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

coffee usually creates a slightly astringent flavor for me in beers. this one is no exception. i would take base, other two variants over this any day

Apr 07, 2020
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hopley from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle drank out of a tulip on 04.04.20

Poured thick and dark with a nice cream colored half inch head, some of which lingered around the edges of the glass for the remainder of the pour. I couldn't get much aroma but it's just not a strong suit of mine - I'm sure it was there. Taste was dominated by strong dark coffee. As it warmed, the barrel notes really came out and I really enjoyed it; the sweetness was nuanced and perhaps hidden in the bitterness such that it wasn't so much in your face as you typically get in so many of today's pastry stouts so this was a nice change. I didn't get much of the typical oatmeal stout flavors, but that also might have been masked in the roadty coffee notes and the barrel taste. As I write my review, I realize this is quite a complex beer but for me, it was rather two note - dark coffee and bourbon barrel. If that's what you want - this will hit the spot - and it hit the spot for me last night. If you can get the rest of the beauty, good on you, there's a lot here! (And I've got a 2016 bottle aging as well!) Cheers!

Apr 05, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good oatmeal stout, solid and tasty but a little disappointing considering the high expectations I had for this one. It’s supposed to be ranked #3 on BA but I found it a little uninspiring. 2017 edition printed on bottle. Pours a thick black opaque color with just a little film of tan head and minimal scant lingering lacing. Smells outstanding, great dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, malt, toffee, bourbon, oak, nuttiness and a little raisin. Taste follows the nose, but not quite as rich or flavorful as I was expecting. Almost like a flatter regular coffee stout. Lacked some depth and complexity. Not as creamy or smooth as most oatmeal stouts either, but still had a nice velvety mouthfeel with good carbonation. As the beer warmed the alcohol became a little more noticeable, both in the aromas and taste. I enjoyed this one but preferred the other beers from this series.

Mar 29, 2020
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UWDAWG from Washington

4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Look- Black, medium brown frothy head, above average lacing, below average head retention.

Smell- Coffee, chocolate, oats.

Taste- Coffee, chocolate, smoky oats, boozy.

Feel- Full body, smooth finish, sticky coffee favor that lingers, syrup like, below average carbonation.

Mar 23, 2020
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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bark brown almost black. Thick and viscous looking as it pours. Finger of dense khaki colored head. Strong lacing.

Nose is smooth warming bourbon. Sits graciously rather aggressively. Roasty coffee. Rich, complex, detailed. Nice malt profile as well. Complimentary to everything else going on here. Very relaxed brew. This brew knows it's the most important one in the room and it doesn't have to announce its dominance. The waft of alcohol coming from the glass has no problem shouting it's presence on the other hand.

Taste follows the nose. Smooth, woody bourbon. Nice sweetness mixing with mild dark fruit notes. Big coffee providing a layer of bold, roasty bitterness. The coffee in this is very nice. Something that wasn't present on the nose was a little bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied with mild carbonation. Velvety smooth. I love the consistency of oatmeal stouts. Amazing stuff.


A lot of barrel aged stouts are huge, bombastic things. Like Parabola or BCBS, you get the strong malt or barrel presence, which can be done well. But here, what Fremont does perfectly, is balance. Delicate, nuanced, expertly crafted precision. Every flavor profile coming through, not one louder than the other. It's no surprise that this sits just below Rusty Nail in terms of top Oatmeal Stouts. Fremont has this style on lockdown.

Jan 27, 2020
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus from Washington

4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020-01-16
22oz 2017 bottle (blue wax) served in a little Cantillon glass.

Pours black and still with no head...and then a ring of light brown rises up slowly from the darkness. Smell is coffee, oats, vanilla, maple syrup.

Taste is coffee and chocolate, vanilla, less oats. Maybe still a little hint of maple, but that might by oak and vanilla playing interestingly together. Fairly sweet, but with a surprisingly dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and dry (maybe I should say, not as heavy and thick as I would expect). Overall, excellent beer.

Jan 17, 2020
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.84/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle

Pours oil black, brown ring for a head.

Aroma is of rich cocoa, coffee, pecan, walnut, toasted biscuit, molasses, and vanilla.

Flavor is of molasses, fig, coffee, cocoa, pecan pie, walnut, oak, oatmeal, and bourbon.

Full viscous body, tingly carbonation on the tongue. Boozy warmth going down.

Exceptional. One of the best stouts I've had in a while. Great appearance, great flavor, very slow sipper to enjoy over time. Get it if you have the chance.

Dec 15, 2019
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a black color with a small, quickly disappearing tan head.
Aroma of dark fruit and roasted malt. A little booze.
Taste improves on the nose. Espresso, milk chocolate, raisins, vanilla, and bourbon.
Very smooth and easy to drink. Would never guess it is 12.4% ABV.

Nov 27, 2019
Photo of aleigator
aleigator from Germany

4.18/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours coal black with a bigger, beige head, soon receeding to a thicker lacing atop the glass.

Smells of dried raisins, glazed caramel and layers of milk chocolate among spicy, old oak. Got an additional coffee punch to it, bringing toasted hazelnuts and dried blueberries to the nose.

Has a soft, smooth mouthfeel among a complex body, exhibiting a long lasting booze dryness.

Tastes of charred malts, which brings chocolate covered coffee beans to the palate, offering a wooden note, which then brings the spicy barrel up. Has a whipped cream quality, soothing the warming, not yet biting oak barrel, creating a pleasant, spicy peak among coffee and coals. Finishes heavier on the coffee and whipped cream interplay with additional licorice and sweet caramel, amped up by a long going alcohol glow.

Very well balanced, smooth and decadent stout, featuring a great, subtle coffee presence.

Nov 24, 2019
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.14/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I thought superior to base. Bold coffee taste dominates the bourbon barrelling character. Carbonation here beyond four years. Glad I went for this, glad I shared it.

Nov 01, 2019
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Georgia

4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2018 edition

Beautiful beer, with excellent head production for the style (more than a full finger), and very good retention as well; 10 minutes after the pour, there is still a thin layer of dark foam covering almost the entire top of the ebony body, and a fairly thick collar lining the edge of the glass.

The nose is promising: initially sweet, with chocolate, brown sugar, toffee, red grapes, cream, vanilla, coconut, and light bourbon mash, it quickly turns sharp and aggressive, with coffee, oak, and bourbon mash. This hits all the right notes, and implies that one should expect the full weight of the 13.6% ABV to fall upon the palate.

Similarly and immediately aggressive on the palate, with bourbon and coffee leading the way. Caramel, coffee, and brown sugar at first; strong bourbon mash following, along with oak, red grapes, and molasses; very light char and nuts; a bit of booze, assertive but not harsh; coconut and vanilla tones; chocolate malt.

Mouth-filling body with no fizz, and while the high ABV eventually builds some sting, you can really savor this one for quite a while before the swallow, allowing the flavors to really wash across your tongue and palate. Surprisingly semi-dry finish, with mostly dull tones of oak and ground coffee lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth, creamy, and thin (not watery) for the style, instead of thick and chewy.

Shockingly strong fruity tones from the coffee here - berries and earth inimitable to certain coffees (e.g. Ethiopian Harrar, or certain South American roasts); I'm not sure I've ever noticed this effect in a coffee stout before. Although that's not my favorite kind of coffee roast, it's damn impressive nonetheless. It also lasts and lasts, with these tones of barrel and coffee lingering for a good 5-10 minutes after the sip.

This is not quite on the level of BCBCS, but it is definitely playing the same game, on the same level.

Oct 06, 2019
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade and shared with JLindros. 2017 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a thin mocha head that fades to leave light lacing and a thin blanket. Excellent lacing.

S - Big aromas of barrel notes galore. Tons of wood, almost dust level, great bourbon notes. The chocolate malt is subtle, almost licorice like an Abyss. The alcohol is nonexistent. There is light oat in the background as well.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice huge bourbon notes, good vanilla and barrel, good chocolate malts, nice darker fruits and licorice. The finish though...it's almost bitter spicy hops. Really weird.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden nicely. Really smooth.

O - Overall this was a very solid stout, however, I think this suffered a bit of age. As good as this was I had higher expectations. The bourbon was still excellent though.

Serving Type: bottle

Sep 21, 2019
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rudzud, 2017
Pours a very dark thick foamy rich 1+ finger head with great retention and sticky lacing, pitch black thick beer good legs

Nose big barrel, tons of toasted and vanilla oak barrel, with some bourbon, almost wood dust, big baking spice and licorice, spicy hop notes and roasty dark malt but not char level, some fudgey dark chocolate and chocolate marshmallow, little mocha coffee note,

Taste big barrel, big charred oak, dusty oak tannin and vanilla barrel, some bourbon whiskey, then fudgey dark chocolate, but not a ton, a strange vegetal peppery like baking spice on the middle I don't like as much, earthy coffee, some vanilla, light alcohol, later gets drier but spicy earthy roasty finish that gets a little difficult, with some alcohol too

Mouth is fuller bod richer, lighter carb, medium warming carb

Overall good, not incredible but very good, maybe a bit too much age

Sep 21, 2019
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 release. Received from @woemad in a BIF box. Poured into a pub glass. It pours a dark walnut with cola hues at the bottom of the glass. The creamy, medium mocha-colored head faded slowly leaving a thin film of lacing inside the glass. It's highly aromatic with roasted malt, oatmeal, bourbon, freshly-brewed coffee, caramel, nuts, cocoa, tobacco, and earthy char. The taste opens with notes of both fresh and burnt coffee, oats, bakers chocolate, burnt nuts, leather, and char. As the glass breathes and warms, I'm noticing more caramel sweetness and just a hint of black cherry on the tip of the tongue. The bourbon is clearly evident but it doesn't overpower the other flavors, which are nicely balanced and nuanced. Despite the burnt notes there is surprisingly little bitterness at the finish. This Stout has a thick, creamy mouth feel with low/moderate carbonation. There is no escaping the 13.6% ABV, which is more than just warming. Sip this one slowly. Savor it because it is one of the best Oatmeal Stouts you'll encounter. Thanks, @woemad for the chance to drink this exquisite Stout.

Jun 16, 2019
Photo of emyers
emyers from Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Near black with a thin tan lacing.

Nose: coffee-forward but still with a strong bourbon and oak presence.

Taste: coffee up front followed by bourbon. Some dark fruit and more coffee in the finish. Great depth and balance.

Feel: medium-full body, medium-low carbonation.

Apr 28, 2019
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

4.51/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp. Pours black and night, with very little dark head. The coffee is dominant on the nose. Chocolate, maple, vanilla, fudge, roasted malts. Taste is super intense. Lots of roasted malts, burnt wood, coffee grounds, vanilla, and chocolate. A nice bourbon backbone is throughout. The alcohol is definitely prominent - a slight bourbon aftertaste. Mouthfeel is actually a bit thin - not as creamy as expected. Overall, amazing.

Apr 13, 2019
Photo of TreyIsWilson
TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head. Nice amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is coffee, vanilla, coocnut and bourbon.

T - The taste coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, cocnut, toffee and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - The hype is real on this one. Tremendous balance of flavors and deceptively smooth for 13.1%.

Apr 07, 2019
Photo of Jimmy_Kneecaps
Jimmy_Kneecaps from Tennessee

4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2018 Dark Star Coffee Edition from Freemont

Pitch black, thick, and oily. Dark dark dark brown around the edges and no light coming through. Half finger of mocha colored head dissipated quickly into smaller islands of lace that rest on top. The aroma is crazy layered and intense. The slightest hint of bourbon tickles my nostrils first, followed quickly by fudgy chocolate and a bitter roast underneath. Layers and waves of flavor hit some warmth and bourbon tingle the tongue to mix with dark chocolate, bitter coffee roast, and fudge. The mouthfeel is tricky, feeling chewy at times, but never thick. There’s no trace of the alcohol content in this. The barrels have lent the perfect amount of bourbon flavor without overpowering other elements. This is fantastic, and has achieved perma-want status!

Mar 17, 2019
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darktronica from Indiana

4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2018 release, obtained in a trade from raticus. A superb BBA oatmeal stout with coffee, where all of the elements contribute just what you want and expect from a top-notch ale. Prominent barrel character, with oak, vanilla, and boozy heat, layered on an excellent base stout, rich and chocolatey with a full, smooth mouthfeel from the oats. The coffee accentuates the rich chocolate notes while adding an earthy bitterness and lightly nutty flavor. World-class, for sure.

Feb 19, 2019
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 888 ratings