Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice Wars
Fremont Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice WarsBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice Wars
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From:
Fremont Brewing Company
 
Washington, United States
Style:
Stout - Oatmeal
Ranked #5
ABV:
14.5%
Score:
97
Ranked #738
Avg:
4.37 | pDev: 6.86%
Ratings:
373
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sunday at 01:31 AM
Added:
Oct 31, 2014
Wants:
  91
Gots:
  87
SCORE
97
World-Class
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice WarsBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice Wars
Notes: Our Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in 15 year old single use Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. Spice wars adds vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by ManapuaMan:
Photo of ManapuaMan
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

Consistently high marks across the board for all the BA Dark Star variants. You know what you'll get from the beer, regardless of the flavor additive: an impeccably crafted, barrel-heavy-but-still-somehow-balanced beer that incredibly smooth, silky and packs a nuanced flavor-cascade in every sip.

This version comes strong with warming, holiday-inspired flavors like nutmeg and cinnamon. Both are present and unmistakable and will heavily influence the aroma and taste. The glass will literally emit a bouquet of fucking holiday goodness before every sip. Remarkable.

Everything else, however, is trademark Fremont.

Jan 29, 2019
More User Ratings:
Photo of DIM
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by DIM from Pennsylvania

While the spices come across as mild, they completely change the nature of the base beer. It cuts the sweetness and doesn't add much to replace. The result is good but kind of bland.

Sunday at 01:31 AM
 
4.43 by ppavlick from New Jersey on Apr 15, 2022
Photo of REVZEB
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by REVZEB from Illinois

Brownish black body with a pinky finger of brown foam. Smells of strong licorice, oat, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, nutmeg and clove. The taste I enjoy more and more as it warms, so be patient with this one: it starts as it smells but then the cinnamon and other spices come in strong, leaving a bourbon backed root beer flavoring with leather, vanilla, and dark chocolate, while never losing the oatmeal and malt base. Feel is obviously spiced but makes the body a little lighter than normal, barrel also takes a backseat compared to others in the series. Was perfect on a cold and wet early spring day

Mar 25, 2022
 
4.38 by o29 from Texas on Mar 16, 2022
Photo of dafla67
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Pours dark black. Aroma is definitely holiday spice -- nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and a bit of chocolate. Taste is overpowered by the holiday spice. I'm a fan of Troegs Mad Elf's holiday spice flavor, but this one was too much for me. I didn't taste anything but the spice. Really nice, full mouthfeel.

Mar 13, 2022
Photo of beergoot
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by beergoot from Colorado

Dark, opaque body; thick, densely spongy head, light khaki colored. Holiday spice aroma; cinnamon and allspice; cocoa powder and chocolate; nutmeg. Boozy, spicy, chocolate taste; milk chocolate; bourbon; snicker doodle cookies; mild booziness; light bitterness. Heavy mouthfeel; soft and spongy; mild to moderate alcohol heat.

This is a fine, smooth, easy drinking sipper. The base beer has a great oatmeal stout smoothness and lusciousness while the spices provided a complementary spark to the beer. The high ABV is noticeable but not overbearing.

Pouring temperature: 53 °F; bottling data: 2020 limited release

Feb 28, 2022
 
4.36 by smithj4 from New York on Jan 29, 2022
Photo of jrc1093
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

2020 vintage; consumed on 12/30/21

Pours a clean, oily black body capped with multiple fingers of rich, fluffy, hazelnut-hued foam; good head retention leaves ¾ of a finger of creamy cap, a large frothy collar, and waves of firm, soapy lacing holding firmly to the walls of the glass.

Aromas of gingerbread spice pepper the bouquet upfront as nutmeg in tandem with allspice as clove appears over the middle, with underlying roasty chocolate and tinges of sweeter vanilla poke through a back end hinting toward bourbon barrel influence.

Taste highlights gingersnap cookie at the forefront alongside added nuance of nutmeg and light cinnamon while a soft bourbon presence contributes to a chocolate backdrop with hints of coffee roast; deepening oak finds toasted clove over the back end as a distant suggestion of mace-like character through the swallow that holds this from being a more pleasantly roasty, clean finish.

Mouthfeel offers a medium body with minimal-low carbonation, oily-slick in texture with a vague char bringing a prickle stimulating pseudo-spice over the mid-palate; a drying back end holds a weighty, firm character as the finish warms.

An almost abrasive spice profile dominates to a level of overcommitment, somewhat detracting from the roastier base aspects of the stout while highlighting in aggressive detail a smooth, 'seasonal' char overlay; well-constructed and direct, though could benefit from a bit more nuance overall.

Dec 31, 2021
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - The beer poured a silky black color with a dark tan head.

Smell - The nose brought to mind winter mint with stout undercurrents.

Taste - Chocolate licorice was the most immediate impression. Also detectable were notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, and light booze. The dark bitter oats of the left a bitter impression in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The stout was silky with low carbonation. It was a bit warming in the finish.

Overall - I enjoyed the earthy notes, but was a bit surprised it was not sweeter.

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of BigIronH
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by BigIronH from Michigan

Pours an oily black with ruby hues. Dark brown head that foams up heavily and reduces to a still liquid with heavy soapy lacing. Aroma is black cherry, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and some spicy undertones. Taste follows suit with a spicy note on the front of cinnamon, toasted barrel, and vanilla. Finishes with ginger and dark fruit. Feel is oily and mouth coating. Okay beer just not what I expected given the description.

Dec 24, 2021
 
4.56 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Oct 26, 2021
 
4.67 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Oct 26, 2021
 
4.75 by Resistance88 from California on Sep 21, 2021
 
4.29 by kmoen from California on Aug 29, 2021
 
4.31 by BAsbill from California on Aug 29, 2021
 
4.34 by loganburgh from Michigan on Jun 29, 2021
 
4.33 by WDJersey from Colorado on Jun 21, 2021
 
4.5 by eawolff99 from Minnesota on Apr 18, 2021
 
4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland on Apr 17, 2021
 
4.5 by paulish from New York on Mar 17, 2021
 
4.1 by JensUrup from Denmark on Mar 06, 2021
Photo of Scotchboy
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Scotchboy from Idaho

2020 bottling.

A: Excellent wax-topped presentation. Pours stout-dark; dense and black with a mocha-colored & fizzy head that doesn’t completely disappear.

S: Spicing, followed by bourbon... very smooth but complex...vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Strong sweetness and spicing on competing levels...fudgy caramel, mild coconut.

T: Bourbon-y palate carries the spicing forward; vanilla, oak, caramel, mocha, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Warm. Chocolate. Delicious.

MF: Smooth, velvety, full-bodied, lower carbonation; warm; mildly boozy.

O: Very nice; the spicing plays well with the strong, clear bourbon character. There is a good amount of sweetness. Spicing finishes the palate well.

Feb 06, 2021
Photo of Parmesan
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Parmesan from Colorado

L:. Pours a thick oily black with a big thick beige tan head and no lacing.

S:. Lots of notes of spice including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, with notes of vanilla and bourbon lingering underneath and finally ends with a note of chocolate.

T:. Bourbon and vanilla wonderfully intermingle with chocolate followed by lots of nutmeg, clove, all spice, and cinnamon. The spice is masterfully balanced with the rest of the base beer.

F:. Thick body, smooth and slick.

O:. The spice is really well done in this beer, as it compliments the rest of the other flavors really well.

Jan 24, 2021
 
4.46 by PittBeerGirl from Ohio on Jan 14, 2021
Photo of Wasatch
4.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Wasatch from Colorado

22 oz. Bomber
Silver Wax/Capped
Limited 2021 Release
ABV: 13.4%

Poured into a Westy glass a very nice dark brown/black color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice oil slicks, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, very nice bourbon/oak note, vanilla, with some licorice, slightly roasty. The taste is very nice, awesome, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, very nice bourbon/oak note, very nice vanilla sweetness, licorice, nice roastyness. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, a very tasty complex brew, a very nice sipper. Overall, this is one pretty awesome brew. Definitely nice to see this one around, again. Got it pretty quick this time.

22 oz. Bomber
Silver Wax/Capped
Limited 2020 Release
ABV: 12.7%

Poured into a Trillium glass a very nice dark brown/black color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice oil slicks, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, very nice bourbon/oak note, vanilla, with some licorice, slightly roasty. The taste is very nice, awesome, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, very nice bourbon/oak note, very nice vanilla sweetness, licorice, nice roastyness. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, a very tasty complex brew, a very nice sipper. Overall, this is one pretty awesome brew. Definitely nice to see this one around, been looking for it for about 2 years. Glad to have finally found some. Definitely worth buying!

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of EMV
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by EMV from Pennsylvania

Poured from a grey wax-topped bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Inky black pour with a finger of mocha colored head. Not much light getting through this one.

S: Sweet and roasty with spice. Cinnamon mixed with cocoa.

T.F: Follows the nose. Sweet and roasty. Booze and spice. Nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. Bourbon and vanilla. Ginger, mild espresso, and roasted grains. Thick bodied and oily. Low carbonation... boozy and warming. Oak and fudge.

O: An outstanding big, boozy, spicy, bourbon barrel aged stout. Delicious... and one to sip on a cold winter night. Very well executed.

Dec 25, 2020
 
4.5 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Dec 19, 2020
 
4.4 by heysuz from Indiana on Dec 19, 2020
 
4.34 by morrowd3 from Vermont on Nov 29, 2020
Photo of hops_for_thought
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by hops_for_thought from New York

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

L: pours a very deep black brown, with a minimal brown head that fades after a few seconds. Leaves some nice brown foam around the edge

S: nice balanced spice nose on a great barrel-forward stout base. Not surprisingly the spices have faded somewhat, but still getting a nice amount of cinnamon and ginger. Mostly a deep chocolate aroma, good amount of raisins and figs, some oak and vanilla

T: mostly base beer here, which isn’t surprising considering the years on the bottle and also is far from a bad thing. Lots of raisin/fig goodness, with nice dark chocolate and roasty notes. Nice amount of vanilla, imagine that’s both barrel and adjunct coming through. Long finish, nothing I would attribute to oxidation on the swallow which is fairly impressive

F: medium- body, low+ carbonation. My main knock is the body is somewhat thin vs. expectations for the style

O: a very good beer, adjuncts still coming through with some decent aging. The base brew is fantastic, the spices come through, and there’s no oxidation to speak of

Oct 25, 2020
 
4.25 by jmh21 from Minnesota on Oct 25, 2020
 
4.18 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon on Aug 19, 2020
 
4.3 by khurtwilliams from New Jersey on Jul 13, 2020
 
4.12 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Jun 02, 2020
Photo of Eyedoc27
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Eyedoc27 from Illinois

Bottle from 2014

Apr 05, 2020
Photo of dfillius
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by dfillius from Iowa

Wow. Such a nice blend of flavors. The spices are VERY complementary and not muddled or distracting at all. I thought it’d be like a winter warmer, but not at all, this is darn near perfect as a stout. Alcohol is not hot at all, hidden/complementary as well. Shocking for a 14% beer. Improvements would be: greater quantity of head, less bracing booze in the aroma...and that’s it!
Thanks to cousin Mindy’s bf Jesse for the hookup. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This beer is precious, seek it out!

Mar 21, 2020
 
4.5 by MI_beerdrinker from Texas on Feb 29, 2020
 
4.18 by cp45 from New Jersey on Feb 08, 2020
 
4.25 by Jdells09 from New Jersey on Feb 06, 2020
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Spice Wars from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 373 ratings