Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale | Fremont Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
162 Reviews
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon Abominable Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lovingly referred to by Fremonters as the B-BOMB, this bourbon barrel-aged edition of our winter ale has a warming spicy aroma and rich carmelly notes of bourbon, wood and vanilla added to dark roasty chocolatey malt flavors and subtle hopping.

Down & Dirty: 2-Row, Crystal-120, Munich, Roast Barley, Carafa-2 & Chocolate malts with Columbus, Willamette & US Goldings hops.

Aged in 15 year-old American oak whiskey barrels. Blend of 24 and 12 month-old bourbon aged Abominable Ale.

Added by olympuszymurgus on 01-15-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
162
Ratings:
982
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
18.22%
 
 
Wants:
488
Gots:
292
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 982
Photo of brandonwnw
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sets the standard for BA strong ales. Delicious with a very strong bourbon flavor profile and lots of great dried fruit and sweet malts. If I could afford it, I'd have this all the time. - Cheers

 195 characters

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy B Bomb, Batman!

I don't know when I was last this incredibly surprised by an ale.

Deep ruby brown pour with black highlights.

Head is two fingers of tan, dense foam that subsides to form a lasting ring. Lacing is minimal, but decent.

The nose (and flavor) are bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon with underpinnings of dark chocolate, toffee, caramel brown and red fruits almost too numerous to list (date, fig, kumquat, plum, breadfruit, starfruit, mandarin orange/tangerine, pineapple, just to name a few). There is also plenty of old leather, tobacco, coconut, pecan praline, honey, sherry, brandy, a hint of smoke, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander, and even a touch of something like lavender.

This beer reminds me of a cross between Firestone Walker Fourteen and Hair of the Dog Adam, except it's richer, and more intense in flavor than either of those, despite being lower in alcohol. This beer may not be as subtle as some, but it's one of the most complex, dynamic brews of any style that I've tasted.

This is definitely the ultimate sipping beer, and would pair marvelously with the stoutest cigar.

Major Kudos to Fremont Brewing for creating that rarest of beers worthy of being called an instant classic.

 1,227 characters

Photo of wumpshire
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly lives up to the hype. Bought from the brewery itself, and couldn't wait to age it. I am sure aging would smooth it out, but as is its truly the best winter ale I have ever had. The bourbon is there, the bitterness...basically tastes like bourbon, chocolate and coffee in beer form. I suggest letting it warm up, tastes better that way. Well done Fremont! I use to work up the street at Marketime Foods so I'm proud to see a local brewery take the gold in a winter beer.

 475 characters

Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I ever developed a drinking problem it would be because of this beer! Fortunately I'm not wealthy enough to purchase an endless supply. This is the model of a well ballanced BBA. Only occasionally is there a little more heat than wished for. I recommend an additional year of aging for true nirvana.

 302 characters

Photo of DaveRinn
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is the middle of summer and yet i'm drinking this awesome ale. Very strong at 11%, yet balanced and delicious. Very little head, and an intricate flavor pattern that changes as it watms and yet maintains the bourbon undertones. I love this beer and still have four left!

 273 characters

Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to screamforme for sending this bottle of awesomeness my way sometime last year... I went camping last weekend and I saw this lurking in the back of my beer fridge and something told me it was time... that something was right...

This beer was amazing on all levels... I havent given a beer 5's across the board in a long time but this one deserved it... Oaky bourbon mixed with warm vanilla beans and smooth dark chocolate... hints of booze here and there... nice warm feeling in the belly after each sip... the bourbon isn't overdone here... its a key player but not a dominant force... the warm chocolate aspects really shine through and the nuances of the barrel make this a true delight to sip and enjoy... this beer made the campfire seem warmer, the friends seemed friendlier and I was happy as could be the entire time I was enjoying this. What more can one ask for in a beer?

 891 characters

Photo of MysterySwirl
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle as an extra. Haven't really read anything about Fremont Brewery in Seattle. It looks like a thick dark brown chocolate milkshake with very little head, even with a fairly aggressive pour.

The aroma is just fantastic. Sweet, oak, bourbon... Hints of vanilla.

Sweet, bourbon, dark, caramel, toffee, vanilla, alcohol is well placed, complex but everything is in great balance. There must be various barrels aged at different times to achieve this complexity.

Smooth, easy to drink. Light carbonation works well. It seems to coat your entire mouth almost like a thin syrup.

Just delicious, I can't get over the bourbony vanilla smell... it was fantastic. This beer should get Fremont noticed.

 709 characters

Photo of Svejk
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Served in a snifter and a fairly aggressive pour reveals a quarter inch off-white head. The smell is big vanilla, bourbon and malty sweetness, and the taste reveals much of the same. The mouthfeel isn't quite as creamy as I would have expected, but overall this is a fantastic beer.

 296 characters

Photo of OldGriz
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BBomb is the Bomb! Totally changed my mind about winter ales. I had it fresh from the tap, but I'm going to wait to open my bottle to see how it's changed. Cheers!

 163 characters

Photo of RichD
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. Once I finally got through the wax, I poured this into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep, impenetrable black with a 2 finger sized khaki colored head. As the head disappears into a ring around my glass I am left looking at a reddish brown ring tint around the edges. I can tell that this isn't a stout, and I can also tell that this is going to be something special.

S: Massive oak and vanilla notes come through almost instantly upon pouring. There's some toffee and caramel that are completed with a bit of chocolate. I also catch a faint hint of alcohol. This is not surprising seeing that this is 14%.

T: Oh my! I don't know if I've ever tasted a more potent bourbon profile in a beer. The oak and vanilla are so prominent here and they really play well with the other flavors. I catch some tobacco, caramel and some chocolate. The tobacco flavor comes through at first with some bitterness and then the vanilla, caramel and chocolate take over and add a crazy amount of sweetness.

F: There is no way that this beer is 14%. At first I wanted to say that this beer is medium bodied, but the chewiness that I get after each sip indicates that this is indeed a big beer. There's a nice hint of bitterness, but the barrel and sweetness is what makes this beer something special.

Overall: This is my first beer from Fremont, but it hopefully won't be my last. This is truly a special beer. I can tell that there was some serious care that went into making this beer. 15 year old barrels and a blend of 1 year old and 2 year old beer adds a potent depth of flavor to this beer that is truly remarkable. The only beer that I've had that is anything similar to this is Bourbon County Barleywine. This beer is better than that. I imagine this is what King Henry tastes like. Truly amazing. I hope I can get my hands on some of the variants.

 1,852 characters

Photo of TheEarl
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had a bottle of the 2011 vintage (possibly March batch…), poured into a Crate and Barrel tulip glass, on the afternoon of 5/26/12.

Appearance: The B-Bomb pours a very dark brown with amber around the edges of the glass and a dark tan bubbly head. As the head dies down, the beer is left with an almost oil-slick-like sheen of tiny bubbles and foam atop the beer.

Smell: The aroma is a fantastic blend of vanilla, caramel, dark fruit (plum, cherry, berries), and bourbon. In contrast to a lot of bourbon barrel aged ales, I don’t get any of the alcohol vapor smell. The bourbon barrel characteristics and the characteristics of the beer seem to have really converged.

Taste: The taste is less vanilla than the aroma. At first, I taste brown sugar sweetness, then the dark fruit notes, and, finally, a spicy, woody, bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel: The B-Bomb’s mouthfeel is as heavy and viscose as many imperial stouts but it seems like a good fit for the beer.

Overall: World-class.

 994 characters

Photo of sukwonee
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased two bottles of the 2011 vintage at a local Whole Foods store (I live in Seattle) @ $16.99 each. One bottle to age, the other bottle opened immediately to enjoy.

A: I am currently sitting in a relatively dark room... maybe this is the reason why it just looks black too me. Maybe I see a bit of reddish tone in the black... but it looks black. Very little tan head. Nice lacing.

S: All bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Smells amazing. I am expecting a HUGE beer with lots of complexity from smelling it

T: Tastes like exactly like it smells. Man, this is a great tasting beer. It doesn't really taste like "American Strong Ale" as this website describes it. Maybe it's not syrupy as an English barley wine, but... if I had to guess without knowing what this was, I would say this was an English-style barley wine.

M: A bit too much carbonation? It's decent, but maybe it should be a bit more smooth. There is a slight alcohol burn - tolerable.

O: This is an excellent beer, IMO. Best local beer I tasted to date. Hope this beer gets produced more and distributed wider. Maybe a bit pricey though (although worth the try - yes you should seek this one out).

 1,168 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head. Carbonation appears low.

S - Big barrel aromas dominate the nose, especially up front. Bourbon, vanilla and charred oak are all present. Some chocolate fudge and roast in the background accompany a big overall sweetness with some slightly noticeable alcohol.

T - Massive bourbon and oak flavours up front with some vanilla and char as the barrel aging really shines in this beer. Chocolate fudge and roast some through form the base beer along with a good hop bitterness. Warming alcohol is present throughout which nicely cuts through the sweetness.

M - Full bodies. thick and sludgy. Light carbonation.

O - This is close to being a flawless example of the style. Close, but not quite there.

 783 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a Chuck's Hop Shop taster. Opaque black body, thin white-brown head.

Smell : Bourbon, vanilla, brown suger, caramelized suger, and notes of coffee and coconut.

Taste : Same as smell, but more apparent.

Feel : Very smooth and creamy. Low carbonation, full bodied. A small alcohol bite, but also warming.

 325 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black with red highlights at the edges. Thin fine light brown head dissipates into a ring, light lacing. Aroma is bourbon with slight hints of vanilla, wood and dark malt. Flavor is amazing, dark and caramel malt and dark fruit and strong bourbon. Oak and malt in the finish, with a hint of hops. Nice heavy, viscous body. The bourbon is so distinct this tastes like a boilermaker made with a stout and bourbon. Really tastes good. I'm very impressed.

 517 characters

Photo of xabyss
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle poured into Chimay chalice. Very excited to try this one.

A: Pours pitch black with barely a hint of dark tan head that's there and gone before I can write this sentence. No light at all getting through this guy.

S: I think I am developing an addiction to the smell of bourbon barrels. The aroma of this concoction is heavenly: strong vanilla and oak, spices, cocoa, caramel malt and bourbon. I agree with previous reviewers who say this smells highly stout-like. I could just sniff this forever.

T: Follows the nose. Highly complex and well balanced with hardly a trace of the monster ABV. Getting more spices than the nose along with a heaping brown sugar, especially present in the finish. Pretty sweet vanilla throughout the sip, balanced by some bourbon heat and a trace of hop bitterness. Really one of the better barrel-aged brews I've had.

M: Dangerously smooth. Medium-full bodied with subtle carbonation. Goes down too easy.

O: An outstanding barrel-aged beer. I recently acquired two bottles, and was planning on cellaring the second. We'll see how long I can hold out.

 1,100 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

2012 bottle, poured into a tulip.

I've been sitting on this bottle for more than a year, and oh my, is it worth the wait.

It pours very dark, with a very slight reddish tone. Almost no head and no lacing to speak of.

Aroma is bourbon and vanilla. Taste is more complex than that, with a bite to the beer. I don't find it sweet. It's like a mild barleywine. The alcohol is noticeable, but not the main reason for sipping ... the flavor has such power that you want to take it quite slowly, to savor all the goodness. And then of course there is the bourbon flavor, which always is a terrific complement to a beer, in my opinion.

One of my favorite barrel-aged beers, and a great example of Fremont's exceptional brewing skill.

 740 characters

Photo of Stardusthotel83
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Nice dark brown color, creamy light brown head with swirls of dark.
S: Chocolate initially and the bourbon comes out more as it breathes.
T: Excellent smooth taste, choclate and vanilla notes, the bourbon flavor also comes out more if you let it sit.
F: Light and creamy
O: One of the top five beers ive ever had. Tried both 2014 and 2015, both were fantastic. The 2015 is a higher % but doesnt sacrifice on the taste at all.

 428 characters

Photo of bgramer
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I stopped to get the 2011 B-bomb at Fremont and had a glass from their tap.

This year's 2011 version is maltier than the 2010. It improves on an already great beer.

There's lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla and smooth chocolate, and did I say bourbon? There's a smoothness to this beer that's not usually seen in other bourbon beers with caramel-like and easy drinking. I'm glad I got my 2 bottles. It is going to be interesting to see how it develops.

Fremont has a hit on their hands. This beer should be sought out.

 518 characters

Photo of rogerdandy
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer. Not as good as its big brother coffee and cinnamon abominable but still really fucking good. It's super hard to brew really well done barley wine but Fremont is on to something with the Abominable line.

 224 characters

Photo of John_M
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at HOTD for Fred Fest 2014.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with excellent head retention and considerable brownish, creamy lacing. The nose is every bit as impressive, as I pick up milk duds, chocolate, coffee, light bourbon, vanilla and a hint of underlying leather. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though there also seemed to be considerable underlying hops that countered and bouyed the moderate sweetness very well. Mouthfeel was full and fairly soft, with a long, slight dry and bitter finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, with no sense of heat or heaviness in the finish.

Not that I'm surprised, but this is yet another excellent beer from the folks at Fremont Brewing. Also, good as it tasted at Fred Fest 2014, I think this beer is built for the long haul, and will likely only improve with a few years of bottle (or barrel/keg) age. Impressive.


Edit from 12/21/15. I don't usually do this, but the most recent version of Bbomb is so over the top incredible, I feel it's necessary to make a significant uptick in my original score.

Sampled both on draft and in bottle, the draft version I tried on Saturday was so good, I almost dropped my glass after the first sip. The 2015 version has a huge aroma and taste of bourbon, which is something I always love to find in my BA imperial stouts (I realize the label calls this a strong winter ale, but give me a break). There is also a huge presence of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, milk duds, vanilla and light coffee. The brewer really nailed it with the recipe this year, and I was amazed by the panoply of different flavors in this beer. Mouthfeel is huge, full, yet with nary a sharp edge anywhere. Just a stunning beer, that I wish wasn't 14% abv., so I could drink more of it. The draft version was so good, I felt compelled to open the bottle I had sitting at home. The bottled version seemed a bit out of balance initially, but with sufficient air contact, it was virtually as good as the tap version.

Loved the 2015 KDS, but in my humble opinion, the 2015 Bbomb is superior to it. Stylistically, this beer reminds me very much of the 2015 BCBS, but I felt this beer was superior to the BCBS (not by a lot, but given a choice, I would take the draft Bbomb over the draft BCBS). It was a bit less sweet and bit less boozy than the BCBS, though of course both beers are outstanding.

Excellent beer, and easily the finest BA RIS I've had since the 2014 ANTEAD.

 2,503 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a finger of dark brown foam receding into a ring. Decent lacing.

Lots of barrel in the nose. Fudge, vanilla, bourbon, oak and some roasty malts.

Big bourbon flavors as well. A ton of bourbon, oak and vanilla combined with the spices make a dark chocolate fudge like flavor. A little subtle hopping and spiciness from the base complements the barrel. A little bit of warming booze on the backend cuts the sweetness.

Full bodied sticky chewy mouthfeel. Wonderful.

Fantastic beer. Thick and sludgy with a wonderful heavy barrel experience. This one is dripping in bourbon, oak and vanilla. Different style, but still leaps and bounds ahead of KDS as far as Fremont BA beers. I downed a whole bottle of this myself and it was good to the last drop.

 765 characters

Photo of gandres
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 Ounce bottle to wine glass from the brewery
Appearance: Dark amber/medium head/lacing
Aroma: very good aroma
Taste: Balanced
Mouthfeel: creamy
Overall:Very good beer

Drank December 26, 2015

 193 characters

Photo of LouZ
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bottle; pours black with at least a finger of tan head that dissipates within a few minutes. Wonderful aroma of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a fig or date smell that is reminiscent of a barleywine. Taste is delicious; you get a nice amount of bourbon but not overpowering. Other tastes of vanilla, caramel, subtle chocolate, and again that fruity/fig-like essence. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and smooth, nicely carbonated. Overall, this is a special treat that does not seem as big as it feels after imbibing 11oz of this toasty goodness.

 557 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 bomber in a Teku

L: Pours a jet black with a 1-finger coffee colored head
S: Chocolate, sweet fruit, bourbon alcohol
T: Leather, sweet raisins, sweetness bordering on cloying
M: Viscous, noticeable heat from the alcohol,
O: A phenomenal beer - right up there with 4D but easier to get

 291 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe