B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale) | Fremont Brewing Company

B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale)B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale)
BA SCORE
98.2%
Liked This Beer
4.43 w/ 1,113 ratings
B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale)B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States
fremontbrewing.com

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
Ranking:
#222
Reviews:
192
Ratings:
1,113
Liked:
1,093
Avg:
4.43/5
pDev:
7.22%
Alströms:
3.91
 
 
Wants:
490
Gots:
331
Trade:
44
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,113 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of Desp59
1/5  rDev -77.4%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of Phil_H
3/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of DJMonroe
3/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Nice yellow-khaki label art. Red wax-ed over pry-off crown cap. Brown glass.

11% ABV. 2014 vintage.

Expectations are high seeing as this is currently the #2 rated beer in all of Washington state. Served cold into an Avery snifter and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a bourbon aged winter ale per the label; I guess that translates into the catch-all "American strong ale" category on this website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 2.5cm wide. Khaki colour with a great shining complexion. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Supple and creamy with an aptly thick consistency. Even and robust. Retention is above average for the high ABV - about 4 minutes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. Not an ink or jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special looking.

AROMA: Heavy sweetness from molasses, dark malts, schwarz malts, caramel, chocolate malts, caramelized sugars, and crystal malts. Bourbon does make an appearance, but it's shallow in character, bringing only traces of bourbon-soaked wood to the table; no vanilla, no coconut, no whiskey spice, no rich white oak, no barrel sugars. I also don't pick up on the leather promised by the label, nor is there any coffee character or actual chocolate/cacao nibs (as is/are distinctive from mere chocolate malt).

Aromatic intensity is mild, but above average. There's some noticeable alcohol warmth, but it's not a boozy aroma. No hops, yeast, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Definitely sweet, with the chocolate malt emphasis supported by notes of black strap molasses, heavy caramelized sugars, sticky crystal malt, black/schwarz malts, dark malts, and bourbon. The bourbon barrel presence is unimpressive but contributory, bringing notes of generic bourbon and barrel sugars, but no coconut, genuine vanilla, rich white oak wood, or toastiness. I think I find a hint of marshmallow?

The barrel doesn't melt seamlessly into the base, but it also doesn't eclipse the base beer. Those hoping for really vivid or deep notes of bourbon are best off searching elsewhere, but there are some decent elements at play here. It isn't balanced; I think it tries to juggle too many different notes and just ends up a soppy mess. The Frankenstein conglomerate of disparate flavours lends its build a messy vibe, and none of the notes bring much depth of flavour or nuance to the table.

To its credit, there's nothing off-style in play like overt hoppiness, off-flavours, or obvious yeast presence, but this leaves a lot to be desired. The label's promises of leather and coffee go unfulfilled, and the beer as a whole never tastes gestalt - though there is fair cohesion here.

Average flavour duration and intensity.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, warm (from alcohol presence), unrefreshing, thick, viscous, and slightly syrupy, with a sticky presence on the palate. To style, it's full bodied - but goes a bit overboard, bringing too much heft and weight to a beer whose shallow straightforward flavours don't demand it. It's just too heavy and filling. More of a delicate, creamy, silky, velvety, and soft mouthfeel would be ideal. Carbonation is off, to boot.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Fails to elevate the beer as a whole. There's not a harmony of texture and taste.

OVERALL: If this is truly Washington's second best beer, I'm in no hurry to book a beer trip to Seattle. Surprisingly shallow and reticent - especially for a bourbon barrel aged beer - Bourbon BA Abominable lacks the intricacy, subtlety, and depth of flavour of superior beers in the style, and fails to deliver on the promises of its label and category. Those hoping for either a bourbon bomb or a tasty winter ale will be underwhelmed. And if you're thinking of drinking this alone, reconsider - I wish I had three friends on hand to help finish it. It's got all of the problematic characteristics of a winter ale - the heft, the filling full body, the alcohol warmth - but few of the benefits, and none of the deep bold flavours.

There's not much here for the discerning drinker, but hey - maybe I shouldn't have aged it? I'd give Fremont the benefit of the doubt if the label didn't encourage aging up to 5 years...

C+ (3.08)

 4,333 characters

Photo of Drift
3.25/5  rDev -26.6%

Photo of rpstevens
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of cfrances33
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of hornsup
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of jerz
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of DaveAnderson
3.54/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with red wax

A: Under the wax, the bottle cap is rusty. Hope that isn't a bad sign. A vigorous pour into a Darkness tulip reveals a dark brown, slightly crimson-hued liquid, but yields almost no head whatsoever. Does not appear carbonated. After the bottle warmed to room temperature, I could coax a small, foamy head from a strong pour, but it dissipated in about 20 seconds.

S: Smells a little like cookies before baking. There's a strong vanilla component, and some brown sugar. Bourbon is apparent, and there is plenty of oak. As it warms, I get some tobacco and black cherry. A second pour brings out something fruitier, like figs, but that disappears as soon as the head does. Do I detect chocolate?

T: Much like the smell. Sweet at first, but with a lingering sourness and bitterness left in the back of the mouth. The oak gets a little too much play for my tastes.

M: On the tongue, I can detect some carbonation, but I would call it little more than light effervescence. Not as flat as it looks, but in the end, it feels a little thin.

O: I actually didn't like this beer at first. I might have started at too cold a temperature, but even after letting it warm, I didn't think it improved significantly. On the other hand, didn't think it was worthy of being poured down the drain, so I opened an IPA, and found that alternating between this beer and an IPA made both beers better.

 1,407 characters

Photo of Fahmie25
3.56/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thewimperoo
3.57/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Javi.

The pour is dark brown in color with a small khaki head. The aroma starts off with lots of roast and a bit of coffee. Bourbon is there, but not very strong. There's more oak than bourbon. Some toffee sweetness with a bit of dark chocolate. Again, not much bourbon flavor, but there is some oak and vanilla. A bit of roast and coffee with a fair amount of dark chocolate. Moderate sweetness of caramel and toffee. Actually sort of mellow.

 469 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.58/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is also known as B-Bomb. The pretty mahogany of the base beer stays the same in this version, as does the the retention and lacing.

On the nose the bourbon is certainly noticeable, but not overpowering. The bourbon comes across a little bolder on the tongue and slightly detracts from the source beer. The body remains about the same. Drinkability will, of course, depend on your tolerance for bourbon. I like bourbon and it complements this beer nicely, but does overpower the tastebuds slightly.

This beer is worth seeking out, it's certainly worth the road trip from Portland to Seattle. If you're west of the Cascades, you should try this.

 656 characters

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.65/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of n2185
3.7/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a finger of brown head that fades into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: Vanilla, toffee, caramel, and bourbon dominate with raisin and dark fruit aromas along with some molasses and oak.

T: Vanilla, toffee, and caramel dominate here as well. Oak and boozy bourbon come through with a fair amount of raisin and molasses flavor before a moderately boozy finish.

M: Thick, sticky sweet body with low carbonation, this beer is heavy, syrupy, and boozy.

O: A solid beer, overall. It's a bit more raisin-y and boozy than I'd like, but still enjoyable. Definitely a very long sipper.

 612 characters

Photo of NWHopinator
3.72/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fitze
3.74/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oddlandf
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BDavidson14
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Hophead717
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Cottzilla
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of T_Hass
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

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B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale) from Fremont Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98.2% out of 100 with 1,113 ratings
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