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

BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,101 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
Ratings:
1,101
Reviews:
191
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
7.29%
 
 
Wants:
489
Gots:
327
For Trade:
44
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,101 |  Reviews: 191
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

2011 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and some slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody and bourbon forward finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice aroma and a great flavor that make it easy to drink.

 697 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wonderful bourbon barrel usage here, as good as any, lots of burnt oak flavor with the attendant vanilla and booze, all are soft and gentle though, and none so dominant as to displace the strong ale base on this, which is a caramel malt bomb, super thick, and downright delicious, although a bit out of season right now i think. reddish hues of caramel and molasses color, and the aromas are similarly sweet, toffee and vanilla dessert come to mind, and of course the bourbon, which adds richness, sweetness, and the feeling like im having something of extreme quality. the flavor is sweet from the outset, but doesnt really finish that way, more of a quicker boozy hit to wind it down. vanilla is strong, and the oak contributes quite a bit, but the base beer is exceptional. as much sticky sweet grain as you can pack in here, which gives a luxurious mouthfeel to this highly viscous brew. carbonation is low medium, but its all i really need in this style. something more than a barleywine here, but in that sort of vein stylistically. my first brew from fremont is an absolute pleasure, made even more enjoyable by sharing it with some of the gentlemen responsible for its existence. a real treat worthy of its high praise.

 1,227 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of nmann08
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage

From a bottle, this pours a dark brown mahogany with a big brown head.

The nose is a bit messy, lots of alcohol and booze. The bourbon barrel really hits you in the face, vanilla, wet oak, caramel, molasses, sweet brown sugar.

The flavor is really where it's at for me. Great bourbon character, strong vanilla notes, caramel, dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate. This tastes considerably better than it smells. A bit hot, sticky finish. Overall, just drink it. It tastes great.

 501 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -29.8%
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 oline73
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Pours a dark brown color, this beer almost looks like a stout. The smell is sweet with some dark fruit and caramel notes. There is a strong sweetness in the flavor, but the roasted malt notes balance it out a bit. I enjoyed the caramel and dark fruit along with the bourbon. The finish is sweet with a roast bitterness.

 368 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out with a fudge brown color and a modest head; not too much lacing on this one

Smell: Caramel, Bourbon, char, dark fruit and vanilla

Taste: Opens with caramel and dark fruit tones, with depth of char and molasses, underneath; in the middle, the Bourbon makes an entrance bring oak and vanilla elements, as well; the finish is somewhat boozy, with sweetness lingering

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A pretty decent beer but just a tad too boozy and sweet to me; still, glad to have tried it

 547 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by pokgye. Thanks, hag.

Opaque dark brown body with low carbonation. Almost stout-like in appearance. The nose is great, heavy on rich brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. Plenty of bourbon barrel. Leather notes pop out as it warms, along with a little black licorice. The palate brings a nice mix of sweet burnt sugar, bourbon, vanilla and leather. Body is full, almost syrupy. Mellow heat. Finishes on the dry side, quite a bit of tannic oak. Surprisingly great beer.

 481 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2013 vintage. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, leather, light licorice, and roast/oak earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, leather, light licorice, and roast/oak earthiness. Light amount of roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, leather, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness and oak spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and fairly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible barrel aged strong ale! All around fantastic balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly amazing offering as expected.

 1,657 characters

Photo of mothman
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tan head. Black color.

Nice bwine flavors. Big bourbon. Big oak and vanilla. Toffee and caramel. Chocolate notes.

Full bodied. Nice carbonation level.

Really nice beer.
Easy drinking. A little hot and warming but nice.

 223 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this beast.

Pours a nice fluffy dark creamy head, at least in my glass, that fades fairly quickly, just about pitch black beer.

Nose brings loads of bourbon, vanilla oak, toasted oak, just bourbon barrel city. Nice dark roasty like chocolate malts, dark cocoa and lots of vanilla, caramel, grainy toasty malt, tons of varied malts, juicy malt, etc.

Taste is great too, big dark malts, creamy dark choc and cocoa, with light roasty dark malt note, cocoa and char. Then big barrel, vanilla toasty oak barrel with tons of bourbon, so much bourbon juice, little biscuit cookie and toffee. Nice buttery oak, chewy nougat and fluff, charred candy bar. Nice buttery roast and bitter earthy hop. Finish is sticky semi sweet, nice roast dark malt and cocoa, fluffy nougat, very dark choc, and little earthy malt.

Mouth is thick, creamy, light booze, decent carb.

Overall amazing, but not really a winter warmer, more barrel aged stout.

 965 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of mactrail
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 22 oz bottle, 2014 Vintage, purchased at Chuck's 85th St Market. Never mind the price, it's a massive brew of world-class intensity. Just have a little bitty glass once in a while to remind you of optimism and the good things in life.

Very dark brown with a gorgeous pile of thick beige foam, lasting long and sticking to the small Pilsener glass. Sweet with malt, that covers the flavor spectrum from light through caramel, burnt sugar, dark roast, and hints of blackened barley. The hoppy bitterness serves to balance nicely, leaving an aftertaste of bitterish licorice.

Deep aroma of Bourbon with a buttery note. Flavors of dark raisins soaked in rum. This is not overly thick or sticky, but its sweetness is buoyed up by the clouds of carbonation. Some sharp notes like dried tart figs. Delicious with a whirl of flavors ending in some vanilla and the woody bitter tang.

 892 characters

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B-Bomb (Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale) from Fremont Brewing Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 1,101 ratings.
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