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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale | Fremont Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
170 Reviews
Bourbon Abominable Winter AleBourbon 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
Reviews:
170
Ratings:
1,022
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
18%
 
 
Wants:
491
Gots:
301
For Trade:
44
User Reviews
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firstprev| 101-125 | 126-150 | 151-175  | next → last
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 1,022
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).

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Photo of projectflam86
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Youradhere sent me this in our trade. I owe you one!

22oz bomber waxed top. 2011 release. 9.5% Alc according to the label.

A- Pours a deep cola brown color with a thick head that leaves good lacing.

S- Reminds me of a nice English Barleywine with some bourbon and oak aromas. Dark fruits, alcohol, vanilla, wood, and a touch of chocolate all come through.

T- The bourbon steals the show right from the start. Huge bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors initially that give way to some caramel and chocolate malts in the finish. A touch of bitteress creeps through to add a bit of balance. A good dose of alcohol rounds out the flavor.

M- Full bodied with high carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.

O- A truly nice brew. Big bold bourbon flavor initially with a smooth well balanced finish.

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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.

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Photo of stx00lax
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark brown, not much head or lacing

S- Interesting, the vanilla and oak come through nicely. But it comes off smelling like big-league chew; in a good way.

T- Delicious! What a nice surprise as I had no expectations going into this beer. A little bourbon heat, but mostly vanilla, oak and caramelized brown sugar.

M- A little thin and hot, but the flavor makes up for it here.

O- A bit spendy, but I wasnt disappointed, I cant think of many delicious barrel-aged beers from this state. This is one of them.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black pour. A touch of light comes through on the edge in the glass. One finger light mocha head with good retention and lacing.

S: Big bourbon, butterscotch and vanilla. Oak comes through very good but doesn't over power. Nice dark chocolate notes. Very light spice notes.

T: Dark milk chocolate upfront. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, butterscotch, and a light winter spiciness from middle to end with big chocolate coming back in the finish. Light alcohol burn.

M: Full bodied. Light carbonation. Silky smooth.

O: A wonderful beer. Very tasty. The vanilla comes through awesomely. Look for this beer. Fremont is by far the best Seattle brewery, IMO.

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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.

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Photo of BillHilly
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served at 50 degrees in a Duvel tulip.

A: Dark brown, no head, small ring

S: Bourbon and more bourbon, vanilla, toffee

T: Roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon slight hop finish

M: Nice carbonation - more than I expected given the pour appearance, sticky

O: Dang good brew...was a pleasant surprise for sure...the best local beer I have had.

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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.

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Photo of ianorama
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark and pours well with a decent head.

Smell. I just love the smell of this dark ale. A bouquet of aromatic compounds smashes in to the smell buds. Hold your nose over the glass and deeply sniff in the aroma of coffee, chocolate, exotic spices.

Taste: Amazing. The fist sip has an amazing punch. You can definitely taste the bourbon accent. The is a faint taste of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Not too heavy.

A great beer. Disappointed they would only allow me two bottles. With aging, this should be a fantastic beer. Plan to get some more when a second batch is released in Feb 2011.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nice looking waxed bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a dark brown that is topped with a very short lived mocha head.

S Lots of bourbon with wood, vanilla, alcohol, and some faint chocolate. But bourbon is by far the dominant note here.

T More bourbon wood and vanilla. However it is backed by a very strong chocolate flavor that provides some nice balance to all the bourbon and keeps this one from being one dimensional. Also present is a faint holiday spice note.

M full body with full carbonation and a warming alcoholic finish.

Overall this is a pretty good bourbon barrel aged beer. The only problem is that it is quite rich which makes it difficult to drink a lot of. An excellent effort by Fremont Brewing that is worth seeking out.

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

Wax capped bomber purchased at the brewery. 2011 vintage.

A: Dark brown, near black. Medium-heavy viscosity. Head is minimal and shy even with an aggressive pour but does yield a pale khaki colored layer of foam which quickly retreats leaving a bubbly outer ring. Little to no lacing.

S: Nose is crazy. Fruity, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark malt, brown sugar. Lots going on here. Complex and well crafted. Hope the taste is as good as the nose.

T&M: Mildly chocolatey, hint of dark roast, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, vanilla. Wow. Booze is well hidden but also definitely present. Very nice blend. medium-heavy body with great carbonation. Finishes a little sweet.

O: This is by far one of the best beers I've had from Fremont. Clearly they know how to barrel age and blend, as this is flavorful, aromatic and just flat out delicious. I can't wait for their lambics and eventually gueuzes. These guys might be the only WA brewery that gives a shit about making quality beer of all styles. Keep it up guys!

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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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5/21/2011

The rapture never occurred, so here I am opening up a barrel aged beverage. Huge thanks to bgramer for the super generous extra from a brewery I'd never heard of. Poured into a snifter. Bottling number 1 of the 2010 batch.

A: Ruddy dark brown and opaque with a big creamy off white head. Sort of ruddy and swampish. Not a particularly attractive color. Good retention and some scattered lacing.

S: Lots of vanilla and caramel with a moderately powerful wood profile. There's an unmistakable bourbon presence which seems to be of high quality. The oak is lightly spicy on the nose. Some earthy notes with a little chocolate as well, and alcohol is well hidden. All the different characteristics are well balanced and on the whole, the beer gives the impression of subtlety and nuance. Just a trace of smoke.

T: Very mellow, exhibiting exceptional balance. Notes of vanilla and caramel meld with bourbon, light chocolate, light roast, and a dash of chocolate. The balance is something to marvel at. Alcohol is restrained. Very nice. This is closer to a 4.25 in flavor. The marriage of caramel and bourbon is superb.

M: Creamy, silky, and sticky. Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A well balanced, highly drinkable, and thoroughly enjoyable bourbon barrel aged strong ale. I've been enjoying the hell out of this for the last two hours. Really killer stuff.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a waxed 22 oz 2 ways. Bought at the brewery 12/2010.

Ar: bourbon, toasty wood and brown malt, vanilla, excellent barrel character

Ap: Brown clear, med/low head off white head, good retention

T: Rich delicious bourbon, dark fruit, toffee caramel, vanilla, wonderful smooth barrel character, plum, prune, cherry

M: medium carbonation, medium body, warming alc end

O: Great barrel character, not super rich and full bit definitely good. Sort of like a lighter bodied, higher carbed, less rich angel's share (but for what it is it is plenty rich), in ways it is similar to abacus

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Photo of Jwale73
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for sharing. 2010 vintage, bottling #3, bottle number 19 out of 240. Pours a murky, reddish-brown with no head, just a soapy skim and sudsy bubbles around the shoulders. Nose is malty, slightly vinous and also expresses figs and raisins. Fantastic flavors - bourbon, vanilla and a buttery quality on a nice malty backbone - dark fruits are interspersed nicely through the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps a little watery, with a mild carbonation. This is a great beer. I would classify it as being closer to an Old Ale than an American Strong, however. That being said, a truly exceptional beer if you have the opportunity to try it.

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

A: Poured a nice mahogany color with a dirty white head and good carbonation

S: Bourbon, lots of smooth rich cocoa and vanilla

T: Big blast of smooth milk chocolate upfront, then the bourbona nd vanilla lays infollowed by swet sticky caramel, toffee taste

M: Nice, coating, medium to big body, lots of flavor and nice booze feel, warming

D: Oh yeah. Easy to drink and a very good beer overall

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Photo of ccrida
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask (apparently a one-off firkin for 12 beers of Xmas in Seattle, which kicked off here tonight) at Naked City, Teutonic B-Bomb (6, 8 and 12 month old abominable aged in bourbon on vanilla beans, as they called this version) is dark, cola brown, pretty much still, with a big-bubbled khaki collar leaving no lace

Smell is massive bourbon, really emphasizing the sweetness of the spirit (which incidentally is my favorite). A little bit of roast peeks out as it warms, but it's really appealing to this bourbon lover regardless, especially with the vanilla.

Taste is the same, bourbon bomb indeed, delicious. I love bourbon, and the bland base beer works well here as a delivery vehicle. With plent8y of bourbon, as well as vanilla and coconut notes from the barrel itself. Super tasty, but the lack of depth in the regular abominable (which, incidentally, I'm having at the same time to compare) holds it back a bit. They didn't announce the bean aging until after I'd started enjoying it, but it really shines.

Mouthfeel is great, the soft, light body afforded by the cast really suits this beer, giving it a dangerous quaffability.

Drinkability very good, this is a super tasty bourbon barrel dark ale that is smooth as silk and light in the body. Packing plenty of flavor, I could drink a lot of this without realizing what hit me!

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Photo of beertunes
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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

What a delicious treat! The Abominable is a delightful beer in itself, but this bourbon barrel version is outstanding. A beauteous brown beverage with ruby highlights. Like what a grizzly would look like after a session in a Seattle salon. Smells like bourbon and vanilla with a little caramel and chocolate. This is a bourbon sandwich, it starts with that classy bourbon bite, before mellowing into an exceptional winter ale, with the caramel, coffee, and chocolate flavors prevalent before giving way to the crumbling intensity of the bourbon on the back end. As this baby quickly disappears, it leaves vanilla and bourbon heat trickling viciously. Should've gotten a growler, but they were short-handed and it would've been selfish to hold them up any longer after their graciousness.

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Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 1,022 ratings.
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