Bourbon Little Brother | The Commons Brewery

very good
75 Ratings
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Bourbon Little BrotherBourbon Little Brother

Brewed by:
The Commons Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A portion of Little Brother is added to Heaven Hill bourbon barrels after primary fermentation where it picks up a rich, bourbon flavor. After a few months this is then blended back with a non-barrel aged version that had been cold conditioning.

Added by vkv822 on 01-01-2013

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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of acurtis
2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a strange beverage, partially bourbon barrel aged, i didnt love it at first, but it really grew on me as i drank on it, and by the time i was finishing off the bottle, i totally was into it. chocolate brown in color but kind of light looking for what it is, big belgian looking head on it. smells like whiskey and rotting fruit, i am surprised by the lightness of the malt, not toasty or chocolatey at all, maybe a dry cocoa note, but this is way lighter than it looks on the grain spectrum, fruity for sure, raisin and plum and dates. the whiskey is stronger in the nose than it is in the flavor, but it really comes on as it warms up, just like the alcohol, they seem to work together well. maybe its the yeast thats strange, but its not belgian the way we usually think, more of a dried fruit and soft spice complexion, lots to it, but its kind of weird with the bourbon. i think i might even prefer a non barrel aged edition of this just to taste the yeast more clearly. medium weight on the palate but great carbonation, wet wood lingers in the finish with a little caramelized sugar. enjoyable strong ale, and definitely something a little different, but this is nowhere near my favorite beer thee guys do. either way, its really rad they are selling some beer in colorado now, i am a longstanding fan of all that they do!

 1,328 characters

Photo of djrn2
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A year old bottle which may explain the very high levels of carbonation. Almost a root beer float sort of suds. Aroma is vanilla, oak, dark fruit. Flavor follows with some of the classic Belgian clove and banana as well as a cola /root beer flavor. Some criticize the body but we have to remember this is a Belgian dark, but a stout. The strong Bourbon flavors without the boozy heart is an accomplishment. One of the nicest mergers of Belgian flavors with Bourbon that I've had.

 483 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Such a nice sudsy mouthfeel. Dark brown with a golden edge in the Crooked Line tulip. Plenty of foam. Fruity and roasted grain nose.

Sugary taste along with the intriguing Bourbon taste. Not as boozy as a lot of barrel-aged brews. Faint burnt

Pleasant fruity, dark, and dry yeasty taste. An interesting brew with a more modest barrel influence. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Whole Foods just off Burnside in Portland.

 427 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Huge khaki head. Lasts forever. Great surface foam with a thick collar. Brown body.

Smell - Dark fruity character. Belgian sugars. Caramel and some yeasty notes.

Taste - Nutty caramel sweetness. Belgian sweetness. The only hint of a barrel is some vanilla in the back.

Mouthfeel - Way overcarbonated. Lingering sweetness. Medium body.

Overall - Pretty good, but where's the bourbon?

 437 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of aasher
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark burnt orange with a big three finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of mixed fruit; cherry, orange and plum with a bit of dark dried fruit, spicy and a hint of bourbon. Flavor starts with classic Belgian strong dark flavors of light and dark stone fruit and dark dried fruit then transitions to Belgian yeast, sweet light stone fruit and bourbon. Finishes with lingering bourbon and light barrel oakiness and vanilla. Light bodied with sharp, peppery carbonation, almost overcarbonated. A nice domestic take on a Belgian strong with a light to moderate bourbon component that melded well with the other flavors. The flavors are all somewhat subdued, but work well together and leave a pleasant finish. Enjoyable, especially if you like bourbon flavors with your ale.

 836 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BillRoth
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle at Belmont Station during NW Beer Safari. First shot at The Commons, and hoped to have a good intro.
A: Big frothy head; settles to a full foam. But still a bit bubbly.
S: Nose was full of dark fruit, touch of leather, bready with some yeast
T: Really liked the taste. Big flavors. Fruit, leather, chocolate, bourbon with pronounced vanilla, Tasty sipper!
M:Very good, but... Unfortunately, a bit bright with carbonation. Would have enjoyed a something more velvety with those flavors. Still..was very good. Full, and carried the malt well.
O: A very nice beer. Would purchase again. Definitely has me interested in more beer from The Commons. Just can't help but think it could have been special.

 716 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

reinheitsgematt brought this gem over tonight.. 2013 vintage... Pours a clear walnut... fizzy dark tan head... dies back pretty quickly... decent lacing... Thanks a bunch Matt!! New to me beer!!

Nose shows pretty strong dark fruity esters... not really enough malty backbone IMO.. bourbon shows a bigger vanilla.

Flavor mirrors the aromas but has more intricacies.. some light cocoa and hints of yeasty phenols remind me of clove.. bourbon barrel presence is there, but is pretty balanced and never gets out of whack.

Big carbonation for the style, but it isn't too bad.. just a little too prickly... and could use a little more background maltiness to help on the palate and it would also deliver the sorta convoluted flavors into one wheelhouse.

Again, big props to Matt.. This is a new to me beer from a brewery that I really like.


 861 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 2.1.13

A - Pours a medium dark brown with a fizzy tan head that fades slowly.

S - Yeasty, raisins, slight coffee.

T - Toffee and raisins, some wood, yeast and finishes with a hint of bourbon.

D - Good carbonation and a lighter body.

O - Belgian dark with a nice subtle bourbon finish.

 306 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of beastmaster from the Pirtland airport. Pours dark brownish purple with massive khaki head and a shit ton of sediment. Aroma of dark fruits, yeast funk, spices, banana, chocolate, and vague booze. Flavor is actually really nice. Funky yeasty banana up front with a bit of prunes and raisins, then there is a nice punch of sweet bourbon and vanilla, spice, a lingering vanilla caramel marshmallow, and some oak. Body is a bit weak on the thinner side for the style with lowish carbonation. Overall this was better than expected with a strong bourbon whiskey presence that is actually kind of nice and almost a spicy rye whiskey note with the quad-bourbon combo. Not bad.

 687 characters

Photo of anteater
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of vonnegut21
2/5  rDev -48.2%

Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of dheldman
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of my_knew_craft
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spointon
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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Bourbon Little Brother from The Commons Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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