Barrel Noir | Almanac Beer Co.

Barrel NoirBarrel Noir
BA SCORE
4.07/5
431 Ratings
Barrel NoirBarrel Noir
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
almanacbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.

Added by Trilogy31 on 02-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
431
pDev:
8.85%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
71
Gots:
67
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at mhksuccess' tasting.

Bottled Winter 2012.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, brown sugar, smoke, char, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor and alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some tasty flavors.

 596 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

50% Dark Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. 50% American Imperial Stout. 10% ABV confirmed. Cast was $10 USD for a 375ml brown glass bottle with a branded pressure cap and a fancy etched label. Oak-aged according to the label. Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. Acquired at a local SoCal beer store; I've seen this around Westwood.

Served straight from the fridge but allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salted pretzels.

A: Pours a cola-esque khaki-tan head: quite thin, lacks substantial cream, but retains well (~5 minutes, pretty impressive for 10%). Body colour is a solid dark black; not a jet black or silky but black. No yeast particles are visible; it's nontransparent and opaque. No bubble show. Light thin lacing as the head slowly recedes.

Sm: Chocolate, chocolate malt, dark malts, buried roast, a bit of vanilla, light plum/stonefruit, and caramel. Not real bourbon-y, with the vanilla and caramel ringing distinct rather than as part of a whole. A bit of oak wood. No yeast character comes through. Alcohol is well concealed. Bready and a bit burnt. It's evocative but not very deep in terms of flavour depth. I'm excited to try it. A mild strength aroma.

T/Mf: Hrm. It feels like a messy blend of two different beers - probably because that's what it is. Bourbon-y oaky dark malts collide with competing plum notes, biscuit malt, and light vinous character. No balance here at all. The mouthfeel is a mess too; silky and artifically smooth up front which coarsens and dries as it hits the lees-like Belgian dark feel. Carbonation is good. Light oak is a highlight but lacks depth. Alcohol is evident. Heavy thick caramel and bready notes. A bit roasty on the finish, with hints of cold pressed generic coffee. Overly sweet, with artificial vanilla hitting on the climax. Hot and gushed. There's definite boozy warmth here. It doesn't lack body, but it's inconsistent and unfocused. Boy, this one isn't doing me well.

Dr: Something of a sipper, with boozy character warming the stomach. Its messy unfocused flavour profile coupled with its scattershot mouthfeel make it a tough one to drink compared to other beers in the style. This one misses the mark a bit; I feel like either of the two constituent beers would be better on their own. Priced high for the lack of quality. I wouldn't buy this again. I'm distrusting of Almanac now; I've had too many underwhelming beers from them. A very average beer.

C

 2,660 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to WST for this one! BBQ victory winnings finale, shared with Aaron.

Pitch black, some tobacco-stained chestnut highlights when held to the light. Thin vein of tan foam, spotty flecks of lace around the edges.

Anise in the aroma big time, licorice and roasted malt comprise the main elements, with some barrel heat as well.

Roasty char, malt sweetness, chocolate syrup, sweet pipe tobacco. Full bodied with a bite from the bourbon barrel, finish is a bit thin though. Werthers butterscotch candy and milk chocolate. Dry finish, fairly smooth. Overall it's pretty good, but is lacking a certain something to make it unique.

 635 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by an inch of foam; the retention is not great but there is some decent lacing left behind

Smell: Quite a lot going on, with chocolate and charred oak dominant; vanilla, dark fruit and marshmallow underneath

Taste: Opens very roasty, with the charred oak and chocolate flavors from the aroma dominant; in the middle, the vanilla and marshmallow flavors build, along with some earthy hops and walnut flavors; the aftertaste brings out a bit of the Bourbon as well as a nice blend of the various elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A really nice blend of what tastes like an Old Ale aged in Bourbon barrels and an Imperial Stout - I think Almanac is on to something with this brew

Thanks, danwho, for the chance to revisit

 809 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Local Habit in San Diego. At first glance it's a total blackout in the snifter, but after some drinking it appears dark brown with a ruby glint. Just a brief rising of foam that settles down to an oil slick. Rather prickly on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a little on the goopy side. Hugely rich with a lot of sugar taste. Deeply toasted malt is the backbone, with just a little sharpness coming through eventually. Big burnt sugar taste provides some bitterness but hops are virtually absent. Dark fruity flavor of dates and a whiff of vanilla in the nose. A relentless and robust brew that is more like a too-rich dessert than a beer. Worth a try, however, for barrel aficionados.

 688 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Rifugium
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first beer from this brewery. Cola-brown pour with a small tan head that retained moderately and left minimal spotty lacing. In the nose, dark malts, dark dried fruits, esters, yeast, oak. Hmm...well, really no bourbon, and all things considered, there were some traces of possible infection noted; nothing overly offensive, but something didn't seem quite right. Unlike the aroma, I did get some bourbon and vanilla in the taste, barrel, dark malts, plum and red grapes. Some astringent and estery off-flavors crept in towards the end, leading me once again to believe this beer (or this bottle anyway) was on the verge of being infected. And yet it was still at a point where I found it tasty. Medium body, which makes sense when you understand this is only 50% stout. Despite its "flaws" or whatever may have been going on in this bottle, it was still an interesting brew, and I'd like to try it again for a second opinion.

Want more from this brewery. Trade please.

 973 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 375ml bottle with etched label.

A: Pours dark brownish black with an initial 2-inch mocha head which fades to the rim and thin cap leaving web lace.

N: Cocoa, bourbon, oak, dark cherries, roasty char and brown sugar.

T: Dark chocolate, vanilla, roast with some charred oak, dark fruits and malt.

M: Full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy, slightly sweet fruit with roasty dark chocolate finish.

O: Roasty oak and strong flavors invite another sip. A bit muddled near the end.

 490 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A – Dark cola body with light brown highlights. Light tan head with nice retention and ok lace.

S – Rich milk chocolate, raisin bran, toasted whole wheat bread, sweet anise, worchester sauce, chocolate covered prunes, malted milk balls.

T – Incredibly complex. The flavor profile ebbs and weaves through thick dark chocolate sauce, bourbon, balsamic, honey, oak, sweet plums, dry cocoa nibs, coconut, chocolate cherry cordials, and nutella.
M – Smooth, medium body. The carbonation is a little light, but otherwise it’s spot on for the profile.

O – Outstanding flavor profile; complex, well balanced, and delicious.

 630 characters

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Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 431 ratings
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