Barrel Noir | Almanac Beer Co.

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
431 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
431
Reviews:
78
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
71
Gots:
67
For Trade:
7
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of strongaf
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of thebigredone
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Almanac beer, I've really been looking forward to trying this brewery.

Taste is of dusty cocoa, sweet dark fruit, and mild oak. There's virtually no noticeable bourbon on the palate, I would have liked to taste a bit more.

Overall, this is a nice belgian dark ale/stout from Almanac. A little more roast and a fair bit more bourbon would have increased my enjoyment of this, but on the whole it is a solid beer.
And kudos to Almanac for their sweet bottle design, very well done.

 491 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kyle2k10 for this bottle during our second go-round. 375ML bottle with some pretty cool art tattooed right onto the bottle, poured in to my big old Terrapin chalice, which I don't use nearly enough.

Pour is black, showing faint signs of life. Nose is light barrel, vanilla mostly, with a bite of chocolate & significant roast.

Barrel Noir is smoother than Will Smith's smile. The whole beer has rolled in smooth, there's virtually no friction at all as it slides past the molars. After that distraction, the tastes takes a back seat. Plenty of slow roast, followed by the warming chest cavity by the booze; drinks a lot higher than it's labelled. Vanilla knocks only after the beer warms & fills the mid-palate to the brim. Bitter chocolate rounds out the lineup. I find myself drinking this far too quickly for a big-beer on a school night.

Did I mention this brew is smooth? This grew on me as it warmed; really unimpressive at lower temps, this one needs a warm fire or cupped hands to shine. This isn't Men in Black of I Am Legend, but it might be I, Robot. Very good beer.

 1,093 characters

Photo of e30todamax
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of JOrtt
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of toomuchhops
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SourAddict
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of GJ40
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 500ml? bottle purchased at K&L in Redwood City.

A - Beautiful bottle. And I love the farm to barrel concept. More brown than black on the initial pour but looks black once the glass is full. A small tan head.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate and brown sugar. Complex and balanced.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and roasted barley. It starts better than it finishes. There's an out of place bitterness toward the end.

M - A little thin for the style. Low to moderate carbonation.

O - Solid from appearance to aroma to it hitting the palate. But it goes down hill in the finish.

 591 characters

Photo of Hopsiam14
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jvillefan
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of cbutova
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on-tap at Stone in Escondido. Reviewed from notes.

A- Poured from the tap to an 8oz taster glass. Black as night with a small light tan head. Bubbly ring leaves spotty lace after the head falls fairly quickly.

S- Light barrel whiskey with oak and vanilla, smoothed out and not abrasive. Dark roast malts, strong dark red fruity yeast notes, spiced raisins and some cocoa.

T- Barrel comes to life a bit more in the taste. Rounded out Bourbon, vanilla and oak wood peek through a roasty, Belgian base beer. Aged caramel, intensely dark burnt grains, raisins, dark fruits, cocoa, fig candi sugar and Belgian yeast spice. The fruitiness reminds me of an Old Ale, perhaps a tiny bit of oxidation.

MF- Creamy and silky texture to a medium thick body. Alcohol provides a nice warming at 10% and carbonation is at a medium-high level. Goes down smoothly.

Grows on me with each sip. The Belgian yeast feel works with the Bourbon barrels and dark roasty malts, not an easy thing to do.

 989 characters

Photo of CMack71968
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle has no date, though I'm assuming this is a '13.

Appearance: Pours black, as a stout should, with one finger of fluffy beige head. There's lots of carbonation sticking to side of glass if you check for legs, which it has.

Smell: Dark fruit, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and slight coconut(from the barrel). There's definitely a detectable booze element.

Taste: Talk about barrel character...Beginning is dark chocolate with a touch of coconut that thereafter gets overpowered by a Bourbon punch with some tobacco-like spiciness. After the bourbon/tobacco subsides, you're left with some nice malty roast that fades out into a dry finish. Man, the Bourbon element in this is strong and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for the style with good carbonation.

Overall: Blind, I'd've pegged this at least 10% and 100% barrel aged. Though it was drinkable now, I'd personally lay this down for 1+ years. This is a bit boozy and could definitely benefit from some time in the cellar. Kind of reminds me of Parabola, which isn't a bad thing.

 1,045 characters

Photo of StevenSpringer
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of BeerBuffalo
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Kreko7
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of emerge077
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
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 od_sf
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of pknyc
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of wolf_switzer
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of johnny29er
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Barrel Noir from Almanac Beer Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
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