Fernet Aged Porter
Odell Brewing Company

Fernet Aged PorterFernet Aged Porter
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Porter - American
3.87 | pDev: 11.89%
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Fernet Aged PorterFernet Aged Porter
Notes: Over the past year, we’ve collected empty Fernet Barrels from our friends at Leopold Bros. Distillery. Their distinct Fernet includes lavender, honeysuckle, ginger root, bitter aloe, dandelion root, rose petals, chamomile, and pepper. Inspired by the herb & spice flavors of this dark minty liqueur, we promptly filled the barrels with a rich porter. The roasty chocolate malt character is infused with hints of mint and licorice from the herb-soaked oak, creating a decadent flavor and aroma.
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 215 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown almost black color with very little tan colored head. Dark fruits, red wine, roasted malt, cocoa, and some herbal notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied, I think the barrels thin it out a bit. Finishes with more barrel character and some dark berries.

Jul 04, 2017
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SHODriver from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I think this bottle is at least two years old because I've had it for awhile.

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense light tan head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of chocolate and coffee with some hints of spices that I'm guessing are from the Fernet. Slight astringency on the nose but it isn't terrible or off putting
T: Taste is spices and fernet up front with a definite ginger note with a little licorice and slight mint. There's a little bit of oak as well as the chocolate and coffee from the base beer but the fernet really took over. Swallow is more spices with a little roasted malt.
M: This beer has a mouthfeel that is on the lighter side of medium with soft carbonation that is quite adequate. The beer has a very dry finish.
O: This is an interesting beer but interesting doesn't necessarily mean good. It is growing on me the more I drink it and as the beer gets warmer the base beer starts to make a comeback. I don't think I would recommend this one for aging. The beer has complexity and some decent flavors but I'd like the base beer to be the star with the fernet providing a backing role instead of the other way around. Still worth a try if you like different stuff.

Mar 10, 2017
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2beerdogs from California

3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hop hound for this one.
It's very interesting, but...
Dark brown, and effervescent is an understatement.. I almost lost an eye. 4 fingers of head, and a paper towel later, I smell dark fruit, and some leathery brandy. taste is candied sugars, licorice, some minty tobacco (huh?) , and oaky smoke. Some brandy notes too. Mouthfeel is full, carbonation active.
Mouthfeel is full enough for a porter.

Dec 31, 2016
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Suds from Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew is a deep brown, with red highlights, and a full tan head. The aroma is complex...wood, roasted notes, malt, subtle spice. The taste is drier than I expected. Lots of malt and wood in the flavor. Some herbal earthiness and a hint of dark fruit. Full in body and very enjoyable.

Jun 26, 2016
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, mahogany colour. Very malty nose, spicy, herbal, with a bit of licorice. Tastes spicy, warm, malty, bit of mint, licorice aftertaste, very herbally, a bit peppery as well.

May 01, 2016
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samuelp23 from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Brown. Very hazy. Yeast sediment visible.
S: Spearmint; sour grapes; chocolate; alcohol; juniper; burnt sugar; strongly oaked wine; rubber;
T: Cough drops; vanilla; birch bark; cherry; citrus; mocha;
F: low carbonation but with a bit of fizz feel to the palate
O: One of the most unusual beers I've had. Some interesting if not odd smells and tastes but none overpowering. Extremely enjoyable.

Dec 19, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is close to being black in color—it poured with a short light beige head that never completely faded away and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of fernet are present in the nose.
T: The taste has stronger flavors of fernet, which are especially noticeable and linger into the finish. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nicely blended porter as you can get the fernet flavors, but it still tastes like a porter. The beer has a little sweetness, but the spices from the fernet aging contrast this and aren't too strong.

Serving type: bottle

Dec 06, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a porter/stout glass. I have had a couple bottles of this stashed in the cellar and I am unsure of the year or bottling date.

Pours deep brown but settles in the glass pitch-black. Oatmeal-colored head with a caramel tinge to it. Frothy and sudsy head and scattered lace everywhere. 5

Smell really reminds me of cola with fernet, interesting. Strong herbal aroma and some funk. 4

Tastes similar to the nose, like fernet and cola. Chocolatey notes, caramel, peppermint and bitter herbs. A current of vanilla slips in close to the finish. 4

Thinner in body but the carbonation and creaminess fill out the mouthfeel. There's some bitter herb feel and even tartness, which I think has developed as it aged. 4

This is a unique and quirky beer. Very different from the fresh version but I still enjoy it.

Oct 25, 2015
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stortore from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a fairly dark, hazy brown, with a quickly dissipating, medium sized head. A little foamy ring throughout. Smell is malt, molasses, mint, generally herbal, some oak, a little smoke and yeast. Taste leads with malt, then more mint than the nose, licorice, chocolate, oak, some herbs. Some bitterness throughout. Smooth, creamy, a touch thin for the ABV.

A better nose and palate would undoubtedly pick out more of the subtle herbs than me, but I did enjoy this one. Lots of flavors, the mint isn't overdone. Worth a try.

Oct 13, 2015
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drpimento from Wisconsin

3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Don't know if I got a bottle.that was turning or what. Moments after I took the cage off, the cork exploded out of the bottle. Out of a non-aggressive pour, I got mostly head and an ounce or two of liquid. Aroma and flavor are dominated by Fernet. Very little porter; Flavor was also on the tart side. I'm not a fan of Fernet, but I do have dear friends in Buenos Aires who love the stuff. I was hoping I could find a way thru this beer to like Fernet. No go. Oh well.

Oct 08, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: It is a lively pour with deep bright mahogany producing a clingy and persistent frothy 3” tan foam collar with heterogeneous bubbles.
S: Prune and raisin, dark malt, chocolate, faint spice.
T: The attack starts with dark dried fruits, some dark sugars, light roast and hints of chocolate.
F: Creamy medium-high carbonation, medium to medium full body.
O: While the influence of the barrels is very subtle, this is one fine porter.

Jul 14, 2015
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Prasm from Nebraska

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The fernet would work better with a big stout. The mint and spice from the fernet just overpowers this porter in the mouth - seems a bit disjointed. Though the aromas are high pitched and very enticing.

Jul 02, 2015
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #84 (Jan 2014):

We dig it when a brewery thinks beyond the norm. Aged in Fernet barrels from Leopold Bros. (who use lavender, honeysuckle, ginger root, bitter aloe, dandelion root, rose petals, chamomile and pepper in their spirit), this is a 50% Porter and 50% Fernet barrel-aged Porter blend. Simply put: This is one of the most complex and delicious barrel-aged beers we’ve ever had.

STYLE: American Porter
ABV: 9.8%

LOOK: Black, opaque, creamy coffee lacing

SMELL: Earth, chocolate, mint, ginger, herbal, root

TASTE: Lively, very creamy, tangy, syrupy, honey, minty, chocolaty, ginger, earthy, woody, endless herbal linger

Jun 19, 2015
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stevoj from Idaho

3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at BitterCreek Alehouse. Aroma is nutty and herbal, roasted malts lurking in the background. Muddy brown body with minimal head. Complex flavors throughout.

May 26, 2015
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goochpunch from Texas

4.56/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a long lasting creamy khaki head. Smells of roasted malts, licorice, and herbs. This doesn't taste overly roasty. Dark malts, light chocolate, well-integrated licorice, some minty herbal character, which pairs well with the chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and full. This is interesting, tasty, and unique.

Apr 12, 2015
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snowmageddon from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: pours an opaque dark black with a lively brown head that recedes fairly slowly for a BA beer.
S:sour, licorice, fernet notes dominate. wouldn't have guessed this is a porter based on the nose.
T: sweet licorice, barrel, ginger, some chocolate and roasted malt notes in there, too.
M: ridiculously creamy mouthfeel, with a prickly carbonation.
O: the fernet barrels give this beer an herbal,licorice, flower-y character that reminds me of gruits i've tried recently. Worth trying for sure. A fun, unique take on a porter.

Mar 29, 2015
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dcscientist from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another stellar offering from my favorite brewery. This is so much more than a traditional porter thanks to the barrel aging. You definitely get the chocolate and mint flavors first, sort of like a starlight mint, but it's not overpowering. Odell understands balance, and this is no exception. I'm a little surprised that it's this high-alcohol, but hey, it's worth it. Worth seeking out for sure.

Mar 20, 2015
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nmann08 from Virginia

3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle, pours jet black with a big, over carbonated light brown head that laces the glass and leaves head after finishing the liquor. This is a bit too carbonated.

The smell is heavy licorice and anise, a bit of earthy hops, chamomile tea, black pepper, and roasted chocolate malt. I think the flavor is slightly better. Dark fruit, some plum, roasted chocolate malt, a little mint. This drinks like a liqueur. This is good, but I wouldn't want alot of it.

Overall, average but taxing on the palate. It is way over carbonated.

Feb 10, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 55 degrees into snifter
Aroma of lavender, slight ginger, toasted malt
Head enormous (>8 cm, gentle pour because when I loosened the cage, the cork rocketed away, hit the ceiling and bounced off my head), light brown, extremely frothy, sloooowly diminishing to frothy irregular ring and partial layer
Lacing fair – few frothy islands and partial rings
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor kind of vague – a little chocolate, a little licorice, a little medicinal/herbal overtone; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 4

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of MrWhips

1.5/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

The head on this beer was 8 fingers with a very small modest pour. I couldn't pour it slow enough to keep the foam down. Sipping from the bottle was impossible, only foam, carbonation profile was likened to a shaken up bottle of champagne. The color once it did settle was lovely, dark velvety appearance that was forgotten the moment it hit my lips. This beer was awful, thankfully I only had one and someone else to help me choke it down. I considered dumping it, strongly considered. I barely tasted dark malt notes smothered out by an awful anise/mint flavor backed with a muddy taste reminiscent of old coffee, pottery slip, and NyQuil. I may be doing NyQuil an injustice. The aroma, was almost as bad as the taste, my first whiff made me think of cheeses that smell awful and taste wonderful, disappointed to find this beer is nothing like that, the aroma was a mere hint of the concoction that lurked below. I did not like this beer at all, I imagine there are some who will love it. I understand why it was a 1 time release.

Jun 26, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The beer is dark mahogany with a thick beige cap. The aroma is interesting and complex, offering mint, herbal teas, red wine, chocolate, cinnamon, prunes, figs. The flavor is dominated by mint and an odd herbal sweetness. A myriad of flavors struggle to cooperate. Dark fruits and booze with a weird bitter finish. Licorice and mint with raisins and chocolate. A small sample is more than enough. I'm not a fan and won't be returning to this one.

Jun 16, 2014
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours fairly thick dark brown with little light escaping with a low dark tan head.. nose is thick licorice and minty.. little dark maltiness really translates except a bigger malty sweetness that helps carry the sweet herbaceous qualities.. hints of dark chocolate rise with warmth, but when this is cold it is a liqueur delivery device.. interesting but I could not appreciate a full bottle of this one.. It is definitely a "sharing bottle" IMO. Glad I was able to have it on tap so many times.

3.5's across the board... and that is generous.

May 24, 2014
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mwilbur from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a luxurious black-brown with a 3+ inch dark mocha head. Excellent retention...lasts literally forever.
S: Chocolate, caramel, and mint. A brett-like sourness. Spices (cinnamon, etc.). Hint of golden raisin. Quite complex and intoxicating!
T: Chocolate, irony minerals, herbal mint, cinnamon (and other spices), and light dried fruit (e.g. golden raisins). Hint of honey with warming.
M: Light-medium body. Lightly sweet up front. Turns toward astringent and mildly bitter minerals which lingers into the finish (this note is a bit off-putting for me...too much like iron).
D: This one was quite interesting...started off very strong (appearance and smell), but then the iron note in the taste and mouthfeel really threw this one for a loop. End result wasn't as good as it could be.

May 22, 2014
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LambicPentameter from Nebraska

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes after opening on 4/19/14. Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle with a cork & cage topper. No obvious dating, although there appears to be an obscure code, but it doesn't quite match up to my expectations of a Julian dating. No matter--this was a late fall 2013 release, so i have a reasonable idea of its age. Poured into a large snifter glass.

Appearance - Pours an inky body of brownish-twinged black with no light able to pass through and reveal much of the brown shades that lurk within. Atop the body sits a fluffy one finger head the color of toasted marshmallow which lingers for a minute or so before dissipating to a veneer of intermittent bubbles across the top of the liquid. Lacing is nonexistent but for a streak or two of sticky residue.

Smell - Dominated by a cacophony of herbal notes--fresh spearmint and perhaps root beer notes poke through a muddled blend of herbs that makes this quite unique. It's fortunate that Odell has chosen a blend of barrel-aged and non barrel-aged, as the fernet is plenty aggressive on the smell. Beneath the herbal notes are bitter roasted malt and perhaps some hints of baker's chocolate as well.

Taste - The minty characteristics are not as strong on the taste, but the herbal presence is no less aggressive. The root beer impression is stronger now, but not like your standard soda--more like a house made root beer, with that earthy, fresh component to it, and not nearly as sweet. There are some floral notes as well, with perhaps cardamom and clover, but they are faint, and all of it rests on a backdrop of charred malt and perhaps some vanilla and fleeting oak tannin. Like the smell, the taste is muddled--more of a tone poem of flavor than a symphony.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied and slightly viscous, with moderate carbonation and a gummy feel on the tongue. I would describe it as cloying, but without the sweetness, if that makes sense. Lingering finish.

Overall, an incredibly interesting beer. I'm a big fan of mint in general, so I had high hopes for this one, hoping the more herbal earthiness of the fernet would do better than straight up mint might. And while I applaud the effort and the outcome for the most part, I can't help but think that it could have been better.

May 16, 2014
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hardy008 from Minnesota

2.16/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown with a four finger tan head from a fairly gentle pour. Definitely over carbonated. Has an unusual aroma with roasted malt, chocolate, peppermint, licorice, and a variety of herbs. I can't begin to know how many different ones were used.

Also has an unusual taste with roasted malt, chocolate, peppermint, licorice, herbs, spices, and flowers. I know the unusual aroma and taste are from the Fernet barrels. I just wish there wasn't such a strong peppermint taste or smell. I have never been a big peppermint fan. It is fine in small doses, but this is too much for me.

Light bodied with high carbonation, and a strong peppermint aftertaste. This is a tough bottle to finish. Glad I don't have another one of these. I usually like or love everything Odell brews, but here is a strong exception to the rule.

May 07, 2014
Fernet Aged Porter from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 215 ratings