Bull Proof | Odell Brewing Company

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Bull ProofBull Proof
Bull ProofBull Proof

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A bourbon barrel stout is, by design, an exercise in collaboration. The profiles of two distinct and celebrated libations come together to form something unique. When Old Elk Bourbon Distillery opened its doors less than a mile from our brewery, back of napkin sketches were traded, and after months of patience, this imperial stout is realized. The freshly emptied bourbon casks contribute hints of sweet vanilla, soft oak, and deep molasses that complement the full body of rich roasted malts. We recommend pairing this beer with a good neighbor.

44 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 77
Photo of gatornation
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark mahogany color with a tan head. Smell is chocolate with coffee and roasted malts. Taste is sweet decadent chocolate with vanilla ,wood and slight bourbon. Mouth feel is sweet and thick almost dessert style very little bourbon. ABV well hidden @13% but way to sweet and BA is AWOL on this one .

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 9.49 (Including shipping)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.333/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA. Reviewed 5/4/19.
“Bottled 2019” stamped on bottom of label. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 60 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature >70 degrees.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Dark brown, clear.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque.
Head – Begins fizzy, but settles into a large (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), khaki, high density, head with average retention, diminishing to a nine to thirteen mm crown an a thick, rocky, partial cap.
Lacing – Excellent. Wide bands of tiny bubbles coat the glass.
Aroma – 4 – Roasted malt dominates, some bitter chocolate struggles for recognition.
Flavor – 4 - Begins with roasted malt chocolatey goodness. No alcohol (13 % ABV!) flavor or smell, although instant gastric warming occurs. Neither bourbon nor barrel appear (Flavor loses 0.25 points). No dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl. (At the end, > 70 degrees, the alcohol is easily detected by tongue and nose.)
Palate – 4 – Full, chewy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4 – This is a very good Imperial stout – physically appealing, aromatic, tasty, and provides a pleasing oral tactile sensation. Too bad the bourbon and barrel are undetectable.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet-black color. Little to no head.
Chocolate, vanilla, oak aroma. Some booze.
Lots of chocolate taste. Vanilla. Whiskey is apparent.
Big-bodied sipping beer.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid bourbon barrel stout - 2019 bottling has a 13% abv - still aged in Old Elk bourbon barrels... Lots of chocolate and vanilla, with a light boozy edge and a soft, smooth feel...

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Black rich liquid, busy deep mocha-tan head with sticky lacing.
Nose is cocoa nib, some fresh coffee notes and ample, even overpowering hints of alcohol.
Taste is rich, sweet bitter flavors of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Big rushing bite of hops/ wooded forest/ barrel booze at the end.
Feel is thick and chewy, low carbonation and nice for the style.
Heavy stuff. An odd find in early spring, this should be better saved for a cold night.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark brown with a nice mocha head. Spotty lacing. Aroma is bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a touch of soy sauce. Flavor follows the nose with only the faintest barrel presence. Feel is medium bodied. Overall a tad disappointing considering some of the beers that this fine brewery has put out.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Label is marked 'BOTTLED 2018'.
Black colored body, with dark brown backlit highlights. One finger tan head, settles to creamy thick cap. Each sip leaves sheets of lacing which form irregular medium sized spots.
Aroma is dark roasted malts, along with whiskey barrel and a touch of vanilla.
Taste is dark roasted malts, with the bourbon barrels contributing molasses and vanilla. The oak from the barrel is faint. Has a short after taste. Low bitterness level, with a vanilla balance. The barrel is certainly an influence.
Medium plus mouth feel. Okay carbonation. Very smooth passing through the mouth.
Well crafted beer, with a well blended barrel influence. Overall a little sweet, along with the higher ABV% presence. Reminds me of a liqueur, in its depth of flavors and the alcohol.

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Photo of Prager62
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 12oz. 2018 bottle poured in a Odell snifter.

Look- Pours a dark cola brown producing a creamy finger of tan foam that doesn't want to subside. Thick lacing coats the glass as you sip.

Smell- Sweet chocolate cookie dough, tobacco, bourbon and char.

Taste- Lactose sweet milk sugar, caramel, tobacco, bourbon, vanilla and oak.

Feel- Creamy smooth with a slight alcohol bite in the finish.

Overall- A very well crafted collaboration with their local neighbor Old Elk Distillery who also supplied the casks. While on the slightly sweet side, the bourbon quickly makes it's presence known balancing things nicely making for a memorable beer.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you're looking for a big beer with loads of booze and flavor, here you go. You definitely get the 12% ABV coming through, and the vanilla and molasses from the bourbon barrels really dominates the taste. I wonder how this would taste if aged even longer. You really can't have more than one of these, so sip and savor. Avery usually corners the market on beers of this style, but this one stacks up quite nicely.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2018 release. Near black body with a foamy tan head. Boozy bourbon leads the nose with dark chocolate, oak, and vanilla. Rich flavors, nice complexity and balance between notes of dark chocolate, oaky bourbon, vanilla, molasses, roasted barley, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, char, and earthy hops. Full body, sticky sweetness and booze coats the palate, finishes excellently balanced between all the elements. World class, just as expected.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a pure black color with a dark tan head that surprisingly sticks around a while.

S: The smell is immediately apparent after pouring. Dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, a whiskey booziness underneath. Molasses and just a hint of leather round things out.

T: Very boozy. This one does not hide its ABV well, nor does it try to. It proudly wears its source of flavor on its sleeve - the bourbon is and wood is very noticeable. Underneath we have burnt sugar and some chocolate, but mostly the woody boozy flavor. This is a sipper for sure.

F: The beer isn't quite as thick as I thought it would be (and that's a good thing), but it is still quite heavy. An unexpected carbonation zest really finishes things off here.

Overall: Worth a try - a huge beer with a lot of flavor. A good collaboration with the distillery.

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Photo of spoony
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 355 ml bottle (undated) to snifter. Reviewed from notes dated May 14, 2018.

A-The beer pours like syrup out of the bottle, thick and viscous looking. A short brown head fades quickly and leaves just a thin collar behind. The brew is opaque and virtually black.

S-Bull Proof smells rich and chocolatey. It is very smooth with hints of molasses and just a bit of alcohol heat. I am not picking up a lot of barrel or wood at first, but after a few minutes, I notice some raspy, oaky notes, and some caramel and vanilla. Nice balance of intensity, but those who like whiskey heavy stouts might not like it as much.

T-The taste mostly follows the smell. Rich chocolate and molasses notes combine with brown caramel. There is a bit of barley husk in here; this beer is not a pastry stout, which I appreciate. A little cinnamon red-hot flavor creeps in as the beer warms and the alcohol becomes more noticeable.

M-This is a thick and chewy brew. Carbonation is light and fine. There is a touch of stickiness on the finish, but nothing unusual for the style or ABV.

O-I am pretty impressed with this beer. In a world of BA stouts that taste like cake, this beer goes the other way. It tastes like beer but still manages to impress. Those who like viscosity will also like this one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a chill-hazed mahogany with a sliver of caramel colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Smokeyness, dark fruit, falls off the table as this warms, just raw booze at the end

T: Vanilla, oaky dryness, a touch of barrel boozeyness, a touch of coconut up front. A little more coconut, vanilla & barrel dryness as this warms, along with a little maple

MF: Fairly chewy, medium carbonation, carbonaton smooths a little once warm

All flavor, sadly not a completely well built BA Stout, not worth the price

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Photo of REVZEB
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

By looking and smelling this beer you would think "just another good barrel aged stout". Maybe a little more wood on the nose the normal, but nothing that was extraordinary, yet still very nice. However the taste and feel take you to that next level, with a thick and robust body to go with all the flavors of the very present bourbon casks including, vanilla, tobacco, molasses, biscuit, brown sugar and rye spice.

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Photo of puck1225
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Rich dark brown color with a beautiful brown head and nice curtain lacing. Nutty chocolate smell. Taste of almonds, hazelnuts, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. A little marshmallow in the slightly boozy finish. Enjoyed it!

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with zip-pull plastic top over the cap. I do like that Odell is moving away from bombers, but wish the prices would come down a bit, because $10 single bottles are almost always one & done for me. I’d buy Avery Tweak by the case if it was reasonably priced!

The pour is blacker than the Hoosier Pass on the wrong side of midnight, but instead of fresh air & conifers, it smells like chocolate & vanilla. I’m a fan of both.

Bull Proof has been in the petting zoo too long. Up front is a surprising jolt of char that leans too hard into smokiness for my palate. Once I get over this unexpected visitor, I have to go spelunking for the other tastes: wood that’s closer to balsa than oak, soft & long-lasting, sticky molasses, with just faint notes of vanilla & chocolate that dominated the nose. Bourbon shows up only as the beer approaches room temperature as a gentle, boozy hit right at the finish. Goes down easily enough for a big boy.

The smokiness was wholly unexpected & strong enough to be wholly unwelcome. I don’t mind a hint, but am not a fan of licking wildfire scorched tree trunks, which really brought the whole experience down for me. Pretty good beer, but really unremarkable in a category filled with all stars.

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Photo of matcris
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

LOOKS: Jet black, excellent carbonation when I rock the glass. A finger of tan head that dissipates quickly; mild lacing.
AROMA: Bourbon, molasses, chocolate, slight smoke, woody vanilla, Smells very good, bourbon is there in spades.
TASTE: Everything I mentioned in the aroma. Very nice balance between sweet, heat, and bitterness.
FEEL: Well carbonated, a little sticky and dryer on finish with medium full body.
OVERALL: I like the fact the bourbon is prominent, but, I still get all the other notes, and plenty of them. Very nice stuff, Odell.

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Photo of champ103
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black color. At first a one finger tan head forms that sticks around as a small cap with plenty of lace left behind.
S: Up front in the nose is a lot of char and smokiness. Lots of toasted malts and dried chocolate. Wood and vanilla as would be expected from the barrel aging.
T: Like the nose, more char and smoke up front. Molasses, wood, vanilla, dried chocolate and roast. All that intermingles to leave a bitter/acrid charred aftertaste with plenty of booze character in the finish.
M/O: A big full body. Inky and resinous. Well carbonation for the style. As this breaths it all mellows out a little. Plenty of booze and the smokey char character makes this a very slow sipper for me.

Odell always makes quality. While I think they accomplished what they wanted with this. the char, smoke and bitterness makes this more of a one in done. Glad I got to try it, and can see how other people might love this. Just not in my wheel house for barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to bonerhog for bringing this to March Madness 2018. Pours almost entirely black and thick, dark brown head 1/3". Significant amount of bourbon booziness to the aroma.

Taste was a hot affair. Immediately seemed like something that would benefit from aging, and I rarely say that about a beer, the overwhelming majority of them are better fresh. Had that dark fudge presence. Vanilla heat. Some dark fruit notes and bitterness. Charred oak was noticeable. The complexities and hallmarks are there, its just it has a pressing alcohol amount and russian imperial stout like bitterness to it that is above desired at this point in time.

Totally has a very wet barrel kind of vibe to it, they definitely did not skimp on the bourbon and booziness notes that dominate for the most part. I think with hope and time, that might fade a little and allow the other stuff to stand out a little more.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Rip Current 8-oz. beer glass
From: ucsbmullet on Beer Advocate
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on Feb. 20, 2018
Consumed: March 31, 2018
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial Stout
Misc.: Bottled on 2018

Thanks, Nick!

Got this from Nick on his recent trip to San Diego. Was mostly hazy stuff but this snuck in there as well. Was looking forward to it since Odell is awesome (3.970 average for me coming in). Bottle description read, “A bourbon barrel stout is, by design, an exercise in collaboration. The profiles of two distinct and celebrated libations come together to form something unique. When Old Elk Bourbon Distillery opened its doors less than a mile from our brewery, back of napkin sketches were traded, and after months of patience, this imperial stout is realized. The freshly emptied bourbon casks contribute hints of sweet vanilla, soft oak, and deep molasses that complement the full body of rich roasted malts. We recommend pairing this beer with a good neighbor.”

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of khaki tan frothy head. No bubbles anywhere, just a calm, serene setting. Good foamy lacing. Outstanding foamy retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled dark chocolate, roasted coffee, boozy bourbon, oak, sweet caramel, toffee, vanilla, hints of butterscotch, black cherry, plum, licorice, molasses and chocolate syrup. Got better as it warmed. (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted better than the nose. Still pretty damn hot here. Got dark milk chocolate, boozy bourbon, oak, chocolate syrup, caramel, toffee, vanilla, black cherry, sticky molasses, plum and muted licorice. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming, slightly bitter woody finish. (Feel - 4.25)

This was delicious. Another good beer sent from Nick. Not surprise. (Overall - 4.25)

4.24 | 94 | A-

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Photo of FFFjunkie
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is near black and poured with 2+ fingers of spongy mocha head.

Aroma is huge roasted malt almost smokey, bourbon , oak and slight vanilla.

Taste follows nose but is amplified. The char really stands out.

Feel is medium bodied and slick. Carb is moderate.

Overall a very good no nonsense ba Stout. Flavors are pretty bold but work together nicely. A touch of booze on the backend. Grateful I had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of beergoot
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tar pitch black body; fair and dense head; creamy. Rich, roasted malt aroma; seems smoky; charred wood. The flavor mirrors the aroma, only more intense; malty with some smoky, bitter chocolate. Heavy body; sweet and boozy.

Now, here is a barrel-aged stout done right! Sweet and fiery, with a most satisfying depth and richness throughout. Damn fine!

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Photo of Honestlincoln
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with thin head. Smells heavily of bourbon and vanilla. Taste boozey while still being smooth, lost of bourbon and vanilla with some caramel on the back end.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, with a small tan head, almost passes for a nitro pour. Very nice lacing. Not a very fragrant beer. Flavors of vanilla, molasses, roasted malts and oak. Medium bodied, carbonation fits the style. I shoulda bought two, damn it.

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Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours like dirty motor oil with a thick beige head; excellent retention and a curtain of lace

Smell: Black bread, Bourbon, vanilla and molasses with a hint of black cherry

Taste: Big flavors, up front, with charred black bread and molasses pulling in opposite directions; through the middle, the Bourbon and vanilla tones arrive along with an undertone of black cherry; the finish is boozy, roasty and sweet

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth

Overall: Put this one in your cellar for a year or two; right now it is like a rambunctious two year old but I think it will develop nicely once everything settles down

Thanks, NathanBeets, for the opportunity

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Bull Proof from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 77 ratings