Bull Proof
Odell Brewing Company

Bull ProofBull Proof
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #891
Ranked #3,595
4.18 | pDev: 7.42%
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Bull ProofBull Proof
Notes: 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
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jakecattleco
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid BA stout, liked the nose slightly more than the taste. Vanilla, char, and molasses dominate the nose. Taste is more pronounced in the char aspect, almost earthy and a bit dirty at times. Pleasant mouthfeel, neither thin nor thick, just right. It'd definitely buy again, BA attributes are complimentary and not out in front.

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jakecattleco from California, Feb 22, 2020
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to hop hound for this one. Wish we could have shared it.
Deep, dark brown. Like Mississippi River roil. Beautiful, tightly packed head rises just over a finger high and retreats only slightly. Dense curtain slowly descends. As I near the bottom, beautiful strata reveal my pauses. Reminds me of the layers revealed on an archaeology site I worked in the late 80's.
Smell is a cacophony of genteel bourbon, toasty caramel, cocoa, dates and nuanced charred barrel.
Flavor dances along the line between a Russian Imperial Stout (sweet, but not overly so, with notes of earthy notes akin to anise and peat) and the sweeter American Imperial Stout (usually sweeter and a tad hotter in alcohol- at lest for me). Begins very balanced between the sweet notes, smoky char, and a bourbon warmth. Bourbon, molasses, dates, figs, muted caramel, and cocoa make room for char, and fleeting notes of peat and licorice.
Thick and chewy. A warm presence throughout, but never hot.
Overall, I like this one. Almost an old school RIS but with the bourbon barrel bringing it into what is more popular nowadays. The nose foreshadows more sweetness than it delivers, but not by much.

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2beerdogs from California, Jan 20, 2020
Photo of pkalix
3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

nothing special in any shape or form.... band aid flavors slightly... it says "B" after the year 2019, if that means anything? im sorry i am missing the hype on this one? i really am trying.....

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pkalix from California, Jan 20, 2020
Photo of tobelerone
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a solidly crafted stout which comes as no surprise with Odell, a consistently quality brewer in my view. However the barrel treatment doesn’t add much at all and it seems like this beer just didn’t spend enough time in the Wood. There’s a subtle contribution and a bit of sweetness but this feels like an old school Russian imperial, medium full bodied with significant roast and an undercurrent of hoppy bitterness. Was hoping for me particularly at the price point per bottle.

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tobelerone from New York, Nov 02, 2019
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is crazy good, and i was stoked to find it on tap last night here in boise. i have never had the whiskey this is aged in the barrels of i dont think, but its a downright incredible beer, not the every day generic whiskey barrel stout, thats for sure. this is distinctive to me, and not just because of the barrel treatment. it straight up smells and tastes like german chocolate cake, with a big dark fudge chocolate character, not crazy sweet or anything, but rich and cakey, more chocolate than i thought you could get out of grain alone, i dont think there is any added here, but this is chocolatey through and through. the whiskey is actually pretty subtle on it, at least while its still on the cold side, with a bit of vanilla and char to it, but its the chocolate cake character that dominates. the base stout is obviously exceptional, its odell after all, but its less sweet than a lot of these are, which i think allows for some unique nuance to come through. dark chocolate frosting, cigar, toasted coconut, espresso, and cognac. the booziness is moderate, its definitely a strong one, but it doesnt drink too heavy oddly enough for what it is. part of it is all the oak making it smooth, the other part is the complexity and uniqueness that makes this so intriguing. i barely want to set the glass down, and never drink stouts with this level of enthusiasm anymore i dont feel like, so this was a nice one for me personally. really great depth and flavor here, different from the masses, even without a ton of the whiskey on it. so smooth, so much chocolate, truly one of the better stouts ive had in a real long time!

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Photo of mkh012
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage, bottled 6 months ago.

Pours near black with a thin tan head.

The nose is chocolate, metal, and savory depth.

The taste is chocolate, cherry, and bourbon. Very subtle booze, char, and bitterness. Surprisingly smooth for the ABV and age. This drinks more like 10% ABV in a good way.

The mouthfeel is medium for the ABV. Hefty but not huge.

Overall, very nice. This pales in comparison to something like Bourbon County but it's a well-made BBA stout that hides 13% almost entirely.

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mkh012 from Colorado, Aug 20, 2019
Photo of ilikebeer03
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pour is black with a deep khaki head. about a finger's worth, which fades quickly to a nice thin cap and ring around the glass. Good for 13%
nose is char, sweet toffee, vanilla, chocolate. a touch of bourbon
taste is fudge, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, char, oak. Warms excellently. Chocolate, fudge, bourbon really become more pronouncedz
thick, creamy body. lingering fudge, molasses.

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Photo of Beer_Right_Back
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A clean, strong, bourbon filled dark stout that is missing a lot of the imperfections that we normally see in stronger barrel-aged creations. It has just the smallest bit of an earthy flavor, which we thinks rounds it out well.

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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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gatornation from Minnesota, May 09, 2019
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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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, May 04, 2019
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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lordofthewiens from New Mexico, Apr 30, 2019
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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Greywulfken from New York, Apr 12, 2019
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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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota, Mar 06, 2019
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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Prager62 from Colorado, Oct 08, 2018
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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dcscientist from Colorado, Oct 01, 2018
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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barnzy78 from Illinois, Sep 02, 2018
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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BucBasil from South Carolina, Aug 10, 2018
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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spoony from Colorado, Jun 03, 2018
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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russpowell from Arkansas, Jun 01, 2018
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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REVZEB from Illinois, May 22, 2018
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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maximum12 from Minnesota, May 03, 2018
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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matcris from Arizona, May 01, 2018
Bull Proof from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 99 ratings