Bourbon Barrel Stout | Odell Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout
Very Good
349 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace and Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels. 2011 batch was aged in Stranahan's barrels.

Added by waltonc on 09-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 349 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of QuadrantThree
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of Dope
1.45/5  rDev -63%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

(review from 02-11-2013) 2nd review of 2011 batch since I think my first was infected.

A: Pop the cork with nary a hiss. Not a good sign. Pours about as flat as you can get. Very dark brown body. 1/4" head from a really aggressive pour. Head fades quickly, zero lacing.

S: Smells like pure wine or sherry. Fruity, tart, sour, dry.

T: Sherry, sour fruits...solid chunks. What the hell is in this?

M: Thin and completely flat.

O: Welp, this one is definitely infected, much worse than the below review. Instead of being overcarbonated it is flat and disgusting. Revolting. 0 for 2.

(review from 04-14-2012) 2011 batch.

A: A pure black pour with a ridiculously over the top light brown head. Huge, dense foam. Retention is great, fades very slowly and never really goes away. Leaves decent splatters of lacing on the glass. (4.5)

S: Loads of boozy bourbon in the nose. Burnt caramel and oaky vanilla mainly. Hints of dark fruit. Boozy. Just the lightest bit of roasted malt but mostly it is overpowered. Great aroma despite the roasted malt being so subtle. (4.5)

T: Lots of bourbon up front for sure. Again with the caramel and tons of oak to follow. Getting a lot of licorice and leather. Earthy throughout. A bit yeasty like sourdough. Tastes a bit funky, like some belgians can be. Touches of dark fruit here and there. (3)

M: Relatively high carbonation makes this one feel thinner than it is. (3)

O: I was worried about infection (like many others), and I'm even more confused now that I've drank it. It looks great, smells great, and tastes halfway decent. But it's the least stout-like stout I've ever had. Honestly besides the label description and the color, I never would have expected this to be a stout. I don't really get much roasted malt flavor - I let it warm up completely and really there is almost no roast, chocolate or coffee in there. Very high carbonation for a stout like this too. It tastes like a bourbon barrel quad or a belgian strong dark. The question is whether or not that was intended. (3.5)

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Photo of mendvicdog
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

Photo of duceswild
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

Photo of corby112
1.65/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

750ml, 2009(?) vintage

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger frothy beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic rings and spots of lacing are left behind.

Slightly tart and metallic smelling with hints of sweet boozy bourbon and earthy oak. Faint roasted malt underneath but this one is dominated by notes of infection and barrel character.

This beer is overly oxidized and pretty badly infected. Tight abrasive carbonation up front that lingers throughout into a sour metallic finish. Some of the intended flavors are evident(sweet boozy bourbon, oak and vanilla from the barrel as well as some dark, roasted malt notes) but the overwhelming vinegary metallic infected notes kill off almost everything pleasant about this beer. Only a few sips and then down the drain.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.84/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks to nickd717 for opening this.

A: Pours a dark brown body with a huge tan-colored head. Fluffy bubbles with substantial lacing. Very energetically carbonated. Kind of a bad sign for a barrel-aged stout...

S: Yep, as I suspected: it is infected. Cherries (tart with a light sourness), bourbon, caramel, vanilla, oak. The bourbon reminds me of honey a little bit, with some spiced character. I tend to be unforgiving of infected stouts, but the effect here is reasonably nice.

T: It kind of works in the taste, too. Cherry tartness complements the milk chocolate sweetness of the base beer. Oak and bourbon are noticeable, with pretty good balance between all of the characteristics of the beer: nothing is particularly dominant. It tastes like it would have been pretty good without the infection. Even now it's fairly decent, and I liked it more than the uninfected Blue Frog 10th Anniversary next to it.

M: It's a little on the dry side; lower than medium viscosity. I guess it will only get drier as the infection takes hold, but it's not at a terrible point right now.

D: While clearly infected, it wasn't irredeemably bad at this point. I found the base beer still shone through and complemented the cherries and barrel character reasonably well. It's only going to get worse, so I would drink sooner rather than later.

Also, two straight years of infection and it has an A- rating? Ridiculous.

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Photo of JamisonM
1.92/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2011 Vintage poured into a Tulip glass big pop on the cork

A: A slow pour yielded a huge mocha head body is black as night.

S: No bourbon notes here? A musty citrus note here along with slight chocolate and vanilla notes. Smells off.

T: Yuck this is infected! Tastes just like there wild yeast strain. Musty Citrus some black malt vanilla and chocolate. The wild yeast taste is really overwhelming the beer. No body no sweetness it has a very dry finish, not what I was looking for.

M: Body is not what I expected, its med low. High carbonation too high for the style. A very dry beer too.

Overall: Another infected batch?? Really Odell?? I paid 14 bucks per bottle I expect something better. Looking and the bottle more closely I see there is yeast at the top of the bottle near where the cork was. Maybe one day I will get to try a really good version of this beer, this was a huge let down.

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Photo of Never2Dark
1.97/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A huge let down. I think this bottle must have gone horribly wrong. There was a plaque growing around the cork. Is this normal? For such high reviews, I felt this beer was on the verge of being foul. Still though, one of the best infected beers I've ever had.

A: Poured dark brown with a moderate head. Appeared thin. I was expecting a thicker beer for $16 a bottle.

S: I think it was corked. The smell was off, smelling almost of urine, backed up by a dark roasted malt, obvious bourbon-barrel tones, and alcohol.

T: An even bigger let down. Overwhelming oak, alcohol and stout, in that order. If I wanted bourbon-oak-tea, I would have invented it. This beer is lacking "Beer" flavor, as it is lost in the overwhelming oak taste.

M: Thin. If it wasn't so intensely flavored and scented, it would feel like a bud.

Overall: I wouldn't drink another even if offered one for free. A major let down. I'm a huge fan of bourbon, but this pairing was not meant to be.

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Photo of ipa247
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of groetman
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of mdvatab
2.01/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2011 Vintage
Poured from 750ml bottle into KtG snifter

I'd really been looking forward to this one based on great experiences with other Odell brews, and positive buzz about this one. I purchased in late 2011, and cellared the corked & caged bottle on its side since then. The cork was tight. In most cases, when a c&c bottle is properly carbonated, the cork will get easier and easier to pull as it works its way out. Unfortunately, this one was a struggle the whole way, leading me to believe the was a carbonation issue...

A hard pour straight into the bottom of my snifter only resulted in a small group of large bubbles--no tight collar of foam here. Reminiscent of one of my early homebrews that failed to carbonate. Color is a dark cola brown/black-- a bit thinner than anticipated.

Before even tasting this one, I suspect that there's a major issue. With a sip, this one falls flat, both with respect to carbonation, and also flavor. Some malty, chocolate sweetness, moderate cardboard, a hint of oaky barrel, and a slight bitterness. This is obviously not what the brewer intended, so I'll stop the review there. Proceed to kitchen sink. Pour.

Unfortunately, I believe this bottle set me back $18, which is very frustrating. After reading other reviews, it appears that there is some significant inconsistency with last year's batch. Short of being offered a free replacement bottle this year, I won't be going after this one again.

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Photo of mothman
2.01/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into Town Hall chalice.

Pours 1 finger of tan head. Amazing retention with splattered lace left. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Nice chocolate notes. Subtle bourbon and vanilla notes with fresh grassy hops. Peanut butter and golden delicious apples.

Taste: Blend of vanilla and bourbon. The chocolate and oak hit next. Slight coffee flavors with roasted malts. Again, it tastes like a 2nd graders lunch: peanut butter and red apples.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy. No heat showing at all. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends a little malty/dry, but pretty clean.

Overall, one of the worst -bal aged stouts I have had. I was not so impressed with Odell in this one. It mainly tasted like peanut butter and apples. wtf. It is expensive and I will probably won't grab another bottle. I don't recommend this one.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.05/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 1/14/12
*From notes

-- Thanks for bringing this one back east, John --

*When I pull the cork, there's no hiss or pop. There's also this weird and nasty crust surrounding the cork and the entry to the bottle. Not the best of starts.

A: Dark maple brown in color. A hard pour down the center of my glass yields no substancial head, just a mere pop of carbonation that falls off. No lacing or collar.

S: Before I even poured the beer, I jammed my nose in the bottle to get a feel for the beer. Bad idea. This thing smells like rotting, concentrated black fruit. Entirely devoid of anything resembling a quality BA stout. Once in the glass, it comes off a bit like bubblegum, with a heavy dose of alcohol esters and wood.

T: Not quite as bad as I expected after the train wreck called the bouquet. Lots of bourbon, bubblegum, rubbing alcohol, woody char, fake vanilla extract and a good bit of ass puckering tang.

M: This lacks carbonation, and in the worst way. It's a bit of an oily mess. Oh, and did I mention how thin it is?

O: I'd been dying to tick this beer from day one of my craft beer addiciton. I remember trying to trade for it, not having the kind of meager ammo the other guy wanted. With that in mind, I'm extremely dissapointed to see that the current vintage is an infected mess. Here's to hoping that this is merely a one-time occurance, and not a continual trend.

 1,440 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.07/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2011 from the dentist

A: black with three fingers of persistent toasted foam. Spotty lace.
S: leather, green olive juice, hints of cocoa
T: mostly leather, some green olive juice, some coffee grounds.
M; thin and hi carb. Dry.
O: unimpressed at best. Tastes like it will be an infectious mess soon.

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Photo of treyrab
2.19/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this as an extra in a trade - thanks for the opportunity to try this! Poured at cellar temp (55F) into a snifter...

A: The cork was a monster to get off. Needed to get out my wine corker. When I did finally get it off, it yielded a huge pop, with ample ghostly smoke coming out of the bottle. Poured into the snifter, it yielded a two finger tan head. Not so much creamy, but more of a spritzy head.

S: You know the smell when you are cooking and food boils over the pot and gets onto the oven and burns? That is what this smells like. Burnt toast, burnt grains, burnt food scraps, burnt coffee, and oddly, sour grapes. All blended with a touch of astringent oak. Burnt oak.

T: Pretty much the same. I never ate the burnt food that burned on my stove, but I can imagine this is what it tastes like. Astringent burnt roast, tons of oak, a hint of sour grapes, and ass.

Overall, something is odd with this beer. Could be showing signs of infection, but that does not explain the abundant oak and roast. I'd try again, but only if a different vintage.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.29/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

2011 vintage.

I have heard these have a track record of being infected and unfortunately I think I got a bad bottle.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson brown with a huge puffy 4 inch khaki head that doesn't settle. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour fruits, bourbon, and wood. I am getting no normal stout aromas whatsoever. Taste is of roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood along with abnormal sour cherry/berry and metallic flavors. There is a roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has way too much carbonation with an extremely bubbly mouthfeel (even more so than soda). Overall, this is just not a very good beer and some sort of infection is apparent here. I assume this could be really good with a normal bottle but this one is a drainpour for me. It's not completely undrinkable but pretty close in my opinion.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750mL corked and caged bottle. 5036-2011 is on the label.

almost black, massive thick tan colored head that leaves bid clumps of lacing, with great retention.

the aroma is not was is expected. instead of bourbon or roasted malt, I get maybe some malt, raisin, and a bit of black cherry.
taste is similar, a bit tart and dry in the finish. none of the flavors indicated on the bottle label (chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, caramel) show up at all.

smooth, but still significant carbonation. expected to be thicker.

overall, a big miss for the style. maybe some QC issues?
Unfortunately after I took the trouble of flying this bottle back from a trip to Colorado, I read about infection issues with this beer. So I drank right away. Can't say for certain if some wild yeast is talking hold or not. It's not bad, but not good. certainly not worth the price tag.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks. This was the biggest disappointment of the day, in fact I'd go as far to say that this beer failed completely.

Beer is dark brown and forms a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing, the beer is carbonated mildly.

Aroma is a little malty, a little bourbony, and a little...fruity. What is this giogn to taste like.

Its nearly impossible to be an active beer taster and not come across several bourbon barrel aged stouts, this is the worst. First off, its sweet at the front but super thin. The sweetness gives was to an odd funkiness and lactic acid. It finishes without bitterness but there is this odd tartness that lingers later, this was no all.

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Photo of IPAylor
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of leschkie
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of thagr81us
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks goes out to the BA who sent me this one as an extra in a past trade (BM me if it was you) so that I could share it at one of our random Sunday tastings! Served from bottle into a Sweetwater 15th Anniversary snifter. Poured pitch black with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, wood, sweet alcohol, and metallic. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, wood, metallic, oxidized, and roasted malt. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a less than average brew. I’m not really sure what went down here, but this brew was not happy about sitting in my fridge for awhile before getting to open it. There was a pop when cork was pulled, but this one was definitely oxidized. Really hated to see this happen if I am honest. There was some nice notes going on in the nose, but in the flavor it was completely dominated by the oxidation. Such a shame.

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Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of 00chris
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 349 ratings