Bourbon Barrel Stout | Odell Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel StoutBourbon Barrel Stout
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 349 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of bigbelcher
4.79/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New review:
This is a beer that is not for beginers. Color is jet black with a small tan head. Aroma was that of vanilla and oak with some alcohol esters. Flavor was rich, creamy with wonderful boubon notes, possibly a little bit of licorice mixed with some vanilla. Mouthfeel was full. A great beer for sure. Drink a couple of glasses and you are in store for one heck of a hangover.

On tap at The Arizona Strong Beer festival. One of the few beers that I thought were outstanding. Color was very dark and black, not much head but that could have been from the plastic glass. Aroma was full of bourbon and burnt coffee malt. Taste was extremely smooth with a nice alcohol burn. Bourbon was most definently present. Body was full with a nice smooth rich aftertaste. The rep said they would be sending some more of it to Arizona in the future.

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Photo of CrossFitAlex
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at The Muddy Pig in Saint Paul, MN.

Chocolate colored ale.

Tasting notes: chocolate, coffee, alcohol and dark fruits on the nose. Alcohol over balances the flavor profile. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruits dominate. Cherry, whisky, oak notes. "Bold" mouthfeel.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 750ml bottle on 4/26/10.

A - Poured a dark chocolate brown body with slim beige head that transformed into a patchy veil and sparse amount of lacing.

S - Vanilla and chocolate sweetness with a hint of bourbon, licorice and faint woody notes. The sweetness really opened up in the backend, especially after it warmed up a bit.

T - Mmmmm... lush vanilla and caramel sweetness with a hint of oak and lots of bourbon warmth, but not too overpowering at all. Bourbon presence is pretty spot on.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and moderate carbonation providing some bristle on the tongue. Finishes with a touch of alcohol heat on the palate, although at 10%, it isn't too overbearing.

D - Really nice bourbon barrel-aged stout that was maybe a little hot overall, but not crazy. Pleasant balance of bourbon, vanilla and wood.

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Photo of dman1969
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a glass.

A-the beer was black with no light penetration possible with a dirty brown head forming.

S-slight mslt, with oak and vanilla dominating. Very nice!

T-the oak and vanilla nose come through in the taste just as powerful. Bourbon is slight with a little malt to smooth it out.

M-smooth, almost a little creamy, aveage carbonation.

D-very drinkable. The abv is well hidden in the flavors which could cause tis beer to go down to easily.

Well done brew that I would definately have again!

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Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark black color, almost opaque, with a nice collar of light brown foam. Huge aromas jump from the glass here--bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, dark chocolate and oak. Nicely balanced flavors make this a very enjoyable sipper. The bourbon nicely complements the roasted malt and chocolate, leading up to a very nice, sweet finish, with a bit of warming alcohol. Excellent.

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Photo of koopa
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle received in a trade with brian23456 who rules!

Appearance: Pours a sexy black with a massive 3 finger khaki crown that displays some retention and good lace.

Smell: Lots of sweet dark fruits (fig, plum, etc), some sweet oak, and a hint of bourbon.

Taste: Same as nose but with much more bourbon presence which makes me happy!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (surprised by that) and fairly well carbonated.

Drinkability: The abv is pretty big but the mouthfeel helps get it down.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

The super deep, dark brown color is a very good starting point. The head is about a finger's worth of very creamy, milk chocolate colored foam. The retention is great and the lacing is like sheer curtains, abundant and very sticky.

The nose is filled with notes of bourbon and oak. Sweet notes of dark fruits, like black cherries, figs and dates. Hints of molasses and anise. Mild notes of vanilla and some fairly strong hints of tobacco.
While these scents are all easily found, the nose is not as 'big' as was expected. I had to search around to find these things.

A nice big, dark roasted, malt presence. It is matched by a big bourbon presence. The bourbon is much more of a flavor, than 'heat' though. Mild traces of vanilla and tosted caramel. A light touch of brown sugar. Good dark fruit sweetness. Hints of milk chocolates and a touch of capuccino.

This one is full-bodied with a medium-to-high level of carbonation. This gives the beer a nice touch of creaminess, at the tip of your tongue. By the time it's going down your throat though, it has a bit of sharpness to it.

This is very tasty and fairly smooth. That 10.50%abv sneaks up on you though. You don't really taste it so much as feel it.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into my Maudite-Snifter

This pours a very dark black color with no light being able to pass through. The pour produced a magnificent dense two and a half inch head with great head retention. As the head subsides very slowly it leaves very beautiful lacing clinging to the sides of my glass. Very great looking beer and I'm impressed so far.

The aroma consisted of a notes of chocolate, some oak, prunes, brown sugar, black licorice, and a decent amount of bourbon to let you know it has certainly been barrel aged.

The taste starts of mellow with hints of chocolate, some oak characteristics follow with a very mild sweet like taste. Notes of coffee is detectable but it is not overbearing, following with slightest taste of vanilla? Bourbon undertone is there and not overpowering as I was leading to believe before tasting this beer.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick. Average carbonation and very tasty aftertaste.

Pretty impressed with this Odell offering and I'm surprised I waited this long to try it. I would definitely pick up another bottle to drink again. So I recommend if your a fan of Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, you should check this beer out.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 received as extra in a trade with rschne13..thanks again ryan..served chilled into a snifter

a-very light penetration....half finger head....lots of lacing....

s-lots of whiskey and bourbon notes up front..boozy on the nose...some roast and coffee....some raisin as well..

t-lots of vanilla and wood up front..very oaky...the bourbon and booze creep in....lots of roast and some coffee and toffee strike in the middle...the more this warms the more wood and vanilla dominate....finishes smooth and creamy

m-a tad thin but somewhat to be expected within the barrel aged group...the carbonation was there but not dominate....

d-the 750 was no prob to get through and i rather enjoyed this beer...but does remind me of many barrel aged beers

overall a solid barrel aged impy stout..and im glad i got to try it...thanks again ryan for the brew

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear cola color that sits in the glass an opaque darkness with a HUGE stiff tan head that resists fading, leaving a nice amount of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is on the timid side; malted chocolate and bourbon. Highly effervescent, the tiny bubbles lend a creamy smooth texture to the drinkability. This is 180-out of my favorite Double Stouts that have that thick coating characteristic..but i like this one too. I'm a big fan of the flavor. The bourbon character is well balanced with the chocolate taste and while it cleans up fairly quickly, almost dry, the chocolate notes linger lightly. A really nice drinker, the 10.5% ABV is well integrated, the effervescent texture lightens and complements the experience nicely. Really glad that i had the opportunity to consider this one..many thanks, Damian.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother sent me this bottle as part of a graduation present package last year. Just getting around to drinking it now.

Appearance- Pours jet black out of the bottle with a surprisingly active and nice looking two and a half or so fingers of dark brown head rising of the body. Pretty good retention, with the head eventually dying back to a sheeting across the top of the beer. A solid amount of lacing left as I drink as well.

Smell- Wow, lots of vanilla right off the bat. Big on vanilla with some very sweet and mild smelling bourbon action working in the background. Big notes of roasted malt and some dark chocolate as well. Vanilla is most prominent for me.

Taste- Lots of vanilla and sweet brown sugar, with some evident barrel. A lot of rich roast but sweet flavors dominate over the burnt. Just a touch of bitter chocolate on the finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is quite good, being both substantial but nicely carbonated as well. Drinkability is decent for the style but a little sweet to be spectacularly drinkable.

Overall, a very good bourbon barrel stout and very approachable. May not be the best I've had in the style but yet another excellent offering from Deschutes.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.96/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A-pours an extremely dark brown, almost black beer that lets no light through. The head is not thick, but not thin. It is tan in color and lingers for a good bit of time. Some light lacing is left on the glass

S-the nose is a little light but really shows a lot of oak in this. The oak lasts throughout the entire smell, light bourbon and dark chocolate touches the nose up front with notes of vanilla. Just a hint of roasted malt comes in towards the back. This is really oak dominated

T-the taste follows the nose, the oak is really dominant in this one. The oak hits you right away with dark chocolate, slightly bitter, and a nice bit of vanilla setting in. The bourbon is in the back accompanied by some dark fruits to sweeten. Dark cherries and plums.

M-medium body, so a little thinner than I would have liked, smooth and chewy. Fair amount of carbonation, crisp finish.

D-the thin feel makes this so easy to drink. The 10.5% alc is completely hidden and the only alcohol I detect is from the bourbon barrel, and that is light. The oak is strong, but in a good way adding vanilla as well. Not as much roasted malts as you would expect; but still a damn tasty brew and well done on the barrel aging.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Near black pour with a mountain of head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma is a chocolate/nut mix with a bit of fruity sweetness. Slight alcohol burn, and a hefty amount of citrus and floral hoppiness. Very nice and appetizing.

The flavor is milk chocolate up front, with a large amount of bitter floral hops in the finish. Lots of vanilla sweetness from the barrel as well as some oak. The barrels have also imparted some volatile alcohol, but it is a small amount and isn't horribly distracting or off-putting. The flavor here is big and bold and fairly well meshed together.

The body is nearly full and the carbonation levels are high. Drinkability is solid, but a bomber might be too much in one sitting so I would advise splitting this.

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Photo of hopstradamus
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. This beer poured easily, but what little carbonation was there didn't last long. After I got past the lack of carbonation I was excited to get a taste of what looked like black ink.

S. Bourbon from the start, just as expected, followed by a hint of caramel and chocolate.

T. This beer was sweeter than expected and not at all bitter. The Bourbon taste was definitely there in the background, but was not at all overpowering. The Bourbon taste could have killed the malt but it was actually well balanced and quite enjoyable. The alcohol was present, but not overbearing.

M. I expected a lot more here. I was expecting something more like motor oil from the appearance. The mouthfeel didn't really detract from the beer; I just thought there could be more.

D. Overall this was a pretty good beer, not great, but one that I would like to have again perhaps in a 16 or even 12 oz. bottle. If I came across this beer on tap I would definitely have one- maybe even 2...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A fascinating Stout that doesn't drink nearly as strong as the stated alcohol or the Double Stout classification.

Bourbon Barrel Stout pours a very dark brown but not black. Very dark but not opaque; maybe a medium haze. Light foam forms a lace on the beer and struggles to retain under the alcohol. Light lacing is evident.

Aromas of strong Columbian coffee and cocoa rounds into a roasty-toasty-nutty maltiness. The barrels give a lot of wood and vinous character instead of straight bourbon (as is with Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout). Fruity with sour cherries, under-rippened berries and green apples add to the complex nose.

Flavors are much the same. Instead of the deep espresso and extreme roast, the beer gives more moderate flavors of coffee and cocoa powder. These down-to-earth flavors allow the bourbon barrel complexities to bounce off in a more vivid and straight-forward way. Still, the vinous wood-aged character allows for a musty, tanin-y, dusty flavor that hints toward Wild Ales. Here the cidery notes and cherries begin to shine.

High carbonation and moderate body allows the body to seemingly evaporate to the mouth, helping the drinkability quite a bit. Well attenuated, the beer leaves little sugars or malt heaviness behind. Medium heat and alcohol also aids in dryness.

This is a Stout that sits somewhere between American Stouts and Imperial Stouts. The barrel aging seems to give wood flavor, light oxidation, and perhaps a few bugs that give the complex vinous notes that might go sour eventually. But for now, the beer shows great complexity and restraint. Thanks Waltonc!

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Photo of HeroJH
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice treat. Have it with some food, or split that large bottle with a friend on a cold evening. I would imagine this would pare great with desert, like cake... or just some ice cream.

A - Deep black/brown. Big bubbly head. Great lacing.

S - Dark roasted grain. Oak. Bourbon. Coffee.

T - Coffee and Chocolate bitterness. Milk chocolate like smoothness. Sweet bourbon and oak dryness. Deep.

M - Silky like chocolate, but finishes dry like dark chocolate/coffee/oak.

D - Good if you're in the mood for something deep and strong.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with an orangish tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pretty standard IS aroma; earthy black malts with some chocolate malts to balance along with a mild bourbon barrel nose. The taste is good as well. Again, pretty standard IS fare; warm, roasted, black malt earthiness with a touch of caramel/chocolate sweetness. The barrels provide a fine layer of complexity that does enhance the overall drinkability. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tasty stout. It's not breaking any new ground, but it's a damn fine beer with excellent drinkability.

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Photo of katan
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hello review #500! Going to the cellar to celebrate.

750ml into a goblet - picked up at the brewery for the 2009 GABF.

A - Pours a dark brown to almost black color, with just a few amber highlights. Light head formation, with only a mocha film sticking around. Not very bubbling - indicating light carbonation.

S - Very bourbony nose, rich and sweet, chocolately and vanilla like at times. Very smooth. Caramel is certainly present as well.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, some roasted barley comes through. Bourbon makes an appearance, but not as potent as the smell. Some yeasty notes in the mid-stream, bitterness restrained. Hopping is pretty much non-existent. Finishes with a hit of dark bittersweet chocolate and some coffee notes. Aftertaste really brings the bourbon back around.

M - Thick and creamy, but not as full bodied as the apparent grain bill would suggest. Very clinging. Rolls off the palette easily. Light carbonation bite.

D - Very smooth, deceivingly hidden high ABV. Flavors are well integrated. No doubt just one of these will send you on a long trip - but I would say this is a very drinkable double stout.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caged, capped, and corked, this beer is darker than the bottle that houses it. It pours with about a finger's worth of head. A shallow cap stays, with a pool of bubbles coalescing into a single pool in the middle of the pint.

I'm picking up less bourbon on the nose than I have in past barrel-aged beers - I thought so with the cork, and now when sticking my nose in the pint glass. It does though convey a bit of smoke, some sweetness (maybe toasted coconut?) and then bourbon.

The bourbon is most apparent, but measured nicely. It's one of the few I've had that I can say that about, with nice vanilla flavors. No burning bourbon fire, just a sufficient amount that is nicely balanced. Problem is, there isn't much stout in support. I'm getting very little of any indication of stout - might as well just dark beer on the label, because it's not reflective of a stout.

Very light carbonation, fitting with the light bourbon. Nice, and a pleasant surprise, as too many beers are over-carbonated.

This beer is fitting for a cold afternoon, but only if you don't mind missing out on the stout that should accompany the bourbon. Wish there was smoky, malty, toasted character within.

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Photo of ottovon
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pours out an opaque black, with a tan head.

S: smells a little sweet, like some dark fruit. a hint of roasted malt. not much bourbon in the nose. as it warms i get more bourbon in the nose.

T: taste of bourbon and vanilla. hints of toffee and roasted malt. the bourbon is subtle and not overpowering and allows some of the dark fruit flavors to come through.

M: a medium to thick stout, with medium carbonation. coats the mouth a little bit.

D: i could drink this all night. the alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of dbossman
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was accidentally served in a pint glass (it was supposed to be in a 8oz snifter but the waitress was new and I didn't complain)

A: Black and opaque; 1 finger head that is dark tan--it dissipates to a minuscule film but overall there is fairly good retention, especially for the style; lacing is decent for a while but that eventually begins to fade

S: Strong bourbon and alcohol up front; there is a woody quality as well as subtle chocolate malts; not as complex as I would hope; as I continue drinking raisins seem to be present in the aroma

T: Obviously the bourbon is strong up front; it is a bit thinner than I expected; there are nice subtle hop undertones; alcohol is actually very well masked; despite its thinness, it is quite smooth

F:A bit thin for what it is; mouth coat is decent but thinness is wearing

D: Although I'm bothered by the thinness, there is a beautiful warming quality that this beer provides and I appreciate how subtle the alcohol and even bourbon is

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Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wyoming for sending this lovely bottle to Minnesota.

Pours black. The aroma is malt, & bourbon, but subtle, which is promising. I like my BCS, but it's a little...much.

Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout lays on a different sort of bourbon to the standard experience, because of different barrels or who knows what. The bourbon is pretty subdued, & the whiplash is provided by a hop bite. The bourbon, malts, vanilla, & dry touch of 2x4 come skulking through the black snifter & then Wham! Bitterness right at the end. It's jarring. The juxtaposition threw me off right away, but as it warms a bit, I'm digging it. Hoppy big stouts I love, but in a barrel, new creature to ID. The bourbon comes out more & more as the brew warms too.

Interesting brew, & very good. Points for not being a 'typical' barrel aged stout, if there is such a thing, as the hops lend a whole new sublevel.

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boy that cork was a bear to get off!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2+ fingers of caramel colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

Sourmash as soon as the cork is popped along with some dark fruit

T: Dark fruit, Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate & rum-raisin up front. Sour-mash comes through as this warms, along with oaky vanilla, cherry & many other dark fruits soaked in booze, along with some praline & leafy hops. Finishes dry with charred caramel & bourbon

MF: Fairly thick, dry & smooth

Drinks pretty easy but the but the ABV & style assert themselves as this warms. A nice one to share, I plan on getting a few bottles to cellar to see how time treats this. Right now, I'd say I prefer Schafly's or Boulevards take on this, but not by much ( although they are a few bucks cheaper ). If you like Bourbon, you'll probably love this I was looking for more coffee & chocolate...

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Photo of brownbeer
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black without being oily or heavy with a light brown head.

Very clean nose, which I think sets this one apart. Rich and bourbony with chocolate and coffee. Very well rounded.

The flavor has a fair amount of chocolate, the whiskey flavor comes in about mid-palate with a dry coffeeish finish.

So clean, soft and smooth. Just a wonderful experience for anyone who loves bourbon barrel stouts.

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Photo of heliosphann
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared by fellow BA infestaxion. Thanks Daive! Served in a pint glass in A2 after the P5 release.

A: Finger and a half of a fluffy but pitted, tan head. Hangs around forever and leaves some very nice lacing on the glass. Mostly black with some reddish brown.

S: Lot of sweet caramel, vanilla, chocolate up front. There's some earthy nuttiness competing as well (some hazelnut and amaretto perhaps?). I also detected a slight bit of faint coffee.

T: Big bourbon and woody notes right off the bat. In fact they seem to overpower the finer notes of the stout. The nose is a bit misleading as much of the initial impressions and malty sweetness is MIA. There is plenty of booziness to go around as well.

M: Medium to thick body. More than enough carbonation. In fact a little too much. Overall pretty smooth and creamy.

D: I had about 8-9 oz and it was more than enough for me. I'd have a very hard time taking down a whole bottle of this. The 10.5% ABV is definitely present and becomes very cloying.

Overall a little disappointing considering how well this beer presented itself. I'm finding more and more BA stouts just tend to have a hard time getting the right balance between the Bourbon and Beer. I do think in a year or so this might start improve significantly. If you can, I'd put this one back in the cellar for awhile.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.9% out of 100 with 349 ratings
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