Bourbon Barrel Stout | Odell Brewing Company

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 349 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of wnh
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, with a frothy dark tan head.

Loads of oaky vanilla and toasted coconut on the nose, alongside milk chocolate and cocoa. Lots of bourbon character. Surprisingly little roast.

Big and bourbon-y again on the palate. Woody oak, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch. Not much stout character, as the nose hinted at, which is a bit disappointing. Still a very tasty beer, but I prefer a little stout in my stout.

Full bodied but quite soft, and very smooth. Certainly a bourbon-forward bourbon barrel stout, and definitely a beer worth trying if you like bourbon.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Black as night in color. Three fingers of thick, creamy tan head that retains well and leaves plenty of irregular lacing.

4.0 S: Plenty of roasty malts off the top. Bourbon and vanilla woodiness come second. The vanilla is perhaps a bit too strong. I prefer the woody flavor of barrels over the vanilla flavors that eminate. Some roasted barley and toffee sweetness. Touch of alcohol, but only a touch. Good aroma and very good if you are into the vanilla thing.

4.0 T: Roasty malts balanced by sweet crystal malts. Again, a strong vanilla flavor coupled with barrel woodiness and bourbon. A soft fruitiness and an even softer espresso add complexity. Hops lend just enough bitterness to complete the beer and hop flavor is nearly nonexistent. Really great beer if you like vanilla. Otherwise, still a good beer.

5.0 M: Heavier medium body. Gentle smooth carbonation. Quite creamy and ultra smooth. This is as good as it gets.

4.5 D: Though I might technically have to dock this category since I'm not a fan of the vanilla, I'm not going to because it stays just as interesting through the whole experience. When I traded for this, I got two. I'm going to stick the other one in the cellar for a while and see how it turns out a few years into the future.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml caged and corked into Tulip.

A. Poured a big 3 finger tan head. Excellent head retention. Thick lacing. Pure black color.

S. Spiciness from the Bourbon barrels. Roasted malt, chocolate, alcohol. Bourbon is a nice complement. Sweet fruit smell.

T. Roasted malt, chocolate, hint of vanilla, coffee, bourbon, slight underlying sweetness. Very smooth. I did not think the bourbon was as strong or dominant as other bourbon stouts, which I like.

M. Medium-full bodied. Medium/high carbonation. Despite all the flavors going on it has a pretty crisp finish.

D. I was a expecting a great beer, and I was not let down. For an Imperial Stout this is incredibly drinkable. Mouthfeel could be a bit more full. High ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Loud cork pop after it was really hard to remove. Deep black pour a half inch of cocoa foamy head on top. Dark brown highlights. Aromas of smooth dark malts with cocoa, vanilla and wood. Coffee undertone melds with a sweet bourbon accent. Caramel with a hint of toasted coconut. Very nice.

First sip brings smooth, creamy dark malts with powdered cocoa and caramel swirls. Toasted coconut and vanilla meld with a lovely, yet not overpowering oak and bourbon flavor. Flows down easy. Bourbon is just right and not overwhelming in the least. Super smooth with no trace of 10.5% ABV.

Smooth, not too heavy, easy drinking. A damn fine bourbon stout to be had here from Odell. Would love to have this again sometime as it's just about perfect. Seek this tasty brew out.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle with a couple of friends on New Years Day.

Poured with a nice light tan colored head. Stayed for a moment, but fell to gravity quite quickly. The beer was a shiny dark brown color and allowed some light in through the edges. Some light lacing remained. You could tell by looking at it, that it was not quite as thick as some other Imperial Stouts.

Aroma was nice and certainly led you to believe this was aged in some bourbon barrels.
Having said that, I mostly smelled chocolate notes from the beer. A touch a woody vanilla as well.

Mostly chocolate sauce notes, some vanilla, light wood tones.. Nice flavor but not the big punch I was expecting. Let's just say I was expecting Dark Chocolate and wound up with Hershey's chocolate syrup. Nothing wrong here, in fact it's good. I was hoping for something more. I will say this, I would have NEVER guessed the ABV was any higher than about 7%. Hid it very well.

The body was just a little too thin for my liking. I think these flavors match better with a thicker mouth feel. The beer was slick and the slightest grain finish as well.

Nicely drinkable, just shy of really special. And certainly not epic. Glad I got to try this, but it's no substitute for a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

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Photo of mothman
2.01/5  rDev -48.3%
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 jampics2
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

2 bottles brought back from Arizona, purchased at Papago. Split with a bunch of thirsty Ohio beer geeks in training at our Holiday party!

Around 4 oz Pour leaves a nice black beer with a cappunchino head in my Cantillon snifter. Looks great!

Smell is light bourbon, vanilla, wood. Also getting a lot of stouty and roasty flavors.

Taste is amazing IMO. Read that some people think this is weak sauce but I disagree. Nice coconut and vanilla flavors from the wood fade to reveal a dark base. Not too roasty, just a nice chocolatey imperial stout that is truly showing unique and well defined flavor additions from the barrel. This is really quite good stuff, not everything needs to beat you over the head to prove it was in a barrel.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but just a touch too carbonated.

Drinkability is off the hook. Even without a house full of beer freaks, these bottles would have dissapeared quickly. Many commented this was their favorite beer of the night. A nice offering from a solid brewing operation!

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Photo of Recordgrooves
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You'll find this one best at room temp. and it is better that way on any frigid day, so sip on this & enjoy it.

I am a huge fan of Guinness Extra Stout, and I have to say that Odell Brewing Company has done everything perfect when it came to making/aging this beer.

Only complain is the limited QTY and yeah, it's pricey.


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Photo of SamN
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle cracked with a buddy of mine from Washington; from quick notes.

This is probably the weakest bourbon stout I've ever had; thin taste, where's the overpowering semi-sweet chocolate malt and the smokey vanilla from the bourbon? Compared to beers in general, it's really quite good. Compared to other (better) beers of the style, this comes in dead last.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this brew.


Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, awesome two-finger creamy tan head, which settles down to a very nice one-finger thick creamy tan head. The nose is malty, with lots of very nice bourbon notes, nice chocolate/toffee scent, with some dark fruits. The taste is very nice, malty, sweet, with a very nice touch of bourbon, chocolate/toffee notes mixed in very well, picking up some dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well, a very complex brew. Very drinkable, this one is a joy to drink. Thanks Chuck!

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Photo of mikey711
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this the night before thanksgiving with a good friend. Poured into two snifters.

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a good amount of head sitting on top. The head was slightly tan and the retention was very good. Also some legs are left behind when swirling and there was only a minor amount of lace.

S: At first it was very chocolaty and bready, with an almost sour note. As it started to warm more of the barrel came through provide a nice wood and bourbon note. The vanilla was mild and lots of roastines came through as well.

T: While there was lots og sweetness, I found that it had a bit more bitterness and roastiness to balance it out, which I prefer in a BA stout. The wood provides a bit of earthiness and the bourbon is rather smooth

M: It was much lighter than I like for a stout. Not a ton of booze, and it was rather smooth but the light body was disappointing

D: I could have finished a bomber myself but am glad that I share with someone else and would be willing to try this again in the future

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Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chocolate brown that sits almost black in the glass but is not completely opaque black by any means. There is a surprisingly big (for a BA stout) fluffy tan head that shows very good retention and a ton of lacing.

The aroma is very much imperial stout with the bourbon only playing a complementary role. The dominant aromas are dark roasted malts and bakers chocolate. There is just as much wood in the nose as the sweet bourbon, though they're both present.

The taste has a bit more sweetness than the aroma with vanilla joining the chocolate with the roasted character not coming out nearly as much. The finish is slightly sweet with a bourbon burn but also has a definite dryness from the wood.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than I'd like in the style with soft carbonation. This slightly lighter mouthfeel makes it extremely drinkable however and this one goes down as easily as any bourbon stout I've tried.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split with trep & friends at a Thanksgiving beer tasting. Thanks to bonsreeb85 for the trade!

Pours somewhat thin for an imperial stout, much like Odell's non-bourbon version, but the pitch black body is unmistakably true to the style. A sizable tuft of light tan head slowly settles to a cap of foam that leaves some nice rings of lacing along the inside of the glass. Good notes of cedar wood planks and hints of dark chocolate in the nose, but the bourbon-aging left me relatively unimpressed. Hints of coffee and dark fruits alongside an earthy hop presence.

The flavor matched the aroma well, but brought more dark chocolate and dried fruits such as raisin, fig, and cherry. Hints of vanilla and wood chips, but the alcohol is (a little too) well-hidden and not as flavorful as I had hoped. Mouthfeel is on the over-carbonated side of the spectrum for the style, giving this imperial stout more of a porter-like feel to its medium-thick body. Still, for a plus-10% ABV beer, Odell's Bourbon Barrel Stout drank quite easily and was tasty enough for me to want more than just the 750ml bottle. A slight let-down for me given the brewery's track record, but a good beer overall.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into my Rahr 5th Anni glass.

A: Pours black as night with a big tan head that sticks around for forever and leaves lots of sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

S: The nose is huge with whiskey, vanilla, and sour barrel notes. Couldn't really pick out any Stout aromas but that's fine...I love bourbon so I think I might like this.

T: The taste is great and starts out with a slight sourness from the barrel aging then vanilla, cocoa, and malt take over and leave you with a sweet finish. This has great aging potential and I will be keeping one to drink in a year or 2.

M: Creamy and thick with tons of small bubble carbonation.

D: This is a great beer but I don't know if I'd call it drinkable. The upfront whiskey aromas and flavors might be a bit much for some people.

I can't wait to try it in a year or so to see if the whiskey fades and the stout flavors come forward a bit.

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Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with friends... sort of wish I'd had it all to myself. Unlike so many big barrel-aged stouts, the barrel doesn't dominate the character and the stout isn't too thick. This is a dark and deliciously drinkable beer. The barrel's actually added a little sour tang and the bourbon's vanilla adds a little candy taste before super smooth cocoa grains and roast roll in. The aroma is similar with vanilla bourbon upfront and chocolate beer undertones. Find this beer if you can. It's a great example of an expertly-made barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big want here I get to check off, that always makes for a good night! Served chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 11/12/2009.

The pour was huge, jet black with a big tan head that rose up nearly three inches across the top before finally settling down. Nice side glass lacing as webs of tan stretched out across it. Aroma is rich with notes of vanilla, woody tones, coffee, molasses, hints of cherries or dark fruit coming through now as well as warms, and as it hits room temp, the coffee really shines. Nice feel here, lots of carbonation lets the flavor really pop for me. Smooth, and subtle vanilla tones turn to coffee and hints of light hops, especially in the finish with a nice touch of dark fruit thrown in. The alcohol was totally absent for me here, really well done.

Overall this one was intresting and not at all what I was expecting. More in line with a belgian style stout it had the huge carbonation and nice use of fruit in it. I really enjoyed it through and was glad to be sipping on it tonight for sure.

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Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by HopHead84, bottle provided by mrkrispy. Thanks, guys.

Black body with a short-lived but creamy tan head. The nose has a light barrel mustiness, some chocolate and roasted malt, and an odd fruity tartness. Coffee in the background, and a bit of heat. The taste has the same tart cherry-like character that I detected in the aroma. Strange for an imperial stout, tastes like the beginnings of a lacto infection, but it's not too detracting at this stage. The cherry flavor combined with the chocolate/vanilla interplay from the bourbon barrel and the base beer gives it a chocolate-covered cherry flavor. There's some booziness mid-palate, but it's overtaken by flavors of coffee and a big tannic finish. Fairly hot, but the barrel flavor is reserved. Decent stuff, I'd like to try this sans infection.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole corked 750 .. inflatablechair corked this first at the recent tasting at his house.. Poured into MNFG.

Lite tan head has great lacing.. the brew is expected black.

Nose is a nice mashup of everything great about American ingenuity in brewing.. no stout or barrel aromas are really out of whack.. instead.. just a well balanced brew... vanilla and cocoa mixes great with dark malts.

Flavor has more traditional RIS elements.. the coffee is present .. with bunches of dark dried fruits... this is very very good.. the bourbon and vanilla come in more on the finish..

maybe too much carbonation.. but the overall quality of this brew is outstanding... Thanks to Sam for corking this one.. I'm glad I still have mine. :-)

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Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 11/06/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for the bottle, mrkrispy! The beer is black and crowned with a one inch light brown creamy head. Retention is good and some scattered lacing is left behind.

The nose strikes a nice balance between coffee and roast. A touch of astringency is present, as well as light bourbon. Dark chocolate is evident as well as oak, and there's a touch of lactic character accompanying the oak and vanilla. There's a touch of musty and earthy character as well. largadeer commented that the beer may have picked up some bacteria from the barrel, and I think that's a reasonable assessment.

The beer is immediately coffee and chocolate with a moderate roast. That lactic sourness I detected in the aroma is present in the flavor, and stronger. There's a note of dark cherry, as well as wood. Bourbon is very faint and alcohol is pretty well hidden. The beer is light full bodied with moderate carbonation and a creamy, sticky mouthfeel that is just a touch too thin.

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Photo of Brandt
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had to check this one in my suitcase to bring it back from boulder, CO and boy was it worth it!

this poured out a dark black with a frothy tan colored head

the aroma of this beer could be smelled before you even put your nose up to the glass. the main feature in this is obviously the bourbon and with that came some oak and vanilla notes. behind that is chocolates both bittersweet and a more subtle milk chocolate. there is also a good amount of toasty and more burnt black malts.

the taste what wonderful, this beer exceeded my expectations and was full of oaky character and a rich bourbon smokeyness. there was a softer vanilla and dark sugar taste in there that helped balance the bite of the bourbon and a warm boozeyness that was jsut plain welcome in this beer.

the beer finished out with a lingering bourbon and oak character and a warming efect on the chest. this beer was wonderful if you like bourbon and maybe even if you don't!? this showcases what a good bourbon barrel stout should taste like and i wouldn't hesitate to get another of these....if only they sold them in montana :(

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a bourbon up front stout. A dark brown/ruby pour with a semi-huge head for the style. quite shocked by it. pretty good lacing throughout. Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, wet wood and chocolate in the nose. alcohol is noticeable.
Yup, bourbon, vanilla, caramel and wood in the flavors. Seems it would be thicker, but it's quite thin. Alcohol warms it up. This one has a complexity of flavors, but I think some cellaring time can help join them a bit more. A bit tough to drink, especially a big ass bottle.

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Photo of aewinte1
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours standard black for a stout with quite a bit of carbonation for a beer of this ABV
S- Smells like bourbon and chocolate. The bourbon seems to come through pretty strongly. Was hoping for some coffee aroma, but was unable to pick up any. Chocolate adds a nice balance.
T- Taste is like the smell. The bourbon comes through rather well, I just wish there was more flavors to balance it out a bit more. The chocolate does a nice job of keeping the bourbon in check. This is a good tasting beer, but was hoping for a more complex flavor profile.
M- Mouthfeel is thick yet carbonated
D- Drinkability is decent, but I wouldn't want to drink more than one because it's a little oon the boozy side.

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Photo of danryankc
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imagine my delight when a recent morning at work was interrupted by a phone call from one of my favorite people asking me whether I wanted her to pick up any special beers from Odell's Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was standing in the brewery gift shop, and mentioned a limited edition Bourbon Barrel Stout. Sold!

Tonight, I uncorked the 750 milliliter bottle, after letting it warm up to around 45-50 degrees. A good rich beer should not be served tongue-numbingly cold; the warmth allows the complexities of the beer shine.

The aroma is all coffee and chocolate, and the color is dark brown just this side of black. No hop aroma can cut its way through the rich, malty smell. A note of vanilla gives just a hint of the complexity to be found just underneath the dark tan head. At 10.5% alcohol, it's not surprising that the head does not last long, though a film remains, and a lace of foam decorates the side of the glass as the beer disappears.

The mouthfeel is perfect. A beer this tasty is sometimes syrupy, but this one is enjoyably, perhaps dangerously, drinkable.

Appearance, aroma and mouthfeel are good, but the flavor is what makes this beer memorable. I'm not a huge fan of bourbon, because I don't enjoy the burn of high-alcohol liquors. This beer delivers the wonderful flavors of bourbon without the burn. Aged for 4 months in barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, this imperial stout yields agreeably to the vanilla, caramel and slight smokiness of bourbon in a cooling mouthful of chocolate and coffee maltiness. You get the pleasure of bourbon without the pain.

Don't let the word "stout" bring expectations of lots of dry roasted barley. Without the bourbon, this would be a big, creamy milk stout, leaning toward an imperial porter. I wonder whether I would find it too sweet without the added spiciness of the bourbon, but it is delightful as served.

This beer was around $16 for a bottle the same size as a bottle of wine. Frankly, it's worth every nickle. It has much more going on flavor-wise than even a very good bottle of wine, and the creativity and skill demonstrated by the brewers outshine the work put in by 99% of winemakers.

I don't know what I would pair this beer with. It's a little sweet to go with a steak, but it might be the perfect accompaniment to a dark chocolate mousse and a cigar. It certainly goes well with the handful of pretzels I'm tasting it with.

This is definitely one of the best beers I have ever had. The fact that a friend took time out of her journey to visit her friend to pick it up for me certainly makes me appreciate it more, but, if I see this on the shelves of any local stores, I'll be picking up a few bottles to cellar for special occasions.

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Photo of Beejay
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep brown, but in the glass it is obsidian black. A nice bit of tan head on top, that has dissipated to some rings and bubbles.

S: Sweet fragrant bourbon. As a buffalo trace drinker, I can certainly smell the whiskey. A nice oak note in the end, and maybe just the smallest hint of malty. This baby is all bourbon.

T: That really is lovely. Sweet chocolate up front, but the finish is all bourbon. a bit of corn and oak in the finish with vanilla all the way through. Though I could do with a bit more stout flavor in it.

EDIT: Let it get a little warmer.. Just sayin'.

M: Very thin for such a big beer. Fairly highly carbonated as well.

D: This one is dangerous. I could put this down all night until the federal agents took my liver away due to abuse. a nice drinker, smooth, and mellow, perhaps just a little hot.. But I have a second bottle to age... so now worries.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, David!

Black with dark brown highlights. There a thin brown head that lasts, leaving gorgeous lace. The nose is bourbon-forward, with bourbon, coconut and vanilla dominating. Chocolate and mild coffee round out the aromas, with a mild creamy character. A touch of light fruit is also present, with pears and peaches. The flavors on the palate are similar, with an opening combination of bourbon, chocolate, cream and plenty of vanilla. Mild roast and milk chocolate appear mid palate, before a mildly sweet finish with sugar, vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium in body with soft carbonation, this is an enjoyable beer that I'd love to try again.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 349 ratings.
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