Bourbon Barrel Stout | Odell Brewing Company

very good
189 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 348
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pitch black bourbon stout rears its ugly, tan, three fingered head at my mini colorado tulip glass and beckons my attention, big 'ol lacing as it lowers... Smells of new tire rubber and heavy hops cut through the air backed with a vinous alcohol spice. Dark chocolate, pomegranate, burnt cigar, rubber cork and huge roasted malts burn up the palate. A lot of new flavors in this bourbon buddy I have not experienced before. Big body and a medium to high level of carbonation make the experience a lively one.

Overall this was a nice experience however I am saddened to find how much this lacked compared to what I expected. Huge bourbon beers come out of the local CO breweries, Great Divide, Avery, Oskar Blues etc put out miracles of bourbon magic yet this BBS was considered the bar to beat a few years ago. Today for the Price point (between 17$-25$) this beer was a little disappointing.

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Photo of Phelps
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black and thick as pitch. No highlights — or any light at all — coming through. The head is the color and consistency of spun brown sugar. It gets about an inch tall before slinking back down to half a finger and goes nowhere after that.

In the nose: acrid burnt bread, dried peanuts, lots of ethanol, a surprising amount of citrusy hops, and of course new oak and sweet bourbon. The booze is mild and smoothly blended in the background.

Flavor is a pretty perfect reflection of the nose. Bread, toasted to a crisp; peanut skins, roasted; lots of ethanol flavor, but less actual bourbon. Smooth, bitter dark chocolate and a hint if prunes dance in the back, as does smoky oak, as if the barrel was burnt instead of toasted. Some toffee, burnt sugar and occasional hits of butterscotch emerge as well. That all sounds better than it is, however. The good parts of the flavor are hard to pull out, and most of the time all I get is a big alcohol bite and bitter chocolate.

Gentle massaging carbonation in a velvety body a hair under medium. Silky in the tongue. Ethanol fumes in the nose, heat on the tongue. I'll at least give it this: it's not as hot as it should be.

Odell's Bourbon Barrel Stout needs something, I just can't quite figure out what. More bourbon? More stout? There's something missing here, and ethanol flavor is running wild. I was able to try the first batch of this beer on tap, and it was outrageously good. All subsequent tastings have either been infected or disappointing.

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Photo of JamisonM
1.92/5  rDev -50.6%
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 kbutler1
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Served at ABR. Pours a dark brown black color with a fluffy tan head. Aroma is bourbon and oak all the way with a touch of dark chocolate, vanilla, and some roast. Medium mouthfeel, lighter than I really want. Everything seems pretty balanced here but something for me is lacking here and I can’t quite put a finger on it. I find myself liking it but not as much as I want to. One sample was good for me.

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Photo of claytong
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage on tap, pretty fresh

appearance - chocolate brown that is almost black, mocha head, sticky and great lacing

smell - milk chocolate, caramel, bourbon, and a bit of mocha

taste - repeat, and all is quite well balanced. simple but delicious, cant argue.

mouthfeel - thick bodied, highly drinkable, lightly carbonated goodness.

this competes with the greats of the style

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice deep dark brown. Could almost be confused for black. 1 finger creamy head. Great sticky lacing.

S- Chocolate milk and bourbon!! Does it get any better!? Nice strong chocolate presence and a hint of roast and coffee. Great balance.

T- Again with the great balance. And again with the chocolate milk, and hints of bourbon, coffee, and roasted notes and slightness of earthy hops. Damn delicious.

M- full creamy and silky smooth body and low carb. Has the consistency of chocolate milk.

O- I cannot get over how awesome this damn beer is. And at 11.5%, its not even noticeable. LOVE IT! Great job, Odell!

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Photo of xuptygm
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As black as they come. Massive cream colored head with good retention. Very rich complex beer. Roasted malt, alcohol, caramel, a little vanilla, a sweetness with a hint of bourbon. Pretty damn smooth, medium/full body. Warming dry finish.

This is a great beer and worth seeking out. I hope it gets made again. I know I will be tracking down another bottle.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
2.81/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Settles to pitch black color with an enormous light mocha colored head that rises up rocky and frothy - doesn't seem to fall until I begin to sip in which case it plants it's remains on the side of the glass in the form of thick chunky lacing. The aroma brings out subtle bitter chocolate, a slight vanilla, some "roastiness", boozy bourbon and some woody/earthy notes in there. The flavor is underwhelming....definitely boozy as the sting from the alcohol is pronounced and topples over the creamy chocolate and dark roasted malts that I was anticipating - definite bold flavors, but not in a good way. The flavor is only surpassed, or should I say, harshened due to the over carbonated mess of a mouthfeel - I'm left with a harsh boozy almost acidic/sour flavor in my mouth. I was pretty jacked for this release....and then I drank the beer, it's as simple as that. I am quite partial to Odell, in fact they're my favorite brewery that distributes to my area and it saddens me that I didn't get a wonderful bourbon-bal aged stout experience that I 100% expected of them....maybe the forum posts of infections and such are true of this brew, but it's rated so highly....I hope to one day try a delicious batch of this.


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Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle of this based on someone's recommendation, big mistake. Dark black color, a little head. Smells like alcohol, booze, a bit of stout and more booze. The taste had slight notes of grain and coffee but it was mostly alcohol, rubbing alcohol in fact. This was really poor quality considering the cost and I'll be really cautious purchasing their 750's in the future, probably just stick to the IPA and Lupulin.

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Photo of Tone
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of liquor, slight roasted malt, slight sweet malt, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of liquor, roasted malt, and slight sweet malt. Overall, great appearance, decent aroma, and decent body.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a big, tan lacing head.

Smells of oak, bourbon, coffee, and roasted malt.

Tastes of roasted malt with notes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and coffee. Surprinsigly well-hidden alcohol. Intense and satisfying flavor.

The creamy mouthfeel really adds a lot to this beer. It is also low in carbonation, which works well.

This is an amazing beer IF you like bourbon and oak character because those are the two main notes of the beer that become almost totally dominant it warms.

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Photo of Spider889
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery, notes from 9/27. I really wanted to take a bottle of this or Woodcut No. 5 home, but they were $25 a bottle, which seemed steep imo.

This year's was listed as being aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels, and the abv as 11.5%.

Black as night, no real head on her, though a small ring of bubbles topped the pour.

Smells really roasty, full of charcoal at first. Then some enticingly heavy bourbon aromas kicked into high gear. Lots of coconut and booze, backed by mild vanilla and some dense chocolate.

The taste was very smooth for the alcohol. Nice vanilla and oak notes; the bourbon, while deliciously well integrated, was nowhere near as strong as it seemed on the nose.

A bit thin for my tastes, though carbonation was appropriately low.

Overall a very solid BA stout.

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Photo of travbo1983
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Odells Bourbon Barrel Stout is good but not great.
22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
First thought: expecting a bit more vanilla notes from the Bourbon.

Unfortunately, the smoothness of the beer overwhelms any special characteristics that you would expect from a Barrel aged variety. If you're looking for smoothness drink chilled, but if you're looking for the bourbon kick let it reach nearly room temperature. I was amazed at the difference.

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Photo of Domingo
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is a review of the 2011 vintage that just hit shelves, so this is a pretty fresh bottle for what it's worth.
Deep brown in the light, but nearly black from more than a few inches away. An off-white head springs up from a normal pour and surprisingly has some staying power. Pretty unusual for a barrel aged beer and one this strong. I'm impressed!
The nose is bourbon heavy, with a little bit of coffee and dark chocolate. No real surprises, although the bourbon note is strong.
The flavor leans in the same direction. Sweet malts, roasted coffee, and semi-sweet chocolate give way to a fair amount of bourbon character, which really does overpower things a bit. Instead of a compliment, it's more of a clash or hostile takeover in this case. Subsequent sips tend to favor that bourbon note more and more. It's not bad, but maybe just a little heavy. I think the body of the stout just needs more pep in the malt department to keep up. Usually that's only a problem for milder stouts.
Mouthfeel is about as good as a beer like this can get. It's thick and rich, with very steady carbonation.
Some elements of this are wonderful and others are lacking. It's not bad, but not all that good either. Sometimes it feels like a 6% stout with a 1/2 shot of bourbon in it. I had this beer on tap a few years ago and recall having similar feelings then, too. I think the base beer is really the weak link here.
No infection issues, but generally an unspectacular offering anyway.

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Photo of tito42
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th Review. Served at O'Dell Brewery, today was the tapping for the 2011 edition of this brew.

A: Opaque, nearly black with a slight coffee hue. Cocoa head, nice lacing, and OK retention.

S: Musty oak barrels, chocolate, smoked barley.

T: Roasted barley and malt, chocolate milk, bourbon, brown sugar, and grassy hops. A lot going on here, and it all comes together beautifully.

M: Smooth and creamy, a bit chunky in the middle, a nice hops bitterness at the finish.

O: Wonderful beer. The brewery was really hopping in anticipation of GABF 2011. This is a very enjoyable imperial stout. I love the blend of flavors.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, enjoyed at 2011 ABR.

'Odell Bourbon barrel stout, cask with coffee and cocoa nibs'

Poured absolutely pitch black, used motor oil, deep brown froth that clinged to the glass. Smell was bourbon wood and bakers chocolates, coffee, hints of vanilla pods and dark fruit.

Taste was semi-sweet chocolates, toffee, muted French roasted espresso, molasses, with harmony of delicious vanilla-bourbon wood characteristics throughout. Intense but well balanced. Heavy body, creamy, thick mouthfeel is just right. No hint of alcohol. Very drinkable, thoroughly enjoyable. Put this in bottles, please.

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

Cork and caged bottle enjoyed as part of the Doctor's CBI Beer Tasting 8.13.11.

Quarter finger light brown head, minimal head and lacing, dark brown opaque body, no visible carbonation, appears almost flat. Big nose, the bourbon re vanilla and oak notes are pretty prevalent and give off some fairly boozy notes, a bit of cocoa nibs and very little hop presence. Taste feature much of the profiles of the aroma, good chocolate, cocoa nibs presence, vanilla to balance, some faint coffee notes and once again pretty boozy. Mouthfeel is full but slick, not much effervescence and no stickiness but once again almost cloying booziness, which should be expected at this ABV. I wonder if another year or three might have tamed some of the booziness. Tasty but pretty boozy.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rather tawny looking for a stout with an auburn tinge amidst the darker liquid; the mocha head is impressive on the pour and though it fades quickly, it leaves a nice pattern behind

Smell: Rather fruity, with a black currant and caramel aspect on the nose along with the bourbon and barrel elements

Taste: Fruity flavors, up front, with the currants and caramel leading the way; the bourbon arrives by mid-palate; a building chocolate presence, after the swallow, though the fruity character dominates into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with frothy carbonation and a bit of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Not sure whether this beer turned out as the brewer intended as the beer is lighter and fruitier than many comparable brews; there may well be some infection going on but it doesn't render the beer undrinkable; many are quick to identify bourbon barrel beers as infected when they take on bit of sour fruit character but that may well be a characteristic of the barrel

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Photo of arizcards
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml bottle from Total Wine in early December 2009 for $13.99.

Beer poured black as night with a brown bubbly head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is oaken bourbon barrel with hints of sweet mocha.

Taste is sweet, bourbon is blended nicely with hints of chocolate and roasted malts, coffee and hops not really present.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style and not overly smooth.

Overall this is a good beer but i have to say i expected a bit more given my past experiences with Odell. Alcohol/bourbon have relaxed quite a bit in the 1.5 years it has been sitting in my wine fridge.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a plastic cup the way God intended

Thanks to TMoney2591 for uncorking this monster on DLD

This beer poured a really nice dark body with a sandy foam riding the surface. The aroma had much of the barrel notes, but it was really weak and hidden. The taste was solid. I loved the smooth chocolate mixed with the coffee like roast and the oak vanilla mixed in there to smooth it out. We definitely got one of the non-infected bottles. This was really easy drinking and went down nicely. While none of it's individual components were overwhelming, as a whole this was one damn fine stout and perhaps one of my favorite tastings of the day.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

Big thanks to therealnomayo for this bottle!

Figured I'd wait 'til I had people to share this with before opening it. Thankfully Dark Lord Day allows for just such an opportunity. It pours a dark black-sienna topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and light oak. I don't get much of the stout beneath, but the barrels come through loud and clear. The taste doesn't change all that much, though a light roasted malt character finds a way to make it through to my 'buds. Meanwhile, the barrels continue their rowdy shenanigans. The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a solid barrel-aged stout, but I think the barrels' influence was a tad too powerful, o'ershadowing the stout-ness nearly completely. Still, these were admittedly tasty barrels, so the whole thing isn't a net loss.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick black with a fluffy and sticky tan head

Smell of wet bourbon, oak, milk cocoa, and a nice roasted malt presence.

Taste of a dark cocoa and milk chocolate mixture with a range of roasted malt flavors. Biscuit, chocolate malt , a boatload of bourbon, some aged oak and vanilla flavors.

Nitro like carbonation, extremely smooth. While the hype train hasnt hit this one like some other bourbon barreled stouts, it is very good , it just doesnt stand out in the ever growing Imperialized Stouts sea.

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Photo of glid02
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Brad - much obliged!

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells...well, infected. Light roasted malts with large amounts of tart dark fruits. Also present are very light hints of dark chocolate.

Thankfully it tastes better than it smells. Heavy roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate and light molasses. Midway through the sip very slight amounts of oak flavors enter the fray. Slight tart dark fruits make an appearance near the end of the sip, fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this beer obviously suffered due to the infection but I'm not so sure it would be all that great uninfected - a bit disappointing for a brewery I enjoy immensely and a beer for which I'd had high hopes. If you've got a bottle drink it now, it's not getting any better.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours black with a creamy one finger off-white head that maintains itself and leaves lots of residual lacing clinging to the glass.

S. Bourbon, oak, some chocolate, and other roasted malt. I seem to have gotten a more bourbon-forward bottle as the bourbon really sticks out on mine.

T. Dark chocolate, bitter dark roast, some oak tannins, and bourbon.

M. Fairly thick with a super creamy luscious carbonation.

D. The astringent oak tannins come out on this a bit too much. The alcohol flavor is a bit too strong on the tongue as well. I was expecting this to be infected so I'm happily surprised that it turned out well, but the base beer is a bit too dry and isn't quite as sweet as I'd like for a bourbon barrel stout.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this through a trade with bonsreeb85. Chad, you rock dude!

A- Pours a pitch black color with a thin coffee colored head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Woah, bourbon soaked oak chips and bitter dark chocolate. This one is almost a year old but I can still pick out some alcohol in the nose.

T- Just like the nose, huge bourbon flavor with a nice dark chocolate bitterness. Some molasses, cocoa nibs and espresso in the finish. The alcohol is very subdued.

M- Smooth and creamy with low carbonation. The alcohol that was present in the nose did not show up in the flavor. The heat definitely died down and the rich chocolate and bourbon flavors really smoothed this out.

O- With a little bit of age, you could barely guess that this baby was over 10%. A truly awesome brew!

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Bourbon Barrel Stout from Odell Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 348 ratings.
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