Bourbon O.E.
Smog City Brewing

Bourbon O.E.Bourbon O.E.
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Smog City Brewing
California, United States
English Barleywine
Ranked #31
Ranked #1,204
4.33 | pDev: 7.39%
Oct 18, 2022
Sep 27, 2013
Bourbon O.E.Bourbon O.E.
Notes: Bourbon O.E. or B.O.E. as we call it in the taproom has garnered a strong following since 2013 when it was first released. This beer boasts balance above all with beautiful vanilla, oak, and char characteristics balanced out with the malty complexity of a true English Barleywine.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.34 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

Oct 18, 2022
Photo of RaulMondesi
Reviewed by RaulMondesi from California

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
On tap at Smog City in Torrance, CA.

This tastes like a David Lean dream met a California raisin in its 80’s - what we have is an English Barleywine with California substance. Man, Raul just took a swandive off the top of Beachyhead and scored a 10. OE is Wilt Chamberlin smooth - big as hell and still gettin busy.

I’m gone.
Sep 26, 2022
Photo of JohnnyHopps
Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance - The beer was copper in color with an off white head crowning the glass.

Smell - The sweetness of barleywine was subtle with a little tickle of bourbon on the nose.

Taste - The initial taste was smooth with notes of caramel, apple, and the nuttiness of amaretto. The profile was not terribly sweet, and a bit thin. The finish had a bit of heat.

Mouthfeel - The body was a bit thin with low carbonation.

Overall - I have been wanting this one for a while. I am surprised it is a top 50 barleywine.
Sep 10, 2022
Photo of Resistance88
Reviewed by Resistance88 from California

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Huge barrel presence. No werido sweet crap here. Toffee,raisin and dates in a not weird beergeek way. No amwrican sugar dependence sweetness here just a well made bourbon barrel barleywine

World class.
Aug 31, 2022
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
500ml wax top bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces s to leave nothing behind

S- caramel and toffee up front, followed by soft undertones of oaky bourbon. Hints of tobacco and faded hops. A bit muted for the style

T- sweet and malty up front with notes of caramel and toffee, followed by some earthy tobacco and faded hops. Mid-palate brings out some bourbon barrel, enhancing the caramel note, as well as adding oak and barrel juice. The finish gives some dark fruit notes of raisin and fig, as well as more caramel. Barrel notes linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into a warming finish
Aug 22, 2022
Photo of WunderLlama
Reviewed by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Waxed and capped pint Bottle received from @beersnake1 in Bif15 poured into a pint glass

Brewers Notes: Bourbon O.E. or B.O.E. as we call it in the taproom has garnered a strong following since 2013 when it was first released. This beer boasts balance above all with beautiful vanilla, oak, and char characteristics balanced out with the malty complexity of a true English Barleywine.

Brown liquid , dark brown hazy tea crowned by a two finger taupe foam cap , settles to a thin layer

Aroma is bourbon , brown sugar , toffee

Taste is bourbon, toffee,

Mouthfeel is boozy , it s a 14% abv barleywine

Good beer
Aug 02, 2022
Photo of lucius10
Reviewed by lucius10 from California

4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
For the 2021 version! Sweet caramel malty, toffee covered raisins, and hint of bourbon barrel nose on this one! Taste follows with a slightly thin, caramel/brown sugar malty, and a slightly boozy bourbon barrel finish. What made me seek this out was having the 2020 batch (still have a bottle!)...I was blown away with how good it was. This batch is thinner and boozier than the 2020 batch...and the aromatics>>taste pretty distinctly. This is pretty good, but definitely not outstanding.
May 18, 2022
Photo of sulldaddy
Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Im sampling a cellar temp 500 ml bottle poured into my snifter. This is a 2021 vintage.
Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with a fluffy khaki colored head of 1 cm and fades to a sturdy surface layer after the pour. There are many active and fine streams of carbonation rising to the surface. Looks a fine beer and the head retention is solid for a higher ABV (14.5%).
Aroma is toffee and brown sugar with a good dose of bourbon. Some solid general booziness here too, and mixed with some dark fruit, raisin mostly to my nose. I dont get hops at all.
First sip reveals a medium body with a bit of sticky texture and very fine gentle carbonation. Physically this beer drinks a lot easier than I anticipated based on ABV.
Flavor is sweet up front with brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon. I also get some raisin, sweet toffee (Werthers) and fig. This rolls to a little bitey booze and the bitterness on the finish is also booze not hops. Dries out on my palate on the swallow also, but still leaves some stickiness on my lips.
This is a fun barleywine with great flavor and dangerously easy to drink feel. Very glad to have tried this one and would definitely score more bottles in the future, should the opportunity present itself!
Apr 10, 2022
Rated: 4.46 by bigpoppa67 from Wisconsin

Mar 27, 2022
Photo of StJamesGate
Reviewed by StJamesGate from New York

4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2018 release
Dark cherry amber with scattered bits of foam; dried cherry, wood, deep vanilla and bourbon sweetness on the nose; red plum, caramel, sultana, but also a bit of raisin danish, then a blast of vanilla, wood, caramelized sugar and a tannic acid end; round, smooth, chewy, medium.

4 4.25 4.5 4.25 4.5

Stars with raisin pastry, injects it with vanilla, then pours bourbon on top.
Wondering what three years aging has done - this is not half as hot as it could or must’ve been.
Sugary as it is, it never cloys, either. Not splashy but smooth and mature.

Might’ve lost something sharing a session with Fundamental Observation, but worth sitting on just the same.
Mar 04, 2022
Rated: 4.23 by o29 from Texas

Jan 04, 2022
Photo of LampertLand
Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Smog City Brewing 'Bourbon BA O.E.' @ 14.9% , served from a dark red waxed 500 ml bottle , limited release 2020 vintage
A-pour is amber from the waxed bottle to a dark amber in the glass with a dissipating beige head leaving no lace along the tulip
S-mostly bourbon
T-first sip strong & smooth , very enjoyable barleywine , not feeling the ABV yet
MF-mild carbonation , big full body
Ov-possible great beer , even at the small 500 ml bottle size
prost LampertLand
Dec 25, 2021
Rated: 4 by Ajlvt from Washington

Oct 08, 2021
Photo of micada
Reviewed by micada from New York

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured cool to a Glencairn glass. Cold is ruddy copper, with a half-finger off-white head that burns down to a fairly persistant lacing and ring. Nose is a bit of caramel, bourbon, and some 1970s velvet…hey, come up with your own profile if that doesn’t make sense! First taste brings a fair amount of caramel and sweet malts, followed by some fresh, biting bourbon and wood. I’d say it tastes like it came out a wet bourbon barrel with that sort of bite. As it warms, there’s more stone fruit on the nose, and a lot drier finish in the taste. It starts to remind me of a mellow bourbon, though not at full bourbon strength. Later in the taste, there’s a strong hop linger. This is complex, with many changes over a relatively short time. I only had 1 oz of Utopias, but for some reason that comes to mind, though this is not THAT complex, and has much more hop bite at the end. Alcohol has a bite, but not astringent or distracting; no warming.
Sep 19, 2021
Rated: 4.39 by smithj4 from New York

Sep 02, 2021
Photo of pants678
Reviewed by pants678 from California

3.02/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25
Brown with thin foam.

Vanilla or bourbon, or both.

Mild. More here than Newcastle Brown, I think. Cola, not much heat from alcohol.

Harsh, plenty of bite. I'm rather happy with the feel, spot on.
Aug 29, 2021
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a pecan brown color with some mild fog. Head is a finger of khaki foam. Aroma is pecan with candied sugar and molasses behind. Sweet, but with heavy booze behind that tips the scales towards the latter. Flavor profile follows suit, hitting pecan and candied sugar right off the bat. Toffee, molasses come in for a little depth, all of which are layered over caramely malts. Failing to come up with the word here, but the flavor profile here comes off a little... sawed off, or harsh. It doesn't quite sing out its full story, spiking into a more bitter, boozy finish. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a crushed velvet texture. Overall, solid with some great notes, but comes off a little short.

Served in a 12oz tulip from a 500mL bottle.
May 16, 2021
Photo of TreyIsWilson
Reviewed by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A - Pours a clear amber with creamy one finger off white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is vanilla, toffee, raisins and bourbon.

T - The taste is toffee, vanilla, raisins, plums, oak and a big bourbon finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a sticky dry finish.

O - Top tier BBA barleywine. Huge oak and bourbon in the flavor. Definitely a slow sipper.
May 08, 2021
Rated: 4.14 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Apr 12, 2021
Rated: 4.31 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Mar 18, 2021
Rated: 4.46 by RMW66 from Australia

Feb 05, 2021
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Foggy dull penny copper to acorn reddish-brown with a thin khaki head settling to a creamy curled collar.

Bittersweet, mature and complex, we've got luscious caramel ribboned by vanilla that quickly takes a turn to Woody St. even becoming splintery. The oak's not hot or assertive, but significant and heady, transitioning to a bitter, woody walnut shell finish. It's got this dichotomy of sweet flavors contrasted by an overall bitter constitution.

The medium slick body has a crackly fizz that comes to an impressively bone dry finish. The dryness doesn't just come in feel, but also in flavor, with a dry brandy sort of character.
Jan 03, 2021
Rated: 4.39 by paresis from Massachusetts

Dec 22, 2020
Rated: 4.16 by Beerbom from California

Dec 17, 2020
Rated: 4.34 by beersampler6 from Michigan

Nov 28, 2020
Rated: 4.56 by RobinLee from Wisconsin

Oct 22, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Reddish brown body with a tan head that settled into a ring. The nose is immaculate, especially as it warms: right bourbon, molasses, full toffee, brown sugar, toasty oak, vanillins everywhere, raisin, fig, with subtle chocolate and barley. Incredible! Taste is not far off this dreamy experience, the barrel is incredible, toasty oak, creme brulee and vanilla, with warm bourbon the whole sip. Want more of the supporting flavors from the nose, but the toffee is there is spades. Feel is warm, barrel led, toasty, and complex. Pairs well with raclette. The wife loved it
Oct 03, 2020
Photo of DIM
Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Really stoked for this one. 2020 edition, 14.9% abv.

The ever-(overly)loquacious folks at Tavour called this bourbon pecan pie. That's pretty darn apt I'd say. Plenty of decadent toffee, rich vanilla, and mellow spirits as well. These were wet barrels I guess, far more booze than oak. Easily up there with the best I've had. And my cheap ass only bought two...

Love ya for this Smog City!
Sep 29, 2020
Rated: 4.41 by Scottsbeer from Florida

Sep 28, 2020
Rated: 4.3 by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

Sep 26, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by 0x4a64 from Minnesota

Sep 12, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by loganburgh from Michigan

Sep 05, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by kmoen from California

Aug 31, 2020
Rated: 4.32 by BAsbill from California

Aug 31, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by NickThePyro from Washington

Aug 29, 2020
Photo of Captain69
Rated by Captain69 from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
strong barley wine great flavors - each sip is a delightful taste
Aug 03, 2020
Rated: 4.18 by rab53 from Washington

Jul 18, 2020
Photo of Sellen
Rated by Sellen from Connecticut

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Jun 25, 2020
Rated: 4.42 by jmh21 from Minnesota

May 03, 2020
Rated: 4.3 by Bandi from New York

Apr 14, 2020
Bourbon O.E. from Smog City Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 162 ratings