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Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series) | America's Brewpub

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Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series)Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series)
Very Good
80 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series)Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series)

Brewed by:
America's Brewpub
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged in 10-year-old Heaven Hill barrels.

Added by GbVDave on 03-08-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very fine imperial stout. Like most, this beer looks opaque, black, and with remarkable tan head retention. Smells of roasted malts and barley sweetness. A light lactose sugar aroma adds a twangy scent. Hop detection, but not overpowering. Flavored with roastedness, coffee, chocolate, and a fruity touch (plumbs?) Unlike most imperial stouts, this one is aged in Blanton's Boubon Barrels which adds a serious kick of cocoanuts, vanilla, pecan, and caramel. The wood age always mellows out the hops to very smooth levels. The bourbon aging adds another layer of alcohol warmth and sweetness. Thick and heavy to the palate but smooth and silky. Not over carbonated or prickley to the palate. Mild cherry notes in the alcoholic finish. Lingers with roasted grain and fruity alcohol. Very nice.

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Viscous pour, black liquid with a creamy head of chocolate mocha. Some lacing, it manages to stick around.

Aroma of wet oak barrel, some light roasty chocolate and vanilla.

Lightly bitter dark chocolate is up against a hefty level of astringent oak/whiskey. This disperses quickly, and leaves a tasty bourbon/chocolate/espresso aftertaste. It may be slightly rough around the edges, but it tastes great. Lingering bourbon flavor isn't too overpowering. Slight alcohol burn in the esophagus, but not perceptible in the overall flavor.

Feels slightly thin, but has a good milk chocolate lactic quality about it. I liked this, even though I wasn't sure what to expect.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Got this up & comer front jo1510, thanks Joe!

Pours ebony with 2+ fingers of brown/mocha colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Maple syrup & vanilla

T: Molasses, toffee, vanilla, & butterscotch up front. Slight boozeyness & maple candy as this warms. Finished oaky with leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with slightly too much carbonation

Super quaffable, purists may sneer at the sweetness in this, but I really liked this! Went great with my rib eye, but would sure as hell work with dessert or breakfast!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Elric for the great extra. I had never heard of them before but that was about to change. Served straight out of the fridge, I poured this twelve ounce bottle into a snifter glass. Consumed on 07/31/2008.

The pour was jet black, rich with a nice one inch tan head that quickly faded leaving behind nothing more then some token side glass lace. Some residual crown across the top, broke up and clung to the sides producing a little bit of interest in the dark chocolate brown liquid.

The aroma was bourbon gone mad. Rich notes of bourbon and vanilla dominating everything in sight. It was intensely sweet on the nose as well, really pushing through how long it had sat on that bourbon. The taste was more of the same. I have to admit, this was one of the strongest effected bourbon beers that I had yet to try. Rich notes of vanilla washed in through the bourbon, with highlights of oak and molasses. A slight boozy touch on the finish, but super sweet, and just all around very well done I have to admit. The feel was nice, adequately carbonated and a bit slick, but still done very well. A sipper all the way on this one, and to be honest I am not sure of the alcohol level, but it felt very nice, not too hot, just overwhelming hints of vanilla which were stronger then even some of the Alesmith BA I have had.

Overall I was shocked by how good this was. I had the amber easier in the night and was equally as impressed with that. This was an all around fantastic beer that I would love to get more of, in fact I need to go work on that one.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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

Pours completely black with a smaller dark tan head that disappears quickly. Nose is deep but fairly mild. Cocoa, molasses, vanilla are all present. Flavor is sweet with vanilla. Roasted tones on the backside. Liquid feel is slick and the carbonation is lower. A sweeter barrel aged stout.

Thanks to TATTORSO for the sample.

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Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tattorso for this one!

Pours opaque/pitch black...can see my reflection perfectly off the glass! The brown head builds, then stays a bit before descending to a thin cover. The cover eventually becomes a few islands. Not much lacing, but "legs" do stick.

The smell is of a very nice bourbon (checked out website, but don't know which one was used - will call during the week to find out, if I remember.) Regardless, it is used correctly - it smells of bourbon that has strong vanilla notes mixed with a stout that had strong chocolate and earthy, dried dark fruits, with a hint of cinnamon (from oak? or alcohol?) coming through. This is the smell of a nice bourbon/stout mix.

The taste, while very nice, does take a hit because of the water that is mixed in. It has chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, musty oak. Delicious! There is water, though it doesn't seem to change the taste, just softens it. It has a nice balance of sweet, with some sour fruit, and a touch of bitter. Alcohol is very well-hidden in the taste. Finishes with a soft dryness.

The body is on the thin side. But, then - it adds to drinkability. It is not syrupy, sticky or thick. I checked out the abv on the website. It is stated as 12%. Not in the taste or feel...maybe in effect...It is carbonated, though it is not fizzy.

The body does add to its "dangerously drinkable" aspect. This is a great bourbon-barreled stout with characteristics of both (Bourbon and American Stout) showing!

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Photo of brandoman63
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm broke and still drinking random stuff from the cellar ... Tonight seems like a RIS night. Got this one way back in October '08 from orbitalr0x ... Don hooked my up with an awesome trade.

Poured into my Delirium goblet.. Short lasting brown head... no real lacing.. black brew.

I don't know if the age helped, but this smells fantastic... Deep milk chocolate .... nice bourbon and vanilla notes ... hints of brown sugar and cinnamon ... really a great nose.

Flavor loses anything from the nose... a bit of dark cherry essence rounds out the RIS flavors... fudgy toward the finish.. oak seems a bit musky/tannic.. medium body with good carbonation.

The nose couldn't get much better... the flavor while good, was a little too fruity and had too much oak for my tastes... this is gonna take me a while to finish this.


Thanks again Don... We should do it again sometime.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from notes...

Thanks to Josh for sharing this.

Appears a thick, black motor oil with a dark hue. A tan cap slowly fades. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and cream.
Taste is of the aromas with some tart berries mixed with bourbon and oak.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, chewy, and mildly tart in the finish.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to brewcrew76 for throwing this in.
Poured a deep, deep brown almost black, much burnt motor oil with a big tannish head and excellent carbonation. This brew looked damn good! Nose is bourbon upfront, cocoa, roasted malts, vanilla. Taste is bourbony and boozy good, not so boozy as to be obnoxious either. I thought it was very well balanced and the taste followed the nose. Mouthfeel is nice, wanted a little more thickness to it but damn good. Exceptional beer!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a pitch black body of opaque liquid with a thick creamy dark tan head that last as a thick ring and sticks to the glass with each sip. The beer is too dense to see any carbonation except for a few random tiny bubbles sliding up the edge of the glass.

S- This beer has big chocolate roasted malt aromas wit oaky bourbon and a flowery vanilla aroma that grows with each sip. The aroma is strong even during the pour, and makes me just want to sniff and sniff the beer.

T- The roasted bitterness of black malt has a creamy chocolate velvety flavor with some slightly sweet vanilla notes to follow. There is a nice full bourbon and oak flavor with the oak growing into a cream and butterscotch pudding flavor as it warms. There is a bitter bite from the black grain at the end that finishes the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with some alcohol heat that compliments the flavor nicely and a creamy texture that really gives this a nice mouthfeel.

D- This beer is delicious. It is quite the sleeper, rich complex malts with a great big barrel flavor and a wonderful smell that can keep me sniffing for days. The black roast blends great with the alcohol making this a perfect winter sipper.

 1,247 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hwwty4 for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The stout is a dark black color that pours with little head.

S: Chocolate and sweet bourbon battle for prominence. Vanilla, oak and alcohol play a big role in the nose.

T: Vanilla beans and cocoa powder drive the flavor. Woody oak amplifies the vanilla. Roasted grains and coffee linger behind the bourbon. The range of flavors run their course in a short period of time, leaving only the dark stout elements in a short period of time. Vanilla does pair with the roasted flavors in the finish.

M: Lots of vanilla up front, this ale isn't afraid of its barrel origins. It doesn't taste like a 12% monstrosity.

D: While it doesn't weigh heavily on the taste, the 12% price tag is a tough one to really swallow. The bourbon is good, not great.

 788 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from brewcrew76 in an IP trade at DLD. Thanks, man! Into my snifter

A: Pours a jet black with a thin dark brown head that settles to a disk fairly quickly

S: Bourbon vanilla boozy goodness. Vanilla's a bit more prominent than I'd like - in fact, i'd have liked it if the Southern Tier Creme Brulee had this amount. In the back, there's some malt character, with a heavily roasted malts, almost burnt and acrid. Decent

T: Short of the Brewdog Paradox beers, no beer I've had has such a massive liquor quality. This beer is bourbon all the way - massive with a TON of vanilla. Some oaky sweetness. There's a little bit of chocolate and coffee in there somewhere but damn, this is all bourbon

M: There's a big enough body to this beer to go with the bourbon but the carbonation is a little higher than I'd like. The finish is long and boozy

D: This beer's an experience in booziness and everyone should try it. However, I'm not sure I'll be drinking my other bottle in a hurry - just too much bourbon - and this from someone who thinks the GI BCS is great as is.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with very dark brown and garnet highlights. No head at all, but a light string of fam that reminds me of people at Starbucks making cool shapes in your latte. The aroma is a warm brownie mocha. Lots of milk chocolate. The taste is warm throughout the whole palate. Lotsof creamy chocolate with the hops tricking you into thinking its 78% cacao. ery complex, malty beer. Great alcoholic warmt that integrates splendidly with the flavor profile.

 463 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a four-pack of this beer I'd never seen before during a September visit to Chicago & stuffed it into socks & shoes for the flight home. Was it worth it?

Well. This beer is definitely classified wrong - I believe it should be "Bourbon Aged in Imperial Stout Barrels" because holy bourbon-ass, man. The bourbon smell is overpowering, as is the taste, wiping out any trace of the brew. I think this could have easily been a bourbon barrel-aged hefeweizen & it wouldn't taste much different. Mouthfeel is flat, boozy, with no head & little in the way of carbonation. Couldn't drink more than one of these, & as is, I'd like to have about six ounces of it rattling 'round with a couple ice cubes in a tumbler. With some Ronnie Milsap on the radio & the screen door banging in the wind.

Not bad if you like bourbon, but too one-dimensional. I'll leave the others rest in their bottles for a spell to see if it moderates any.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Bung
2.91/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. From notes, 2008.
Dark brown/black pour. Rather dark brown head that disappated quickly. Boozy aroma, some roast malts. Taste was a little light, roast malt, caramel. A bit of tartness. Oak barrel comes through a bit as it warms. Finishes with too much alcohol. Definetely on the thin side as well. In my opinion the stout was not able to stand up to the barrel aging.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.64/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. No date or info.

My thanks go out to orbitalr0x for this brew. I didn't even know there was a brewery in Aurora!

A - It took a vigrorous, splashing tall pour to coax the finger-tall dark mocha head from the beer. Did the room get darker when I poured this? It's as black as ink. Moderate retention and a lack of lace from the head.

S - Slap-in-the-face strong oak and bourbon unleashes from this beer. Alcohol isn't shy one bit and it seems a bottle of soy sauce may have accidentally made it into the batch as well. Roasted malts are an afterthought and give the beer a little character beyond booze. I like the wood but the soy and hot alcohol need some taming.

T - Bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses hide helplessly behind an onslaught of hot bourbon, dry oak, and a disgusting soy finish. The first sip was a punishment to my taste-buds but somehow I worked up the courage to try some more. It's not so bad when you're expecting it...as if that's a good excuse.

M - This is surprisingly thin! It's more medium-bodied and very booze-rich but not solventy on the finish. Dry and acrid bitter but not too strong in that regard.

D - Sorry Don! I hope it's not an insult to you and the home-town boys, but I won't be finishing this one, but I appreciate the chance to try something new. The flavor is pure alcohol and I trembled with fear when I smelled the soy sauce as it sent my mind reeling back to the horror of Sam Adams Triple Bock. It seems that it was in barrels far too long or the original beer put in was incredibly weak. This needs some real work to hang with the bourbon-barrel-big dogs that dominate the market right now. Additionally, from a brewery that calls themselves "America's Brewing Co." (maybe there's history to this - don't know) I'd expect something a hell of a lot better.

 1,846 characters

Photo of gford217
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Elric73 poured into a Terrapin snifter.

Pours oil-slick black with a thin but dense mocha head that lingered for quite a while and left some very good lacing. The smell is bourbon all the way with only hints of malts and dark fruit behind the massive boozy aroma. The taste starts with bourbon as well but brings a little bit more to the party. There's some chocolate malts and dark fruits in there but the bourbon comes back in the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very good though a tad light for my liking. This is a nice bourbon barrel stout but could use a little more balance to be great. Thanks again to Scott for sharing this one.

 680 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of whartontallboy
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

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Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (Signature Series) from America's Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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