Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
pFriem Family Brewers

Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #650
Ranked #2,946
4.24 | pDev: 7.31%
pFriem Family Brewers
Oregon, United States
Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Notes: Imperial Stout was invented for Czar Peter the Great. pFriem's barrel aged version soaks an entire year, for roasted malt and cherry notes to make you feel like a monarch yourself!
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mschrei from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/1/20. Dark, mild head and lacing. Roasty dark malt scents with a warm barrel undercurrent. Taste is roasty with sweetness of chocolate and cherry, the barrel is subtly there. Medium bodied, booze is hidden. Pretty good.

Mar 14, 2021
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a small foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is decent. Strong bourbon aroma with roasted malts and cherries. Smooth, creamy, slightly roasty taste with cherries and bourbon. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Feb 19, 2021
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Pivopijak from Washington

4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle into glass (also draught in 2021)
2020 version
Fine bubbled, light brown head. Extremely dark brown with the evidence that it's brown, at the edge of glass, quite clear there as well. Dark chocolate, bourbon and maybe a hint of dried bing cherries in the aroma. Subtle nuances during taste, A slight bite from the heavily roasted barley, at start, with flavors of dark roasted grain and a touch of caramelized, nearly burned, malt. Finish trails off with that roast bite lingering to the end. Quite nice.

Jan 10, 2021
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/31/20. Poured at 50 degrees. Creamy khaki head; some cap retention; solid ring with some soapy lacing; black body with ruby see through; sufficient clarity under light to see chunks of white debris suspended; thick legs on swirl. Whiff of bourbon; roast malt; a little booze on exhale; otherwise, the aromas are faint. Light bourbon, bittersweet dark chocolate and roast malt; oak and some bitter roast malt middle; black licorice as liquid warms; cocoa nibs finish. Smooth soft feel; medium light body; boozy bite on tip of tongue; some face flushing warmth from 11% abv. Good balance between malt and barrel flavors, all of which are subtle and well integrated; very little sweetness; the debris field was unexpected and unappreciated; thin for abv; nevertheless, all in all, a very good tasting non-adjuncty BBA stout.

Jan 03, 2021
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into a goblet. 2020 release.

Looks okay in the glass. Black body. Small tan head shrinks to a ring and faint covering. No lacing.

Boozy vanilla aroma.

On tasting, quite sweet, vanilla notes, warm and strong.

Mouth between medium and strong, finish sweet warm alcohol.

Overall, stout aspect gets pretty lost. Enjoyable enough drink, but nothing special.

Jan 01, 2021
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dunkel_weizen from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 month old bottle into a snifter. Head is pale caramel, oddly weak retention, good carbonation. The color is pitch black and opaque as all hell. The smell is distinctly fruity: raisins, lemon, and some smoked oak. Mouthfeel wise it is thick, rich, syrupy, and silky, incredibly luscious. The taste is all mollasses, candied blueberry, caramel, coconut and chocolate cake, strong vanilla and, and some smoked cherries. Decadent indeed.

What a fantastic bourbon imperial. It is among the best I have had, if not the best. Incredible beer for special occasions.

Dec 16, 2020
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a nice bubble show that builds to a two finger beige head floating atop the espresso colored liquid; leggy, with dribbling lace

Smell: Very roasty, with chocolate, black bread, coffee and a hint of Bourbon

Taste: Strong roast flavors, up front, with black bread and chocolate; through the middle, the coffee emerges, along with just a hint of Bourbon; the finish seems slightly burnt

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation; slight warmth in the gullet

Overall: The first barrel-aged pFreim that has a mouthfeel up to the ABV; the flavors here are nice though I didn't care for the burnt finish

Thanks, The_Gingerbeard_man, for the opportunity

Oct 04, 2020
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BEER88 from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a solid non-adjunct BA stout! Nothing is over the top or overpowering! Very well balance of roast, dark fruit, and bourbon. Mainly raisins and when it warmed some chocolate showed up. Full body with a slick feel. Solid

Apr 27, 2020
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle

Pours opaque black, dark tan film for a head.

Smells of cocoa, coffee bean, walnut, pecan, molasses, and licorice.

Flavor is of cocoa, coffee, mesquite, caramel, toffee, pecan, and bourbon.

Full body, tingly carbonation.

Very good stout. Tastes great. Drinks pretty easy for the richness and body. Easy to like.

Jan 27, 2020
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an oily brown with a deep coffee colored head, slowly recedes into a murky layer of bubbles. Beautifully ponderous pour
Nose hits hard tobacco and oak notes for me. I'm reminded immediately of these whiskey soaked cigars my uncle used to buy. Also some surprisingly light fruit notes like pear
Taste leads with boozy raisins, the tobacco and oak notes are there as well but much more pleasantly subdued in the taste. deeper fig and prune flavors come in along with heavily roasted malt and subtle chocolate
Mouthfeel is thick but surprisingly crisp. Won't be pounding back a sixer of these anytime soon but it doesn't coat the tongue the way some bigger stouts do and it doesn't fall into the overly thin trap that many barrel aged offerings do, nicely balanced again
Overall this is another wonderfully constructed beer from these folks. Great clean barrel flavors and awesome big stout notes. Top notch

Nov 06, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coal-black body topped with a thin yet dense and creamy tan head; sticky rings of foam attached to the glass. Rich nose comprised of cocoa and bitter chocolate. Beautiful flavors of cocoa, milk chocolate and a gentle bourbon presence; some grain char; a twinge of bitterness mixed with some dark grain astringency. Heavy, silky body; viscous; residual sugars galore; a tad warm.

This pFriem offering constitutes another stellar offering from the brewery. They remind me somewhat of Denver's River North with how they deftly craft some fine dark beers. The balance of flavors and barrel aging are top-notch. A stellar example of tasteful (and tasty) dark ale barrel aged to perfection.

Nov 01, 2019
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage, bottled 12/14/15. 12oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured the expected solid black color with about 1/4 inch of tan head that had great retention and lacing.

As expected, bourbon at the front of the nose, but not so much that it overpowers the base beer. That base beer, had solid malts and the slightest touch of a floral note. Perhaps from hops, or maybe yeast? A slight touch of coffee and roast as well.

Pretty similar on the tongue. The bourbon and beer combine nicely, and there's a touch of wood.

The body was a touch thinner than I prefer in the style, smooth, even, and finished nicely dry.

Drinkability was very good, would certainly drink again.

Overall, a great beer. A must-try if you see it.

Sep 17, 2019
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Radcpa from Washington

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with minimal bourbon head. Aroma is a nice malt with a bourbon accent. Taste is also a very pleasant malt with a bourbon accent.

May 23, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a fluffy mocha colored head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like dark fruit and cherry, roasted malt, super roasty coffee, boozy bourbon, and oak.

This has a touch much booziness, but the big dark fruit flavor is lovely here. There's a lot of coffee type flavor, even with no coffee added, and a pretty big oakiness. The bourbon seems to be the carrier and originator of the big booziness here.

This is medium bodied and very creamy, with the feel of a definite slow sipper, as the boozy bitternes lingers a touch.

This has some nice notes, but I'd want a bit of the booziness toned down a touch.

Apr 08, 2019
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AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap 7/27/17 at the Tornado Bar in Seattle WA. Review from notes. Appears jet black with a medium sized head. Smells and tastes mostly of bourbon with some cocoa, vanilla, and barrel; the base beer's not coming through much. Moderate bitterness and dryness; a little boozy. Above average body and carbonation. Overall, this somewhat reminds me of a weaker flavored BCBS.

Jul 28, 2017
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braker649er from Washington

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sort of hard not to respect Pfriem. I've now seen quite a variety of styles from this stylish brewery, and across their spectrum, they appear to do it right. This particular bourbon-barrel stout was solid verging on excellent to me. Maybe seemed a little heavy-handed on the bourbon at the expense of the base, but the flavors all came together in the finishing taste. Also seemed just a touch of berry/wine hitting my palate late. Oh, and it looks quite nice, too--bottle, presentation in the glass--all around.

L - dark dark brown to black, with a not-insignificant head that was slow to withdraw
S - this wasn't the strongest aspect for me; hinted at this beer leaning heavy on the bourbon, less on the grain
T - I have nothing against good bourbon/oaky flavor, and this was quite prominent and enjoyable. For some reason, I yearned for a bit more deep grain, and just a touch more sweet. But the vinous tinge was a little different, too--giving this beer some distinctiveness
F - thick but not motor oil like some of its class; smooth and just enough carbonation
O - a damned solid bourbon stout; far above average but somehow just short of spectacular for me due to a trend toward the booze over the "beer"--that said, I can't help but like that booze, and this brew is more complex than many of its type, and it was just plain enjoyable in the end. Can't go wrong.

Apr 09, 2017
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Briken from Washington

3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black color and a foamy yet slightly frothy light brown head. Roasted aroma with chocolate, light bourbon vanilla, and oak. A biting, high roasted acidity and with a light bourbon vanilla finish. Foamy, dry feel and a long lingering bitterness.

Rather disappointed in this offering from Pfriem. Very strong roasted flavor dominates though it does begin to even out a little near the end. I do like that the bourbon barrel aspects are more subtle than other examples of the style.

Jan 24, 2017
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick but not cloying... sweet but not sugary... The barrel presence is right out in front and unapologetic, but I dig it... will probably become a bit more forgiving with time.. Right now, plenty of oak and vanilla with a bit of booze and melted bittersweet chocolate.. Perhaps a little rough around the edges, as it warms up it purrs like a pussycat.


Apr 26, 2016
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Archdukecollins from Washington

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pitch black with 2 fingers of khaki brown head. Sheets of lacing left throughout.

Aroma: Dark roasted coffee, dark fruit, cherries, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, bourbon

Taste: Right up front you get rich chocolate covered cherries and dark roasted coffee with hints of bourbon, vanilla and and coconut. Definitely has that distinct oaky flavor from being aged in bourbon barrels. Nice malty and sweet caramel backbone. The alcohol burn on the finish is so mild for an 11.5% bourbon barrel age stout. Very well made.

pFriem is consistently blowing me away. Their branding is on point, they put a bottling date on every beer, and everything I have tried from them has been delicious. This beer is no exception. It's awesome. If you can get your hands on this you really need to pick it up. It honestly holds its own with Bourbon County.

Feb 18, 2016
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Sir_Whats-his-face from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

The texture on this beer is awesome. The taste is solid with well-hidden ABV and a very strong barrel presence, but it doesn't separate itself from the pack the way most beers from Pfriem do. Like a lot of smaller breweries getting into BBA stouts for the first time, the bourbon flavor overpowers everything else in the beer.

Jan 24, 2016
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John_M from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 16 tons café today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is textbook bourbon BA RIS, as I pick up dark chocolate, light leather and tobacco, and then considerable coffee, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the dark chocolate and coffee dominating. There's plenty of bourbon character as well, which always brings a smile to my face. There's actually some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish, which seemed to lighten the impact of the sweetness and bourbon in this well crafted beer. Mouthfeel is fairly full, but the hoppy bitterness keeps things lively, and keeps the beer from being the least bit cloying or tiring on the finish (180 degrees from a GI BCBS experience).

Good beer, that's for sure, but there's really nothing that sets this apart from so many other bourbon BA impy stouts out there. Nothing wrong with that, but I've come to expect more from this outstanding local brewery.

Jan 23, 2016
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Moose90 from Washington

3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance — A dark dark brown color into the glass, with some cola and ruby red like edges to it, there is initially an incredibly tall and billowy head on top, though it does slowly settle into a thin and viscous head on top of the dark body of beer, leaving behind some spotty and sticky bits of lacing.

Aroma — An oddly vinous character is apparent initially, jammy red wine and tannic oak dominates a foundation of chocolate and caramel, there is a jammy and tart cherry character that was completely unexpected but not completely out of place. There is almost a bit of salinity to this, a light tangy note. All of this is balanced upon a dry and bitter espresso like body, the aromas just somehow work in harmony.

Taste — Whisky forward, almost Scotch like in the way that you perceive a touch of salinity intertwined with dry and fresh White Oak casks. Again there is a vinous and chewy red wine component, like a nice tannic bold red wine interwoven with a chocolate truffle and capped off with a boozy and sweet Port wine finish. This is rather unexpected for the style but it just somehow works in unison. The Bourbon barrel aging is very subtle, there is no overpowering sweetness or booziness. A fruity and complex imperial stout.

Mouthfeel — Bubbly and effervescent, prickly carbonation, almost Champagne like. A bit of an anomaly for a BA Stout.

Overall — This is a spectacular stout, although it does not conform to the norm. It brings a load of tart cherry and vinous character to the table, though I’m not sure if it intended to. I will gladly see how this develops. As it is now it is very chewy, vinous, tannic, ripe, lightly tart, and acidic on top of a worthy malt base, the salinity present in the barrels is actually quite nice.

Jan 12, 2016
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TheWiltChamberlainofipas from Oregon

4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

First off the price on this is so affordable I feel as if I'm stealing from them. Very much a barrel aged stout a bit of oak, smoke, vanilla, and bourbon. Not much in way of chocolate or coffee, but a nice dryness and very little alcohol burn.

Jan 03, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a fine one finger brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet dark toasted malt, milk chocolate, a hint of wood and lots of bourbon. Flavor is lightly charred dark malt, mocha, hints of vanilla, oak and mildly astringent wood; lingering finish of char, dark malt and light hop bitterness. Nice creamy body and mouth feel. A nice toasty stout with good char, coffee and chocolate flavors and a robust bourbon character. A little boozy and leans to the bourbon side, but there are plenty of good malt flavors to balance. The mouth feel is good, but it is quite highly carbonated, which is surprising in a thick stout. Flavorful and well bourboned. I like it.

Dec 30, 2015
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from pFriem Family Brewers
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 87 ratings