Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
pFriem Family Brewers

Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #615
Ranked #3,190
4.24 | pDev: 7.08%
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: 16 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Cylinsier
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.

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Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
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

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Photo of beergoot
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.

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Photo of beertunes
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.

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Photo of Radcpa
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
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.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
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.

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Photo of braker649er
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.

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Photo of Briken
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
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.


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Photo of Archdukecollins
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.

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Photo of Sir_Whats-his-face
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.

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Photo of John_M
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.

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Photo of Moose90
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.

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Photo of TheWiltChamberlainofipas
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from pFriem Family Brewers
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 73 ratings