Bourbon Barrel Temptress
Lakewood Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel TemptressBourbon Barrel Temptress
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #20
Ranked #584
4.39 | pDev: 9.57%
Lakewood Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Bourbon Barrel TemptressBourbon Barrel Temptress
Notes: Everything you love about our Imperial Milk Stout, but boozier and nicely-aged. One could go so far as saying Bourbon Barrel Temptress is the "cougar" of milk stouts. A "MILF" stout, if you will.

Hints of vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, and roasted coffee intertwine for a boozy, dangerously smooth treat. Take your time with her and she'll reward you.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 301 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From notes, I didn't have it recently

Look: black with a fluffy mocca colored head

Aroma: It has a nice aroma of chocolate, bourbon, and caramel

Flavor: The flavor is sweet chocolate, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, significant bourbon. It's definitely like a dessert

Body/Overall: full body

Sep 01, 2021
Photo of 2late2brew
2late2brew from Texas

4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! There is a God.

Truly spectacular bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. Love first sight, rich dark garnet with Carmel head, lacing over brim. Served in 10 oz brandy snifter. Rich wood aroma with coconut and vanilla. Body is not thick but velvety and sinuous. Flavor, omg this things got legs and gears.... coconut, nutty rum hazelnut, and strong vanilla notes. Lots of warming alcohol, clean finish, good carbonation considering 11% abv. Very yummy rummy, highly recommend!

May 21, 2021
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high mocha-colored head that died down, leaving a collar of dark tan bubbles around the edge and lots of lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of milk chocolate.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the bourbon flavors are a bit stronger and run from the initial taste through the finish and also contribute hints of oaky vanilla.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The underlying milk stout provides a strong backbone and is capable of mostly standing up to the strong flavors of bourbon.

Note: 2020 vintage

Serving type: bottle

Apr 14, 2021
Photo of Hooded
Hooded from Texas

3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 1/18/2020.
On tap at WhichCraft Bottle Shop in Austin Texas and poured into a 10oz tulip glass.
The appearance is black with less than a finger of brown foam leaving a cap. 4.25
The aroma is medium in strength caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. 4.00
The taste is between medium and strong and dominated by bourbon. In support are chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. There's a strong bourbon finish. 3.5
The mouth feel is thick, silky, creamy with an astringent finish. 4.25
Overall, it's good and it needs more balance in the flavor. 3.50

Jan 27, 2020
Photo of jngrizzaffi
jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a very black color with a brownish hue. Head is virtually nonexistent. Lacing is good. Aroma of mainly bourbon with roasted malts and mild chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same but with a lot more bourbon. Heavy bodied with mild carbonation.

Jun 29, 2019
Photo of aatazebeats
aatazebeats from Texas

4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As of yet, (4/7/19) This is the greatest beer I've ever had. Can't quite bring myself to give it a 5, because anything could always be better... Pretty hard to beat in this case though.

Amazing smell. Smells like oak bourbon barrels, coffee, toffee, dark chocolate and vanilla. Tastes and feels like heaven. The taste is as described in the aroma, with a milky lactose sugar. Just the right amount of sweetness. Perfectly blended, with the barrel flavor not too overpowering, but just right. Very rich, creamy. Hides the 11% ABV very well. Dangerously well. I would recommend this to anybody. Bought it for $15.99 at my local HEB, and I can safely say it's worth every penny. The ultimate fine wine of beers.

4.99/5 - S+
Damn Near Perfect.

Feb 28, 2019
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.97/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Currently the #8 beer in the Top Texas Beers list.

PACKAGING/FORMAT: 650 ml brown glass bottle comes in a cardboard box, evoking a fine whiskey. 2018 vintage.

"Ale brewed with lactose sugar and vanilla aged in oak bourbon barrels." "Imperial milk stout." "100% barrel-aged." 1.091 OG. 34 SRM. 56 IBU. 11.3% ABV.

Served chilled into a nonic pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Head blossoms as it pours, yielding ~8-9cm height. Khaki-tan in colour. Frothy, luscious, creamy, robust, and flocculent. Coats the sides with even lacing as it recedes, which takes a good 10+ minutes...not too shabby for an 11.3% ale.

Body is an opaque solid black. I see no yeast/lees within.

Looks quite robust. A nice looking imperial (milk) stout, though a darker, richer, more gilded head colour and an ink black body would do it better.

AROMA: Bourbon aromatics are undeniable...toasted oak, scintillae of coconut, rich vanilla/vanillin. Gooey dark malts blend seamlessly with the thick bourbon aroma, promising a sweet beer that seems balanced by the toastiness of the oak wood. Dark fruits, lactose sugar, barrel sugars, maple sugar, treacle...there's a lot going on in this aroma.

I'm just hoping it doesn't come out too sweet. Suggests a beer whose base and barrel notes are on even keel. I find no off-notes, overt booze, overt hoppy notes, or overt yeasty notes.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high.

TASTE: Vanillin is actually the dominant note, immediately noticeable up front and staying through the finish into the aftertaste. It seems to actually mute the rest of the flavour profile, preventing the beer's flavours from really landing as well as they should. Depth of flavour is surprisingly poor as a result.

Has a sweet malt base but it isn't the teeth-eroding sweetness I always fear in a lactose sugar beer. Milk sugar, dark malts, chocolate malts, barrel sugars, heavy vanillin.

What really gets lost here is the toasty oak note the aroma promised, and I find its bourbon barrel flavours very lacking/barely present. Disappointing in a bourbon barrel aged has to wonder how long they aged it (I doubt it was even 1 year).

There are no bitter notes to help balance its coffee, roasted barley, chicory, charred/burnt malt, licorice/fennel/anise, etc.

Vanilla and chocolate just drown out any subtleties it might otherwise have.

TEXTURE: Smooth, rich, wet, unrefreshing, medium heavy on the palate, thick, chewy, coating. It's not too syrupy, but it does have a high viscosity which makes it less drinkable. I don't feel any boozy warmth as I drink it, and it seems to do a good job hiding its ABV flavour-wise as well.

Not astringent, oily, scratchy, or otherwise problematic.

OVERALL: I quite enjoy ordinary Temptress, but this just doesn't bring the bourbon barrel flavours it needs to to really help set it apart as a barrel aged stout. I can't imagine ever buying this again given the wealth of superior bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts that are both cheaper and more widely distributed (e.g. New Holland Dragon's Milk). Not the vast improvement on Temptress I hoped for, and not a beer that really commits to bourbon flavour.

Lakewood needs to pick a better bourbon to use barrels from, needs to age this longer in them, and needs to balance out the beer's sweetness with at least some roasted barley or charred malt flavour.

Judged merely as a milk stout and ignoring its bourbon barrel ambitions, it's a fine brew that's worth trying, but 650ml is a bit of a chore to drink given its sweetness and weight on the palate and it isn't worth the money at $12.99 USD a bottle. Nowhere near a top 10 Texan beer in my book, but I'd be lying if I said it was bad. Just consume it in 5oz pours and you'll probably enjoy it more.

C (2.97) / AVERAGE

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2016.

Pours opaque very near black. A half-inch tan head forms and quickly disappears completely leaving no lace. The smell is of milk chocolate, roasted malt, leather, pipe tobacco and subtle booze. The taste is dominated by chocolate with notes of oak, vanilla, roasted malt and lactose sweetness. Full texture with low carbonation. World class.

May 15, 2017
Photo of Rimbimhoot
Rimbimhoot from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vanilla, dark chocolate, light roast, lactose, oak, bourbon, dark fruit, light bitterness

Overall a nice example but I'm sure the adjuncts are necessary to help the flavor profile

Sep 17, 2016
Photo of Thankin_Hank
Thankin_Hank from Texas

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at Ron's Corner tavern. Revisiting. My local Bru City got a keg and I got a 64 ounce growler. 1/29/2020. Poured into a snifter and it's dark as night and had a short head. It smells like molasses, vanilla and sweet. Maybe some barrel too. I think the vanilla is strong, the oak is in there and the molasses taste not as strong as some. A dream to drink. It's not too thick or sweet. This is one of the finest I've ever had. I'm not a big fan of the Temptress Milk Stout but this Bourbon Barreled version is fabulous. I maintain my 5 rating.

May 05, 2016
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

20 oz. poured on tap at The Eskimo Hut, College Station, TX

L: dark brown (black with no light), clear around edges, minimal head on very soft pour but the beige/tan foam looks thick, slight sticking, keeps tight collar

S: super sweet ... brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, fruitcake ... whiskey but very sweet

T: sweet ... follows the nose with just a bit more of a toasted to burnt flavor, toasted oak, charred oak ... loads of molasses and burnt brown sugar and plenty of bourbon and vanilla ... has a definite alcohol warmth but no medicinal flavor

F: soft, enough carbonation to make it drinkable, very light, not nearly as slick, thick or chewy as normal Temptress

O: fantastic brew and no surprise, for the base beer is fantastic; it really takes the barrel and offers an awfully sweet version of our big American barrel-aged stouts, though the flavor has enough bitter/burnt flavor to help balance that sweetness

Apr 05, 2016
Photo of enrique_m
enrique_m from Texas

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look: dark as burnt motor oil and a cinnamon head.
smell: bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, and chocolate.
taste: bourbon, vanilla, coffee, molasses, and chocolate.
feel: full bodied, smooth, and a bit sweet.
overall: delicious.

Mar 13, 2016
Photo of Ri0
Ri0 from Wisconsin

3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 22oz bottle into snifter. Vintage 2014. Obsidian in color with a 1 finger khaki head that leaved behind some lacing. The first aroma I pick up is slightly tart akin to a cherry skin. There is also a sweetness to it along with some whisky. Surprisingly the flavor is not tart to begin, but more sweet malt and caramel with a vanilla and whisky flavor. A bit of tartness is in the finish, which I feel is more of the barrels used than the beer developing off flavors because this is almost 2 years old. Feel is on the thinner side of medium, but has nice carbonation. Overall it was flavorful and the light tartness did not detract from the overall taste.

Feb 14, 2016
Photo of donspublic
donspublic from Texas

4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into chalice. Minimal head, low carbonation. Smells of muted roasted malt and lingering bourbon. Taste of whisky, lactose smooths it out. Not the best barrel aged, but definitely drinkable.

Jan 30, 2016
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler from Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very bourbon forward on the nose. Smelled like Jim Beam. The body is a tad thin to carry the level of bourbon in this beer. Flavor is all bourbon. Char, oak, caramel, and hints of vanilla. Fairly hot.

Jan 25, 2016
Photo of TBoneJones
TBoneJones from Texas

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle:
Looks nearly black, small head and decent lacing.
Smells like bourbon barrel burn with black licorice and coconut.
Taste is sweet roasted chocolate, vanilla, black licorice with plenty of bourbon barrel heat. This is tasty stuff.
Feels full and chewy to me, a terrific balance.
This gets better the longer I sipped it, with more delicious milk chocolate coming through. This is a winning take on their already-fantastic milk stout. At over 11% abv, this is a slow-sipper. Dangerously drinkable if you enjoy barrel-aged stouts.

Jan 17, 2016
Photo of GreatStoutman
GreatStoutman from Texas

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 @ 11.3 abv... aged since yesterday, I couldn't wait any longer.

Open her up and its a classic bourbon barrel aroma, pours black with some reddish hues. Minimal tan head that dissipates quickly and doesn't leave much lacing. Get a lot of vanilla, probably some toffee and definitely some oak as it warms up.

Goes down smooth with no hint of bitterness or hops. This is all BB, and while I almost wish I tasted a little more of the Temptress base, I'm not upset about it. Savoring this one, and gonna let the other 3 bottles age for a while to see what happens.

Jan 10, 2016
Photo of cdharris
cdharris from Texas

4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Got a growler of this Thursday at Barley Hoppers. Took it to a New Years Eve party and I was the hit of the night. Great rich stout flavor. Bourbon aroma and taste is strong but not overpowering. Definitely for special occasions.

Jan 01, 2016
Photo of Tommo
Tommo from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 BBT on tap at lakewood growler. Dramatically similar to BCBS in flavor profile, and malt charecter; however much less sweet though thinner. People complaining its to thin dont realize its a IMS not IRS. Very good for the style i would say. Barrel character is present but not overwhelming. This year is very good, worth grabbing a bottle

Dec 18, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Vanilla, coconut, lactose, light oak and cherry skin. Balanced and smooth. Dry finish. As it warms completely a bunch of coffee notes come out to play. Delightful.

Jul 06, 2015
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One I've been trying to drink for a while, finally got to it. Thanks to HanksBeard (reddit) for this one, 2013 vintage.

Pours a nice creamy like fluffy 1 finger darker colored head that fades at a slower pace, tons of lacing everywhere, pitch black thick color.

Nose explodes all over, tons of dark chocolate and cocoa, little fudgey, little faint roast and coffee, then a little creamy lactose milk chocolate, very nice creamy vanilla, straight up vanilla as well as a mild vanilla barrel, with mild bourbon in the background, powdered cocoa and a little brown sugar raisin fruit note, hot chocolate, etc.

Taste brings lush creamy chocolate, milk chocolate and creamy lactose, with a little cocoa and fudge, and dark chocolate. A mild roast and coffee, roasty char, with a hint of brown sugar and caramel, a little caramel machiato coffee thing, and a little chocolate cake tiramisu thing. Some nice vanilla in there with straight vanilla and a little vanilla barrel, bourbon is very light though. No real booze, little sticky sweetness, mild powdered cocoa and super dark chocolate on the back end. Finish is sticky sweet, little more caramel, lots of super dark chocolate and cocoa, little caramel coffee and roast, mild vanilla too.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, a little sticky and syrupy with very little booze and nice carb, fairly creamy.

Overall pretty nice, great dark chocolate cocoa and lactose milk chocolate, nice vanilla but wish the bourbon was a bit more, pretty tasty and enjoyable.

Mar 14, 2015
Photo of dutesanch
dutesanch from California

3.27/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Maybe got a bad bottle or something. Not as flavorful or sweet as expected. I'm going to try another and amend the rating if needed. Slight tart finish also maybe from an infected bottle? The regular Temptress is really good but this one fell short. The bottle design and box are cool though. Will give this one a second chance in a day and rewrite the review if warranted.

Feb 27, 2015
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 bottle.

Appearance - Black body. Medium khaki head. Lots of surface wisping.

Smell - Lots of bourbon. Oak. Kinda nutty malts. Milk chocolate. A little lactose, but not a lot.

Taste - Chocolate up front. Lactose comes through too, which I don't love. Kinda nutty malts and some oak. Bourbon is much stronger in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Kinda sweet.

Overall - Better than I expected it to be, especially for a milk stout.

Feb 10, 2015
Photo of mschantz
mschantz from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the bearded lady in FW. Pours black as night- or at least in this light. Just a hint of discernible head that leaves a bit of nice lacing. Just a bit of vanilla beyond the obvious bourbon the nose, but to be fair my lack of patience did not allow this beer to warm appropriately. Taste was much more well rounded with nice cherry, raisen, prune, vanilla and dry oakiness rounding out the bourbon notes. Mouthfeel is almost slick.

Jan 06, 2015
Photo of jdshep
jdshep from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I did not receive the head or lacing I was hoping to get out of two pours.
The bourbon and coffee is strong with this one. In my personal taste, it was too much coffee for me. I also got some vanilla and caramel. With a nice warm sensation as a finish.
full review:

Jan 03, 2015
Bourbon Barrel Temptress from Lakewood Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 301 ratings