Token Bourbon Barrel Aged | Alpine Beer Company

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Token Bourbon Barrel AgedToken Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BdubleEdubleRUN on 09-02-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 152
Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with a friend at Chuck E. Cheese.

A-Nice dark caramel color. Gorgeous tan creamy head.

S-Caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, dark chocolate.

T-A little like chocolate milk at first, dark malts, toffee in the middle then the barrel kicks in, bourbon, char, vanilla and some coffee on the finish.

M-Medium bodied and SMOOTH!

O-Damm good beer.

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Photo of unseenbyyou
4.97/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared this with my brother in law on Saturday night...poured in a tulip served cold, but warmed as it sat out.

Beer of the year so far for me (and yes abacus and black butte 23 were a close second and third)

Divine beer! This is what barrel aging is supposed to be like. Ready to drink right now. We walked into the brewery a few months ago and asked the owner if it was ready, he kept holding off until it got the right kind of smooth...and it was. He's got the sensibility to release when it is ready, rather than have people buy and hold on to a bottle for 2-3 years to get the proper taste.

Barely any wood noticeable. A good smokey chocolate presence throughout. Minimal carbonation. Smell blew me away from the beginning. Anyone looking to learn what a stout or porter should smell up a barrel aged token if you're lucky. If not, I heard barrel aged odin's raven should be out within 2 months!

Barrel aged token is divine payback for having to put up with the traffic on Alpine Blvd.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.65/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nearly black with a reddish glow to it. Moderate cappuccino head that dissipates to a film, leaving silky lacing down the glass.

N- Tons of vanilla in the nose with a good amount of nutty toasted oak. Bourbon is soft and sweet with some milk chocolate mingling with it. Smells like a decadent dessert.

T- Oh yeah, milk chocolate with a hint of bourbon. Roasty malt and walnut oak to balance the sweetness. Tiny bit a grass as well. Vanilla comes out near the end and lasts into the aftertaste. The finish is fairly short and bittersweet. Aftertaste is mainly vanilla and walnut with a touch of oak.

M- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, with a bittersweet finish.

D- Overall, my biggest problem with this beer is the ABV. The way it tastes, I want to drink it from a pint glass and make a session out of it, but the alcohol starts to get to you by the middle of the second pint. This ain't no sippin' beer! I guess I'll just have to chug my bomber and cut myself off.

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.62/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at release. Pours a deep dark brown almost black with a large light tan head. Good lacing and a swirl revives. The nose is very appealing of chocolate, bourbon, roasted coffee, mAlts, and vanilla. The taste is Pretty big on bourbon but with not much heat, chocolate,cherry, vanilla, and coffe beAn. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with light car binational, surprising low heat for taste. Overall a great-bal aged porter I wish could have more of.

Review was on tap at release. Bottles that are now infected don't reflect this score

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Photo of rand
4.53/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From growler to nonic pint glass

A: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Token pours jet black, the way a porter should, with a fluffy off-white head, tightly bubbled. As the head recedes, a few polka dots of lacing remain.

N: The nose yields a subtle bouquet, marked by notes of vanilla and caramel. Some woody, bourbon-y smoke lingers, but just barely. Alcohol is almost completely masked.

T: At the front, lightly sweet notes of vanilla poke through, backed by a touch of citrus-twang. Chocolate follows, pushing up against hints of wood and resiny cherry. A wood-soaked bourbon-tone works as a backdrop, accenting the flavor-profile without supplanting. Remarkably, there's barely a trace of alcohol - of the beers I've sampled, this is the least boozy of its kind.

M: The brew is light on the palate, almost delicate, allowing the complex flavors to do their thing. Carbonation is relatively low, but appropriately so. The brew rinses clean after each sip.

I was never a fan of the 'drinkability' category, but right now I can't think of a better descriptor. Instead of penetrating and coating the palate, B-A Token touches and glides across your tongue. All the while, the bold 9.5% alcohol remains perfectly hidden.

Porters aren't always my favorite style, but this brew is so fine-tuned and spot on I could drink this all the time. I'm really hoping Alpine expands their campus and starts to make more of these fine beers on a regular basis.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taster glass.

A: Pours medium-dark coffee shade with light creamy khaki head which fizzles out shortly, and some lacing.

S: Roasty and nutty aromas are on the forefront, and sweet bourbon, oak, and mild vanilla in the secondary.

T: Strong creamy nuttiness (almond, peanut, and hazelnut), roasted character, vanilla, and pretty creamy. Alcohol is not really at all noticeable.

M: Medium-light body and light carbonation which tends towards the fizzy bubbles rather than smoother ones.

O: Tasty barrel aged porter, a little unusual in how nutty this tasted, but a nice light hand on the barrel treatment was muchly appreciated. A solid effort, but not out of this world.

11/04/11 update: Had this on tap at O'Brien's in SD, and it still tastes fine. No signs of diacetyl or sourness.

06/02/12 update: Had two bottles tonight that had been continuously refrigerated since the original release. Kind of a buttery mess, though there's still some roastiness. Not a complete drainpour, but close.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Alpine Beer Co. pub during the bottle release.

A - Clearish dark brown colored with slight mahogany highlights in the edges. Big, fluffy, lingering tannish head with lots of lacing.

S - Sweat malts, with a bit of chocolate and subtle vanilla and oaky barrel aromas. Little bit of the nuttiness shines through nicely.

F/M - Similar to the aroma, with the base porter flavors shining through rather nicely. Chocolatey, nutty, bready. There is a nice mix of bourbon flavor, but I expected there to be a bit more barrel character; however, the subtlety of the oak allowed the beer to be smooth and mellow right out of the gates. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Lingering rich chocolatey vanilla/nutty flavor long into the finish.

O - Tasty, smooth, and barrel aged. Again, I expected it to be a little heavier on the barrel characteristics, but it is still good stuff. I'm just glad to have some Token in bottles, let alone a barrel-treated version.

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Photo of Doodler
4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber (thanks Paul for bringing this back). Pours a dark brownish with a small creamy head. Aroma is sweet chocolate, caramel and malts. The taste reflects the barrel aging with bourbon, vanilla, coffee, dark fruits and roasted malts throughout. A bit hot but not overwhelming. Oily dry finish. Decent carbonation for a porter. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Zwanze Day 2011
Bottle Share
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Dark brown with dark cherry red and auburn edges. Light brown head and spots of lacing left down the glass.

Wonderfully aromatic barrel aged porter. Lots of vanilla and wood, complemented by roasted malt and rich chocolate. No one aroma is dominant; this comes together incredibly well to form a divine, balanced, rich aroma.

Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate combine with very mild vanilla and oak flavors from the barreling. This beer will not beat you over the head with bourbon notes, but they are there.

Surprisingly light bodied for the style with ample carbonation. I would prefer it to be a touch thicker, but this is a very minor complaint.

A delicious barrel aged porter. Fantastic!

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub

A- Beautiful mahogany color with minimal tan foam. No lacing to speak of.

S- Roasted malt and mild bourbon in the nose. Coffee and caramel.

T- Starts out semi sweet with notes of roasted coffee, caramel, and toffee. The bourbon sneaks in mid-palate, really enhancing the flavor without being hot. Sweet, mild booze and roast in the finish. Nicely done.

M- Feel is on the lighter side for a beer with this much flavor. Medium level of carbonation works well with the lighter body.

O- Another winner from Alpine. The elements of this beer are melded together with such skill that the 9+% ABV is completely masked by the wonderful roasty, sweet, bourbony flavor. Very subtle and refined. A pleasure to imbibe.

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Given the well-publicized infection issues, I was very concerned that i might have a Vesuvius on my hands but the cap popped with a loud pffft but then poured fudge brown and generated a two finger head; decent retention and lacing action

Smell: Well toasted brown bread, bruised apple and a splash of vinegar

Taste: Lactic tartness, from the outset, with sour fig, apple and prune tones building; oaky, with a touch of licorice and vanilla in the finish, but the sour element lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; slight pucker factor

Overall: I learned some time ago that all infections aren't bad but you need to give them time to see what develops; in this case, a very interesting beer has arrived and I am glad I held onto this bottle for a few years; if this one were released today, it would be trade bait

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Photo of srandycarter
4.17/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Almost pitch black, but really very dark brown when bright light shown on it. Small off white head, leave fast to ring. Some spotty cling lace.

S - Light choc chip cookiies, coffee and booze.

T - Amped up smell. More like fudgy brownies with a shot of Jack laced with vanilla. Coffee in background.

M - Medium to heavy. Oily, viscous, good carbonation. A little harsh on the vanilla and booze at finish.

D - Nice offering.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Riko, thanks!

A: Pours very dark brown with a small beige head that quickly fades.

S: Strong vanilla and caramel with a well integrated bourbon presence. Wood is pronounced. There's a dash of cocoa.

T: Lightly roasted with light bourbon in the flavor. Vanilla is faint and blends with caramel and a light roasted malt presence. Finishes with chocolate and a little oak. Mellow but good.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: If you're expecting a barrel presence like Great you'll be disappointed. This is much more mellow and subtle but still quite good.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Dan at a recent tasting, thank you Dan, this was a great surprise to see on the table when I arrived. For some odd reason this beer is not currently on the top American Porter list but it is on the "Top Beers - New" list at #61. Thanks again. I love a good Alpine beer, now who's going to send me some Bad Boy? Eh? Eh? Just tapped yesterday, anyone?

Beer is black with a thin lazy head with low retention, tan / off white, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, chocolate, fudge, vanilla. OK.

The bourbon doens't come through in this one as much as you'd expect drinking some many bourbon bombs these days but that is not necessarily a bad thing. What you have here is a solid little porter with heavy vanilla and chocolate notes that fill out this sweet little palate. I enjoyed it, even if I expected something boozier, this was a fine treat. Thanks again.

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Photo of Kshock
4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark black in color, with a good tan head. Retention was good and left some lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of chocolate up front, some lite vanilla in there too. Little bit of roast underlining the entire beer.

T- Chocolate is very apparent, vanilla comes through at the end. Very nice balance of flavors. The bourbon qualities are there but more subtle than most Bourbon barrel beers. i know this a 25% blend and not a full barrel aged beer. I think that gives this beer a great balance.

M- Med body

O- Very nice beer

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.07/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronados

A: Very dark brown in color with a 1/2 inch tan head and some pretty solid lacing.

S: Toffee, a bit of bourbon, coffee and some chocolate.

T: The bourbon leads the flavor, but it feels pretty restrained, allowing the lighter coffee, toffee and roasted malt flavors to shine. Mouthfeel is a bit too thin for me.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #3 of my trip

A- black body and little to no head

S-bourbon comes off and no butter what so ever. Very inviting and looking forward to it

T-starts off bourbony and melts into a Nice malt backbone

M-medium body and oh so smooth

O-talks of infection are not there wiwith this beer. Very solid

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black color, with a thin brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving a thick curtain of lace.

This beer smells of vanilla. I get a mild roasted caramel aroma also. Hints of bourbon are also detectable. I slight coffee aroma is present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Sweet caramel, with some oak and vanilla. Mild bourbon and coffee in the finish.

This beer is low in carbonation. It is full bodied and smooth. The alcohol is well hidden throughout this beer.

I doubt this beer would make a great session beer. It is too high in alcohol.

Overall: I dont get any hints of the infection others have noted. Maybe I am just lucky? Either wat, I liked it and would buy it again.

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Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let this warm some out of the fridge first. Poured a huge, thick, tan, creamy, foamy, somwhat frothy head that slowly settled and some lace. Color is an almost opaque (in thin part of glass, it's clear mahogany), brown black with red notes. Aroma is malt, roast, butterscotch, burnt sugar, cookie dough. Flavor's very similar to nose; sweet and carbonic tang on top, followed by the other stuff. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is very close to taste with alcohol warmth. Not bad; especially for cool temperatures. Be fun to cook with too.

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Photo of N17shelfside
4.02/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review comes long after I drank this beer and I drank my stock of them as soon as I knew they were infected. I have to say the infection actually did some interesting things with this beer. The fresh version had been blended with regular token which already made it a watered Down version, but the infection brought out some interesting favors to go with the bourbon. This has led to my interest in a rare style of Brett bourbon aged beers like some anchorage offerings that I think purposefully carry this style off really well, even if alpine didn't mean it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan!

The beer is dark brown, with a thin, beige cap that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of bourbon, oak, roast, vanilla, toffee, caramel. The flavor is decent, dominated by bourbon and oak. Vanilla, toffee, and caramel flavors play a supporting role. This beer is pretty sweet, so a small snifter sized sample is just right. The feel is smooth and buttery, with appropriate carbonation. Overall, a tasty beer. I would have it again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/02/11 notes. Big thanks to Nugganooch for another Alpine beer. Poured into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of a ton of vanilla, roasted malts, butter, oak, chocolate, and light bourbon. Smell is very vanilla-y and very sweet. The wood is there too, but not a ton of bourbon which is disappointing. Still like it, but a step down from the taste.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, toffee, chocolate, coffee. Again, very sweet and a little buttery, but a little more bourbon the nose. A ton of vanilla again.

m - Full body and low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a good BA porter, but considering most of the beers I have had from Alpine I was a little disappointed. It is very sweet and has tons of vanilla in the nose and taste. I also would have liked a little more bourbon, especially in the nose. Great mouthfeel...would like to get a nother bottle to hold onto for a bit and see if the sweetness subsides.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both SDDanC and BdubleEdubleRUN for this beer (one more in the cellar). Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark brown, almost black color. About a finger of mocha colored head.

Smell – Slight bourbon, vanilla, quite realistic toffee, chocolate, and some buttery aromas oddly.

Taste – As much as I love Alpine, I feel this beer is a bit off. Not nearly as much bourbon as I was hoping. Some nice chocolate and vanilla flavors mixed in with a decent amount of buttery flavor that detracts from the beer. I get no tartness that some were describing though (thankfully). A hint of roasted bittersweet malt come sin at the end.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, a hint thin, spot on carbonation.

Overall – A bit disappointing to be honest. A couple of the flavors were just off and I am struggling to finish this bomber.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a small, thin brown head. As the head slowly fades it leaves a decent amount of thin lacing.

Aromas begin quite fruity, with a large amount of Brett infection. As I further examine I get smells of vanilla and a mild roasted caramel. Hints of bourbon are also detectable as well as slight coffee. Definitely infected though.

The tastes begin with dark malts, toffee and butterscotch, with some sour dark cherries there as well. Finish has some light coffee and espresso notes alongside the butterscotch and tart berry and cherry fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is roasty and dry and tart. Light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Quite sour on the palate with hints of bourbon in the finish.

Overall, although this was infected and the version I sampled is nothing what the brewer intended it to be, I still enjoyed it. Judging it blind I would say it reminds me of a porter with Brett or maybe what I assume Tart of Darkness tastes like. Not amazing and probably not worth seeking out as this batch is clearly infected.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark red brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, wood, and butterscotch. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The barrel really manifested itself nicely in this brew. However the taste of butterscotch gives me some slight concern on this one... The aroma was quite nice for the style and one of the better ones I've come across. Just wish that the flavor would have followed suit... Still a definite must try for any beer fan out there.

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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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