Token Bourbon Barrel Aged | Alpine Beer Company

Token Bourbon Barrel AgedToken Bourbon Barrel Aged
Liked This Beer
3.23 w/ 151 Ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of thagr81us
3.84/5  rDev +18.9%
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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Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
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 ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +54.8%
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 Kshock
4.1/5  rDev +26.9%
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 oline73
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours nearly black with a little light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and a bit wine like. There is some roast, but dark fruit and alcohol dominates.

Taste: At least I can pick up some bourbon here. There is a sweet tart flavor that reminds me of red wine. A bit buttery. Some vanilla, but not much roast. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not really what I was looking for here. Not necessarily bad, but a bit too sour.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, spycow! Poured into tulip.

A - Pours dark brown, tan-colored head, thin ring, spotty lace.

S - Where's the bourbon? Very fruity, buttery, molasses. No real roast, oak, chocolate, and the typical notes you get from an American Porter. As previously stated, the bourbon is basically nonexistent and everything else is overpowered by this weird fruity sweetness.

T - Sweet malty notes, the fruit is there as well, tart. Not much oak, chocolate, or roast. Disappointing.

M - Medium body, high(er) carbonation, dry finish.

O - Not what I was hoping from this one. The bourbon barrel must have changed this one for the worse...not sure what happened here. Anyway, not my cup 'o tea in the least. Can't recommend...the first time I've ever said this about an Alpine offering.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +27.6%
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 MasterSki
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for seeking this one out. Served in a Bruery tulip.

A - A finger of foam settles to a thin collar, splotchy lace and a few wisps on top. The body is a dark brown color.

S - This is not what I expected - reminds me a little of Lawson's Maple Barrel Fayston's. Buttery, with light maple, chocolate bark, graham cracker, Werther's candy, and a strange musky aroma. Some fruity notes - not much bourbon flavor here.

T - Taste is again very buttery, with milk chocolate, whoppers, lightly chalky soda water, and some oak character in the finish. Again - not much in the way of bourbon. There's a lightly tart note in the finish - I'm concerned this may be infected.

M - Medium body that seems a touch thin for 9.5%. A bit overcarbonated, and otherwise quite dry and tannic. Alcohol is well-masked.

D - Strange beer - took me a while to work through my pour. Either this is extremely fruity and buttery or there's a nascent infection developing. Not bad, but not something I'm anxious to revisit either - finished my pour and moved on.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +21.7%
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 Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mdfb79. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a short light tan head and some spotty lacing. The nose carries a bit of light bourbon plus a good dosing of vanilla and oak. Flavor has slight bourbon plus chocolate. Oak and vanilla dominate. The barrel character is heavy, but not too dominant on the bourbon. Body is medium-heavy with light oak. Good character throughout. Pretty tasty. Thanks again, Dan.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +23.8%
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 srandycarter
4.17/5  rDev +29.1%
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 Sideswipe
4.2/5  rDev +30%
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 StoneTSR
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ren for this one!

APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black, with a few rays of red light sneaking through the bottom of the glass when held up to the light. The head quarter-inch, off-white head dissipates rather quickly leaving a couple of wisps of foam on the surface of the beer.

SMELL: The aroma is immediately noticeable upon cracking the bottle and provides the intense smell of bourbon and hops. Upon closer inspection a hefty dose of wood and bitter, dark chocolate round out the nose.

TASTE: The dark chocolate from the nose sweetens and hits the palate right off the bat along with a bit of smoke. There is not nearly as much bourbon flavor as the nose would indicate and instead there is a fruity tartness that finishes off the beer.

MOUTHFEEL: The Bourbon Barrel Aged Token is slightly puckering and a bit oily. Some sparkle develops towards the end of the sip as well.

OVERALL: Not bad, but the tartness is a bit overpowering. The lack of bourbon flavor is also a disappointment, however, it is still worth picking up a bottle and trying it out.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.2/5  rDev +30%
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 SteelersX
2.96/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Pete in San Diego.
I really appreciate him picking this up and sending it to me. I love Alpine beers and Pete is a great guy.

The appearance is nice and it has a thin layer of foam that lasts the entire glass. The color to me was a little more brown ale than dark porter but no ding for that. Maybe the intention was brown porter.

The aroma is average. Sugary smell with a very small hint of alcohol and a major vegetal aroma. Not at all what I expected.

The flavor – more vegetables – dominates the flavor – also burnt brown sugar. Like some green vegetables were cooked and burned in brown sugar. Very sweet flavor with no hint of hops.

Overall it may sound like I hated it but it wasn’t bad. I finished the bottle but at 9.5% I wished it was more like 6% to save my sobriety.

Very VERY glad I got to try this beer but a tad disappointing.

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Photo of Doodler
4.25/5  rDev +31.6%
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 seeswo
3.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brownish color with some small bubbles. Cam said buttered popcorn and the power of suggestion totally ruined the experience. Smell is that buttery diacetyl over the top of sweet malts and very mild vanilla and bourbon. The taste is the same deal - buttery roasted malts. Super mild bourbon. Touch of vanilla. Comes off a touch nutty. A bit of a light hand with the barrel. Not really my favorite at all. Good medium body, lower carbonation. This was a decidedly average beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well, I hate to be the first one to knock this beer but....
Thanks Chris for opening this the other night.

Pours a nice reddish brown. Very pretty. Not much head but some nice bubbles clinging the edges of the glass.
Smells like a butter bomb. Some sweet malts and light vanilly bourbon peaking through but its mostly just buttered popcorn all the way. Same butter aromas I have gotten off Duet and Pure Hoppiness before. Tastes similar... huge butter... its almost like the butter bourbon I get of some other barrel aged beers but with the butter enhanced. Would go great at the movie theatre. Well carbonated but the butter kills this one for me. Sorry Alpine, I love you guys but this one just didn't cut it...

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.32/5  rDev +33.7%
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 unseenbyyou
4.97/5  rDev +53.9%
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 +44%
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 HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +27.6%
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 rand
4.53/5  rDev +40.2%
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 domtronzero
4.3/5  rDev +33.1%
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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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 35.1% out of 100 with 151 ratings
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