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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 152
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 StoneTSR
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
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 +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 SteelersX
2.96/5  rDev -11.9%
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 +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 seeswo
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
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 -6.5%
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 +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 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 like...open 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 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 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 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 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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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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