Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch AleBerkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
Liked This Beer
4.3 w/ 136 ratings
Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch AleBerkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by connecticutpoet on 11-15-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 136 |  Reviews: 113
Photo of mcallister
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous ruby colored elixir with a great thick and creamy tan head that can hold its own for minutes and then some leaving very thin sticky lacing where it once stood.

Sweet caramel malt aromas lead into peaty aromas and then hints of vanilla, bourbon, oak and berries. Some dark fruit aromas shine through than a hint of brown sugar.

Very tasty brew here. Not enormously complex but that is still a large amount of happenings occuring in this treasure. Hints of alcohol and bourbon bring out the vanilla accents of the oak. The smoked peat flavor hits on the mid palate and scarecly carries through to the finish. Toffee sweetness and caramel with a bite of milk chocolate and dried berries follow up on the finish.

Round and creamy mouthfeel, a really soft elegant beer that is a great sipper on a snowy day like today. About 3 or 4 inches already.

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Photo of genog
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to sudsdog for getting me this one!

Poured a cloudy, amber/brown color with a creamy and frothy light colored head. Very little lacing remains and the head mostly disappears from this one. Aroma is very strong on this one with some sweet malt that is overpowered by a delicious cask aroma with all the vanilla bourbon notes, with a little boozy barleywine type raisin as well. Taste is a little sour, followed by some bourbon sweetness. Mouth feel is creamy and light allowing the bourbon to be soaked in.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple bottles at Julio's

Pours a deep dark ruby with a modest two finger off white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lace on the sides. The smell is all bourbon with a faint malt smell as it warms. Taste is a malty scotch ale with some fig and lots of bourbon. Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky. I love bourbon so I scored this one high. Its a great little sipping beer, very well done.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice looking deep brown colour with hints of amber throughout. The head is mid-sized to smallish and has a light cocoa colour to it.

The aroma has a nice bit of a bourbon kick to it, but it's certainly nothing that's overpowering or distracting. There's some vanilla here along with a bit of caramel malt and a slight hint of wood.

Flavour is very nice and balanced for a barrel aged ale. I usually find an over-abundance of flavour from the barrel aged brews which means a great lack of balance, but not here: vanilla blends well with the bourbon flavours up front and mixes with an earthy malt and wood notes toward the finish, along with a slight hint of smokiness. Alcohol is well masked throughout. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good bit of slickness it it.

I've never been a huge barrel aged brew fan, but they are growing on me for sure, and this offering from Berkshire is one of the reasons why. As long as breweries don't over do it with the flavours from the barrels and/or blend them properly with other flavours, they work well, and this one is no exception. If you are within driving distance of Julio's in MA (the only place this one is available), stop in and pick some up. Well worth it.

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Photo of mbrandon2w
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.
Appearance is a hazy, dark brown...not overly appealing really. Aroma is very nice: toffee, caramel, vanilla and whiskey. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, a surprisingly easy sipper.
The taste is exceptional. A blend of vanilla and caramel hits up front with a warm, whiskey finish at the end. The 9.2% alcohol is very well-hidden in the taste, but you definitely feel its effect towards the end of the glass.
Wish they had this all winter long

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Photo of AdamB84
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer was aged using the 4 bourbon barrels that were hand picked by the Julio's staff from Buffalo Trace Distillery (Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Pappy Van Winkle 15, and Weller). It was then blended to create Julio's own Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale.

Bought a case of this very tasty brew. Only a few here it goes

A: Pours a dark, hazy brown with hints of red. Little to no head

S: Strong aroma of bourbon and vanilla with a little bit of wood.

T: Amazing taste, very malty and creamy. Hints of caramel and vanilla. An amazing blend, blended to perfection. From experience with other barrel aged beers (mostly Jack and Jim) there is a very pungent taste, but you can tell that the barrels were from very taste bourbons. Not overpowering at all.

M: So smooth, silky, creamy. Amazingly smooth.

D: Very well balanced and very tasty. Such a great taste and so smooth and silky body. Could definently have a few of these

Overall this beer was amazing the texture and aromas from the beer was amazing. You could definently tell that by using such higher quality barrels makes this beer! Congrats Joe and the rest of the guys at Julio's!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer produced exclusively for Julio's liqours. Aged in four different types Buffalo Trace Bourbon casks, and blended.

Pours hazy, dark amber with a reddish hue. A straight-down pour allowed a half-inch head of finely beaded beige to rise up.
Some light lacework of mostly dots cling to the glass, and a partial, whispy skim-coat sticks to the surface of the brew.
Aromatics are pungently bourbonized.
Oak-laced whiskey and semi-sweet, sticky malt interplay very well.
There's no mistaking the barrel-aging. Plenty of Buffalo Trace aromas but not overbearingly. Nougat and vanilla step forward in the finish as the nostrils warm.
Mouthfeel is medium at best, but sticky and creamy. Carbonation is extremely fine and spot on for the complexity of the brew.
The pallet is loaded with scotch ale character, but not of the sickly sweet school of scotch. Well attenuated, but still has plenty of carmelized malt and a hint of smoke.
The barrel aging is well balanced on the pallet, less overwhelming than expected from the nose.
The bourbon, malt, oak, and vanilla all meld very well for such a big brew. Hints of peat and charcoal run late on the finish.
Quite warming but very smooth.
Quality barrels definately get kick this beer up another notch.
A testament to the art of barrel-aging and blending.
I'm sure cellaring for years will continue to meld and mellow this ringer.

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Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured an opaque ruby brown body with a thick pillowy white head.

Nose is a immediately dominated by a sweet and very strong bourbon, bourbon barrel and wood smell. Very sweet and almost fruity bourbon. Strong waves of a syrupy caramel sit right beneath the woody surface and surprisingly never get lost in the wood smell. Mild touches of vanilla and even some milk chocolate commingle with the caramel smell.

Taste is medium to full bodied with a surprising creaminess in the body. Dry bourbon barrel wood, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, toffee and oak. There's an amazing fruity and sweet bourbon character in this beer. This ain't no gut-rot liquor taste, you can really tell it's been aged in a quality bourbon. There are faint touches of milk chocolate and even some fainter touches of cracked coffee beans. Bitterness and hop flavor are kept to a minimum with only enough bitterness to give it some mild balance. Alcohol is so well hidden in the bourbon taste you could easily think this beer was only 4% or 5%. Ends very smooth with a rich caramel and wood finish.

I've always enjoyed Berkshire, but never been blown away by their beers. This however gives me a whole new respect for BBC. This is easily one of the best oak aged beers I've ever had.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, hazy brown with hints of red. No head and practically no lacing. A little bit of carbonation is evident.

S: Oak, vanilla, bourbon all come through in the mix. Nicely blended.

T: This is fantastic. I've never been a fan of scotch ales, but this one may have won me over. The bourbon is definitely present, lending a nice kick to it. The oak is also definitely a strong factor, with shades of vanilla coming through in a wonderful manner. This is damn good.

M: Smooth, almost a hint of creaminess to it. But just smooth, from start to finish.

D: Despite the high ABV, this is a delicious beer, very well balanced and very tasty. I could definitely drink this over and over again!

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

occasionally I'll hear of a beer and splurge site unseen, reviews unknown. this was one of them. I drove to Julio's (3 hours round trip) and stocked up on beer, this as well. suffice to say I should've bought twice as many as I did.

A - slightly hazy deep burgundy with a long lasting incredibly thick tan head

S - first wiff off the bottle - strong bourbon. first wiff off the glass once the head settled down - moderated silky bourbon, oak, vanilla and sweet underlying caramel malts

T - bouron notes, vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel round out an amazingly well blended taste. each flavor seems to compliment and blend with the other in a sweet symphony tastes.

M - medium - full bodied, creamy smooth, nicely carbonated, heavenly aftertaste.

D - So smooth, so well put together that it belies the 9.2% abv. Satisfying and one of those great beers that makes you look forward to each sip and regret reaching the end.

Did I mention as well that my hat goes off to them for avoiding the jim beam barrels? Even the choice of barrels for aging this has created a recognizable yet distinctive taste.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Julio's Liquors email newsletter:

"Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors
by Berkshire Brewing Company

This beer begins with the rich malty taste of scotch ale then aged in 4 unique bourbon barrels!


The beer was aged using the 4 bourbon barrels that were hand picked by the Julio's staff from Buffalo Trace Distillery (Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Pappy Van Winkle 15, and Weller). It was then blended to create Julio's own Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale!!"

This beer was medium brown and very hazy, with a two finger creamy head consisting of very small bubbles. It subsided slowly, to a thin layer of foam that refused to go away..

Upon opening, the air around me was filled with the wondrous scent of bourbon, sweet and smooth.

The aroma was a tremendous malt bomb, with notes of dark fruits and brown bread, earthy and slightly sweet. A persistent bourbon overtone lingered.

The taste was sweet dark fruits and rich dark malt, with a hint of toffee. Oak tannins were prominent, and the flavor of bourbon tied it together VERY well.

Mouthfeel was incredibly smooth, Carbonation was minimal, but present.

Drinkability... OMFG this stuff goes down so easily, it is dangerous!!! It doesn't act like a high ABV going down, but a few moments after swallowing an amazing warmth spreads out from my belly.

I talked to Joe, the beer manager, about this beer. I picked up six. They may do this again with another beer, if this goes well. From what I have tasted, this is an unmatched success. I had BBC's Jack Daniels Imperial Stout on tap, and it was wonderful... but this blows it away with its smoothness and ease of drinking.

Damn, I am glad I work near Julio's, even though it's a hell of a commute.

Guess what, Joe? I did review it first!

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Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Beer rating: 94.1% out of 100 with 136 ratings
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