Bishop's Barrel 3 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Bishop's Barrel 3Bishop's Barrel 3
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 170

Russian Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. Imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels with molasses.
Bishop's Barrel 3Bishop's Barrel 3
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 170
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out pitch black with very little to no head. Whiskey, chocolate, coconut, vanilla and cherries. Wishing it was a bit thicker, but overall it's delicious.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a trade with Cisco! Dark brown, nearly black pour with a one finger caramel-colored head that fades quickly with decent lacing. Big boozey bourbon nose with hints of vanilla, molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa, and espresso. The taste follows suit with the bourbon once again the star. Lots of molasses along with hints of chocolate fudge, cocoa, toffee, espresso, oak, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and mouth-coating with perfect carbonation and a velvety smooth, subtly sweet finish. Overall, this is right up there with my favorite barrel aged stouts. Bold and flavorful and incredibly drinkable for such a big beer. Highly recommended!

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Photo of dar482
4/5  rDev -8.7%

The beer comes in black with lots of carbonation.

The aroma is extremely bourbon forward with vanilla, caramel, oak, sweetness. Hints of the chocolate and the roasted stout in the back.

The flavor follows with that pop of sweet bourbon up front. Some molasses and vanilla in the middle as the beer offers some bitter chocolate and coffee in the middle. The stout is quite hidden though as bourbon dominates the beer, not necessarily in a burning and abrasive manner. Oak dries out in the back end.

A bourbon forward imperial stout, with good flavors throughout. However, a thin mouthfeel and imbalance of bourbon and stout are not what I look for.

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Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Daniel at Cottonwood for this one.

Pours a tan head. Color is a copper hued black.

Flavor profile: Very similar to BB #1. A lot of roasted malts and coffee. Chocolate and cocoa. Vanilla with a heavy dose of bourbon. Some caramel and brown sugar. Molasses. Very malty.

Mouthfeel: roasted, but creamy. Medium to full bodied. Good carbonation level. Ends with bourbon notes.

Overall, an awesome beer that was very similar to BB #1. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of OneEye78
3.71/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into snifter. Was dark black with very thin brown head. Smelled of a very strong bourbon flavor with some additional vanilla and oak aroma. Taste was dominated by bourbon heat with a powerful molasses finish. The molasses amplified the bourbon flavor, and I found this taste really overpowered the beer and was too sweet for my taste, with more heat than I generally like. The mouthfeel was definitely substantial, almost sticky owing to the sugary flavor. I was pretty underwhelmed on the whole. I think it could have used a bit more balance, and the molasses didn't seem like a good pairing with the bourbon barrel aging.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at Meddlesome Moth in Dallas.

A - Dark black with a thin layer of light brown head that reduced to a ring.

S - Charred oak, sweet bourbon and vanilla, roast, chocolate fudge, sweet molasses. A wonderful nose!!!

T - Roast, sweet molasses and chocolate truffle notes intermingle with barrel qualities of charred oak, bourbon and vanilla.

M - Medium to full body; a touch watery for the style.

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Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a moderate head that settles to rim bubbles. Near black color where no light shines through. Some blanketing lace that slides down the glass.

Okay, I think this is off--I smell sour mix and Southern Comfort. In short, this is mostly sweet with a touch of sourness. It's a bit like a punch, the alcoholic kind, to the nose.

The flavor is amazing. There's cherry, Bourbon and vanilla. The swallow features a lot of alcohol with a back of the throat strong cherry/brandy flavor. Spritzy carbonation but there's plenty of body to support it. No burnt elements like most stouts--this far sweeter. It could pass as a Barley Wine.

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Photo of macher0
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this at the Bearded Lady in Ft. Worth. It poured black with little to no head. A strong fragrance of bourbon, dark malts, vanilla, and bitter coco. The taste followed the nose with a very strong bourbon aftertaste. It was not nearly as smooth as the big boys of ba stouts but still very good. This is certainly the best beer I've ever had from St Arnold. I certainly recommend this ale if you have a chance to get one.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally cracked open the only bottle of this I was able to get my hands on. Thanks to my best friend Mark N. for thinking of me!

I let it warm up to about 50 degrees allowing the head to settle. I used a tall tulip shaped glass giving me a chance to savor the nose.

The pour is a beautiful midnight black that is as dark as the Devil’s soul. It has a frothy head that is very tan and almost as creamy as shaving cream in appearance, the lacing down the glass that is broken and smooth clumping that lingers on the glass.

The nose is sweet bourbon/malt with almost no hints of hop, lots of caramel, vanilla, chocolate and cardamom notes in there.
The flavor is, well frankly, spectacular. To qualify, I have not yet met a bourbon that I would ever want to drink again. Bourbon just doesn’t excite me like a 50 year old Messias vintage port will. Now I use Bourbons in my cooking very frequently and savor the delicious notes it pairs with the likes of Italian Parmesan Butter, Homemade Worcestershire sauce from Revival Market and Basil Hayden’s Kentucky bourbon (Add a dash of powdered Habanero and Sea Salt); this combination is somewhat orgasmic when paired with a perfectly aged steak. But I digress…

That said this beer is AMAZING!!! I love the bourbon overtones in this beer. The presence is undeniable and extremely prevalent, even dominating, but the tones of an Imperial Stout are there too and perfectly blended. A pairing far braver than I would typically try, and I am very adventuresome when it comes to pairing flavors. The flavors of the bourbon are somewhat buttery, savory when very distinctive notes of oak and fructose. There are notes of apples, vanilla, darkest chocolate, nutmeg with a slightly hoppy and bitter bourbon finish.

The mouth feel is more watery than what I was expecting considering this is an imperial stout. I was expecting a much more viscous beer. However, I am not disappointed. I am more surprised by the complexity this beer brings to my sense of smell and my palate.

I can clearly see that this beer just is not likely to be feasible for the mass-market type of production one might like to see and we are likely to never see it’s likes again, that is very sad. This is an excellent brew. The only good news I have is the fact that I least got my hands on one bottle and was able to truly enjoy it.

Now it’s time for some GTA V.

Don’t Drink & Drive unless it’s GTA-V!

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Photo of grifter51
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black in color this is a stout that has been aged in bourbon barrels. The smell of bourbon, and chocolate is readily apparent. It pours with a light head and good effervesence. The bourbon and chocolate hit you after you first taste it and stay through the experience. It is a very strong beer (11+% ABV) but is outstanding in that it gets better as your glass warms slightly. The bourbon becomes more pronounced in the odor but never overwhelming. A great beer for those who also like "a beer and a shot".

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Photo of zonker17
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At six years this is still boozy and enjoyably hot. Poured to sifter, near black, a finger of tan head with ring of retention, minor lacing. Nose a sweet blend of bourbon, oak and molasses. Taste brings forward vanilla, molasses, along with the heat. Medium heavy body.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.99/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

My father picked this beer up in Dallas on a trip from work and brought back a few to share with me. The aroma is something that I could smell all day. Seriously, they should make a candle. The taste is incredibly smooth and complex. Every sip I pick up on different flavors. Overall, one of the best beers I've ever had. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on a bottle.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz, 5/01/13
JK snifter

A: Pours a deep reddish brown leading to opaque black. Not as thick as expected. Half finger of light tan tight bubbled head. Fizzle of high carbonation.

S: Big vanilla, booze and oak. Overpowers to dark chocolate and roast.

T: High carbonation, prickles the tongue for a ris. Getting nice vanilla and bourbon flavors. Dark chocolate. Booze heat down back of throat. Finish is long and lingering.

M: Full bodied. But high carbonation.

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Photo of acevenom
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours black with a thin, quickly dissipating tan head. There are some visible rising bubbles along the side of the glass. I get bourbon in the aroma with oak and vanilla. I get some sweetness in the aroma from the alcohol as well as some dark fruits and chocolate. The flavors in this beer are just delightful. I'm getting those barrel notes with the vanilla and bourbon. The chocolate and dark fruits also come out here. What is nice is the bourbon barrel notes don't overwhelm the flavors of this beer. The main knock against this beer is the lighter body, but this is only a minor gripe. While this beer isn't full bodied, it's moderate carbonation and medium, creamy body only help make this beer easier to drink. At 11.5% ABV, this is a bit dangerous. The alcohol also provides a nice warming effect to this beer and I can imagine this would be very delightful on a cold winter night. This is an excellent beer. Definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of champ103
3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color with a bit of brown/ruby around the edges. A two finger tan head forms, and recedes quickly to a ring. Light lace.
S: Plenty of barrel aroma. Wood, vanilla, and syrupy molasses. Vanilla sweetness.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of barrel flavors, wood, vanilla, bakers chocolate. Some molasses.
M/D: A medium body with moderate carbonation. Though smooth at the same time. This is a plenty big beer. A slow sipper for sure.

Yep, this is pretty much the same thing as Bishop's Barrel 1. Maybe a bit more integrated. I still enjoy it, and can't find a lot at fault here that was not in the first release. Still, I can't help but feel a bit of a let down.

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Photo of jhamp9
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Near black with a thin beige head that fades down to a ring. Leaves some lacing.

Aroma has strong raisin, sticky dates, wood, molasses, and some faint chocolate.

Taste is strong dark fruits, caramel, wood, bourbon, a bit tart in the finish. A little chocolate comes through as it warms up.

Sticky on the palate. Some alcohol warmth on the tongue and on the way down.

Really enjoyable overall. Interesting flavors outside of common imperial stout profile.

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Photo of tmaestro
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At its coldest, straight out of the fridge (poured into a Guinness tulip glass), I was underwhelmed by its apparent thinness and simplicity. The warmer it got, the more subtle and incredible it became.

I am a relatively inexperienced beer guy, but I've fallen in love with impy stouts in the last several months. Initially, I told myself that Old Rasputin and SN's Narwhal were not so easily eclipsed by this $9/12oz splurge. I had to step back from that initial impression as the BB3 warmed and its wood and smoke combined with the round/smooth bourbon feel began to take me back to some wonderful memories of campfires with old friends.

Near the end, at it's warmest, feeling the warmth of its double digit ABV, I tasted the hints of bitter chocolate alongside the rest of the wonderful things going on.

I'm looking forward to letting the second bottle warm up a little before I open it.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a couple of these at Lukes Ice House in Beaumont, TX. Reviewed from notes.

Pours black with golden brown edges when held up to the light. The head quickly faded to a thing ring and remained that way for the remainder of the beer.

The aroma on this beer is stupid good. Huge barrel characteristics right off of the bat. Hearty bourbon notes, sweet vanilla and oak notes round it off. Smells like a BBA stout should smell for sure.

The taste is incredible as well. It follows the nose. Bourbon forward with sweet notes of vanilla dominate with a nice oak finish.

The mouthfeel is the only thing I can complain about with this beer. I had the same complaint about Bishop's Barrel 1. This beer is too damn thin! Make a beer with some body on it for once in your life! That being said, this beer does not drink like an 11.5% beer. It goes down real easy and still has some creaminess to it.

Overall, I was very pleased with this beer. If Saint Arnold would ever pull their head out of their ass and quit worrying about the general public and make a beer with some body on it I would be very impressed with them. They nailed this beer on aroma and taste for sure though. Unbelievably good in that regard.

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Bishop's Barrel 3 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 170 ratings