Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 68 ratings
Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU's: 60
ABV: 10.0%
Color: Dark Amber, Toffee
Ingredients: English and American hops, blended with three types of pale and roasted malts.
Description: A barley wine style ale that is aged in American Oak Bourbon barrels, creating notes of vanilla, toffee and sherry.

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into an oversized snifter, a creamy khaki-colored one-finger head sits atop a mahogany and burgandy, almost tawny port like hue. transparent, with a steady stream of carbonation rising to the top, which results in impressive head retention that eventually fades to a thin cap that deposits beautiful lacing to the bottom.

aroma is fairly run of the mill for a good barleywine. some toasted malt, woody spice, dark fruit - cherries and currants, a bit of ginger, a touch of herbal hops, and some brown sugar. brandy, a hint of port, and a touch of vanilla. As this warms to room temp, the aroma really blooms nicely. Nothing outstandingly noteworthy, but definitely smells delicious.

taste is fairly complex, and a bit of a shift from the aroma. Woody spice, herbal, earthy hop notes, and a heavy earthy malt dominate, while the cherry, brandy, raisin and sugar notes take a back seat. It caught me off guard after the brandy fruit sweetness in the aroma. The bourbon barrel aging is apparent, although subtle. Sherry, caramelized vanilla, and a bit more woody oakiness adds some impressive depth.

The mouthfeel suffers from overcarbonation, as the first few sips are fiercely carbonated, accentuating the peppery notes in the beer. A few good swirls in the snifter resolves, however, leaving a fairly smooth, easy drinking barleywine with just a touch of thick syrupiness and a nearly imperceptible alcohol burn.

All in all, an impressive barleywine with some nice complexities. Nothing really leaps out as being significantly unique, although the flavors are smooth, complex, and delicious. This goes down easy and is significantly less harsh than many 10% barleywines. The barrel aging, while very subtle, adds some nice complexities without being in-your-face bourbon. which is a nice change. If you dig barleywines, this one is definitely worth seekin' out.

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Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Reddish brown colored beer with a thin brown colored head.

Good sweet whiskey scent and light and fruity. Melon and vanilla and a slight scent of ash. Malt and a little herbal hop scent.

Taste starts out little neutral malt sweetness. Really mild for a Barleywine vanilla, toffee, oak and mild melon. If this has a weakness it would be that mildness can only produce so much complexity.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is where this beer really shines, no indication at all that this is 10%. Terribly easy to drink.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured an hazy deep amber/copper color ale with a medium size fomay head with good retention with some good lacing. Aroma of sweet barley malt with very subtle hints of toffee and bourbon. Taste is a mix between some sweet barley malt with some notes of toffee. Vanilla and bourbon notes are very difficult to notice. Full body with good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. Not as compelx as I would have liked it to be but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of hopdog
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a deeper amberish / brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of wood, a little earthy, dark fruits, toffee, and some boubon. Tastes of boubon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and oaky woodiness. Light alcohol in the finish. Its not an 'in your face' barley wine or barrel aged beers, but it is quite drinkable and I did enjoy it.

Notes from: 5/9/08

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass summons forth a creamy, dense, four-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a deeply red stained, dark amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, red dyed, dark golden color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of washed out toasted malt, candied berries, faintly grassy hops are noticeable at first. At first blush the aroma seemed fairly bland, and very tame for a Barleywine. As the beer warms & opens up though some additional complexities start to come out, though it never gets the big aromatic presence one would expect from a Barleywine. Aromas of cherry liquor, some fruity brandy notes, a bit more herbal hops, and biscuit like malt add a little more interest to the nose.

Lightly sweet, with a viscous full mouthfeel that was almost a surprise coming off the week aroma. The beer has a light Bourbon Barrel influence that in addition to the usual notes of butterscotch, vanillin, warming alcohol and lightly spicy wood seems to play up an anise like flavor and some soft brandy notes (including a raisin and grape note). The Bourbon barrel is quite tame here, this is actually at a perfect level as it is just another component of this beer rather than a quite dominant one that many a Bourbon Barrel beer has. There is quite a bit of hop character here as well; nothing on the order of say a Bigfoot, but there is a nice herbal component, flavors of ripe pine needles, some candied citrus zest and a touch of menthol. The carbonation is a bit aggressive, but a quick swirl of my glass gets rid of the excessive fizziness and a touch of the pepper-like carbonic bite. I really like the fruity, sort of brandy like, perhaps cherry-cordial-esque note that this beer picks up; it is subtle, but quite pleasing.

I like that this is pretty easy drinking for a Barleywine (assuming you get rid of the excess carbonation) and the light barrel influence is a huge plus. Having said that the malt complexity is a bit lacking and the aroma is down right, even deceivingly so, weak (though it is decently complex as it warms up). While this started out slow, as I work my way through this 22oz bottle it really starts to come into its own; the flavor ends up really becoming quite well integrated, mellow (this can be a good thing even in a Barleywine), but distinct. A good beer, that is much more enjoyable than I was expecting.

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Photo of Crosling
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby maroon colored beer with a creamy, light tan, well lasting foam. Nose has some nice elements of wood barrel (coconut, vanilla, wood), along with some components from the malt, like sherry and dark fruit. Not a great nose, but at least is has some describable elements. Flavorwise, it's a simplistic beer, without complexity. Light notes of caramel, dark fruit and toffee. A decent ale, but lacking seriousness.

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Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer split with pixel which of course my glass was knocked over before I even took a sip so pixel is left with next to nothing.

Pours a great ruby color with an overflowing fluffy yellow tan head leaving thick chunky lacing behind. Sticky as whale semen.

Full of dry fruit aromas and berry. Fig, prune, raisin, date, chestnut, oak, hints of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon toast, vanilla, and hints of maple syrup with a slight hop aroma.

Nice barleywine lacking a bit of depth and a bit rough around the edges yet still very tasty and drinkable. Oak tannins and bitter resiny hop shows through on the finish yet the hop character doesn't impede the depth and sweetness of the malt. Loads of fig, quince, prune, date, brown sugar, dried berries, nuts, vanilla and hints of bourbon. Mouth shows too much tannin almost with a bit of alcohol as well as in the finish. A good BW I'd of loved to not spill half of.

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Photo of AltBock
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a plain and simple label of a bridge surrounded by the name of the beer. In the middle of the label it says it's a Barley Wine style Ale. Then at the bottom it says it's aged in Bourbon Barrels. A Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels. This should be fun! There is no date anywhere on the bottle unless No. 12 bottling means something. The only other stuff on the label is the mandatory US information.

Appearance: I had no other choice then to pour this Bourbon Barrel bad boy into a Maudite Snifter. Out of the bottle comes a beer that first appeared to be a dark chestnut brown, but when held into the light, it was actually a great looking dark cranberry/crimson red color. Sitting on top of this dark red brew was a short lived less than 1/2 an inch head of white foam. Even though it was short lived, it did manage to leave behind a handful of white foamy rings and only 2 spots of lace. I didn't care for the head of foam on this beer, but I loved the color this beer had. Great color!

Smell: This Barleywine was very sweet with a ton a candi sugar. It loved the sugar! Hiding behind the sugar wall was some lightly roasted malts, a hint of sweet caramel, a pinch of citrus hops, and then this sweet smelling beer finishes up with a subtle touch of bourbon and charred oak. The aroma controlled the bourbon and oak, but it let the candi sugar run wild and free. Not too shabby unless you hate the smell of sugar.

Taste: Since this was a sweet smelling beer, I thought this was going to be an overly sweet beer with a huge amount of alcohol. Nope, none of that. Since it wasn't sweet, did it let the bourbon and charred oak do whatever it wanted. Nope, not that either. Instead, this beer was very well balanced between the sweetness and the mighty bourbon and oak. The taste kicks off lightly sweet with roasted barley and a hint of sweet caramel. After the caramel is where the beer gets dark and dry with black cherries, a splash of roasted citrus hops, a gentle touch of bourbon and oak, and then the taste ends with a big bite of roasted alcohol. I liked how all the sweet and roasted flavors worked well together. This taste was only in the beginning. Toward the bottom of the bottle, the alcohol completely takes over the taste and makes this beer a little hard to drink. Great in the beginning, but too much alcohol at the finish line.

Mouthfeel: This was a full bodied beer with a low level of carbonation and with a full flavored alcohol based aftertaste of roasted barley, a hint of black cherry, a touch of bourbon and plenty of alcohol. This big beer didn't want to bother hiding the 10% ABV. It was proud that it had a 10% ABV and it shows it.

Drinkability: This beer didn't last long in my glass. Well, that was until the aggressive alcohol kicked in. That ruined the drinkability for me. In the end, It wasn't too sweet and it didn't let out too much bourbon and oak, but toward the bottom of the bottle it let out a excessive amount of alcohol. Just watch out for that. Either way, I would like to thank Donny2120 for giving me a chance to try this Barleywine.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a small glassb the liquid is dark copper with good carbonation. The head is good almost 2 fingers tan and leaves little lace.

The smell is Hoppy, wow lots of yummy hops, mixed with alcohol and oak and more alcohol. Really seem unique and should be excellent tasting.

The taste follows but does not work quite all well, still very good taste a must try and keeper for the cellar. Carmel notes, lots of hops and great barrel taste, really good.

The mouthfeel is bubbley, good carbonation, could be smoother and creamier, nice body.

The drinkability is good, a bust try and very good brew

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into an oversized wine glass

brownish amber in color with a bunch of filmy head that hangs all over the glass

mild aromas of burnt sugars

again burnt sugars and then it rolls into a bit of whisky that burns it's way down the throat along with a bit of that herbal american hop bitterness.

this beer actually came off rather thin to me. a bit of carbonation some alcohol warmth and light astringence

I don't find this beer to bee offensive in anyway but there is nothing that really stands out either. perhaps the subtlties are starting to be lost on me now that I have become obsessed with all of these strong flavors

either way, not some thing I would seek out again. (with age being a caveat for that point)

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The No.12 Old Knucklehead poured a dark clear rad amber with a solid lacing pattern. It had some decent retention and the head was 1 finger.

The aroma was nice and gave you a vanilla, oak and lovely hop smell. Taste was oak in the background along with berry, vanilla and citrus. The mouthfeel was thin and lightly carbonated. The abv was well hidden and as the beer continued to warm, the berries really came through. Great sipping beer.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a BIG thanks to mikesgroove for the lif to try this one, poured into my duvel 2006 tulip glass.

this is an amber brown in the light and ritch earthey brown away from the light. the first taste and i see the glory of the bourbon barrel ageing!!! this is a big sightly sweet then monstresley hoppy barley wine, the wood flavor trumping over all outher flavors, after trying this big bold brew i feal that all barley wines should be aged in this way. i feal that the beer gods have truley blessed me in giving me the oppertunity of trying this peace of pure heaven. if you see this one or can trade for one of these consider yourself one of the luckey ones. this is one of my top 25 beers of all time and one that i will try to get anouther one of

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky dark brown, a good head and a bit of lacing. Aroma of vanilla, oak and chinook hops. Flavor is a smack of chinook, some caramel malt and a fair amount of oak caracter, vanilla and tannins from the wood.

Quite a delicious ale! Look for it!

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Photo of DrJay
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one recently from mikesgroove. Thanks!
Hazy reddish amber with a thin layer of fine, off-white foam and a substantial collar with some soapy bubbles. Some lacing, decent head retention. There was an initial whiff of bourbon when I cracked the bottle, but by the time the beer was in my glass this had faded away. In its place was a fair bit of ripe fruit, floral hops with a hint of citrus, bread, brown sugar, and cinnamon, backed by some alcohol. The flavour was quite similar to the aroma, but with more caramel and more prominent alcohol. There was a little bit of wood character, but this was mostly tannin and reminded me of popsicle sticks. Hops were floral and citrus, and it finished with spicy alcohol warmth. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation. The texture was quite smooth and creamy, very mellow to contrast with the heat from the alcohol and the dryness in the finish. Not bad at all and quite drinkable, but sorely lacking in bourbon barrel character that would have made it something to remember.

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Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color with a silky tan head. Good lacing. The nose has light hops over a bed of malts. The taste is nicely balanced. Lots of sweet sugars complimented by bitter hops. Full body goes down nicely. Not much bourbon noticed in this one, but still quite good.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bridgeport Old Knucklehead, bourbon barrel aged....

poured into a Duvel glass...loads of bourbon notes spill out...I want to bring it closer...

Dark, opaque, deep, ruddy crimson brown, lush creamy head,

Aroma seeps out leather, molasses, dark fruit, raisins, carob, spice...bright berries and cherries....burnished, rich, ridiculously full...malt and hops at play.

Taste: huge whiskey flavor, big, beefy, lush and tasty. ..bodacious...thick and slick on the palate...sweet and luscious....

"a special brew...to be savored"... I am savoring!

hot, sparkling, full of flavor, indulgent...a great swath of fat bourbon goodness all over the place. damn, it's something else. An excellent indulgence, beautiful nightcap....I almost wished I'd saved it to share with friends, but...hell, I was thirsty!

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Photo of SeanRedd
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh mommy; I am coming of age. The minute details of your vuluptious, confident charater inspire me. Your dark grapes, molasses smothered black berries, and vague match-stick smoke burn, melt my defenses. Did I have to blow dust off your bottle? Have I mistaken you for a port, sherry? Your dark fruits are so submissive, your 10% ABV masked...almost non-existent. I bow to you almighty yogini; your balance suspends me in awe. I must close my eyes, I am blown away.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep amber/ copper color with a small tan head. In the aroma, dark fruit, and a small hint of bourbon. In the taste, dark fruits, small hints of bourbon and a small alcohol note in the end. Mostly smooth and a small bite in the meduim bodied mouthfeel and a dark fruit and alcohol aftertaste. Small bourbon notes, yet good and balanced. Easy to drink and good.

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Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to biegaman for busting this out at his summer saison tasting!

Pours a hazy reddish brown, thick white head forms, drops to a thin layer leaving a nice amount of lace on the glass, looks good. Smell is very fruity, some floral hopping, caramel, sweet brown sugar, some bready malt, more fruit, no bourbon. Taste is similar in the lack of any bourbon character whatsoever, just sweet malt and caramel, citrus and flora, lots of light fruitiness, alcohol, kind of weak. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Not sure why they call this bourbon barrel-aged, consensus was none present at all. Thanks Jan!

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Photo of Wasatch
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice reddish amber color, very nice carbonation, a nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, lots of nice thick lacing follows. The nose is malty, some bourbon, some plums, figs, and raisins, with some caramel. The taste is malty, nice notes of bourbon, dark fruits, caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is a little too much up front for me. Drinkable, not bad, but would not drink again. After having this brew warm up, it is much better, so I scored accordially.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to tayner for sending this one in a recent trade..

This one is dark and murky and beautiful... Big fluffy head sitting on top of a mahogany colored brew...awesome..

This is a crazy smelling barleywine! I can smell the hops and malt, but I smell chocolate and pineapple mixed as well. This smells unbelievable!!! As it warms, the bourbon really comes out and puts this one on another level..

AWESOME! I could elaborate but the 5 that I rated it should speak for itself. Chocolate, bourbon, hops, malts...delicious..

This just might be the best barleywine I've evr had.. I love Bigfoot and Old Ruffian and Hog Heaven but the Bourbon puts this one in a class by itself..

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Photo of bbothen
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle & brought back in suitcase to Nor Cal.

A - Dark red/brown color with a nice 1 finger head. head doesn't last long & forms a small bubbly ring around the rim.

S - Smells of malty sweetness, caramel, vanilla, toffee along with a nice citrus hop aroma.

T - Sweet fruitiness balanced with a nice citrus hop presence. Wood, vanilla, ever so slight bourbon, & hot booze in the finish.

M - Smooth & warming. Slight carbonation.

D - It's a %10 barleywine aged in a bourbon barrel, so it's a sipper. SHare the 22 oz botle with a friend.

I'd think this would be considerably smoother with a year or so in the cellar...But I say drink this now. I kinda like the "rough" edges & big flavors.

Enjoyable barleywine from Bridgeport. I'm drinking this on a 90* June California evening. Would be just just right on a cold evening.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting and excellent.
Pours a very typical barleywine brown with some red notes and a smallish head that quickly dissapates.

Aroma is surprisingly without the oak they say it is aged in. Barleywine sweet toasted amber malts and brown sugar with just a hint of hop bitterness.

Taste is again missing the oak wood barrel aging, for me. Sweet amber malts with a touch of vanilla (ok, there must be the oak wood), brown sugar and then a very pleasant bitterness from the hops. Overall very balanced.

Aftertaste is strangely dry...very dry...almost like powdery dry. Bit of alcohol warmth, some lingering sweetness from the malts and lots of hop bitterness adding to the dryness.

Overall...wonderful barleywine. Just wonder where the barrel aging went.

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Photo of grub
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. biegaman shared this one. thanks jan!

22oz bottle.

pours hazy deep red, garnet when held to the light, with a small dense off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. a bit soapy. vanilla. light alcohol. bit of caramel. toasted multi-grain bread. tangerine. hints of grapefruit. no trace of bourbon here.

taste is ok. big blast of alcohol up front, but not really bourbony. low bitterness level. fruity, with some citrus and some dark fruit. grapefruit. tangerine. bread and biscuit malt. bit of toasty/roasty character in the finish. again, no bourbon.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good, but other than a hint of vanilla i see no trace of a bourbon barrel here. there's lots of alcohol and a bit of vanilla, but not much else. unbalanced towards alcohol, but fairly nice otherwise.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber of this with some friends last night. Wow, what a great barleywine. Brown-amber color very nice, with a medium good-lasting off-white head. Darker than most barleywines I've tried, and looked hazy.

Very aromatic and pleasing. Lots of sweet malts with caramel. Floral hops, maybe just a bit of pine and citrus. Not as hoppy as many west coast barleywines these days. Just a bit of Bourbon and alcohol, which increased as it warmed up.

Excellent, balanced flavors. Dominated by the abundance of sweet, caramel and roasty malts, but adequately balanced by the hops. I definitely noted the Bourbon, but it's not dominating the beer, like many Bourbon-aged beers I've tried recently. My friend put it well... the flavors are "artfully" combined, not trying too hard to blow you away with the hops or Bourbon. Alcohol is expertly masked, one could hardly even notice it. I also think I detected a bit of light fruit/banana esters from the yeast. Made me wonder if they're using a German style yeast for this? Not sure.

Nice carbonation and feel. Flavors mingle and last well, but don't have an extremely long finish.

I wish I had more bottles of this laying around, it's one of the best barleywines I've had.

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Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Beer rating: 67.6% out of 100 with 68 ratings
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