Ballantine Burton Ale
Pabst Brewing Company

Ballantine Burton AleBallantine Burton Ale
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Pabst Brewing Company
Texas, United States
American Strong Ale
3.97 | pDev: 10.83%
Nov 25, 2021
Nov 25, 2015
Ballantine Burton Ale was first brewed in Newark in the 1930s and aged for up to 20 years in American oak. Designated a “Special Brew,” the beer was given as a gift to prestigious friends of the brewery, including the White House. We are excited to share the reincarnation of this rare brew. Like the original, our Burton Ale is sweet, strong, yet balanced by a robust hop character true to the Ballantine name. The oak essence and notes of toasted vanilla make it the perfect holiday treat. Season’s Greetings!
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Rated: 4.04 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 25, 2021
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Reviewed by tuowl74a from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2016 version has been aging in my basement since. Sweet, fruity with raisiny goodness. This just gets better every year. I still have two cases left and will savor each one. A true classic.
Sep 06, 2021
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Reviewed by t420o from Colorado

4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Ballantine Burton Ale 2016

Consumed 12/14/19

A - light pour yields a 2 finger tan head atop a deep copper body. The head recedes to a 1/2 finger creamy cap with above average lacing. 4.5

S - I actually get some juicy and herbal hoppiness at first with rich malts beneath. Caramel, toffee, baked bread, vanilla, slight pine and slight oxidation. Smells very nice. 4.25

T - follows the nose but with the malts upfront with some hoppiness that follows. The malt character is rich and imparts flavors of caramel, toffee, doughy bread, and some vanilla from the oak. It is slightly oxidized but it doesn’t detract from the beer whatsoever. The beer is very cohesive and there is no taste of alcohol just some warming at the end. Excellent. 4.25

M - nice medium body and creamy. The carbonation is moderate and fits the beer well. 4.25

O - better than I even expected. Sometimes the caramel that’s in the forefront with some oxidation creates a flavor I don’t enjoy, but that’s not the case here. It all melds together very nicely and it’s a beer I’d definitely purchase again. 4.25

Dec 15, 2019
Rated: 3.79 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Dec 06, 2019
Rated: 4.05 by vrbulldog22 from Ohio

Aug 30, 2019
Rated: 4.43 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

Jun 17, 2019
Rated: 4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Apr 12, 2019
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Reviewed by BB1313 from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2016 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an auburn/amber with ruby hues; nice creamy khaki head that slowly falls leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Lots of sweet caramel along with some dark fruits. Raisins are there. Hints of vanilla and toffee. The flavors are bold and sweet. It starts off pretty sweet, but quickly becomes more "balanced". Lots of caramel. More raisins and dark fruits. More hints of toffee and vanilla. Some cocoa in the mix. Hints of oak/wood, especially in the finish. Subtle spiciness. Moderate bitterness. Strong malt backbone. Some syrupy characteristics. It finishes warm, but it's not hot or boozy. Alcohol is noticeable, but it's not over the top. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's thick, slick, creamy, velvety and fluffy.

This is a great brew. It definitely has a "barleywine" vibe going on. It's a big beer that drinks big. It's very bold and flavorful. This one is perfect for the colder weather. It's well crafted and fun to drink. I really like it. Great beer, great value. I also appreciate the history of this beer.
Mar 12, 2019
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Reviewed by tjwarren from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
A unique brew. Very enjoyable. Essentially no carbonation. More like a spirit. Heavy alcohol but well hidden. Smell is a little off putting actually but taste is all brown sugar caramel and nutty goodness. Slick, thick full mouthfeel. Warming finish lingers on the tongue. Paralyzing. Shocking craftsmanship for an adjunct lager veteran.
Dec 02, 2018
Rated: 3.25 by WVbeergeek from West Virginia

Nov 12, 2018
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a translucent brown with a finger of khaki foam. Head retention is okay. Aroma is sharp and heavy spice, with toasty, nutty, earthy, bready malts with herbal, spicy hops. Caramel and toffee add a little sweetness to this holiday ale. Flavor profile is heavy spice, with caramel and toffee that drive a harsh sweetness. Malts are nutty, earthy, and bready with herbal and spicy hops. Spices and sweetness are sharp. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a velvety texture. Overall, a fair holiday ale except for the heavy spice.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.
Nov 11, 2018
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Reviewed by tasteless from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Just tried a Ballentine Burton Ale and wow what a kick ! 11.3% ALC/VOL ! This brew has a sweet vanilla malty flavor that taste MM good ! I will definitely pick up a few more over the Christmas holiday season. This is a limited batch so hurry if you'd like to try it !
Oct 26, 2018
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Bottle from my brother. Old school rules! What a perfect example of the old brewing recipes. Dark amber, thick body lazy carbonation, lasting head. Caramelly malts dominate the aroma. Taste even more so, beautifully slick feel, caramel and toffee. No sign of the ABV. This is unbelievable!
Oct 25, 2018
Rated: 4 by cryptichead from Illinois

Aug 13, 2018
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
an excellent beer this one is, 2016 vintage drinking really well right now. somewhat of a barleywine/old ale type here, chestnut in color, a little cloudy, and with a tall and rising khaki head on it, pretty and dense looking in the glass. light oxidation in the nose that i always think works in these styles, bready english yeast, and heavy oak, maple syrup, and vanilla. i also get a little cardboard, dried cherry and raisin, brandy, and bran, its complex and inviting, and just a tad boozy. the flavor is excellent as well, and once i attenuate to the high sugar content here, i settle in to a wonderful cold weather sipper, laced with strong vanilla and old oak notes, toasted bread, brown sugar, and a whole host of rich long boiled english malts. cool fruity sweetness to this, prune and date and raisin, and a nice cognac sort of regal booziness. this warms up really well, has lots of complexity, and really was a pleasant surprise this weekend. clearly this ages pretty well, id like to find some more and taste it with a little more time on it. this would be great for the holidays!
Mar 05, 2018
Rated: 3.62 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Jan 15, 2018
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Rated by jimmybalogh from New Jersey

4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Amazing Ale. And it TOTALLY BEATS Bud's 1933 Repeal Ale!
Jan 10, 2018
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Reviewed by LeRose from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
This is a bottle with 2015 on the date. Pours with a little ring of brown bubbles over a murky orange brown liquid. Watching it, there are little bubbles that cling to the sides of the glass in sheets as the beer gracefully cascades down the glass after the sip. Interesting. So no head to speak of, but I guess wine folks would say it has legs.

Smell...well, not overly hoppy obviously at this age. But still some pine, a little citrusy. Graham crackers come to mind, brown sugar sweetness, malty. Boozy, but in a good way.

Taste...getting fruit notes I did not get in the smell. Raisins and dates, but not enough to make it conjure the words dark fruits. Apple, slight vanilla, slightly citrus. Sweet...definitely would not want it any more sweet. Brown sugar, a mint-like note. Slightly spicy phenols. Hefty but short-lived bitter hit mid-taste.

Full bodied to the verge of being syrupy. Quite warming as the alcohol washes through, but not burning.

Anything Ballantine brings back memories of my grandfather, but this would certainly not have been his thing. Yes..I know it is brewed by Pabst, but the artwork remains classic and familiar. Overall, I like it and think it is a nicely made brew that I would enjoy again. DEfinitely a sipper.
Jan 08, 2018
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2016 dated bottle. Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Label lists the brewer as 'P. BALLANTINE & SONS, COLD SPRING, MN'.
Clear, dark amber colored body, Off white head dissipates to ring and islands. Strings of lacing.
Aroma of brown sugar, graham cracker, dark fruit (raisin and prune). Very sweet and sappy. Wafts of alcohol.
Taste of sugary dark fruit, like cherry and raisin. Vanilla and oak as the beer warms. Sweet bread. Floral hops. Some alcohol burn.
Full, syrup like mouth feel. The length of the taste profile lends to sipping of this beer.
A cold weather beer for sipping, which is quite sweet but high in alcohol.
Jan 01, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by swierczt from Connecticut

Dec 29, 2017
Ballantine Burton Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 150 ratings