Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

very good
113 Ratings
Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.85%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Released February 2008

Label: "After its initial release in February 2007, Top Sail was aged for about 10 months in bourbon casks from Kentucky. Top Sail Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter has hints of chocolate, figs and oak. Cheers!"

Added by ElGordo on 02-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cfadams17
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Beerzebub
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellared at 55 degrees F for about 6 years.

Dark dark brown. No head.

Smells like coffee, mild bourbon, vegetal hops, and - strangely enough - fresh cucumber. Not bad, but certainly odd.

Tastes like smooth roasty coffee, mild bourbon, and some earthy, slightly vegetal hops. Some nice flavors, but also something a little off. No explicit oxidized character, but seems to have lost some vivacity (not that I remember what it was like fresh).

Good creamy smooth texture.

Fairly enjoyable overall, but far from great. I agree with the last reviewer: aging this for 6 years was dumb.

 585 characters

Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, I opened this up last month. Have I really held on to this beer for this long? Bomber into a snifter, the brew pours black in color with a skimpy tan head. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass but the head remains faint and a bit lacking.

The smell includes notes of raison and molasses. Some milk chocolate, oak and only a faint touch of booziness. Overall it doesnt smell too bad but is slightly muted. Considering how oxidized the flavor is, no oxy notes to be found in the nose.

The taste is quite oxidized with a flavoring not too far off from cardboard/paper. Raison and molasses with suggestions of earth and faint chocolate malt are an afterthought once your palate becomes accustomed to the oxidation.

This is medium to light bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Not terrible but certainly its better days are behind it at this point. Dont cellar a porter for 6 years...that was dumb.

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Photo of LumpkinBrews
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Quafftastic
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Caleb
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of staggerlee024
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black with little to no head or lace.

S - Oh Boy! Bourbonville here. The smell of the booze almost burns. A touch of roast and char. Really liking the smell.

T - Bourbon, Bourbon and more bourbon. It is hard to find anything else in this beer. There is some slight roasted notes, some char, sweet chocolate. But you really have to think about them. This is all bourbon all the way.

M - This is where the beer really starts to fall apart. As others have mentioned, this is incredibly thin. Nothing in the beer can stand up to the Bourbon. It is just too weak.

O - Not a bad beer overall. But falls short of other Bourbon Stouts in its class. Perhaps the issue here is that they used a porter instead of a stout. It is just so thin. I love bourbon barrel aged beers. I probably rated it higher than I should have based on that. I had this on the same day as the Abyss. They are the same price. Nowhere near in the same league. I will drink again. But not if there are other Bourbon Aged options available.

 1,024 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Provided in a trade from doughanson way back when. Been holding onto this for no particular reason, and eventually having a 4 year old bourbon barrel aged porter became too enticing to hold on to any longer.

A: The pour is muddy and black, giving off about a finger of bubbly, fluffy, brown head that recedes rather quickly. A nice ring remains around the top of the beer, lacing nicely down the side of my Deschutes snifter.

S: A lot of chocolate and booze aromas wafting up from the dark liquid below. Dark fruits (I believe the bottle said to expect figs, which I think I'm smelling). Notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak are all very nicely integrated. The aroma overall is deep and complex, but a bit too harsh on the booze.

T: Top Sail has aged well, but I think this might be on its way downhill. Some roast and dry dark chocolate are holding on to their last breathes, but booze, oak, and bourbon are beginning to win this war of flavor. A bit too focused on the barrel treatment, the taste is lacking additions from the base beer that are so important in a good bourbon barrel aged beer. Roast does take the cake on the backend, providing a little balance...just a little too late.

MF: A bit too thin, low carbonation, pretty dry finish, warming alcohol finish. I still enjoy drinking it, I just wish I had a few years ago.

O: For all its faults, Top Sail Brewmasters Reserve is still pretty good. I'm impressed this porter was able to still impart something to try and balance the additions from the barrel. It just falls a bit short. Overall, I would absolutely still recommend it to a friend. Especially the 2010 version.

 1,636 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of joshrosborne
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of bespin15
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brandoman63
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of AgentZero
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't remember who shared this, but thanks, drank at Sean's place.

A - Black beer with a small tan head. Stuck around for a bit and left some spots and slight lacing.

S - Decent barrel and bourbon comes through on the nose. A bit of roast and chocolate with bitter coffee note coming in on the end.

T - Pretty big for a porter, but I guess that's why it's called an imperial. A little hot, with some roast, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, barrel, vanilla. Pretty nice meld of favors.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit hot.

O - A pretty good beer. I think it's cooled a bit since the last reviews, but there is still a little alcohol burn.

 657 characters

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small tan head. Big roast, oak and booze, with some vanilla behind it. Exactly as you might expect. Smells good, not decadent. Roast dominated imperial porter, with a slight cherry cordial flavor. Oak and integrated booze. Pretty tasty, though the cherry cordial flavor was curious and I was wondering if it was intended. Either way, it worked at the moment. A good bit of booze hangs through, but otherwise is pretty drinkable with a medium mouthfeel and low/med carbonation. The whole thing was very solid, but unspectacular.

 546 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

Pretty much impenetrably black, very active, 1 finger mocha head lingers and leaves spotty lacing.

Bourbon and barrel both come through strongly up front. Later, with a swirl, start to get an unusual strong Earthyness, possibly from the oak, and the bourbon is less prominent. Mellow boozy esters emerge and take it to the finish. Long legs.

Sweet malt, chocolate, and roasted barley mingle and merge into the base upon which bourbon, oak, coffee, and mild bitter layers are stacked nicely.

Carbonation bite, full body, and strong warming. Pretty dry, a little bitter, and feels thinner than expected.

A sipper, of course. Extremely tasty and complex. Pretty smooth and balanced. What a treat! Try it if you can, and put some away for later.

 760 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark black liquid with darker tan colored head.

S-the nose is huge, tons of bourbon and some dirty messy malt presence. notes of chocolate and anise with hints of meat in the back.

T-the taste is a little hot with a good bit of bourbon, notes of dark chocolate and some light meat flavors in there with a touch of burnt coffee bitterness.

M-creamy feel on a medium body with low carbonation and thins out in the back.

D-shows the booze a little too much and the bourbon is extremely strong lacking the malt presence to balance.

 584 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a small tasting thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Pours a dark black with less than an inch of tan head.

s - Smells of whiskey, oak, sweet, sticky dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of whiskey, oak, roasted malts, vanilla, and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer, but still a tiny bit hot. Would give another shot.

 363 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and black with a small tan head.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugars, wet oak, caramel and a hint of bubblegum. A little more sweet than I prefer my Porters, but still a good scent.

Taste of charred oak, bourbon, caramel, ash, roasted malts and a very mild alcohol. Decidedly less sweet than the aroma in favor of dry barrel characteristics, this is very tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a low amount of carbonation.

 450 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for sharing this beer at thirdeye11's tasting.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with roasted malt and dark fruit. I could smell this beer all day. The flavor is pretty sweet with oak, vanilla and bourbon as well as roasted malts and chocolate. The alcohol is slightly hot but goes well with the rest of the beer. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

 407 characters

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Top Sail Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
4.07 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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