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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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BA SCORE
85
very good
67 Reviews
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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.85%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
After its initial release in February 2009, Top Sail was aged for about 10 months in Bourbon casks from Kentucky.

Added by beertunes on 02-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
90
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
15.65%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
18
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 90
Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It was short-lived and left little lacing.

S - Strong vanilla aroma. Bourbon and oak is present but not as strong as the vanilla.

T - This is a vanilla-forward bourbon barrel aged beer. Some chocolate, roasted malt and some mild oak flavors.

M - It was a little light bodied for the stye, but still smooth and crisp.

D - This is a nice bourbon barrel aged brew. Again, it was vanilla dominant.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown color with a light mocha head. The nose brings forth a good dose of bourbon along with some light oak, roasted malt, and hints of coffee. The taste is dominated by the bourbon, but it's pretty smooth overall. Good semi-hot mouthfeel with a nice body. Drinks very well; glad they put this out.

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Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very thing ring of tan head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Tons of cocoa and chocolate. Bourbon shows decently with some oak and vanilla. A light roast here. This is definitely smelling like a desert beer.

Taste: Wow, the cocoa flavors are unlike any other. Cocoa and chocolate. Roasted malts. Some caramel. Bourbon kick with some vanilla. Oaky.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, creamy, and a bit warming. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a really big surprise from full sail. This beer was actually enjoyable. Granted the price is a bit high, this beer has a lot of flavor. Gotta give em props for this one.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to foofaa for sharing this at the epic stout tasting - poured chilled in a tulip.

A big brown shade of ale with an opaque clarity, lace clings well and the bead is fine. The smell has a lot of dried fruit and light bourbon w/ subtle notes of oak and dark malt. The feel is strong and moderately bitter w/ a mildly astringent woodiness on the palate.

The flavor has a nice cohesion of bourbon barrel and a slight malt toastiness with slight berry and gentle raisin from the yeast. The blend of the wood and malt is terrific and the wood actually stands out slightly over the base beer in this. A good Imperial Porter and the barrel aging adds to the overall beer, the strength is not too over the top for the style and I found this to be very drinkable.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a deep black color with a solid chocolate colored head on top.

S: The bourbon is evident in the nose along with some mild chocolate, vanilla, and quite a bit of char.

T: Very heavy char and roast flavors to the beer which are underlain by a bit of sweet vanilla. A pronounced bourbon and alcohol flavor provide more barrel characteristics. The chocolate flavor is smooth and slightly sweet.

M: The body seems a bit thin to me, for an "imperial porter", anyway. The carbonation is subtle, which seems appropriate.

D: I had very little in the way of expectations when I opened this beer, and it's a good thing. This one just wasn't really all that great, and the charred oak flavor is just a bit much.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

Man, my man VDubb can really pick some tasty beers from my deep fridge. This selection pours a straight jet black topped by a finger of dark-ish tan foam. As the Three Degrees' "When Will I See You Again" starts up, I sniff: bourbon, oak, caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, and a hint of Coca-Cola. Definitely smells like a bourbon-aged impy porter. I'd say the taste is identical were it not for the addition of cinnamon. The bourbon melds nicely with the dark elements: not too strong, but decidedly there. "Johnny B. Goode" has flared. The body is a heavy medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly grainy feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one that I wish was more available 'round these parts. Thanks again, Jason!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown with one inch of brown head. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells very strongly of bourbon. Also has some oak and fig to it. Hints of chocolate.

t - Taste again is a lot of bourbon up front. After that some oak, coffee, booze, and chocolate.

m - Full body and light carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

d - A pretty nice porter but definitely a sipper. Some nice bourbon smell and taste and definitely worth trying.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage two year old cellared bottle poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours black with only a hint of reddish brown at the edges. Thin medium tan head dissipates to a ring around the glass and lacing. Aroma is dominated by bourbon with light hints of oak and dark malt. Flavor is also dominated by bourbon. Moderate dark and roasted malt, oak, dark fruit. Rather dry finish with a hint of hops. Medium bodied; perhaps a bit light for an imperial porter. The astringency noted in the fresh bottle has attenuated. This porter is now much more integrated and mellow, however the flavors are also attenuated. The flavor is good, but somewhat underwhelming. Definitely redeemed by the bourbon barrel aging, Better than a standard porter, but not quite up to imperial porter flavor density. I cellared a few of these and they will probably be pleasant to drink, but I do not see this improving much with age. A decent, but somewhat lightly flavored imperial porter.

 962 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber
Gold Foil/Capped
Imperial Porter 9.85% ABV

I must be having a totally complete different brew than the other's that have reviewed it.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice quick creamy tan head, with some nice oil slicks and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a good dose of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of bourbon. The taste is sweet, malty, lots of dark stuff, and loving the bourbon note, vanilla. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one is very nice, recommended and I would definitely drink more of it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 picked up at the COOP.. Poured into my Delerium goblet... Dark tan head.. black brew... nice lacing.

dark malts... and a bunch of smoke.. bourbon is there, but only with a bit of vanilla and bunches of booze... meaty.

I like the bourbon, but the smokey notes seem way out of place.. dark malts.. heavy cocoa... some sweet cherries.. I'm having a hard time pulling beer from this one.. the bourbon is huge... and the smoke seems like a smoked porter or maybe a scotch barrel brew...

Body and carbonation are nice.. but really the drinkability is pretty bad.

Man... wow.. I loved the last BBTop Sail... Had one recently and was still amazed... but this is a smokey boozey mess.

4/3/3/3.5/3

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Photo of beertunes
2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured black, like a stout, not the opaque dark brown of a Porter. The beer had a dark tan head, which had almost no retention or lacing.

The aroma is dominated by bourbon, so much so that it takes significant effort to even detect that there is beer in the aroma. No definable beer scents. The taste was also dominated by the bourbon, but you could at least taste some of the roasty malt characteristics of a Porter on the tongue.

The body was well on the side for such a solid style. Drinkability is going to depend on you taste for bourbon. I like bourbon, but I want those flavors to complement the flavors of the base beer, not lord over them.

Overall, not a completely bad beer. I think it could have used less time in the barrels and have a stronger backbone to stand up to the bourbon. It's worth a try if you see it, but probably not worth a big effort to try.

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

Solid head on it, beige, black colored beer. Aroma was substantial bourbon, chocolate malt, oak, dark fruit, lots of burn/bitterness.

All that bitterness, dark fruit burn goes away on the tongue. Really smooth mouthfeel actually, they really counterbalanced the high degree of roastiness with some chewy malt and bourbon that hides it good. Chocolate there, but nowhere near a choco bomb.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark, chocolate brown. Light brown head that leaves sporadic blotches of cylindrical lace. Aroma is quite distinctive. Lots of good wafts of chocolate, bourbon, caramel and roasted malts. On the palate, it's a lot more of the same. Nice roasted malt base with a little caramel character. Bourbon traits are nice as are the chocolate characteristics. Mouthfeel is velvety. Alcohol is noticeable, but integrated nicely. This is well done.

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

On tap at the FW Invitational earlier this month. Nice gem, bringing a 2010 keg to the party. Poured black, good head, especially for being a bourbon barrel beer. Aroma was pretty deep, oak, bourbon, dark fruit fig, cognizant deep burnt and roasted malt.

Taste, wow, pretty smooth, not massive, but not a delicate beer either, puts itself firmly in the middle of substantial and warming. Good vanilla accompaniment. Sweet at times without going overboard (although that can be damn fine sometimes). Good thickness and consistency, neither sludgy nor thin, dare I say this is balanced, and not in the way people say their ipa is (i.e. to make up for the best part not being there or severely unrepresented). Chocolate well represented.

Drank this towards the end of the day at the festival, it was easy to taste, easy to drink, but not simplistic, and I knew with the amount of palate fatigue going on, this was pretty substantial. Would recommend.

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Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a whim one day when nothing else looked appealed & heck, always nice to have another barrel-aged something or other on local shelves. Being a relative unknown, this one lingered for quite a while; I bet I could still find it in some random corner of the Cities. Split with my wife, hoping our depressing beer night gets a little better.

Pour is imperial black, only the ring-around-the-rosie head shows any sign of color, & that's a dark tan. Nose offers up a harsh shot of charred wood & a bit of vanilla. The base beer isn't in evidence.

Top Sail BA Porter is a toasted-loving beer guy's wet dream; there's enough char here to start a grill (you know, the old ones, not the ones you press a button to start). Harsh, violent char gives a shiv to the tongue & buries the other, more forgiving characteristics of the brew; even the bourbon takes a back seat. The Kentucky-sippin' adds another layer of harsh; man, I can feel the rough edges getting sand-blasted off my cheek & gums. There are hints of earthiness, chocolate cake, nougat nuttiness. A healthy breath of alcohol sweeps into the back-end & actually smooths out the smouldering forest. I'm going to be sipping this one for a while.

Good beer. Doesn't reach up & shake my world, but the extreme char of this porter appeals to me, & I like the jolt-on-jolt that the bourbon adds. Not for the faint of heart.

 1,390 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep brown bordering on black with reddish hues..

S-Very boozy...alcohol laden aroma...dark chocolate bourbon balls...malt reminds of molasses....hints of oak, vanilla, black cherries, figs, and raisins..

T-Smoother than the aroma leads you on....more of a milk chocolate Easter Bunny base with some very enjoyable oak, vanilla and nougat. Also lighter notes of molasses, and bourbon...

M-Mildly disappointing...medium bodied (I expected more)very flat which gives it an even thinner impression.. Smooth though with just a little boozy bite on the finish which is much appreciated.

D-Very nice, enjoyable beer that really grew on me as I sipped it. Really a nice flavor. Which it had a little more heft to the body but that's about hte only complaint.

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Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid brownish black in color with a mocha brown colored head that is creamy but small. A little lacing.

Tons of milk chocolate in the nose with a a solid oaky bourbon presence as well. Good dose of sweetness.

Big time flavors going on. Lots of chocolate, espresso and bourbon with a big hit of vanilla. Deep roasted malts, charred oak and burnt caramel round out the flavor profile. Not short on taste with a strong complexity.

The body is just too thin and a touch watery. Undercarbonated as well, but it's not enough to take away much from the overall beer.

Drinks as well as a nearly 10% beer can. This is a really nice barrel aged porter. Tons of flavor, especially the bourbon. Well done and recommended.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Black as night. Only the smallest tan head formed.

S - There is a lot going on in here: toffee, coffee, brown sugar and rich malt. Overall a rich scent that can get too much for me, but still impressive.

T - Sweet malt, toffee and alcohol, . Long lasting aftertaste of alcohol. Unfortunately the alcohol dominates the taste.

M - Heavy body, almost syrupy and silky smooth. Low carbonation. For awhile after, my mouth had that hot alcohol feel in it.

D - Share it with friends. 22 oz is a lot in one sitting. This is perfect for sipping over a couple hours in front of the fireplace on a cold day. I could go without the heavy aftertaste, but that seems to be par for this style.

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Photo of arizcards
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Bevmo in mid June for $8.99.

Beer poured black as night with a smallish brown head. Nose is heavy bourbon, with mocha and vanilla notes there. Taste is dominated by bourbon up front, with sweet chocolate and vanilla in the background. Northwest hops balance the malts pretty well. Mouthfeel is thinner than hoped, medium bodied and not overly smooth given the length of time spent aging in the bourbon barrels. Drinkability is pretty good. This brew is somewhat hot from the bourbon and could stand some more aging. Bourbon is the dominate flavor so do not go here if you are not a bourbon fan. Otherwise it is fun to try, not a bad experiment that could be improved upon.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this bomber on 9/27/10.

A - Poured a black liquid with deep burgundy trim and a thin burnt tan cap that reduced to a patchy veil and deposited a bit of stringy lace around the glass.

S - Like Jim Lahey, I swear I could hear the contents of my glass utter the phrase: "I am the liquor." The sucker's got a huge bourbon presence, while faint hints of vanilla, wood and coconut are relegated to the background. Dare I say this is perhaps too bourbon forward?

T - Strong and boozy with a domineering bourbon character. Although some vanilla sweetness creeps in, the warm sting of alcohol is everpresent. Finishes with a hint of wood and a pleasant toasted coconut character that was unexpected. Did I mention bourbon too?

M - Medium bodied with a silky texture, perhaps a tad thin for such a hefty brew. Carbonation offers a hint of bristle on the tongue. Finishes with a warm alcohol burn and a splash of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Easily one of the strongest bourbon beers I've had, although it was still fairly drinkable considering. Tone down the bourbon just a notch or two, and you've got a winner!

 1,145 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - BB version. Nice almost black body, tan thin head, leaves fast. Some but not much lace.

S - A little smoke, bourbon, wood, coffee.

T - Nice, bright flavors, booze, wood, coffee.

M - Very balanced. Good carb and coating. Like it.

D - Hard on the ABV but very drinkable for the style.

 290 characters

Photo of ehammond1
2.39/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A vigorous pour leaves little hint of carbonation. There's some bubbling and an extremely thin head but this beer has a distinct lack of carbonation. The beer is beautiful and menacing all at the same time; it has a shimming black as night body. Very little lacing. Other than the color, very disappointing.

The aroma is an interesting combination. The strong punch of bourbon is here initially, melting away into strong scents of chocolate and raisins. There's some wood in here as well and an earthy sweetness. (When I smell this, I kind of wish this was a dessert cake/ breakfast pastry instead of a beer (blasphemous?). I wish there was significantly less bourbon and even more malt character in the nose, as the bourbon is clearly front and center.

The barrels as opposed to the beer take center stage here. The initial flavors are of Kentucky bourbon and oak and then the warm alcohol. The porter is lost underneath. There's some malt character of chocolate and toffee, but I really have to search for it.

Perhaps if it were better carbonated I'd have experienced a better taste and mouthfeel, but it is what it is, and this one doesn't score particularly well with me.

Not particularly drinkable or enjoyable. Unfortunately, in this beer's case, I think a decent porter was actually made significantly worse by aging it in bourbon barrels.

 1,396 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 bottling pours an opaque black with tan head that recedes to a thin layer after a few minutes. Nose is boozy bourbony with roasty aromas taking backseat. On the palate there's a real bitchslap of bourbon flavors, with a pathetically weak roasty stout component in the background that cannot overcome the whallop of bourbon. Alcohol warmth is evident, and well before it warmed to room temperature.

 402 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a deep, opaque jet black, with maybe an inch of medium-dark brown foam. Nice aromas of bourbon, cocoa, vanilla and oak. Some good roasted malt flavors, along with strong dark coffee, bourbon, chocolate and roasted malt. A nicely composed beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with a silky tan head. Nose has roasty malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, figs, dates, floral hops and coffee. Taste has bitter hops and molasses followed by espresso, cocoa, whickey, wood and vanilla. Medium bosy is nicely carbonated. Tasty stuff, should age well.

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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.77 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
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