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

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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)
Very Good
91 Ratings
Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010)

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:
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of ffejherb
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

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Photo of jdense
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle obtained from Bella's in The Big, shared with buddy 9.22.2010.

A bit over a finger of dark tan/brown head, medium dissipation, average lacing over dark brown opaque body, some rising carbonation visible when held close to light. Huge-*ss chocolate hit in the nose, more of a cocoa nibs than bittersweet aroma, some vanilla from barrel aging and a bit of alcohol burn in the nose. Taste mirrors nose, chocolate goodness, a wee bit of oak from barrels but more vanilla and alcohol burn in finish. Medium-full mouthfeel with decent effervescence. Pretty drinkable despite high ABV. I think this needs a bit more time to cure the alcohol burn, and glad I'm sitting on another bottle until the holidays. I'd like to see what food Sean Paxton would pair this with for a yummy dessert.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A - pitch black with a dark toffee-colored head, which looks very inviting.

S - immediate bourbon aroma, which is exciting to me, with some faint traces of vanilla and espresso.

T - as the smell indicated, strong bourbon is the first to hit the pallet. Then a blast of strong coffee, followed by some vanilla, a touch of chocolate, some oak and walnuts on the back.

M - carbonation is nice and the beer is delicious, but a bit thinner than expected.

D - as stated above, the bourbon is strong and dominant, which can be good to some but not so good to others. I enjoy it, along with the warmth provided by it and the ABV. However, I probably won't crack another for a year or so, but when that time comes, I'm sure this is going to be one hell of a beer!

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Solid black with a thin brown head that took a vigorous pour and then disappeared immediately.

S - Dark chocolate with some roasted malts. A big whiff of bourbon, oak and vanilla.

T - Heavy bourbon and oak with a slight alcohol sting. I once tried to make a bourbon beer by dumping half a shot of bourbon in a pint of porter and this is pretty close to what it tasted like. Chocolate and roasted malts are slightly noticeable but overwhelmed by bourbon and alcohol.

M - On the light side of medium with low carbonation making it almost seem flat.

D - Big and boozy. Somewhat of a bourbon mess.

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Photo of arizcards
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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 TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
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 alpineclimber
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 6fl.oz bottle into chalice. A nice tan head on an impenetrable black brew. The head quickly recedes to leave some light lacing.

Smell of strong bourbon, some malty notes and heavy booze.

Taste is of nice dark upfront malt then a huge taste of bourbon. The bourbon is all encompassing. The aftertaste is very boozy, a light sweetness can be perceived in the finish.

A medium mouthfeel, something I would expect from a porter.

It's definitely a sipper, I just drank the bottle and it's gone straight to my head.

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Photo of thedindaniel
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Second time I've drank this beer.

Beer pours a dark brown, not quite black. Light tan head fades within a minute and very little lacing.

Smells of bourbon and wood. I can also pick up a bit on sweet smelling malt.

The taste is one note, all bourbon but not hints of vanilla! I can't taste anything as far as the grain bill is concerned. This could've been any style as it's been dominated by the bourbon.

Mouthfeel leaves the drinker wanting for a lot more as well. Very thin. Is this really an Imperial porter? Could've fooled me.

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Photo of Vaylaus
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Not quite opaque like an imperial porter, but dark, with a tan foamy head

S: Bourbon, with an unusual fruity smell not normally associated with a barrel aged beer

T: Hints of bourbon, with the aforementioned figs from the label on the bottle, a light chocolate sweetness. Different, but quite pleasant

M: Lighter than expected, coming across the tongue like a normal porter. Enjoyable.

D: Smooth as can be, although after an hour or so, the alcohol moves from the background to the foreground. But otherwise dangerously drinkable.

An underrated beer IMHO. A very good price for what you get. Recommended.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a syrupy black into a tulip with a finger of light mocha head.

Strong aroma of oaky bourbon and vanilla along with a hint of sweet cherry, cocoa, and alcohol. Moderately high carbonation helps balance the syrupy consistency and provides a lively if somewhat thin mouthfeel.

Strong rush of bourbon flavor up front, balanced with dry cocoa, a bit of creamy caramel sweetness, and slightly bitter roasted malts. Nice oaky finish with a bit of the dark fruit hinted at in the initial aroma.

Bold, complex, and extremely tasty -- I love the flavors imparted by the bourbon barrel aging. Well done, Full Sail!

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Photo of Xul
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an effervescent dark brown, capped by a half finger brown head. Head dissipates fairly quickly but some light lacing is left behind.

S: Bourbon heavy up front, with vanilla and oak making themselves known. Sweet chocolate and dark fruits - figs and cherries - follow behind, along with some oats and booziness in the background.

T: Bourbon and oak lead the charge again but it clears out mid-sip, allowing a host of other flavors to come through. Chocolate makes itself known right away along with vanilla, backed up by the aforementioned dark fruits and some caramel/toffee tastes. Finish is a bit roasty with coffee notes, along with light bourbon.

M: Solid body with moderate carbonation, very smooth.

D: Alcohol is pretty evident, which combines with the strong bourbon flavors to make it a definite sipper.

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Photo of vkv822
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with a thin dark toffee colored head that dissipates quite quickly.
The smell is of dark roasty, almost astringent, malts and oak, but is covered by a strong boozy aroma, that quite frankly leaves me a bit apprehensive for the first drink.
The flavor is a very nice mixture of oak, dark fruits, dark chocolate and roasted malts but is very quickly over-powered by a very boozy, bourbon flavor.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a rich and robust beer.
While the complex flavors are quite enjoyable, the overbearing bourbon aroma and flavor drop the drinkability for me quite a bit, as well as the thin mouthfeel. Although I must say that as this warms, the boozy flavor does mellow out a little bit, allowing for the other flavors to come through.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, this brew is midnight black in color, it's more dark and dense looking than the black writing on my glass. The head was small and dissipated quickly, a dark chocolate mocha color.

In the smell I pick up an initial alcohol and wood scents combined for a nice burn to the nostrils. Small amount of coffee, and almost a nutty smell (freshly crushed walnuts).

The flavor profile of this brew is fricken extensive, the aging process definitely imparted some amazing qualities to it. The initial part is a smooth thick expresso and dark milk chocolate. The estery oak flavor comes out in full force and gives you an awesome bite which I love. The woodiness and the alcohol give way in the very end to a molasses and black cherry flavor which leaves you with a great aftertaste. They say figs on the bottle which I think is what I'm picking up in the end but to be honest I don't know what figs taste like so from my experiences it imparts that darker fruity cherry/currant flavor.

The mouthfeel is awesome, it's thick and molassesy, a dense malty cherry alcohol bomb of a beer. So smooth and yet so aggressive from the alcohol at the same time it makes the drinkability quite a dilemma to rate. I love it for sure but there is no way you could chug this beer, small sips, savor it while it lasts

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Photo of Mdog
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Big oaky bourbon aroma, boozy.

Taste: Dark chocolate, then plenty of vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected.

Drinkability: The somewhat light body and good taste along with Full Sail's low price ($4.99 for this bomber) is a good combination.

This barrel-aged beer is a tasty one and probably the lowest-priced barrel-aged beer I've seen. It gives all the bourbon flavor you would expect, with a good dark chocolate base from the porter. Recommended!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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 mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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 pastradul
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had never had this one before, it was recommended to from a friend of at K&B wine cellars. It pours a very dark brown, even in a taster glass it is hard to see through. The aroma is of roasted malt with mild coffee notes hitting the nose and a trace of alcohol. the initial mouth feel is very smooth and creamy. This is very similar to the John John Ale in the sense that it isn't a very "big" beer. Not a lot of bourbon taste to speak of but just enough. Not bad in my book but nothing to get excited about.... give it a 3.5

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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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Photo of BDJake
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- black as night, with a tan finger of lingering head

S- obvious booze/bourbon, with fig, raisin, oak, and dark chocolate malts

T- an overload of boozy bourbon and oak, with the malts and dark chocolate taking a back seat

M- chewy, boozy, with a strong aftertaste

D- don't let the bottle fool you into thinking this is a porter, it's clearly an imperial stout- i had to mix a teaspoon of chocolate syrup into it to make it palatable

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a thin tan head that quickly becomes patchy.
Smell is heavy on dark chocolate and cocoa, with the bourbon coming in after, along with some chalky vanilla. Some raisins as well.
Taste is bourbon and vanilla up front. Quite heavy on the bourbon. Some caramel and milk chocolate, and cocoa. The alcohol is pretty well concealed. A bit heavy on the bourbon aspect though.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Almost flat, but there is a little bit of carbonation. Some heat from the alcohol. Works well for this beer.
Decent drinkability, but the bourbon is strong and the alcohol really starts to hit about halfway through. But of course it's supposed to be a sipper, and as a sipper it's good.
Very good beer, but a little unbalanced. I think a year or two on this one will round it out quite nicely.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of froghop
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a very thin brown head, and some lacing.

smell is of cocoa, bourbon, malt, and a little licorice.

taste is smooth, definite bourbon cocoa, malt, some licorice, and a little coffee, ends somewhat bitter.

overall a great porter.

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Photo of Docer
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked into a bomber... poured into a nice short-pint glass.

- Looks like a nice solid imperial porter. We all know what that looks like right? Dark, rich, can't see through brown and black... nice quick fizzling mocha head, down to a little ring and tad bit of lace making sticky rings.

- Nice huge vanilla nose, oak, and strengthy bourbon right up front.. (I hope not as forward as the Black Gold). Sweet chocolate and alcohol. Malt and oats... highly bitter hop perhaps..

- Wonderfully smooth chocolate velvet malts... just the right touch of sweetness... oats, sweet grains.... huge vanilla oak... fantastic hops... bitter, dry, and just right for the style in my opinion. What a good drinking imperial porter without being too over-the-top like last years Black Gold.

- Little dry and chalky... watering, and medium bodied... overall not bad for a strengthy imperial porter.

- Overall I am very impressed with this, and plan to buy a few more to sit on for awhile... I bet with 4 years or more on these bottles, they would turn out absolutely amazing.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon first, then cocoa powder, medjool dates, french roast coffee, oak, and a creamy vanilla finish. 12 months in Bourbon barrels has really rounded the edges. When you smell it and even as you begin to take your first sip, this beer seems like a beefcake. But on the finish, it just fades away. None of the aggressive, rich, astringency you might expect. Just smooth, soft, and creamy.

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Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Brewmaster Reserve 2010) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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