Whiskey Barrel Amber | Indian Wells Brewing Company

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Whiskey Barrel AmberWhiskey Barrel Amber

Brewed by:
Indian Wells Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by trappistlover on 07-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 101
Photo of JWMojave
4.53/5  rDev +58.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

I have now had this beer 3 times and look forward to many more. It's listed as retired but I was at the brewery earlier today and can assure you it is alive and well. I love amber ales and I'm sure some of the negative reviews are from hop heads. I personally can't stand IPA's. This beer is very smooth has a nice caramel and whiskey flavor and is 12% or close to it. The buzz after a 22oz. confirmed that. At 9.99 for 22oz it is not in any way overpriced. Go to your local mkt. and compare other beers that in my opinion is overpriced. Indian Wells Brewery (not to be confused with the city near Palm Springs) rocks. It's right next to the jct of Hwy 14 and Hwy 395 in Kern County. You can actually get a glass of beer for $5 and keep the glass or buy a beer for a dollar and drink it out of a plastic cup. Your choice. This place rocks.

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Photo of TastefulNudity
4.17/5  rDev +46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this as a birthday present and actually excited to review it! Bottle states it as a lager but on here it's an ale...not sure what to review it as. Cellar temp in to snifter.

A: Doesn't count but the bottle label & wax job are awesome. Also a nice story on the label. Beautiful copper red with a one finger eggshell head that sticks around for a bit. Looks much thinner than 12% as stated on the bottle but this is an attractive beer.

S: Malt, caramel, dark fruit, big alcohol, a whiff of brown sugar and oak from the bourbon? Biggest nose on a "lager" I've encountered. This can't be 100% barrel aged, but I guess it doesn't claim to be. Get past the alcohol and it's a good smelling beer.

T: Alright there's no way this is 12%. But this isn't bad beer! Starts sweet and fruity on the front of the tongue and turns in to a swirl of caramel, malt, and a bit of vanilla and brown sugar. Slightly bitter but still wet finish. Would be good over vanilla ice cream.

M: Thin with a light carbonation. No stickiness and not overly drying.

O: Better than I expected from the reviews here. Don't agree with the 12% claim, seems more like half that, but this should at least be 80+. If I had to compare it to another brew it reminds me of Firestone's DBA.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.97/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red in color with little foam and no lacing. Smells of whiskey, molasses, and smoke. The taste is a fooler, its almost neutral of any bite or anything, almost mute, not sure how they did this but its a muted whiskey tone with almost nothing that resembles a beer. I have to rate this as not sure, its good but its not a beer, its almost a mix of unknown if that makes sense. The finish is missing just gone before it started.

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Photo of SavvyStudent
3.92/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a nice amber body and leaes lace throughout bottle. Slight head on initial pour.

S: Oak, cherry, banana

T: A nice whiskey flavor with some sweetness on the back-end. A little sweet for an amber and not as deep as some other bourbon barrel beers out there.

M: A nice crisp finish without any bad residue.

O: The only reason I tried this beer was it was the only bourbon ish one at the local store. However for 10 I am on the fence about getting it again despite the nice surprise with this purchase. Unique enough to give it a try once at least

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of pkalix
3.69/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

haha... love the reviews.... sound like something I would write...
bland pour, nothing much happening...
smell is sweet, malty; 12% I suppose that is to be expected. not a, like, super awesome brew, but so far not really terribly bad... don't understand all the bad reviews.... what's up with that?
sweet malty commercial-type (german-like) grain, surprised with the 12% abv.... too bad Mickey's or Colt 45 couldn't duplicate this....
not a super great brew, but then not bad. really, tastes like a commercial german brew,,, hofbrau? I can give it too bad a review... it's just, merely, like a hyper hofrau...

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Photo of Svingjo
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Indian Wells Brewing - Whiskey Barrel Brew Barrel Aged Amber - pours a clear red with a thin beige head that soon rings around the glass. The nose presents a sweet malt up front. The wood and whiskey is prevalent mid way when you draw a breath in. If there is any hops it's barely noticeable. The taste is much the same with a hoppy bitterness and a slight alcohol burn which you'd expect at 12.0% ABV. But even with that it finishes very quick. The mouthfeel is slightly on the watery side.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had in a festival setting, couple tastings of it. Being not much of a BBA or WBA fan for most things, this, for me, was a nice blend of whiskey that doesn't overpower the actual beer which happens all too often. I enjoyed it and rated accordingly.

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Photo of hopmandu
3.36/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Interestingly enough I had this after having an Austrian Dunkel to which it was surprisingly comparable considering I didn't know what I was buying in either case. Caramel malts plus some very distinct unknown I'm still trying to get at. Maybe overripe banana and some dense bread in a good way? Anyway a decent brew.

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Photo of samtrillo
3.3/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Scratching my head over how this one is %12. Very thin and watery feel. It's not the worst but it's surprising. The taste Is also lacking a lot of what I'd expect in a a barrel aged amber ale. Almost tastes like a half done pumpkin ale. Slightly sweet and bready. Looking for more whiskey or toffee and caramel flavored but can't really find em. This one is just ok.

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Photo of bmwats
3.23/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. dissipates pretty quickly, and completely. Fair beer ring lacing.

S: Nutty malt, with a heavy dose of whiskey.

T: Lightly sweet malty flavor. Whiskey largely drowns anything else out.

M: Fairly light. Heavy alcohol content is deceiving. Sticky and syrupy. Almost like it's thinned out by the whiskey.... even though it's not.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is decent. Nice amber hue. Light foamy head, and light lacing. Nose is nutty and malty, but mostly whiskey. Flavor is syrupy sweet malt, mostly overshadowed by by whiskey. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of Radome
3.22/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Tasted from a 22 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

L - Crystal clear beer with a beautiful reddish brown color. Cream colored head is low, but persists around the edge of the glass.

S - Rich malt aromas of bread and prunes. Low spice that could be from hops, yeast or the whiskey barrel. Oak.

T - Bready, graham cracker-like malt. Low, earthy hops. Low spice note. No obvious barrel aging flavors. Low butterscotch.

F - Thin body. Low carbonation. Low bitterness. Low alcohol presence.

O - A decent amber ale, but not overly interesting and certainly disappointing lack of barrel aging character.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Pours clear and ruby amber in color with a khaki head that quickly fizzes out like soda, leaving a mostly barren surface.

Smell - Aroma hits on notes of caramel, earthy nuttiness, light oak and vanilla.

Taste - Follows the nose to an extent. Moderate notes of caramel and nutty character that fade quickly. Faint oak and vanilla. Finishes with light astringency.

Mouthfeel - Thin with low carbonation. Very weak and watery.

Overall - Not good, but no off flavors in the least. Weak profile overall, with a thin, soda-water like texture that's not appealing. Paid $4 for it, and even at that price I'd likely pass on buying it again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear reddish amber colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells sweet with a strong toasted grain aroma. Strong vanilla and caramel. Some whiskey scent but it isn't strong.

Starts out sweet with a very strong caramel flavor. Alcohol is very well hidden. Strong vanilla and mild whiskey. Warms the chest and that is the only hint that this is a 12% beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a sweet malty and strong beer. Not sure I would buy it again though.

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Photo of gtermi
3.01/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Beer pours a nice amber body with a thick white head that quickly fades and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: Some cheap whiskey, banana, a little bit of grain and some more cheap whiskey.

T: It has a weird cheap bourbon flavor that soon evolves to a sort of rain finish. The whiskey flavor is just way too powerful.

M: This beer is actually very smooth and has a nice body. It goes down with ease and it has a tiny bit of crispness on the back of the throat and tongue.

O: This beer is very average and doesnt make sense to me.. especially at 10 dollars a freaking bomber.

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Photo of Phelps
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a wax-topped growler into my Lost Abbey stemware.

Dark chestnut in color and mostly clear. The fizzy grayish head is a late arrival, rising from the depths after the pour’s completed and popping away quickly.

Interesting, softly sweet. Bubble gum, caramel, a hint of apples mixed with whiskey.

Caramel, some peanutiness and marzipan in the flavor. Just a bit of fruits, apples, apricots. In the background, some bottom-shelf booze, with the telltale harsh graininess. Fairly clean, drying finish.

Light carbonation pokes the tongue gently in the medium, runny body. Plenty of fumes in the nose and heat in the throat, but not anything that would suggest 12 percent. The booze is fairly well-hidden.

I’m confused by the choice of packaging. With this beer so average in flavor and so high in alcohol, I’m bound to pour about half this growler out. Nowhere near good enough to justify the price tag or the serving size.

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Photo of trappistlover
2.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(wax-capped growler from Total Wine Tempe). Yep, I bought the bullet on this one. Pours a ruby color with tan head. No carbonation or lacing. Aroma has some decent bourbon notes along with a bit of fruit. Taste is sweet malt with some light bourbon and a hint of bitterness. Thin bodied with an alcohol bite, although fairly well hidden for a 12% amber. Has a weird aftertaste. This was better than I thought, but it became a chore to drink it as time passed. Not sure why they used an amber for the base beer?

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Photo of texasnomad
2.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After removing the obnoxious wax covering on the concentional cap, the beer poured a nice orangey amber-brown with a hint of haziness which cleared up after a few minutes. I probably had it a tad too cold.

I expected a fragrant bouquet, but was disappointed with a fairly weak nose, but I did pick up some notes of graham cracker and cherry and later sawdust.

Taste was average and about what you expect for a whiskey-barrell aged beer, with very light notes of cherry and caramel.

It had a nice mouthfeel, though not as creamy as I would have liked.

Overall the beer was average and not worth the 10 piece that I paid. I would drink it again, though, if it were not so expensive. It is nowhere near the deliciousness of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

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Photo of Tommygunn
2.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not nearly as bad as some of the reviews would have you believe. It's a little bit unusual and, therefore, interesting. Don't get me wrong, though - this is not a good beer. I may have bought my last Costplus beer without checking BA first.

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Heard legendary things about how horrible the beer from these guys was. Saw this in San Diego, so I had to give it a shot.

A: Pours a clear dark amber color with a 1/2 finger tan head.

S: Very mild smell. Mild whiskey, molasses, caramel and some apple. As it warms, it turns to a less pleasant malt syrupy sweetness.

T: mild graininess with hints of toast, watery apple cider, and a light toasted malt finish. Feels and tastes like it's about 5%. Nothing tastes offensive in here, but nothing really tastes like much at all, which is a problem.

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Photo of zander4dawin
2.84/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Amber color with a haze. Taste really boozy with a tangy vanilla/raisin taste that lingers. Not a drain pour but overall nothing truly special. Mouthfeel is pretty light considering the aggressive 12 percent abv. Pretty much has an extra lager or nearly malt liquor booziness going for it without much taste to consider it a great beer.

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Photo of MisterGone
2.75/5  rDev -3.5%

So it looks like all is going well on the pour. Amber-red with a nice beige head. But the aroma suggests, well, not much. Really can't ID anything but some faint alcohol. Taste improves with some woody notes, maybe fig, but really caramel... As in candy, not malt. Finishes with some alcohol which I suppose is supposed to invoke the whiskey, but I'm not getting that.

Now, if I'm making the Mammoth or back-road Bakersfield run, I'd still pop in here for a growler. Likely a different tap offering though. This one was a little sweet for me.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Had this at Panamint Springs Resort in Death Valley upon recommendation of the beer-loving bartender there. I had seen it for sale before in Palm Springs and passed it up due to the low BA ratings.

All of you advocates were right. This beer is terrible. Super thin mouthfeel, foul sour taste, fake caramel overtones, unbalanced sweetness, bad whiskey notes. No thanks!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle pour at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and Play-Doh flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with almost no barrel aged presence other than a slight woody aspect.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

At money plays in Vegas. Dark Halloween orange with a ring of retention. Smells fruity like maraschino cherry juice with soft caramel. Tastes like the juice at the bottom of a cup fruit salad. Hardly any whiskey, just some honeyed sweetness. Meh.

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Photo of mactrail
2.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I didn't realize this was an Indian Wells brew until I got home to read the fine print. So I thought what the heck. First off, it's maybe 7 or 8 percent. It's nowhere near 12. Just drink a couple gulps of an actual strong beer for comparison. Indian Wells is the only brewery I've ever experienced that has a thing about claiming their beers are higher in alcohol than they really are. Check the Lobotomy Bock for another of their beers claiming a much higher ABV. In fact I wonder if this is just the Lobotomy with a little flavoring.

This just doesn't taste like it's been near any barrels. It tastes like a poor doppelbock, or a maibock with some caramel flavoring. Some sweetness lingers throughout, with a medicinal bitterness to spoil even that. Flat mouthfeel, though to be fair the auburn color is attractive and the cap of foam sits tight.

This beer is a fraud, and at eleven bucks it's robbery as well. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Boulevard Liquors in San Diego, which seems to be one of last place selling Indian Wells beers since even Whole Foods stopped.

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Whiskey Barrel Amber from Indian Wells Brewing Company
2.85 out of 5 based on 101 ratings.
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