Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Whiskey Barrel Amber | Indian Wells Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
71
okay
31 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Whiskey Barrel AmberWhiskey Barrel Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Indian Wells Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
98
Avg:
2.83
pDev:
51.24%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
19
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 98
Photo of trippytbta
1/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured bottle into snifter

A: pours amber brown, medium light tan head

S: smells light sweet and dried fruity, kind of like raisin

T: taste very messed up, confusing nasty beer. Worst beer I have had in the last few years. Whoever rated this beer above a 20, is out of their mind. Taste like this, "you are pan handling outside a 7-11 for an hour or 2 and you finally mustered up enough cash for a camo...."

M: not worth my words

Overall: they seal the bottle with wax, it's a great beer to play a joke with someone acting like it is a good brew. But it is horrible, that's the joke. Anyways, later

 604 characters

Photo of Brevbin
1.31/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Poured nicely into a snifter with very little head. Smells like a cheap Barleywine. Tastes like a watered down barleywine that has a hint of Alberstons brand whiskey mixed in. I'm honestly not going to be able to finish this.

 225 characters

Photo of USMCretired
1.44/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.25

Just a simple lager with some whiskey flavoring. Very thin and light mouthfeel, light smoked aroma from the charred whiskey barrels.

Why only wax the top 1/4 of the cap? what's the point of even waxing.

Dry, grassy, flavor and some cheap whiskey flavoring.

Do not buy again, overpriced at 11 bucks a bottle.

 312 characters

Photo of ACB
1.62/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

My buddies and I drove up to Mammoth for Memorial Day, and we stopped by Indian Wells without douching out/reading ratings to just pick up some random beers on the way.

I would categorize the Whiskey Barrel Amber as a legitimately evil liquid. It wasn't bad as much as offensive.

A: Thin, amber, nothing bad, nothing great. Surprisingly flat, but it was barrel aged.

S: WHOA! This is when we knew something was wrong. Play Doh, weird, melted candy (kind of like a raspberry/wheat) whiff. Smells medicinal. No trace of whiskey or a barrel presence.

T: I truly am not trying to be rude, but this was a holy shit moment... Holy shit, this tastes artificial and I get no sense of what this base beer was... all raspberry, wheat, and again, no sense of any whiskey or barrel hitting this. Confusing. Moments of intense wheat and raspberry. I will say, for a 12.5% beer, that was hidden alarmingly well... but then again, you don't taste the codeine in cough syrup.

M: If I plugged my nose, I would've been fooled into thinking I was drinking a pretty thin, low carbonated barleywine. The problem was, my nose wasn't plugged and I tasted this... Let's call the mouthfeel average.

O: Most of their beer was pretty offensively bad or bland. This tasted eerily similar to their Lobotomy Bock, which is not barrel aged and is not an Ale.

Truly, one of the worst beers I've ever been around. Gross. Evil. Four different people couldn't take more than two/three sips.

Very useful at putting out the campfire.

 1,509 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
1.76/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a lightly hazed copper color with a modest crown of off-white head. Nice sheen and lacing.

Nose is maple and wood with a toasty, caramel maltiness. An interesting, albeit mild, mix of malty aromas.

Taste is a bit plasticy, which I have noticed in some of Indian Wells' other brews. Yuck...12% amber? not cool. The initial flavor does not really give off a whiskey flavor but the back end is overly tannic and...well...nasty comes to mind. Never again...foul, vile liquid. Glad I split this with someone (and didn’t pay the ridiculous fee of $10), otherwise at least half would have been feeding my disposal.

 652 characters

Photo of avwrite
1.9/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A - At first looks okay. Nice brown color.

S - Sweet smell, which is surprising for a bear of such high ABV.

T - Okay, but not pleasant after the first sip. Strange mix of ultra bitter and sweetness. A confusing taste.

M - The worst. After a few sips, quickly loses any enjoyability.

O - Would not recommend.

 312 characters

Photo of kinglouix
2.03/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks like a dark apple juice, i.e., the color of apple cider. Has no odor whatsoever which was a sign of things to come. The taste rating is only because it wasn't offensive. You don't flinch or desire to spit it out , you simply ask yourself how is it possible that a beer aged in whiskey barrels has no taste at all. The feel is watery which corresponds to its zero body. No clue how this got bottled after being produced it is absolutely tasteless. Had a lit a ten dollar bill on fire I would have gotten more return than on the purchase of this subpar product. I can't imagine something like this being released.

 618 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.16/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

 246 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.16/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

 1,073 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.61/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.71/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

 370 characters

Photo of MisterGone
2.75/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

 543 characters

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.

 336 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
2.85/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 547 characters

Photo of texasnomad
2.96/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 753 characters

Photo of Tommygunn
2.96/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 240 characters

Photo of trappistlover
2.97/5  rDev +4.9%
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?

 510 characters

Photo of Phelps
3/5  rDev +6%
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.

 945 characters

Photo of gtermi
3.01/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 584 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.03/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

 461 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.11/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 652 characters

Photo of Radome
3.22/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

 611 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.23/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

 677 characters

Photo of samtrillo
3.3/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

 366 characters

Photo of hopmandu
3.36/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

 317 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Whiskey Barrel Amber from Indian Wells Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe