Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 9.4% ABV
Original Gravity: 20° PLATO

Released: September 2010

Added by BarrytheBear on 09-24-2010

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 581
Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased somewhere localish.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear copper brew. Head quickly recedes to the rim, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is vanilla and alcohol, as expected.

Taste is syrupy sweet to start, a peek of fruit/tart in the middle, and then vanilla, alcohol, and a lingering coconut close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is easy, especially for the abv. Nice brew, even though I'm not the biggest coconut flavor fan.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer for a couple months now in the cooler and it seemed like a good time to review it. Let's see what this Brrrbon beer has to offer:

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear dark reddish brown color with a small 1/8" head at the apex and faded back into the beer pretty much right after I got done pouring it. There was a very small ring of bubbles where it meets the glass.

Aroma: I initially got a decent amount of vanilla from the wood aging, and some toasty notes from the malt. There are evident fruity esters in this beer and the alcohol is already adding some spicy complexity in the cold beer. The hops are starting to be more apparent as the beer warms up, and seem like British varieties.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma pretty well. There is a bit more malt presence in the mouthfeel than I expected. It has a caramel malt edge to the flavor that goes well with the vanilla notes from the wood. I don't get much Bourbon, but I definitely pick up the wood. The overall body is quite thin and the carbonation is low, so these actually go together pretty well, but it leaves the palate feeling a bit disappointed in the end. The finish is owned by the malt, and it is hard to pick up much hops in this beer except as balance in the finish. As the beer warms up, the hops start to show up in various places in the flavor profile.

Opinion: I have been pretty happy with this beer. For a Winter Warmer, it is pretty darn good...and definitely warming. There are some mouthfeel things about this beer that I would like to modify, but that is just tweaking. Even as a low carbonated beer, it comes across well, and I wouldn't mind drinking this beer again. I look forward to finishing this beer, but it will most certainly "put me to bed" tonight.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber dated 10/2010 poured to tulip.

Poured from 22oz bomber dated 10/2010 to pint glass. The beer pours a deep ruby copper color with a two finger lighter tan colored head. Good retention and lacing throughout. I am enjoying this aroma: nice blend of vanilla, caramel, oak, figs, and a hint of bourbon. The flavor very much follows suit though the bourbon is a bit more pronounced on the tongue. The vanilla, caramel, and fig flavors blend well with a medium bitterness. Coats your palette. Medium bodied and adequately carbonation. Overall, I enjoyed this beer. Aging seemed to mellow the bourbon flavors but not as much as I anticipated. A brew I look forward to every year :)

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of the 2011 vintage shared with my buddy at Hurricane Wings in Estero - thanks to Chris, the owner, for shoutin this one out to me as a recommendation.

Poured into Unibroue tulip a moderate burnt woody brown with a mellowed light tan head. A good amount of legs hang out on the glass. Smell is bourbon forward to say the least, literally smells like a mild version of Maker's Mark with a sweeter note. Taste follows through the same, but balanced way more than I thought from getting the nose. Sweet malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon all give equal parts to combine for a smooth & tasty bourbon barrel aged brew. Body was spot on too, moderately full but light enough to not overwhelm one with heaviness from body & taste.

Overall, the bourbon was spot on in this one & for its price and availability - you need to get some. Was $13 at the bar, but I had seen it for $10 at bottle shops. Solid price @ both places!

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22oz bottle poured into a dfh snifter.

A: pours a nice brown ruby with a finger if slightly tanned head... Excellent lacing.

S: nice burbon on the nose along with light oak, I get notes of caramel, toffe, vanilla, mic maltiness.

T: much like the nose nice barrel aged notes over a nice malty base, kind of scotch ale like.... I get brown sugar and a citrusy note of wet mango along with toasted caramel and vanilla And a light touch of burbon. Also a touch of spices.

M: nice lush medium mouthfeel with creamy carbonation, nicley drinkable. A bit dry and Sticky on the finish.

O: this I a nice beer for a cold night... Very nice notes from the barrels, though they are not wet burbon notes, wich aloes tem to just add some nice barrel flavors to a tasty malt backbone... Nice.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter with just the lightest had on top. I let this one sit out of the fridge for a good 25min to warm up some. The aroma is somewhat light but I am getting some malts, booze and some cherries.

Oh man, the bourbon and wood are for sure there. There is some sweetness that is like a caramel chew but it really doesn't stand out. The wood flavor is pretty much from the beginning to the end. Though it isn't harsh, like take the smell of those balsa wood planes when you were a kid and make it a flavor. Kind of awesome actually.

There is hardly any carbonation and it very drinkable. Was so glad to see this again for 2011. It is just one of those winter seasonals I don't mind paying for. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2011

A very dark and clear orange amber body, consistent throughout but with hardly any head presence at all. Small collar seems to remain with some whispy top, head was a light caramel that disappeared very quickly. In sunlight though the body has a wonderful gorgeous ruby red color.

A real nice whiff first of cherry like fruit and spices, followed by bourbon style barrel aged notes of caramel, oak and thick vanilla. Really nice.

Taste is a mild mix of barrel aged thickness, but also some wet cherry body. Palate has a light caramel malt and warming spices, but also a very wet finish. Carbonation feels just interesting enough to not take anything away from the drink.

Overall rather enjoyable take on a winter warmer and a nice break from the giant barrel aged stout beers. I would have this again anytime, real nice nose on this too.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with only slight bits of light coming through to change it from a back note. a huge tan head then rose up from the depths and settled across the top of the glass. really just a thick look to it.

the aroma was boozy, with lots of peat and smoked malts that really filled the air. hints of molasses, chocolate, rich caramel and dark fruits all make their presence known. with the thickness of a milkshake the first sips slide over the palate doing their best to coat it so fully you do not even know where to start. just tremendous in every aspect. rich smoked malts and sweet flavors finish the job with a kick of smooth boozy oak and bourbon to round it out.

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Photo of Amalak
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. It has a nice caramel color with a slight haziness to it. Some bubbles, small head.

S. A metallic malt scent.

T/M. It has a balanced malty taste. Some hops and a bit bitter. A slight alcohol taste, but not overbearing. Smooth and full bodied.

O. Very nice, smooth beer. For a winter warmer, it's a very nice offering.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber beer with sediment and 2-finger beige head, nice retention.
Smell - caramel, oak, bourbon, dried fruits.
Taste - caramel, bourbon, wood, vanilla, prunes.
Medium body, medium to soft carbonation.
Complex and relatively good.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.02/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams signature pint glass. Vintage bottle October 2010 (limited release #3), poured 10/29/2012.

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy amber with heavy bubbles (small) on the body. Had slightly off white about 1/3" at best off a vigorous pour.

Smell: Very nice bourbon scent. Not too overwhelming but obviously a little room for improvement.

Taste: Complex and good. It has a light lager feel to it offset with a sweet taste that reminds you of a borderline carbonated whiskey,. It is lightly bitter but feels heavy in alcohol because of the bourbon taste that goes with it.

Mouth: Strongly sticky, you lay this glass down and you feel the after taste of brown sugar but of what real beer is supposed to taste like.

Overall: A beastly beer, I am not crazy to begin with on the bourbon or oaked aged beers but this one is a gem. I know there are different versions that might not live up to the expectations of this one aged two years just right did it for me. I have had this bottle for about a year and thought it was time. Enjoy and drink up....Salud!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours brilliant chestnut under a thin cream colored foam cap. Caramel and toffee flavors and aromas meet big alcohol for a satiating, fulfilling and warming after dinner drink. Soft carbonation and medium full body.

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Photo of ElGordo
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage sampled at a group tasting of several new releases. Pours a pretty orange-tan color with just a hint of a creamy white head. Aroma is big on the bourbon, with strong notes of wood, vanilla, and a spicy note of caraway or anise. Palate is rich and sweet, with a lightly fruit hop profile mingling with the assertive malts and the strong bourbon edge, leading up to a very warm finish. This is a very nice beer right now, but I think a few months of aging will round out the edges and make this an excellent beer.

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Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark copper with a milky finger of short-lived off-white head which fades off to a neat collar and pinpoint lacing. Some pretty imposing alcohol legs as well.

Interesting aromas coming from the glass - dark juicy fruits, burnt toffee, some booze, a bit of vanilla... not at all what I was anticipating but appealing nonetheless.

If nothing else, this beer is certainly unique. Lots of soft vanilla-y wood notes... Alcohol has taken a back seat to smooth fruits and tobacco. A touch of warming heat but not any kind of burn. It's the type of alcohol presence that actually adds to a beer.

This beer has become entirely balanced. Nothing sharp about it.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this one with the brother-in-law on New Years Eve. Poured into a modified imperial, the beer is dark brown with garnet highlights. I was presently surprised by the head & lacing.

The beer has a nose of vanilla, roasted malts and a whiff of bourbon.

The taste has molasses, brown sugar, some vanilla, some woody notes, dark fruit and in the background some bourbon notes. The bourbon was dialed down a little to much, but the base beer was pretty tasty.

The mouth is slightly thick and a bit oily. The mid-level carbonation works with this beer.

I thought it went down pretty easy and both of us like it. I wish I would have bought a few more and the price is right at $12.95.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a nice head Not a lot of head with lots of lacing.

Smell: Spices and bourbon.

Taste: The first two sips I got all spice and malt. After that the bourbon seemed to come to the forefront and dominate.

Mouthfeel: low key for a barrel aged and not over powering which is a good thing for me.

Overall: this is the first Bourbon Barrel Aged beer thst I have had that was not a stout and I like this better than most of them.

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Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went over to a friends last night and he had a surprise for me. It was poured into standard pint glasses. The pour was copper with a medium white head, light lacing. The aroma is sweet, vanilla and bourbon. The beer was sweet, some honey. The main theme was light bourbon, very warming but not overwhelming. The beer was medium in body and had a sticky mouthfeel. The beer was dangerously drinkable. A good beer, but overpriced.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a full of oak, vanilla, and Bourbon, with some holiday spices, sweet toasted caramel and bready malts, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet toasted caramel malts, some light spices, vanilla, dark fruits, and some residual sugars. Through the middle, the oak and Bourbon comes through with some more spices and some bready malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and bready malts with some dark fruit, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, spices, and some booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice barrel character balanced nicely by the big winter warmer.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dirty Brown color with a moderate haze to it. Pours a 1 finger head that quickly vanishes. Not too much going on here.

Smell - Caramel, Vanilla, Bourbon with a touch of brandy, oak and figs. Smells pretty sweet and there's also a sort of a "creamy" smell to it, almost like an Irish Creme.

Taste - Caramel, Bourbon, and Oak are all pretty powerful. In fact, it almost tastes like straight up bourbon! The figs and sweet malts just add to that overall sweetness that comes with bourbon. The Oak also adds a distinct dimension to what is already a complex flavor. Aftertaste is pretty much straight oak and bourbon, like I have just finished a couple shots of bourbon

Mouthfeel - It's fairly light in body and the carbonation is very subdued, this gives it a very creamy feel. For a beer that's 9.4% ABV, it's pretty easy to drink!

Overall - Some will be not like the sweetness due to the bourbon present. Otherwise, this is a great bourbon style ale that offers something unique and enjoyable to those looking for something a little different.

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Photo of david18
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a small draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A very good beer, especially for a "Winter Warmer" which I typically don't like. The bourbon was very present and added a lot to this beer.

Color was lighter than I expected, a dark copper with a low amount of carbonation.

Aroma was a great balance of roasty malt, hops and the bourbon/barrel.

Flavor as well was very balanced and had a great warming to it without any of that crazy fruitiness or spiciness that you can get from winter ales.

A great beer drank at the perfect time of year for it.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. A 22oz bottle was split three ways, poured into pint glasses.

A: Translucent copper, small tan head, a bit or rising carbonation. A coating of film and foam is left behind.

S: Spicy oak and bourbon. Possibly a bit of raisin.

T: Dark fruit malt base. Bourbon is strong but doesn't burn. A bit of sugar provides sweetness. It all balances well.

M: Good coat. Plenty of flavor. Med/full body and noticeable carbonation.

O: Very good winter ale. Bourbon improves it. I would drink this again.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, Fall 2010 (stamp on bottle says October 2010) vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is a bit boozy, the brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, coconut, caramel malt and some dark fruit. It tastes like bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt, coconut, and a little bit of sweet spices and dark fruit. But the bourbon flavor in this brew is stronger compared to the other ones. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating, smooth, and has moderate carbonation. Aging this brew for a little more than a year certainly hasn't hurt it. I thought it was good, now I might have to buy a bottle of the 2011 version to try.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz 2011 vintage poured out into three regular size wine glasses. Thanks to RyanSchwam for this extra beer in a great trade!

A - pours a dark orange, a little brown, not unlike an English BW. Foam recedes quickly, lingers on the edge.

S - I like the smell, some bourbon notes, woody, sweet, flavorful.

T - also pretty good. I like the fact that it's not quite as sweet as some BBA brews. A little bit of caramel, woody.

M - meh. The carbonation hurts this beer, and maybe the extra age does too. The alcohol is undetectable.

O - a good brew. I'd like to try it on tap.

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Photo of robbrandes
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bomber, dated 8/30/10

nice, deep tan color. understated head, recedes to a not-quite-covering-the-glass film.

huge bourbon and oak aroma, a little malt and even less vanilla; however, it works for me.

taste - wow, this is a crazy dry beer. i was initially wondering if i'd get through the bottle, but it seems to work. the oak is hu-freaking-mongous, the alcohol is big; no joke - i've had boilermakers with less fuzz on 'em! but everything seems to still come together. there's not a huge malt backbone, and the mouthfeel suffers a bit as a result.

I'd like to definitely give this another run. maybe pair this bad boy with some fish tacos, or jamaican jerk chicken.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage. Off-white head, moderate retention on a slightly hazy, copper body. Clear and soapy, sticky lacing. Aroma includes (suprisingly) earthy piney hops with some citrus. Slight vanilla, caramel malts and marmalade. Taste is again dominated by earthy hops and bitterness, some caramel malts again and vanilla sweetness. Not at all what I expected, very drinkable for the abv and quite tasty.

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 581 ratings.
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