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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)
583 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 583 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of incubuscience
1/5  rDev -72.3%

Photo of jjdevine2
1/5  rDev -72.3%

Photo of SuomiHobbit
1.25/5  rDev -65.4%

Photo of atpca
1.5/5  rDev -58.4%

Photo of Bladezone
1.6/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of MadeInOregon
1.9/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I didn't know Widmer had gotten into the barrel-aging thing until getting a 22 of this stuff as a gift. I was really looking forward to trying this one, but was extremely disappointed.

THE APPEARANCE of the Brothers' Reserve Limited Release #3 was actually pretty nice. The body looked a lot like amber-grade maple syrup (minus the thickness, of course) with a nice and thick seafoamy head. It's crystal clear with no sedimentation anywhere. I was very surprised when I poured this out because every bourbon barrel aged brew I've tried has been rather dark and this is quite light. It actually looks like straight bourbon, which is interesting for a beer.

THE SMELL is interesting too, but not in a good way. There are strong aromas of banana and bourbon but there is an equally strong vinegar smell too. Honestly, this smells like bourbon and pickles. The balance is totally in favor of the bourbon. I should've taken this as a warning.

THE TASTE that first hit my mouth was also bourbon and pickles then progressing to hops, but finishing in bourbon whiskey. It is actually hard to tell if the bitter finish is from the hops or the bourbon, but I would guess it is the bourbon because that overwhelms and dominates everything else. Any beer-like qualities have been beaten into submission by the bourbon. Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon: that's all I'm tasting from start to finish. In this regard, I suppose that's pure genius on the part of Widmer; if they wanted a beer to taste like bourbon they have succeeded 100%! However, calling this a "winter warmer" only strengthens my sentiment that this style can really mean whatever the heck you want it to mean: dark, light, sweet, sour, strong, smooth, whatever. I would never classify this as a winter warmer.

THE FEEL is "meh". Feels nice because of the carbonation and alcohol, but nothing really interesting or great.

CONCLUSION: This is truly the most unique bourbon barrel-aged beer I've tried. But in short, if you like bourbon, just go buy some actual bourbon because it'll be cheaper than the Barrel Aged Brrrbon and probably taste better. This just tastes like bad bourbon and even worse beer. It is totally undrinkable unless you are bourbon fiend. Balance is just non-existant. Glad I tried it, but never again.

 2,276 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
1.99/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bomber Date Stamped 8/30/10
Pours a murky rusty copper color with residual head. Aroma is super saturated with bourbon wood and very rarely wisps of wood-extracted vanillins. Can't smell any malt at all. Taste is way too filled with tannins. I think my tongue is being turned into leather, because I start tasting leather on top of the overwhelming tannins. This brew has NOT cellared well at all. The malt and hops are obliterated. All I have left is the distinct impression and mouthfeel of gnawing on a dusty old doggy rawhide chew toy and than chewing my way through an entire oak tree. :(
It was pretty good (B grade) when I tasted fresh, but damn, the speed with which this one fell apart in the basement is startling.
The second drain pour I have ever had to do, and documented because even the cellaring mistakes are important to learn from (and not repeat)

 865 characters

Photo of Obsidian
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of mhaugo
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of Lawnboy33
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of BytorTheElder
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of JamesMcNasty
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of zachary80
2.42/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Average looking white head, diminishes but leaves good lacing. Body is clear, a amber/brown color.

Smell is strange. Light maltiness, some unknown fruity aroma (orange, peach?). Some spiciness, maybe something floral too. Whatever hops were used don't have much of a presence.

Flavor shows just a touch of bourbon, very disappointing for being a -bal beer called Brrrbon. Somewhat sweet, a little spicy.

Body is too thin, especially for the style.

Overall it's very drinkable for the abv, but not that enjoyable.

 517 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.43/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The name on this one does not really give me high hopes, but let's give it a go.

A - Brownish yellow color with a finger of off-white head. Little bit of red on the edges, quick dissipation with nothing left on the sides. A little ugly, but probably fine by winter warmer standards.

B - Kind of a hodgepodge of spices, some hops, big malts, and vanilla all mixed together and then dumped into a bourbon barrel. Pretty harsh bourbon on the nose (or perhaps I should say brrbon).

T - Vanilla, bourbon, some bittering hops, and surprisingly muted winter spices, although this is mostly because the much too harsh bourbon is beating everything else in this beer senseless. Not a winter warmer fan, and this one is not changing my mind, doesn't taste very good.

M - Almost full bodied, healthy carbonation. The carbonation only adds to the harshness that is this beer.

D - This beer was pretty bad, hard to drink, and I would not drink it again.

 945 characters

Photo of StielBier
2.49/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

Very disappointed.

Poured a rich off-white head that, within seconds all but disappeared.

Immediate smell of toffee/caramel with a hint of chocolate that quickly fades.

The flavor has a hint of wood and a sweet malty undertone. The flavor quickly fades leaving a slight bitterness behind.

Puts a light coating on the mouth that quickly turns to water and fades away.

I had such high hopes for this beer.

 448 characters

Photo of Beer21
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of Tagsg
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of harrymel
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasting @ huck's. Bottled 08.2010

A: Honey with a drop of blood orange in it - that's the color. Excellent clarity with a small, single finger of loosely packed light latte head which dissipates nearly immediately. Left with necklace of the same. Little lacing.

S: Candied pecans, maple syrup, bourbon, malts, smells quite sweet. Not nearly as boozy as six months ago.

T: Apples, booze, booze. Still dominated by the barrel here. Caramel malts. All pretty watered down IMO.

M: watery. Low carbonation. This has lost a tone of body in the last few months. Too bad.

O: This beer is drinkable, but the overall craftsmanship for a BBA is lacking IMO. The vanillla tones aren't there, oak tones gone, absent body, still very boozy.

From notes verbatim on 10/28/10

A: Deep cherry ale with small whipped egg white bubbles. Dull clarity. Good head.

S: Cloves, allspice atop a sweet bread nose. Unimpressive.

T: Cherry, wood, Rye bread, still really hot for the ABV.

M: Nice carb feel, not too much bubbles. Numbs the tongue.

D: Needs plenty of time in the bottle. They shouldn't have released this yet. Too young.

 1,117 characters

Photo of MidasAg
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I really can't add much that hasn't already been said.

A-Nice reddish/orange color, not much of a head to it.
S- Sweet smell,Cant really get much else
T- Irish red taste to it, with a slight bourbon taste, but not much.
M- Sticky thick mouth feel, not in a good way
D- Not great, and not sure what you would want to drink this with. To me drinkability is wanting to drink this beer with something to eat, or even drink on its one. Not so here.

I've had bourbon barrele beer before, and it was phenomenal. I've had other Widmer Brother's brews that were great. This one is simply average, and for the price, would not recommend, or buy again. Only reason I'm still drinking is I don't want to waste $10 worth of beer.

 722 characters

Photo of nickfl
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.71/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cold and rainy, so what's better than this, right (ok a bunch of things, but you get the point)...

Pours a ruddy amber with a quickly-disappearing finger of soapy head. This settles into a rim of persistent bubbles and leaves very little lacing. Very little carbonation. Nose sure does carry bourbon whiskey, that's for certain. It's very nice...A certain sweetness in the nose too, so I suspect this'll be very alcoholic (9.4% ABV actually) and probably bitter. Flavor is characterized by bourbon, malt and brown sugar. Extremely robust. Most will not be able to handle it. It's like Jack Daniels fell on top of a keg of beer and it exploded into your face...The two flavors seem to compete more than they mesh. One moment, it's like a nice barleywine, the next like a glass of JD.These two flavors wrestle with each other until the finish, which is heavily whiskey-soaked, and bitter from some hops and alcohol. This is a big beer for big beer lovers. If I had to attach this beer to a popular Internetz girl, I'd equate it to Jordan (fka Katie Price) - enormous upfront, but it's more nuture than nature, if you get the drift, and it's kind of a mess. Insanely expensive at $10.99/bomber.

What I like most: The bourbon soaked aroma.

What I like least: the price and competeing flavor profile.

Verdict: crazy, alcoholic and fun (like Jordan) but not worth it.

 1,365 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
2.74/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a pale amber, with a finger or so of off-white head. It recedes to a slim ring around the glass, with little lacing.

S - Bourbon and vanilla, a bit of spice, and more hops than I had expected. The bourbon gets very strong as it warms. It's fairly bitter, but not in a bad way.

T - Vanilla extract, bourbon, some oak, and a touch of hoppy bitterness. Some moments I enjoy it, and other moments the flavor seems thin and bitter. I like the individual components but they're not meshing in a pleasant way.

M - Decent carbonation, reasonably full mouthfeel. Nice and creamy but thinner than I'd like.

D - The abv is par for the course, and it definitely warms, but the flavors aren't doing it for me. One and done.

O - For the price, there are many, many beers that are better than this one.

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 583 ratings
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