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

229 Reviews
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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 jayhawk73
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color w/ a thin sliver of an off white head. Moderate carbonation and lacing on my snifter glass. Beer appears clear, and somewhat easy to see through in spite of the color. The nose is mainly bourbon, oak, vanilla. A little on the simplistic, non-complex side, and a little thin. Taste is a little better, but not great. A little boozy, w/ vanilla and oak coming through as well. Mouthfeel is thin and syrupy. Overall, this beer is a bit of a mess. I probably won't pick this up again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Vintage 2011. Bottled 14 November 2011.

A: Clear light-molasses, heavy lace, light head.

S: Loads of bourbon. Sweet malt. Heavy fruits. After a sip, a touch of metal.

T: Not very interesting. Flat malts, vanilla, raw sugar, and a touch of whiskey. Jack Daniels. The aftertaste is uncompelling and easy forgettable.

M: Smooth, but cool. Nice enough. Pleasant for a winter warmer.

O: A touch of spice, but loads more fruit and oversweet molasses malt. I didn't think it was great; the bourbon was heavy-handed, but whatever. I wouldn't recommend it. I won't have again.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boxed 22oz bottle poured into snifter.

A - Pours a reddish copper amber colour with off-white head. Slightly rocky and didn't retain very long. Little to no lacing

S - Sweet caramel, some vanilla, hot bourbon, oak.

T - Main flavour is a sweet bready malt with undertones of dark fruit (plums and raisins) and cherries. The bourbon is very subdued and doesn't seem well integrated into the beer. Caramel, oak and sherry also faint.

M - Somewhat thin and watery. Medium body and noticeable alcohol.

O - An average beer. The bourbon seems unbalanced and not profiled effectively. Not a bad drinker but I wouldn't look for this again.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$11.99 for 22oz bottle.

A: nice copper color with good head that dissipated to a thin film
S: mild nose, some roasted malt with bourbon barrel very evident
T: this beer has more bourbon taste than anything else, it's not bad and I really like bourbon but the body of the beer could have a lot more depth, sweeter finish, not a ton of depth in malt
M: good enough but lacked character
D: drinkable, nothing offensive or off-flavored, just lacks character

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Photo of rEBELlION
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this as part of a bourbon barrel aged beer tasting with friends. This was my least favorite of the bunch, which is not to say that it was terrible. As a more economical barrel aged beer, some simply outclassed it. However, even at the price point there were others that were far more enjoyable. The biggest problem with it for me was the flavor. It tasted more like it had whiskey added to it and less like it had acquired the characteristics over time. The swallow left a sort of cheap whiskey burn. I enjoy the mellow bourbon flavor that most barrel aged beers leave.
I would try it again if handed to me but I see bourbon barrel aged beers as an experience and there are far better experiences out there.

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Photo of IKR
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark golden-brown. Small beige head that dissipated quickly. Good looking beer.

Smell: Very mild Bourbon aroma with some mild fruity notes.

Taste: Semi spicy musky taste with possibly some faint Bourbon notes. I get some hops in the fairly dry finish. Very subdued and thin tasting.

Mouth-feel: Light body with a modest level of carbonation. Very thin feeling.

Overall: I'm missing the flavor and body of the beers I usually drink. The beer doesn't have any objectionable characteristics but it faults are "sins of omission". My tastes gravitate to upfront flavorful beers. I just find this one lacking.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Deep see-thru amber with a fat and fluffy off-white head. Lacing and retention are pretty good.

The barrel elements- oak, vanilla, bourbon- are rather restrained in the nose. Vaguely fruity and hoppy. I taste some of the prickly hoppiness of Regular Brrr, but it's somewhat neutered. I'm not sure the base beer has the malt profile to hold up to barrel-aging. The body seems on the thin side, the bourbon is so subtle as to not add much to the equation, and the barrel notes are more raw wood than buttery/oak/vanilla. A decent beer for sure, but something seems to be lacking. Regular Brrr is certainly superior.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice amber/copper color, with very minimal head, moderate carbonation, and doesn't stick to the sides of the glass at all.

S - Smell is a little anemic with the majority of my olfactory waft coming from bourbon, caramel/toffee malt, and candied plums with a slight medicinal aroma. Overall,the aroma is light in the nose,maybe this would have been stronger when it was fresh?

T - Agreed with an earlier opinion that this really does remind me of an English style barleywine on the palette. The taste is mild and the flavors match the nose with the addition of the oak barrel nuance that I didn't get so much in the nose. Strong oak tannin on the palette.

M - Thin bodied, boozy effervesence, and with an almost clean finish. I wouldn't expect this from a beer stamped as a high gravity bourbon beer.

D - Meh.

I really feel bad because I had higher expectations for this beer and the taste is like a watered down glass of oak, bourbon, and light caramel. For what I paid for the bottle, I'll have to finish this one. Widmer Brothers, no offense with this review, I'm going to give this one another go around on the next batch because I really enjoy bourbon beers. This one just 'ain't doin' it for me. (sorry to say)

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Photo of scottfrie
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into New Belgium snifter. Split with mjyoung.

A: Pours an even, clear, dark amber with a thin tan head. Not much lacing.
S: Spicy apple smell with boozy notes more reminiscent to a spiced rum than a bourbon.
T: Tame, spicy flavors of vanilla, winter spices and light bourbon. Pretty mellow overall. Touch of caramel in the finish with some more vanilla.
M: Alcohol is hidden very well, almost too well since I can barely taste the bourbon.
O: Super tame but what's there is good.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on -tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - A clear, reddish copper served to me with a thin, off-white head.

Smell - Smells like watered down bourbon. Sweet, oaky and boozy.

Taste - Follows the nose: watered down bourbon. Touches of caramel. Boozy. Not much else to describe.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low carbonation. Smooth. Goes down easy enough.

Overall - Call me unimpressed. Truly tastes like bourbon that's been cut with water. That's it. Really nothing else to it. Definitely a beer that won't be on my future want list.

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Photo of ranger60
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap at Buckeye Beer Engine.

A - dark caramel color, almost looks like a dark cream soda. off white head that really laces the glass.

S- picking up hops, not much else overly characteristic.

T- tasting alcohol more than anything. some hops, and if I let it linger in my mouth and think about it, I'm picking up the bourbon.

M- a bit harsh and strong alcohol.

O- not bad, but disappointing for a bourbon aged.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brownish read with a very hazy attribute to it. Thin and whispy off white head does not stick around, it is a barrel aged beer anyhow.

Smells unique, a somewhat spicy yet hippy nose with a mild whiskey aroma, with a very sweet up front scent that is somewhere between toffee and caramel. Hops are sort of piney.

Cinnamon, malt, peppermint and piney hops right out of Tue gate yield to a very present whiskey flavor, almost scotch like in its sweetness. I'm not a huge fan of the "Bourbon" taste I'm getting off of this.

The mouthfeel is rather thin with some alcohol heat and almost no carbonation to go with it.

Not very drinkable, to aggressive.

I'm a bit disappointed, the scent really implied that this beer had potential. I personally, however am not a big fan.

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Photo of TheDTrain
3.12/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cherry amber color gave this beer promise. The hints of wood, fruit, sweet tones along with the subtle bourbon tones provides a decent aroma. While the bourbon definitely adds something positive, this beer was thin and pretty weak.

Not a bad beer. But for $13 the d-train was pretty disappointed. I certainly won't be buying this again. Skip it.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.12/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep orange/copper color, mildly cloudy. Practically no head at all with lots of lacing.

S: Bourbon, wheat, malts, and peppery spices. Big bourbon and alcohol lift in the aroma.

T/M: smooth and mild bourbon flavor right off on the initial sip. Relaxing caramel malt character with a subtle amount of hops and wheat barley. Bourbon and mild caramel sweetness on the finish. Light gravity on the overall body with high carbonation.

D: Not a terrible brew, but not very impressive. Nice balance between the bourbon and the winter warmer, but the body overall was a bit watery, and the overall flavor was too simple for my taste.

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Photo of Gmann
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light brown color with a smallish off-white head that settled into a light ring around the glass.

The aroma is of light bourbon, nothing overpowering. There is a candied honey malt, some musty notes and a peppery spice.

The taste is of light bourbon, vanilla and diet coke with loads of saccharin. It has an out of place bitterness which is probably from the hops, but it is harsh. The brew has a caramel malt base with some candied honey, perhaps a touch of berry sweetness. The bourbon flavor and malt flavor are nice but the rest is kind of a mess.

The feel is light to moderate with prickly carbonation; finishes surprisingly clean perhaps a tad sticky. Finishes with a rough bitterness, like sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery.

This is very meh. The bourbon is perfect for the malt and the malt is fine but the spice and the hops just don't work for me.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a tulip
2012 Vintage

A- A dark amber orange, very clear. One finger of an off white head. Some alcohol legs.

S- A little bourbon, a light spiciness and cinnamon. A slight oak.

T- A little oak and bourbon at front, very light. A big alcohol flavor which is surprising. A slight spice on the tongue. A little hop bitterness. No offensive flavors but not too many great ones either.

M- A light body, and too light for the size of the beer. An strong alcohol feel and burn which is surprising.

O- Quite disappointed. Was expecting much better, especially for the price.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

An appropriate beer while watching Barry Melrose dish out some harsh words for NHLers. Ain't that right, VDubb? It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by nearly two fingers of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises coconut-enhanced suntan lotion, oak, caramel, light cocoa powder, cheap whiskey, circus peanuts candy, and rye bread. The taste bludgeons me with rubbery whiskey and oak, while the caramel, rye, and light hot cinnamon cower in the corner, lest they get the full wrath of the drunken, abusive brrrbon tones. Man, they are really trying way too hard here. The body is a strangely stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a slimily dry finish. Overall, I'm not at all impressed with this brew. It tries way too hard to be a nice barrel-aged WW, but instead succeeds only at making me angry. I don't want to drink any more of this again. Period.

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Photo of bmwats
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Hazy amber hue. Light rising carbonation. Pours a slight, bubbly, white head which quickly disappears. Very slight lacing.

S: Molasses, licorice, raisin, and bourbon.

T: Light malt grains and bourbon. Bitter pecan shells.

M: Boozy. Bourbon character overshadows any other components.

D: Sipper.

Atmosphere is okay. No real head or lacing. Nose is sweet and boozy. Light flavor in general, except for some bitterness and booze. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this a long time ago on tap at the Z Bar in State College.

A: Brownish red pour with a thick white head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Slight bourbon smell but dominated by the spiciness of a winter warmer.

T: It really only tastes like a winter warmer with hints of bourbon. Spicy and caramel mainly. One of the more watered down bourbon aged beers I've had.

MF: Decent amount of carbonation with hints of the alcohol.

O: A miss. Wanted more bourbon, less winter warmer. With that said, it's a damn good winter warmer considering this is easily one of my least favorite styles.

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Photo of Avagadro
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: copper in color, free of haze, little head formation or retention.

S: almost no bouquet to speak of. A couple wisps of honey are barely detectable.

T: malty sweet with a touch of hoppy bite. Caramel, vanilla, and honey are the main players of this brew.

M: full body, slightly sticky, and low carbonation.

D: nothing too impressive, but interesting nonetheless. give it a try if you feel like paying a premium price for a mediocre brew.

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Photo of HoopTime
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours with almost no head, just a very thin bit of lacing at the edges. Color is a cloudy amber, with copper tones

S - Strong smell of medicinal bourbon, yielding to a slight hoppy citrus nose that is quite unimpressive.

T - The bourbon dominates the rest of the beer, never really allowing other flavors to come forward. Tends to the malty side, with enough hops to keep it from being syrup sweet but not enough to break through the bourbon.

M - Not much there. A light fizziness from the carbonation when it hits the tongue, but thin with no body of any substance.

D - At 9.2 abv, can't classify it as a session beer. And really, not sure I'd want more than one if I had other options.

Overall, a disappointing brew that fell well short of my expectations. The beer base is of such insignificant flavor that it doesn't ever come through the bourbon taste. Maybe I am spoiled in that my first exposure to bourbon barrel aged beer was the wondrous Gothika collaboration between Bullfrog and Bavarian Barbarian. That set the bar very high for me when it comes to bourbon beers and this one does the limbo well beneath that standard.

Some have suggested this might be better aged longer. That might be so. But I don't see me looking for a second bottle to find out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seriously barrel flavored. Lighter bodied than barley wines. Rather sharp and thin. Attractive dark orange amber color with a swirly head. Fairly sprightly in the mouth, but not over-carbonated.

Big aroma of whisky and oak. A touch of vanilla. Malty sweetness shades into tartness. Tastes hot with alcohol. Seems overbalanced on the hot and boozy side. Hops don't stand out, but clearly there is bitterness in the aftertaste. Vegetable taste, mineral, butter. Less interesting than most of the other Widmer beers.

The '11 edition, bottled Aug 12 (20)11. I'd have to say it's overpriced at $15.

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Photo of t420o
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2013 Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon

A- pour yields a 1-1/2 finger off white/light tan head. Recedes quick leaving spotty lacing. Beer is ruddy brown with copper hues. 3.5

S- at cellar temperature the smells are very subdued. Some light bourbon, brown sugar, light spice, light hops. Doesn't improve much as it warms. 3.25

T- at cellar temp it's got bourbon in the forefront. But it is not the rich bourbon, it's a bit hot and the alcohol shows a lot. There is a nice wood presence. Base beer is alright. Caramel malt, a certain spice, perhaps from the hops (?). The flavors come together more as it warms. 3.25

M- very thin. Carbonation is a bit higher than I like and am used to in a barrel aged beer. 3

O- nothing impressive, but good enough. Could improve with age, but with the vast amount of great bourbon barrel aged beers out there, I won't buy more to find out. 3.25

High C

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Photo of Fnord
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Clear amber with a wispy white head.

Smell - Whiskey, alcohol, molasses, and some flowery hops.

Taste - Lots of sweetness and alcohol, plus a fair amount of oak. The bourbon really comes through as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and low carbonation.

Notes - It may have been unfair of me to review this beer since I'm not a fan of bourbon (I prefer Irish whiskey). It's a bit impressive how much bourbon character they managed to impart; I was expecting it to be more subtle. I remember Brrr as being pretty hoppy so I was expecting more hop presence, but I guess the aging process killed it. I would recommend this beer to a bourbon lover, but others should probably pass.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a deep orange, almost amber. Just a few wisps but not much by way of a head.

Smell - Caramel malt, some herbal and earthy hops. Bourbon is secondary. Some oak. Not what I was expecting.

Taste - Hops right up front, some vanilla and bourbon follow, but not the main attracting. Monotonous caramel malt followed by a nutty and oaky finish. Moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel - As unenthused by this as I am, I'm having no trouble drinking it. Not very heavy when I think of the nature of the beer and not really boozy.

Overall - Not bad, just dull. No real barrel character to it.

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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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