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

BA SCORE
81
good
581 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
widmer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
581
Reviews:
229
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
15.69%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
134
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 581 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ken's bottle. Nice drinkability. Corny bourbon aroma. Yellow body lagerishg look with carbonation bubbles and big soapy head. Orangey oil. Herbal, orange flavours surprisingly. Bourbon in secondary. maybe some vanilla and sugar.Booze felt, but not predominant.

 260 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two finger off white head on a hazy amber orange body. Excellent retention and nice lacing. Flavors of vanilla, toasted malts, brown sugar, spices, bourbon, caramel and hints of toffee. Aroma hides under the thick head ad is mostly of candy sugar, dark fruits, orange peel and caramel. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A little oily on the palate. A lot of flavors in this one but for me they do tall come together in the end to form a memorable or great beer.

 465 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

2012 vintage.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a decent example of barrel aging.

 546 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking amberish brown color. The head was an off white and looked pretty nice for the most part. The lacing didn't exist. The smell was a little sweet and had a touch of booze on the nose. The taste was nice, it had some good bourbon flavors in there. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad smooth and carbonated. Overall It was a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly disappeared and left delicate lacing in the center of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are light aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of bourbon dominate the taste although these are not very strong. The strength of the bourbon flavors becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. There are hints of alcohol in the finish.
O: This is a good choice if you are looking for a beer that has bourbon flavors but isn't very overpowering.

 698 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With heavy bourbon overtones, the Barrel Aged Brrrbon carries an immense abount of caramel and vanilla along with heavy boozy overtones through a malty-rich body that stablizes the bourbon attack.

Pouring a deep amber color with a medium haze, the beer has a chesnut-like appearance. A sturdy and froathy off-white head caps the tumbler. Stubborn retention leads to pockets of foam and lace along the insides of the glass.

Strong caramel aromas are met with malt richness, light nuttiness, and then the heavy scent of distilled spirits. Where caramel sweetness is prevailant, a cherry-like ester helps with added complexity.

Dense malt sweetness in the form of straight caramel is heavy handed, but accents well the attributes of bourbony alcohol flavor along with oak, medium toast (bread crust and mild buttery nuts), and sweet vanilla. Again, the welcomed cherry esters help with added complexity, however more of this would have really rounded the beer. Somewhat one-dimensional, the beer begins and ends with caramel and bourbon flavor.

Rich malty richess and unresolved caramel sweetness lead to a sweeter texture, just shy of cloying by the complex bourbon tanins/intensity/warmth in the finish.

An aggressive bourbon barrel aged beer that is akin to Lexington's Bourbon Barrel Ale. Where BA Brrrbon has a more heafty malt base, the bourbon character lacks in taste but makes it boozy- more than it needs to be.

 1,423 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a narrow-mouthed De Molen beer stemflute in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. I forget where I purchased it. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I love winter warmers but I've had pretty mundane experiences with this brewery afore.

Marked Nov 14 2011. This is the 2011 vintage, and I can confirm the ABV as 9.40%.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salad.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent cream, decent thickness, and average retention for the high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper-brass. It's not much to look at. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's somewhat vibrant.

Sm: Gives off a toasted malt character - which is right on the money for the style. I don't get any bourbon, but a hint of toffee is there. Spices are present but limited. Some cream. It bodes well. I hope the flavour profile satisfies the promise of the aroma. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Bourbon stands out as a very present overt tone, lending the climax some added sweetness. It also gives it a butterscotch-esque flavour that suits the beer nicely. Toasted malt forms the foundation but is rather restrained and largely obscured by the bourbon - an effect I don't particularly care for. Hints of red wine esque estery notes. No real spice - a letdown given the style. Caramelized malt is present. Maybe a cherry juice note. No yeast comes through, but some alcohol does - though I wouldn't refer to it as boozy.

All around the balance is off, with the toasted malt character competing with the bourbon. Built interestingly - I like the experimentation with bourbon barrel aging, but it just needs to be executed to balance. More toasted malt might add alcohol, but would really help the balance - and the ABV presence would decline over time. As a beer meant for aging, that would be appropriate.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice thickness. A tingly coarseness emerges from the toasted malt but is only present in the late second act. Too smooth for the remainder of the structure - a feature lent by the bourbon. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Age would do this well. I think bourbon barrel aging complements the style surprisingly well, but unfortunately the execution here is far from optimal. It's very drinkable for the high ABV - which is very nicely concealed. It met my expectations considering the brewery, but they weren't very high to begin with. This is pretty pricey -at least as an import - for its limited quality. I'm a pretty big fan of winter warmers but this fell short in the toasted malt area. I wouldn't recommend it to friends.

Low B-

 2,794 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange with an inch of foam; rather nice bit of splashy lace

Smell: Toast, caramel, pine, vanilla and a moderate Bourbon aroma

Taste: Caramel and toast, with a developing pine character in the middle; at the same time, the Bourbon and vanilla elements also build; more Bourbon, after the swallow, but the base beer flavors balance out the whiskey; not very boozy, despite the ABV

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Reading through the reviews, I wonder whether the recipe may have changed here as I found this beer to be extremely well-balanced, with a very deft handling of the Bourbon in a way that really complements the base beer

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon is quite powerful with notes of sweet malt. Taste is also dominated by lots of vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel with a balanced sweet malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and light apparent alcohol notes. Interesting though not properly balanced with too much bourbon.

 416 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, golden amber color with a one-finger tan head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Some caramel sweetness.

T - It tasted strongly of vanilla, oak, bourbon and caramel. There was a touch of toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty barrel aged winter warmer. I liked the regular version of Brrr, but this is even better.

 494 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2012 vintage, bottled on 8/28/2012. Pours fairly clear reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, pear, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, pear, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, slight pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, floral, grass, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and moderate robustness of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop flavors; with a nice malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice barrel aged strong ale. Good balance and complexity of malt, barrel, and light-moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,452 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle opened by Jared. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin tan head and not much in the way of retention of lacing. Thin collar as the head falls. The nose definitely packs in the brrrbon, but that's unfortunately about it. There's some slight malt character in the background, but nothing all that complex about this. The taste is comprised mostly of brrrbon along with some sweetened malt and perhaps a touch of dark fruits. Mouthfeel is a bit boozy and medium. Drinkability is decent, though there's really nothing at all special about this.

 575 characters

Photo of nickfl
2.5/5  rDev -30%

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A barrel aged winter warmer, it SHOULD be pretty good, although their Reserve Series have always seemed like they should be good, then end up a bit lackluster. So we'll see about this one. Release #3 from Fall 2010, so a few years of age to help.

Light fizzy head covering that fades pretty quickly, typical for a 3 year old 9+% beer, sediment laden hazy but semi clear auburn almost mahogany brown color.

Nose is loaded with bourbon still, almost all bourbon, some barrel notes with a little toasted oak and some vanilla, and it has a nice bourbon barrel juice like aroma, as well as hints of bourbon soaked raisins and a bit of dark fruit, little caramel and toffee, mild booze and perhaps a hint of phenols.

Taste starts with bourbon again, lots more bourbon, a nice barrel juice flavor with decent bourbon but not great, more like a young bourbon, as well as some vanilla and toasty oak but not a ton. Malts come in with sweet characters but not super sweet, candy malts, lots of caramel and toffee, caramelized sugars, some bourbon soaked raisins, little nuts and figs like. Mild bitterness too, mild hop character, slightly earthy and spicy, as well as mild baking spices. Booze brings some warmth with a little ester profile. Finish is fairly bitter, bit of spicy hop character, some mild warming booze, decent bourbon character lingering but it fades a bit, bit more barrel and caramel, dark fruits, little baking spices lingering too.

Mouth is fluffy and a bit smooth, med to a bit heavier bod, decent carb esp for the age, decent warming booze.

Overall not bad, nothing too special but decent overall, nice bourbon characters although not great, nice barrel characers, decent malts and hops, hint of baking spices, booze is just enough to bring some character without being too much.

 1,798 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -2%

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.

 595 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of billab914
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured caramel brown in color with a thin, white, sticky, transparent head barely covering the top. The head concentrated around the edges of the glass where it did leave some nice lacing.

The aroma shows mostly the bourbon and barrel characteristics with the bourbon alcohol, oak wood and some vanilla flavors all coming through. A bit of the beers maltiness and spices come through, but they are pretty well hidden behind the barrel flavors.

The taste is similar to the nose with the barrel flavors dominating. It had some great vanilla and oak notes to it. They were very pronounced but also pretty smooth. The bourbon plays a big role but is pretty smooth and not that hot for how much it comes through. Like the nose just a bit of the beers malty and spicy flavors come through the barrel flavors. The taste is really all about the barrel in this one.

The mouthfeel is heavy and pretty silky smooth. Carbonation is moderate, and perhaps a little high overall. Drinkability isn't bad, it really had some good bourbon and barrel flavors that were surprisingly smooth. What it didn't have though is depth. The base beer just didn't bring enough to table to add much to the barrel flavors. It was a decent drink on this cold evening, but not a great one.

 1,313 characters

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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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