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)
587 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: 587 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of alleykatking
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this beer.

A- Pours a deep coppery color. Half finger tan head shows light retention. Some long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass when drinking.

S- Caramel malts with hints of darker fruit shows up first in the aroma. Hints of vanilla florish toward the middle with a hint of oak. Strong bourbon aroma toward the ending of the aroma that makes your nose tingle.

T- Darker fruits in the front of the flavor profile with a hint of warming alcohol. Toward the ending of the front of the beer there shows a light sweetness from what I would guess is vanilla. Middle of the beer has the caramel malt base show with a long oaky tone. Ending of the beer shows more bourbon tones that kills off a lot of the ending flavor. Some vanilla shines through along with another light darker fruit tone to it. Alcohol is hot on the ending.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low for the style I thought. Darker fruit, oak, vanilla, and hints of bourbon are left on the palate. Aftertaste is bourbon alcohol, hint of vanilla, darker fruit, and light oak. Flavors were underbalanced with the alcohol being alittle too much at times. No real off flavors are here but the alcohol at times seems to be a off flavor. High alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was average at best with the flavor profile I had. It could be it needs to lay for a bit but I thought the bourbon was a bit too much. The other flavors never had a chance to shine which was my only problem with this beer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the growler into a Piraat Tulip/Snifter-type glass. Body is black. No head - appears flat.

S: Some bourbon over dark malt, a touch of smoke or char. Not as strong as expected though.

T: Tannic, bourbony - but not overwhemingly so. Some charcoal/char over roasted barley. Lingering charcoal or woodsy bitterness.

M: Thin - surprisingly so. It's flat, but that might be because the keg was tapped awhile ago.

O: It's OK. Flavor is actually good, but it loses points on everything.

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Photo of Adrianized
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear copper with only a small head that clings to the glass.

S- Malty, lots of bourbon, vanilla and oak.

T- Malt backbone with a pretty stong bourbon flavor. Still has a slight burn of alcohol.

M- Medium body, leaves a nice sticky bourbon reside.

O- Overall an okay beer, but probably not worth going crazy to seek out. Either way, I enjoyed it... more so on the second glass.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
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 ToasterChef
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
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 RDHerm
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with yellow highlights. Has a thin white head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a thin ring with average lacing.

Strong smell of bourbon, with notes of malt, nuts, and dark fruits and hints of vanilla and oak. Lots of alcohol in the nose.

Strong flavors of bourbon and alcohol up front, with a very oak-y finish. There finish also has hints of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits. The alcohol presence gives it a bit of a bite.

Medium in body, light/medium carbonation level. A bit strong upfront, but finishes quite smooth. The carbonation level is good, and the flavors linger nicely on the palate, but it's also a bit drying.

I feel like I would have enjoyed this a lot more on a cold winter night than on a balmy spring one. Not bad by any means, but not particularly spectacular either. Overall, it's worth giving a shot.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split and shared with a mate who is a fan of Makers Mark. Served cold in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Clear amber color with a thick off-white head and decent carbonation. My glass was clear and my buddy got some goodies at the end of the bottle.

S: Spices, lots of caramel and toffee notes, some tart cherries, some nuttiness, vanilla, and some oaky-bourbon and hops.

T: Flavors follow the taste, tons of buttery toffee and sweet caramel malts with a small amount of spicy hops detectable underneath. The bourbon is quite evident even after 6-7 months, and leaves its 'Mark' on every sip.

MF: Pretty viscous, medium to full bodied and creamy. The alcohol cuts through and lowers the 'felt' mouthfeel.

O: Unimaginative, this beer doesn't really boast anything impressive. All in all its above average but it seems to be little more than sweet buttery malts and bourbon.

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Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has been sitting in my fridge for quite a while.

Pours a mild red color with a thin head into my glass. Very nice color for the style. I didn't expect it to be a winter warmer though.

Lots of bourbon in the nose with alcohol heat. Malt is nutty and sweet. Again, bourbon dominates.

Whoa, too much bourbon for my liking. It must have mellowed a bit but still, that's a hell lot of bourbon in one beer (well, from the barrels, obviously). Only a hint of malt underneath.

Lingering alcohol heat and bourbon as far as the taste buds can tell. Nothing out of the ordinary.

If you buy this, you should age it at least 6 months to allow the bourbon flavors to mellow out. It's strong but it won't kill your taste buds after a month or two. Unfortunately, it's a pretty shallow beer that only exists to showcase bourbon barrel aging and nothing more.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
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 Bendurgin
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing this from notes that I took a while back Poured this into a pint glass. This one pours with an amber body with ruby highlights. Not much head on this, just a thin layer of off white foam that doesn't retain.

Toasty malts and syrupy toffee with a dark raisin aroma to round it out. Kind of a spicy cinnamon aroma in the background. Really only a faint hint of bourbon. Kind of a toasty flavor with a weak caramel finish and kind of an overly ripe boozey dark fruit flavor. Just a bit of bourbon. Honestly, the taste was a bit medicinal.

Medium sticky body on this with soft carbonation. Overall, this was a bit of a let down. I didn't care for it. I wonder how the regular version is though.

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Suds
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ultra-clear, deep copper in color, with a very slim head, this beer has a boozy, malty aroma. Some woody, smoky aroma, but very distant. Vinous, semi-sweet, warming, and malty. The beer has a distinct vanilla flavor. Mouth-filling, smooth, and very enjoyable. This is surely a sipping beer. Solid bitterness, but hop-restrained. The beer becomes more enjoyable and intriguing throughout the bottle. Very good.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz dark brown bottle. Fall 2010 release.
Served in an Allagash stemmed goblet.
It pours an impressive deep oxblood color with a fair-sized beige head, along with a substantial amount of lacing.
The aroma, to the style, is relatively mild. Smells of sweet malt, chopped green hardwood, peat, citrus and a little smoky bourbon are all quite subdued. A faint whiff of orange liquor seems a bit peculiar, though not at all unpleasant.
Tastes of doughy, brown bread and burnt caramel are front and center. Sharp grapefruit bitterness, a mildly astringent medicinal harshness and metallic bite balance the malty sweetness.
The bourbon taste is certainly there, but not as a main flavor profile.
It's a pretty nice strong, bourbon barrel-aged ale, but the price ($12.95) is out of whack. Would the rating be higher if it were $9.95? No, but it would have been a far more reasonable value.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this in December so this is from my notes. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A The beer poured an amber color, with little head.

S Right up front the beer has a strong bourbon smell, mixed with oak overtones. Other then that not much else here.

T Again very strong bourbon taste especially as it warms up. There is no complexity here just bourbon and some woody flavor from the barrels.

M The beer is surprisingly light. Not terrible but not good either.

Overall this was an enjoyable beer, I enjoyed drinking it but it had no complexity whatsoever, just bourbon. It was worth trying but for how much it costs it really wasn't worth it for what I got.

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Photo of PainkeepBrewing
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Impression after multiple bottles over course of past 6 months. All served from boxed 22oz bottles into snifters.

A - Hazy amber, nice head with nice lacing on glass as it is consumed.

S - An almost sour nose with a lot of alcohol and bourbon. I enjoy the bourbon scent but if I was judging this beer on aroma alone I'd be disappointed.

T - Yesss. Caramel, alcohol, bourbon, alcohol, in that order. Very pleasing alcohol and bourbon notes, though the bourbon is what really shines here. Aftertaste is a smooth whisky that lingers for a couple minutes after last sip.

M - A little thin for my liking as far as barrel aged beers go, though I'm used to stouts, not aged winter ales that are relatively thin to begin with.

O - When I go to review this beer, I find myself nitpicking and finding reasons not to give it an "excellent" review, but I like it enough to have bought numerous $10-12 bottles throughout the last 6 months and recommend it to many friends. I really love the bourbon taste in this beer and the overall package.

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Photo of russpowell
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up at Goebbels in Wichita, bottled in October

Pours a chill-hazed amber with a sliver of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Slight Bourbon notes

T: Follows the nose, some toffee. a touch of vanilla & boozeyness up front. Apricot notes as this warms along with slightly boozey toffee, oaky dryness, with woody hops & vanilla. Finishes with oaky dryness, a touch of honey & boozey vanilla, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, fairly smooth carbonation, nice warming sensation to this

Drinks easy for the ABV, a nice take on the style. Not the best barrel aged beer I've had in a while, I would certainly buy this again if the price is right

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Photo of harrymel
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

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Photo of Nesued
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as a Christmas gift from my step-daughter. 22oz bottle. Boxed. Kudos for thinking "beer" as a gift. Big points there.

Appearance - Pours a rich amber color. Clear so as to see the lack of any major carbonation contributing to the head retention. The initial pour caused the formation of a two-finger off-white head that left very nice lacing as it retracted to a thick ring. Good points here for initial presentation.

Smell - Sweet bourbon nose comes through right off the bat (odd that I would use that word....since I'm drowning our softball loss this evening with this beer.... only went 2 for 4 with only singles...). Anywho, back to beer, not softball. Some vanilla notes as well. Some woody qualities as well.

Taste - What you picked up in the aroma, is present in the taste. Big bourbon feel, some caramel, vanilla and nice wood components. A slight bite at the finish, but not much to really mention beyond a passing thought.

Mouthfeel - Moderate mouthfeel. About what I would expect for a 9-10% ABV BA offering. Not overly dense, but enjoyable.

Overall - Enjoyable. In the line up of bourbon barrel aged beers, this is on the lighter side. An easy drinker that, with it's moderate ABV, is worth enjoying.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Poured one finger of light head, which dissipated very quickly. The beer pours a nice clear amber red. The beer leaves some light to no lacing.

Smell: Bourbon dominates the nose with piney hops adding a little bit of variety. I could also smell a hint of vanilla mixing with the bourbon to create an interestingly sweet smell.

Taste:The bourbon definitely dominates the palate in this case. I can get some hint of hops balanced by some malts but the bourbon is the first and last thing that you taste. The hops and malts tend to act the Robin to the bourbon's Batman. Unfortunately, the bourbon gets really strong towards the end, which covers up the hops.

Mouthfeel: The drink has some very light carbonation and goes down smoothly.

Drinkability: I think that the Brrbon is fairly drinkable. I think the drink is a little unbalanced with the bourbon taking over too much of the taste. However, I would not say the beer is undrinkable but the bourbon makes it harder to finish the bottle because of the strong bourbon taste. Otherwise, I thin it is a fairly okay drink for a cold winter day.

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Photo of broken22
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Walking into my beer store I see this display with these nice boxes of beers. I am always intrigued when a company spends the little extra money to package their beers. I have had Widmer beer before but cannot remember whether or not I enjoyed it. That really doesn't matter because I will more often than not buy the fancy beer in a box. I guess I'm a sucker for the packaging.

After opening the lil beer present box I pour this thing into a nice Duvel tulip glass. The beer has the look of a strong IPA which is a dark apple cider color. The smell of this beer is a nice and fruity almost a little coconutty. Its not not really strong and I really have to take a good whiff to smell it. At this point I'm surprised I was expecting a completely different smell because of the bourbon barrel aging.The taste is good. This beer is very much staying true to the style by relying on the malt character and using very mild hops so they are all but non existent. The smell of the coconuts I was getting is definitely the bourbon I thought I was not smelling. I can definitely taste the subtle alcoholic notes. The mouth feel is full bodied.

This beer is pretty good. I thought it was going to be a dark beer for some reason. I am curious if they were using Alagash Curieux as their inspiration because I can see some similarities. Good beer and since it is a limited release you should pick one up an try it soon before its gone.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, incased in a pretty cool box, into a Ballast Point pint glass...

A - Pours amber with a one finger tan head on a fairly agressive pour. Head dissipates at a good pace, and the lace is minimal...

S - Sweet caramel and Bourbon are only notes I pick up...

T - Caramel, Bourbon, toffee, and a hint of vanilla. Ends on a pretty smooth hop bitterness. This one is smooth, but I was hoping for a little more of a Bourbon kick. Bourbon is really mellow...

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation...

D - Glad I got a chance to try this one, but nothing to special to be had here. Definitely something I would try again...


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Photo of HoopTime
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
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 jzeilinger
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
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 zachary80
2.42/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

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Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 587 ratings