Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout | Browning's Brewery

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Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Bourbon Barrel Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Browning's Brewery
Kentucky, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 19
Photo of TriGuy20
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008 from draft poured into snifter.

A: Very inviting appearance, beautiful mocha head, jet black, lace sticks to glass very nicely.

S: Bourbon/ Molasses/ Malt (quite pronunced)/ Mocha/ Toffee/ Pretzel

T: Bourbon comes out right from the bat. Toffee hits the mid palate with a malt finish and a slight bit of hop kicking at the end. A pretzel flavor lingers on the palate.

MF: The mouth feel of this beer is a little lacking, thin and a little harsh.

D: This goes down pretty easy, but there is not enough complexity to intrigue me to drink past one pour.

This is a decent brew. The appearance is more promising than the rest of the beer.

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Photo of Florida9
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage

A: Very dark brown, almost black, but there is a bit of light coming through showing the color. Pours with a 1/2" of foamy, fizzy, very light an colored head that has little retention and reduces first to a surface coating and then to nothingness. Subsequent pours are reminiscent of topping off a glass of Coke: quick fizzy head and then nothing.

S: Chocolate, prunes, vanilla. Oak. Some sour dark fruit.

T & M: Damn thin for an "Imperial" stout. Thin in both body and flavor. Almost crisp, with a little tartness to it. Chocolate, prunes and a citrusy hop bitterness on the finish that is quite out of place.

D: First of all, I question the term "Imperial" on the bottle, as this beer is far from it. Secondly, both the body and the flavor profile on this beer are out of whack; really one of the worst barrel aged stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A shade of brown so dark that it is virtually black, but it does still allow some light to pass through. Litte to no head, but what there is appears to be a mocha type of color. The nose rings out "bourbon." The attack is clean, but the bourbon presents early enough in the flavor that it is almost part of the attack. I can detect some coconut in the flavor. The bourbon and the coconut are both left in the mouth at the finish. It is a distinctive beer for sure. I have reviewed other bourbon beers and have said this. . . "I like bourbon, I like beer, but I think I like them separately."

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer as an extra in a trade with another BA (?) and cellared it for a year.

Vintage 2008 22oz bottle served in a Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass.

This brew 'is as black as the ace of spades' with a huge bubbly tan head that eventually thinned to a layer and left a few bits of lacing.
The aroma is full of bourbon and roasted malts.
The taste follows suit of the aroma with roasted flavors of malt blended with a smooth bourbon touch.
Medium/full bodied with a velvety smooth feel.
A tasty sipper.

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Photo of JDV
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in trade as a bonus from two_dudes. Thanks man!!

Pours a dark brown reddish pour with a beige head. Smell is very bourbony and smooth fruitiness. Taste is mostly dark fruit and bourbon and much more barley wine like than Imperial Stout or even a regular stout. Not much if any roastiness, but the flavor isn't bad. Medium to thin body for the style. Decent, overall.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Browning's Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout pours a very nice, pitch black into a snifter with a small, light tan head that leaves lots of lacing behing. The nose has hints of chocolate, alcohol, and vanilla. There is also a bit of apple in there.

When I first started drinking this beer, the flavor was nice with lots of roasted flavors, with hints of vanilla and bourbon. There was a little alcohol warmth. However, after the beer warmed a bit, some fruitiness came through; including some apple/pear flavors that seemed completely out of place. The mouthfeel was also a bit thin for the style, but not horrible.

Overall, this was not the best of the style I had, especially witht those apple flavors and aroma.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- big and black with a small beige head

S- big roasted malt smell and mildly smells of bourbon. a little bit of coffee and chocolate also. i was expecting much more bourbon than this, but the rest is pretty nice.

T- just like it smells. not bad at all for a plain, but i was hoping for more wood/bourbon flavor.

M- not as thick as i would have liked. creamy and smooth with sufficient carbonation

D- meh, it was ok. very disappointing in some aspects, but not entirely. i wont have this one again most likely. on the other hand, looking at other reviews i might have just had a bad bottle.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.86/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a St. Bernardus chalice.

Vintage Beer Bottled 2008

A: Pours a "none more black" black color with a very pillowy/creamy, khaki-colored, three finger head with excellent retention. Big, thick rings & sheets of sticky lace are left behind.

S: Not as aromatic as I expected. I detected notes of dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malt. Pretty restrained for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

T: At first sip, I was greeted with flavors of dark fruit and oaky char. As the taste progressed, I also noticed flavors of espresso, bitter dark chocolate, bourbon, charred malt, campfire, and bitter hops. The flavor is really pretty burnt, bitter, and roasty...which I like.

M: A wee bit thinner than I would have liked. Bump up the thickness and sweetness a bit and this would've scored higher. I really enjoyed the bitter and burnt characteristics of the mouthfeel. Quite prickly and peppery and also, slightly oily as it warms.

D: I found this to be dangerously drinkable. Damn respectable, and a welcome addition to the bourbon barrel stout family.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color is a watery brown, dark bourbon caramel color. Looks like it could use a bit more texture in the apparance. No head and no lacing. The aoma is a subtle roasted malt with hints of oak, coffee, and some light chocolate. This beer had some stronger flavors when it was a little cooler. Nw that its a bit warme, I get more dry coffee grounds taste an texture, lots of dark roasted malts, and some chocolate covered toffee. Can't really taste the bourbon or wood. The palate is is a little coffee groundish and chewy. Very dry and looses it smoothness as it warms.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I snagged this at the sterling Sun Singer. Three fat fluffed-up fingers of tan froth top a black coffee body, and the DAB mug is nicely laced as the beer recedes. The bourbon barrel dominates the nose and taste, pushing other advertised aromas and flavors--coffee, toffee, and vanilla--well into deep cover. As the beer warms, the beer adopts a soda bread flavor that is not too shabby, and some vanilla emerges eventually. A somewhat sour mouthfeel detracts from the evaluation, unfortunately.

All told, this is decent, especially for bourbon lovers. Yet it is far from the equal of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, the beer I'd highly recommend if people want to try bourbon stout.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 ml (22 ounce) bottle, bottled sometime in 2007. I bought it a few months ago in Louisville, KY, so I know it's at least 3 months old. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half-inch tan head. Head retention is low, lacing is OK. The aroma is mainly bourbon, along with some vanilla and oak. Taste is similar to the aroma, but I can also taste coffee and chocolate. Overall the taste is mellow, and all the flavors seem to be balanced as no single flavor overpowers the others. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with average carbonation. It's a little bit thin, but not watery. I expected this to be thicker, it does seem to be thin for a stout. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a pretty decent beer, it's not great but certainly drinkable and enjoyable. I'd buy this one again.

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Photo of skizziks
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

20z. bottle into a snifter. Label is marked 2006. The 60some degree pour threw up a 2" mocha brown head, very fine with excellent retention. Big blobs of foam stuck to the glass as the very deep mahogony beer faded into memory.

Aroma hits strong with coffee, then more coffee. Thinking this is maybe a coffee stout in the wrong bottle. After the coffee some roast barley, then oak. No bourbon.

The taste also starts with a lot of coffee and cocoa. Something tart floats around, giving a little worry, but I can't find anything really "off" about it. Oak is obvious, but again no bourbon. As it warms up even more (into the 70's?) vanilla starts to come out and then the bourbon appears near the end, mingling with subtly warming alcohol vapor. As the glass warms and drains, the bourbon extends itself forward in the flavor and becomes a very nicely balanced mix of coffee, cocoa and bourbon. The alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming. Some lingering roast sticks to the tongue.

Medium-full body with a little too much carbonation. Not too heavy and easy to put back but I would like a little less prickle.

This is the first Browning's beer I have tried and, while it doesn't blow me away, it is a worthwhile beer and shows the brewer has potential. I'll be happy to try their other beers.

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Photo of Gavage
2.26/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: deep black in color with a one finger head that fell apart quickly. Some spotty lacing developed.

Smell: huge vanilla, alcohol, and bourbon tones are a bit disorienting and not pleasant at all. Simply put - a nasal overload here.

Taste: this beer absobed way too much of the bourbon oak barrel remnants as the vanilla and bourbon were absolutely searing here and the alcohol level was very warming. This left little room for the tastebuds to enjoy the very mild espresso and roasted malt tones. This beer needs to age a bit to mellow it out as I was told it was a fresh keg and I found it unpleasant. I could not finish it.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Very smooth throughout. The aftertaste was a tastebud killer with vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol lingering for minutes not seconds.

Drinkability: I've had several bourbon barrel stouts before and none reached the overload levels this one hits. This was so unbalanced and over the top it was undrinkable. They need to store this keg away for a year or two to mellow it out.

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Photo of cameraman
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pitch black dark, color, opaque, with carmel colored head about a quater of an inch thick. The intial scent of dried fruit and malt are present, then the sweet scent of bourbon comes through, with a touch of a smokey oak fragrance. The sweet taste of vanilla and slight molasses flavor, followed by the mellowness of malt. Then there is slight twinge of bitterness and metallic taste at the end. The feel at first is milk like, then it gradually thins out across the palate. A good beer, would be better in the winter, impressive aroma, but the taste was let down. Still this is a good beer.

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Photo of merlin48
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased at The Keg in Clarksville, Indiana, where antzman told me this is the first commercial bottling by this brewpub. Pours a dark and opaque body with a healthy khaki head that retains well. Enormous sheets of sticky lacing decorate the glass.

Aroma is milk chocolate, vanilla, woody oak, and some roasty coffee. Slight bourbon is noted.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a bourbon presence and subtle carbonation.

Taste opens with milk chocolate and vanilla, complimented by some charred oak and bourbon. Mild roasty notes of bitter coffee and smooth oaky wood add complexity. Some grassy hops join with the roasty character more toward the finish. Some premier bourbon in the aftertaste.

One of the better executions of a bourbon barrel stout. More drinkable than expected and a quality impy stout.

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Photo of Cresant
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout was served in a flute/tumbler. Opaque brown/black with a solid finger of dirty brown head.

Smelled malty, bittersweet chocolate.

Flavor was more complex than the smell. Bittersweet chocolate and hints of bourbon. I believe the stout is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels. I was afraid the bourbon flavor would overwhelm the beer but it was very balanced. Mild hops offer some resistance to the sweetness. But this is a soft, non-cloying sweet stout.

Smooth with a nice amout of carbonation. Not too bubbly.

Very drinkable and pleasant overall. Would be even better in the fall/winter.

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Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout from Browning's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 19 ratings