Brown's Whiskey Porter | Brown's Brewing Company

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Brown's Whiskey PorterBrown's Whiskey Porter

Brewed by:
Brown's Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with caramel, chocolate and domestic 2-row pale malts, Cascade and Willamette hops and aged in whiskey barrels for a minimum of 2 months.

Added by drseamus on 03-31-2007

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 111
Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black body with two-finger head and a roasted malt aroma with strong boozy notes and bits of sweetness. Smooth beer thanks to the barrel aging/wood aspect but there are times when the booze overpowers and at times the alcohol is hot on the backend. Fuller bodied beer that has some sweetness and enjoyable beer but it's slightly off balance.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark brown. Light does penetrate most of the beer's body. Head is a spoonful of tan fluff.

S-The whiskey notes are evident right away. Oak and a dollop of vanilla as well. Brown malt with roast.

T-Whiskey is well proportioned. It's probably the most noticeable aspect of the flavor. Roast and some light chocolate flavor. Vanilla. Oak.

M-Feels fuller than the ABV would suggest. It's creamy. More booze than there should be.

O-A non-Imperial barrel aged beer that maintains enough whiskey flavor to keep my interest. It has it's flaws but it's a tasty beer overall.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Brown's in Troy, NY.

Dark brown pour, bronze. Light brown head forms, about one inch. Not much lacing.

Smells like whiskey, chocolate, and oak.

Tastes pretty similar- strong chocolate flavors, with subtle and well-integrated whiskey flavors. Oak and vanilla come through as part of the aging process. There is a more subtle presence than a typical BA beer, because of the shorter time in the barrels. However, there is still a surprising amount of rich whiskey and vanilla flavor for such a low ABV beer. One of the most drinkable BA beers I've ever had. Really easy to finish the bomber down.

Medium to slightly thin mouthfeel, low carbonation.

About as close to a session barrel-aged dark beer as you can get. Really impressive how they can cram in a ton of flavor to a lower abv porter. Of course, it's not as thick or bourbon forward as a lot of big BA stouts and porters, but that's not what it's trying to be at all. For what it's trying to be, it's damn near perfect.

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Photo of wyatt13
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to JSBILK for throwing this bottle in our last trade box -- thanks, Justin! Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter.

A - Pours a murky, dark brown that isn't fully opaque ; rather, I can see through at the very outer edges. A creamy beige cap of head sits atop the brew, with some nice retention.

S - A very caramelly aroma, with some vanilla in there as well. They whiskey comes across in a strange way -- it reminds me of root beer, actually. More wood character comes through as the beer warms.

T - Nice and complex. I was expecting the whiskey aging to dominate the base beer since it is only a 5.75% ABV porter. In contrast, the roast and caramel notes of the base beer carry the day, with the barrel coming through only at the close. There is also a nice bready malt aftertaste.

M - Relatively light-bodied, but pretty much what I was expecting given the style and ABV. A good amount of carbonation and a slightly drying effect on the mouth.

O - I feel like they did a very good job crafting this as a low ABV barrel-aged beer. It is often the case that I would like a barrel-aged beer, but I'm reluctant due to the high amount of alcohol. I could see this filling in nicely, especially if they put it in 12 oz. bottles.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the brewery in Troy, NY. Pours dark brown with long lived off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of coffee, caramel malt, dark fruit and whisky. Body is medium and smooth. Caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, whisky and hint of hops combine on the palate. Finish is long and semi-dry. Interesting tasty porter.

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Photo of koopa
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours mahogany with chestnut folds, a 1 finger light khaki crown, moderate retention and moderate lace.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, minor oak barrel notes, an amount of whiskey so reserved that its tinge comes off more like the beer is slightly sour from infection (it isn't) than anything, a nice amount of fruity esters from the presumably english yeast, and a touch of floral/herbal hops.

Taste: Same as the nose only watered down.

Mouthfeel: Thin side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A badly crafted beer that suffers the most at the hands of the mouthfeel and minimal time given in the barrel.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a small snifter. Had this on tap several times but never reviewed it.

Brown in color, ruby in the light. Moderate head and lacing.

Vanilla dominates the nose, with oak notes also.

Flavor is heavy on vanilla. The barrel notes here lack a complex bourbon tone. Other wood notes evident. Chocolate and coffee take a back seat, but are detectable. Flavorful, but not complex or robust--which is not surprising given the low ABV.

Light-medium mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent beer that I prefer on draft. Interesting for a 5.75 percent ABV porter--but not for a whiskey-barrel beer. It's nice to have a barrel-aged beer that's not of a hefty ABV, though.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on Cask as part of their Cask Thursdays

A-Deep black, one finger bubbly head

S-Whiskey, chocolate and caramel

T-Some whiskey, good deal of chocolate, some roasted malt. As it warms Vanilla pokes through.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation also not as creamy as I was expecting.

O-First review of a cask beer, it did have the notes of being on cask but it seemed to add an oak flavoring to the beer above all else.

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Photo of MaxSpang
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.


Nice and dark. It's not quite pitch black, as there's some brownish-red light that pokes through a little bit. The head was about a finger, and is mocha-latte colored. It left some really nice lacing as I drank this brew.


Whoa! This is intense - lots of caramel, chocolate, toffee, and vanilla. There's some nice whiskey aroma, which brings some oak and some toasted coconut. There's some really nice roasty notes and some slight coffee. This is unexpectedly great smelling.


This follows the nose very closely, though not nearly as intense. Lots of caramel, chocolate, toffee, toasted coconut, and vanilla. On one hand, it's very complex. On the other, it's a little watery. I think they could increase the recipe's malt bill a little bit. That being said - wow this is tasty. Nothing is overpowering, and everything seems to work really well together.


As i said for the taste, it's a bit watery. The mouthfeel is medium, and there isn't much carbonation which makes it feel a little bigger. It's incredibly drinkable for a beer with this much going on.


This is really nice! It's sort of like a light version of a barrel aged stout. It's got all of this great whiskey-barrel character while being an easy-drinking brew - weird! I'm glad I got the chance to try this beer, and I'd definitely like to have it again.


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Photo of KAP1356
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Bottle I got from a friend who went to school near the brewery. 22 oz bottle poured into an East End pint glass...

A - Pours a dark brown color with about a finger and a half of a light tan foamy head. The head settles to a cap and collar of the same color.

S - Whiskey comes out first along with oak and vanilla mixed with a nice milk chocolate aroma. A hint of licorice comes next along with a sweetness that reminded me of a light molasses scent.

T - Barrel aging isn't as prominent on the palate as it was on the nose. Chocolate and vanilla dominate the profile along with some light oak and just a bit of whiskey on the back.

M - Light-medium bodied beer that seems more light than medium bodied. Creamy though and an easy drinking beer. Medium carbonation level. Slightly dry finish.

O - I liked this one a lot for never hearing of the brewery. I was skeptical of a barrel aged beer with such a low ABV, but this was a tasty, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Perfect black color with 1 finger of very light tan head. Stays around for a bit.

S - I can smell it from a few feet away from the glass. Slight hints of whiskey with a nice rounded roasted malt base with chocolate. As I get closer to the glass, the whiskey becomes increasingly more prominent. Whiskey, leather, and what smells sort of like Brett but I know it isn't dominate. What chocolate aromas there were from far away are gone.

T - There's where the chocolate, coffee, and general roasted malts went. Still dominated by the whiskey, but perfectly balanced with sweet chocolate, hints of coffee, black patent malts, and that still subtle brett/leather aspect. Very well rounded flavor.

M - Heavy body, light carbonation, very smooth. Doesn't coat your mouth like you would expect with something that has this much flavor, but it does leave a very nice lingering aftertaste of whiskey and vanilla with hints of nuts.

O - I have lived in Troy for 4 years and haven't had this beer until today. I have wasted 4 years.

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Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sort of opaque-translucent reddish brown beer sits in the glass, and a pretty active carbonation builds up a small light tan head that sits firmly on top. It lasts most of the way and doesn't fade much, leaving a thick foam. Deposits of patchy lacing with spidery legs remain on the glass as it's emptied.
This is a boozy beer in the aroma more than in the flavor. There's not quite the same complexity I can get from sipping, as the alcohol almost overshadows the deeper, more subtle notes. I do get plenty of wood and a touch of earth along with just a bit of dark fruits. A hint of a vanilla-like sweetness can also be found. Malts are fairly strong but don't shine.
In the taste, however, much more is allowed to come out. The boozy aspect remains but drops underneath a very nice complexity of flavors. Sweetness that abounds without being cloying is primarily vanilla but with a ghost of dark fruits. Some roasted notes allow the malts to come out more strongly and form a bed for the subtler notes to rest on. This is exceptionally "oaky," very woody,which I like a lot and coincides with the brewer's intent. Earthiness comes out that's not as much the peaty aspect of, say, a scotch ale. This isn't a huge beer and proves itself as a porter.
The body is medium, and the highly alcoholic aspect manages to stop short of astringency, which can be a problem with aging a beer in a barrel of something like whiskey. It's just crisp enough and flows just smoothly enough to make for easy sipping.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from a trading partner. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This brew pours a 95% opaque black two finger head, thanks to a SDTM pour. The bourbon's faintly noticeable, but there's a decent amount of coffee in the nose. The taste isn't domintated by the bourbon, but it's there, and it's a nice addition. There's a lot of coffee, vanilla, and toasted malt in the flavor. Really a good mix. The mouthfeel is a bit on the astringent side, but it's not overbearing. Finishes off smooth, leaving the bourbon behind. Very decent beer. Would have again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra from aerozeppl. Served in a taster glass at the September Goose Island gathering.

A - A nice finger of tan foam settles to a thin cap and thicker collar, leaving behind a few spots of lace. Dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the fringes.

S - Sharp whiskey and light oak, vanilla, chocolate, and perhaps a bit of soapiness to it. I was initially skeptical of a barrel-aged beer with such low alcohol, but this is surprisingly tasteful.

T - Taste is more chocolate and vanilla, with less of the barrel influence showing. There's light whiskey bite in the finish, but minimal oak flavor. Mild astringency and a hint of oxidation in the finish.

M - Creamy medium body, medium-low carbonation, and a lightly tannic and dry finish. Quite nice actually, and not overly thinned out as a feared it might be.

D - Surprisingly solid beer. It'd be hard to drink a bomber of this on your own, even though it's fairly low in ABV. Still, it was plenty enjoyable for 8-12oz.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was an extra some time last year, and after rediscovering it in a box I'm opening it tonight. Pours a dark reddish brown, with a light tan foam. It has a sort of sour scent to it, as if it has a touch of infection. But the flavor is damn nice regardless.

Light whiskey notes over modestly roasted malts, with a lingering sweetness that never gets overpowering, really tasty. Light bodied, this goes down much easier than many other whiskey barrel aged beers, I guess this treatment works very well for a porter.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler while visiting family. This is one of my favorite beers, by far. Poured in a pint glass, the beer is an extremely dark brown coloring, almost black in the deepest points. The brew starts with a thick, chunky, airy head that starts around three inches and quickly settles into a thin film. Good level of bubbles throughout the brew, and there is a decent lacing on the glass. Nose is extremely robust and round, with a strong mocha chocolate backbone, a hint of coffee bitter, and a good overtone of rich vanilla from the barrel aging. Flavor is coffee initially, with a rich, creamy vanilla and whiskey hue, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate. Body stays rich and creamy throughout, with a great feel for the flavors. The aftertaste is roasted coffee and chocolate, and the finish is creamy and slick. Tremendous brew!

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a wild rollercoaster ride this beer is! Stay away if you are easily intimidated by BOLD beers.

Had on tap, out of a growler and out of the bottle. Been drinking this for three years now. Just won "Best Beer in NY" and yet at the same time placed "Second Best Beer in Hudson Valley" at the recent TAP NY beer fest. Ah NY - go figure!

This beer changes tastes depending upon the brand of "whiskey" barrel pieces used. IMO opinion, the first year was the best. Still, this is one BIG, wild and uneven beer, Kudos for your successful experimention. One of Brown's best.

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Photo of atr2605
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours close to black with a tan head about 1.5 finger widths with pretty good retention
S-chocolate, caramel, oak, cola and a nice roasted/smokey aroma. The whiskey is apparent, but not up front, comes more in the form from the oak and caramel characteristics. Nice and complex
T-Caramel and chocolate create a sweet flavor immediately (which brings in the sort of cola flavor that lingered in the aroma). Great oak and smokey flavor, pretty well balanced beer.
M- Medium to full bodied and very smooth
O- A pleasant beer. Has nice characteristics from the whiskey but still maintains the boldness of a porter. Well crafted.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to thickfreakness for this one.

This pours medium brown with slight highlights, a nice one finger head rising and falling leaving no lace. On the nose there are toasted malts, caramel, dry oak, and a decent hit of very restrained whiskey. It's a porter aged in barrels, but obviously not for too long, imparting much more dry oak than vanilla or booze. In the mouth, the roasted and caramel malts come out most, with dry oak more in the medium finish than elsewhere. The body is medium, a bit thin and unsatisfying on the palate. I wasn't expecting a huge stout, but this is getting towards Diet Coke territory for me.

Overall, this might be the closest thing to a barrel aged session beer I've ever encountered. The short time spent in barrels here added just a little extra dimension to a pretty good tasting base beer. This isn't even in the same neighborhood as the more gigantic barrel bombs I'm familiar with. A nice diversion, especially if Brown's wanted to bulk up the body just a bit.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Clear, dark mahogany body with a creamy finger of off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Attractive.

S: Chocolate, oak, crackers, vanilla, glazed doughnut. A hint of whiskey, licorice. Delicate and complex.

T: All the complex notes from the nose condense into a simple, sweet, boozy assault. Lots of chocolate and oak. Quite tasty and direct.

M: Smooth, somewhat thin body with light carbonation. Ok

O: Solid beer. Nothing spectacular, but very satisfying. I do wish that the whiskey flavors were more evident, but we can't have it all, can we? Thanks for sharing, Tony!


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Photo of Sam21
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at the brewery for ~$3.50. Poured into snifter.

Appearance – Dark brown that shows a mahogany body when held to the light. Tight tan head that recedes to a thin cap. Light spots of lacing here and there, although the second pour yields a bit more.

Smell – Soft caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee build a foundation. Whiskey barrel aging is noticeable, but not overly so. Sweet vanilla, wood, and a bit of whiskey. Well rounded.

Taste – Roasted malt, hints of coffee, and caramel enter first priming the taste buds for what’s to come. There are nice additions of oak and vanilla partway through that increase the depth of complexity. The whiskey itself comes out in the finish adding a woody boozy bite that blends nicely with the sweet foundation that sets its stage. Nice long finish with a melody of oak and coffee lingering nicely on the tongue. The hops add a little bitterness, but are subdued for the most part.

Mouthfeel – Solid medium body with smooth and lightly prickly carbonation. Dependable.

Drinkability – Well-balanced, complex, and quaffable. For those that love barrel aged beers, but get tired of the high ABVs, this may be the beer for you. Browns gets it done yet again.

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Photo of ironbike1
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer has been calling me from the shelf at the store for a long time. Poured into a basic nonic pint.
Excellent dark brown very hard to see through color with an off white head about 1/2" thick. The head slowly fades throughout the drink leaving a nice ring all the way down to the last drop.
Smell is chocolates, and caramles with a smokeyness and then the whiskey scent is so very light in the back drop. Just how I like it. Not strong to the nose but still there.
Taste is very robust and full of flavor while being light on the mouth (no alcohol burn like some barrel aged beers). The whiskey is very well hidden yet you can taste a little coming through the chocolate and caramel flavors, they blend perfect.

Overall this is an excellent porter & one you can easily drink the entire 22oz bottle in a sitting, running in at 5.75% it is not a head crusher like most barrel aged beers.
A must try for porter fans, get a bottle if you can. I will buy another bottle next time I am in the store. Even though I am trying to stay away from bombers this one is easy on the wallet and very drinkable.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lis and Dustin for bringing me this bottle for my B-day! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date.

Pours a thin brown-black with some soapy quickly falling khaki head.

Nose is fairly muted and has the typical roasted malt aroma of any solidly made American porter. Some faint oak toast and a hint of vanilla, but nothing that screams whiskey-barrel.

My first sip tastes exactly like a Chocolate-covered Pretzel. A little doughy, a little salty, a little bitter-sweet chocolate note. Wow. Ok, moving on. There's a nice acidity there that a classic porter should have (I think). A nice light- to medium-light body and a little roasted coffee flavors, some vanilla bean, and that pretzel dough thing. Just crazy.

Notes: A very drinkable BA-ed porter. It succeeds at both being a decent porter and at integrating the barrel flavors without white-washing the beer. Not an "extreme" barrel-aged brew, but a nice one for sure.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bottle of 2009. Almost forgot about it. Glad I did!!!

A- Deep dark brown porter that shines ruby red when held right up to the light. Poured into a Tulip glass, nice head that dissipates rather quickly.

S- Vanilla and apple pie spice jump forward. A little bit of wood and alcohol... chocolate, coffee and caramel notes follow.

T- Sweet vanilla, honey and cocoa... A touch of burnt char with no alcohol bite. It sure has mellowed over the last year. Caramel sticks to the tongue... Gets better as it gets warmer... Just a touch of bittering hops at the end. You can really taste the wood... friggin' delicious!!!

M- Vanilla, malt and wood really coat your mouth and stick around. Not very viscous, but few porters ever are.

D- So smooth and easy to drink! Perfect match for a sweet honey BBQ'd glazed Venison tenderloin, or Maple/Pecan glazed turkey breast!

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Photo of sraimondi
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

A--Dark brown, opaque coloring, not much light comes through. Very small head which dissipates quickly. Very little spot lacing.

S--Whiskey notes prevail, with some brown sugar notes, very slight.

T--WOW! This one is very complex, whiskey (mostly bourbon) dominates at the front, but unlike many barrel aged beers, it gives way to the base beer's characteristics, porter in this case, with some hops' bitterness in the finish. Extremely balanced, especially for a barrel aged brew. One of the best tasting beers I have ever had, for real.

MF--Interesting. At first it seems a bit thin, then fullness becomes evident. Not sure what hops they use, but it brings a near-perfect balance in the finish.

D--Unlike many barrel aged beers, which seem to emit a "hot" finish, this one is under 6% ABV. Again the balance is evident.

I picked this one up at Halftime in Poughkeepsie. I'll be there again next weekend, so I'm going to pick up a case. If any of you are whiskey or barrel beer people, you have to opick this one up. It is truly an exceptional brew.


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Brown's Whiskey Porter from Brown's Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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