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 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 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 cavedave
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours darkest brown with 2 fing. dark beige head that hangs in there for the ride Beautifully opaque. Nice.

It's a med. aroma, complex, whiskey, caramel floral hop, oak, vanilla, even some hints of coffee, quite inviting.

Lotta whiskey in the sip, beginning to end, luckily plenty of flavors along for the ride, and the mix is exceptional. All the flavors in the nose, presented cleanly and lusciously into a finish that still features the whiskey barrel notes, but nice balancing flavors with it, an excellent finish.

Mouthfeel is right on for style, low/med. carb. good cling, refreshingly light in mouth, good clear out, wonderful finish.

Drinkability is dangerously good.

Biggest surprise of the season for me, this "local" beer is incredible.

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Photo of drseamus
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. It is an English Porter that is aged in Jack Daniels barrels. It pours nice and dark with no head. The aroma has some light roasted malt but a good amount of sweetness as well. The flavor is great and is similar to the aroma. There is a good roasty flavor with a good smooth sweetness from the whiskey. It is on the upper end of medium bodied from the sweetness and has great drinkability.

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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 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 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 BigPlay1824
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug

A: pours a deep brown with a finger of creamy offwhite head that mostly dissipates but leaves a small lingering layer on top of the brew, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: great scent, nice maple and caramel notes, great deep malt backing

T: nice light syrup like taste, slight woody taste from the whiskey barrel aging

D/M: drinks smoothly but slightly heavy, warms the pallet, very slight carbonation tingle, overall loved the brew

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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 ThirstyBird
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the generosity of EnronCFO for this bottle

A - Deep dark brown with a slight reddish highlight. Tan head falls to skin, nice lace.

S - Rich roasted malt, some char and bourbon notes

T - The first surprise if after the first rush of roasted malt and bourbon comes a slight sour taste followed by a bitter sour aftertaste. I think there might be some's taking away from what would be a very good beer.

MF - Medium body and pretty smooth.

D - Well though certainly not bad the taste and drinkability are hurt by the sour notes that I am getting. Would love to try this one the way it was intended!!

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Photo of rayjay
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this one from the SectretBunny.07 BIF from bwyker. It's a computer-printout label with no gub'ment warnings. No date.

Pours a deep black, slightly transparent, with a slightly off white head. Sweet bourbon whiskey and black malt nose, with mild phenolics. Smells very good.

There is a base beer which is a deep roasted English-style porter. A few other dimentions include a mild sourness, butter (diacetyl), Irish whiskey, and an isovaleric/sulfur note. Some of these are obviously defects, although I don't know how old this bottle is. Alcohol is well hidden. Slightly salty.

I really like the mouthfeel; very light carbonation along the lines of a cask ale. In fact, this would be a great beer for the cask. Only a tiny bit sticky, but not off-putting.

Unfortunately, I had to dump most of the bottle because it's a big glass of butter. Probably much better right from the brewery. Cheers!

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a a bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a nice deep dark almost black colored brown with a small yet ample off white head. Really had a nice porter look to it. There is also a big whiskey barrel aroma, some scotch like vanilla characters in it that make this really inviting for the winter and colder months. Big maple roasted malts also. The flavor is a little off and tastes a bit of infection because of a sour cherry component it gets. Really nice on the palate as it's light bodied but off balanced and disjointed on the flavors. I get a little bit of whiskey and porter like qualities, but the cherry flavor puts this off. Tangy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice as this is perfectly low carbonated as should be a porter. I would like to revisit this, especially in troy at the brew pub fresh and on draft. Nice beer but not doing it like I thought it would.

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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 Naugled
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut brown, crystal clear but with a thin and quick head.

Nose is all coconut, no whiskey, just raw oak.

Flavor is nice if you like the coconut flavor in raw oak. This is an oak lovers beer, not a whiskey drinkers beer. I like whiskey and this ain't whiskey. However, the malt/hop balance is good, it's just the oak flavor that's out of balance IMO.

Mouth feel is good, clean, rich and even crisp for a bigger beer.

Over all very drinkable in spite of the raw oakiness.

I had to try this because I heard it won some award at TAP NY this year. Maybe I'll try it again some day. Perhaps I just had a young bottle.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark black with a thick tan head. The head thins but doesn't go away, it leaves a ton of lacing.

Aroma is sweet vanilla and dark roast malts, slightly medicinal at the end. Flavor is full of roasted malts, ending with a bit of coffee flavor. An off medicinal flavor and a bit of sourness is also present. I think that this bottle is a few months old, but I'm not sure, i couldn't find a date on it. Not sure if this flavor is to be expected at any age. if it wasn't there it would be a much better beer.

Mouthfeel is fine, dries up nicely, but the medicinal flavor does not leave me wanting more. I've heard good things about this brew, and like their others, so I suspect that I got a bad bottle.

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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 Gfunk720
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle consumed from my Excelsior glass. Came recommended by a shop owner of a store near me. Label also shows a 2008 World Beer Cup silver metal award...

A- Pours with a healthy light tan head that settles out to a light covering on the surface. The beer is very dark black/brown in appearance, with hints of brown light poking through at the edges.

S- The smell is pretty underwhelming for a whiskey barrel beer. Smells like an imperial porter would, perhaps with a touch of oaky barrel smell. I get a little bit of the hops coming through as well.

T- Tastes like a decent hopped porter that was aged in oak barrels. I am not really getting a whole lot of Whiskey flavor, or any of the booziness. I also get notes of chocolate, carmel, and even some vanilla/cinnamon notes.

M- Has a very nice mouth feel. I expected the beer to be a little bigger. After realizing it was less that 6% alcohol, I thought the mouthfeel was one of the better things about this beer.

D- I had to push myself a bit to drink this bottle. I opened it expecting a nice warm, full bodied, whiskey barrel beer. It was by no means undrinkable, but wasn't exactly inviting.

Probably wouldn't seek this out again, but it was a decent beer. A little light in body and whiskey for a barrel aged porter. Worth a try though, and not terribly expensive

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