Regular Stout Vs Bourbon Barrel Aged Version

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BenwayPHD, Mar 26, 2015.

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  1. BenwayPHD

    BenwayPHD Aspirant (289) Sep 4, 2014 California

    What Stouts do you guys feel work better in their original for vs their Bourbon Barrel Aged counter parts. Personally, I found Port Brewing's Santa's Little Helper to be more enjoyable than its BBA counterpart.
    #1 BenwayPHD, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
  2. Moose90

    Moose90 Meyvn (1,404) Nov 25, 2012 Washington

    TenFidy is fine without a barrel, thank you very much.
  3. BenwayPHD

    BenwayPHD Aspirant (289) Sep 4, 2014 California

    I have never had Ted Fidy Bourbon Barrel Aged, but I can't imagine it improves upon the original. Ten Fidy is my favorite Stout upon which all others are judged.
    #3 BenwayPHD, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Meyvn (1,011) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Founders Imperial Stout is better than KBS IMO. I have read that base beer for KBS is not the same as the Imperial Stout.
  5. MikeReserva

    MikeReserva Initiate (113) May 28, 2013 Netherlands

    Exactly this.
  6. whatname

    whatname Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I would have to say Great Lakes Blackout Stout is much better than the barrel version.
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  7. fredmugs

    fredmugs Meyvn (1,484) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana

    TenFIDY is certainly fine as is but the first time I had the BBA version my Untappd check-in was "Holy Mother of God." Only the CBS I had recently tops it.
    cjgiant, deford, mctizzz and 2 others like this.
  8. HopBackGorilla

    HopBackGorilla Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2015 New York

    This is probably Anti-Beer Advocate to say, but I'll take all of my stouts, porters, any beer :wink: in a NON Barrel format. If I want whiskey or any other barrel spirit, I'll visit my liquor store. And even then, it will be a gift, not to myself.

    I have never cared for Whiskey or Bourbon or Moonshine or any other high alcohol spirit. I enjoy the heck out of Dark style beers, until you drop whiskey in it , or you drop the beer in the barrel.
  9. mattosgood

    mattosgood Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2014 Massachusetts

    It's a Baltic Porter, but Jacks Abby Framinghammer is better without being barrel-aged, or any of the varieties actually.
    jbertsch likes this.
  10. Jeffo

    Jeffo Poo-Bah (3,569) Sep 7, 2008 Netherlands
    Society Trader

    Here are a few examples where I thought the base was more enjoyable than the barreled version:

    Dark Horse Plead the 5th
    DDC Peche Mortel
    Foothills Sexual Chocolate
    HF Daybreak
    HF Everette
    Närke Stormaktsporter
    Bruery Coton

    The barreled versions were nice as well, but simply found the regular versions more impressive.

  11. stickboy1125

    stickboy1125 Initiate (162) Jan 28, 2012 Virginia

    I agree, I think Bourbon Barrel Aging hides a lot of the flavors I enjoy in a stout/porter/etc plus makes them taste way too boozey and sweet for my liking. I don't mind barrel aging for some beers as long as it's not a barrel that was previously used for any type of spirit.
    #11 stickboy1125, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
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  12. Norseman

    Norseman Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2013 Illinois

    Regular Biscotti Break is better than the bourbon barrel version.
    Domingo, BullDoza, mychalg9 and 2 others like this.
  13. SeanBond

    SeanBond Meyvn (1,107) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois

    The most glaring example for me is Darkness. My favorite non-BA stout, but I had this year's BA version, and it didn't do anything to distinguish itself from the pack. Very disappointing (although good evidence that not everything is improved by barrel aging).

    Also, a few months back I had assorted barleywines at GI Clybourn; I forget the names, but there were basically 2 that were non-BA, and one that was BA, and I definitely preferred the non-BA ones.
    tylerstravis and THANAT0PSIS like this.
  14. msscott1973

    msscott1973 Devotee (431) Dec 28, 2013 North Carolina

    It is hard to imagine the Barrel Aged Narwhal being any better than the regular, but I will find out when I open my bottle, I guess.
    #14 msscott1973, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
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  15. AntG21

    AntG21 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 Syria

    Regular Stout blows. Bourbon Barrel Aged FTW!
    #15 AntG21, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
  16. TCJ0100

    TCJ0100 Initiate (0) Oct 9, 2014 California

    I appreciate barrel-aged stouts to mix things up every once and awhile, but I love regular imperial stouts. I think there is usually enough complexity and flavor in a regular stout to more than satisfy my craving for a rich tasting experience.
  17. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,510) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Both please.
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  18. MjBrewhouse

    MjBrewhouse Defender (648) Mar 25, 2014 Idaho
    Society Trader

    Love Narwhal but the Barrel Aged Narwhal is even better, IMO
    #18 MjBrewhouse, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2015
  19. jparizo

    jparizo Initiate (112) Jan 16, 2011 Indiana

    I think it depends on your mood and mindset. I usually find myself drinking a barrel aged stout when I want to allocate about an hour to an hour and a half and seriously get my chill on. I really enjoy bourbon and other whiskey, so it's a treat to sip on a well crafted beer marrying the two. Especially considering stouts and other dark beers are my favorite styles. Otherwise, I find non-barrel aged stouts very enjoyable on the semi-regular. TenFidy, Bells Expedition and Founders Imperial Stout are among my favorites.
    Also, considering barrel aged stouts seem to be more difficult to get and are more expensive, I typically save them for the right time and savor them.
    So, to answer the original question, I can't think of anything I necessarily found 'better' in the original or barrel aged version. Just different.
  20. Black_Rider

    Black_Rider Zealot (568) Mar 26, 2013 California

    it could have been a bad bottle but i found ba rasputin (XVI) hugely disappointing. and not as good as regular rasputin. not only no barrel character, but it lost the good characteristics of regular raspy.. chocolatey, roasty goodness. could have been that i sat on it too long (over 2 years before opened)

    while it was definitely better, ba narwhal was only minutely more interesting that regular. not enough to legitimize the price difference
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  21. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (878) Jan 22, 2011 New York

  22. kodt

    kodt Defender (619) Mar 6, 2013 Illinois

    Plead the 5th
    Biscotti Break
    Big Hugs
    Hell's Black Intelligencer

    and this one might rustle some jimmies but... Abraxas
    MaximumYuks likes this.

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (793) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    Surly Darkness was the first one to come to mind. Great Lakes Blackout Stout is better than its barrel-aged counterpart as well. Same goes for Sexual Chocolate

    I would say FBS and FIS are both better than KBS, which they are, but none of them share a base beer, so it's irrelevant.

    I have heard that Imperial Stout Trooper is better without the barrels, but as I've had neither, I cannot speak to the validity of that.
    Roguer likes this.
  24. BltByKrmn

    BltByKrmn Defender (629) Jan 16, 2013 New York

    I love stout.

    I love bourbon.

    Stout aged in bourbon barrels is terrible.
  25. jlsims04

    jlsims04 Devotee (489) Jul 14, 2013 Illinois

    FIS and FBS. Not a huge fan of Ten Fidy, its merly ok to me. I will have it on draft but can never justify the price when FBS, FIS, and Ivan the Terrible are all significantly cheaper.
  26. ADixon

    ADixon Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Colorado

    You should really try the BA version. I love Ten Fidy and have some in the fridge, but the BA version is incredible. It takes it to a new level of awesomeness. Definitely one of the best BA beers I've ever had.
    deford likes this.
  27. Jlabs

    Jlabs Poo-Bah (1,529) Nov 11, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    I much prefer reg. Old Rasputin over its BA bretheren
  28. Grodd87

    Grodd87 Disciple (365) Jul 30, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Old Rasputin and blackout stout like the regular better
  29. AntG21

    AntG21 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 Syria

    BA is akin to covering your steak in ketchup.
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  30. 4truth

    4truth Aspirant (249) Jan 30, 2015 Illinois

    I don't 'em both, but I thought the BA Old Rasputin XIV was pretty damn good.
    FutureJack likes this.
  31. deadonhisfeet

    deadonhisfeet Poo-Bah (2,098) Apr 23, 2011 Kentucky

    I have always liked the standard Hoppin' Frog BORIS the Crusher better than the barrel-aged version.

    I did not like barrel-aged Old Rasputin as much as Old Rasputin when I tried it, but I might have had a bad bottle so I'm willing to try it again someday.
  32. Jeffreysan

    Jeffreysan Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Maryland

    I believe the Weyerbacher's Old Heathen is much better than it's bourbon barrel-aged brother Heresy. Old Heathen is a fantastic RIS, where Heresy is way too harsh in bourbon flavors. At least to my palate.
  33. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,481) Sep 3, 2007 California

    I wonder if barrel aging started because the original was flawed in some way... "Hey, this stout isn't as good as we had hoped! What do we do?" (eyes Bourbon barrels)
  34. DaverCS

    DaverCS Zealot (579) Dec 9, 2014 Arizona

    Personally, I don't think you can get much better than a well-crafted barrel-aged stout. That being said, not all beers need to be barrel aged. I do like seeing the one time releases of a brewery trying to barrel age their stouts, but I don't find that all stouts need it. In fact, some don't work well with age. Feel free to try it out for a limited time release, and if it tastes better than the original, mass produce it. The barrel is for enhancing flavors, it shouldn't be purely for the novelty of it (which appears is growing in popularity).
  35. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    I had a freshly tapped version with a Breckenridge barrel... I don't claim all are the same, but I mostly got hints of soy sauce.
  36. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    These two immediately came to mind:
    Dark Horse Plead the 5th
    DDC Peche Mortel
  37. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    This is one of the few that I completely disagree with. BA Biscotti may be the best beer I've ever had... Though that may have a bit to do with cellaring as I have only had one (so far).
  38. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (4,423) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Society Trader

    Since there has already been a couple of comparisons, lets go ahead and throw this out there...

    KBS is NOT BA FIS. KBS is NOT BA FBS. This ends the public service announcement.
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  39. EveningCordial

    EveningCordial Disciple (300) Apr 29, 2014 New Jersey

    Heresy, off with your heads!!!
  40. markextrae

    markextrae Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Netherlands

    Perennial sump was much better as barrel aged sump
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