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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
81 88 72 3 7 4
Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale by Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
9.20 % ABV

Who's Drinking this?:
Last 5 Drinks Consumed
Review by flyingtaco on 11/10/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 2 9 15 3 7 0
Originally reviewed on: 05-19-2009

Snagged at Julio's during their Spring Fest. Poured into a Portsmouth snifter. Am guessing it's the 2009 vintage but no indications at first glance.

It's a bit more turbid than I expected. More like a cloudy Dunkel actually. Not quite, though - then again, it kicks off a perfect deep bourbon hue. Ginger-colored head is pretty damn nonexistent on first pour though. Carbonation is relatively...almost completely...still.

Oh yeah, there's a $#!+load of oak here. And vanilla. And a bit of butter. But there's some nice bourbony perfume with some pininess. It needs to warm quite a bit in my estimation. Slight leather/tanning soap notes. There's a little complexity here. Not entirely synergistic but interesting. Dark fruits come around with the bourbon - maybe some stewy fermenting plums, among other things.

And, they're off...vanilla is in there...buttery but not too sweet. Bourbon is huge. This is huskier in taste than on the nose. Dark fruits become incredibly austere and recede into maybe not deep background but into the backbone of it all. Hops? Sure - a bit of pine here juxtaposed with strong dark roasted malts. No hint of tannins. Alcohol is more astringent than desired for the weight class. Density is much more thin than expected. Borderline clammy when cold. Still, the taste profile is quite enjoyable.

For all the flavor profile it brings to the table, it's pretty dry. And light-bodied. I want this to have a lot more weight than it does. Husky malt and pine on the hops lingers in the back of the throat alongside a slightly astringent bourbon-vanilla finish. It's like the wicked cold, numbing sensation after knocking back a shot of Maker's. With a little butter in there. Looking for something heavier. But it's good.

I miss the deeper molasses-like maltiness of some of the Scotch ales I've tried on this one. Hate to be a yenta about it all but I shouldn't have to wait an hour for the maltiness to show. The flavor profile has a lot going on but it's quite thin for a Scotch Ale. There's nothing heavy about it. But it drinks pretty well and it is quite enjoyable, so that counts for something. But not nearly as much as it should. All in all, go get it and draw your own conclusion. The vanilla in the bourbon oak salvages this from lack of depth. I like it quite a bit but I should like it even more.

Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 11/03/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 2 10 18 4 8 0
22oz Bomber

I received this in a trade awhile back with the man himself brewandbbq, thanks again Jeff! Berkshire's Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale has a somewhat murky mahogany body as it fills my snifter. The red glistens with a caramel hue when backlit. Two fingers of beige head form on the pour and falls to a robust one finger cap that has great staying power and a ton of cling along the glass. Great looking drink lines get left behind each sip. This is one impressive looking drink.

The Scotch ale has notes of peat, caramel, toffee, a surprising nuttiness on deep pulls and a black pepper spiciness that's barely noticeable. Now think of all that deliciousness wrapped in a big fat bourbon barrel like pigs in a blanket. The barrel matches the intensity of the Scotch ale perfectly with just enough character to play along instead of take over. Semi sweet bourbon, pure vanilla, and smooth buttery oak all round out the beautiful nose on this big brew.

The nose couldn't have been anymore right on than what it was. The actual beer has a great peat smokiness that plays perfectly with the somewhat sweet bourbon character from the barrel. Toffee more so than caramel keep the maltiness pushing through as notes of vanilla and buttery oak coat the tongue. The nuttiness and spiciness are both afterthoughts in the flavor but add even more depth. This is one delicious beer; each sip gets better and better.

A slow rolling body manages to coat my tongue on each and every sip. The body is on the lighter side of heavy with a velvety smooth feel and barely noticeable carbonation. The carbonation or lack there of, allows this beer to work its magic over every single tastebud.

The sheer size of this brew along makes it a sipper, add the barrel aging and it's a super sipper, or so you'd think. This beer goes down so incredibly easy for the size that it's mind boggling. Seriously, one bomber is not enough.

I would love to see this beer get made again and I'm about to search out some more. I can't give this brew enough credit. The depth is huge and every aspect is perfectly integrated. I can't thank you enough for giving me the chance to sample this brew Jeff!

Served In: Snifter

Review by tangfoot on 02/28/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 11 17 4 9 2008
It poured out really dark brown, into a 20-ounce glass. Head was fluffy, and tan.

The smell was wonderful right off the bat. It was sweet, and very indicative of a Scotch Ale, only with a bit more kick and some wonderful bourbon booziness. I want to just crawl right into this stuff.

I had the beer stored in my "regular" fridge, as I do not have a dedicated beer fridge at the moment, and immediately noticed that it was WAY colder than I wanted it to be. The taste was rather muted at first, but as it warmed up, it really began to shine.
Sweet, lovely malts and that wonderful Scotch Ale taste come through, and were greatly enhanced by the bourbon aging. The bourbon added a nice vanilla to the malt, and was very well crafted.

Mouthfeel was above average, but it wasn't perfect. A little thin in the finish.

Overall, a really nice example of bourbon aging in a style that isn't really known for it. I'll have to compare it to the AleSmith BA Wee Heavy when I get around to tasting that one.

Served In: Pint Glass

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