Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout: The Stout That Never Was.

Odell Bourbon Barrel StoutThe other night I broke into my bunker and pulled out this beer for both cooking and consumption.  I was trying a new fusion recipe that didn’t really work out.  Suffice it to say that the Irish and the Chinese shouldn’t make food together.  Really it was some sort of funky blend of beef and cabbage and onion in a stir fry with a stout sauce.  Sounded interesting in theory, but in practice it just didn’t go together.  In the future I’ll stick with stew.

So this beer was from 2011.  It had been sitting in my bunker for a couple of years.  i had to wipe off a thick layer of dust and cobwebs before I popped the cork on this 22 oz bomber.  At 11.5% ABV this is an aggressive stout, and I knew it was going to be big and bold.  By way of full disclosure I had heard that this beer was a bit of a disappointment when it came to Idaho in 2011.  But not being one to let others opinions influence my drinking decisions (if I did, I would never had tried the Duchesse based on Jim’s disdain for that beverage) I went ahead and bit the bullet and paid the $19 for this caged and corked bomber.

Well, I was hesitant to use 2 cups of it for cooking, so i fudged a bit so I could have a little bit more for “personal consumption.”  Well, I probably could have not skimped on the recipe amount, because the beer just was a bit of a disappointment.

The pour was nice enough with a good pop from the cork, a nice inky blackness, and a huge cappuccino colored head, it looked the part, and I thought perhaps the harsh words were over stated.  Maybe the 2 years of aging was just what it needed.  That’s what I told myself.  Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that it just wasn’t a great beer, and certainly it was a disappointment given the price point.

It had a slight nose to it, very understated, and I picked up hints of toffee and wood. It actually had a slight bourbon nose more so than beer.  The flavor started off with Booze and finished with Barrel.  The mouthfeel was quite thin, well that’s not fair, it wasn’t thin so much as it was more of a medium feel, but on a big stout with a thick head I expect creaminess, what I got was a little thicker than water.  While I do like Wood and Booze, I prefer to have more other stuff in there too. How about some chocolate, toffee, vanilla, or even licorice?  But there was none of that to be had, it just had a huge boozy front and a dry and oaky finish.  At one point I thought it tasted more like a big woody Cabernet Wine than a Stout beer.

So while this beer did show some interesting characteristics, it just didn’t seem ready for prime time.  And at that price I could buy a Six Pack of Sam Adams Extra Stout, and actually be a lot happier with my purchase.

On a Personal note I am sitting at the bar of my new restaurant and beer store typing this on my new laptop, so I am pretty sure I will be posting on a much more regular basis into the future.


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Categories: Beer, review

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16 Comments on “Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout: The Stout That Never Was.”

  1. March 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Congratulations on your new business, Don!

    • Don
      March 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      Thanks Alex. I’m just about open. Just need to get my State Liquor License (Still waiting) and I will have all my inspections next week. Should be good to go once I get all the permits. Just a couple weeks away now.

  2. March 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Glad to see you got the new place open. It’s a shame I’m now 1000 miles away, otherwise I’d be a regular.

    • Don
      March 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Where were you and where are you now?

      • March 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        Used to be in Boise. Moved to San Diego for a job just over a year ago. We used to drink at Brewforia.

        • Don
          March 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

          I remember you, but I don’t remember your name. So you ended up taking the SD job?!! Big jump. Did you keep your house in Meridian? Or have you made it permanent?

        • March 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

          It was a big jump, but the job prospects there weren’t looking good. I needed a change. I’m still a “permtractor”. I can’t understand hiring anymore; all anyone is hiring is temps. I sold the house. Rents here are frightening.

  3. March 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Who is this person, and why is he writing on my blog? I’m so confused!

    • Don
      March 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      I used to live here, then I moved away, and now I’m back. Kind of like a tenant you never wanted. 😉

  4. March 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    A big congrats Don! I’m currently in the same starting a business boat. I’ve been doing nothing but paperwork and legalities for the past week; I’ll let everyone know what its purpose is the closer I get to being up and running.

    It’s a shame about the stout, I’ve loved nearly everything I’ve had from Odell. Myrcennary is one of my all time faves, and the double pilsner is quite tasty too. But that’s the joy of craft beer, exploring new beers.

    • Don
      March 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      I agree Will, you win some and you lose some, but when it is an 11.5% stout that is named Bourbon Barrel Stout, my disappointment is palpable. 😦

  5. Brian
    March 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Finally your writing, it just isn’t the beer and whiskey bros with out you

  6. March 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Don; this experience is of a cloth w/ my own regarding bourbon barrel stouts in general. I’ll taste one on tap, fall in love w/ it and buy several bombers to age in the cellar awhile. Then when I finally blow the dust off and uncork ’em–its ennnhhh! Don’t know why but these brews don’t seem to cellar the way you’d expect them to. Think I’ll just leave ’em in the barrel.

    BTW: welcome back and congrats on the new business.

  7. John
    March 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Your first post and you go to beer!!! Really? The whisky is just a sign on the door.

  8. March 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    welcome back

  9. March 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Congrats and best luck Don…

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