Dec 9, 2013

Widmer Brothers Brrrbon 2013

I last encountered Widmer Brothers bourbon barrel aged American strong ale back in March of 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed that big and tasty beer then and, thanks to the kindness of the brewery, I’ve gotten the opportunity to not only check out 2013’s product, but also two other, alternative versions of the beer (more on those in the next couple of days).

Since 2010, Widmer Brothers have taken their Winter seasonal, Brrr Seasonal Ale, and let it rest in Kentucky bourbon barrels for several months. The result is a full-flavored beer that carries a distinct bourbony character, but one that doesn’t overwhelm the beer that it is imparting its influence upon. Widmer Brothers Brrrbon is a smooth drinking beer that delivers a balanced and thoroughly enjoying experience.


Widmer Brothers Brrrbon pours a rusty copper in color with a beige cap of foam that fell to a sparse surface cover and thin ring.

Widmer Brothers Brrrbon 2013 photo


Oak, bourbon, toasted malt, a soft vanilla, orange peel and caramel all come together nicely. Despite it’s 9.4% ABV, this beer doesn’t smell overly warming.


This beer carries a good amount of bourbony character within its depths, but again, it’s not in an overtly dominating fashion. Wood and light hints of vanilla join caramel and a light malt sweetness before fading through to a slightly biting hop bitterness. The finish is warming and lingers comfortably for a good while. This medium-bodied brew goes down dangerously smooth.


I liked Brrrbon when i first tried it and I think I may even like it more now. I’m not sure if the recipe has changed much or if the bourbon barrels are from a different company than they were in 2010/11 (or if my own tastes have changed through the years), but the beer just tastes that much better. I love the solid oak and malt presence as well as the balancing hop character that comes in to play, as well.

Rating: 4.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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