Bourbon Barrel Porter All-Grain Kit

SKU: U1604

Bourbon barrel-aged beers have been a hugely popular style ever since their inception in the early '90s by American craft brewers. By starting with a stronger-than-average robust porter, then infusing it with Bourbon-soaked oak (we recommend Maker's Mark), the end result is quite possibly the best beer ever. Recommended: 2-stage fermentation and yeast starter.

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Bourbon Barrel Porter All-Grain Beer Recipe Kit

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Details

Bourbon barrel-aged beers have been a hugely popular style ever since their inception in the early '90s by American craft brewers. By starting with a stronger-than-average robust porter, then infusing it with Bourbon-soaked oak (we recommend Maker's Mark), the end result is quite possibly the best beer ever. You'll have to supply your own bourbon - save a little to sip on brew day to really capture the spirit. The intense aroma and flavor of toasted American oak and the sweet graininess of good bourbon meld with the bittersweet roastiness of porter to make for a very characterful beer. Recommended: 2-stage fermentation and yeast starter.

Additional Information

Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons
Recipe and Instructions Click Here!
Regional Style USA
Beer Style Stout/Porter
Color Dark
Original Gravity 1065
Total Time to Make 2 months

Customer Reviews

Might be my favorite Review by Ray
Rating
Not usually a Porter drinker. I brewed this one because I was trying to make something that my Bourbon drinking Brother in law would like. Brewed in July, 4 weeks Pri, 5 weeks Sec, bottled late September. I'm a Jim Beam fan, so I used 16 oz of Jim Beam Devils Cut. Had first sample at 4 weeks and was good, sample at 7 weeks better yet. Since then, this just keeps getting better and better. I was worried about over powering oak, but it is spot on. Just the right amount of bourbon, I may even consider a little more cause that's just what I do. Highly recommend! (Posted on 12/5/14)
Silver Medal Review by Dan
Rating
This beer just took the silver medal in the Specialty Beer category (against 31 other beers in the category) at the Boston Homebrew Competition. The beer was only 8 weeks old. At ~8% ABV (with the bourbon), it is still very young. I expect it will be much better in a couple of months. (Posted on 2/25/14)
Very good Review by Frank
Rating
Good dark brew. (Posted on 1/4/14)
Simply the Best Review by John
Rating
This is my second time I have brewed this, both times with half a bottle of Maker's Mark. While is is very good at recommended age, it just gets better if you age it 3 months or more. Sensational, Amazing, Awesome & Simply the Best still does not due this brew justice, IMHO. (Posted on 1/1/14)
Great BB Porter Review by Bruhdda
Rating
I've had other commercial examples and home-brewed examples using actual bourbon barrels. This is every bit as good. I only used ½ the oak and left it in for 3 days before bottling. I didn't add the bourbon. It's good without the bourbon, but when I add ½ ounce of Maker's Mark to a 16 oz glass its great! I think I'll do it exactly the same next time I brew. (Posted on 12/19/13)
Like a meal in a glass! Review by Ryan
Rating
Appearance: Very dark black with a creamy brown head that doesn't linger. Slight biscuit smell with a very slight whisky taste. Has a heavy mouth feel ( my first pull after 2 days at 30lb co2). Distinct coffee and alcohol after taste. Very well balanced beer at 7.2 ABV and will be a staple in the keezer. (Posted on 12/9/13)
Best Porter I've ever had, or made Review by Matthew
Rating
I've brewed this kit 5 times now. I plan on keeping it on tap indefinitely. The extract kit comes out just as well. (Posted on 11/29/13)
one of my favorite porters Review by Harold
Rating
Brewed it a year ago and enjoyed it as did my friends.I am going to brew it again. (Posted on 11/25/13)
Great Porter Review by Jacob
Rating
Just opened my first of these and very impressed for how young it is. Another month of conditioning and it will be there. (Posted on 11/20/13)
One of the Best Review by CARL
Rating
This is one of the best kits that I have brewed. I brewed this kit for my 100th batch. The Porter is great on it's own, but can't resist adding Maker's Mark. This time I also added lactose and cacao nibs. Can't wait. (Posted on 11/11/13)
Just as described... your friends are going to think you're Sam Koch! Review by Ted
Rating
This beer had a pretty high grain bill, so my 5-gallon system barely held it, but wow! I hit the temp exactly and stuck to the recipe. I went with the Maker's Mark bourbon and it sat in secondary for about 7 weeks before I had a free keg. It's a fairly robust porter, but not overbearing, and because of that it marries perfectly with the bourbon. It absolutely emulates a cask conditioned porter. I've been on a mission to try a different NB kit each time, but this one I will be doing again in a few weeks! Give this one to friends, it'll knock their socks off. (Posted on 11/4/13)
major stuck mash Review by Russell
Rating
I noticed when I started to mash-in that there was quite a bit of grain dust in the bag. Against my better judgement I went ahead and poured it all in, in my normal method. I hit temps and everything just fine but when it came to mash out I didn't even have a trickle out of the MLT. After about 2 hours of trickling, blowing back into the tube, etc. It finally came unstuck and the rest of the day went as normal. I'm using the NB 10gal AG kit and have only had one other stuck mash (pumpkin beer!). I might put in a little extra work next time and filter/screen out any dust. (Posted on 11/4/13)
Quite possibly indeed Review by Joel
Rating
For a guy that hasn't really been much of a fan of darker beers, I really, really liked this one. I am even more excited for the second time that I will do it (tomorrow) since I have actual oak whiskey barrels to put it in. (Posted on 11/2/13)
A.MAZ.ING! Review by Grant
Rating
Very easily the best home brew I've done, I have my second one in primary as I type. Can't wait to have this one. (Posted on 11/1/13)
Just use 1/2 the Oak chips Review by Paul
Rating
I brewed this porter before and the oak and bourbon came in much stronger than I thought it would. This time I'm brewing with just half the oak chips. Great Beer, just modifying to balance a little more. Looking forward to the result. I'll brew this again. Great winter beer. (Posted on 11/1/13)
Amazing Porter Review by Anthony
Rating
Great Recipe. Easy to brew and tasted amazing. I used some Makers 46 in mine. Would not change a thing. (Posted on 10/31/13)
Made with Wyeast French Saison yeast Review by Samsonite
Rating
Omitted the recommended yeast and opted instead for Wyeast's French Saison yeast. Bottled after 30 days in secondary. The vanilla oak and buttery Makers Mark tamed some of the spicy wildness of the yeast, resulting in a funky, mouthy, penetrating flavor profile of bitter chocolate and sweet Pennsylvania mushroom soup, finished with an aroma of conifer rainforest. Don't be alarmed: it's hard to describe the characteristics of this hybrid. Will make again, but will leave in secondary for up to 4 months to see how flavor/aroma evolves. (Posted on 10/30/13)
Great tasting porter Review by Gerald
Rating
I soaked the oak cubes in 16 ounces of Southern Comfort while the brew was in the primary. I then added the cubes and SC into the secondary. It isn't bottled yet but the "samples" taste great. (Posted on 10/26/13)
A definite keeppa Review by James
Rating
Bought two of these kits last December and made 10 gals. 5 gals as bourbon barrrel and 5 gals of what I ended up calling Kentucky Java Porter. Went to out local co-op and made a coffee toddy(cold brew) of 1oz Mexican;1/2oz Ethiopian and 1/2 oz Ugandan fair trade coffees and steeped for 24 hours. Got the idea for Zymurgy vol #35 No 5 article by Nathan Watkins "making great coffee beer". Let this sit for 2 months and wow!! What a great winter sipping beer. ABV 9.2 and it never saw the Ides of March. The malt profile balanced the alcohol very nicely. No booziness at all. This ones a keeppa! (Posted on 10/3/13)
Very good Review by David
Rating
Very good kit, tastes very good. instructions were very good (Posted on 9/12/13)
Great Beer Review by Pres
Rating
I made a double batch of this with a friend. We split it in two and tried Makers Mark in one and Jack Daniels in the other. After aging in the bottles for a couple of months, we think the Jack Daniels version is just a little bit better. Slightly less bourbon taste, so the porter flavors come through better. I strongly recommend two packages of yeast or a fully reconstituted batch that you've let grow for a week. (Posted on 8/16/13)
Very Good Review by Silas
Rating
I am very happy with this beer. Added 16oz of Makers Mark and added oak cudes in secondary after two weeks in primary. I let it sit for four months in secondary. I tasted about once a month and it kept getting better. Just finished the keg tonight. (Posted on 6/18/13)
Wowzas!! Great beer! Review by Brian
Rating
Brewed this beer in FL during a cold front and it turned out great. Most of it is still in my closet aging from the February brew but I bottled one with no bourbon addition and it was AMAZING! As Beerginer noted in an earlier review if you want a great porter just don't add the bourbon or oak. I'm waiting for this one to age, right now it tastes great but in a few months I think everything should smooth out quite a bit. Excellant recipe NB!! (Posted on 5/3/13)
Add some vanilla ! Review by Lisa
Rating
This was a really stellar beer, and it just gets better with age. I actually added some vanilla bean in secondary the first time we brewed it, and it added just a hint of flavor, really a nice, solid beer. Can't wait to make it again, but be patient ! You will be rewarded with one of the best porters around ! (Posted on 4/23/13)
Let it age Review by Braiden
Rating
I made this well over a year ago, left it in the secondary for a few months, bottled and tore through it. It definitely had a boozey taste, but it worked well with the residual malt flavor. A couple months ago, I found a bottle of it in a friend's fridge and thinking it was something else, cracked it open. All the boozeyness had melted into the malt flavor, making for an even more complex taste. Do yourself a favor and store a six pack in the netherlands of your basement. It will be next years best surprise! (Posted on 12/14/12)
Great recipe - let it mature Review by Fred S
Rating
Kegged this after leaving in secondary for 2 months. Tasted good, but a bit rough. Swapped kegs and left it in the back for 1 month. Put it back on tap and it's a totally different beer. Will likely bottle this time. (Posted on 10/8/12)
Excellent, even better if you screw up Review by Rob
Rating
I've brewed this recipe many times and it's always a crowd pleaser with family and friends. Last fall I brewed a batch to give away as Christmas presents. Half way into the mash I realized i somehow messed up when adjusting the recipe for my 10 gallon system in beer alchemy (brewing software) and was on my way to making a 1.098 OG batch. Instead of trying to correct the error I just went with it and slapped the word "imperial" on the label. Hands down the best batch of beer I've ever made! Never fear experimenting even if by way of screwing up! (Posted on 6/20/12)
Excellent Beer Review by Patrick
Rating
This is by far my favorite kit fron NB I used all the makers kegged it and let her sit for a couple weeks on the gas. Excellent beer layers of pleasure gets better as it ages. the bourbon is excellent and adds more to smell and a bit to taste to me, I love this beer. Use a nice yeast starter and enjoy. (Posted on 6/4/12)
Great Beer. Review by Nate
Rating
Now I see why this has so many good reviews. It tastes delicious. I fermented in the primary for 14 days at 65F, secondary with oak and 16oz Makers Mark for 28 days at 65F, let it sit in a keg for about 16 days, then carbonated it for about a week. Even drinking it young (compared to other reviewers) it still tastes fantastic. (Posted on 3/27/12)
Killer winter warmer Review by Adrian
Rating
This is a great porter, but the bourbon and oak really put it over the top. I steamed the cubes for 5-10 minutes before adding them to secondary. Also, I went with the full 16 oz. of bourbon in secondary as stated in the recipe. Oaky goodness with a mellow bourbon flavor on the end. This beer made a great holiday gift and is getting excellent reviews from my buddies. Can't wait to see how it changes with some age. (Posted on 1/23/12)
WOW!!! Review by C-Brew
Rating
No need for a review, WOW explains it all. (Posted on 1/4/12)
This is the one! Review by Steve
Rating
I’ve brewed the all grain kit twice now and have taken first place twice in contests. The latest contest was against 27 other Porters at the Lucky Bucket Brewing Company in Nebraska. Next year we will brew this beer in their test brew system and sever it on tap in the Tasting Room. I boiled the oak cubes in Makers Mark 46 before tossing them into the secondary for 4 weeks. At bottling I added 16 oz of Makers Mark 46. This beer is definitely better the longer is sets and not chilled. I am patient when I make it, I can’t wait to drink it. (Posted on 12/18/11)
Excellent brew Review by Baddgcarma
Rating
I didn't bother to soak the cubes in bourbon. I just tossed them in the secondary with the measured amount of makers mark. I think the beer is excellent. The key to drinking the beer is not getting it ice cold. Like most dark ales it needs to be "warmer" so that the aroma and flavors really pop when you drink it. hmm time to draw another pint i think. (Posted on 11/3/11)
Great With Age Review by B. Lackey
Rating
I brewed this in December of 2010. I've been periodically tasting them and now I've only got 8 - 22oz bottles left. In early July it was perfect. The harshness from the whiskey had mellowed and made a very complex porter. I decided to mix it up and use 16oz Fighting Cock Bourbon. I can't wait to have the remaining bottles at the 1 year anniversary! (Posted on 8/15/11)
great porter Review by pants
Rating
Great porter recipe. I tossed 12 oz of bourbon (Buffalo Trace) soaked oak cubes into the primary a few days before I went to secondary. I tossed a shot in at the end of the boil too. I recollect that is a few ounces short of the recomended dose. I wanted to use maker's, but my then-pregnant wife was very attached to the idea of having her bottle of Maker's around for post-partum support, so I went with something mellower I had on hand. I had read that some people found the bourbon and oak flavors too strong and had to let it age for six months unless they cut back ont he bourbon a bit. I gave it two weeks in the primary, a couple weeks in secondary, and after about 3 weeks in bottle, it was good to go. It is great as a porter, but the bourbon flavor is very mellow. The oak flavors are about what I want--a very light tanin--others might prefer for the cubes to sit on the beer for longer. If I did it again, I might either use more buffalo trace or switch to Makers Mark or Elijah Craig and toss it in a bit earlier. It turned out to be a great Porter, but the bourbon flavor seemed to dissapear as it aged. (Posted on 6/27/11)
Blue ribbon recipe Review by Larry
Rating
Scored a blue ribbon my first time out with this recipe. I split the bourbon in two. Half was used to soak the cubes for 3 days, then went in the kettle at flame out to flash the alcohol but not lose too many aromatics. Oak cubes went in the primary. Fermented at 65, then warmed it up to room temperature for a week sitting on the yeast to get rid of the diacetyl. Racked to the keg and added the remaining bourbon. The warming was perfect, the oak subtle but present, and the head was enormous. Feedback forms all talk about big and balanced in all dimensions. I have 1 Belgian bottle left for my daughter's wedding. Got 10 gallons more in the fermenter and everyone's circling the brewhouse. (Posted on 3/2/11)
Smooth Flavor, great taste Review by Duffy
Rating
This was my first attempt at home brewing and it cam out amazing. I have since brewed two others and am now coming back to this one! You can't go wrong with this this. (Posted on 2/24/11)
Port buster Review by Nate
Rating
Im not much of a port drinker i'm more on the other end of the scale i like IPA's but however i made this for my fater in law he likes this kinda of beer. Not bad at all. If you like your stouts u gotta try this!!!! (Posted on 2/2/11)
Great beer or Greatest beer? Review by Kevin
Rating
1 year old. Drank a few along the way, but have tried to hold off. Thought it was tremendous as a porter at secondary. Added cubes to bourbon for a couple days and then put in secondary. Used 2x scottish ale packs. Use a starter or a couple fresh packs. My friends and I drink a lot of beer, and 100's of different kinds. Several have told me this is the best beer they have ever drank in their lives. On a cold winter day, reading a book and listening to a little blues music, gotta say I would have to agree. Plan on brewing at least 2 -3 batches of this over the winter so that I have plenty next year, and enough to leave it alone for 2 years. Really a good beer - smooth, rich, bourbon sweetness - It is a "night-ender" though - tough to drink more than a couple of these without getting a little sleepy. (Posted on 11/16/10)
Smooth Review by Beerginer
Rating
This beer was good before I added the oak and bourbon. I just drank the first bottle and am already wishing I had doubled it. Sooooo Gooood! Looking for a great standard porter, well just don't add the oak and bourbon. I followed the recipe to a T except I could only get dark oak chips. I only left the oak in for 8 days, and it was perfect. I was thinking of giving it out for Christmas, but I don't think it will last that long. This beer just jumped back to the top of the brewing queue, my first ever repeat in 35 batches. Its that good. (Posted on 10/16/10)
save your money-brew something else Review by RECREATION BREWERY
Rating
I had really high hopes for this, but alas, it sits in a keg in the fridge, waiting to be drank. I used 10oz of Makers Mark, too much bourbon for my tastebuds. Also, overall the beer is too sweet . I am planning on using it to mix with other beers in the future to tone down the sweetness of it, and yes, it fully fermented. This tasted really bad at first, almost undrinkable, it has since gotten much better, but by that I only mean relative to how it started. It's still only a 2 pint rated beer. (Posted on 8/9/10)
Super, gets better with age, Review by BobBrews
Rating
I just won a silver medal with this kit. May 2010. I brewed it in 2007. A bit aged and getting better. Good job NB (Posted on 5/25/10)

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