image sourced from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company's websiteFor all the beer reviews and release notices that this website churns out we continually forget to discuss a favorite practice of ours, cellaring.

Often associated with wine, cellaring is a practice that many beer drinkers subscribe to. The process usually entails storing a bottle-conditioned beer, with the intent on enjoying it at a later date. From the Imperial Stout, Barleywine, or Belgian ales to even Smoked ‘beers’; you can pretty much cellar anything.

Because of this we are happy to announce two beers from Portland’s Widmer Brother’s Brewing.

Widmer Brothers Brewing has launched its Alchemy Project with the release of Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11. Named for the proprietary hop blend that serves as the foundation for many Widmer Brothers beers, the Alchemy Project is a new series of vintage-dated beers that can be enjoyed immediately or cellared for years.

This is the second year in a row that Widmer Brothers Brewing will release a bourbon barrel-aged version of Brrr, the brewery’s celebrated winter seasonal ale. Barrel Aged Brrrbon was first released in Fall 2010 as part of the brewery’s Brothers’ Reserve Series. Now, as part of the Alchemy Project, beer enthusiasts can look forward to the release of a new batch of Barrel Aged Brrrbon every year for years to come.

“We’re very excited to launch our Alchemy Project with the release of Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11,” said Rob Widmer. “Like fine wine, the process of cellaring and aging many beers contributes to enhanced flavor profiles and complexity as the beer evolves with time. This series will showcase that evolution.”

Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11 is the inaugural beer in the Alchemy Project; however, a limited supply of Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’10 was cellared and will be re-released in conjunction with the 2011 beer. The limited-release beers were brewed using the same recipe and brewing process, providing a great opportunity for a two-year vertical tasting that showcases how well this beer ages over time.

“Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11 is an incredible, big beer. The bourbon barrel-aging process lends notes of oak, vanilla and caramel, while the hop profile balances the sweet candy and fruity flavors,” said Doug Rehberg, a Widmer Brothers brewer. “This is a labor-intensive beer to brew, but it’s a labor of love and one of our favorite beers.”

About Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11

Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11 is a smooth winter warmer and the first release in the Alchemy Project from Widmer Brothers Brewing. Beginning with a version of Brrr, the beer was given a fresh charge of hops during secondary fermentation and then put into Kentucky bourbon barrels and aged for four months. After months of maturation in the barrels, the beer was allowed a tertiary fermentation for final conditioning before release.

Tasting Notes

  • Wood and vanilla notes
  • Soft carbonation
  • Dry, hoppy finish; tartness
  • Candy and fruity sweetness
  • Caramel aromatics
  • Bourbon nose and flavor


  • Malts:
    2-Row Pale, Caramel 10L, Carapils, Caramel 80L, Dark Chocolate
  • Hops:
    Bittering – Alchemy
    Aroma – Simcoe and Cascade
  • Profile
    Original Gravity: 20.3P
    Apparent Extract: 3.4P
    IBU: 40
    Color: 22 SRM
    Alcohol by Volume: 9.5%

About Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’10

Originally released in Fall 2010 as part of the brewery’s Brothers’ Reserve Series, only a small amount of Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’10 was brewed. This year’s release of the cellared Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’10 is available in extremely limited quantities in 22-ounce bottles at select retailers nationwide … 

As part of the Brothers’ Reserve Series, each bottle of the 2010 vintage release is still exclusively packaged in an individual box.

More information on Widmer Brothers Alchemy Project and a video illustrating the barrel aged brewing process are available at

Starting right now, you should expect to find both Brrrrbon 2011 & Brrrrbon 2010 on the shelves wherever you see bottles of Widmer Brothers beers. Better rush out to get your hands on a bottle of Brrrrbon 2010. Because as the brewery indicated, it’s in limited supply.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing

What started as a dream for two ordinary brothers who just loved beer has now become a reality for two ordinary brothers who still just love beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their twenties, they dreamed of brewing unique interpretations of traditional beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen; today, the unfiltered cloudy beer is the company’s signature brew and one of the best-selling wheat beers in the country. Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery currently brews a variety of beers, including its Brothers’ Reserve Series, Alchemy Project, Drifter Pale Ale, Nelson Imperial IPA, Rotator IPA Series, Drop Top Amber Ale and Pitch Black IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit


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