While I’ve enjoyed the regular People’s Porter before – a chocolatey-flavored porter with hints of coffee – I’m just not too crazy about the barrel-aged version, which has an 87 on Beer Advocate. Simply put, the beer smells and tastes too much of bourbon, which really masks the porter itself. With a more balanced complexity and some more of the porter body, this would probably be good. Maybe it was just the bottle I had, maybe it was just my palate the night I had it. Either way, I wasn’t as head-over-heels as others have been.
It is worth noting that at 6 percent ABV, this is much lower than other barrel-aged beers you’d typically find. Given the disparity between the alcohol content and the aging process, I can’t say I’m surprised at how the smell and taste ended up. If the beer itself had a higher ABV, then I could see it coming through a bit more. However, I’ll take the regular porter over the barrel-aged from now on.