For many,the last week of November means family,friends,Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season with Black Friday.For the craft beer fan it means the start of the barrel aged beer season! For a few years now,Black Friday has been the suggested release date of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout and its offshoots.This year the grand daddy of barrel aged beers will be available in 16.9 oz bottles (a departure from previous years when it was in 4 pack 12 oz. bottles). The line up this year includes Bourbon County Stout,Bourbon County Barleywine,Bourbon County Coffee Stout,Bourbon County Regal Rye (stout aged in rye barrels with cherries and (blackberries) and Bourbon County Rare.
Bourbon County Rare is an Imperial stout aged in 30 plus year old Heaven Hill Distilling Barrels then aged a couple more years. The result should be an exceptionally rich,smooth beer with many complexities and nuances!
The release of the famed Bourbon County series will usher in the season of tremendous barrel aged beers including Perennial’s Abraxas,Breckenridge Brewing’s 25th Anniversary Barrel Aged Vanilla Porter and locally Heavy Seas 20 year Storm.
Breckenridge Brewing (Colorado) has been around for 25 years. Their Vanilla Porter is hands down one of my favorite beers regardless of the season. For their 25th anniversary,they are taking an Imperial version of Vanilla Porter (higher abv and more prominent flavor profile) and aging it in rum barrels from Barbados. Then they are adding fresh,wet vanilla beans from the Veracruz region of Mexico. This could be one of the most delicious beers to come along in awhile and one I’m really excited to try!
On the local front,be on the look out for 20 Year Storm Imperial ESB from our neighbors and local craft pioneers Heavy Seas Brewing. Winter Storm was the first beer to wear the Heavy Seas moniker 20 years ago.To celebrate the milestone the team at Heavy Seas has created a 10% ABV,barrel aged version of that first brew. 20 Year Storm is an imperial ESB brewed with UK malt,an English ale yeast,a blend of English and American hops and true to their Baltimore roots, Domino sugar! Post fermentation,the brew will be aged in bourbon barrels for 75 days.
With all of these terrific barrel aged beers on the horizon and more to come,it sure looks like fall/winter 2015/16 will be a barrel of FUN! The of aged beers are very secured, thanks to Arizona Locksmith!
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