So, before I get into this, know that I geeked out a bit. In advance, I am not sorry, and I guarantee that I will, in fact, do it again.
This week I wanted to look at aging beers, not in your cellar, but in the brewer’s. There is something special, some technique that needs to be learned, in order to properly age beer. Whether that aging happens in a barrel, a tank, or some other container, it can easily be screwed up. There is a finesse to it when it’s done right. The aging of beer has become somewhat of a craze these days, but a lot of brewers miss the mark. Beers too heavy in oak, taken out before fermentation is complete resulting in Diacetyl, an off-flavor (Notes of butter, cream, milk, or an oily mouthfeel), and an overall unbalanced flavor profile. With so much aging going on, and with no slowdown in sight, it can be difficult to find a truly unique aged beer. Lucky for you, you’ve got a friend to help guide you. I may geek out and write too much at times, but I won’t steer you in the wrong direction.
And Now, the Brews
|Birrificio Black Barrel | Yellow Doctor | Blonde Ale w/ Thyme in Oak|
|Okay. I am going to geek out for a sec… This beer, this beer right here, this beer right here brewed by one of the Italian Fathers of Craft Beer, Renzo Losi, is ridiculous. Renzo pretty much pioneered wildly fermenting beers in oak in Italy. He is the guy. He is the man. He has a small shop in Turin, Italy. The main floor is a bottle shop and the basement is where the magic happens. He doesn’t own a brewery, per say, but he works with local breweries to create a bunch of one-off creations. He does, however, age all of the beers in that magic basement. He has eight barrels down there that are always full thanks to an elaborate maze of tubing. While he makes a slew of one-off beers, there are three that he has made a point to always have on hand “because I believe I need to be strict in respecting these fundamental rules,” he says.
Now that I am done geeking out, let’s talk about this beer. An American Blonde Ale brewed with thyme and aged in Oak for 10 months, this beer is incredibly drinkable. Pour this beer out of the ridiculous looking bottle to bask in all the beauty that is this beer. The aromas are incredibly complex with notes of citrus, lemon, funk, thyme, farmhouse, a bit of spice, and just a touch of oak. My tongue dances and cannot get enough of this beer! With a wonderful creaminess, there is no lack of flavor here. Reminiscent of a classic Lambic, there is some delicious funkiness to this beer. That funk mixes perfectly with flavors of oak, lemon, thyme, hops, and some tremendous yeast. Hands down, this is one of the best wild beers out there. Where The Wild Beer Are, where you at on this one? Also, take note, this beer is limited and tough to find. If you can find it, get it! Also, if you ever see it on tap, hit me up ASAP!
|500 ml Bottle | 5.2% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Prairie Artisanal Ales | BOMB! | Imperial Stout|
|For a blog post dedicated to aged beer, you probably expected three barrel aged beers of some sort, but not all beers need to be aged in barrels. This one has a lot of hype behind it and has been aged on coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers. A lot of ingredients that, somehow, meld together beautifully. Notes of coffee, chocolate, sweet malts, and a touch of booze leap from the glass. The flavor follows suit with a touch of vanilla and a subdued pepper spice that almost comes off as the flesh of the pepper, a little meaty. There is a definite presence of the alcohol but is still smooth and drinkable. A sipper in all respects, and as it warms the flavors develop nicely. Grab a bottle, but don’t share it.|
|12 oz Bottle | 13% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Avery Brewing | Nuttiest Professor | Barrel Aged Imperial Peanut Stout|
|Your first and last Bourbon Barrel-Aged beer on this post. It feels good to not dominate this post with them, sometimes, overly sought after styling of beer. I chose this one because of the uniqueness of the style of beer that was aged. The “Peanut Stout” part is the part that caught my attention. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you’d know that I enjoy Avery. Fantastic brews on the entire spectrum of brews. This one, in its own respects, is also very good! The nose isn’t quite as strong as the other beers here, but there are notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and toffee. Tmouthfeeleel is rich with flavors of Bourbon, chocolate, oak, roasted malts, and toffee. The peanuts are hidden in there as all of the other notes are very powerful. At 15.2%, this beer is a heavy hitter. I would have liked to see the peanuts come through a bit more, but I expect with some aging, those overpowering flavors would mellow out some, letting the peanuts take more of the stage. All-in-all a solid beer, though!|
|12 oz Bottle | 15.2% ABV | 60 IBUs|