Barrel Aged Barley-wine

“Too much going on to understand.”  That’s about all I could manage to write about my first pint of this barrel aged Katastrophic Humiliation.  I didn’t think it could get better; this was outstanding.  All the barley-wine characteristics are present – caramel, dark fruit, alcohol –  and enhanced by bourbon.

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Beer Review: Dankwood

  • Brewery:  Founders Brewing
  • ABV:  12.2%
  • Style:  Imperial Red IPA
  • Serving:  Bottle
  • Bottled Roger Rating:  88%

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Begin At the Beginning (Aroma)
Resin.  Pine.  Right at bottle opening there is a spritz of whiskey.  Vanilla after the resin fades.

And Go On (Appearance)
Towards the red spectrum (really??).  The head looks like a foam mesa.  Maybe a paper mâché.  It’s also whiskey brown.

Till You Come to the End (Taste)
Resin & pine fades into orange rinds.  Creamy vanilla tames the hops, reigns them in.  It becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Then Stop (Conclusions)
I feared the IPA-ness but it was not harsh, the vanilla notes helped.  The beer has a solid theme:  resiny hops, oak/wood body, harsh & bitter contrast.

Likely to drink again.

 

Beer Review: Backwoods Bastard

  • Brewery:  Founder Brewing, Michigan
  • ABV:  11%
  • Style:  Scotch Ale, Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  • Serving:  Bottle
  • Bottled Roger Rating:  90%

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Begin At the Beginning (Aroma)
Chocolate, dark, kind of dry.

And Go On (Appearance)
Light brown & orange, like a lightweight oil or a dark tea.  Luminescent red in direct sunlight.  Thin ivory head.

Till You Come to the End (Taste)
Maple.  Coats the tongue.  Chocolaty, creamy orange.  Some warming alcohol like a brandy.  Heavy like soaked wood, slight coffee.  Sugary, funky caramel.  Malty.  Spiritous. Dessert beer, but not too sugary and overpowering.  A woody, yummy bourbony, beery thing of beer.  Tingly carbonation.

Then Stop (Conclusions)
I enjoyed it.  Viciously.  The bourbon character is well done.  Plus, the beer pairs well with a salad.  Really.  Bacon and pork and cranberry.  While watching Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine.

I’d drink it again when the opportunity arises.

Beers for the Week

Since this week will see the publication of sundry posts regarding German wheat beers, I recommend finding one.  And drinking it. Here are some you can find locally:

  1. Wheatever. A weissbier, home brew, in bottles at my house. Should be ready in a week.
  2. K-Town Weiss. A kristall weizen available at Black Bridge Brewery. I wrote about it here, mostly. It was a hefe weissbier version at the time. This latest iteration has been filtered.  It was also mentioned recently by Tap That AZ.
  3. Chocolate Banana Nut Hefe & Hefen’ A.   According to Rickety Cricket Brewery’s website, both these beers are weissbiers and are on tap. I’ve not had either, so can’t share any thoughts on them.  Obviously I need to get to them this week.

Other suggestions if you don’t get to a wheat beer:

  1.  Backwoods Bastard & Dank Wood.  The former is a barrel aged scotch ale and the latter a barrel aged imperial red IPA by Founders Brewing.  Evaluations pending.
  2. Hell Bitch.  A Belgian strong golden ale from Black Bridge Brewery.  It’s nearly perfect.

Those are the beers on my radar for the week.

The Barrels

The barrels are on cradles in a back corner of Black Bridge Brewery by the roll up door leading to the patio.  One looks charred and beaten, the other is oakishly white and new-ish.  Both contain beers – as you would expect in a brewery.  The weathered barrel is a from a 10 year old Knob Creek whiskey and it holds the newest iteration of Katastrophic Humiliation.  The other barrel is from Desert Diamond Distillery, used for their 5 year reserve rum; the barrel now contains an aged Old Pretender.  Both barrels were carefully drilled into recently and a few ounces were released for sampling to the small group that bloomed around the barrels.

Old Pretender was brown, like a beer bottle or growler.  It’s hard to expatiate the flavors that were happening in that sample.  The rum definitely holds a presence, some commented that they tasted chocolate.  It’s a rich drink, plenty of complexity to satisfy a good beer snob.  Katastrophic is continually a brilliant beer.  The aroma from the barrel, bourbon and vanilla, will enhance it’s reputation no doubt.  It was very, very dry and a pale bronze color and I don’t remember a lot else about it.  It’s still very young and has to further mature.

Look for both at the Real Wild & Woody beer festival in Phoenix, July 28