“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.
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
Prior to knowing anything about Tim and the B3 crew, when my insular mentality was sure I was some kind of beer authority, I wrote this:
Black Bridge’s Katastrophic Humiliation has an awkward name, to be sure, a Stone Brewing riff sans rhythm and attitude but it was easily the best of the beers. It was an admirable 10.9 percent concoction with a sultry orange and amber body. It had a barley-wine-ish slash strong ale look and feel. This beer had verve and wants to be a star. The alcohol doesn’t hit right away, the hops are subdued, currents of strong liquor and caramel are well balanced. Let this beer have a spotlight.
That was four years ago. Hmm. Was The Rog right? A gold medal for this beer at the strong ale festival says, yes. Slightly.
This beer does deserve stardom.
So, tapping party this Friday for B3’s Gold Medal beer. It’ll be time to update tasting notes.