Showing posts with label barrel aged. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barrel aged. Show all posts

Oct 29, 2017

Southern Tier's Rum Barrel Aged PumKing Imperial Ale


A couple years back the lady and I attempted to try every pumpkin ale that was available on the shelves at our favorite local beermongers. A lot were "meh!" and a handful were pretty good. One of the ones that left a memorable tasty impression was Southern Tier imperial ale PumKing.

While out shopping for a few pumpkin ales to have this year, we spotted this one the shelf. "Look, honey" I said as my eyes lit up. "It's not just PumKing. It's a rum barrel aged PumKing." I think I even did a little happy dance when I took it up to the counter to cash out.

Pouring a translucent burnt orange in color and a very minimal head it looks like the autumn season. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin were right up front and backed with oak and a slight hint of rum.

The rum becomes more pronounced in the flavor. On first sip, a sugar cane sweetness, some oak smoke and a smidge of alcohol hotness from the barrel aging sit front and center. Surrounding that is allspice, nutmeg and a buttery crust. Giving it a little more time to breathe, these flavors intermingle a bit more, giving space for some more pumpkin to come out in this medium bottle brew. A warming effect that comes over from the taste and smell stays consistent all the way through. Finishing slightly dry but with a rum and pumpkin sweetness is an interesting twist as it lingers for a bit but isn't ever too obtrusive.

We have drank way fewer pumpkin ales this year than we have in the past and the only one that we have sipped more than one of this year has been this particular brew. If we were to find another bottle somewhere, we'd most likely buy it and savor it for a third time too.
www.stbcbeer.com

Mar 27, 2017

Oddside Ale's Grandpa's Apple Pie

     Over the past few years Grand Haven, Michigan brewery has gone from a curiosity to me to one of my most favorite Mitten State beer makers ever. For instance, their Citra Pale Ale is one of the most perfect of the kind ever and every other thing they've done that I've tried from their regular rotation stuff like Bean Flicker and so on have been great too.
     With that being said, it's no surprise that their specialty, occasional and seasonal brews rock my socks in quite away too. Their sour series has been way top notch and everything that they've barrel aged has been done way more that awesome too.
     Their Granny's Apple Pie rolls out about once or twice a year and it is one that always makes it way to our fridge and onto our taste buds every time. It's one of those beers where a person says "It really does taste like apple pie" without exaggeration or hyperbole.
     What was missing from it? Nothing. Along comes grandpa though with an idea on how to turn it up a notch anyway. By taking the recipe and letting it sit a while in a rum barrel let me tell ya, Hoo-Boy! Does it ever get a kick in the behind.
     Pouring a little darker amber in color that Granny's is the first sign that this is going to be a little more about being a bit more rustic and burly. The head is minimal so there's no waiting around for that frilly stuff to go away before the sipping starts.
     The aroma is like hanging out at the apple orchard and heading straight to where they make the cider so you can breathe in the air. The tart, the tang and the cinnamon that's sprinkled over the doughnuts that are being baked just around the corner are all represented.
     All these are represented just as much in the flavor too. Cider forward for sure, but the spices do just what they're supposed to do without too much or too little of any of them. The barrel aging brings out an oaky & vanilla rum soaked thing, giving it a richness and taking a kick to another level.
     The milk sugars become more pronounced in the end, which gives the finish something like have a little dollop of ice cream. And what goes better with apple pie than that right?
     A lot of people will tell you that the best way to have apple pie is freshly warm from the oven. Beer is best served at a cooler temperature but don't worry, a few sips of this and you'll feel warm all over.
www.oddsideales.com   

Jun 22, 2016

Old Tomorrow Monty's Golden Rye Ale

       Named after and collaborated with gold medal winning skeleton racer Jon Montgomery, Toronto brewery Old Tomorrow puts their own Canadian stamp on the aging beer with whiskey components game here.  
     This aged in Alberta rye whiskey oak brew has it own distinctions from the first sniff to the final sip. Freshly split wood vanilla and caramel take the lead roles in the aroma. The color is that of sun on the horizon topped buy a slightly bubbly head which, despite its smallness, hangs on tight for quite awhile.
     The brew itself is overall creamy in texture but not thick. A sweet malt is in the forefront but then it falls away to give first some vanilla and then some honey butter on toast some room stretch out. Giving it a chance to breathe caramel and butterscotch start stepping up more and more. It ends with more than a hint of Canadian whiskey, citrus peel and pepper.
     Interesting balances and character all around for this one. Even with the decent amount complexities this beer has it could still be the star of a somewhat sessionable day or after mowing the lawn. I don't know if I'd suggest quaffing it straight from pitcher and walking around the way Monty enjoyed a beer after his Olympic triumphs in 2010 though.

Aug 10, 2014

Odd Side Ale's Lucid Dreams Red Wine Barrel Aged Dubbel Ale

     In business for the last four years (and bottling a variety of their liquids for about the past two) Grand Haven's Odd Side Ales has become one of the fastest growing breweries in the state of Michigan. With the amount of beermakers there are in the Mitten now (and, it seems, a new one opening up every week) and, that Odd Side's distribution is currently kept only within state lines, they must be doing something right.
     Aged in red wine barrels, this Dubbel style ale pours a hazy firebrick red in color with a two finger fizzy, bubbly head that melts into consistent ring that hangs through the rest of it's session. The smell of fermented grapes are obvious when giving it whiff followed by currants, a dash of black pepper, some toast, vanilla and a slight nudge of oak.
     Buttery and candied malts that are common in the Dubbel style come out in the front and back of the initial sip. What those flavors surround though, such as tart cherries, a medium tannic that is found in a lot of Merlot's along with a dash of tobacco and some light pepper notes, give this creamy but quite lively to the feel brew a curveball of complexities that makes it individual and unique. The barrel aged factor of it is somewhat muted all the way through save for the when it drifts it way in at the finish amongst a blend of farmhouse ale funkiness, red wine astringents and Dubbel sweet notes in the finish.
     If you know of someone who claims to be just a wine drinker that has a tendency to turn it's nose up to beer of any kind this may be the kind of thing that changes their mind and open them up to the many different offerings, ideas and interesting things the brewmasters of this country (and especially this state) are up. It's ain't no soda pop tasting wine cooler (or whatever those bright colored "malt beverages are suppose to be.) It also goes well equally with something to sip after doing yard work or a quiet fancy dinner with the sweetheart of your choice.
www.oddsideales.com