What. A. Beer.
If you’ve read more than a couple of our posts, you’re probably well-aware that I’m a big fan of darker, maltier beers (i.e. porters), and Paul and I are both true lovers of a good bourbon-aged ale. So, this was a beer I was really excited to try (though that’s worked against a couple beers in the recent past). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in Ann Arbor – and in my search I realized there’s really no good bottle shop in Ann Arbor. There are a few that are OK, but nothing that you go into expecting to find whatever you’re looking for, regardless of how rare or new it is.
Fortunately, Paul was able to find this beer in Chicago at the always-excellent Binny’s. He brought a bottle with him to Ann Arbor prior to heading back west for the Winter Beer Festival, and we kicked off an epic, boozy weekend by trying this bad boy out.
At first, I was really taken aback by the twist-off cap. When you go through the care of sealing every bottle with wax, it seems counter-intuitive to bother with twist-offs. On the other hand, I guess the wax goes a long way to ensuring freshness, despite the less-perfect seal. Anyway, on with the show.
The beer pours plenty dark, with a nice caramel head. Since we were splitting a 12-oz. bottle, each got half a glass. On the nose, there was a ton of bourbon flavor, with vanilla and malty flavors, to go along with standard brewing malts. A very, very sweet and thick-smelling beer.
The taste… my mouth is watering just remembering what this tasted like. Tons of malt, excellent bourbon flavor. There was a surprising amount of chocolate flavor in there as well, but it was just a complement to the main malty and bourbony flavors, of course. When you’re drinking it, you can tell it’s a big beer, but there’s not enough alcohol in the flavor that you’d guess it’s a 12% beer.
Basically what I’m trying to say is I really liked it.