The warm weather has majorly slowed down the consumption of high alcohol, dark, barrel aged beers, but there’s been a handful here and there. I don’t know how many “parts” to this post there will be since I have several more barrel aged beers waiting in the wings, so this may just become a regular ongoing feature.
2016 Two Beers Overhang Porter – This was a bottle that I brought home from judging the Best of Craft Beer awards and happened to be the last one we cracked open. This beer had an aroma of dark dry fruit and faint vanilla, the flavor was also heavy on dark dry fruit and slight oak. I remarked it was not bad, but I felt it was slightly past it’s prime. Interestingly, I tasted this at the competition and gave it 2.75 stars on Untappd and said it was a huge diacetyl bomb. I obviously forgot this fact when I got a bottle to bring home. The bottle we had at home though was much better. I gave that one 4 stars. (4 stars).
2016 McMenamins Longest Night of the Year – Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine. Ironically enough we ended up drinking this one a couple of days before the summer solstice. (Also interesting, mine is still the most recent check in on Untappd, so apparently no one else had the willpower to hold on to a bottle that long.) This one had dark fruit, brown sugar and whiskey in the aroma coupled with sweet dark fruit, vanilla and whisky in the flavor. Clear red color, highly carbonated (surprising for a BA Barleywine) very boozy with a lot of warming. Not a normal summer drink, but it was still very nice. (4.75 stars).
2016 Ex Novo Kill the Sun – Bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. I got to try this one over the weekend at the Ex Novo 3rd Anniversary party and man was it good. This one had a ton of dark dry fruit in the aroma and flavor, basically tasted like raisins. Good whiskey character, pretty boozy. Should continue to improve with age. I wish I had a couple bottles of this to stash away. (4.75 stars)
Culmination Pinot Evil II – Barrel aged Tripel with wine grapes. I love Belgian style beers, so the last time I was at Culmination I had to try this. They don’t specify the barrel used, but with wine grapes added I’m assuming it was also aged in a wine barrel. It didn’t give off any major whiskey notes. Wine barrel aging of beer is becoming more popular. This beer started out with a sharp tang of acidity that I would assume was from the grapes, and then it finished with that traditional bubblegum sweetness of a Belgian beer. It wasn’t sour, but it had just a little bit of a bite to it. (4.75 stars)
Oregon Mead and Cider Co. Free Press Pinot Gris Barrel Aged Frankencyser – Say that three times fast… So this was a really interesting sample on my taster flight at Oregon Mead and Cider (Formerly Stung Fermented). Cyser is a blend of cider and mead, and this one was a blend of whatever was left in the bottom of the tanks after a bottling run of their standard Free Press Cider and Worker Mead. This was blended (ratio unknown, maybe half and half?) and then aged in a Pinot Gris barrel. I didn’t write down detailed tasting notes but I remember it being very fruity and refreshing and it picked up a lot of white wine character from the barrel. It almost just tasted like wine. But a little sweeter, since most Oregon Gris is pretty dry. (4.5 stars)