It has been a wonderful year for beer in Eastern Iowa. Green Flash, Stone, and Founders have made their way to our state and have graced us with some fantastic brews. Founders was the first major brewery to re-enter the state of Iowa and they have brought some amazing beers with them. I love their Harvest Ale, Breakfast Stout, KBS, and their IPA is really solid as well. Those are all your basic style beers, IPAs and stouts, so I was a little frightened to venture into the land of Barrel-Aged wee-heavy or scotch ales. I’m not a whiskey drinker by any means so I was under the impression that I would really dislike this brew……..I was very, very, wrong.
Description from Founders:
Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
I think the most important thing when drinking a bourbon barrel aged beer isn’t getting a mouthfeel of bourbon to taste the balanced the booziness will be with the rich flavor of malt from, in this case, a Scotch Ale, and Founders really nails it with this beer. Is the bourbon in the beer? Absolutely, but not overwhelming, and a nice warming sensation when drinking. This is not a beer to chug in 10 minutes, but to sit and enjoy for 30 minutes or so. The dark chocolate undertones you get with the bourbon when you first start drinking transform, at least for me, into a chocolately-coconut aroma and taste. Halfway done with this beer and I thought I was drinking a liquified Almond Joy candy bar.
A rustic, old world beer that hits my Top 10 beers of the fall/winter to try. This beer would also be great for aging. When the snow starts falling and you are out shoveling like a sucker or snow blowing your drive; coming in from that and having one of these waiting for you makes it all worth it.
STYLE: Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale bourbon barrel aged.
PURCHASED AT: Hy-Vee; Marion, IA
Pour: Dark red pour with a brown hue. Minimal white head.
Aroma: Malt, bourbon, caramel.
Taste: Caramel, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and bourbon. The warmer it got the sweeter the taste.
My Recommendation: Awesome beer, a great winter warmer.