I'm not sure how many areas have something like Brew's Taphouse and Growler Fills...it's kind of like a bar, and kind of like a beer store. I mean, like our local Growler Guys, there are 40+ taps of different beers that you can get your growler topped off at....but unlike Growler Guys, they have tables and a few TV's so you can chill and drink beer by the glass.
So, yeah...now we got that cleared up, this weekend Brew's was having a Barrel and Brew's event, with over 25 limited release Barrel Aged beers...all kinds of beers, in all kinds of barrels...wine barrels, whiskey barrels, bourbon, brandy, and tequila barrels.
As someone who has been known to enjoy a premium beer or three, it sounded highly intriguing.
Good call. It was a great opportunity to try a bunch of different beers without getting stuck with a stinker or two, even if I didn't make it through all 28 beers they had.
So...first flight, going from left to right: Paradise Creek's Quad(Tequila Barrel Aged), Bellevue Scotch Ale(Whiskey Barrel), Paradise Creek's Scottish Stovepipe(Brandy Cask), and Stone's Bang Bang(Bourbon Barrel).
I was quite surprised with my response to these first 4 beers...My favorite was the Tequila Barrel Aged Quad, and my least favorite was the Paradise Creek Scottish Stovepipe...which is weird, because I had previously had the Scottish Stovepipe AT Paradise Creek in Pullman, and I really liked it. However, while this started life as that same beer that I liked, the time it spent in a brandy barrel did not agree with me...plus it had has some extra things added to it to make it a 'sour' beer. Just not something I would voluntarily drink again.
The Bang Bang and the Bellevue Scotch were both solid, tasty beers...just not as good as the Tequila aged Quad, which for a 11% alcohol beer was surprisingly smooth with a light citrus that I picked up as coming from the tequila.
For my second sample flight, I went DARK.
Here we have Elysian's Bourbon Barrel Aged Split Shot, an espresso milk stout; and then The Abyss, an Imperial Stout from Deschutes which is aged in Bourbon, Oak, and Pinot Noir barrels; Hale's Ale Imperial Stout(aged in Rye Whiskey barrels); and last but not least, Laurelwood's Moose and Squirrel Imperial Stout(Bourbon and Pinot Noir Barrels).
Let's get the negative out of the way first...I DID NOT like the Hale's Imperial Stout, but, as a disclaimer, I do not like Rye Whiskey, which I'm sure has something to do with it. I liked it even less than the Sour Brandy Barrel Scottish that I had in my first flight.
Picking a favorite among the remaining three is tough. I would probably say the Moose and Squirrel is 3rd, with The Abyss and Split Shot tying. Actually...I'm going to give the nod the Abyss because when my beers were brough over, the head on The Abyss was perfect, and it had a better nose
All in all, with my limited experience, bourbon barrels seem to be fairly ideal for aging beer...it had the most mellow effect on the finished product. There were quite a few IPA's that were aged in gin barrels, but since I don't like either gin, or IPA's, I stayed away from those ones. I am thinking I might try to swing back by Saturday afternoon...even eliminating the IPA's from my list, there were still a few beers I was smart enough not to try the first time around, including a Chardonnay Barrel aged Saison that a number of people sitting around me were raving about.
But that will have to wait until after I go to the gym in the morning.