Barrel Aged Beer

Beer Review: Hardywood Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale (2016)

Producer: Hardywood Brewing
Region: Richmond, VA
Style: English Barleywine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrel
Price: $15
IBU: 55
ABV: 6.6%

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Sierra Nevada: An East Coast Compound with a NorCal Feel

Sierra Nevada officially opened the doors to its North Carolina brewery/restaurant/bar in March of 2015 after a phased approach starting last summer. While I’m not the biggest fan of their beers overall, I still thought I had to visit while I was in the Asheville area. I made the long trek from the cabin outside of Canton through Asheville to Fletcher, about an hour drive. I have to admit that I was under the impression that the brewery was closer to Asheville proper, but it actually lies about 17 miles south of the city, which is about a half hour drive. As we pulled through the gate, I quickly realized why it was located so far from the city. It seems to be by design. After winding through a half mile of forest and over a small stone bridge, we pulled up to the parking lot, which was appointed with …

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Quick Pour: Stone/Ecliptic/Wicked Weed Points Unknown IPA

Stone’s latest entry in their collaboration series includes contributions from Ecliptic Brewing in Portland, Oregon and Wicked Weed in Asheville, North Carolina. It is not clear by the description what each brewer contributed to this beer, but it is highly complex. This is a blend of two beers: a hoppy double IPA and a Belgian tripel. The tripel was transferred into barrels that originally housed red wine and were subsequently used to age tequila. After four months, the tripel was blended with the freshly-brewed IPA at one-fourth tripel to three-fourths IPA. It is definitely unlike anything I have ever heard of. Onto the review! Producer: Stone Brewing Company; Escondido, CA; Ecliptic Brewing; Portland, OR;  Wicked Weed; Asheville, NC Style: Double IPA/Belgian Tripel/Barrel-Aged Beer Price Range: $10-12 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 9.5% Appearance: Clear, deep golden, small white head Aroma: Grass, straw, spice, coriander, grapefruit, orange, wheat Virginia Pour House …

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot (2015)

Producer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Chico, CA Style: Barleywine Price Range: $15 / bottle (750 ml) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Clear burgundy, foamy white head Aroma: Virginia Pour House Review: Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale is one of my favorite barleywines. So when I saw that they were releasing a barrel-aged version this year, I got excited. This is their big, bold seasonal barleywine aged in Kentucky whiskey casks for nearly a year. The beer pours a deep burgundy but is clear with a healthy white head that dissipates upon sitting. The aroma is faint, but some malt and dark fruit stands out. The first sip is big and bold. It attacks the palate with big bitter whiskey notes, with some bitter dark malt in the middle and a lingering overall bitterness. Subsequent sips aren’t quite as alarming and more of the flavor pops through. There’s a lot of whiskey flavor here, …

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Beer Review: FiftyFifty Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace)

fiftyfifty eclipse buffalo trace

FIFTY FIFTY ECLIPSE (BUFFALO TRACE) Producer: FiftyFifty Brewing Company; Truckee, CA Beer Name: Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace) Style: Imperial Stout Price Range: $35 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Solid black, foamy tan head Aroma: Dark malt, cocoa, whiskey, faint honey sweetness Virginia Pour House Review: Light bitterness from dark malts, cocoa and coffee notes with nice blend of whiskey in the middle. Some bitterness and slightly boozy from whiskey but blends nicely with the dark chocolate and cocoa notes. Very faint sweetness from the honey, but almost indistinguishable. Nice mouthfeel, not thin and very little bitterness in the aftertaste. More honey notes come through the longer I sip. This is one fantastic beer. FIFTY FIFTY ECLIPSE (BUFFALO TRACE) Producer: FiftyFifty Brewing Company; Truckee, CA Beer Name: Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace) Style: Imperial Stout Price Range: $35 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Solid black, foamy …

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Happy New Year from Asheville, NC!

New Year’s Eve. It is a holiday that I normally spend going out with a bunch of friends to a fancy, semi-formal event. This year, though, I am spending the holiday at the cabin in the mountains outside Asheville, NC that my in-laws recently purchased. After an 8-hour road trip and a slightly scary trek 4,000 feet up the mountain, we arrived. And we caught the last minute or so of sunset. Of course, since it was a special occasion, I enjoyed New Year’s with a few rare and vintage beers with the family. We started on Tuesday night, when my sister-in-law and her husband (who just so happens to be a close friend) stopped in on the way down to NC. The first beer we cracked was a local one from Hardywood, and a variant of one I have already had this winter season. Hardywood Bourbon Barrel Gingerbread Stout …

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