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Bourbon Barrel Aged Wee Heavy
- Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
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Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
| ABV ?
Limited (brewed once).
No notes at this time.
| Show Hads:
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I had this on tap at the Thirsty Dog brewery, served in a snifter, and loved it so much that I brought a $25 growler of it home. They say they're working on bottling it, and I hope they succeed.
This is a strong beer, both in flavor/aroma and in alcohol (11.5% ABV). The creamy smoothness of some barrel-aged beers sorta mellows 'em out. Not this baby. Creamy and smooth, yes, but it will make your head spin while steam comes out your ears.
It looks gorgeous in the snifter -- dark chocolatey brown, not a lot of head (it's not very carbonated even for a wee heavy) but nice light lacing.
The nose is thick and heavy with vanilla, caramel, toffee, and such -- nothing unusual for a barrel-aged beer, but a good deal stronger than the usual run. Imagine that you're bobbing for apples, except that the "apples" are scoops of vanilla ice cream and they're floating in a barrel of bourbon.
The first sip feels a bit like getting whacked in the mouth with that barrel. (I mean that in a good way.) In the middle bit, the wee heavy character comes out, and there's a deep soft brown maltiness that gradually fades as . . .
. . . the alcohol kicks in. Some high-alcohol beers hide their alcohol under other flavors; this one doesn't. Being a wee heavy, it's not very strongly hopped, and the alcohol bite grows gradually throughout the finish, lingering long after the other flavors have gone.
It's medium-bodied for a wee heavy, not at all watery but not quite "chewy" either. The high ABV gives it an ever so slightly oily mouthfeel.
I'd describe it as well-balanced, by which I really mean that it's deliberately and wildly *un*balanced in a way that I like. The wee heavy character never quite takes center stage because the beer is so strongly flavored by the barrel aging and the alcohol. But I think that's kinda the point -- and anyway, wee heavy isn't my favorite beer style so the downplaying in this variant suits me just fine.
It may not be to everyone's taste, but overall it's a great beer for those of us who like strong flavors and tend to chuckle whenever someone offers us a beer with an ABV under 8%. It's also a nice change of pace for those of us who like barrel-aged beers and appreciate an "extreme" version. It's for sipping, and one snifter at a sitting is enough, but I'd be happy to have it a couple of times a week. If it does come out in bottles, I'll be stocking up.
Serving type: on-tap
09-11-2012 14:40:22 |
More by ScottR
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
This was a cask offering filled with cherries. Served in a nonic, the brew appears a dark amber with orange clarity aroubd the edges. A white filmoif head quickly receeds leaving spotty lace on the glass.
The smell is muted with caramel and toffee malt sweetnes. A touch of vanilla is also present. Some dark fruit character almost like current and brown sugar with an alcohol inclusion mix things up and get somewhat medicinal with a mild herbal hop inclusion.
The taste is very sweet with earthy pitty cherries. Somewhat medicinal coupled with vanilla and caramel/toffee sugar quality. Some alcohol and earth into the aftertase with faint hop addition to break up the sweetness.
This is a medium bodied brew with a light kiss of carbonation. Not bad but nit something I would have again in any quantity larger than a couple ounces. Its an interesting change of pace for the style but too sweet and medicinal for me to really dig.
Serving type: cask
08-24-2012 19:01:23 |
More by stakem
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Served from growler into a Green Man snifter. Poured a massively dark reddish brown with a half finger off-white head that remained throughout. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, red wine spices, vanilla, and sweet barrel. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, sweet alcohol, vanilla, spices, wood, and barrel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The flavor and aroma on this one really screamed barrel to me. That nice sweet woodiness with a kiss of vanilla shined throughout and really made this one quite pleasant. With all of this it still managed to be quite well balanced and complex at the same time. I just hate that so few have gotten to try this one as of this review as it is definitely one of the better ones I’ve had from Thirsty Dog’s barrel program. This is saying a lot as I usually do not like this style. Well done Thirsty Dog, well done.
Serving type: growler
05-15-2012 11:34:16 |
More by thagr81us
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Having a growler of this to enjoy @ home is a real treat! Thanks to Wade-O for bringing this over from the Grapevine @ Baxter Village.
A little darker than normal, as expected from the ol bourbon barrel doi g its thing. In fact, it's darn near black! A thin layer of head stays a while--this big boy beckons like a mythological siren.... The nose is straight bourbon. It's like I've hanged myself upside down in a bourbon barrel. Soggy wet oak with vanilla undertones bombard the malty wee heavy. The taste confirms an earthy, bourbony goodness. This makes me wonder why more wee heavys aren't BBA. I'm not really a fan of the basic style, but it's as if it hugs the bourbon influence with lots of love and kisses! That sweet oaky bourbon really imparts its influence to what might otherwise be a malty mess. I can't help. It compare it to the template of a Backwoods Bastard...and this one hold its own! I'd like to try 'em side-by-side. A deliciously done dog from Thirsty, Ohio! :-)
Serving type: growler
03-18-2012 20:43:12 |
More by marvin213
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
On draft at Bodega. I missed this at the Blues and Brews fest in Akron this sumer. Glad it made another appearance.
Served in the huge Bodega tulip. I'd have much preferred a snifter but, hey, it ain't a pint.
The color is nice and dark - I imagine a dark scotch ale with the added darkness of charred barrel ageing. Head is short lived. Not really getting any lace here.
The aroma is damn inviting friends. Rich caramel and toasted bread wafts up, as does smooth, sweet bourbon. Vanilla and aged, soggy oak. A bit damp and gritty with notions of cocoa powder. Sweet and satisfying.
The flavor lives up to the bar set by the great aroma. Very sweet bourbon is both prominent but never overwhelming or boozy. Toffee and fruity alcohol and yeasty esters add the depth of fig and raisin.
Lower carbonnation. Medium bodied. A sipper with a slight warming effect. Overall a great brew by Thirsty Dog.
Serving type: on-tap
12-16-2011 21:25:54 |
More by Spider889
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