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Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPASaint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

52 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 26.69%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: davey101 on 04-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Saint of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA married the grassy hop notes of this unique India Pale Ale with the richness of whiskey and oak, creating an enticing brew of exceptional character. The use of a mystery hop means this beer can never be duplicated. Aged 8 months in barrels from a well known Tennessee distillery, we at Berkshire Brewing Company offer up this special brew as a treat to you, our loyal customers. Ad Chris and Gary are fond of saying "Its all about the beer, but the beer is nothing without the people". We hope you enjoy it, and thank you for your support.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 20
Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm really interested in a sour mash whisky barrel aged IPA, this should be really interesting.

The head took a bit of time to rise up and looked like it would be minuscule, but it eventually got to a fluffy 1/2 finger head that faded at a med pace with bits of lacing. It's a fairly clear slight chill hazed honey orange color.

Nose is a blend of IPA and whisky, who would have thunk it. Mostly whisky at first, bourbon like sweet malt aroma, with a bit of vanilla barrel, toasted oak, and a light fresh whisky aroma. Hops bring a light citrusy and grassy earthy pop in the background, with hints of orange and tangerine, and some sweet juicy malts.

Taste is even more unique, starting with a slight sour malt flavor, like the sour mashed whisky imparted the sour portion of itself somehow. Then whisky again, more of a bourbon flavor like the dregs of a bottom of the barrel of bourbon, also bringing some vanilla and toasty slight buttery oak, and light saw dust like. The IPA underneath is light and rounded, with some sweet juicy reddish malts, along side the semi bitter earthy hops that give a bit of bitterness but not much, with very light orange and tangerine flavors, slightly herbal grassy touch as well. The tartness carries through, almost as if the beer itself soured slightly in the barrel, which is also possible, and gives the feel of a slight fruity flavor. The finish is a bit sweet still with sticky feel, light lingering bourbon and barrel, as well as some of the sweetish malts and light fruity hops.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier feeling bodied, with lighter but decent enough carb.

Overall interesting but not great, the hops are pretty much lost, as well as the bitterness. The malts add a bit, but mostly its a bourbon barrel ale like a few of the ones on the market marketed as just a bourbon barrel ale. The soured beer flavor is actually kinda nice and makes me thing this would go great in a live cask, but still an interesting beer.

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that leaves very little lace. The color is orange-gold and very cloudy.

Sweet-sour aroma of wild cherry and tart raspberry. This smells far more closely to a Belgian lambic.

Strong and sour malt flavor. This is a low hopped IPA, perhaps because of the power of the body which lasts through the aftertaste. There is an oiliness to the body which likely comes from the alcohol and the whiskey flavor. Rich body with a low carbonation. I would classify this as a Belgian style, not English.

The bottle is correct: This is an unusual beer, worth seeking out if only to experience the difference.

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of ppoitras
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a CCB pub glass, formed a beige skim over the slightly cloudy coppery amber brew. Skim recedes to simply a swirl promptly, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet with obvious whiskey component.

Taste starts sweet with a tart undercurrent, sour cherry in the middle, and whiskey comes on at the close, and the tart keeps on keeping on. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth, and drinkability is okay. A notch back on the tart would be preferrable, but you don't always get what you want with BA.

Photo of rudzud
4.87/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up some bottles of this at Russel's in Amherst. Should be fun.

A - Wow, okay. Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear super light amber hute with a good one and a half finger creamy head that fades to leave lots of sticky lacing and a nice very dense almost full finger blanket!

S - Okay...yeah. I had hoped for this and its there. I love barrel aged IPAs with sour mash it gives such a great aroma. Super fragrent floral almost slightly perfumey. No real malt sweetness, but some light citrusy hops. Great earthy barrel notes, almost a slight vanilla from the wood. The sour mash and barrels lend such a unique aroma, not really funky or tart or fruity, maybe slight green apple skin.

T - Wow, okay. This really isnt ike an IPA anymore. The first sip is overwhelmingly granny smith apple and skin. Really wasnt expecting that at all. Definately slightly tart and sour, not getting much malt or even hops for that matter just lots of green apple sourness. The finish though is smooth, smooth bourbon with some distinct barrel oak notes. Cant express enough how much green apple is with this.

M - Very nice mouthfeel for a barrel aged IPA. Lots of carbonation at first but after a while this becomes rather flat and thin.

O - Overall, this is an exceptional example of how to age an IPA. I've had a few aged IPAs like this before, the hops + barrels always results in such a great unique profile.

Photo of woosterbill
2.46/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into an Old Engine Oil snifter, shared at a tasting. Thanks to davey101 for tossing this my way as an extra in an in-person trade.

A: Clear light copper body under a finger of fine off-white froth that dissipates fairly quickly. Ok.

S: Green apple, harsh whiskey, and a bit of oak. Not great.

T: More apple, some acetone, and a boozy, oaky finish. Meh.

M: Light, creamy. Ok.

O: I was really excited about this one, but something seems to have gone awry. A sour mash whiskey isn't sour, and a beer aged in Jack Daniel's barrels shouldn't be sour, either. Anyone who thinks otherwise should complain to Town Hall for making Czar Jack so not at all sour. Anyhow, as much as I love BBC I just can't say that this beer is anything but a failure. I'm really glad I got to try it, though.


Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of vonnegut21
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from El Presidente

Cloudy copper with a sticky white head. Sticky looking head I guess as because nothing stuck to my glass. Foamless by mid-glass.

Smells like Tennessee whiskey. The sour mash gives it an almost odd brett twang. Bready once I broke through the JD-esque aroma.

Tastes like light and citrusy bourbon which, though the hops don't make a big impression, are accentuated by the citrus of the IPA. Again brett-like sour mash sweetness.

I like Berkshire's thought process here: A bunch of mystery hops arrive - brew an IPA! Mystery IPA not so good? Fortify it with the properties of bourbon! Here here.

Photo of kaelingirl
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for this one. 22oz bomber into a SA sensory glass. Truly a unique brew.

Pours a 1 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-clear bronze orange. Lacing is stringy and sparse with little cling. Not much to look at.

Nose is incredibly distinct. Hop presence is almost entirely missing for an IPA. Instead, notes of green apple tartness with a sweet booze character for balance. Strangely enticing. Aromatic.

Opens warm booze. Big malt body with a peat and oak tartness. Some ethanol towards the middle pushed to the background. Finishes tart, woody, and with some nice fruitiness. The slightest hint of hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Real good.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and refreshing and crisp going down. Mild finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Very solid.

I wasn't sure what to make of this beer... and I'm still not sure what to make of it a bomber later. All I know is, its a lot better than I thought it would be and its hugely sessionable. Nice!

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of mctizzz
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours clear reddish-orange with a two finger white head. The head settles rather quickly. Thin clumps of lacing form broken rings around the glass.

S: Sour mash whiskey (smells a lot like Jack Daniels, actually). Grassy and citrusy hops. Charred oak, vanilla, and barrel juice. Caramel and toffee malt scents. Slight hint of hard minerals beneath it all. The nose is quite pleasing, and everything blends together nicely.

T: Sweet malt tastes open. Thin caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Light tartness. Hops kick in mid-palate with a spike of lemony citrus, tangerine, and grass. Sour mash whiskey comes to the forefront toward the end. Barrel tastes dominate the finish, with charred oak and vanilla drying things out and lingering for a good while.

M: Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Creamy, a bit fluffy, and very smooth. A very nice mouthfeel.

O: Barrel aged IPAs have never really been my thing, and a whiskey barrel aged one didn't sound very appealing initially. But people I trust assured me that this was a beer worth drinking, and they were right. The whiskey and barrel tastes turned out to be a nice compliment to the more English leaning IPA base beer. The hint of tartness makes me wonder if there is an infection developing though. It definitely seemed out of place.

Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of DelicateDelirium
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Evan
1/5  rDev -71.9%

Photo of Massbmx
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of sideshowe
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of silentjay
1.54/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I didn't want to review this since its an obvious infection issue, but it's getting good reviews and I think some people may be confused. (sour mash whiskey is not supposed to be sour, aging it in these barrels should not make a beer sour, unless its inoculated with yeast/bacteria that would make it sour).

This beer is not supposed to be sour. the tartness starts off pleasant enough, but the aftertaste is just horrible. There is no barrel or IPA flavors or scents, only rotten green apple and a metallic finish.

I could not get the taste out of my mouth and it ruined the flavor of the beer I had afterwards as well.

I emailed Berkshire about this issue since the reviews from the brewery and/or on tap are completely different from the reviews from the bottle.

Even if viewed as a "sour" beer, this is just not right, and I love me a good sour.

This will not stop me from buying Berkshire beers, nor even their barrel aged beers (gude greg's was awesome, and there were some uninfected bottles of their bourbon barrel imperial stout from a couple years ago that were sublime), but I just wanted to put the warning out there for anyone looking into buying this beer.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle I picked up the other day and have kept refrigerated since. Definitely not a style I've encountered a lot but I'm interested to try this, despite some less than stellar experiences with Berkshire barrel aging in the past.

Appearance: Dark amber to light brown in color with a nice white lacing. Pretty nice and light carbonation.

Aroma: Raw bourbon and green apple notes upfront. Definitely a bit sour, but not overwhelmingly so. There are definitely signs of an early infection here. After the initial raw bourbon character, there are caramel and vanilla notes that balance it out nicely. Some malt character but the hop presence is pretty much nil.

Taste: A touch of sour upfront in the form of green apple. Not over the top sour at all and the infection is definitely lessened by the serving temperature and the fact that it doesn't feel fully developed. Definitely some strong bourbon and vanilla tones, but the bourbon feels not integrated enough. The hop character is non existent here as well. Interesting, but definitely not what I think was intended. Not really bad but not really good either.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied, eith the carbonation a bit less than expected. Something definitely feels a bit off about this whole beer.

Overall, a really weird and interesting beer that definitely misses the mark with me. Strong signs of a developing infection and bad barrel integration definitely are the drawbacks. Not something I can recommend but not really bad either. I'd pass on this next time.

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Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.