Barrel-Aged Night Tripper - New Holland Brewing Company
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
4.75/5 rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Reviewing the Barrel-Aged Night Tripper from New Holland Brewing Company out of Michigan. I am a fan of the base beer, and was very excited to have the out-of-the-blue opportunity to try this rare treat when I stopped in at the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub while waiting for my iPhone repair appointment with Apple. According to the beer description, this beer was aged for 6 months in rum barrels and then aged for another 5 months in Zeppelin Bend whiskey barrels.
Tap pour served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 08/20/12 at the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub. According to the bartender, New Holland sent this keg to the brewpub as a thank you for some kegs that Goose Island had recently sent New Holland for some event.
Appearance: The body of this beer is a raising color with faint ruby highlights in the body. Served with two fingers of creamy dark tan head that slowly recent to a thick ring around the glass. The lacing on this beer is awesome, as is the retention. As the beer warms up, the frothy lacing turns oily. 5/5
Smell: Smooth vanilla, sweet rum and dark fruit upfront. Whiskey spice, bakers chocolate, sweet malt and a sweet bourbon-like aroma without any of the alcohol singe in the nose. A little alcohol booziness comes out as the beer warms up, but it is nothing overly "potent" or off-putting. Really nice barrel aged stout aroma here. 4.5/5
Taste: Huge notes of dark fruit and chocolate complexity. There's raisin, prune, bitter cocoa, fig, dark chocolate and milk chocolate too. A little luscious fudge flavor rears it's head as the beer warms up. There is a hint of cherry flavor on the midpalate. Initially, there is no booziness, but like the nose a little booziness comes out as the beer warms. Finishes with a mix of milk chocolate, sweet rum, almond and caramel flavor. As the beer warms, delightful whiskey flavors(vanilla, brown sugar and a touch of spice kick on the tongue) start to come out of the woodwork, as does a very faint wood flavor in the finish. Overall, the flavor seems perfectly balanced here. It is not too sweet, not too bitter, and not "boozy" in the traditional sense of the word. This beer is loaded with boozy flavors without very much booziness. As the beer warms, a little of the drinkability and flavor balance is lost as some booziness grows, but it still stays delicious. Like the Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, it is my opinion that this one is best enjoyed slightly chilled. 4.75/5
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, miniml carbonation. Super luscious and creamy mouthfeel with a layering spice/wood kick on the tongue as the beer warms. The beer is very dense and viscous, almost chewy, and bittersweet leaning towards sweet as the beer warms. 4.5/5
Overall: A deliciously bold beer that is loaded with boozy flavors without the booziness; perfect for those who like their dark stouts and their spirits. This is easily one of the better barrel aged imperial stouts that I have had the pleasure to drink, and a great improvement over an already very solid base beer. I preferred this to the 50/50 White Wax Eclipse (Elijah Craig 18 version) I had earlier in the week.
Recommendation: Seek this beer out if you ever get the chance. It is world class delicious. Might be a little bold for casual beer drinkers, however. Fans of Bourbon County Stout will likely love this stuff.
Pairings: Cocoa rubbed steak or french vanilla ice cream.
Cost: $9 for a 10 oz snifter pour.
Serving type: on-tap
08-21-2012 20:10:46 | More by jegross2
Barrel-Aged Night Tripper from New Holland Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.