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Bourbon County Barleywine

Discussion in 'Beer Releases' started by xnicknj, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    I'm with you! This beer will mostly be very different... (but probably tasty!)
  2. siege06nd

    siege06nd Savant (490) Virginia Dec 29, 2009

    Where did you see release info indicating this? I agree I may be jumping the gun, but until they say otherwise I can't imagine why they wouldnt make this is second use BCBS barrels. Personally, I thought the BCBS barrels made KH what it is.

    Oh well guess we need to wait for GI to confirm. I will be extremely excited either way, but the timing of when it went into barrels (Nov) would jive with when BCBS had been bottled.
  3. Nooo, it is a King Henry replica and I must trade it for whalez! Who am I kidding, I'm trading it for whalez either way. Midwest style bro.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  4. yeah, but my post only touched on things that are uncertain.

    (c'mon yamar68! props!)
    VonZipper and Azrael like this.
  5. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

  6. siege06nd

    siege06nd Savant (490) Virginia Dec 29, 2009

  7. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    No I agree with you on the stout character added... It was nice. And you're also right, who knows where they got that from. Again, Ima wait n see on this.
    siege06nd and JohnB87 like this.
  8. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    Well done, very well done. Don't let up on them now - you've got them in a vulnerable position.
    Azrael likes this.
  9. travMI13

    travMI13 Savant (355) Michigan Jan 7, 2012

    That label, combined with the news that this will be in 4 packs, just touched me inappropriately. And it felt oh so good.
    JohnB87 and siege06nd like this.
  10. ChugginOil

    ChugginOil Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 23, 2010

    Honestly, when Rare was released I thought it was amazing but just a little better than regular BCBS. I wouldn't be surprised if this BCB Barleywine will be similar to that observation.
  11. siege06nd

    siege06nd Savant (490) Virginia Dec 29, 2009

    I see what you are saying, but I disagree. In Rare's case, it was the same base beer aged in a different bourbon barrel for additional time. In this case, not using the BCBS barrels would fundamentally change the beer because it would lose those stout characteristics and distinctive BCBS bend in the flavor.

    Whether it is better or worse than KH remains to be seen, but it will clearly be quite different.
  12. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Holy crap...as someone who will probably never taste a King Henry...and who just this year tasted BCBS and BCBCS...I am EPIC STOKED...EPISTOKED.
    fmccormi likes this.
  13. youradhere

    youradhere Savant (460) Arkansas Feb 29, 2008

    Ah, if I only had a dollar for every time I've heard you say that....
    barleywinefiend likes this.
  14. kevanb

    kevanb Advocate (675) Illinois Apr 4, 2011

  15. The purple label is pretty King Henryesque
  16. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (555) California Dec 12, 2009

    Wow!!!! I can't wait to not be able to get this!!
  17. Highbrow

    Highbrow Savant (475) California Jan 7, 2011

    reading through this thread carefully, first it's not like i'm likely to enjoy this anyway, but i'm always a little bit surprised how many people automatically write off the influence barrels have. much talk recently has been that barrels are so meaningless, it doesn't really matter what brand they're sourced or were dumped & bottled as etc.

    while this is probably too long winded for the average beer drinker to consume, i'll point out a few factors around barrels. first of all, just like a brewery, a distillery is in the business of selling as much of it's distilled spirit as possible. a distiller typically has a range of brands - some may be ultra premium, others not so much so & yet others are what serious enthusiasts might use to thin paint. when a distillation & barrel entry takes place, a distiller may treat barrels intended for specific brand names differently (most notably, specific char level, warehouse choice & positioning). take a intended grade AAA barrel that is sampled after 6-12 years but doesn't taste as expected, so long as it meets likewise requirements, it will generally be utilized in a B,C or D brand under the distillery's umbrella.

    that out of the way, a recent living example i continuously refer to when folks assume the barrel is of little consequence & bullshit like the 2 years of age is what does it... where is that wheated BCBS from the same brewer this thread is about? i keep asking about it & it seems GI admitted it doesn't taste "ready"? rumor has it GI used barrels that were dumped for the brand Rebel Yell.

    here's the reality on that: were the spirit in those barrels better tasting they would have been called: "Old Fitz" barrels, if the spirit inside tasted "better" than Old Fitz, they would have likely been called: "Larceny" barrels, if the spirit in those barrels had tasted better than Larceny they would have likely been known as: "Parker's Herritage" barrels.

    if it is correct that the barrels were Rebel Yell quality, i'd have to conclude the following- we know the integrity of the base stout & GI's reputation on that. the missing wheated BCBS backs up my belief that poor barrels do in fact lead to poor(er) barrel aged beer results.

    i believe some of us are delirious when we auto write off the influence a Pappy 23 barrel offers. factor in the hurdles & quality cut that had to be jumped for a barrel to survive to be called "Pappy 23". it's not only an indication of the integrity of the spirit, but it's also a representation of the craftsmanship at the original barrel construction level + represents how the barrel treats its contents. the only customer i can think of that might be excited at the results of 23 year old "Rebel Yell" is perhaps NASA.

    :p
    Creetoper and Bond111 like this.
  18. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Have you had the Rebel Yell Eclipse? It's actually not that bad. Probably better than some other, higher-shelf eclipse treatments.

    I'm not going to argue with you about Bourbon, but I will try to clarify something. When I say that the type of bourbon barrel used "doesn't matter" (if I say that, I'm not totally sure I believe it) what I mean is that there are many things that matter more. It's sort of like aging beer on its side vs. upright. I say it doesn't matter, but what I mean is that there are dozens of things that likely matter more, so I don't worry about it. I suspect that most people are making the same sort of argument about barrels when they say that it doesn't matter.

    Of course, I think having a really good operation will probably make it matter somewhat more. I'd expect that GI is better at getting the most out of their barrels than most breweries.
  19. foobula

    foobula Savant (330) Illinois Dec 14, 2009

    Compelling take on it, highbrow. Wheat Whiskey BCS (yes, from Rebel Yell barrels) comprises 3% of BCS 2012. It wasn't fit for its own release but apparently was judged fit for blending. That's per Laffler and another brewer at the Black Friday event.
  20. Highbrow

    Highbrow Savant (475) California Jan 7, 2011

    or perhaps your #'s are correct but GI has learned from recently missed targets that it can no longer expect anything close to full yields given current & forthcoming barrel integrity - which i've mentioned that issue repeatedly. furthermore, perhaps Hall, Laffler etc. came to realize this fact & left the scene on top, bangin' like guns & smelling like roses?


    good point. don't remember exactly where i read it but as i recall it was a 'reliable' source that mentioned 49 of the 50 barrels made the cut. purely guessing but based on GI's actual distribution performance against it's anticipated distro. announcements the last 2 years, i think it is possible they based their calendar on the assumption they'd get 49 out of 50 barrels regardless of source/integrity. which, my point about why a reputable 23 year old barrel probably lends some merit to the barrel's integrity beyond a brand name ~ you certainly would not expect a leaky, or poorly constructed/maintained barrel to have anything but saw dust & coal in it after 23 Kentucky summers.

    ;)
    Creetoper likes this.
  21. Highbrow

    Highbrow Savant (475) California Jan 7, 2011

    staying on topic, my belief is if they use bullshit barrels they probably aren't going to get as much product as would be hoped. now back off topic slightly.

    i have heard this & no, none's fallen out of the sky = i never will.

    a broken clock is right twice a day. in the past fitty fitty used Griffin to hand select their barrels. there is an art to doing so. that's why brewers pay him money to do it for them. we've bought barrels (private bottled whiskeys), the trick is (analogy-wise) finding Pappy quality but getting it bottled as Weller. finding a few honey barrels by hand is a shitload easier than having Heaven Hill fill up 18 wheelers with random barrels for you. doing it that way represents a broken clock is wrong 23 hours & 58 minutes per day. under-dig?


    but, & i've mentioned before many times we were coming out of the "golden American whiskey era".

    to reiterate the era was made up of an accidental glut of whiskey that happened to turn out great. but everyone's ignored it turned out great by MISTAKE - apparently even brewers. it reached un-precedented maturation ages by default due to NO DEMAND for it at usual marketing age. another MISTAKE that miraculously worked out. also ignored are the consequences & expected reaction/correction to the MISTAKES.

    i suspect GI is a premiere of what's to come & brewers are about to become more familiar with what current distillers have hoped no-one paid attention to or knew about. all of that's to say the following:

    1. GI might be better... or had been... at getting the most out of their barrels - but if their barrels stop giving back high usable yields - then what??

    2. you being my neighbor hopefully you can identify with this formula - GI said it made at least 10 times as much BCBS last release. i told folks early on 10 X 0, still = 0. thus far, that's about how much BCBS i've seen floating in Cali - months after it's Tribune quoted release date. you?
    Creetoper likes this.
  22. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that the fact that Eclipse Rebel Yell is pretty good is an accident? Wouldn't that go against your idea about the brand of barrels being important? You can't just dismiss that out of hand. You have a hypothesis that makes a prediction, and your prediction has proved wrong. Anyone reasonable is going to see that as a problem with your hypothesis. Saying "they got lucky" is a weaksauce defense.

    Again, I'm not sure what you're saying here. So there was "accidentally" more good whiskey than normal, meaning more good barrels, and once those get used we'll start to see the quality of BB beers go down? Is that it? Do you have any actual evidence that yields were low? It seems more likely that there was higher-than-expected demand in their core markets and so they kept product back. I'm really not sure where you're going with that.
  23. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (750) New York Oct 24, 2010

    I saw the Beer Street Journal post, but are we positive that this barleywine isn't aged in former BCBS barrels?
  24. Any word on when this is getting sent out to distro? Lock eyes, from across the room. Down my drink as the rhythms boom...
  25. I have disposed of many turds courtesy of you Jimbo.
  26. Highbrow

    Highbrow Savant (475) California Jan 7, 2011

    ding ding ding!! we have a winner.

    that's why it still all over in a few select original markets & places like NY but missed later targets?

    do you think maybe history repeated itself? correct me if i'm wrong, the 2011 release, seems to me they anticipated a secondary bottling, which later turned to keg only for most markets including ours. could it be remotely possilble they anticipated a secondary bottling this release for later scheduled markets? perhaps said bottling didn't pan out as planned like 2011? seems to me CA is again reduced to kegs per last minute claims, cept i haven't seen a single keg this go around - have you?

    proof??? lol. would a Ouija board qualify?
  27. damn, another abbreviation to teach newbies.
  28. the distribution figures you've seen in the papers are relative, meant to give the impression that most markets will be getting the good stuff--bcbs and the sours--when in truth, far fewer will end up getting them. with the nationwide expansion, the incentive for the distributors is to buy and then push the classics on the stores, so as to earn the right to buy and selectively allocate bcbs and the sours. being in california, expect to receive bcbs--perhaps nowhere close to as much as you'd like, but some. be aware of which stores receive it. do they push bud product or the goose classics? there you have it. how easy it is to play when you can pay.

    another reason for the perceived limited supply of bcbs is that demand in the midwest--hell, in chicago alone--proved to be far greater than goose anticipated. so they kept more of it in the midwest, in part to satisfy chicagoans and maintain the brand's identity. and they will continue to keep more of it in the midwest. this winter, bcbs has been found in grocery stores and pharmacies. it is now a blip on the beer radar of the general public.

    now, your speculations about the quality of the barrels used and diminishing yields have little to no grounding. granted, a barrel-aging program is no sure bet. the temperamentality of barrels is part of the mystique to both the brewer and the drinker. should we really be surprised that a barrel-aged yield is nowhere close to 100%? given that goose's barrel program has expanded over the past couple of years, the losses in barrel-aged beer correlate with an influx of barrels.

    also, good luck finding comprehensive literature or brewing courses on the subject of barrel aging. here in america, many of the existing barrel programs were started as total crapshoots, operating on trial and error and bearing results that were either so good, they were named an immediate triumph, or so bad and weird, they were hoped to be salvaged in the name of innovation. i think jeffers richardson, matt bryndilson, jim cibak, and john laffler would be humble enough to admit to as much.
    Levitation and Knifestyles like this.
  29. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (370) New York Jul 16, 2011

    I must confess... I never tried a barley wine :eek: (always wondered if a barley wine would satisfy my very pro-stout palate)
    as you can tell by my avatar, this release might send me over the edge.
  30. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    I'm mainly a stout drinker as well...but barley wines are delicious...certainly worth trying at least once...now get on it. ;)
    loafinaround likes this.
  31. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (370) New York Jul 16, 2011

    will do sir! that's a homework assignment this prof can complete quickly
  32. All I have to say is this BETTER come in California in 4pks. Come on, InBev flex those distribution muscles, bitch.
  33. Highbrow

    Highbrow Savant (475) California Jan 7, 2011

    while i'm not the fact fairy here's a few facts to contend with. most of them might be coincidental in your view, but none the less they are facts.

    1. Heaven Hill appears to be GI's main barrel supply source
    2. GI's main barrel source has recently discontinued it's premium brand, Elijah Craig 18. coincidentally, they did so right after i pointed out the old premium glut is going extinct.
    3. in the same period, unless i'm missing something, GI repeatedly missed it's advertised target with product reliant upon barrels. that's even though it's expanded its barrel capacity significantly, as you noted.
    4. GI tried it's luck with some bottom shelf Heaven Hill barrels. coincidentally the results sound like bottom shelf beer, thus far.
    5. as far as the nowhere close to 100% comment... if the BCBS *Rare* info is correct, (49/50 barrels utilized), that sounds an awful lot like 98% to me.
    #5 may be coincidence to you - to me it goes back to my original thought which was specific barrels are better/it does matter.
  34. Anticipation and Erection - Anticiperection
    josephwa, pschul4 and travMI13 like this.
  35. Or Erecticipation.
    lvoutlawjlh likes this.
  36. travMI13

    travMI13 Savant (355) Michigan Jan 7, 2012

    Fear boner.

  37. Such. a. funny. show!
    hoppusmaxximus likes this.
  38. youradhere

    youradhere Savant (460) Arkansas Feb 29, 2008

    Sounds like the same misrepresentation of facts that led to the "Mayan Apocalypse" craze, and look where that went. Show something more that mere conjecture and opinions, like actual facts of a scientific nautire directly linking premium barrels to premium flavor. Otherwise your claims are nothing more than "I like premium spirits, if premium barrels are used, then premium results will happen in beer put into said barrels." I have found through empirical proof that the grade of bourbon whiskey really does not matter to the degree at which you are intending to hype it. My homebrew experiments have found negligible differences, however they all have the same result- the same bourbon whiskey characteristics in every batch. For example- the batch with Old Crow had a noticeable cola, coconut, vanilla, etc that all of the other variations had, just slightly lighter in degree.

    My point is this: the barrel does not matter in the end, it is the quality and care with which the base beer is brewed. If a BA beer is deficient in quality, it is not the barrels fault, it is the brewer. A statement like "if they had only used X barrels instead of Y, this beer would have been better" is like saying "if only the farmer had used cow B instead of cow A, this yogurt would have been better." In beer the end result is a showcase of the skill or creating a fermentables wort, and managing that fermentation to the end. The barrels are just the floor mats in the car if you will, they don't show the actual craftsmanship of the car, they are just the aesthetic accoutrements, not the quality of the piece in itself.

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