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Paired tasting idea: sample barrel-aged brews along with the underlying bourbon

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by DarthGuitarHero, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. I am contemplating putting together a tasting event where we sample barrel-aged beers along side the type of bourbon (or whiskey, or ...) that the barrels were used for. I got the idea after having (and loving) the 50/50 Eclipse Elijah Craig 12 yr, and then several weeks later detecting some of the same vanilla, caramel, and oaky notes when sampling Elijah Craig 12 yr bourbon for the first time.

    Has anyone tried this?
  2. vurt

    vurt Advocate (715) Oregon Apr 11, 2004 Beer Trader

    Blue Palms Brewhouse, an excellent beer bar in Hollywood, did that for a 50/50 Eclipse tasting event in 2011. It was enlightening to taste the base beer, the barrel-aged version, and the spirit side by side, and I'd love to see more such events.
  3. vurt

    vurt Advocate (715) Oregon Apr 11, 2004 Beer Trader

    Matter of fact, that would be a great event for breweries who are also distillers (such as Ballast Point, Rogue, and Anchor).
  4. After getting my hands on the Evan Williams Eclipse I went and bought a small bottle of it to familiarize myself with the Kentucky Bourbon. It makes it easier to taste the difference between bourbon barrels when you drink the actual bourbon that went in them. That's a great idea though having a tasting side by side.
  5. Stigs

    Stigs Champion (835) Pennsylvania Jun 3, 2005 Beer Trader

    Make yourself a moderately bold-roast cup of coffee. Take a (small) sip and wait a few seconds, then sample the bourbon. I find the bitterness and roast of the coffee does a good job of mimicking what you would find in an RIS without being the same thing. It really does a good job of demonstrating the bridge between the bourbon/spirit on its own and what it lends to a barrel-aged beer.
    DarthGuitarHero likes this.
  6. seeswo

    seeswo Advocate (535) Ohio Jan 10, 2010 Beer Trader

    Yes. Did all of the Huna's and their accompanying spirits. It's fun to notice that the Whiskey Huna has an off taste in the finish and then try the Stranahan's itself and notice that it as well has an off taste in the finish. *ducks*
  7. Weter

    Weter Aficionado (200) Michigan Oct 24, 2011 Beer Trader

    It looks like monitorpop did this at one of his tastings. I love looking at his photography. Great stuff.

    Scotchboy likes this.
  8. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    You are gonna get drunk as f--k. Where's my invite?!
  9. First I have to obtain Pappy 23 to go with the BCBS Rare. Already have the Elijah Craig to go with Eclipse and the Buffalo Trace to go with Black Buffalo (黑牛). Come to think of it, I could use another bottle of Allagash Curieux to go with my Jim Beam. :)
  10. Interesting idea, but you have to factor in the variability of flavor from batch to batch. Different barrels have different personalities so to speak. In any event it would add perspective, but I don't think it's necessary given the fact that the FiftyFifty eclipse beers overwhelmingly showcase their barrel treatments (i.e. the base beer doesn't interfere much).
  11. camil1mj

    camil1mj Savant (450) Michigan Oct 4, 2010 Beer Trader


    My buddies and I did a similar tasting in the Spring of 2012. It was very cool to see how the different beers tasted after being in the same kind of barrels along with having the actual PvW 23.
    DarthGuitarHero likes this.
  12. Very good point. Actually, that could be one of the fun things to observe -- whether the barrel treatment imparted any characteristic features of the spirits. Even if the results are inconclusive, the process would be a helluva good time.
  13. I would love Anchor to age Old Foghorn in Old Potrero barrels!
    jasonmason likes this.
  14. They do this at the Eclipse release party. All of the different barrel Eclipse variations and they also have the liquor available for pours at the bar. All for free (well, the cost of the ticket). As you can imagine it turns into quite the shit show.
  15. That's for certain ;)
  16. DarthGuitarHero and jasonmason like this.