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

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Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPASaint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA
53 Ratings
Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPASaint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by davey101 on 04-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of 40451
5/5  rDev +40.4%

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.

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Photo of alamode
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of jboyer
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of sentomaster
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- light brown with copper hughes when held to the light. Translucent enough to see indistinctly to the other side. A soft one finger head of foam quickly dies leaving little gobs of lace.

S- an odd touch of vinegar is immediately detectable, very weird... Maybe some grassy hops, but dominated by a tart acidity and a slight sourness.

T/M- follows the nose directly but expands greatly on it. there's definitely something oddly sour and tart going on here. After getting over the shock of the unexpected and getting my palate acclimated, it's actually quite pleasing and refreshing. Again the hops are too dominated it to clearly to pull out their characteristics, but they are present; as well as strong base of pale and crystal malt. or maybe its the sweetness of the whiskey barrel making me think the malt is stronger than it is. the barrel definitely adds a rich vanilla, oak, and sour apple complexity

O- every sip is more pleasing with a sharply tart and sour cherry finish, but isn't too harsh to prevent you from immediately wanting more. The whiskey plays so nicely I nearly forgot that it was there, very sublime. At first I thought this beer might be a mess, but it's quite an unexpected winner.

I don't know what style to compare this beer too, so I'll just say on its own this is one damn good beer.

 1,321 characters

Photo of wesley14
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of slangtruth
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presumably the endgame of this famous deviant batch from BBC. As is well documented, late last year they got a bale of hops from a shipment destined for their flagship Lost Sailor IPA which was different from the norm. They went ahead and brewed up a batch of their IPA with this oddball bale of hops, naming it "Saint of Circumstance" (carefully chosen, as the song "SoC" comes after "Lost Sailor" on the Grateful Dead's "Go To Heaven" album). They bottled some as SoC and some as "Franklin County Preservation Trust" IPA last fall, and put some away for a while in Jack Daniels barrels, which they've just released in bombers and on tap for what one must assume is a very limited release. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the incredibly smoky, fruity and rich aroma could hit you from across the room. The head dissipates almost immmediately, leaving a rich, sweet, very cidery body which really is unlike anything I've tasted before. The original SoC label showed the two brewers puzzling over what they had - the new label shows them triumphantly clinking their glasses over a wooden barrel. Was I impressed? I finished my bomber and walked back down to the store and bought a case. Get it while you can.

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Photo of JustHarmless
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a Bomber bottle that was hidden in the back of a cooler at the Spirit Haus in Amherst, MA. Poured into my trusty chalice glass.

Appearance-Clear copper color with a thin white head and lots of nice lacing

Aroma- There is a delicious bourbony, whiskey, oak aromas up front. Followed by some nice grassy, citrusy aromas, including apricot and orange

Taste- Wow! Whiskey up front with a vinegary flavors. Followed by citrusy tones, mainly orange and apricots. Not getting a lot of pine notes. Overall, it has the flavor of a sour ale

Mouthfeel- A low, but appropriate, amount of carbonation. A bit oily and tart with a lingering sweetness

Overall- This is a very different beer. Reminds me of a sour, which is from the sour mash aging, which also accounts for its booziness. I didn't think these flavor combinations would work, but it does! Absolutely different, refreshing, out of the box beer! I can't wait to be able to hopefully pick up more!

 961 characters

Photo of bernie879
4.39/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Killian's pint glass, a 1" white head formed and dissipated relativly quickly releasing a bouquet of pungent, citrusy sour aromas. Further whiffs included oak and the slightest hints of vanilla.

The mouthfeel has a pleasant smoothness coupled with a medium body. The carbonation is relativly subdued which allows the flavors of the barrel to come out and be the major character of the beer. This is not an understatment, this thing is all barrel. I've had the regular S.O.C. a few times and this is nothing like it. The beer really serves as a medium for the barrel flavors to latch onto, creating an extremly refreshing, tart and tasty treat. All the strong flavors coming out in the nose hit the palate just as strong.

This is my kind of summer ale.

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Photo of davey101
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saint Of Circumstance IPA aged in Jack Daniels barrels for 8 months.

10 oz pour from the sampling room at BBC. I was also able to grab a few 22 oz bombers across the street from the brewery.

A - Dark amber body with a fluffy three finger off white head. There was a nice lace happening, but the pour was into a ridged plastic cup that I drank quite quickly so the beer never got a chance for the head to really settle.

S - Very strong biscuity malt backbone with some piney and light citrus hops. Some grass and earthiness in the middle. The finish is oaky with some vanilla and char.

T - Biscuity malts with some piney and grassy hops. I'm not sure what the "mystery" hop is but I get some light grapefruit and smoke. The finish is smooth and oaky with faint hints of vanilla and butterscotch. The whiskey barrel notes are very subdued but seem to balance out the light bitterness. Mouth feel is medium and kind of chewy.

O - I was fairly impressed with the standard beer, it was an oddly smokey and malty IPA. The whiskey barrels just compliment the hell out of this. Exceptional stuff! I had this during the BBC tour and many members of the group tried this beer and also loved it.

 1,189 characters

Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of JCam9981
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of SABERG
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a modified tulip.

A - Very light copper, small head, lots of standing lace. On a side note the bottle is a print on glass of two founders over a barrel!

S - Hints of sour, apricots, biscuit, dark cherrie, and as it warms leather.

T - Smooth, sour mash was good choice, the original IPA blends well. The taste has short linger and a welcome sour snap.

M - Some oil, some tart, and a linger that is sweet.

O - A fine offering, balanced between the sour, The IPA, the malt. Seek out and enjoy.


 513 characters

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of sailorastro
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of bluesplit63
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of inandon
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour - deep brown with a hint of red slight foaminess

Smell - whiskey, oaked age deliciousness with a cider smell to it. Cider gone bad :)

Taste - not very hoppy, taste of apply pie with a hint of whiskey

Great beer, with some malty-ness to it with a heavy taste of apples.

 276 characters

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.

 1,972 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange body. Thin, steadily replenishing, creamy, off-white head.

Nose is JD barrels with a soured sweetness that is almost Brett-like.

Flavor is not at all what I expected. Light malt, whiskey not that noticeable, huge sour on the finish. And Houston, I think we might have some Brett here! Surely that big sour apple bite is not solely from the sour mash... Interesting and really unique flavors. Much less hops than the label IPA might suggest.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and slightly slick.

Overall, very good. Not a huge drinkability, but I like it.

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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.

 1,324 characters

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!

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Saint Of Circumstance Sour Mash Whiskey Barrel Aged IPA from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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