Bishop's Barrel 2
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Bishop's Barrel 2Bishop's Barrel 2
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English Old Ale
4.07 | pDev: 11.06%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bishop's Barrel 2Bishop's Barrel 2
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 148 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby hued Amber gold.

Flavors are massive wine notes. The Chardonnay barrels show a lot. Lots of oak and tannins. The cherries added a little tartness. I would never guess this to be an old ale. Reminds me of a Belgian blonde aged in wine barrels. Very odd, but very tasty.

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Photo of darthvohn
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass Used: Snifter

Appearance: This poured a reddish orange with a a thick cream colored finger and a half head. No lacing occurred throughout the entirety of the glass.

Smell: Bright sour cherry, white wine and oak barrel. The malt is faintly there as well.

Taste: Tart-sour cherry at the front with oaky white wine through the middle and end. The malt was there but was minimal. The finish is what you would expect from a dry chardonnay. The combination of the cherry and wine notes linger around for a while tempting you for another sip.

Mouthfeel: The body of this beer is a bit aqueous. Highly carbonated, which surprised me. Slight puckering effect after each sip.

Overall: If I didn't know this was an Old Ale going in, I would not have guessed. The cherry and oak barrel flavors are pretty well balanced and make you return to your glass quite often. I would get this again if I found it on a menu somewhere.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mhksuccess for sharing this one at Acropora's tasting.

Bottled 2/8/13.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, cherry, slight wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour cherry and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the wine barrel aging is fairly subdued all around.

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle procured several months ago
A: Poured into a large tulip. Giant amount of carbonation. Quickly receding head light-tan in color. Zero lacing on side of glass. Very red-ish amber color. Lots of particulate matter visible.
S: Sour cherries, malt, kind of a mix of beer, wine and champagne notes.
T: Wow. Lots of sour cherries. Sweetness from the malt. White wine and champagne. Almost no bitterness on the aftertaste but it is making my mouth water a lot and it makes me definitely want another sip.
M: An explosion of carbonation gives it a lot of crisp bite like champagne. I think the particles in suspension are the cherries and that being left on my tongue and its sourness is making my mouth water like crazy. I like it.
O: A very unique beer. The first I have had of this kind. This is the only one I had and it was a one time brew so I guess I probably won't be having any more of it. Too bad because I like it quite a bit. I would hhave rated it higher except there is not enough backbone to balance out the champagne characteristics. Its really pretty interesting and it could pass for champagne almost. For more information visit this page I just found:

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Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Starts with an overwhelming head, but it settles quickly to nearly nothing and leaves no lace. The liquid is very cloudy with a reddish brown color.

Strong dark cherry aroma. Reminds me of a Kriek Lambic because of the sourness.

Think a cross between the aforementioned Kriek and a Saison. Incredibly high carbonation (the foamed over when open). The body is good but not enough to compensate for the fizz. Short sour aftertaste.

Overall, this is a mixed bag. If you like Krieks (and I do), you will like this one.

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Photo of cvm4
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having it at the Avenue Pub in New Orleans

A - Pours a deep amber, semi-translucent in color. Off white frothy head.

S - Huge notes of cherries with a light oak aroma. Faintness of dry white grapes.

T - Not hugely sour, but very tart cherries & maybe somewhat ripe. The barrel comes through wonderfully.

M - Light bodied & high carbonation. Very crisp & easy to drink. Has a dry finish.

O - Amazing how all of this comes together so well. The only thing I'd change is to dial down the carbonation..

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, 02/08/13
Riedel tulip

A: Almost IPA like. Deep orange amber color. Half finger of tight bubbled bright white head. Over carbonated. Cap nearly flew off. Foam over. Lots of tight tiny bubbles. Prickly.

S: Lots of wine vinous notes. Wood like oak notes. Not getting a lot if cherries on the nose initially, but then they started to come up a bit.

T: Not a lot of cherry. Good barrel: oak and roundness. Definitely wine like. There is some good tartness.

M: Big medium.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange amber with a big head. Lots of wisps and a thick collar.

Smell - Cherries and some barrel funk. Some wine barrel. Caramel.

Taste - Lots of cherries blended into the pale malt. Not a ton of depth to it. Cherries and some white wine. A touch of acidity.

Mouthfeel - Overcarbonated. Medium to light body.

Overall - I don't get any old ale from this. Just cherries and wine barrel.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

not sure id call this an old ale, at least by traditional conventions, but it makes for a very interesting brew. a lot more like a barleywine really, it pours pinkish red, a surprising color compared to what we were expecting, and there doesn't appear to be much carbonation, just a thin off white film on top. the nose of this beer is insanely fruity, sweet like candy, and oaky, but different. its more like rum barrels, like some of the sweetness from the innis and gunn stuff. sort of a winter warmer fruit and spice complex on the taste, not cinnamon, but all the other usual suspects are there to varying degrees. the alcohol really stands out in the finish of this beer, its potent and sharp, stinging and warming. couple that with the residual sugar, and you have a 12 ounce bottle that's tough to get through. lacking carbonation and boasting a pretty full body, these features are exacerbated to the point where this is downright hard to drink in any real quantity. still, its a unique brew and I appreciate its unique wood profile and the room for the fruity essences to really develop. overall not something id buy again, but its enough to get me interested in what saint Arnold is doing.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy yet vibrant cherry red color. Some white froth and lacing formed.

(S)- Some juicy/ripe cherry and subtle spicy oak. You can really see the chardonnay barrels on the finish on this.

(T)- Again, great ripe cherry pits. Ever so slight tartness from the chardonnay barrel, yet some underlying sweetness to balance it out.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level. A nice balance to it. I struggle with this beer only because I see almost nothing in this that reminds me of an old ale, but it is sweet and delicious.

(O)- This was intriguing and very enjoyable. I just do not get how this can be an old ale though. Yes it is sweet, but in a light; not rich sense. Its almost like a mild fruit beer meets a well made barrel aged strong ale or something. A struggle to rate due to a conflicting style classification; nonetheless a very intriguing beer and very easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Dajtai007
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall I really enjoyed it, but I think others have a misunderstanding of its style. Its Christmas Ale aged in White Wine barrels with cherries added. It's not a sour nor a malt bomb. Its a slightly tart ale sort of like a berliner wiesse.
Like I said, I enjoyed it and plan on letting some sit out in a closet for a little while. I hear that the brett from the two accidentally infected barrels started to "activate" their loveliness.

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Photo of LaTrappeMonk
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottled poured into an imperial pint glass. Served room temperature. Tasted on 2/1/13.

Appearance: Head is nearly nonexistent, and what there is of it diminishes very quickly. There is no lacing. The body is a clear ruby. This is all absolutely consistent with the type of beer. The acidity in the cherries kills head retention, so that is to be expected.

Aroma: A fairly one dimensional nose consisting mostly of sour cherry, or cherry and some citrus acidity. However, the cask wood, which is present, does pleasantly bring the nose back to balance.

Mouthfeel: An excellent light body, which makes it very drinkable. The same mouthfeel as a Pinot Noir. The texture is thin with a slight effervescent tingle at the front end.

Flavor: The flavor lingers, which is great. It is moderately sweet to balance the cherry, but not so sweet that you lose the funk. It is appropriately funky and acidic; there is nothing too harsh.

Overall: I would drink this beer again and again. I'm thoroughly impressed by this beer. This is the best thing I have tasted from St. Arnold's, which is something, because everything they make is wonderful.

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Photo of Heretic42
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber/mahogany color with little head that dissipates very quickly

S: Lots of sour cherry and chardonnay on the nose, but I'm not able to get much else out of it.

T: Not nearly as strong on the cherry as the smell hinted at, but a subtle presence with some tartness. I'm not getting any funk or any specific barrel characteristics other than the chardonnay.

M: Very low carbonation and a very dry finish. I like the dryness, but a little more carbonation would've been nice.

O: Enjoyable overall, though I'm not sure I'd buy another given the price.

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Photo of afluentturtle
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From what I understand this is the Christmas Ale aged in chardonnay barrels with cherries added. Apparently two of the barrels had a distinct funk that was blended in with the rest of the batch.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured a dark mahogany/reddish brown. Two fingers of off white head with no lacing.

Smell: Mostly just typical average beer aroma, malts and sweetness. Maybe a slight hint of cherries but I might just be trying to hard to get a whiff of what was promised.

Taste: Heavy oak woody barrel flavor. Tartness abounds but disappears after awhile. I cant taste any cherries at all. The wine barrel flavor really seems to dominate this beer. No funk at all either,

Mouthfeel: Very watery and dry. Easy to drink but the lack of body is really off putting. The dryness is nice however.

Overall: I was disappointed with this attempt. I really couldn't get any cherry out of this and the heavy wood and watery mouthfeel just where hard to get over.

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Photo of champ103
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have had this a few times around town now. Most recently at Stags Head.

A: Pours a nearly clear ruby red color. A two finger white head forms that sticks around for a second, until it completely fizzles to almost nothing. Light lace is left behind.
S: Up front is big cherry aromas. A quick tartness up front with fleshy cherry skins/tannins even. Stone fruits, apples, and apricot. A light sweetness of vanilla and caramel. Very nice.
T: I love the taste. Tart and fresh cherries up front and dominate at first. The tartness lingers a bit. Though other fruity flavors come out that follow the nose. Apples, stone fruits, etc. Vanilla sweetness lingers. Delicate and subtle, though very nice overall.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Fairly crisp and dry though. I love the dryness, and tannins from the wine barrels. So easy to drink, the bottle is gone in no time. This was a treat, and I very much enjoyed it.

Well done. This is very unique. I don't really get any funkiness, but the cherries and wine barrels come through in spades. I love the tart cherries, and the other delicate fruit flavors the wine barrels imparts. I am not sure how this will age, but I hope to come across this more in the near future.

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Bishop's Barrel 2 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 148 ratings