<100% Liquor Barrel-aged Beers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ebin6, Jun 11, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    I couldn't find any existing threads that addressed this issue, so here goes. I don't like boozy, liquor-bombs. However, I do like the subtle barrel effect imparted by 25-ish% liquor barrel-aged beers (e.g., Abyss). I drank my 25% bourbon barrel-aged Cuir tonight and much preferred it to the 100% bourbon barrel-aged version.

    Are there any other readily available suggestions? Is this a dying breed in favor of liquor-bombs? I hope to see more dialed-back versions at some point
  2. BenwayPHD

    BenwayPHD Aspirant (289) Sep 4, 2014 California

  3. House_Common_Brewery

    House_Common_Brewery Initiate (0) May 26, 2016 Pennsylvania

    I just had a bourbon barrel aged Belgian imperial stout yesterday ABV 12.5% made by stable 12 brewery. It was amazing!!!! All the right flavors were there but it was liquered up it almost ruined the fun flavors of the beer...! I'm brewing a smoked chocolate porter right now, I decided to keg 5 gal of it to drink now and the other 5 gal is sitting on white oak wood chips that soaked in scotch. I sample it every week to find the nice balance of Booze and beer...
    hoptheology likes this.
  4. JISurfer

    JISurfer Poo-Bah (1,993) Dec 10, 2002 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I like my BA beers boozy. With that said, I just had 3 Taverns Departed Spirit. To me, it wasn't boozy enough, but still had some woody/oaky characters. It too was an Belgian Imperial Stout. You might like that.
    ebin6 likes this.
  5. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    One that comes to mind fitting at least part of your description is:


    But I've no idea if it gets out to CA, so availability there might be a problem. The brewery website does have a distribution finder so that might help.
    #5 drtth, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
    ebin6 and Kevin67 like this.
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    This trend will reach an apex when someone comes out with Bourbon Barrel Boilermaker brand.
  7. HeartofMiami

    HeartofMiami Champion (813) Sep 20, 2014 Florida

    Sierra Nevada barrel aged Narwhal is pretty "dialed back" and not boozy. You could find beer aged in 2nd or 3rd use barrels (less boozy) or simply wait 1-2 years to drink a barrel aged stout (like Parabola) and the heat typically dies down. I had a 2 year old Lost Abbey Track 10 with no heat, just woody barrel noted
    colts9016 and ebin6 like this.
  8. CCBone

    CCBone Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2016 Oregon

    You could also look for beers that spend less time in barrels (3 months vs the typical 8-12) as it will impart more of the barrel noted and less of the boozy quality that you are not a fan of. Mad Fritz (in napa California ) does this, although you can only get their stuff at the brewery or a few bars throughout that area (st Helena, yountville, napa proper). I am sure that their are other breweries that do this , however, I just can't think of any off the top of my head
    bluejacket74 and ebin6 like this.
  9. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Aspirant (255) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    More like a nadir than an apex. LOL
  10. Kevin67

    Kevin67 Disciple (361) Feb 8, 2015 Arkansas

    This is one I look forward to every year.

    I think that the problem is that everyone, Americans in particular, tend to look for the extreme in everything.
    drtth and ebin6 like this.
  11. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Good suggestion. We get quite a bit of Boulevard, so I don't see why I couldn't locate some; I'll keep an eye out
    Kevin67 likes this.
  12. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Good idea with the "less time in barrels" route. I'll have to read bottles a little more closely.

    The only problem with waiting is that I still prefer the <100%. With Cuir, for instance, I waited 5 years and I still much preferred the 25% version. I mean, it was good, don't get me wrong! But I don't think any amount of time could make it better than just less barrel aging.
    HeartofMiami likes this.
  13. bluejacket74

    bluejacket74 Poo-Bah (5,460) Jul 4, 2005 Ohio

    On that note, I was thinking maybe some of the Innis & Gunn brews would be a good choice. I believe most of them are only in the barrel for around 2-3 months, so they're really not heavy on the booze/liquor flavors.
    ebin6 and Kevin67 like this.
  14. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,497) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    Consider either beers that were blended, or ones that were done with soaked spirited cubes/chips/spirals, or ones that were not aged very long.
    ebin6, Prince_Casual and Kevin67 like this.
  15. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (351) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Decent suggestion, but not always true. The avery gold foil stouts (Uncle Jacob's/Tweak/etc) are only BA'd for 3 months, but at brewed to 16%+ which extracts a huge barrel presence into the bottle.

    I think the OP should look for lower ABV ba stouts/brown ales, something like Anderson Valley Wild Turkey BBA Stout, it's like 7%. I don't know the science exactly but I believe higher abv extracts more tannin. Think how dark all bourbons are, yet a chardonnay wine that's oak aged is still relatively yellow.
    Ranbot and ebin6 like this.
  16. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    Imperial Stout makes it out your way, but it's not 100% barrel aged. It's typically a blend of 2/3 whiskey barrel-aged and 1/3 fresh beer. Bourbon Barrel Quad, from the same series, is 100% barrel aged.
    ebin6 and drtth like this.

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,033) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    Uncle Jacob's is aged for 6 months.
  18. CCBone

    CCBone Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2016 Oregon

    You are somewhat correct in the ABV, although I think some of that is the beer is just hotter in general, giving more perceived bourbon notes. But the wine comparison doesn't really hold. Much of that has to do with the toast level they put on the barrels themselves. Different levels allow whatever you put into the barrel to penetrate the wood more/less, which affects the color as well as imparted flavors.

    I would agree thought, lower ABV, less barrel time will result in a less boozy product as perceived by your palate
    Ranbot and PapaGoose03 like this.

    BEERMILER12 Poo-Bah (3,527) Sep 11, 2010 Maine

    A follow-up to drtth's post; Most of Boulevard's BA beers are blends and are therefore less than 100% barrel aged
    ebin6 likes this.
  20. kerry4porters

    kerry4porters Zealot (541) Dec 31, 2012 Arizona

    XOCOVEZA charred was delicious and tasted like a slightly richer version of the O.G. Xoco but I didn't get much bourbon flavor at all
  21. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    The Imperial Stout sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for. Does it age well?
  22. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,834) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I think the Anderson Valley BA series would work for you
    ebin6 likes this.
  23. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,781) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    When I had Big Bad Baptist I barely got any barrel flavor at all, so that may be what you want.
    ebin6 likes this.
  24. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (356) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    Not sure the exact percentage (25%?), but Mott the Lesser is less than 100%
    ebin6 likes this.
  25. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Yeah, that's one of my favorites; good call.
  26. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,177) Oct 11, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
    Society Trader

    Caldera does versions of their Mogli Imperial Porter that are barrel aged and with soaked spirals. The "regular" version using spirals would fit the bill, and I believe they distribute to Northern CA if not the whole state.
    ebin6 likes this.
  27. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,134) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Time in a barrel is just as important as % that's barrel aged, IMO. Now its not always easy to tell from a label how long the beer has been in barrels, but when you can find out I would say from my experience there are many beers BA'ed for 3-6 months whose barrel characters are quite subtle and not boozy.
    CCBone likes this.
  28. raticus

    raticus Initiate (65) Apr 25, 2016 Idaho

    I would agree with Big Bad Baptist, fantastic beer.
    ebin6 likes this.
  29. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Yeah, we definitely get it in Southern California
  30. BasterdInABasket

    BasterdInABasket Initiate (164) Nov 8, 2010 Wisconsin

    If you trade at all I would recommend basically anything barrel aged from Tyranena in WI, Most of them to my knowledge are partially barrel aged and blended with the base beer. They've been coming out with more and more bottled releases lately but Devil Over a Barrel is the standout for me - perfect mixture of chocolate coffee and bourbon.
    ebin6 likes this.
  31. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Unfortunately, I don't trade. I will definitely keep that in mind though if I am, or someone I know is, ever in that area.

    Edit: I looked it up and that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for! 8% sounds perfect too.
    BasterdInABasket likes this.
  32. westcoastbeergeek

    westcoastbeergeek Aspirant (204) Sep 16, 2015 Canada

    It's hard to tell off the shelf if a beer is 100% barrel aged anyway, many blend and cut to balance out the flavour.
  33. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (9,895) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Another brewery in Wisconsin that also may have what you seek is Central Waters - they have a rather large line of seasonal BA choices. Their regular BBS is excellent (9.5% ABV), as is their BBS Cassian Sunset (10% ABV). I tried their BBB Barleywine (11.5% ABV), but I did not care much for it. DeKleine Dood (9.05% ABV) is excellent. Also tried their BBA Headless Heron (8.5% ABV) pumpkin beer which I didn't care for - but that's before I developed a taste for BA beer so will need to try it again.
    #33 bbtkd, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
    ebin6 likes this.
  34. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    We believe in releasing beer that's ready to drink, but yes, I've had some nice aged bottles of Imperial Stout.
    ebin6 and drtth like this.
  35. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    I believe they are required to say the percentage, no?
  36. CCBone

    CCBone Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2016 Oregon

    Yes. Unfortunately not required to necessarily say time in barrels
  37. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    Not any longer. Before the TTB included barrel aging as being a "traditional practice", barrel-aged beers required a formula and the COLA required you to state the type/percentage of barrels. Since the inclusion, this is no longer required.
    sharpski, drtth and ebin6 like this.
  38. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (334) Jun 11, 2009 California

    Good to know. That's going to make it difficult to know what's going on when the label says simply "barrel-aged."

    Unfortunately, the www.ttb.gov isn't secured, so I can't really read up any more on it! What the deuce?
  39. shyblee

    shyblee Initiate (44) Nov 1, 2015 Iowa

    I believe there are a few Yeti variants that are pretty easy to find that are oak aged with a variety of adjuncts.
  40. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Want to take care though, since "oak aged" can mean there are no barrels involved and so not have the same meaning as "barrel aged."
    ebin6 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.