What is the hype behind barrel aging?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Southerndiscomfort, Dec 30, 2014.

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  1. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    I'm really not a fan of it. I could be interested if it simply was just wood enriching flavor but I'm not a fan of wine nor bourbon and I don't understand it adding any dimensions. All I'll taste is what it was aged in and completely takes away from the beer experience. I mean if you want bourbon why not drink that or have a glass of Zinfandel?
  2. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The right choice of previously used barrels with the right choice of base beers can produce a blending/melding of flavors which captures the best of both with few or none of the disadvantages. E.g., poorly done you taste too much of the Bourbon. Done well the Bourbon contributes to the complexity of the flavors without dominating. Simply adding Bourbon to the beer won't get you the oak and other flavors contributed by the barrel during the aging of the beer.

    Similarly, RR Temptation is aged in white wine barrels that produce a complex mix of flavors that is to my tastes more than either the beer or the wine alone and so a whole new/different balance of flavors.

    Clearly if you are not a fan of Bourbon or wine the effects won't work for you. But they do work for lots of other people.
    #2 drtth, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  3. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    +1 to drtth. I like scotch but backwoods bastard just steals some of the flavor and mends it with the beer. It's quite delicious
    MrDave, Boca-X, Premo88 and 4 others like this.
  4. kbuzz

    kbuzz Champion (894) Jan 22, 2011 North Carolina

    I used to think like that when I was first getting into craft...

    To me, when done well, it adds another layer of complexity and does not mask the base, but adds to it...

    If it's still around, you should come back and read this thread in a couple years. I bet it gives you a chuckle.
  5. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    Being new to craft doesnt have anything to do with it. Does a person not have a right to have their own pallets? I hate barrel aged anything too.
    Hayden34 likes this.
  6. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,032) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    It is a fashion trend too - the big bold flavors are attractive, hence half the top 20 are barrel aged stouts (and most of the rest are IPAs...). I personally like them, but they are getting a bit overdone. I agree with previous posters in that when done poorly, all you get is the barrel.
  7. kbuzz

    kbuzz Champion (894) Jan 22, 2011 North Carolina

    It had a lot to do with it for me...that's all I was saying...my palate adjusted. So did my ability to spell palate.

    My guess is OP might change his mind at some point...if not, that's cool too.
    fox227, GetTheYayo, IowaPA and 26 others like this.
  8. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    I'll never understand this fanatical craze. My taste of beer is vast as the ocean. I like beer, plain and simple not spirits nor wine.
    Hayden34 likes this.
  9. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    Wow, someone is pretentious much? I know how to spell palate, clearly my "smart phone" doesn't.
  10. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,032) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Most of the barrel aged beers I love come on pallets... :wink:
  11. stealth

    stealth Zealot (564) Dec 16, 2011 Minnesota

    I mean, who likes flavors such as a dark sour being complimented by vinous red wine notes and oak tannins. Disgusting. Why are we adding cacao nibs to beer? Vanilla and fruit? Hell, why are we using all these different sort of hops? I don't like some of them anyways! Stick to one and be done with it. Same with malt. Too many choices and flavors. The Reinheitsgebot is too complicated, lets just steep a hop cone in water and call it good.
    ArdyExfor, Bsetz, GetTheYayo and 18 others like this.
  12. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    I think he was obviously joking with you. You should take a nap and come back tomorrow cuz you sound mad. But you are right about one think. It isn't for everyone. And the other fellow is also right. Sometimes palates need to develop.
    MachIPA, craft_is_king and BigMike like this.
  13. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    I want to punch myself in the face. Thank you grammar Nazi.
  14. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    But that's the complexity of different beers. And many like it. It shouldn't be just one way IMO
  15. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    Yeah, a nap sounds nice. I'm not mad, just didn't like what he had to say. Especially saying that someone can't simply NOT like a barrel aged brew unless they're new to craft.
    IPAGeorge likes this.
  16. TastyIsBeer

    TastyIsBeer Devotee (425) Dec 13, 2006 Illinois

    Plenty of people like bourbon (and other whisk(e)y), wine, coffee, and a crazy variety of other flavors. If you want "beer that just tastes like beer" then pick up a German lager and call it a day. For me, I love the vanilla notes that good whiskey barrel aging can add to a beer, the peat notes that good whisky barrel aging can add, the wide variety of excellence to be found in wine-barrel aging sours, etc. The only beer style that I don't actually care for is pilsner -- so I guess I'm the polar opposite of the OP.
    hardy008, larryarms847, Phoam and 4 others like this.
  17. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    This is all I drink [​IMG]
  18. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    Yeah I think it comes down to it's just not for everybody. But that also means it never will be. Some people palates develop. Some just like some stuff and don't like others and that never changes. For instance I live chocolate. And when I had southern tier chokolat I thought it was just delicious. But if you don't like chocolate you might not like chokolat. That doesn't mean you won't like any beer with chocolate in it. Don't judge a style on one beer. There are definitely bba beers that are more boozy than others.
    Phoam likes this.
  19. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    BTW do you have iPhone? Cuz I have android and it corrected palate correctly.
  20. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    It's because drinkers enjoy them!
    gopens44, cavedave and AdmiralOzone like this.
  21. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    I do have an iPhone. Kind of funny, it didn't correct it the first time but now it does no matter how I spell it. It's a selective smart phone I suppose.
  22. Srkolodn

    Srkolodn Aspirant (298) Dec 26, 2013 New York

    Usually being new in craft you have yet to develop a palate for barrel aging. If you give it many tries over time and still dont like it thats one thing but not giving your palate a chance to adapt is another thing.
    IPAGeorge likes this.
  23. IPAGeorge

    IPAGeorge Disciple (350) Oct 28, 2014 Illinois

    Another +1 for android:sunglasses:
    gopens44 and craft_is_king like this.
  24. kbuzz

    kbuzz Champion (894) Jan 22, 2011 North Carolina

    never say never...:grinning:
  25. GreenMachine

    GreenMachine Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2014 North Carolina

    Or maybe one just really dislikes the taste of bourbon. In any sense of the matter. whether it's a straight shot or a beer that has been aged in a bourbon barrel.
  26. Flashy

    Flashy Devotee (492) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    You joined Beer Advocate three weeks ago, tell us.
  27. Kanger

    Kanger Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2013 New York

    Keep in mind - ALL beer use to be in wood barrels. So "aging" beer in wood barrels can impart those wild yeast and bacteria flavors since those 2 love inhabiting damp wood.
  28. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    I clearly couldn't of been drinking beer before I had a website account...should I take pictures too or I didn't drink it?
  29. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (460) Jan 7, 2011 California

    imagine that. you're not a fan of something.... and you can't figure out why your feelings differ from those who are fans of that something. "i like/don't like potatoes, you should too!"

    also. how dare you just up & assume we don't drink bourbon when we want bourbon... or pour a glass of Zinfandel! :stuck_out_tongue:
  30. TurkeyFeathers

    TurkeyFeathers Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2014 New York

    Is the thread going to age well in a couple of years and taste different ?!
    jfpaolone, kbuzz, nlethbridge and 3 others like this.
  31. AdmiralOzone

    AdmiralOzone Poo-Bah (2,382) Jun 26, 2014 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I used to think PBR was the best beer out there til I tried a KBS, changed my mind instantly.
    KarmicSkrambl8, Brolo75 and docoman like this.
  32. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (748) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Couldn't this be said about most things added to beer? What about coffee? I mean if you want coffee just drink coffee and not beer with coffee.

    Be glad you're not into it because that saves you some cash.
  33. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,365) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I'm not one of those people who thinks everything is better if thrown in a barrel, but well done barrel aged beers can be a divine thing.
  34. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I don't understand this thread. Do you do this to your bartenders patrons too? I hope the bartender swirls a greasy finger in your glass before pouring you a pint if you do.
    If it's not for you. Leave it at that, and enjoy something else.
  35. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Devotee (471) Jul 31, 2013 California

    Why do people start posts in forums only to whine?? I mean it doesn't appear that SouthernDiscomfort really cared about anyone's responses just wanted to rant about something he didn't like. Hopefully the forums here get better use like answering peoples inquiries instead.
    SaintJonah and petty_crimes like this.
  36. Tidesox28

    Tidesox28 Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2013 Maine

    Done well, it's pretty freakin' awesome! Try BCBS with two years on it. Best beer on Earth, IMO. The problem is that every brewer seems to be trying it, and apparently it's not easy to do because I've had some shitty barrel aged stuff.

    Hope I spelled everything correctly.

    By the way, rum barrels produce a pretty tasty brew too. Two years in a row, my favorite beer of the year has been aged in rum barrels. Yankee Swap from Slumbrew. Wow!
    beerjerk666 likes this.
  37. PostRockandCats

    PostRockandCats Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2014 Florida

    I found it a refreshing alternative to the hop-fest that's become of the craft community. That said, I think it's not always successful. It can overwhelm a beer when done wrong.
    UrbanCaveman, gibgink and TCJ0100 like this.
  38. rongcsc

    rongcsc Initiate (174) Sep 15, 2012 South Carolina

    There is something magical about a well-done Barrel aged beer. It can be bourbon, wine or anything else. The experience really broadens the definition of beer. As others have said, if it's not for you, no problem. I love music but not Opera! (Although there are a few pieces that are quite inspiring!)
    tigermuffin and Brutaltruth like this.
  39. briandaube

    briandaube Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2012 Delaware

    I have to say I'm not a fan of liquor but the complexity of well done barrel aged beers is awesome. I haven't had a ton but have enjoyed those I have tried, however it was definitely something my palate had to adjust to. But to the OP I can understand not getting the trend but I would still try one here and there because you never know. There are tons off beers and foods i don't like but I find by constantly trying them that they grow on me. And if not more for those that do.
    tigermuffin and craft_is_king like this.
  40. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    Well I just wanted to see the input on why they are so revered within this medium. I guess I'm the minority of those who do not have the taste and sophistication to be a fanatic of these hyped brews. Would you as well have to develop taste for the spirits or wine. If it's a cheap spirit or wine could you tell the difference between quality ones used in aging? I wasn't aware that voicing an opinion was whining.
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