Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale: 8.19% abv
You might notice that we have a slight bias towards beers aged in bourbon barrels. This is simply not true...well yeah it is, but it’s for good reason. Bourbon is a fantastic statement of whiskey and it adds great character to beer. This particular one is not very extravagantly named, but we aren’t worried about that. You can’t get this spirit in Michigan, but it is available in other parts of the world (namely Kentucky). So what does bourbon do to this beer that makes it so much better?
Well when we start with the “schnauze”, as one of our notetakers designated, there is overwhelming sweet, rich notes of honey, caramel, and chocolate, but also being contributed to by other dark notes like oak, molasses, malt, and grainy wheat. Couple this with a creamy nose and some slight earthiness and smokiness, and you have yourself one Hell of an intriguing nose. The nose by itself is fairly rich, but the richness continues into the taste. The taste will scream that good ole butterscotch note to you, which definitely stands as the champion taste in this beer, keeping with it vanilla, malt, lots of caramel, chocolate fudge, and a slightly light citrus on the arrival.
The taste is rich and thick, but not the most complex of all. The finish won’t disappoint though, keeping the butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel notes. Overall, the finish is medium-long and fades softly as it dissipates. There is malt, corn and wheat which also contribute to this finish, with an interesting apple fruitiness which trails along with the finish. In the end, we didn’t really recognize this as an ale, but it was still enjoyable, and very different. It’s worth a try if you ever find it. It won’t disappoint your curiosity, but it’s certainly not for everybody.