Saturday 6 June 2009

Roll Out the Barrel

Here's an outcome from my rum trip I hadn't expected, a couple of brewers have been in contact about flavour profiles for possible barrel-aging projects, which is really interesting and, if I'm honest, quite flattering!

I'd be really interested to hear from any of you out there who have tried other drinks that have been wood-aged or have tried wood-aged beers that they loved/loathed and why? I think it would be very interesting - I'll stick my oar in about my favourites at a later date, so as not to sway the crowd!

(P.S. Laurent, I know I still have to try the Abbey de Saint Bonn Chien - I'm sorry and I will, I will, I will soon, I promise!)

The pic is from a very useful site that offers images from books that are out of copyright.


Rob said...

I once got lucky enough to try a very expensive but exceptional edition of Brewdog Paradox, matured in very old Islay single malt whisky barrels. I was on work experience at the time in the actual brewhouse and Martin Dickie himself let me try it. Taking in the whole scene whilst drinking it was quite inspiring.

Ed said...

I'm not so fond of oak aged beers myself. Paradox doesn't do it for me at all, thought I don't mind the occasional Innis and Gunn

Peter Brissenden said...

I have had bottles of Innis and Gunn a few times and quite enjoyed it. I also had half pint of BrewDog Devine Rebel on cask last night some of which is oak aged.

On the whole I don't mind oak aging but I tend to prefer zingier, brighter flavoured beers. A lot of the hop character is lost in the barel aging.

Laurent Mousson said...

My oh my, is the perpective of a possible epiphany that scary ? ;oD

The Beer Adventurer said...

The best rum-barrel ageing I have come across is Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Co's Rum Barrel Cider, which is a legendary drink in the villages around Peterstow, Herefordshire. The whisky barrel cider is also a stunner.

Innis & Gunn's beers always taste a bit too sickly to me, a sort of plastic beer. The BrewDog collection of barrel-aged beers are brilliant, love the Paradox (Smokehead especially) and Storm, (Smokey IPA - crazy but brilliant!)
Sam Smith's Yorkshire Stingo is a very nice beer, with lots of oaky vanilla, and Tullibardine 1488 is one of my favourite whisky beers, kind of what Innis & Gunn should taste like.

I would love to try the Ola Dubh's but can never seem to find them...

Anonymous said...

Gadds' Ancestors Islay Whisky Cask Porter and Gadds' Reserved Barrel Aged Barely Wine (red wine barrel). Yummy.

MicMac said...

"Gadds' Reserved Barrel Aged Barely Wine"

I was trying to work out if that was a typo or not - "barely wine" :~)

I had some of the Thornbrisge Sherry-cask beers at the Beer-writers' Guild lager seminar day - very interesting & complex flavours.

Mark said...

Spirit cask maturation of ciders and perrys tends to divide opinion. Whisky, and particularly Islay style Whiskey is a flavour I really don't like in a cider, and it's the absolute ruination of a good perry which is far too subtle a flavour to be messed with. For my taste, Whisky doesn't enhance a cider, it dominates and sits aggresively on top of the flavour profile, reducing the fruitiness, and therefore any refreshing 'drinkability' the cider once posessed.

Rum can also dominate a cider, the Green Valley Rum Cask cider I had recently was nice but 'very' Rummy. The Rum flavour does seem to sit more easily with cider, and perhaps even a perry if done with a light touch. But it can turn a fruity refresher into a heavy sipper, which is not really what cider and perry are about IMO.

Incidentally, Whisky casks seem to be far more available than Rum casks, for obvious reasons.

Mark Dredge said...

I've had a few good barrel-aged beers and I generally like the extra complexity it gives. The Thornbridge Alliance double act of PX and Madeira are excellent. I think BrewDog Storm is fantastic. Bourbon County Stout is a bit of a monster. And I agree with The Beer Adventurer that Tullibardine 1488 is what I&G should taste like.

I've got a cupboard full of unopened barrel-aged stuff too - Ola Dubh, Good King Henry Reserve, Old Viscosity, the trio of St. Petersburgs and I'm picking up the Gadds' Ancestors and English Reserves at the weekend. I need to get round to opening things!

I've also enjoyed a few rum ciders and I like calvados (I'm yet to try a calvados-barrel aged beer though).

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