It’s Election Day here in the United States, with two of the most disliked presidential candidates in our country’s history. I voted this morning for what I felt like was the lesser of two evils. So, now that I’m home, and I’m watching the back and forth on the news, it’s driven me to drink. So what better way to commemorate election night than this beer. It was given to me by my friends Fred and Heather at our Halloween party last year. The bottle says it was bottled in 2015 and: “This fine American brown ale was made in the old style and then matured to perfection in freshly dumped oak barrels that previously held the award winning James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey.”
Location: Poured into a pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 10.4% ABV, ~380 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep, dark brown in color with some sediment in it. It has a thin, creamy, tan head on it, and it has an awesome malty and warm bourbon aroma with some caramel and vanilla notes.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is a bit creamy and viscous. The flavor up front has a dark caramel maltiness with some bourbon barrel char to it. In the middle, the malty sweetness grows and becomes much richer. The bourbon flavor mixed with charred barrel tannins powers the finish with a solid, malty sweet backbone. The aftertaste is bourbony and malty sweet with a warmth from the alcohol.
Food Pairing: This is a big, rich beer with a lot of dark, sweet maltiness and bourbon flavors. I think this would make a great beer float with vanilla ice cream. For a beer-food pairing, there’s no doubt I’d pair this beer with BBQ.
Overall Impression: I thoroughly enjoyed the aroma of this beer and thought the flavors matched the smell. As the beer warmed, the bourbon barrel char flavors became a bit more pronounced. Although I really enjoyed the flavors, I think it would be even better in a year or two if the char taste mellowed slightly. Overall, I thought this was a great tasting barrel aged beer and may see if I can find a couple more bottles to age in the cellar.