It’s been a weird day with New Years Day being on a Sunday this year. I’m getting things together to brew a Russian Imperial stout tomorrow. I got a 15 gallon used bourbon barrel and thought I’d age my Russian Imperial Stout in it. I got this beer at the New Glarus Brewery when my friend Steve and I roadtripped up there a few months ago.
Location: Poured into a goblet style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 6.1% ABV, ~200 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep, dark brown/black in color with almost no light visible through it. There was a decent, creamy, dark tan head, which fell to a creamy ring around the glass after a couple minutes. There’s a roasty, smoky cherrywood aroma to it.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is slightly crisp from the carbonation in it. The flavor up front is a lightly roasty, charred wood type flavor. There’s a little bit of brown maltiness that comes through in the middle before the smokey, charred wood flavored finish. The smokey flavor is smooth and not overpowering and lasts for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: With the smokey, charred wood flavor in this, it would pair perfectly with smoked meats. I’d go with something like pulled pork with a sweet sauce on it to balance the sweet and smokey flavors.
Overall Impression: It’s easy to go overboard when using smoked malts, but the smokey flavor was at a nice level in this beer. If you enjoy rauchbiers, you’ll like this one (and if you’re not much of a craft beer fan, this will probably taste like you licked an ashtray). It’s a bit like smoked meat in a glass (although not quite to the level of New Holland’s Charkoota Rye). Overall, it was a good, unique beer I’m glad I got a chance to try.