TGIF! Ever since the holidays, when we had a few short weeks at work, work weeks have been feeling long. The kids also had the day off school today because of the cold. We’re supposed to get more snow this weekend (third weekend for snow in a row). So, now that Friday’s finally here it’s time for a beer! I bought a four pack of this beer a few weeks ago and have already had a couple, which I’ve really enjoyed. Now it’s time to take a moment and analyze it here. It’s an old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels.
Location: Poured from the bottle into a snifter style glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 12.7% ABV, 35 IBUs, ~420 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a maple-brown color and it’s somewhat hazy with a thin, cream-colored head that fell to a ring around the glass after a few minutes. It has an awesome sweet aroma that’s quite malty with some booziness, and behind it are some bourbon and raisin smells.
Taste & Feel: It’s full bodied, but it’s not overly thick or viscous like other beers this high in alcohol. The mouthfeel is a little crisp from the carbonation in the beer. The flavor up front is pretty boozy which almost covers up the malty sweetness that’s behind it. The sweet maltiness comes up in the middle, surpassing the booziness a bit. The finish is a mix of sweet maltiness and booziness with caramel, raisin, and bourbon flavors in the background. The sweet maltiness and warm booziness lasts for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a big, sweet beer, and would go perfectly with something equally big and savory such as a steak.
Overall Impression: I loved all of the flavors in this beer, from the sweet maltiness with raisin and caramel notes to the complementary bourbon booziness. The maple syrup lightens up the body and contributes to both the sweetness and alcohol booziness. I haven’t given out many perfect scores for beers during my journey to 1000 beers – and as I’ve said before, enjoying a beer is about the right combination of flavors in the right time and place. Perhaps it’s the suggestion of a plate of pancakes on the label, but this beer truly was like a sweet plate of goodness, with a good dose of bourbon booziness that warms you inside on a snowy cold day like the one we have today.