Bourbon Barrel Lake Trout StoutJuly 1, 2011 Gorham, ME
Sebago Brewing Co.
Available: CT, ME, NH, RI
This stout is aged for over four months in four freshly-emptied charred oak bourbon barrels. Then it is blended with fresh stout to balance the character of the barrel. Unlike Lake Trout Stout, this beer is carbonated to enhance the bourbon barrel experience.
Original gravity: 1054
I love a burnt aroma on a stout ― it backs up the black ― but I’m surprised to pick up very little wood or whiskey character from this bourbon barrel-aged stout, outside of a bit of vanilla. There’s wood in the mouth, and a teasing richness, but they’re grace notes on the bass chant of a ripping oatmeal stout, burly but not overweight. Blending in fresh stout post-barrel takes away the over-powering rickhouse character that crushes so many barrel-aged beers. Nicely done.
- Lew Bryson
I confess: I may be suffering from bourbon barrel fatigue, especially where stouts are concerned. But wait, this ain’t your ordinary bourbon barrel stout! For one, it doesn’t taste either highly alcoholic or intensely concentrated. Secondly, it has a gentle aroma that whispers vanilla and charred oak, rather than screaming it, and hits the palate not with a blast of Kentucky spirits, but a silky mix of coffee and chocolate, accented with vanilla, soft roast and a whiff of smoke. Lovely with a piece of good chocolate.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That's all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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