Bourbon Barrel StoutJanuary 1, 2011 Ft. Collins, CO
Odell Brewing Co.
Ft. Collins, CO
Available: CO, AZ, NM, NE, KS, MO, SD, WY, MN
This batch of stout was aged for months in used Maker’s Mark barrels. Three brewers travelled to KY last spring to hand-select the barrels.
Original gravity: 1092
This stout pours very flat, with little carbonation. It’s a bit lighter in color than anticipated and looks a bit thin for a stout. But a swirl in the glass exposes Vegas showgirl legs, an indicator that there’s more to this beer than first looks reveal. Aromas are all about bourbon, with huge hits of vanilla, but just a suggestion of the spirit itself. The bourbon takes center stage upon first sip in a ménage with vanilla, fruit and just a touch of carbonation to keep things from getting too cloying. Let this one warm up; it grows in complexity as you sip.
- Lisa Morrison
It’s easy to make a strong ale that is thick with malt, saturated with esters and burning with alcohol, but turning out a beer of 10.5 percent ABV that drinks like a six percenter is a great skill. Hats off then to Odell for this little gem. And it’s not just about how strength is controlled. It would be easy for the Bourbon to over-ride all other influences here. It doesn’t. It simply contrasts beautifully with the rich chocolate and caramel flavors, the ground coffee notes and the delicate coconut character from the oak. A fine expression of the brewer’s art.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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