Oaked Wee HeavyNovember 22, 2014
Mad Fox Brewing Co.
Falls Church, VA
Oaked Wee Heavy is boiled for a minimum of three hours to intensify the malt character (English pale and crystal with a touch of roasted barley) and aged for more than six months in white oak barrels.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1082
The aroma is like walking into a Kentucky distillery’s aging room. All fresh wood, vanilla, toasted oak and a bit of must. The base beer is delightfully warming with some molasses notes, figs and plum, and a subtle amount of smoke. A wee heavy in bourbon barrels, as opposed to a stout or porter, lets the booze play a bit more on the palate, not just act like a foundation. The cocoa on the finish along with blackberry was a wonderful parting gift.
- John Holl
It takes a big beer to withstand the bourbon barrel treatment and emerge improved, or even unscathed, and at first blush, this would appear to be such a beer, with an aroma that blends bourbony vanilla with winey malt, alongside raisin and faint cocoa notes. In the body, however, the oak just slightly outweighs the maltiness of this ale, producing a charred, woody flavor where richness is to be desired, finishing dry and softly smoky. I suspect that this was a better beer going into the barrel than it was coming out.
- Stephen Beaumont
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine, the host of The Beer Briefing on iHeart Radio, and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.
Co-author of both The World Atlas of Beer and The Pocket Beer Guide (with Tim Webb), Stephen travels the world sampling beer, hosting dinners and tastings, and eating too much airport food.