Cricket Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter

Tasting: January 9, 2013
Style: Imperial Porter

Cricket Hill BBA Imperial Porter (c)2013 Popsonhops

Rick Reed, the owner of Cricket Hill is immensely entertaining and certainly passionate about craft beer. All the evidence you need is in this hysterical youtube video taken during a tour at his Fairfield, NJ brewery. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Tell me after watching this that you just don’t want to drive out and pick up some Cricket Hill beer. I’ve watched it a dozen times and it just makes me root for their success. I’ve had a few offerings from Cricket Hill and I can’t say that any of them have blown me away – they’ve been solid, but I’m always hopeful to find a gem.

This one is described as an imperial porter – I can’t find the ABV to see if it jibes with imperial. A few places report 6.7% and that’s a bit light for an imperial in my book. Right out of the box – wow this is full of bourbon flavor. Frankly, it’s the most potent bourbon flavor I’ve ever experienced in a barrel-aged beer. I wonder if they left a half gallon in the barrel or someone spiked the barrel. Powdered cocoa, mild coffee and tobacco neatly tucked behind the vanilla of the boozy bourbon. Body is a little watery. That 6.7% ABV seems way too low. It seems to me that the base porter is mediocre but amped up with over the top bourbon influence. Don’t get me wrong – the end result is enjoyable and that’s all that matters. One sip I’m at 92 points and the next 88 points. Let’s split the difference and put it at 90 points.

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