Tasting: January 31, 2012
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
And the parade of bourbon-barrel aged stouts goes on… This one is from Downington, Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing. Basically, it’s their Storm King stout that is further aged in used bourbon barrels from Jim Beam and Heaven Hill distilleries. Every great stout seems to have their own special release day (i.e. Dark Lord Day, Kate the Great and Sexual Chocolate). This one was released on what they called Dark Wednesday in November of 2011, this is their second and final release of this stout. I’m not sure why its going into retirement. I’m pleased to see that at least they sold off the oak barrels for $40 a piece. Any home brewer would love to have an oak barrel.
This one has an attractive cork and cage champagne bottle. It boasts 9.1% ABV. This one was bottled on November 10, 2011 – and should age for up to 5 years. Although I’d love to see what some of these beers would taste like after a couple of years — unfortunately, they aren’t going to slip past my urges.
This one doesn’t pour as dark as I would have thought — kind of like a cola brown versus the opaque black that the name suggests. Nose is of wonderful oak and vanilla — definitely the barrel’s influence. First sip and that same combo shines through with the addition of some dark chocolate. A little boozy burn some roasted malts and a meek finish. A little thin in the mouthfeel. It’s a nice offering — but far from a classic. Speaking of classics – I’ll mention that Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout will be released on March 15 — Good luck to all in your quest to get some. This bourbon-barrel stout – 85 points.