bourbon barrel aged old ale

The Bruery’s Fruet (Picked up in 2012 at Ledger’s Liquors in Berkeley). A 3 of 4. Quite good overall – a little sweet and raisiny for my tastes, but the bourbon barrels add a nice tannic quality that helps cut some of it. Very complex and lots of dark fruit and candy-like toffee notes. Quite smooth and sticky mouthfeel, which makes this somewhat cloying in places. Manages to hide the 15.5% quite well, although the booze gets a little more prominent as it warms.


Made a trip out to Berkeley the other day. I’ve been in contact with Jay Goodwin over at The Rare Barrel about my microbiology project I’m working on and he was kind enough to give me some samples of beer I can run tests on.

Next week I’ll be trying to culture Pediococcus damnosus out of these beers. The first sample Jay gave me is a year-old golden sour that, during initial propagation, expressed ropiness which I suspect is a likely sign of exopolysaccharide production through β-glucan synthesis brought on by P. damnosus. The second sample is also a month-old golden sour brewed with a mixed culture including a White Labs strain of P. damnosus that does not expresses ropiness.

While I was in the area I also popped by The Torpedo Room to do some tasting. I got a flight of the new Ovila Brown with Mandarin and Cacao and Ovila Quad with Cherries. I also got tasters of Hit Me With Your Best Hop Schwarzbier / Black Lager, Audition Double IPA, Old Chico Pale Bock as well as a half pour of Audition Stout. On my way out I grabbed a bottle of Trip In The Woods Barrel-Aged Stout aged in red wine and bourbon barrels, Trip In The Woods Barrel-Aged Old Ale aged n bourbon barrels, and growlers of Audition Double IPA and Otra Vez.

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I found out I was invited to a second round of interviews with Sierra Nevada and wanted to do some due diligence, try some of their newer beers, and ask people how they liked working for the company and if they had any advice going into my second interview.

Wicked Weed’s Old Fashioned Barrel-Aged Ale (Picked up at King of Prussia Beer Outlet). A 4 of 4. This really delivers a nice interpretation of the cocktail – there is a nice orange citrus quality and some spicy notes reminiscent of bitters on top of a sweet malty body. Some nice roast and bourbon qualities linger on the palate, and there are some darker cherry notes in the body, too. Not an old-fashioned, clearly, but a good take on one.