Review: Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels
Ready for more magic from our pals at Guinness? The latest expression from the outfit (produced at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore) is this: Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels.
So says the company:
The newest beer is the endgame of a Guinness Barleywine and a Guinness Imperial Stout – both brewed in Baltimore and aged in Bulleit Bourbon barrels before being blended together. The high gravity stout and malty barleywine lead to a hearty and full-bodied beer with notes of nutty chocolate, raisins, roasted barley and sweet dark fruit with an ABV of 10%. Aromas of vanilla, coffee, stone fruit and ripe berries come off of this intense and luxuriant stock ale.
Let’s give it a whirl, eh?
As promised, the beer is loaded with all the promised fixins: Boldly malty up front, with ample notes of chocolate, coffee bean, and plump, juicy raisins. The bourbon barrel influence is present but understated, layering vanilla and some hints of char atop a body that never lets go of the fruit. Sweet but far short of cloying, it drinks a bit like a stout that’s had a chocolate bar crumbled across the top. A kiss of crisp fizz on the back end is, in the end, a nod toward Dublin.
If you’re looking for one of those hoary, ultra-boozy, unbearably sweet bourbon barrel-aged brews, this isn’t it. What Guinness has done — courtesy of blending stout and barleywine, and being light-handed with the aging regimen — is to create a lively but flavorful brew that blends the very best of both worlds — barley and the barrel — into a cohesive whole. Delightful.
A / $20 per four-pack of 11.2 oz bottles / guinness.com
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