Inspired by John’s desire to “do something different,” our brewers created this elegant, complex blend of barrel-aged beers to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Thank you to our fans for being a part of it all – cheers to 30 years! Look for this celebratory beer to start hitting shelves and tap handles throughout the country in September.
Ryan McNeive, lead brewer of our barrel-aging program, tells us more about the eight great beers that make up this blend.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THIS BEER?
I love dessert wine, primarily port and was inspired to create a blend of complex, barrel-aged Belgian-style ales to celebrate this momentous occasion. Just like a fine port, I’d highly recommend aging a bottle or two of this beer in proper cellar temperatures as, over time, the beer will continue to evolve, maximizing barrel flavors and aromas.
ANY NEW BEERS IN THE FINAL BLEND?
Of course! As we brew beers specifically for barrel-aging, there is always something new going into casks. In this blend, one of the stouts is a completely new base beer, a combination of both different malts and brewing process. These changes created a higher ABV, higher plato, and a sweeter, thicker finish. This recipe was designed to complement a few different barrels, delivering a robust hoppy and chocolate flavor with an intense aroma. In addition to this new stout, the Belgian-style ale we used in a variety of barrels is a near clone of our favorite Trappist Belgian ale.
WHAT BEERS ARE BLENDED TO CREATE THIS BARREL-AGED 30TH ANNIVERSARY ALE AND HOW MUCH OF EACH IS USED?*
This was a complex beer to blend, but we love where it ended.
Imperial Stout in rye whiskey finished port casks – 34%
Belgian Dark Strong Ale in ruby and tawny port casks – 26%
Double Mashed Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels – 16%
Belgian Dark Strong Ale in California sherry casks – 9%
Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels – 5%
Imperial Stout in Spanish sherry puncheons – 5%
Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels followed by ruby/tawny port casks – 3%
Belgian Dark Strong Ale in bourbon barrels – 2%
WHAT WOULD YOU PAIR THIS BEER WITH?
Chocolate covered cherries, rich cheeses, sweet milk chocolates
Aroma – Rich caramel and chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, toasted oak
Malt – Caramel, toffee, chocolate, espresso
Hops – Minimal, for balance
Balance – Barrel character / malt
Body – Full
12.5% ABV | 25 IBUs | 120 EBC