Now for something special, my holiday is being rained out, but I'm inside drinking EpIc Barrel Aged Ipa, my number one drop from last year.
I've cringed my way through any number of barrel aged beers, some from new clean barrels and some ex-wine. I'm sure some breweries feel clever and dead sophisticated shoving wood flavors into beer but to my taste it sometimes falls wide of the mark. Often the flavors don't fall into accord with each other and instead fight it out over your palate. It can be a confusing mouthful, like having a double brown fighting a wood bookcase across your tongue.
The Epic is a perfect example of wood done right. The flavors match up perfectly, with the wood setting off the hoppy, piney flavors.
Sitting in a glass the Epic looks like any other Ipa, but the aroma is quite different, full of oak and pine resin. The flavors are big Ipa with an ethereal, spirit-like edge. This taste floats around the edge of my mouth like a barrel aged whiskey. The aftertaste lingers on for ages oaking your tongue.
It would be well accompanied by something decadent like a cigar and perhaps consumed in one’s den, or conversation pit. If you’re going to be drinking over-hopped beers during winter this could be a good companion for those cold winter nights.
If you have never experienced the joys of barrel aged beer and are ready to man up this could the place to start.