This beer comes to us from the newest brewery in the Pikes Peak Region – Paradox Beer Co. They specialize in barrel aged beers and experiment with fermentation in different types of barrels, adding different varieties of hops and yeast to their barrels. This particular bottle is the American Pale Ale aged in wine barrels and bottle conditioned. It is one of their first three beers released to the public, and the bottle says it’s part of their “Kandid Kaiser Project” which I believe we’ll learn more about in the near future.
The beer pours a hazy orange with a really thick off-white head. Without even putting my nose up to the glass I could smell strong oak and vanilla. There’s also a touch of some peppery hops in there too. On sipping I immediately pick up oak and a vinous/wine background that I believe imparts some honey notes. There’s a nice crisp bready malt, with a solid honey, lemon, and subtly pepper flavor with a soft bitter finish. It’s really nice! The aroma becomes a bit more like green apples as it warms. The beer is a lot of fun and I’d really like to point out the complex play of flavors between the hops and the wood. The hop and wood combination isn’t something that is normal for brewers to play with so it’s an extra level of enjoyment for me. Also I enjoy this a little more with every sip.
Drinking/Aging This Thing:
Let’s face it, I haven’t eaten dinner and I drank half the bottle and I’m a bit buzzed so it’s hard to say right now…This would be perfect to share but, to be honest, I want to drink the whole thing by myself. With age the oak notes and smooth honey character will blend more together with the bittering finish, but the hop aromas and flavor will mellow out. Not sure there’s enough malt character to give it a barleywine character but nonetheless it’ll be a fun one to cellar for a year and see what happens.
Paradox Beer Co, Woodland Park, CO.
I paid full price for this bottle. $11.50 or so.