Thanks to Lynn and Jeff at Great Storm Brewing, we had the chance to try the four beers that they’ll be featuring at their upcoming Barrel-Aged Beer Release Party. We stopped in on a sunny yet chilly day and Jeff walked us through his latest creations.
Before we get into the beers, here’s the details on how you can try them yourself. This Sunday, November 23rd (a day when they’re normally closed), they’ll be opening the doors for the tasting attendees only. $20 bucks gets you four 8oz samples of each beer and hors d’oeuvres. After the samples have been presented, everyone is invited to stay and order a pint or growler of their favorites, as they wont be available on tap anytime soon. Some of these beers are only available on Sunday, so act fast!
My overall favorite was easily the Loganberry sour. Aged for seven months in a Bordeaux barrel, this beer exhibited a nice tartness, with elements of a nice Bordeaux wine floating in and out across my palate. This would be fantastic on a hot summer day, but in the cold of our early winter, it wasn’t out of place.
The beer that matched the weather perfectly was Great Storm’s Christmas Barleywine. Aged for a year in Jack Daniels Whiskey barrels, the residual sweetness was matched fairly evenly by an alcoholic bite, perfect for warming your stomach on a cold night like we’ve been presented recently. The vanilla-esque flavors that are imparted by the whiskey barrel balance perfectly with the malt backbone. It may smell very sweet, yet the end result is a balanced and very drinkable 12% ABV beer.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of Imperial Reds, but I’m always game for trying something that has been stored in wood. Presented side by side, the year old vintage had clearly been resting for some time just based on the clarity. Flavors of sherry and caramel intertwine in the beers, with the locally produced wildflower honey giving them an almost braggot style profile. Also aged in Bordeaux barrels for their respective time, these beers seemed like they needed more time to develop in the beer, but overall they were both tasty and will only get better with age!
If any of this tickles your interest, give Great Storm a call and reserve your spot, or email firstname.lastname@example.org! It’s exciting to see another brewery diving into barrel-aging, and I’m excited to see what they release next!