Double Barrel Reviews – Gold Rider and Daisy’s Favorite from Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker has been reading my mind again as they have done more gin barrel-aged beers and have dabbled in using bitters barrels too.

Let’s start with the bigger ABV of the two, which surprised me, the Daisy…

Imperial Blonde is sort of like imperial pilsner to me, I appreciate the level up game but it also defeats the purpose of a blonde ale. Daisy’s Favorite pours a dark orange color and their is a mingling of spices on the nose. A soft but sturdy botanical flavor leads to a bit of alcohol burn at the end. The spices pop as it warms and the ABV doesn’t show up as strong. I would have maybe liked a little more juniper beer or coriander to add an extra dimension.

Gold Rider has been the beer talked about a bit more. Mentioning Cognac will do that. This has a big barrel aroma. Very French mixture of whiskey and grape. Lighter mouthfeel to this one, the aroma leads you to expect one thing and then you sip and it is different. I am missing the lemon aspect to this though, unless that is what is contributing to the lightness.

To choose a winner: I would pick the Daisy. It had a simpler mission and hit the mark, the orange bitters in the Rider emerged well but it needed more Cognac and lemon.

From the Rickhouse

If you want to learn about barrel-aged beer then the next Beachwood Beer Side Talks event is for you.

Here are the details:

“On May 12th we’re continuing our educational speaking event series with “Tales from the Rickhouse: Barrel-Aged Beers” featuring speakers Julian Shrago, Brewmaster and Co-Owner at Beachwood and Lindsay Langton, Creative Director (Lead Design of Barrel Blends program) at Bottle Logic with Brewmaster and Co-Founder Wes Parker.

$15 Ticket includes a flight of 3 specialty barrel-aged beers hosted at Beachwood Downtown Long Beach.”

Speed to these Barrels

I usually am not a breaking news guy but AleSmith has a new beer coming, like in an hour. It has been waiting though for much longer.

Here is the beer description: “We’ve matured our Russian Imperial Stout in premium bourbon barrels for up to one year to create Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout, with the perfect blend of flavors. Notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon add another level of complexity to this beer’s already massive flavor profile of chocolate, locally roasted coffee, and roasted barley. Designed to be enjoyed now or aged in the bottle for years to come, this special release is truly a unique beer that is smooth as it is rare.”

Head to their webstore to pick-up a bottle or head to a finer beer bottle shoppe in the coming week to possibly find a bottle.

5th Corner

Readers will know that I like beer names that are a little deeper than pun level. And if there is a anecdote or story about the name, even better. With that…

New Belgium has some prize barrels there. You can tell just from the video playing on the Leopold website that they go extra.

Infinite (Well, Two) Wishes

I hope that you purchased your Infinite Wishes from Smog City Brewing, I bought two of the variants and here are my thoughts…

Coconut Vanilla – I always worry that coconut will be too overpowering. But this smells and tastes like a Mounds bar. Back when they were made with actual chocolate and actual coconut. So smooth. A little ABV and carbonation bite at the end but that just balances the books as it were. Nice lingering dark chocolate flavor.

Double Bourbon – I guess that I was expecting DOUBLE. Aroma times 2. Flavor times 2. Luxury times 2. Instead, this tasted a bit thinner than the coconut/vanilla. The aroma is nicely bourbon and the taste is nice and strong but it is a bit slight. Maybe because it is bubbly on the tongue that is cutting the strength.

Such a different duo.

Monkey and Pig

Firestone Walker has two distillery collaborations on the horizon, taking their Central Coast Quad in two directions with the help of rue whiskey barrels from WhistlePig.

First is a double barrel hit of rye and syrup…

…and the one that strikes my fancy more since I am a plain, unadorned type of guy…

Might be fun to get some of the Rye to pair with these.

Bonus Christmas Beer Review – Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout

I always try to leave space for a beer that I received at Christmas, this year that beer is …a combo of partners Dogfish Head and Sam Adams.

This is a big one. First hit is maple and lots of it. Not sugary though, more dry. It is an odd duck. I get some notes of Utopias peering through but that maple is the keynote. The cheeks warm after just a couple sips but the alcohol is not a large presence. I do get some tobacco / coffee ground combo. Chicory maybe. Due to the cost per bottle and the ABV, this is a special occasion beer.

Santa’s Pint Glass – Day 10

Who here hasn’t been on this list at some point this year? But maybe it isn’t such a bad place to be if there is a Victory barrel-aged beer available for you. I think 11% abv will leas to more naughty, not less.

“Rum Barrel Aged Winter Warmer small batch ale gives off alllll the vibes; a luscious medium bodied copper ale, with warming notes of vanilla, rum, brown sugar and cinnamon that will seduce your taste buds. “

Baltic 11

Figueroa Mountain is turning to an unusual style for their 11th Anniversary Ale…

“Our 11th Anniversary is a luscious Baltic-Style Porter lagered in both Four Roses Bourbon, and Pinhook Rye whiskey barrels. Rich and complex, our 11th Anniversary has notes of Chocolate, Coffee, Toasted Almond, Spiced Honey and Dates. We added Toasted Coconut and Bourbon Barrel-aged Vanilla for even more delicious complexity.”

That is a beer dressed to the nines, or elevens.

A Better Uber

Imagine Anchor Steam Beer or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, an iconic beer. Then barrel it.

That is what Bell’s Brewery has done with Uberon, their twist on Oberon. “Uberon is a bourbon barrel-aged version of our iconic American Wheat Ale. It’s strong, spicy, warming… Uberon tastes like our classic American Wheat Ale with a shot of bourbon dropped into it.”