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jaypea
01-21-2006, 13:56
BBC Beer Company (Louisville) partners with McLain & Kyne Distillery (Bardstown), maker of Jefferson’s Reserve to create a bourbon-barrel aged beer. “Bluegrass Brewing Co.'s Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout” is a true cross-over between specialty beer and bourbon.

a beer expert's blog:
http://potablecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2006/01/bourbon-barrel-stout-aging-at-bbc-beer.html

jeff
07-04-2006, 16:09
I tried one of these today at the Horse and Barrel in Lexington. Nice roasty character with chocolate tones and a slight lactic twang. The bourbon barrel notes were understated slightly, and it made for a well balanced taste. I really like bourbon barrel aged stouts and porters, but I don't care much for pale ales done in this style, ala the KY Ale Bourbon Barrel Ale. The barrel notes are overpowering in that brew.

jeff
07-16-2006, 09:43
OK, at the BBC in Louisville this weekend they had a Pappy Van Winkle stout on tap. When I asked why they had that and not the Jefferson's Reserve stout I was let in on a bit of inside information. Apparently the BBC brewery and restaurant (the original) is a different company than the BBC that bottles beer. There are some loose ties and they obviously share a name, but the beer you get at either of the Louisville pubs is different from the beers put into bottles and sold retail that bear the same names. Obviously done in the same style, but at a different brewery and by different brewers. Interesting.

Anyway, the Pappy Van Winkle stout was quite nice. A bit higher in ABV and a more pronounced bourbon character. I wouldn't have liked that so much in the Jefferson's stout, but I think it balanced nicely with the stronger stout. Anyone interested should consider a trip to the brewery during the Festival, about an hour from Bardstown.

TNbourbon
11-17-2006, 19:33
As most of you know, I know nothing from beer. Still, when I saw Anheuser-Busch's Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale tonight while grocery shopping I thought, "At least it SAYS 'bourbon'!" and grabbed a 6-pack ($6.99).
"Ale aged on bourbon barrel oak and vanilla beans," it says. Six percent abv, which is within a whisker of making it a 'liquor' here in Tennessee and pretty high for a macro-brew(ery), isn't it?
Pours pretty red, fairly fine, moderate head. A lot more vanilla than oak in the taste, but plenty sweet. Probably too easy to drink at 6%, but I like it. Have it with your pumpkin pie.

OscarV
11-17-2006, 22:35
As far as A-B's Bourbon Cask Ale goes,...what I don't understand is the wording on the claim, it is "aged on bourbon barrel oak."
Shouldn't that be "in" bourbon barrel oak?
And they add vanilla beans?
I do know that the sales talking points are about the vanilla taste.

whitepine
11-19-2006, 00:31
I recently started sampling BBC beer here and there, pretty good
stuff I like it. Of course I forgot what flavors I`ve tried.

smokinjoe
11-19-2006, 18:35
As far as A-B's Bourbon Cask Ale goes,...what I don't understand is the wording on the claim, it is "aged on bourbon barrel oak."
Shouldn't that be "in" bourbon barrel oak?
And they add vanilla beans?
I do know that the sales talking points are about the vanilla taste.
I picked up some of this because I really enjoyed the A-B Pumpkin Spice Ale in the Fall. But, I really didn't like the Bourbon Cask Ale. The vanilla was just too overpowering for me. I really hoped to be able to like it, like I did the Old Dominion. I have to give it two thumbs down, but unfortunately I bought a case. :banghead: So, I'll have to work my way through it. Or....my neighbors will!;)

JOE

OscarV
11-20-2006, 16:19
I wonder if the aged "on", instead of "in", is an attempt to mislead the public, and it is not at all aged in used bourbon barrels.
Yeah, I guess it would be a heavy vanilla taste if they are throwing vanilla beans in it.

barturtle
11-20-2006, 16:35
I would hazard to guess that they break down the barrels and put them in one of their large "bright tanks", then age the beer in it. Seems a bit more reasonable then A-B filling up hundreds of leaky barrels with their beer.

bluesbassdad
11-20-2006, 17:46
This turn of the conversation allows me to introduce my other obsession, the use of language, into the discussion.

If "on" has now become a term of art in regard to aging, then can "near", "around" and "beneath" be far behind? :skep: "Across from"? "In the same county as"?

My easily boggled mind boggles.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

gr8erdane
11-25-2006, 01:21
Sounds like the specialty holiday beer from last year which was sold in the large bottles with a couple of glasses. The beer was indeed too much vanilla flavored but the glasses were top notch. Even passable for bourbon drinking.

As for aged "on" bourbon barrel oak, I'd think they probably did with barrel staves what they usually do with the beechwood chips for Budweiser, which is to line the bottom of the aging drums with them and added the vanilla beans as well.

As a mass producer you have to give them credit for trying though the tastes I've had of many of their "specialty products" has been less than favorable to my palate. If I'm going to drink an AB product, make it a Michelob Amber Bock.

OscarV
11-25-2006, 03:18
You nailed it Dane, I asked my sales manager Friday why it is labeled on instead of in, and he said the bourbon barrels were cut into small chips and added to the beer like Budweiser's Beechwood Aging Process.
The taste is an overdose of vanilla, I think vanilla should be in the name and not bourbon.

TNbourbon
12-02-2006, 21:30
Well, ran across the Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout upon which this thread began today, and bought enough to last me, well, darn near forever (I'm such a sucker if it says 'bourbon':grin:).
Creamy chocolate was/is my dominant impression, and the fact that it little displays the 10.5% abv. Malted milk balls flashed through my taste memory at one point.
Generally, I like it.

Here are some beer nuts' impressions:
http://www.ratebeer.com/Beer/bluegrass-jeffersons-reserve-bourbon-barrel-stout/55187/

Sijan
12-06-2006, 09:58
I also tried the Winter's Cask Bourbon ale and disliked it quite a bit. No subtlety whatsoever - just lots of sugar and vanilla. Bleh!! :eek:

Virus_Of_Life
12-22-2006, 23:15
As for aged "on" bourbon barrel oak, I'd think they probably did with barrel staves what they usually do with the beechwood chips for Budweiser, which is to line the bottom of the aging drums with them and added the vanilla beans as well.

As a mass producer you have to give them credit for trying though the tastes I've had of many of their "specialty products" has been less than favorable to my palate. If I'm going to drink an AB product, make it a Michelob Amber Bock.

All the same things I was thinking the other night Dane when I picked up a sixer of it. I am looking forward to trying it tonight. Personally the only mass produced beer I try to drink are AB products, namely Bud and Bud Select. Just admire everything about the company they seem to be a class act for such a large beer producer, just go through Sea World in San Diego and you'll see that.

Side note: if I had any choice of beer it'd be Bridgeport Brewing, Deschutes Brewing or McMenamins beers all from Oregon.

Gillman
12-23-2006, 00:18
I read that the recipe for Budweiser has been adjusted to increase its body and taste, probably more malt and hops are being used now. The change isn't dramatic, I suspect, but this is what I heard. I had a Canadian- brewed Bud yesterday I thought was very acceptable.

However I had a Budweiser Select recently in the U.S. and this clearly is Budweiser improved even more so. It had more the taste of Bud as I recall from 30 years ago. This seems to be a new product, some years ago A/B launched an international-styled beer, I think it was called World Select and I think Budwesier Select is the successor and is much better. I wonder if the plan may even be for Bud Select to replace Bud ultimately, so that the main A/B beers would be Bud Light and Budwesier Select.

As for the Michelob line extensions, I haven't tried the bourbon stout yet. The ones that are micro-styled seemed a bit bland to me altough there was a porter I liked.

Amber Bock is not bad (good to back a bourbon, in fact I did that once last year at Talbott's in Bardstown).

Budwesier itself is a good taste, the only problem is, there wasn't enough of it, and the company finally are realising that they simply need to bring Bud closer to what it was originally to have something that can, in the beer market of today, stand head to head with the good imports and microbrews.

Even though I devoted years to sampling and enjoying microbeers, I never lost the taste for a well-brewed mass-produced beer. Mass production in and of itself is neither here not there, it is how the beer is made. Contrarily, many micro beers fail to please since they are too strong in taste, don't taste good or (especially bottled beers) have some kind of fault like oxidation.

Gary

Virus_Of_Life
12-24-2006, 00:06
World Lager I belive is the one you may be thinking of Gary, in a green bottle? My apologies if I am wrong. If so it is still made and quite frankly not worth trying. Select is actually a "low carb" in the style of Michelob Ultra... BUT WITH TASTE! And no way do I ever see Budweiser going away, how dare you even mention it!!! :lol:

Gillman
12-24-2006, 08:01
Thanks, I didn't know Select was low carb. Anyway it is quite good. I will have more later tonight and will check the label.

I think the earlier one was World Select or a name like that and to me it had more a Heineken-like taste but I don't think it made a big impact.

A/B have the ability to make great beer, as they did once many years ago. I don't rule them out either, and frankly even with the rather pallid regular Bud of today, they must be doing something right. People wouldn't buy it if it was just bland, or just based on A/B advertising, the fundamental taste of the beer is good. They just need to amp it up more.

Gary

Virus_Of_Life
12-24-2006, 19:02
Thanks, I didn't know Select was low carb. Anyway it is quite good. I will have more later tonight and will check the label.

They don't market it so much as that anymore, but that was the original inention. I went to their "beer school" at Sea World in San Diego and asked the guy giving the class and he more or less said there was a market out there for a more flavorful low carb light beer. In other words, Michelob Ultra is selling, but not as much as they'd like because it tastes like water. Personally I think they are marketing it very well now with the crown appearing everywhere.


I think the earlier one was World Select or a name like that and to me it had more a Heineken-like taste but I don't think it made a big impact.
AB World Lager is the one I am pretty sure Gary, because yeah it was kind of Heineken like in it's flavor but really nothing special. Maybe it was World Select Lager, but I am pretty sure it wasn't just World Select, I'll check next time I am in Bevmo. I tried a sixer and honestly had to force myself to drink the last few because it really left a lot to be desired, it was no Heineken!


A/B have the ability to make great beer, as they did once many years ago. I don't rule them out either, and frankly even with the rather pallid regular Bud of today, they must be doing something right. People wouldn't buy it if it was just bland, or just based on A/B advertising, the fundamental taste of the beer is good. They just need to amp it up more.

Gary

Personally, and I guess I drank the AB koolaid, I think they do make great beer. I think Bud is about as good as a mass produced beer gets. Yeah Coors is fine and I don't particularly care for the taste of Miller. Maybe it is the fact that Budweiser is still the only all American owned one of the big three.

That said I just finished another of the Winter's Bourbon Barrel aged and I am still a little unsure what I think of it, initially it hits with a lot of vanilla and then subsides as I drink it down. I don't love it, but don't hate it either. It was worth trying I guess...

TNbourbon
12-27-2006, 09:35
From a 12/22/06 Chicago Tribune story, re A-B's Winter Bourbon Ale:

"...Because they're brewed in such small quantities (a whiskey barrel is about 50 gallons), barrel-aged beers are much easier to come by in brewpubs.
Anheuser-Busch, however, has found a way around this problem. Instead of aging the beers in Bourbon barrels, the St. Louis brewer ages its two barrel-aged beers on Bourbon barrels. The process involves brewers disassembling the barrels and layering the staves on the bottom of the stainless steel tanks, which can hold much more than a barrel.
The results can be found in Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak and Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale, two beers introduced last year as a part of Anheuser-Busch's new seasonal beer program..."

The story itself highlights bourbon-barrel aging of beer:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/chi-0612190375dec20,1,2805212.story?coll=chi-leisuregoodeating-hed (registration required), or here:
http://www.topix.net/content/trb/1061467429053873335610348558032711795079 (no registration required)