Tuesday, March 16, 2010

259. Jackie O’s Barrel Aged Bourbon Barrel Impy Razz

Tonight our friend Jeff came over with a couple of things to drink, so we had more than just the usual one beer. Here’s our evening: our first beer—what we’re gonna call the “official” beer of the day—was the Barrel Aged Bourbon Barrel Impy Razz from Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery in Athens, OH, bottled on November 11, 2009 as bottle 39 out of 156.

Bourbon Barrel Impy Razz is an imperial wheat beer with raspberries; it has oak, bourbon, and raspberry in the nose, and pours a pinkish copper with a light white head. Starts dry, fruity, and a bit tart, runs into alcohol/bourbon and oak flavor in the middle, and finishes with some more fruit and lingering alcohol and bourbon flavors. Medium bodied with a dry but rich flavor and some tartness on the palate. There is a lot of alcohol warmth across this beer, in nose, flavor, and mouthfeel, but it is not overbearing. As well, the tartness from the raspberries and the sharpness of the oak merge nicely to help build the beer, both in flavor and mouthfeel. While it could use some more time to marry the fruit and raspberry flavors, it does drink well now. Good beer, and we look forward to trying more beers from Jackie O’s in the near future.

From the bottle: “The bottle in your hand is part of the first bottling venture at Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery. This limited edition is something special and a tribute to our customers and supporters throughout the past 4 years. Passion has crafted this beer and our business. Share this milestone with friends and loved ones. After all, beer should be enjoyed and remembered; this is why quality and character are at the heart of every beer we produce. Thank you. Made in Athens, OH.”

From Ohio Beer Guide: “Jackie O’s in Athens is celebrating its fourth anniversary on December 4 and 5. They promise 40 of their own beers on tap over the two day celebration with a bottle sale on the 5th. Taps and bottles will include lots of barrel aged, sours, imperials, and new concoctions. Included will be at least three new barrel aged beers: Bourbon Barrel Impy Razz, a 12% imperial raspberry wheat, Barreled and Portered, a 9% robust ported aged in a Woodford Reserve barrel, and Cellar Cuvee 2, a blend of coffee stout and imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrel with coffee beans, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. There are too many others to list here, so check out their new website at http://www.jackieos.com/. Brewer Brad Clark is featuring at lot of stouts this winter such as Java the Stout, Sweet Chocolate Love (oatmeal, chocolate milk stout), and India Oatmeal Rye Stout.”

ABV: 12.0%

Our second beer for the evening was Boulevard Saison, which is our third beer from Boulevard; we’ve previously had the Saison-Brett and Two Jokers Double Wit. Because, as the Boulevard website observes, “some beers are just too big for 12 ounce bottles.” Well put.

Saison pours a transluscent golden color with a rich head that slowly fades; the nose is earthy, loamy, and floral, although with warmth the banana-clove comes out a bit more prominently. Light sweet malt front with some bubblegum emerging as it warms; the middle is estery and some low levels of bitterness, and it finishes sweet. It does taste like there is some wheat in the beer via the smooth silky texture of the body. The mouthfeel is bright and sharp; there are super-fine bubbles, but they are soft and balanced on the mouth. Some bubblegum emerges in the nose at it warms to provide a bit of a different element at the end. Overall an excellent saison; not as complex or nuanced as the Saison-Brett, but certainly a delicious beer overall.

From the bottle: “The French-speaking region of southern Belgium is the birthplace of saison, the love child of a centuries-old tradition of small rural ‘farmhouse’ breweries, where native yeasts and time-honored recipes combined to produce some of the world’s most distinctive beers. As a tribute to this artisanal institution, we offer our own brisk, unruly Saison. Truly an artful balancing act, it is both rustic and subtle, robust yet effervescent, spicy and fruity. A votre santé!”

ABV: 6.2%

Our final beer for the evening was Founders KBS, freshly brought back from Michigan via Darren Link, even before it went on sale. Because we’ve got it like that. This is our fifth Founders beer; the rundown includes Centennial IPA, Black Biscuit, Harvest Ale and Breakfast Stout.
Meet Inky...

Brought to us by the Amazing Kosmicki, KBS has a luscious roasted coffee nose; it pours an inky black with garnet highlights, and has a slightly oily top with a minimal head. The front begins with a big roasty coffee front, transitioning into a big chocolate and roasted coffee middle with a dark and tasty finish. There is no real alcohol flavor perceptible, even as young as it is; while there could possibly be some slight warming, it is amazingly clean and well balanced for being young and right out of the gate like it is (this must be where the Amazing Kosmicki comes in). There is some big hop flavor in the back of the beer, but it is covered over by roasted flavors that dominate the beer. Remarkably drinkable for an 11.2% beer, especially this young, and with 70 IBUs. An excellent beer that drinks well young (and warm—it only spent about 10 minutes in the fridge to but just a slight chill on it) and is a delicious and rewarding drink.
From the Founders website: “What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year, to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Make your taste buds squeal with delight.”

ABV: 11.2%
IBU: 70

An awesome and well rounded group of beers for the evening—all excellent and well crafted. I don’t think we’ll be topping this anytime in the near future. Not that we won’t try...


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