Wednesday, July 14, 2010

379. Jackie O’s Bourbon Barrel Smoked & Portered

This beer marks the second growler from Jackie O’s that I brought back from my Athens Beer Week hijinx. Beer judging is all well and good, but everyone likes treats brought back from my travels abroad. And why else wander the world if not to sample and sup upon the fine wares of other regions? I certainly enjoy that component of my travels, I’ll tell you. As to the other beers we’ve had from Jackie O’s, here’s the list from an earlier post.

BB Smoked & Portered pours a deep chocolate brown with a light tan head; the nose is oaky, smoky, and creamy, with chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruit, including raisin, after the first rush of oak and smoke. Flavors start with chocolate and smoke with a bit of acorn; the middle is coffee and a bit more smoke, followed by light bourbon and oak flavors. The finish is creamy and rather clean with a return of the acorn and oak; there is a bit of lingering alcohol flavor on the palate, but nothing distracting. BB S & P has a medium to heavy body with a chewy and creamy mouthfeel; the carbonation is minimal but lightly present on the palate—combined oaky and tannic bite that dries out the palate, the beer finishes rather dry. In fact, it smells far sweeter than it tastes, but it has a very mellow and nuanced body. There are also some roasted flavors in the middle that work well in rounding and building the complexity of the flavor profile. Overall, this beer is a study in balance and complexity—it certainly doesn’t taste or drink like a 9.0% ABV beer, even though there is a bit of alcohol flavor. BB S & P is smooth, easy drinking, and delicious. We wish we could get a couple of bottles of this to sit back on and see how they aged. While the smoke would probably drop out, some of the other flavors might get richer with age. We’ve also been wondering what their regular porter tastes like—after all, if it is the base for this beer, then it’s got to be good. We’re already looking forward to our next trip to Athens, and another chance to visit Jackie O’s for some great beer.

From the Jackie O’s website on June 9, 2010: “The BB (Bourbon Barrel) aged Smoked and Portered was kegged last week after close to 5 months of aging. The barrel mellowed out nicely. The smoke is still the initial characteristic that jumps out. Underneath lies some great oak and subtle bourbon notes. The body is fairly light for a porter but still carries some weight.”


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