Whoa, I stepped on a land mine this week …… and it was worth every sip.
Found this sitting by itself on the shelf at a local store. No six-pack available and this was the only one they had left of this particular beer. I guess I’m a softie for a loner …… grabbed it and brought it home and stuck it in the fridge and almost forgot I had it.
This was my first shot at a beer aged in a bourbon barrel. Not sure why that is because I do love’s me some bourbon, but I guess I’d never had the chance before this little treat.
When I opened it and poured it my first impression was, ‘eh’ …. No big deal. It poured into a glass with a nice tight, foamy head and a pretty, deep copper color. Then the aroma started to lift it’s way up my nostrils: it was full and you could smell the bourbon from the barrel. After a sip even the smell of this beer seemed smooth.
And oh how sweet and smooth the sips were. This is a sipping beer, which is not how I usually drink a beer, and at 12.4% ABV you could understand why sipping this is the best way to enjoy it – definitely at the top of my heavyweight division. The bourbon is present in every sip and the beer leaves a lingering dryness in the mouth, just a little after taste that reminds you of everything you thought was in it when you first got a whiff of the brew: a touch of butterscotch that throws you off the heady kick from the hops that soon follows. The beer finishes with a nice bitter kick that makes you long for the next sip. The alcohol content keeps any sweetness in check and the hops taste great.
This stuff is barrel aged in a bourbon oak barrel – and it earns it’s ‘Imperial’ code name. I’d drink another, and I’ll try Founders beers again soon ….. If I can find one on the shelf.