This beer is pretty far removed from the classic strong, golden Duvel that many of us have come to know and love – but in a good way. A very good way. It turns out that this golden ale is a perfect foil for the varying nuances of vanilla, caramel and charred oak that have been infused in its six month voyage in the wood – bourbon barrels.
For the barrels, not surprisingly the Moortgat brewery went for the top of the line – Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace and Four Roses distilleries. The charred oak barrels matured bourbon for five-to-seven years.
Duvel Barrel Aged pours a copper color with a slightly smoky vanilla/caramel aroma. The 11.5% alcohol is extremely well hidden in a smooth swallow of slightly sweet vanilla, toffee, toasted caramel flavors. Batch No 1 of Bourbon Barrel Aged consisted of 104 barrels, which resulted in 24,750 bottles. Sadly none were destined for the US market although future batches may be as Duvel USA ramps up its marketing for 2018.
– Tony Forder
By Gail Kearney/gailekearneygmail.com
Cascade Brewing has released its Sang Noir 2016 project in both bottle and draught. The beer is currently available at its two Portland pubs – the Cascade Brewing Barrel House and the Raccoon Lodge – as well as through its regular distribution channels. Sang Noir is a blend of imperial red ales aged in bourbon and wine barrels for up to two years with Bing cherries. The darkest in Cascade’s series of “Sang” projects, Sang Noir features flavors of dark roast malts, bourbon, black cherries and port wine. It comes in at 10.1%. Two additional Cascade releases are One Way or Another, a collaboration with Bruery Terreux, a 7.9% blend of sour triple ales aged in oak wine barrels for up to 16 months with regional ingredients including Oregon marionberries and California Meyer lemons. Each brewery made its own batch, so they feature different labels and graphics to delineate them. The other new release is Vitis Noble 2016. CascadeBrewing.com
Catawba Brewing announces two new beers – first up the Small Batch Wild Berry Saison. This refreshing 6.6% Belgian-style ale showcases the fruity esters of its French Saison yeast strain, amplified by an addition of local blackberries and raspberries during secondary fermentation. Catawba will donate $1 from every pint sold to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Next, 6.5% Friki Tiki Grapefruit IPA. This is the third in a new monthly series of fruited IPAs. Brewed in 30-barrel batches at their Morganton production brewery, these specialty IPAs will see a draft-only roll-out throughout Catawba’s 5-state distribution area. Catawba beers can be found in NC, SC, TN, AL, and now in GA. catawbabrewing.com
After a two year hiatus, Black Cauldron Imperial Stout makes its return as part of Grand Teton Brewing Co.’s seasonal lineup and will be available in 12 oz. six-packs and both 1/2 and 1/6 barrel kegs. The flavor is velvety smooth and roasty with dark chocolate and a hint of smoke. The aroma is full of biscuit, toffee, coffee and smoke. American Sour 2016 is Grand Teton’s third release of American Sour in their Brewers’ Series. The brewers used a blend of their base pale sour and hand-selected each barrel for blending to create a truly one-of-a-kind Grand Teton Brewing sour beer. Like all beers in their their Brewers’ Series, they expect this beer to robustly stand the test of time. If stored properly, it should continue to develop its sour characteristics for years. Available in 11.2 oz. bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs. Both are on tap and in bottles throughout Northern CA, CO, ID, Northern IL, KS, MN, MO, NV, ND, NC, SC, SD, WA, and WY. grandtetonbrewing.com/
Brasserie St-Feuillien brought another fabled brew to North America – its Grisette Blanche Wit. At 5.5%, it pours a pale golden yellow, with spicy aromas of citrus and coriander, a thick goldenrod head of foam and a smooth finish with minimal bitterness. It is now available in the U.S. as a keg-only offering. st-feuillien.com
In response to the popularity and near-cult following it gained this spring as a seasonal beer, Husky IPA returns, joining the pack as Alaskan Brewing Co.’s newest year-round beer. Husky IPA is a celebration of Mosaic hops and their unmistakable tropical and fruity aroma. It is a Juicy IPA with the bright aroma of tangerine and papaya. Innovation and collaboration is featured in the 2017 fall seasonal Heritage Coffee Brown Ale. First released on a limited basis in 2015, it is brewed with a goal of smooth coffee flavor from start to finish, this seasonal brew focuses on local ingredients and the spirit of collaboration to craft a rich brown ale with big cocoa aroma. Heritage Coffee Brown is Alaskan Brewing’s second collaboration of the year with Juneau mainstay Heritage Coffee Roasting Company. In contrast, the limited edition Pilot Series Mocha Milk Stout is a full-bodied beer with a rich, robust and fairly sweet coffee and chocolate flavor, brought forward through the use of cocoa nibs and Heritage’s roast of Guatemalan Huehuetenango coffee. The creamy full body is augmented by the addition of lactose, which is the reason it is classified as a milk stout. These two seasonals are available until the end of October. alaskanbeer.com/
Family-owned Lindemans Brewery, Belgium’s largest independent lambic brewery, is proud to introduce its latest addition to their fruit beer line, Lindemans Strawberry Lambic. It is the brewery’s first new fruited lambic in over a decade, and was developed specifically for the ever-developing demands of the US market. Choosing strawberry, one of the most noble of fruits, was easy: the complex sweetness of the fruit matches perfectly with the sourness of lambic, resulting in a unique balanced marriage of sweet and sour. Furthermore, strawberries were once widely grown in the Senne Valley, the only region where lambic can be brewed. Available now in 12 oz. and 25.4 oz. bottles, and 25L (6.6 gal) kegs. First imported to the US in 1979 by Merchant du Vin, Lindemans beers are the top-selling lambics in America and have helped build the fruit beer category in the United States.
Huge news: For the first time in the 259-year history of Samuel Smith’s Brewery, their authentic, traditionally brewed Oatmeal Stout will be shipped from England in kegs! US arrival is late October. Quantities and regional availability will be very limited; working closely with the brewery, look for future draft releases regionally. merchantduvin.com