You'll probably have seen a few posts on our social media with our barrels. It's doesn't take a genius to guess what we've been up to. Yes, we've been barrel aging some beer.
Barrel aged stout isn't anything new and when done well it's something that I can't resist. It was always on the cards for us here at the brewery and was just about making the time to organise it and get everything lined up. Since we were going to do this (we don't do things by half) we decided early that sourcing barrels which would give us complimentary and distinctive character was essential since the barrel is the crucial extra component. It differentiates this beer from a standard beer. So no shortcuts or compromises.
We purchased some 1st fill bourbon barrels and they didn't disappoint. They'd last held bourbon and when we popped the bung the smell from the barrels was pure heaven and I couldn't wait to add the complexity they'd bring to our imperial stout. You might have already tried the straight-up version already. GIGANTIC; It's a well balanced beer; not too boozy for 10.4%, rich and it packs strong dark chocolate and roast coffee flavour. The barrels add pear, anise and of course delicious vanilla that you expect from the oak of a bourbon barrel. As these were 1st fill barrels they were so fresh and had bucket loads of character to share. So a relatively short aging meant we could get the delicious bourban addition without extracting too much tannins or any harshness.
The result of all this is our first barrel aged beer and it's called GIGANTICER, pronounced GIGANTIC-ER. Designed as a pair to showcase the Russian Imperial Stout base and the magic that a spell in bourbon barrel contributes. It's not the end of the road for these gorgeous barrels yet though as we've got something nice planned for them and I'll hopefully be back on here to tell you more about that in the not too distant future.
You can still currently pick up GIGANTIC from our stockists. So if you wanted to try these two beers side by side it wouldn't be a bad idea to squirrel a couple away.
GIGANTICER will begin to roll out to our stockists over the coming days so keep an eye out if you want to pick some up to compare them. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. Cheers!