Hood River, OR - Word has traveled that the brewers of the Gorge will be releasing their annual liquid crude. Known as Black Gold Top Sail, the beer itself is not associated with one beer but two. Alternating every other year, their Imperial Porter and Imperial Stout undergo a bit of year-long metamorphosis while gestating in a previously bourbon soaked oak barrel.
This year's much as it was two years ago, is the Top Sail, which has been lovingly cared while it ages, extracting the oak and bourbon characters from its woody host.
Here is what Full Sail had to say about this year's release.
The waiting list is growing and so is the anticipation. It is almost time for the annual and very limited release of Full Sail's bourbon barrel beer. Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Porter rested in oak bourbon barrels for close to one year will finally be ready to pour early this February.
"Our barrel aged beers have been a Full Sail tradition since 1998 when we discovered the magic that happens when you pair vintage barrels, dedication, and patience. Brewed back in February 2009, this imperial style porter was reserved and aged for almost a year in casks from Maker's Mark, Stranahan's and Four Roses. After a year we created a blend that is 100% barrel aged beer to craft our Bourbon Barrel Top Sail. This extended aging presents aromas of oak, coconut and bourbon. Deep chocolate flavors warm to a full-bodied beer. Oak, toast and caramel flavors are rounded by the bourbon fire and sweetness. Deep black in color, Top Sail Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter has a roasty malt flavor that is immensely drinkable and smooth. It cellars well, if you store a few bottles in a dark, cool place and be patient - you will be rewarded for your effort and restraint," said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail's Executive Brewmaster. To help the beer aficionados that have the self-discipline to cellar this beer, Full Sail marks the bottle label with the reserve year. Top Sail will be available in 22 oz bottles and limited draught. (ABV 9.85%, IBU 65)
"We love the concept of the bourbon barrel aging (though we confess we love the beer even more). Whiskey begins life as beer--or at least a beer-like concoction. It's made from malted grain and water, which is then distilled and barrel-aged, so barrel aging beer in whiskey casks is a natural. Wood and barrel aging is an art form that takes dedication, patience and care. When done right, it's a wonderful thing. It's still distinctly beer, but with added depth and flavor. We brew this special beer in small batches, that's why it is available in very limited quantities. You should get some while you can," added Emmerson.
To celebrate the release of this beer Full Sail is planning two Horizontal Tastings that highlight the flavor components of this special brew. "Since Top Sail is a blend of the three barrel varieties, we thought it would be interesting to try a bit of each before blending, so we kegged off a very small stash of each variety for the release. Join us to celebrate the release of this very special beer and taste the nuances between the three versions and the final blend," added Emmerson. The special tapping will take place at 5 p.m., Monday, February 1st, at Full Sail's River place Brewery in Portland, Oregon and on Thursday, February 4th at the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River. For more information call the Full Sail River place brewery at 503-222-5343 or the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub at 541-386-2247. –source, Full Sail Brewing
About Full Sail Brewing
The independent and employee-owned Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot in the world. At this very moment 47 specialists in the liquid refreshment arts are crafting barley and hops into your next beer. Among the company's most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA, Pale, LTD, Session and Session Black Premium lager. Founded in 1987, the Full Sail crew has been fermenting godlike nectar for 22 years. Committed to brewing great beer and sustainable practices their award winning brews are now available in nineteen states. The Full Sail
Tasting Room and Pub is open seven days a week. Swing by for a pint, grab a bite, tour the brewery, or just soak up the view. www.fullsailbrewing.com
As always look for this beer to be featured at your favorite grocer, bottle shop, or in bottles and on draft at your nearby pub. If you can’t find it where you go, ask for it by name.