Previously we offered up our thoughts of the Silver City Imperial Stout, branding it as a Should Try.
Unfortunately this beer didn’t last long on the shelves but there are always a few orphaned bombers out there, looking for a home.
This time around we discuss the Bourbon Barrel-aged version of the same Silver City Imperial Stout.
As always we like to know more about what defines a particular beer so we consulted the suggested guidelines before partaking.
Black in color. American-style imperial stouts typically have a high alcohol content. Generally characterized as very robust. The extremely rich malty flavor and aroma are balanced with assertive hopping and fruity-ester characteristics. Bitterness should be moderately high to very high and balanced with full sweet malt character . Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderately perceived but should not overwhelm the overall character. Hop aroma is usually moderately-high to overwhelmingly hop-floral, -citrus or -herbal. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be absent.
It also bears mentioning that we are reviewing a barrel-aged version, so some of the desired flavors, aromas, and overall impressions might have been altered.
Silver City’s Barrel-aged Imperial Stout much like the non-wooded variety, pours dark and with a density that shuns any light attempting to pass through it. As the beer rests, a strong, khaki-colored, foamy head, forms, before quickly evaporating, leaving islands of foam resting inside the glass.
As the beer continues warming up, a noticeable aroma of fresh oak, vanilla, bourbon (slight butterscotch) and roasted coffee is recalled.
With the first sip an initial sensation of roasted coffee is picked up, along with a very noticeable element of bourbon (butterscotch). If the taste had a theme it would be oak as there was definitely a prevalence of oak throughout, before this Imperial Stout finished slightly dry with a medium alcoholic burn. Overall this beer felt like there was a medium heft without any astringency.
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout 9.2% ABV
Extremely limited- Silver City Imperial Stout conditioned and aged in Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels. What else do you need to know??!! Big, black, roasty, toasty, hoppy, oaky and boozy. Enough said?
You Should Try This. Although slightly lighter in body than the 'other’ barrel aged Imperial Stouts out there, this is no means a slouch at 9.20%. Should you get your hands on a couple of these, you might put one down for a year and enjoy the other bottle on a night when the wind howls and the threat of sub-freezing temperatures loom.
For the foodie, you should consider chocolate dessert, smoked meats, poultry, or some sport like a medium rare buffalo or bison.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.