For a beer that comes only once a year, exclusivity is part of the game. The rarity of it all plays into the aura and ethos of our massive imperial stout. Some opt to enjoy their bottles days or weeks after purchasing in December, but a select few deposit their bottles into what we call the cellaring process. Leaving bottles to age, the flavors to blend together and become more complex. This time-stamped process is bible to some craft beer heads, but it’s still widely debated how long barrel aged beers should be cellared. So every six months after we release Dark Charge we sit down with Evan and the QA/QC team to talk about how the beer changes over time when kept in bottles.
Here’s everything you need to know about cellaring the 2018 edition of Dark Charge Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.
BBA Dark Charge
Taste: Oak, Dried Fruit, Bourbon, Chocolate, Plum, Molasses
Verdict: Drink now or Let it age. It tastes phenomenal!
Taste: Alcohol, Some Dark Fruit (Fig), Coffee, Bourbon, Dried fruit, Roasty, Flavor is a little sharper than BBA Dark Charge
Verdict: Delicious now, but age would do it some good.
Taste: Oak, Bourbon, Lots of Molasses, More Dark fruit than 1yr, Black Currants
Verdict: Tastes great now, but flavors will continue to develop and coalesce.
Taste: Dry Oak, Chocolate, a touch Tannic, Cherry, Vinous, Earthy, “A bourbon lover’s beer”
Verdict: Ready to drink, but more age won’t hurt it.
Labs Pineapple Poblano
Taste: Lots of Fresh Pineapple dominates, Juicy, Chocolate, more Smoky than on day 1
Verdict: It is perfect now.
Taste: Chocolate, Orange, Candied Orange, Triple Sec, Slight bourbon
Verdict: Flavor is consistent with release day; this one can sit.
Taste: Cookies (Ginger Snaps, Snickerdoodles), Vanilla, Cinnamon, Coconut, “Irish Sweet Potato Candy”, Dried Peppers
Verdict: Ready to drink. Flavors will continue to coalesce as it ages
Taste: Green Coffee that dissipates quickly, More Coffee than release day, Less Vanilla than release day, Bourbon, Chocolate
Verdict: Ready to drink.
We hope you’ll join us at Braxton Labs this Friday for our 1/2 Way to Dark Charge Day event! We’re tapping 4 Variants of 2018 Dark Charge, serving up incredible hot dogs from It’s Just Bricks, and lifting one to life in the Lab. See you there!