Image by Flickr user Beer Coaster
For the first time ever, Rare Beer Tuesday will see the Charleston Beer Exchange gang throwing three bourbon barrel-aged beers onto the growler station at 5 p.m.
Barrel-aging is a process by which a brewery ages a finished beer in a barrel to impart new and different flavors to the concoction, the goal being a harmony of flavor notes between the beer and whatever used to be in the barrel. The barrel could just be oak, could be a used wine barrel, or could be a used bourbon barrel. The length of time the brew sits in the barrel becomes a big factor on the amount of barrel-ly goodness present in the finished product. Too short and there's no point in even doing it, too long and you may have a "booze-bomb" on your hands.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to navigate among these three bourbon-soaked offerings and pick out a winner:
- Ballast Point Brewing's Bourbon Barrel-Aged Black Marlin Porter (5.9% ABV, B, 96).
- Flying Dog Brewery's Wild Dog Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter (9.5% abv, A-, 99).
- Founder's Brewing's Backwoods Bastard (10.2% ABV, A-, 99), a bourbon barrel-aged Scotch Ale.
Charleston Beer Exchange loiters at 14 Exchange Street downtown.