Our latest barrel-aged dark beer is a complex blend of imperial stouts and porters, and it’s named for Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s most tragicomic characters and himself a lover of good ale.
We began this blend by focusing on a cohort of casks of imperial rye stout, aged for nearly two years in Heaven Hill barrels, maturing and mellowing until a pronounced hazelnut, tobacco and fudge character emerged.
We complemented this with five expressions of imperial porter. Four of these five barrel-aged porters came from the same original batch, brewed in early 2021. Two were then aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, one in rye whiskey barrels, and one in Oregon whiskey barrels. Some alderwood-smoked malt in the porter’s grist bill provides a nice accent to the subtle spiciness of rye. Originally, we supposed that we might use just a small portion of these casks in the final blend, but as we created Sweet Creature of Bombast, we found that we were able to continue layering in more of these porters to the point where it became the largest portion of the finished beer. Obviously, we think it is quite a good blender beer!
Anyone who has tasted through our recent blended Bourbon barrel-aged stouts might note that Sweet Creature of Bombast leans a little bit drier and a little more spirituous than some of the other releases. We blended to that end in order to highlight the characteristics of some of the rare Old Fitzgerald Bourbon casks that some of these beers were aged in. We hope this allows us to not only honor the base beer and the unique attributes that were developed by aging, but also to highlight the spirits and the distillers behind the barrels in our wood cellar.