Booze Reviews – January 2012

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It’s a fresh start to a new year, and 2011 is going to be hard to top. We all saw that our brewers/distillers/vintners busted a serious amount of ass to give us the libations we demanded. I’m willing to wager that 2012 will be no different. This month we have a new take on familiar flavors to break your whiny, know-it-all craft palate.
First we will start off with a true S.O.B. from the crew at High West, and then we’ll move on over to a High West/RedRock collaboration crazy enough to make those mouths salivate malt.

Son of Bourye
Distillery: High West Distillery
Alcohol: 92 Proof
Serving: 750 ml Bottle
Description: Reflecting the rooted flavors of Bourye, this new addition has deep vanilla notes, rich caramel and bourbon spice that come off the nose. From there, your palate is opened up into a balanced medley of soft citrus fruit, cinnamon and caramel, and finishes with a warming vanilla linger on
the tongue.
Overview: I should probably start by saying that I have a profound amount of respect and love for the original Bourye, so seeing that jackalope depart will be hard. But, as with all separations, there comes a silver lining, and this S.O.B. will help me cope with the loss just fine.The new brand came about from some light play off of the original recipe and was later aged in fresh American Oak casks. Luckily, these new tweaks still help preserve the original flavor of
the departed.

Brewery/Brand: RedRock Brewing Co.
ABV: 8.5%
Serving: 500 ml bottles
Description: This adventuresome new doppelbock from RedRock pours a rich garnet red with a thin but persistent tannish head.  The aroma is one of rye bread, with some musty character from the barrel aging.  The flavor follows up on this with bread and some darker, dried fruit notes dominating, backed up by a boozey, wood-influenced whiskey-mouth feel.  The overall effect is sweet and lusciously full without being overwhelming.  The balance is excellent—many beers can display too much of the whiskey or wood character received from barrels, but here it is in perfect proportion:  an interesting and innovative treatment of a classic style.
Overview: The latest in RedRock’s high-point bottled releases, Secale is the Latin name for rye.  This strong lager was brewed as a traditional Bavarian example would be, but with a few twists: the addition of rye malt to the grain bill and a prolonged lagering period in rye whiskey casks provided by local distillery High West.  The result is certainly different from your usual doppelbock, but in a wonderful way—especially for fans of rye, whiskey and wood-aged beers.  Kevin Templin and his crew of hardworking brewers have outdone themselves this time.  Pick this one up before it’s all gone. –Rio Connelly