Great beer can’t be rushed. That is especially true for wood-aged beers. It takes time for beers to glean the appropriate flavor and aroma qualities they can obtain by being stored for a time in wood barrels. The subtelties and complexities of wood-aged beers have always appealed to me, which is why I’m really looking forward to one of my favorite events of the year, the 6th Annual Big Wood Fest coming up on Thursday, December 6th.
Brouwer’s Cafe holds this event each year to showcase the wide and wonderful variety of beers that have all been wood-aged. Every tap at Brouwer’s will be taken over by various wood-aged selections. Stouts, Belgians, Sours and more will all be there; some aged on straight oak, others on oak bourbon barrels or brandy barrels, etc. Some of my favorites from Big Wood 2011 included:
- Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin (Unblended from the barrel) – rich and complex. Subtly different from the blended versions I’ve had before.
- Morte Subite Wit – with pleasant vanilla and citrus notes. Yum!
- Schooner Exact Hoppy The Woodsman – a dark, oak bourbon barrel-aged beer where the bourbon flavor really comes through. One of my favorite winter beers of 2011.