I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed. A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.
That’s why I was very pleased when I heard the news that Counterbalance Brewing Company had teamed up with 2bar Spirits (who also happens to be in Seattle’s South end) for a unique Whiskey/Stout collaboration.
Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new. Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites. This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction. 2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.
Here is the full press release from Counterbalance Brewing Company and 2 Bar Spirits:
After years of aging, a new whiskey and beer collaboration to be released by 2bar Spirits & Counterbalance Brewery.
A unique spirit & beer release for Pacific Northwest beverage lovers.
Over two years ago, 2bar Spirits and Counterbalance Brewery partnered in creating a one of a kind whiskey. Using the mash bill of Counterbalance’s premier Kushetka Russian Imperial Stout (Kushetka Stout), 2bar made that beer onsite at its SoDo distillery and distilled it into a whiskey, which was aged for two years in 2bar Bourbon barrels.
The Counterbalance Kushetka Stout is a dark, rich beer with copious roasted malts and coffee and dark chocolate flavors, along with a fiery alcohol presence. . And since all whiskey starts as a beer, 2bar Spirits decided to go big, using this wonderfully complex mash bill and working with the great team at Counterbalance to see how the whiskey would age in 2bar Bourbon barrels.
“I am so excited to share this whiskey with fans of complex, rich spirits” said Nathan Kaiser, founder of 2bar Spirits “The stout notes come across so wonderfully. I have been a huge fan of the Kushetka Russian Imperial Stout since I first tried it and I believe you won’t be disappointed when you try the whiskey.”
Concurrently, two miles south in Georgetown, Counterbalance has been working on their half of the collaboration, aging Kushetka Stout in 2bar Bourbon barrels.
”Nathan quite literally showed up on our doorstep about a month after we opened the brewery,” Jeff Howell, Counterbalance co-founder laughs, “We immediately found that we shared commonalities in our palates and sensibilities. When he brought up the idea of making a whiskey based on our Kushetka Imperial Stout, Frank [Lawrence, Counterbalance co-founder and Head Brewer] and I jumped at the chance. And, true to the spirit of Counterbalance, it seemed obvious to use this opportunity to launch our barrel program by aging the beer in 2bar barrels.”
Bottles of Counterbalance Whiskey by 2bar Spirits and the 2bar Bourbon barrel aged Counterbalance Kushetka Russian Imperial Stout will be released on Saturday, May 6th, at 2bar Spirits distillery and Counterbalance Brewing company, respectively. Owners of both companies will be on hand to talk about the project throughout the afternoon. Quantities of both products are extremely limited and will sell out quickly.
About 2bar Spirits distillery
2bar Spirits is descended from five generations who ranched their land under the 2bar brand. For more than a century we have stood for quality, independence and hard work. Now those characteristics transcend to 2bar Spirits, distilled, aged & bottled in Seattle, WA from all local grain.
2bar Bourbon is the first all local made in Seattle bourbon; made entirely grain-to-glass using all Northwest Grains. It has a smooth and rich texture at 100 Proof with wonderful butterscotch, vanilla and honey notes with subtle hints of dark chocolate and cherry.
2960 4th Ave S #106
Seattle WA 98134
About Counterbalance Brewing
Counterbalance Brewing Company began brewing delicious, drinkable, full-flavored beers in South Seattle in 2015. Founders Frank Lawrence and Jeff Howell seek to share a spirit of creativity, collaboration and embrace contradiction with the local beverage-loving community.
Counterbalance Brewing Company
503 South Michigan Street, Suite B
Seattle, WA 98108
Kushetka Stout is one of my favorite beers from Counterbalance, and it’s even better when it’s been barrel aged. I’m looking forward to picking up a few bottles when it’s released this coming Sunday the 7th, along with a few bottles of the 2bar Whiskey made from the Kushetka mash. I’m sure they’ll make a great pairing.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.