I’ll start this post off with an admission- I did not drink as much barrel aged beer this week as I’d have liked. Instead of reveling in the aftermath of FOBAB, I had to like work… and stuff. The good news is that Chicago area breweries- Revolution and Werk Force, as well as a few others- did exceptionally well this past weekend and brought home some gold medals and we also have four more beers for you this week as we look ahead to the annual BCBS release next Friday. Let’s get to it!
More Brewing- Mehndi 2021 (13% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
Year in and year out, Mehndi is a tribute to consistency and persistence and is always in the running for best in class. This years vintage has big chocolate, caramel, and molasses notes on the nose, with faint barrel character. The palate is smooth, mouth coating, and the finish is a fudgy char bomb laced with tobacco and oak notes that linger. A shock it did not medal at FoBAB.
Werk Force Brewing- Double Barrel Sleepy Bear (12% ABV Double Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout)
Next up, we have this year’s FoBAB gold medalist for Specialty Strong Stout. Double Bourbon Barrell Aged Sleepy Bear is a blend of a variety of barrels aged between 12-24 months. Those barrels were then transferred to freshly dumped Buffalo Trace barrels and aged an additional four months and then conditioned on vanilla and cacao nibs from Ghana. The result- a gold medal beer. Pouring an inky black with a ruby red rim, this beer reeks of vanilla and honey, with notes of molasses and warm whiskey. The palate is full of spicy rye and raisin, interrupted by sweet chocolate and some more honey. The finish reminds us that this beer did spend some time in wood casks- with empyreumatic notes of char and toasted oak, but still remains sweet. A decadent treat that is great alone or with a chocolate shake.
Hidden Hand- On the Steel Breeze (7.5% Double IPA)
Our first departure from barrel aged beer, this is a Wow beer. Pouring something like a Carhart jacket, this beer is anything but a shift beer. I get a huge tangerine nose followed by a Sunny D body. The finish is straight fruit punch. Literally all of the Hawaiian Punch flavors packed into one beer. An inspired expression.
Phase Three Brewing- Neumorphism (8% Imperial IPA)
We’re headed to Phase 3 this week for their Minutiae release and figured we’d get a head start. This is an 8% DDH rye DIPA with Idaho 7 and Mosaic. I was expecting a darker pour and a juicy, overly sweet body. Per usual, I was way off and absolutely thrilled. The color on this guy is absolutely perfect. An amateur beer/book photographers dream. Pleasant green dank nose and a dry malty palate that gives way to subtle berry green finish. As crushable an 8% as I’ve ever had.
So there you have it- four more beers as we head into the weekend. And have no fear- we’ll be back next Friday with a very special Black Friday Edition of the four pack. Until then, cheers!