Before heading out to Harrisburg PA last November, I had to run out to Downeast Beverage to secure myself a bottle of Rising Tide‘s first one-off bottling, Polaris, which is their Weizen Stout aged in bourbon barrels. I have since learned that it will be brewed and bottled again, which is exciting news!
Rising Tide Polaris
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. This is bottle number 163 of 336.
The beer is completely black, with a decent of amount of tan foam resting on top. The liquid is too opaque to make out and rising carbonation. Lacing is good.
The beer has a strong bourbon aroma. It’s like sticking my nose into a glass of Jim Beam. I’m not really smelling any of the roasted malts that make up the nose in Ursa Minor (the base beer). There is a little bit of malty sweetness, but for the most part this beer smells boozy. If it still smells like this after 5 months of aging, I wonder how hot it was when fresh?
Luckily, the bourbon in the flavor isn’t as overpowering as in the aroma, although it is still strong. It provides some good oak and peat moss flavors, and a smokiness that works very well with Ursa Minor’s roasted malts. There is a slight chocolate flavor here that I didn’t pick up on in Ursa Minor, and Polaris doesn’t have any obvious wheat characteristics.
The body is thick, but not as thick as some other stouts. It leaves a slight stickiness on my lips. The mouthcoat is also sticky, but retains some decent flavors. Despite the strong aroma, there is no heat from the alcohol.
Although not an amazing bourbon barrel aged stout, this is an enjoyable beer. I think I would have liked to let it age a little longer, but I was in the mood for Rising Tide tonight, so I cracked it open. If you were one the people who sought this beer out, I think you’ll be happy with it. Hopefully, this is the first of many barrel aged releases that Nate has in the works. There is a lot of potential here, but I am left wanting slightly more. Still, no part of me regrets checking Facebook obsessively until I saw Polaris was on sale and rushing out right away to secure bottle. I only regret not picking up a second bottle (but with such a low bottle count, I wanted to leave plenty on the shelf).