Some Local Flavor from the Cellar

Posted by Jim on Jul 11th, 2012
Jul 11

One of my cohorts in the SMBDC posted on BA that this beer was getting a little thin and that any of us holding on to bottles should drink them soon. I have to say that I think this beer is drinking quite nicely. It was a great surprise to open this bottle tonight and find such a wonderful beer inside. I’m glad I still have one bottle from the original run in my cellar, as well as a bottle from the second batch.

Sebago Brewing Company Lake Trout Stout aged in Bourbon barrels (Batch #1, 2010)

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
This is a bottle of the first batch, from way back in early 2010. It has been in my cellar since that time. I am pouring it into a Delerium Tremens snifter. I heard from a friend that this beer may have turned and that I should drink my bottle soon.

A very loud hiss was heard as I popped the cap. I actually felt the released carbonation force the cap off. As I pour the beer, it appears to be 99% foam. It is a dark foam, the color of chocolate milk. It is begining to turn into a liquid, but very slowly. The beer at the bottom of the glass is opaque and a shade of dark, dark brown—nearly black. Swirling the beer leaves a uniform lace coat behind.

The aroma is very pleasing. It isn’t quite subtle, but it isn’t overpowering or in your face. It is complex. There is a good mix of toasted malts, oak, bourbon and a hint of smoke.

This is a bourbon barrel aged stout that isn’t entirely about the bourbon! A dark, roasted malt base has some slight chocolate flavors. Plenty of oak comes through. Peat, smoke and bourbon are present in the finish, but none are all too strong. There is no harshness form the barrel aging process; the 2 years in my cellar have really mellowed this brew. The bourbon is most noticable in the aftertaste. Here you can really pick it out of the other flavors. It also provides some warmth once it is in your stomach.

The beer is heavier in body without being thick. Carbonation is a lot lower than I expected. Despite the large head when I poured, the feeling within my mouth is of a calm beer. I can feel a few bubbles, but it is hardly noticeable. My lips are left a little sticky, as is the inside of my mouth, but I do not feel a film.

I am going to have to go ahead and say that I really like this beer a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve had it fresh so I won’t compare it to this aged variety. I can say that the original batch of bottles is still drinking quite nicely. It is very refreshing to have a bourbon barrel aged stout that doesn’t taste like a shot of bourbon poured into a bit of stout. This is a more subtle, complex kind of beverage. If you have a bottle of this in your cellar, consider cracking it open, as it is drinking beautifully. If you don’t have any, perhaps you should track some down and sit on them for a spell.

I can’t say this is as good as an aged bottle of Sebago’s barleywine, but it is nearly that beer’s equal. It’s an excellent beer and is highly recommended.