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Old 05-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
Lando
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Default Bourbon Stout Ale?

Went to District Chop House in DC this weekend. Pretty good meal and they brew on site.
One of the brews on the list was some sort of Bourbon Stout. The waiter explained that it is basically their Oatmeal Stout (which is not bad) that has been left in an empty bourbon barrel and it is served flat and warm.
I tried a sample and must say I do not get the appeal of this brew. I LOVE good bourbon and good beer, but this was pretty out there.
Flat Oatmeal Stout aged in a bourbon barrel and served warm? It certainly tasted more like bourbon than beer.
Is this a common style of brew, or a creative way to get rid of old stale stout that is lying around?
Don't get me wrong, I like the place and they have some good brew and damn good food. This was just my first intro to this type of brew. I will go back given the chance.

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Old 05-04-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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I used to have to go to DC a lot for business....everytime I went, I always tried hitting the Chophouse! Actually, I notice it is part of the Rock Bottom restaurant chain....but if the formula works!

Anyways, I do remember having their bourbon stout....but think I remember it not being completely flat. In fact, when I look at their menu, I notice it's listed as a cask ale. So it's not going to be uber carbonated, but it should still have some natural carbonation. They're also keeping it like a British style cask ale by serving it room temperature. Cask ales don't generally last as long as kegged ales, since they are unpasturized and are more susceptible to the environment (they don't have CO2 gas being pumped in either).

Oaking stouts, particularly imperial stouts, is not that uncommon. I actually found out that Busch even has a seasonal "Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale" !!! Most breweries add oak chips during conditioning, but some have also been known to condition in bourbon casks. IMO, you're not getting the flavor of the old bourbon so much as the wood itself: seems to impact a creamy vanilla character most of the time. The best oaked beer I've had is probably the Great Divide Oak aged Yeti. Try the Yeti first....then try it oak aged (which I think really does balance it out better)....then try their espresso oak Yeti (which is definitely for the espresso lovers out there).

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Old 05-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lando View Post
Flat Oatmeal Stout aged in a bourbon barrel and served warm? It certainly tasted more like bourbon than beer.
Is this a common style of brew, or a creative way to get rid of old stale stout that is lying around?
Don't get me wrong, I like the place and they have some good brew and damn good food. This was just my first intro to this type of brew. I will go back given the chance.
Yeah, there are a slew of Bourbon stouts out there these days and many really emphasize the Bourbon flavor. While I'm a bourbon fan too, decided to brew one not too long ago with the goal of having more balance between the stout flavors and the liquor flavors...something that gave you a little bit of everything in the flavor profile with ample complexity. Highly recommended you give that a try if you want something a little different (course, it got ding'd in a comp for not enough bourbon but that just shows that it's best to follow the commercial examples in that case ).
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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I am a fan of warmer beer.But there is NO style that is supposed to be served at room temp that Iv'e heard of.Most cask ales are supposed to be served at cellar temp(bout 55-60) but a 72 degree beer is kinda pushing it.

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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Most cask ales are supposed to be served at cellar temp(bout 55-60) but a 72 degree beer is kinda pushing it.
Yes, 72 degrees would be pushing it....but barley wines and imperial stouts can be served in the warmer temperatures of 57-62 degrees. "Cellar" temperature is around 54-57 degrees, and you're right that many British styles are served at this temperature. Aparantley, there are also some winter ales served "hot"....and a "hot" temp that everyone would agree is hot: 158!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
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eeewww I'll stick with the cellar temps
edit: barley wine is good at any temp

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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eeewww I'll stick with the cellar temps
edit: barley wine is good at any temp
Agreed!

But as far as serving hot....who knows, it might make some fruit beers actually drinkable
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:46 PM   #8
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The Full Sail bourbon stout was fantastic... BUT, it was in bottles. I had one at about 42-45F, with normal carbonation, and it was excellent!

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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BBC has a Bourbon Barrel Stout that is just yummy. Get the barrels that Wudford Reserve was in ( helps being in the same town as Brown-Foreman)
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:46 AM   #10
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I had a barley wine sampler at the Pelican Brew Pub http://www.pelicanbrewery.com/pages/brewery-pages/brews.htmlon the Oregon Coast. It was really enlightening for me. They served 6 differing barley wines going back to 2003. The oldest one was a bourbon barrel aged one that was really outstanding. My next favorite was one aged in a Pinot Noir barrel. That was a shock to me! I figured it would be awful, but instead it was just very different. The others were pretty good too.

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