Bourbon Barrel Aged 319 (Idle Hands Craft Ales)

Style: American Quad brewed with cherries and aged in bourbon barrels

10.7% ABV

Aged for 6 Months

From: Everett, MA

Brewery’s Note: “Belgian style Quadruple brewed with Cherries.  Aged in a single barrel of Eagle Rare 10 year for Redstone Liquors. 20 cases produced.”

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The beer pours a dark, dark mahogany color with a head of sand colored bubbles that slowly recede to a nice fluff. In the light, the beer is a dark, dark ruby, but it does let light pass through and seems to be translucent, if very dark. On the nose, the beer smells distinctly of cherries and bourbon, with a good mélange of raisin blending with the cherry to add further dark fruit complexity. The nose has a jammy touch to it, with wood ghosting through the other scents. The aroma thickens as the beer warms, bringing touches of brown sugar to play. On the tongue, the beer tastes of sweet booze, sweet fruit, a touch of cherry acidity, and a lingering finish of tannic wood and further booze. A bready sweetness does linger in the background as well, blending with the booze. In flavor, the beer begins as fresh cherries coated in a light dusting of cocoa. This develops brown sugar and brown bread notes with a strong fusing of boozy bourbon and a touch of raisins. The brown bread turns to crust and lasts into the aftertaste of the beer with a touch of tannic wood and booze. As it warms, touches of balsamic vinegar, nuts, and stronger oak and black tea enter into the sip. In the mouth, the beer feels (oddly enough for the style and ABV) medium bodied, with a crisp, water-like mouthfeel and a tingle of carbonation. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly astringent with booze and oak. The cheek pouches develop a normal pooling, while the gum line wets with saliva, too. The tongue is left slightly dry and tight. Overall, this is an interesting sipper that really develops in the glass. Cherry and oaky bourbon are the two bookends of the sip, but the middle is fascinating and complex. Honestly, I want more of the middle and I want more body from this beer. As is, it is way too crushable for its ABV, but it has flavors and complexity that would work beautifully in a bit thicker of a beer. It’s tasty as is, and definitely one to slowly sip and experience as it opens up. This will definitely cellar well, and is delicious to sip and ponder. Another delicious beer from Idle Hands.

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