March 23, 2015

Pipeworks The Money (CA$H 4 Golden Ale aged in Elijah Craig 12 year old Bourbon Barrels)

Brewed By: Pipeworks Brewing in Chicago, IL  
Purchased: 22oz bottle (Batch #473/474) bought at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL; 2015 (bottled 08.??.2014)
Style/ABV: Belgian Golden Strong Ale, 13.0%
Reported IBUs: ?

It's not Pipeworks Thursday™ but who gives a shit. Way back when I reviewed that CA$H Money, and the Elijah Craig 12 Year is delicious. So how about "Our "Ca$h 4 Golden Ale" aged in Elijah Craig 12 year old Bourbon Barrels." Oh yes please. A
bout Pipeworks:
Pipeworks has humble roots. The brewery was founded in Chicago in 2011 by Beejay Oslon and Gerrit Lewis. The duo were both homebrewers that met while while working at West Lakeview Liquors. In 2011, they began to raise money for their brewery using the online Internet site, Kickstarter. Olson and Lewis were both educated at De Struise Brewery in Oostvleteren, Belgium. With that knowledge, and the money from their kickstarter, Olson and Lewis created a unique brewery that is smaller in size, and intended to brew smaller batches of beer. The company's motto is "small batches, big beers." And indeed, since the brewery has been around, they've been releasing a lot of one-offs and small batch releases. The goal is to release a new beer every week. You can read more about the brewery at their website HERE.
Pipeworks The Money
This pours into a golden/honey-colored body, kicking up a finger of restrained, white head. This looks like a Belgian Ale that has been through the bourbon ringer. It is slightly hazy but still really well-carbed. Even Snoop was like dayummm. BJCP - bongs, jello, cash, paninis. 

Let's not pretend Allagash and the Bruery haven't done this already, but this mashes pineapples and white saffron and wheat-apples and grapes (you know, that Strong Ale base) with oak, vanilla, a pound of white sugar, bourbon spice, cinnamon, and some light barrel. It has that Belgian nose, and smells like any Tripel or what-have-you crammed into a barrel. 

Oh dayum, son. This is straight up fantastic, bringing tons of bourbon flavor to the fold with big vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon/brown sugar, and then tons of apples, saffron, grapes, tannic and grainy gooseberries, overripe bananas, juicy stone fruits, and appreciable pineapple. This lays on some nice bitterness, and while this is super sweet it feels mature. This is going to be an inherently sweet beer, as are White Oak and any other similar offering. 

This is sneaky like a Golden Strong/Tripel, and you don't taste any of the 13%. The only suggestion of alcohol comes from the saccharine assault and bourbon character. This is full-bodied, big, boozy, and has good duration for the style. Palate depth is good, complexity is middle-of-the-road (but pretty good for this style). This beer is my jam. This style is my jam. You get an explosion of tropical fruits, saffron, apples, and grapes up front; that rolls into more pineapple, apple, saffron, bourbon, some spice; the back end drops a little alcohol, oak, barrel, and finishes nicely for something as big and sweet as this. I like this a lot. 

Rating: Above-Average (4.5/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Strong Above-Average on this beer. I'm so proud of Pipeworks, growing up to be on the same level as breweries like Allagash or The Bruery. Okay, I'm not not 100% serious. That would be the overstatement of the year if I was. Shoving any beer into an Elijah Craig 12 Year barrel is like using Citra hops or a drone strike. It's cheating. Anyway, this is good stuff and my only regret is it doesn't have the production of something like a White Oak. I wouldn't go food crazy with this beer...sip on it, enjoy.

Random Thought: I really wish I knew anything about bourbon and/or whiskey but I don't. I also don't have the money or cache to hunt down elusive bourbon whales. Thus, my thoughts on bourbon are shit just like this blog. If you are reading this, have all my apologies. 

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon $$$$$$
Distilled By: Heaven Hill Distillery
Purchased: 750ml bottle bought at in Jewel-Osco in Chicago; 2015 
Style/ABV: Bourbon, 47.0% (94 proof)

This is relevant to beer, I promise. 

color - slick gold color, some particles are visible in the body, glossy legs

body - medium bodied, some thickness, not too boozy

aroma - vanilla, toffee, cinnamon spice and big brown sugar, this has nice woody character and barrel, sweeter citrus, and some musty character

taste - this brings a lot of oak, vanilla, and cinnamon/brown sugar; there's a cinnamon component, and some minty notes; the back end drops big cakey notes

finish - this has a nice finish, with those cakey notes, vanilla, and tons of sweetness. the finish lingers long enough, and this is yummy

The real question, however, is how will this whiskey compliment a beer? One that is a Strong Belgian Ale. Hmmm.....

March 16, 2015

Jackie O's Pub & Brewery Oil of Aphrodite

Brewed By: Jackie O's Pub & Brewery in Athens, Ohio  
Purchased: 375ml/12.7oz single bottle bought at And Beer in Athens, Ohio; 2014 
Style/ABV: Russian Imperial Stout, 10.0%
Reported IBUs: ?

It's cold out, and it is snowing. AKA, the perfect night to crack into a big Imperial Stout. About Jackie O's Pub & Brewery:
Jackie O's is a brewery and brewpub based out of Athens, Ohio. The brewery was founded in 2007 by Art Oestrike and his friend, and brew master, Brad Clark. In 2012 when the production facility expanded, brew master Sean White joined the company. For more info, check out their website or Facebook.
The bottle for the Oil of Aphrodite reads: "Oil of Aphrodite is an American double stout brewed with locally harvested black walnuts and Belgian candied syrup. English, German, American and Belgian malts are accompanied by pacific northwest hops, creating a sweet and rich springboard for deep nuttiness. Share with friends and loved ones. " 
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery Oil of Aphrodite

This pours into your typical Stout body: opaque black, dark mocha brown head. The head that this kicks up is impressive, and there is good retention and lacing.

This has a fantastic aroma, with notes of dark caramel sugars, Belgian candy sugar, hardened sugar candies, molasses, raisins, fruit cake, banana bread, and a Christmas bake shop. There are hints of nuttiness on the aroma, and when you really get your nose into the beer to give it a smell, you pick up some coffee, roast, and hints of chocolate. There is an ashy thickness about this beer, and it reminds me a bit of Evil Twin's Even More Jesus

Wow, this is an interesting beer. First off, this is a sweet beer. There's a lot of sugar in here, from the intense and large Stout base, to the sticky citrusy hops, to the big Belgian candy sugar notes. This gets a lot better as it warms up, dropping molasses, sweet citrus, rich chocolate, some coffee/ash/roast, and tons of nuttiness on the back end. This really ratchets up the walnut/nut thing in the rear. 

This is a thick, sweet, sipping beer. My kind of beer. It is full-bodied, with good carbonation, good palate depth and duration, and medium complexity. At 10.0%, I'm not getting a ton of alcohol. What I am getting, however, are a fair amount of pungent and strong hops. This drops Belgian candy sugars, molasses, and some chocolate/coffee up front; that rolls into intense sweetness, with nuttiness, huge hops, citrus; the back end finishes with nuttiness, lingering hops, big walnuts, molasses, some earthy ash, and a sticky sweet finish. 

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Decent Above-Average on this beer. This is big and bold, but it's a bit sweet and unbalanced. Maybe that is the goal. I feel like the candy sugar could add a bit more nuance, I don't know. Maybe that's just me. As I sip on this even longer, I'm starting to get some dark fruits: cherries, plums, Quad-like notes. It's all really nice, but I think if they threw this in a barrel it would go over the top. Food pairings: ice cream and dry cakes. 

Random Thought: Woah a twofer. Yup.