Sierra Nevada The brewery has just dropped an amazing cooperation with buffalo tracking The distillery is nearly a decade in the making. The first batch of Colonel EH Taylor Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is a barleySimilar to beers that have spent the past seven years aging in kegs that once held Colonel EH Taylor Bourbon.
It’s barrel-aged beer season, and the closer we get to the end of the year, the more likely you are to see your favorite small and large breweries rolling out dark beers with the bourbon mentioned on the label. But the Sierra Nevada launch is special, in part because of the tremendous wait the brewery has endured before this beer finally launches.
The fact that the Sierra Nevada set these barrels in around 2015 is incredible when you consider how many breweries are hesitant to let their whiskey-aged beer linger for more than 12 months. The level of flavor extraction you get from seven years in the wood is great – many of the best bourbons don’t age much longer than that.
The big-legged Bigfoot probably bears the closest resemblance to any very rare and barrel-aged beer to Sam Adams’ Utopias, which use Buffalo Trace barrels as one of their dozens of ingredients. Some of the ingredients in Utopias are more than two decades old in previous versions, but the bourbon barrels make up only one small portion. An old man’s barrel is a bourbon bomb.
We’ve tasted Bigfoot and its new, barrel-aged sibling side by side for comparison. The first thing you will notice is the dark color of the beer. Barrel beers are noticeably lighter, showing only a few hints of the original’s reddish undertones. The head is also significantly reduced in size, with larger bubbles.
Aromatically, these two don’t seem to be the same beer. Rich Tootsie’s roll and dark coffee notes sit atop deeply roasted malt on the final beer, while the original Bigfoot still produces dry, citrusy notes of freshness.
On the palate, beer made from barrel resembles dessert. Big sable bites and a chocolate-covered vanilla and caramel ice cream cone look like they’ll overwhelm your palate. Then larger waves of densely rich chocolate ganache collide to the end.
Bottled at 15 percent ABV, Barrel-Aged Bigfoot comes in standard 750ml bottles, in an EH Taylor canister as familiar as the whiskey of the same name. It’s a great looking package, and the bottle is aesthetically pleasing. As a pour, it’s a great party-appropriate beer to brew with friends later on a cold night.
That is if you can get your hands on it, of course. Colonel EH Taylor Bigfoot Sold out instantly onlineIt will be available in select markets this month. It’s priced online at $29, but your price will vary by state and taxes.
What won’t change is how hard it will be to get your hands on this — and there’s no word yet on whether the Sierra Nevada will ever release it again. Hopefully they started the next batch at least six years ago.
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