Monday, October 14, 2013
Central Waters La Petite Mort
I have some questions about barrel-aging beers, which continues to be all the rage. Is it a style? A tradition? A fad, or a trend? When is it good, when is it great, when is it just so-so?
For me, particularly, if I don't know what the beer was before it was barrel-aged, I have to wonder what I'm drinking. This happened with this beer. It's merely labeled as "malt beverage aged in bourbon barrels", but is it a stout, a brown ale, an ale, or what? Is it a beer they've brewed before, of somehthing new? This one, while demonstrably strong, did not even have a clear ABV labeled. So, I'm left not knowing what was aged in those barrels, and only able to appreciate that something ended up tasting like whiskey. Great. The resultant beer is fine, but only because I like bourbon.
Here come the notes...
Central Waters Brewing Company, Inc. La Petite Mort, Malt Beverage Aged in Bourbon Barrels, Brewing in Amherst, WI. Brewed in collaboration with Local Option, Chicago IL.
Dark mahogany coloring, thin dirty tan head.
Aroma: bourbon, vanilla, cherry, black pepper. Sweetness and strength.
Taste: rich, thick and redolent with whiskey notes. All that from aroma lands on the tongue, all the sweet, syrup-y flavors of the barrel come rushing out, lasting long on the palate. Not quite full bodied, and I truly detect any flavors past the ones brought on by the bourbon. It's malty enough to hold up the richness, with hardly any hops, and a good degree of balance.
The label is free of gobbledygook, to the extent that not even the ABV is given up.
But I have to say that this is another example of a barrel-aged brew that may deliver on the barrel aspects, but neglects to delight in any other area.