Friday, November 25, 2016

Bent Paddle Barrel Aged Double Shot Double Black

Bent Paddle Brewing Company Barrel Aged Double Shot Double Black Black Ale Aged in Oak Barrels, with Vanilla Beans and Coffee Added. Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Duluth, Minnesota. 11.2 % ABV.

This is one I despaired of ever finding a bottle , for it is so high on the wish list of every truck follower out there. I don't haunt the stores that often, and miss out on special releases that disappear soon after they are shelved. I got a taste of it when we had it on tap back in March for a Bent Paddle event. Bryon said he had a gift for me, and I was so excited, only to find, alas, it was "only" a bottle of Hop Forest Double IPA. Sigh.

A new batch was just released, and again I didn't find myself at the right store at the right time, and worried about being shut out again.  Then chance put me at a little ol' liquor store that is not often frequented by the beer geek crowd, and lo and behold, there they were. Got two at $23 a piece. Drank one last night. Gonna save the other for a snowy night in the far off future. Here are the notes on that bottle.

Deep, dark blackness, full ebony hue, with a thick and lasting dark brown cocoa-tinged head above. Looks fantastic, very inviting.

In the nose: all the cocoa, all the richness, all the roast, and all the coffee. All that, all there in the nose. Big, deep, dark, rich, and boozy. Blackstrap molasses, anise, and here comes the vanilla. Out of nowhere and plop! into the senses, here's the vanilla! Big time vanilla, big time cocoa.

In the mouth: Whoa. Thickness, richness, utter vanilla-ishness. Is this beer's popularity part and parcel of the current vogue for vanilla beers? Or, is it....boom! the bourbon, that's there, too, but, also, fully flanked by the vociferousness of the vanilla. Damn, that's all over the place! It's well-matched by the bourbon and the coffee. This one has it all. Decadent, indulgent, delicious. Save this one for special occasions, or whenever you want to give yourself a treat. It's the real deal.

Here's the official gobbledygook off of the label: "This robust version of our black ale features a smooth, chocolatey, semi-roasted malt profile that sweetly balances out the doubled strength. Notes of oak and whiskey from an extended aging period in Bourbon barrels creates a welcoming warmth. This iteration of our Double Black Ale features a "Double Shot" of both Cold-Press coffee and whole bean Madagascar Vanilla for an extra level of flavor complexity and is the perfect companion for a late night viewing of the Northern Lights ...or can accompany any natural wonder you may come across."

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