The 12 Beer Reviews of Christmas #8: Spinnakers Bourbon Barrel-Aged ESB

20170102_234902.jpgOn the eight day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

From the label:

From the Brewers Reserve Series comes this Bourbon Barrel Aged Extra Special Bitter. This special version of our classic Mitchel’s ESB was brewed with English malts, Noble hops and aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels.

Stats: ABV: 5.2%; IBU: 55

Tasting notes:

This beer pours out a deep amber colour with half a finger of cream head that dissipates rapidly and leaves a tad of lacing.

The nose is bourbon, caramel malt, and floral/grassy hops. The palate is dominated by the bourbon flavour, with hints of malt and hops, but they are very subtle. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

Now this is the sort of interesting beer I have been waiting for. Everyone is aging big imperial stouts and porters in bourbon barrels and they tend to be boozy as hell. Bitter usually has a milder flavour, so it really lets the bourbon flavour shine through without overpowering it with the high ABV.

However, that sour undertone was lurking in the background again…

Rating: 4/5