Introducing HIBERNATOR 2018 (Bourbon Barrel- Aged Imperial Stout w. Coconut & Chocolate, 8.5%)

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The 2016 holiday season saw the release of our very first barrel-aged Stout, Hibernator. We had only been open for a few months and at the time we only had 4 barrels in our brewhouse. Since then, we’ve made it a tradition to brew a new version of it as our extra-festive December release. For 2018, we decided to let our ambitions run wild and release not one, but TWO new versions of Hibernator, beginning with this week’s release, a rich Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout conditioned on toasted coconut and chocolate that packs enough punch and flavour to keep you satisfied throughout the season.

Planning for Hibernator usually begins soon after our yearly December release, as there is some intense planning and scheduling to do before getting started with the brewing and barrel-ageing, which itself takes over 7 months to complete. As our barrel program has continued to grow considerably in the last year, we felt extra ambitious and decided to brew two unique versions of Hibernator in order to explore and showcase the distinct characters of our variety of barrels. For this first 2018 Hibernator release, we craved a deep and intense beer that would enhance the warmth provided by the Bourbon barrels that we’re ageing the beer in. We started the process by brewing the base beer, using our Night Mist (Imperial Stout) recipe, known for its strong roasted malts notes. The addition of vanilla and chocolate are the ideal complimentary flavours as they round up the beer with a hint of sweetness. We conditioned the beer on lightly toasted coconut flakes for a week before transferring the beer from the barrels to the bright tank. This was our first time working with coconut, so we had to be careful not to overdo it since the oils from the coconut can turn slightly “soapy” if left in for too long. The final step of the process, the blending of the barrels, always turns out to be the most fun and rewarding for our team, as we test out countless different combinations in order to bring out the desired characteristics in the beer.

Hibernator 2018 - Coconut & Chocolate will be available on Friday, December 14th at 5 PM exclusively in our bottle shop. This is a limited series (a total of 250 bottles in 750 ml format) so there will be a limit of 4 bottles max. per person.

Bandit brewer, Benoit, during our Hibernator 2018 blending process.

Bandit brewer, Benoit, during our Hibernator 2018 blending process.

Juan M. Gonzalez Calcaneo