Barreling We Roll Along: Introducing HIBERNATOR 2018 #2 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout w. Brett, 8.5%)

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We talked about upping our Stout game in last week’s blog by releasing not one, but two versions of our yearly holiday season barrel- aged release, Hibernator. For the first version of this festive Imperial Stout we wanted to make a beer that packed a lot of punch while maintaining a good balance of flavours and sweetness from the addition of toasted coconut and chocolate. For this second version of our seasonal Imperial Stout our goal was to explore and highlight the barrel character in the beer and focus on the Bourbon-like smokiness from the wood and the funkiness from the Brett. 

Our barrel programme has almost doubled over the last year, which allowed us to have more options when making plans for the 2018 Hibernator. We used straight Bourbon barrels with no Brett to brew our first 2018 version, since it complements the vanilla and coconut sweetness perfectly. For this second version we aged our Imperial Stout in barrels that we’ve used before to brew Brett-infused beers, resulting in a rich beer with a beautiful funky and complex Brett aroma and flavour.

As is always the case when making Hibernator, the most challenging and rewarding part was the blending of the different barrels. Hibernator 2018 #2 is a mix of two barrels, one with Brett and one without in differing quantities, both with the same Imperial Stout base. When blending the two aged beers we were in search of finding the right balance between the Brett funk, the spicy Bourbon character, and the chocolate-forward “toasty” notes. 

Hibernator 2018 #2 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout w. Brett) will be available on Friday, December 21st 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. 

Juan M. Gonzalez Calcaneo