We’re pleased to announce the first release from our barrel aged beer series, Winter Palace Imperial Stout. Aged in four different kinds of barrel.
It has been a long-held ambition to begin barrel ageing beers. It feels like the next natural step for us in our exploration and experimentation and is an important facet for some beer styles. In order to respect the art of barrel ageing, which requires care, time and attention, we’ve appointed Will Davies as head of our barrel ageing programme here at the brewery. Will has been brewing with us for two years, and will continue to split his time between the brewery and the barrel ageing beers. Will’s exceptional palate, creativity and most importantly - patience, make him the perfect guardian of our barrels.
As a team we’re fascinated by the properties you can get from barrel ageing – there is an unknown character to barrels which is transcendent. When the alcohol they previously held is no longer present unexpected flavours are unveiled and subtleties become more defined. Discovering the secrets each barrel holds is a huge part of the excitement.
We chose to make our first release single barrel and unblended so we are able to compare and contrast the different barrels, aged for the same length of time with the un-aged version of the beer. We intend to blend the majority of our future releases but we thought this would be an interesting place to start, to showcase the individual nuances barrels with different histories can bring to the beer.
The base beer, Winter Palace is an Imperial Stout brewed to a traditional recipe. It is filled with rich, roasted tones including bitter chocolate, molasses, dark fruit and coffee which combine to create a luscious, silky beer. We released our first brew of Winter Palace in November 2016, it’s depth and intensity made it a firm favourite among the team. It was understated, yet made an impact and was memorable. Whilst it stood up well on its own, we all agreed it would be the perfect beer to showcase the complexities and nuances that barrel ageing can bring.
We brewed a second batch in January this year, packaged some un-aged, then filled a Tequila, Rye Whiskey, Red Wine and Port barrel with the beer and aged each for six months. It’s fantastic to be able to share the finished beers and welcome you on our journey.
As these are the first releases from our barrel ageing programme we thought they were worthy of a celebration, so we’ll be showcasing each of the beers at different venues across the UK in a series of different events. Each event will have both an aged and the un-aged version of the beer pouring so you are able to taste for yourself the differences barrel-ageing contributes.
Thursday 30/11/17 - Mason and Co, London – Port BA
Thursday 30/11/17 – Hunter and Sons, Bath – Port BA/ Tequila BA/ Rye Whiskey BA/ Red Wine BA
Thursday 07/12/17 – Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, Bristol - Tequila BA
Friday 08/12/2017 – Pilcrow, Manchester – Rye Whiskey BA
Saturday 16/12/2017 – Brewery Tap Room – Port BA/Tequila BA/Red Wine BA