(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss

10402377_10101827497242840_6320414451540469801_nRating: 5.75/5

Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss is a 12.4%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee Beans, Vanilla Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Like previous versions of Wreck Alley, this batch has additions of cocoa nibs and locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. But this time we didn’t stop there. Our brewers split whole vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, added them to the beer, and left it to age in American oak barrels for an entire year. The result? All of the dark chocolate and espresso-like roast you expect from Wreck Alley, plus exotic vanilla undertones.
____

So I had this crazy idea that since I am always out and about trying different beers, why not try to do some quick reviews for some beers that may or may not make it to bottles and may be draft only. I did something like this long ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/seme-della-vita-the-seed-of-life-by-monkish-brewing/) but never really took off with the idea. This time around I tried a beer at the local Uncle Henry’s Deli near my town which was really damn good. This beer was essentially the same beer I about a year ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/barrel-aged-wreck-alley-by-karl-strauss/) but with the addition of vanilla beans. Well now, that just added some damn good level of complexity. So basically I liked it so much that I wanted to do a review for it. I also recently heard that this beer may be released in bottles, so if that is the case, I will be sure to review that one too. I will definitely try to do more “on the road” reviews for sure.

Aromas:
Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate, coconut, rich vanilla, oak, coffee, mocha, bourbon, rocky road ice cream, flan, dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, toffee, tobacco, brown sugar, anise and berries and cream.

Flavors:
Definitely rich in Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate and vanilla with the mocha coffee coming through very nicely. It is not as light funky as the previous one BA version was which I am sure is where the vanilla comes in. Lots of flavors of caramel, frappuccino, flan, coconut,bourbon, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, anise, brown sugar, tobacco, toffee, berries and cream, Irish cream notes, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs and currants.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, vanilla, rich chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, mild coconut lingers. Very well hidden alcohol despite the big ABV. It sure does not drink like a 12% ABV beer. A sipping beer but is very smooth and silky. It is pretty dangerous stuff as I can see finishing off a couple of glasses and then it would not be good for me.

Overall:
Way better than the original and the first Barrel Aged version. I like sweeter beers so this one was sweeter than the original and the BA one so definitely a lot of extra credit there. I would highly recommend this one if you can find it on tap of even on the bottle which I am sure I will definitely try to get to maybe add some more pictures or make a comparison. Either way, definitely get your hands on a couple of drinks of this, with responsibility of course.

Anime Corner:
Etna from the Disgaea series has been a consistent character I have used for the Wreck Alley series ever since the first one I did where it shows her by a slab of concrete that was destroyed. Shes a crazy machine. Then in the second one, it shows her huge like Godzilla sitting next to some buildings. Yep. In this instance, the addition of vanilla to the barrel is like her sitting on a Prinny (the blue penguin aka her minion). So the heightened amount of flavors is like her letting her minions do all the work for her where she can just relax!

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