6 x 330ml Barrel Aged Stout
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, NOT 12 AS IS USUALLY THE CASE.
Big Ideas Series 14 Barrel Aged Stout (8.2%) x6
Aged in an ex-port and whisky cask, this refined and complex stout demonstrates a well-rounded character that reflects not only the history of the wood but also the magic of maturation. Time has taken the rough edges off the original Foreign Extra Stout and given it elegance and sophistication.
Sweet, dark fruits on the nose, a hint of wild yeast funk and somewhat reminiscent of a Flanders Red. The sweetness carries over onto the palate but with a crisp dryness that sets it apart from a regular stout and becomes part of a vinous concoction with layers of vanilla, cherry, treacle, dried fruit and caramel.
What The Hell Was I Thinking?
One of the advantages of being a brewer in Scotland is having relatively easy access to oak casks from the whisky producers, and in much the same way as wine casks have influenced the brewing scene on the US west coast, this amazing resource has become part of the fabric of Scottish brewing. You’d be mad not to put some beer in a cask and leave it for a while, basically, and if it’s a cask that’s contained whisky, a stout is the obvious choice.
This, our first cask release, is a revisit to the dark, treacly Foreign Extra Stout we brewed at the start of March this year. A portion of that brew was transferred into a hogshead that had previously held port, then whisky, then another dark beer, before being filled by us. The first beer fill would’ve absorbed the majority of the spirit character, and given that beer a robust whisky taste. The second fill is a less powerful but more complex exchange - the spirit notes are very much present but in a more muted way, allowing more room for the oak and subtleties of the fermentation and maturation to come through and meld with the original beer, which over time becomes more rounded and sophisticated. No wild yeast was pitched with the beer, but inevitably there’d have been a few bugs present in the cask; these have imparted the somewhat vinous character, raised the alcohol content and created a dryer finish, not to mention further endowing a sense of place.