August 31, and it's what? 55 freakin' degrees out there? The beer for the last post of this very bloggy day is going to be cold weather beer: Bluegrass Brewing's Jefferson Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. This is one of a four-pack my bro-in-law Chris and his wife KD got me for my birthday; tip of the hat to you, guys, and thanks again.
The beer pours damned dark, still brown, not black, but dark. The aroma is not overwhelmingly bourbon barrel; about half barrel, half deeply roasted malt. The hops that I just know are in there aren't coming through in the nose much. Wurgh. That is one sharp stout: a fairly thin opening wedge that expands into a roasty bite with a leathery-lean wrap of bourbon barrel to it. It tastes like BBC didn't keep this one in the barrel too long, and for that, I thank them. Jefferson Reserve is older whiskey, too, so this is a barrel that's had a lot of the vanilla taken from it.
The beer is surprisingly drinkable for what's essentially a light-framed imperial stout with a buffing of barrel; it's almost lively. The barrel really comes through in the finish, curling back to catch you.
The question is, what are you looking for in a bourbon barrel stout? I guess I'm looking for something richer than this. It's good...but if I'm going to get hit in the head with an 8.5% beer, I kinda want to feel it more. This beer needs some more heft to it, and more depth. Might have to let it come up to room temp and try it again.