Malts used – Special Pale, Wheat, Chocolate, and English Roast Barley
Hops used – Northern Brewer & English East Kent Goldings
The name itself is a mouthful, and for me a personal record; for longest beer name that I’ve tasted. There isn’t much in the way of first impression. The bottle doesn’t really give much of a hint of what you’re getting. There’s no description of the beer on the label other than ‘stout aged in bourbon oak barrels.’
From the Bluegrass Brewing Co website: Delicately aged in “2005 Bourbon of the Year” Jefferson’s Reserve small batch barrels for approximately 60 days. The malt sweetness is perfectly balanced by the roast barley and a nice hint of bourbon flavor and aroma. The bourbon barrel stout was first brewed December 22, 2005.The McLain & Kyne Distillery has been a family owned since 1977. With their focus being on producing high quality Bourbon, the family hand selects new white oak barrels that are deep-charred for proper aging.
Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout ( which from now on I will call Jeff’s Reserve or maybe Jeff’s BBS) pours dark and opaque. It appears to be a thick dark beer like many Imperial Stouts. It’s a little lighter than a majority of them though and it did pass the wife test. There was only a hint of the wrinkled forehead look when she sipped it. The head is a frothy tan color that drops almost at once, leaving a vague memory of it’s presence behind. The body has a creamy consistency you feel in your mouth and had dark malty color. Out of the snifter rose a pleasing distinct aroma of bourbon, oak and the hint of a light pipe tobacco. There was also a perfect hint of vanilla in the nose. The flavor (actually flavors) is the strong point of the stout. The combination are complex yet subdued. On first sipping your taste buds are met with a roasted, chocolaty tinge. A bold bourbon sweetness mingles with a dark chocolate and, both are a nice contrast to the subtle tartness. The feel inside the mouth is creamy and delicate (very thin) leaving behind a smoky aftertaste.
Critiques: For a stout it is little thin and the head is a bit too understated. Jeff’s Reserve’s palate was more like a porter than a stout. It has too slight of a mouth feel and a body more light to medium than thick. Unlike in Hollywood with our stout thin ain’t in.
Overall, I’d have to rate it an 8 out of 10. Jeff’s BBS is a complexly favored beer that is very easy to drink. It goes down smoothly and the aroma is rather pleasing. This offering from Bluegrass Brewing Company is a tasty choice anytime of the year. I really don’t go in for the whole wheat in summer stout in winter spiel. At 8% ABV it’s on the higher end when it comes to American Imperial stouts. It can be a bit pricey at $9.99 for a four pack, but really what isn’t pricey these days?