BJ's Brewhouse - Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Stout
Serving Temperature:52–59° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Tulip, or Teku
To close out this special offering, we’ve got a unique and expressive imperial chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels—quite possibly our favorite of the group! A potent blend of vanilla, chocolate, and oak play out over rich, deeply layered maltiness, with a full-bodied sweetness that gets nicely balanced by oak tannins and the specialty malt’s bitter roasted-coffee notes.
BJ’s Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Stout pours a dark chocolate-brown color, capped by light-tan foam that shows excellent retention and lacing, despite this beer’s potent ABV. Baker’s chocolate and cocoa lead the aromatics; nicely bitter chocolate remains the focus, with lots of licorice, brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla accompanying. As this warms up, more of the rich, well-rounded core maltiness becomes apparent. Lots to explore here, from the layered specialty malts to the potent barrel presence.
Full-bodied impact leads with generous milk and dark chocolate notes, well-roasted coffee, espresso, and softly charred bourbon barrels. Both the dark specialty malts and toastiness of the bourbon barrels do a lot to ground the sweeter elements here. A seamless integration of dark malts, cocoa nibs, and vanilla beans, and the sweet-bitter combo is excellently balanced. A delicious core imperial chocolate stout with subtle, smoothing vanilla and a nice edge from the time spent in barrels. As with all four of these beers: an expressive, higher-ABV offering that’s super easy to enjoy, bringing a whole lot of depth to explore.
BJ’s Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Stout is probably the most suitable for aging out of the four. Firmly expressed roast, licorice, and specialty-malt bitterness keep this nicely crisp and lean as it stands, and more sherry or caramelization would work well here. Prominent chocolate, bourbon, and coffee notes have us looking to a grilled, coffee-rubbed steak for pairings, or employing this as an easy option for a variety of desserts: chocolate, vanilla, caramel, fruit.
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