We just placed our order for Odell’s 9.4% oak aged Imperial IPA and I can’t wait to hear what our members think about it. Historically, we haven’t seen a ton of brewers attempting to marry wood with aggressively hopped beers over the years, but I suspect that’s all about to change pretty quickly. Longtime members may recall another barrel-aged IPA that was featured this past year: Cigar City’s El Monstruo Lúpulo, a double IPA aged on Spanish cedar and spruce that was made exclusively for our members to commemorate our 20th anniversary. Seems fitting that this year, as The Rare Beer Club turns the legal drinking age of 21, we’re running another outstanding brewer, making another outstanding beer focused on the marriage of wood and hops.
As our newsletter writer, Ken Weaver, pointed out, “the combination of hops and wood-derived qualities is certainly an intriguing one, and this will likely find increasingly more traction going forward. Hops offer all sorts of different and endearing characteristics to beer—from the prototypical citruses, herbaceousness, spice, and grass, to tropical fruits and beyond—while different wood types can offer an equally diverse range of input: from the coconut brightness of American oak to the spicy, cinnamon aspects of Brazilian amburana wood.”
Okay, I’m officially thirsty as we near 5 o’clock. Not that happy hour is by any means a perquisite for popping the cork on an outstanding beer at my desk. Such is the luxury of owning The Rare Beer Club. Having a warehouse full of really good stuff at your disposal is always a good thang.
Where the hell was I going with all this? Got side tracked there. Barrel Thief. You’re going to LOVE it. It’s bottle-conditioned, well hopped, and aged in fresh American oak. You’ve got juicy, tropical hops melding with similarly generous oak-barrel notes. The nose offers aromatics of fresh melon, a melange of citrus (from grapefruit and fresh-squeezed lemon to angles of kaffir lime leaf and passion fruit), and of course that American oak. Don’t check out Ken’s full tasting notes on Barrel Thief unless you’re prepared to become a member to ensure you can get your hands on some of this stuff!