Crazy Mountain Brewing Company - Local’s Stash Reserve Series: Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Black India Pale Ale
- ABV: 6.2%
- Serving Temperature: 45–53° F
- Suggested Glassware: Nonic, Tulip or Pinot Glass
The concept of aging a black IPA in a rye whiskey barrel suggested a certain profile from the outset. We expected the base beer to be more reliant on its darker malts, providing chocolate and roast, and for the whiskey barrel to bring in some serious char and heat. Combining that with subdued hops from the barrel-aging time, we expected this closer to a BA impy stout.
This beer is nothing like the above.
It’s much brighter, refreshing and more interesting. This Local’s Stash release leads with lots of red-fruit and tangerine notes in the aromatics: fruity, fresh, with surrounding notes of rye and cola. We could tell from the aroma alone this was heading in a different direction, with a core focus on its hops and soft barrel influence. This pours a dense, dark cola color, in fact, a deep liquid chocolate capped by light-tan foam. Like their Gin Barrel Aged Juniper India Pale Ale, the carbonation’s restrained, allowing both these complex IPAs to fully play out.
Vibrant notes of fresh pear, apple and grapefruit lead a firmly bitter hop profile, with the smoothest elements of the rye contributing the elements landing with the most impact: hints of chewy caramel and toasty vanilla from the oak. Again, this feels so much more nimble and bolder than expected, with the big plush fruit notes landing first, tempered by subtle tannins and ideal levels of bitterness for this sort of fruit-forward IPA. The rye whiskey barrel shows as a welcome secondary focus, and this opens up into hints of charred pineapple as it warms.
Given the hop focus here, we’d encourage our Rare Beer Club members to enjoy bottles of this early on, though time will definitely be a bit more forgiving than to typical IPAs. A mix of red-fruit, brown-sugar and caramel elements suggest ideal pairings with pork tenderloin.
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