Mark Twain Brewing Company - A Wee Bit Foggy (Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged)
- ABV: 10%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 50–57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Thistle, or Small Nonic Glass
We’ve previously included the base version of this beer—A Wee Bit Foggy, an incredible 9.8% scotch ale—as a featured monthly selection in the Rare Beer Club. Cat Golden from Mark Twain Brewing then offered the following explanation for A Wee Bit Foggy’s name:
“In Northeast Missouri, the Mississippi River often gets foggy in the mornings, particularly in the fall. At times, so much so that the river is completely shrouded—you’d never even know it was there. Our brewery is situated right on the Mississippi. Early one morning, Dave [Alley] and I walked down the hill to the brewery to test brew a new Scotch Ale recipe we’d created. That morning, the river was covered in fog. I thought, ‘How appropriate that we’re brewing a traditionally Scottish beer today. The fog reminds me of the mist-covered Scottish Highlands.’ I looked at Dave and said, in my cheesiest Scottish brogue, “Well, it’s a wee bit foggy out, ‘tisn’t it?’ And it struck both of us simultaneously: we’re brewing a ‘Wee Heavy,’ it's a ‘wee bit foggy’ outside, and—if you drink too many glasses of this beer—you yourself, will become ‘a wee bit foggy.’ A couple of months later, we released the finished beer, and it was a hit. Our regulars demanded that it become a yearly tradition, and we began our barrel-aging program with Foggy and our Russian Imperial (Passport to Russia) shortly thereafter.”
This impeccably handled barrel-aged version of A Wee Bit Foggy takes everything we liked about that release and adds a nicely rounded, lightly spiced impact from rye whiskey barrels. Only 25 cases will be sold outside of this special offer through the brewery’s taproom.
Barrel-aged A Wee Bit Foggy pours a dark brown-sugar color with reddish tints, capped by a modest medium-tan foam. Chewy, decadent caramel and toffee lead the aromatics, alongside secondary vanilla, toasted almond, and soft char from the barrel time. Overall, this is such an impressive rendition of scotch ale: massively deep fruits and caramelization, the rye whiskey barrels contributing a perfect spiced, warming roundness that takes this to another level.
A full-bodied mouthfeel leads with a nicely balanced mélange of fruits, layered caramels, and warming rye and barrel notes that go seamlessly together throughout. This is layered, plush, just an absolute pleasure to dig into—with the subtle tannins from the oak barrels giving this a bit of balancing structure for that dense caramelization. All four of these beers from Mark Twain are exceptionally balanced and showcase their barrel influences beautifully. Delicious base beers on their own—but this Brewers’ Reserve Series is something else. The combo of spiciness, ripe and dried dark fruits, the dense malt core… This one shows fantastic range.
As for basically all four of these beers, this feels more than sturdy enough for further aging, but it’s also drinking great right now. For pairings: we’re looking toward pork chops, maybe lamb kebabs, or chewy caramel-focused desserts. This beer shares a lot of essential elements with barrel-aged Ol’ Pudd’nhead, so consider those pairing suggestions as well.
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