Rare Beer Club 2-Bottle Selections - May 2024

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Soft-Serv (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - RBC Exclusive

South Street Brewery – Charlottesville, Virginia

[Imperial Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels w/ Madagascan Vanilla Beans and Ghanaian Cacao Nibs - 9.05% ABV]

Wheatwine Ale (RBC Exclusive)

South Street Brewery holds an extensive tradition as Charlottesville's longest-running brewery and pub, and they had new life breathed into the operation when the brewery was purchased in 2014 by Blue Mountain Brewery & Barrel House. Two of Blue Mountain's founders-Mandi and Taylor Smack-had worked for South Street a decade earlier, with Taylor serving as brewer from 2001 to 2007. Taylor's brewing experience extends back long before Blue Mountain's first location opened in 2007, including running Goose Island's brewing and barrel aging between 2000-2001, when barrel aging was still new to the craft beer scene. Today, the owners are committed to continuing to revitalize South Street, and this downtown Charlottesville landmark's beer releases have just been getting better and better.

This month we're excited to feature a special bourbon barrel aged version of South Street's Soft-Serv "ice cream porter". Brewed with vanilla bean and cacao nibs, this imperial porter delivers aromas of dark caramel, toasted marshmallows, hints of toasted coconut, notes of toasted brown sugar, hints of dark molasses, milk chocolate, and even some dried dark fruits. On the palate, this exceptionally smooth porter emphasizes a robust, toasty, and dark core and the impact of its time spent in bourbon barrels, with lots of pronounced deep cacao nib flavors very well complemented by vanilla bean. It's all supremely balanced by some char and Simcoe hop bitterness to offset the velvety caramel and toasted oak richness. Bourbon Barrel Aged Soft-Serv is being made available exclusively to Rare Beer Club members, with limited amounts available at the brewery.

Speedway Stout

AleSmith Brewing Company – San Diego, California

[Imperial Stout with Coffee - 12% ABV]

Wild #3

AleSmith Brewing Company is one of San Diego's premier breweries and pioneers of Southern California's craft brewing scene. Founded in 1995, AleSmith's beginnings were humble. With a three-man team and a 15bbl brew system, they made the most of their single-unit space with enough room for an office and a tasting bar. In 2002, Peter Zien, a Grand Master Judge and decorated home brewer, took ownership of AleSmith and soon introduced their barrel-aging program. In 2008 AleSmith was awarded Small Brewing Company and Brewer of the Year at GABF. AleSmith was rated #1 Best Brewery in the World and #1 Brewery in California on RateBeer.com in 2014, and consistently ranks among the 10 best breweries in the world to this day.

AleSmith's flagship imperial stout made with locally roasted coffee pours opaque black, offering rich, earthy, and inviting aromas of deeply roasted malts, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and molasses, backed by dark toasty toffee, rich caramel, and plump dark fruit with touches of lightly charred vanilla bean, toasted marshmallow and bruleed brown sugar. On the palate, this is an immensely decadent imperial stout with layers of flavor in every sip. Touches of coffee, char, dark caramel, and dark chocolate abound, as do dried black fruits such as raisins and blackberries, plus some toffee-like hints of sweetness, flashes of black pepper and toasted walnuts, along with a generous amount of bittering hops.

AleSmith Speedway Stout has very limited distribution throughout the US, especially in 750ml bottles, being available mostly in major markets in Southern and Central California. We're proud to be able to offer this outstanding imperial stout to our members nation-wide.

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