- Rare Beer Club Special Offer - February 2024
Rare Beer Club Special Offer - February 2024
Today we're excited to announce another Rare Beer Club® Special Offer!
We’ve found over the years that huge gravity, dark, barrel aged beers play especially well in the middle of February when there’s at least a firm bite in the air in most parts of the county and sub-freezing temperatures in others. Hell, who am I kidding? These beers would play well in the middle of July with our Rare Beer Club members!
We’re pretty excited about our first special offer of 2024. Lots of cool and rare stuff in this one. We’ve brought in a 10% Imperial Oatmeal Stout collab from BJ’s Brewhouse and Ritual Brewing. Got a 2nd monster 13.8% imperial stout, this one an RBC Exclusive, from Blue Mountain Barrel House that’s a very limited variant of their annual Concealed Darkness release. Yeah, it’s good. Real good. We’ve also got Calvados Brandy Barrel Aged Gulden Draak, a 10.5% Belgian Quad, and Chimay’s 2018 Barrel Fermented Grande Reserve. Good luck finding this one and if you do, it’ll be priced a lot higher, especially when you bring in 4 or more total bottles from the offer. You should treat yourself and get one for now and one to cellar further. Go ahead. You’re worth it.
Adonis - A Variant of Dark Hollow Concealed Darkness
Blue Mountain Barrel House – Arrington, Virginia
- Style: Small Batch Imperial Stout Aged in Sherry Barrels with Vermouth & Citrus Peel
- ABV: 13.8%
- Serving Temp: 49-53° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, or Cocktail Coupe
To kick things off, we have Blue Mountain Barrel House Adonis. The name comes from the 1880’s cocktail made with Oloroso Sherry, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters, often garnished with orange peel. Adonis is a special, very limited production variant of Concealed Darkness – which itself is a once-a-year reserve variant of Dark Hollow, Blue Mountain Barrel House’s signature imperial stout. Compared with the standard Dark Hollow, Concealed Darkness is brewed with double quantities of roast barley, chocolate malt, and oats, and is then aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a full year. For the Adonis subvariant, the beer was further aged with the addition of natural vermouth and orange flavors in Oloroso Sherry barrels which were just emptied of Old Elk bourbon that had been resting in them. Previously available only at Blue Mountain’s tasting rooms, there are only 15 cases of Adonis left, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to offer them to our members as a club exclusive.
Blue Mountain Barrel House Adonis pour a deep opaque brown to black with a well-formed tan head. The aromas coming from the bottle as it pours into the glass are incredibly pronounced. There’s a complex interplay of roasted malt with warm notes of bourbon and sherry barrels, compleimented by herbal vermouth and bright citrus peel. With a few swirls rich dark cocoa and coffee notes come through as the toast level of the malt makes its appearance.
On the palate the Adonis delivers a symphony of flavors. The initial sip reveals layers of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and darkly caramelized malts, with a pronounced bourbon and vermouth presence that provide warmth and depth. The citrus peel infusion adds subtle complexity and compliements the vermouth botanicals with zest and spice notes. The malty stout backbone holds everything together providing a sturdy platform for the layers of flavor to build on.
The Blue Mountain Barrel House Adonis is a full-bodied stout with a velvety smooth mousse and coats the palate with a silky mouthfeel. The alcohol warmth is well integrated and provides for a long, pleasant finish that embraces the fruitiness of the sherry barrels and makes for a truly sophisticated drinking experience. You’ll definitely want to stock up on these!
Aging & Pairing Notes:
The Blue Mountain Barrel House Adonis is well built for long term aging yet can be enjoyed now, as we recommend. It’ll pair very well with roasted meat dishes, beef stews, and hearty chili. For dessert, try it with dense chocolate brownies. Cheers!
Malt Storm [Sold - Out]
BJ’s Brewhouse (in Collaboration with Ritual Brewing Co.) – Temple, Texas
- Style: Belgo-Style Imperial Oat Stout
- ABV: 10.1%
- Serving Temp: 51-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Teku Glass
Next in this special offering, we’ve got the unique and expressive BJ’s Malt Storm Imperial Oat Stout. It is a collaboration with Owen Williams, one of BJ’s original brewers who co-founded Ritual Brewing Co. This is a take on Ritual’s Big Deluxe Oat Stout, fermented with BJ’s proprietary Belgian yeast. BJ’s Malt Storm is only available through the BJ’s Brewhouse Beer Club (which is limited to California) and the Rare Beer Club in very limited quantitites.
BJ’s Malt Storm pours a dark chocolate-brown color, capped by light-tan foam that shows excellent retention and lacing, despite this beer’s potent ABV. The aroma is a captivating blend of rich roasted malts, distinct Belgian yeast character, and subtle hints of oats. Notes of dark chocolate and espresso dominate, accompanied by nuances of caramelized brown sugar. There are even hints of dark raisins, clove, and pepper.
The BJ’s Brewhouse Malt Storm Imperial Oat Stout delivers a bold and complex flavor profile. Roasted malt flavors of dark cocoa, coffee, and toffee are present throughout and a velvety smoothness is imparted by the oats. Despite the robust flavors, there’s a surprising degree of balance with each flavor playing off the others to create an outstanding beer.
Full-bodied and creamy, the BJ’s Malt Storm has a round mouthfeel that leads to a long and lingering finish bringing back the hints of raisin with a touch of sweetness. Truly enjoyable.
Aging & Pairing Notes:
BJ’s Malt Storm Imperial Oat Stout is suitable for aging 1 to 3 years, but can be enjoyed now paired with grilled, coffee-rubbed steak or a variety of desserts with chocolate, vanilla, and caramel.
Gulden Draak Calvados
Brouwerij Van Steenberge – Ertvelde, Belgium
- Style: Quadrupel aged in Calvados (Apple Brandy) barrels
- ABV: 10.5%
- Serving Temp: 50-57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Chalice, Goblet, Tulip, or Brandy Snifter
Gulden Draak Calvados is the second release in a series of barrel-aged Gulden Draak quads, and we think this one in particular turned out expectionally well. This limited release starts as Gulden Draak Quad 9000, and gets aged in Calvados barrels for around four to six months. This beer was a one-off first released a couple years ago in very limited quantities stateside, and we think this barrel-aged quad has just started hitting its prime.
This barrel-aged quad pours a deep, golden-orange color. There’s sturdy, mousse-like foam composed of miniscule bubbles, showing great retention and lacing. A beautiful Belgian strong ale. Substantial amounts of warming honeyed and apple notes lead the aromatics. Gulden Draak Calvados offers an exceptionally smooth aroma, with subtle fruity warmth and lots of well-rendered caramelization. The combination of a delicious, densely layered quad and those apple-brandy barrels works exceptionally well throughout this beer.
The nuanced packaging of this quad particularly comes through in the subtly effervescent carbonation; the spritziness provides balancing lift for all of the heavier malt elements here. Full mouthfeel with rich caramelization, touches of cotton candy, some subtle warmth that seems to at least partly come from those Calvados barrels. There’s deeply rendered honeyed maltiness, and all the dried dark fruits and caramelized notes you’d want from a world-class quad. The base beer’s exceptional, and that bright fruit and subtle barrel expression from the Calvados impact take this beer to another level. Delicious and super smooth throughout.
Aging & Pairing Notes:
Gulden Draak Calvados should continue to age gracefully for at least a couple years, perhaps longer. For food pairings: we’d use the combo of honey, caramelization, and apple notes as ideal counterpoints for fare like pork tenderloin or grilled chicken-apple sausages.
Grande Réserve Barrel Fermented 2018 Vintage
Abbaye de Scourmont Bières de Chimay – Chimay, Belgium
- Style: Strong Belgian Dark Ale fermented & aged in French Oak, American Oak, and Whiskey Barrels
- ABV: 10.5%
- Serving Temp: 52–59° F
- Suggested Glassware: Chalice, Tulip, Snifter, or Teku Glass
This limited 2018 vintage saw Grande Réserve fermented and aged in wooden barrels, going through a triple fermentation and extended barrel maturation. This vintage Chimay release incorporates French oak (34%), American oak (41%), and whiskey (25%) barrels throughout the fermenting and aging process. We love the standard blue-bottle Chimay (it’s been a go-to when it comes to cigar pairings), and we’re thrilled to have secured this barrel fermented Grande Réserve release for our special offer this month. This 2018 vintage is otherwise gone.
This version of Grande Réserve pours a deep brown, reminiscent of rich maple syrup. This shows well-formed light-tan foam despite the high ABV, dissipating to a persistent lacing at the edges of one’s glass. Rich caramelization and brown sugar lead the aromatics, backed up by the lightly sweet impact of oak and darker fruit. The whiskey-barrel presence throughout serves to support and enhance an already exceptional base quad.
This barrel fermented Chimay release offers up a rich, full mouthfeel balanced out by the delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation that helps support all of these Belgian releases. Light effervescence balances the enormous amount of rounded dark malts, sweet whiskey, and vanilla-laden oak. This barrel-fermented and barrel-aged release brings forth a whole lot of that wood character as this is allowed to warm up: vibrant almond and vanilla, warming whiskey elements, and a touch of subtle tannins providing structure. The carbonation and a subtle burnt-sugar note help keep this balanced throughout. An exceptional twist on a classic Belgian strong ale.
Aging & Pairing Notes:
Given the high ABV and Chimay’s reliability, this should continue to age gracefully in one’s cellar for a number of years. For pairings: we’d work with that deep caramelization, brown sugar, and whiskey notes, looking to brisket burnt ends or some fiery grilled steak fajitas.
As always, if you have any questions or want something different from what we have listed above, please contact our Customer Service Team at 800-625-8238 and we will do what it takes to make it work.
Customer Service Manager