Rare Beer Club Special Offer - June 2022

The Rare Beer Club

We've been working closely with Jopen, bringing in exceptionally made, rare craft beers for over 20 years now. We were originally brought together by Shelton Brothers, one of our all-time favorite importers. We started out with what I still consider to be one of the best examples of a Gruit today, Koyt, and recently ran Gritty Young Thing, another outstanding example of the style. I'm here to tell you that Jopen is quite skilled at making more than just Gruits. About 6 months ago, they sent us over a dozen massive, innovative, really, really nice beers. Deciding which four to run in this offer was akin to Sophie's Choice and we labored over which beers we felt would really resonate with our members literally for weeks before selecting the four beers below.

NOTE: Each beer is 330ml. We've only got roughly 20 cases of these rarities (none have ever been sold in the US, and they are being offered exclusively through the Rare Beer Club). You'll want more than one of each, trust me. One or two for now, one or two to lay down. A mixed 12-pack, three of each, seems a no-brainer. Don't snooze on this one or you may miss out on it entirely.

KC Signature
Kris Calef

For the PDF version of the Special Offer Newsletter, Click Here. The order form follows the beer descriptions below. To jump to the order form now, Click Here.

Meesterstuk 2017

Jopen B.V. – Haarlem, The Netherlands

  • Style: Imperial Porter w/ Ginger, Celtic Sea Salt & Cocoa
  • ABV: 10%
  • Serving Temp: 48-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Small Nonic, or Tulip Glass

Meestruk We've got four incredible beers from Jopen B.V. in this special offer-exclusively brought in for our Rare Beer Club members. We recently featured their standout Gritty Young Thing, a Scottish-style gruit ale, as one of our RBC featured selections, and we managed to get four (rather massive) Jopen offerings together for a tasty followup. We're kicking things off with the smallest of the four selections: the incredible Meersterstuk 2017, an imperial porter that's brewed with malted oats, ginger, sea salt, and cocoa. Each year Jopen makes a Masterpiece ("Meesterstuk") beer to honor St. Martin, the patron saint of the Haarlem Brewers Guild.

This vintage release is drinking so well right now. Meersterstuk 2017 pours a dark chocolate-brown color with some light coming through at the edges. Medium-tan foam lingers for a bit and leaves behind a modest perimeter of bubbles. Engaging initial aromatics balance sweet chocolate and cocoa with spicy ginger character. There are soft, pillowy milk chocolate notes that never overaccentuate the core sweetness, with generous toffee and roast following.

Full-bodied mouthfeel, with a subtle underpinning of carbonation keeping this very pleasant to dig into. The spice from the ginger and deep roast add a lot here, with the hop additions coming through with pine and herbaceous secondary notes. That core combo of cocoa-led chocolates alongside ginger and sea salt is just beautifully handled, and this beer is drinking so smoothly right now. Immensely easy-drinking imperial porter, with its special additions balancing all the rich chocolate, roasted malt and coffee notes at the core of this beer. The lengthy finish shows chocolates alongside some of the nutty, toffee-like secondary notes of the specialty-malt presence. An incredible porter, aged to perfection, to kick things off.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Meersterstuk 2017 has a best-before date of January 2037-so feel free to lose track of this one in your cellar for a bit (though we think it's drinking great right now). That combo of rich roasted malts and chocolate, along with elements of sea salt and ginger, have us looking to pair this with chili-rubbed steak, lamb kebabs, or your favorite chocolate-inclined dessert.

Sin & Remorse (Brandy Barrel Aged)

Jopen B.V. – Haarlem, The Netherlands

  • Style: Brandy-Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 11%
  • Serving Temp: 50-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Small Nonic, or Tulip Glass

Sin & Remorse Brandy Sin & Remorse is brewed with barley, wheat, oats, and rye, with this barrel-aged version emphasizing notes of raisins and chocolate. This gets aged in brandy barrels for 1,500 days! That's… a lot, and there's a whole bunch of tannins and honeyed/spicy brandy character bringing this beer together. The original base stout was a collab with Brouwerij de Molen, which long-time club members will remember from its inclusion in the club back in 2019.

Brandy-barrel-aged Sin & Remorse pours a very dark, chocolate-brown color with minimal light at the edges. Prominent dark-brown head that lingers despite the high ABV; resilient lacing that coats the interior of the glass. We found generous aromatics of milk and dark chocolate and raisins from the start. Endearing warmth from its time in brandy barrels; this is honeyed and lightly charred, alongside firm roast and non-trivial hop impacts throughout.

Full-full mouthfeel, leading with rich milk chocolate and roast alongside the oaky, warming impacts from the lengthy rest in brandy barrels. Incredibly smooth despite the high ABV and everything else going on. Chewy dark specialty malts, with the raisin/dark-fruit character providing welcome, subtle fruitiness that adds a whole other layer to this beer. Tannins and hops provide accomodating structure and balance.

Let this warm up a bit for the fullest impact. This version of Sin & Remorse is aged just over four years in brandy barrels, and the result is an incredibly decadent, super-smooth imperial stout that showcases its barrel presence but definitely pulls no punches with its core stout impact: lots of chocolates and well-roasted coffee and developed caramelization throughout. Long finish of dark chocolate, raisins, and well-oaked brandy.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Our bottles had a best-before date of March 2041, so feel free to cellar at your leisure. This is for sure a huge beer, packed with chocolates and roast, and will stand up to the heftiest pairing counterparts. We're thinking peppered grilled ribeye, or a mellow, vanilla-focused dessert to counterpoint all the decadence going on here.

Sin & Remorse (Scotch Barrel Aged)

Jopen B.V. – Haarlem, The Netherlands

  • Style: Bowmore-Whisky-Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 11%
  • Serving Temp: 50-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Small Nonic, or Tulip Glass

Sin & Remorse Whisky This second version of Sin & Remorse is aged for 530 days inside of Bowmore Whisky barrels. The core imperial stout, a collab with De Molen, is brewed with barley, wheat, oats, and rye, with this release emphasizing dark chocolate and peat. Definitely worth trying these two versions of Sin & Remorse side by side to explore their different expressions.

This Bowmore-barrel-aged Sin & Remorse pours a dark-dark chocolate-brown color with medium-brown foam. Nicely retained head, with lingering bubbles along the periphery. The dark chocolate and well-implemented peaty whisky serve a key role in the initial aromatics. The base imperial stout is beautifully handled (as before), and deep chocolate, roasted malt and coffee notes provide a sturdy baseline for the extensive barrel time. Welcome touches of oak alongside a warming whisky presence, amplified as this warms up.

A full-bodied imperial stout with impressive notes of roasted malt, milk and dark chocolates, and rounded smoky whisky character. The peat presence is carefully integrated to the overall construction here without ever seeming over-the-top; there's a huge imperial stout as ballast, and the peaty whisky serves as more of a secondary note, providing structure alongside the oak tannins from this beer's barrel aging. An incredibly generous stout with deep chocolate, vibrant whisky elements, and supporting tannins, hops, and darker specialty-malt bitterness keeping everything feeling sufficiently balanced. Lasting finish of dark chocolate, toasty oak, and a touch of lingering Bowmore whisky. Chocolatey and lightly smoky and lovely.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Our bottles show a best-before date of March 2041; this beer will potentially outlast us all. The combo of peat and dark chocolate and impactful stout suggests pairing this with heavier fare, maybe with a bit of smoke attached: grilled steaks, or a focused vanilla- or chocolate-centered dessert to ground things. This would also be an exceptional after-dinner drink with a cigar-maybe even a small glass of Islay scotch to interplay with the beer's peatiness.

Don't tRye This @Home!

Jopen B.V. – Haarlem, The Netherlands

  • Style: Rye Wine Aged in Caol Ila Scotch and Heaven Hill & Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Serving Temp: 52-60° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter or Tulip Glass

Don't tRye This @Home Our fourth and final huge Jopen release of this special offer, Don't tRye This @Home! is brewed with wheat and rye-hence the "rye wine" distinction. This is a full-on expression of rye, with 70% rye in the malt bill. This version gets aged in a combination of Caol Ila Scotch whisky barrels, as well as Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. A huge, way-out-there rye wine to close this already out-there special offer.

This pours a medium amber-brown color with light tan foam; solid lacing around the edges of the glass. Significant spicy rye and candied caramelization lead the aromatics, with those Caol Ila and bourbon barrels providing significant amounts of peat, vanilla, and toasty oak. Plenty of plush, warming alcohol alongside dried dark fruits and almond notes.

Full-bodied mouthfeel here-but who's surprised at 12.5% ABV? Rye-heavy beers can be pretty intense (and challenging to brew), but the blend of Caol Ila, Heaven Hill, and Buffalo Trace barrels works beautifully in concert with everything going on here. We found a vibrant peatiness, decadent dark caramelization, and lightly spicy rye that continue to amplify as this warms, but the potent core combo of sweet caramel and robust dried fruits steers things. A beautifully out-there beer in a special offer full of them. Long finish of spicy rye, toasty oak tannins, and a lingering hit of peaty whisky and caramel. Spend some time with this one.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Our bottles had a best-before date in 2041. As with all four of these special-offer beers, you can feel comfortable continuing to cellar them for a special moment. This immense rye wine seems potentially best suited as a nightcap to share; like the latter version of Sin & Remorse, it'd work in tandem with cigars (we'd go maduro wrapper), and maybe a dram of whiskey to counterpoint the barrel impact. Could also totally work alongside smoky, barbecued fare.

Read this Month's Special Offer NewsletterClick here to read or download the full special offer newsletter.

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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.


Mitchell Glavas
Customer Service Manager