The Bruery Chronology: 12
- ABV: 16.7%
- Serving Temperature: 47–53° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Snifter, or Bordeaux Glass
The Bruery’s Chronology: 12 is an intricately packed English-style old ale that’s spent a fair bit of time (12 months—hence the name!) inside of welcoming bourbon barrels. This is actually the second release of a four-part barrel-aging experiment from the Bruery. A dense base beer has been aging inside bourbon barrels for a long time, with a quarter of each barrel removed at six-months intervals. Chronology: 6, the first release and quarter-barrel gone, preceded 12.
This pours deep, hazy dark brown, with color variations similar to wood. There’s a whole lot to this beer—one can tell immediately from the pour, the slight viscosity, the way it feels like it’s trying to gobble up all the light.... It’s 16.7%, and wears that proudly. The aromatics start with complex bourbon, brown sugar, a touch of char from the barrel, and no lack of fruity, vinous warmth from the reasonably well-tucked-away alcohol. We could spend hours with the aroma alone... The underlying English-style old ale stands up perfectly to those barrels, and the flavors courtesy of its base beer and those twelve months oak-aging certainly aren’t shy. This is the pinnacle of the group, and we’ll leave at least a bit of this to the imagination or we’ll need another few pages. A red-wine channel heads through satisfying bourbon and dried dark fruits—heading into some nice barrel nuance in secondary notes: adding hints of vanilla and char, marshmallow and bright oak—a warming kick with a surprisingly lean feel. Just enough fine-bubbled CO2 underpins everything, adding lightness and opening this up.
This beer will probably outlast us all. Drink up or set bottles down for extended rest. It’s a dessert course on its own—though the caramelized, char notes have us thinking pork loin.
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