West Sixth Brewing Company - Neighborly Spirit
Serving Temperature:49-53° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Snifter, or Glencairn Glass
To kick things off, we have the West Sixth Neighborly Spirit, a 13% abv Imperial Stout that was aged 12 months in Kentucky Straight Bourbon barrels. Originally made as a collaboration with Justin’s House of Bourbon, this super limited release is available only through the Rare Beer Club, and we’ve obtained just a handful of cases.
The West Sixth Neighborly Spirit pours an opaque deep dark brown to black with a thick, sturdy head made of tan foam. It looks quite substantial in the glass. As we leaned in to experience the aromas arising from the elixir, we were greeted by notes that spanned the entire spectrum of what bourbon barrels have to offer, such as deeply charred oak, dark caramel, toasty vanilla, sweet dark brown sugar, decadent chocolate brownie, and rich dried cherry and blackberry. The aromas continued to impress with deep, darkly toasted malt, freshly roasted coffee bean, and toasted marshmallow. With a few swirls of the glass, and a bit of warmth to the liquid, more intriguing aromas are released as notes of dark earth and baking spices come forward, carrying with them toasty nuts, chewy dates, and fragrant clove.
Our first sip of West Sixth Neighborly Spirit confirmed all the aromas as flavors and reminded us how special this beer really is and the craftsmanship that went into producing it. Big roasty stouts aged in bourbon barrels can come off as boozy many times, especially at the 13% abv of Neighborly Spirit, but we didn’t experience that here. We did, however, enjoy the pronounced deeply roasted malt, sweet dark caramel, bruleed brown sugar, charred oaky vanilla, and all the bourbon nuances that washed over our palates and left us craving more of this rich, full-bodied stout. The creamy finely bubbled mousse was complemented by a long, smooth, warm finish that lingered on, brought a smile to our faces and cheer to our souls.
The West Sixth Neighborly Spirit is the type of beer with potential for long term aging, though we can recommend drinking now with your favorite barbeque, family dinners, or caramel and chocolate desserts.
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