Wooden Cask Brewing Company - Reformation
- ABV: 8.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 28
- Serving Temperature: 50-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Thistle Glass, Tulip, Snifter
- Malts: 2-Row, Pale Chocolate, Crystal 77, Barley, Carafa 3
- Hops: Bravo
Reformation Scottish Stout pours a very dark brown, almost black, with mahogany flashes and a robust head of tight, light brown foam that retains well before dropping to a persistent collar. On the nose, look for notes of deeply toasted bread crust with touches of roasty char, along with dark chocolate, cocoa powder, impressions of brown sugar and scorched caramel, and a bit of earthy, spicy hops. As we take a sip, this brew opens with plenty of chocolaty character amidst moderate residual sweetness, which ushers in additional roasty-toasty layers. That roasted quality augments mild-to-moderate hop bitterness to provide a counterpoint to the sweeter malty character, while a deep undercurrent of dried dark fruit peaks through here and there. Scottish stouts traditionally were quite sweet, some exceptionally so, contrasting greatly with the lighter and drier stouts of Ireland, or even England. With Reformation, the brewers have chosen a nicely balanced approach that has a noticeable bitter counterbalance to the malts, while still letting the residual sugars express themselves in a satisfying, round, and full-bodied way. For pairing options, we'd go towards roasted meats and root vegetables, or a decadent slice of chocolate cake with a drizzle of chocolate or caramel – perhaps with a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream. Cheers!
Founded by Randy Schlitz and his wife, Karen, Wooden Cask opened for business in November, 2016 in Newport, KY, just a few blocks south of the Ohio River which bisects the greater Cincinnati area. Co-founder of Cincinnati's Rivertown Brewing Company, Randy sold his stake in Rivertown to his business partner so the two could pursue their own interests in the brewing industry: Rivertown could focus on growing their business with sours and more experimental and extreme beers, while Randy would be free to establish a new brewery to focus on traditional styles and creating an attached British-style pub. Since Cincinnati already was home to many existing craft breweries, Randy and Karen decided to locate their new brewery on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, eventually finding the perfect spot on historic York Street in Newport, KY. The building has a rich history itself. In the 1940s-50s, the location was home to illegal gambling at the Flamingo Club, and by the 1980s it had become a destination for punk rock shows under the guise of the Jockey Club. It then housed a bowling alley and finally a Yellow Cab location before the Schlitzs turned it into their brewery and taproom.
Wooden Cask's focus is on traditional English, Scottish, and Irish beer styles, though they are not limiting themselves, as evidenced by their hefeweizen, gose, and even beers like bourbon barrel aged helles bock. Their goal is not to grow into a big regional brewery with wide distribution but, rather, to focus on their taproom and traditional brewing methods, taking the time to perfect authentic styles. Their taproom, whose bar top is constructed using wood from the old bowling alley lanes, features 18 draft beers plus small-batch and seasonal offerings, and, in 2019, Drunken Hog BBQ opened a location inside to serve tasty smoked pork. We've been impressed with the beers we've had a chance to sample from these fine folks, and are excited to bring you a taste this month. For more info, call 859-261-2172 or visit woodencask.com.
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