Mike Castagno's picture

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gonzo

March, 2016
Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Intense notes of dried fruits are immediately apparent upon pouring: raisins, currants and figs with a touch of dates. A moderately oaky character melds with caramel, toffee and a bit of chocolate to create a pleasantly complex bouquet. Hints of coffee appear upon warming. The bitterness is soft and smooth, allowing the malt to showcase along with subtle hints of oak and soft whiskey notes in the finish. This is not a “boilermaker” type whiskey barrel beer, which is quite common these days. The brewer has shown restraint, and in doing so, allows the beer and barrel qualities to complement each other – rather than compete against each other – for center stage. The carbonation is a bit on the low side, but this is a minor issue overall. The beer is quite an enjoyable one to evaluate and appreciate.