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10 great booze-aged brews

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Keep warm this winter with big beers aged in boozy barrels.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

This seasonal treat is as bold as they come, from the viscous pour to its 13% ABV. Strong bourbon notes spike the beer’s robust molasses-and-chocolate combo as roasted bitterness springs up from thick vanilla and caramel notes on the back of the tongue.

Deschutes The Abyss

More than a third of this seasonal imperial stout’s aged in oak bourbon barrels, creating a world-class profile that merges bitter chocolate and roast with smooth vanilla, oak and molasses. Clocking in at 11% ABV, this beer assures that there’s no threat of going cold on a wintry night.

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Finish

A rum-spiked edition of Innis & Gunn’s oaky flagship beer, this brew spent 30 days inside American oak barrels, then another 30 days inside rum barrels before the entire batch was blended together. Vanilla and caramel merge with sweet, dark fruit rum notes for a cocktail-like blend of flavors.

Kiuchi Hitachino Nest XH

Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery uses shochu (distilled sake) casks to house a solid Belgian-style brown ale. Shochu seeps into the brew during its three-month nap, adding a spicy alcohol kick to sweet malts, ginger and lovely dark fruits.

Founders KBS

This sophisticated take on the brewery’s seasonal Breakfast Stout ages a whole year in oak bourbon barrels. The result leaves drinkers weak in the knees: Sharp roasted malts are smoothed by oak, vanilla and dark chocolate, while spicy bourbon slips down the tongue and burns the chest.

Left Hand Widdershins

Partially aged in oak brandy casks, Widdershins is a seasonal favorite for barleywine lovers. Sweet malts balance punchy hops, while brandy flavors imparted from the wood amp up the beer’s already fun, boozy profile.

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel

This barleywine fills the air with bold dark fruit, biscuity malts and wet, heavy bourbon scents. Brace for a wave of sticky bourbon that sinks into the taste buds and puts a smile on anyone who likes their beer loud.

Rogue John John Juniper Pale Ale

Rogue grabbed a few barrels that once housed its distillery’s Spruce Gin, filled them with Juniper Pale Ale and let them rest for more than two months. The result is a fresh spruce aroma and explosive pine and juniper flavors.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16

This VIP beer goes where few ales have gone before: inside casks used to age Highland Park’s 16-year-old single malt scotch. The result is a sophisticated brew that blends toffee, dark fruits and earthy, smoky wood flavors with a single malt kick.

Lost Abbey The Angel’s Share

Named after the percentage of liquid that evaporates during the barrel-aging process, Lost Abbey’s masterpiece spends no less than 12 months aging in brandy casks. Rich caramel swirls with raisin, licorice and vanilla while spicy, warming brandy notes sink into the chest.

 


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