For the most recent issue of DRAFT, I had the incredible pleasure of popping open each vintage of Odell Woodcut, including a sneak-peek version of this year’s release (which comes out Saturday, Oct. 6).
Like other long-standing series in the beer world (think Stone Vertical Series), Woodcut isn’t exactly a vertical. Each beer’s slightly different—mainly by base style—but there’s definitely some commonality to be found from one release to the next, especially when sipping the first three. Primarily: nuts. What I loved so much about Woodcuts 1 through 3 was the rich pecan flavor. That nuttiness accentuated the toasted barrel notes while connecting with vanilla and sweet malts for a luscious swallow. No. 3, however, still had enough barrel tannins and hop bitterness to ensure the swallow stayed relatively clean and dry, which is why we named it the best of the bunch. While each of these three recipes were different, they were still similar enough in profile to illustrate how cellaring changes a beer profile from one year to the next.
When studying the collection by taste, it’s obvious that Woodcut No. 4 is where Odell decided to switch gears, releasing an oak-aged Märzen. After that, we had the disappointingly uncarbonated No. 5, which leads us to this year’s highly anticipated No. 6. If the preview that I tasted is any indication, this has the potential to be the most stunning Woodcut to date. Hoppy for sure, this brew’s dry-hopped with the tropical Mosaic variety, then aged in oak-barrels: Think vanilla, papaya, pineapple and citrus. Like the first three Woodcut releases, I’d love to see the next few riff off of No. 6 so we can watch as they develop together.
What do you expect from Woodcut No. 6 and beyond?