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Home Beer From our cellar: Jacob Leinenkugel Big Eddy Rye Barrel-aged 2011

From our cellar: Jacob Leinenkugel Big Eddy Rye Barrel-aged 2011

Some beers are better with age.
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CELLARBring Out

Jacob Leinenkugel Big Eddy Rye Barrel-aged 2011 

More than four years of rest hasn’t mitigated the aroma’s rye whiskey spiciness, but the cellar time has tempered the imperial stout’s alcohol heat, which now takes a back seat to dark chocolate and a hint of cherry cordial. The dark brown brew with ruby highlights unfolds gracefully in a rich mix of dark and milk chocolate, juicy cherries and charred oak with a dusty cocoa conclusion. There’s solid boozy warmth to the 12% brew, but its carbonation is fading, so it’s likely best to open it now before this goes completely still.

Lay Down

AleSmith Old Numbskull

When fresh, this barleywine offers a bold medley of toffee, hop-derived woodiness, light butterscotch, and a sweet and nutty peanut brittle finish punctuated by firm bitterness. After the swallow, the 11% ABV reveals itself as a lingering warmth. Even though the beer tastes a bit young now and some cellar time should reveal notes of leather and dark fruits, too many years might do it a disservice, as it has a lighter mouthfeel than the thick chewiness often associated with boozy barleywines.

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