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.
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.