Look at it sitting there in the stash, taunting me, telling me I am not worthy. Even though today was a big day here abouts - maybe landing a new sponsor, maybe landing a contest prize with a great western craft brewer and even getting a mention in the July 2007 issue of Beer Advocate - still it tells me I am not worthy. What does the Cantillon tell me? What do they say to each other when the lights are out? Do they laugh at me?
I have enjoyed anything that Stone could throw at me: Ruination, Double Bastard, the Anniversary Ales, that smoked porter. But I have never had the oaked one. Deep orange butterscotch ale under a fine tight foam froth not far off the colour of pine studs holding up the basement drywall. Some booze on the nose from the 7.2% strength. In the mouth, the oak barreling mellows the heat, hauls in the hops, adds a bit of something just a notch below vanilla. The green arugula blast is more of a nod to weediness now. This is still very much one of the bastardly bunch of big pale malt and heavy hopping but there is a richness out of which pops orange peel and maybe a hint of cloves. As it opens and warms there is a milk chocolate thing in there, too. BAers are supportive.
What have I learned? A stay on the wood, in this case chips and not a barrel, can harness a beer, civilize the bigness of a bomb, show off a more languid side you do not see to often. Maybe to better suit a summer evening. More "About Oaked Beer" posts here.