Bourbon-aged stouts and porters were everywhere this past year, popping up in pubs and at beer festivals all across the Midwest. In fact, I was hard pressed to find a normal stout other than Guinness on tap at my favorite pubs in St. Paul. The style is a bit of a rsiky endeavor since it takes such a long time to age in the barrel, a wait that can either reward the patient with an exquisite brew or totally let them down with something completely mediocre. Buy a low quality barrel and get a stout with off-flavors. Don’t age it long enough and get a strong residual alcohol flavor.
This is the beer landscape that Central Waters Peruvian Morning Imperial Stout entered into this last year. Not only did it hold its own against the other bourbon-barrel stouts standing tall next it at the tap, it beat them in body, smoothness, and pleasant bourbon flavors. It pours a dark ebony with an aromatic tan head. It smells of coffee, sweet bourbon with hints of vanilla, undoubtedly drawn from the oak.
This is a stout for coffee lover and for the bourbon connoisseur, a bold, bitter and smooth ale that goes down well with savory flavors. It’s a stout that calls to the beer lover saying, “It’s time to wake and smell the coffee…stout.”
Best Enjoyed: In a pint glass in the mid afternoon or late at night.
Best Paired With: A savory dish like French Onion Soup.
Where to Find: Across Wisconsin in January.
Find more information at Central Waters Brewing Company’s website.