About Barrel Aged Ale

About Barrel Aged Ale
The category of barrel-aged beer represents a diverse range of ale and lager styles that have been aged in non-neutral wood. These beers commonly range between 7.5-10% in alcohol with further variations depending on the interpretation of the style. These beers are characterized by both wood-influenced flavors (vanillia, caramel, toast, coconut) and secondary flavors of the alcohol previously aged in the wood (bourbon, scotch whisky, sherry). The overall character of the final beer may also included acetic, lactic or Brettanomyces flavors and aromas resultant of the barrel. A wide variety of base beer styles may be barrel-aged for an additional level of complexity, although barrel-aged versions of darker or more alcoholic styles are among the more common examples. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and Grand Rapids The Mound Maker.

Top Picks for Barrel Aged Ale

Revolution Brewing Straight Jacket Barrel-Aged Barleywine
94 points
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of raisins in caramel, butterscotch, candied yams, molasses cookie, coffee liqueur, and chocolate bundt cake with a satiny, crisp, petillant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, engaging, medium-long finish with notes of candied orange peel, carob, and marzipan finish. A complex and balanced barrel-aged ale that offers port-like fruit and a whiskey-like brawn; luxurious.
Ahnapee Brewery Cherry Wood Aged Baltic Porter
93 points
Ebony color. Smoky aromas of smoking autumn leaves, carob, spruce, dried fig, coconut, and spiced apples with a velvety, crisp, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a warming, elegant, long dark chocolate bread pudding, honey gelato, rosemary, peanuts in caramel, and toffee finish. A toasty, slightly smoky ale that with big character and appeal.
Indeed Brewing Co. Wooden Soul: In the Thicket Barrel-Aged Raspberry Golden Sour Ale
92 points
Pale minutely hazy ruby copper color. Sourish aromas and flavors of raspberry butter on sourdough and raspberry-lemon vinaigrette on mesclun with a satiny, tart, effervescent, sour medium-full body and a tingling, distinctive, long finish conveying touches of buttered toasted baguette, pickled red berries, mixed peppercorns, and smoked nuts finish. A great marriage of sour ale and fresh tart raspberries that whets the appetite.
pFriem Baileys Taproom 10th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian-Style Pale Ale
92 points
Hazy golden yellow color. Savory, sourish aromas and flavors of citrus vinaigrette, marinated peaches and mango, herbal sourdough stuffing, and kombucha with a supple, lively, frothy, sourish medium-to-full body and a tingling, charming, medium-length finish evoking shades of radish sprouts, vanilla nut brittle, and dried coconut finish. A refreshing and nuanced lightly sour barrel aged ale.
Awards: 2017 Best Barrel Aged Ale
pFriem Oud Bruin Barrel-Aged Brown Ale
90 points
Light mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate-drizzled roasted nuts, dried fruits, and white balsamic drizzled pannetone and bread with a velvety, bright, finely carbonated, sweet-and-sour medium body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length finish that shows elements of pickled berries and white chocolate brittle finish. A delicious, well-balanced barrel aged ale.
Duvel Moortgat Bourbon Barrel-Aged Ale
89 points
Brilliant golden amber color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed fruit cake, apple-banana custard tart, pickled golden beet salad, and white wine with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-to-long finish conveying notes of peach-mango yogurt, honeyed pepper nut bread, cherry tart, and hint of whisky barrel finish. A precise, decadent barrel-aged ale to savor and share.
Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. Kentucky Tequila Barrel Wheat Ale
88 points
Gold in color, with aromas of honey, key lime pie, apple butter, clove, lemon zest, and vanilla spiced nuts. On the palate, crisp acidity brings custard and apple pastry flavors into a medium-length and rich finish. This creamy, spicy, barrel-aged beer will have you reaching for the next one until the pack is gone.
Shmaltz Brewing Company Funky Jewbelation Barrel Aged Sour
88 points
Dark medium brown color. Interesting aromas and flavors of baking chocolate, sweet and peppery spices, pumpernickel bread pudding, and leafy greens with a slightly chewy, tart, sourish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long finish displaying overtones of peach-cherry vinaigrette on mustard greens, peppercorns, roasted nuts, and cola float finish. A great example of barrel aged ale with fine balance of malt and sourness.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Christmas Ale
87 points
Minutely hazy burnt sienna color. Aromas of lavender, eucalyptus, zucchini bread, chervil, and fresh lemon with a silky, bright, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, delightful, breezy cumin dusted nuts, gingerbread, and mint chutney finish. An herbal barrel aged ale with a nice balance of freshness and roasty qualities.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Tripel Dog Dare Ale
86 points
Sedimentary deep amber color. Aromas of banana bubblegum, honeyed dried fruits, sunflower seed bread, and wintergreen and flowers with a velvety, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, breezy sarsaparilla float, praline, pear cider vinaigrette, and pepper finish. A weighty ale for desserts.