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.
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.