A Victory For Barrel Aging

Well I just posted about Victory’s Red Thunder, where they age their Baltic porter in red wine barrels, but it appears that Victory isn’t stopping there. Though there’s no press releases about these additional barrel aging projects, their labels have been showing up on BeerPulse, which means that something is going on.

First up, we’ve got Victory Oak Horizontal Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine. The name is a play on Victory’s Old Horizontal, a barleywine they actually haven’t made in a couple years due to the large amount of production resources required to brew it. Fortunately, Victory’s opening a new facility nearby which should increase production to the point where they can play around with big beers like this again, and this Bourbon Barrel treatment sounds like a great idea:

Victory Oak Horizontal Label

Next, we’ve got Victory White Monkey White Wine Barrel-aged Tripel. Again, the name is a play on Golden Monkey, one of my longtime favorites from Victory. I’m not a huge white wine guy, but this actually does seem like a good match, and it’s nice to see that breweries are taking chances on things other than Bourbon barrels (even if they still tend to be my favorite)…

Victory White Monkey Label

In short, it’s looking like Victory is getting more adventurous these days, a trend I can certainly get behind. Of course, I have no idea when the above bottles will be released – it could very well be far off, but I’m guessing they’ll show up sometime later this year or early next year. And with the opening of their new facility, I only expect to see more of this barrel-aged stuff start to show up. Not to mention the prospect of getting more Wild Devil (which is basically Brett dosed Hop Devil). And who knows, maybe they’ll start bottling some of them Ranch Double IPA series beers… But for now, I’ll just be happy with the above (and with my cellared Dark Intrigue and Otto in Oak)

Update 12/23/12: Both Red Thunder and Oak Horizontal have been released and reviewed… Cheers!

4 thoughts on “A Victory For Barrel Aging”

  1. I drank a bottle of 2010 Dark Intrigue the other day and I wasn’t terribly impressed. Storm King is too thin to stand up to anything and it was just middle of the road as a result. After having a few samples of it at various bottle shares and thinking it was bad, at least I can say it’s at least average. Doesn’t leave me looking forward to these a ton but maybe they’ll work out better. I heard the barrel aged Otto was decent at least.

  2. I’ve actually really enjoyed the 2011 Dark Intrigue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t hold up to long-term aging. It’s perhaps not as much of a monster as BCS or Parabola, but as Barrel Aged Beers go, it was great when it was fresh… (though I don’t know how well it would stand up in a comparative tasting). I should pop another one open in the coming weeks…

    Otto in Oak was a big improvement over the base beer, though I wasn’t really a big fan of the regular ol’ Otto. The smoke was just overwhelming, and the extra age and bourbon barrel treatment cut through that, added complexity, and allowed some of the other elements of the beer to emerge.

    Regardless, I’m just happy that another local brewery is playing around barrel aging, as I just love that treatment (even in smaller beers)…

  3. I agree with the last sentiment. Hopefully they can get better at it as time goes on as barrel aging is a separate skill from brewing in my opinion and needs to be learned. Just throwing beer in a barrel is not the same as being able to do it well.


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