A wood- or barrel-aged beer is any lager, ale or hybrid beer, either a traditional style or a unique experimental beer, that has been aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. It proved the beer with a unique character of the wood and/or the flavor of what has previously been in the barrel. Today’s craft beer brewers use mostly oak to get the best flavor and aromas. Let’s breeze through a list of the best grafted beer that one must try once in their lifetime:
Lolita by Goose Island Beer Co.: Aged for at least eight months; it is light bodied, crisp and gives a hint of raspberry and tastes both, sweet and tart at the same time.
CBS by Founders Brewing Co.: Short for Canadian Breakfast Stout – is one of the most sought-after and highly rated beers in America right now. Before long, beer geeks were speculating about when they would get their hands on the stout, which is brewed with coffee and chocolate, then aged in single-barrel bourbon casks that have most recently been used to age maple syrup. Needless to say the result of this experiment was delectable tasting craft beer.
Ballast Point High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea: Victory at Sea has previously been aged in a variety of barrels, including Heaven Hill and Elijah Craig bourbons and Ballast Point’s own Three Sheets rum, and the whiskey versions have had prominent whiskey spices and lots of creamy vanilla, as well as a lingering coffee and chocolate finish. Aged in both bourbon and rye the beer results in a brooding, complex powerhouse.
Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai: Made in Tampa, the brewers aim was to fix the extra juicy sweetness it held, hence the aging in White oak. The result being the tannins imparted by the oak counterbalancing the sugar with some much-needed dryness.
Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout: Dogfish Head’s potent World Wide Stout is one of the most legendary American craft beers: Brewed in 1999 with the intent of being “the strongest beer in the world,” it has ranged from 15 to 20 percent alcohol by volume, a level that still sounds over the top even as we’ve become accustomed to high-test imperial stouts. Recently they released their Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout, with a stated potency of 16 to 17.5 percent ABV. Aged in 10,000-gallon oak tanks with Madagascar vanilla beans, it has notes of fudge, cocoa and raspberries, and a noticeable heat from all that alcohol.
Founders Backwoods Bastard: The bourbon-rested version of Dirty Bastard Scotch ale is a deceptively smooth with 11.6-percent alcohol-by-volume monster with vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, coconut, and maple flavors goes smooth down the throat leaving a lingering after-taste. It has a smoky taste with sweet caramel and dark fruit flavors.