This one is going to be a very short review. We had this beer with Christmas dinner (not quite 6 months ago), so we weren’t able to take traditional notes. I was hoping for something that might cut the savoury with enough structure and flavours of its own to compete. The Collective Arts Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter with no name has amazing art on and in the packaging – but of course, what is that? It’s a tax – which is why I bought it but I ended up being disappointed with the product.
The website says “this one will warm you up this winter, or cellar it for next year!” We’ve had beers that should have been aged longer before – I think a couple Christmasses ago was lousy for “put me in the cellar” beers. They don’t tend to be good now. This beer has already spent a year in Kentucky Bourbon barrels – does beer even live two years? This site suggests any beer is going to be expired by two years. Does the higher alcohol change that? I don’t know – but I do know the guys at The Drunken Wrench (Blog – Podcasts) give away beers if they don’t get to them soon enough.
Anyway – Christmas dinner was not a good locale for tasting this beer. There was a lot going on on the table and there’s a lot going on in this bottle. It was overpoweringly sweet and completely unstructured, and the 11.5% added more noise than anything else to the taste. I’m pretty familiar with high abv beers at this point but this was bordering on stunt-beer, and I didn’t want to finish my glass. Devin found it to be surprisingly sweet, almost to the point of cloying. High alcohol was present but still managed to be smooth.
Simon – 3/10
Devin – 6/10
Collective Arts Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter – 11.5% 500ml – $14.95 – Ontario
Try it? Maybe in a year. Buy it? No.