Labatt Prohibition Series Bourbon Barrel Ale with Brad


I spent a few days down in (relatively) sunny Michigan for a Michigan Municipal League tradeshow, and stumbled across another Canadian. Well, not… not Canadian beer, like Molson Canadian Beer, but a lower-case-upper-case-C Canadian beer…ugh.

Let’s try this again – I was down in the States with my buddy Brad for work and we found this weird Labatt’s product that doesn’t seem to be available in Canada.

Brad pulled this out of the fridge at Tom’s Party Store in East Lansing, where I found the upcoming Traver’s City whisky, and we figured we should try it. It’s sort of half-way Canadian (see above) and it says bourbon on the label so that qualifies for a review.

This beer claims to be an

“ale brewed with bourbon barrel staves and with natural flavour added”

so uh-oh. Nowhere on the bottle does it mentioning “aging” or “aged” or even the more nebulous “matured”, which I think happens underneath the bleachers at around 13. I’m not sure but I think the prohibition reference and stubby bottle are meant to evoke that aging process, or maybe to make you think “did they just find these old beers somewhere?” That somewhere would be very sticky from the “natural” caramel flavouring.

The “brewed with bourbon barrel staves” evokes more of a discount or high speed process of Innis & Gunn’s Oakerator process. But Innis & Gunn ages, agings, matures, whatever, their beer in or around wood, and then mix it and age it again. This is probably more akin to loose boards in the brewer, or dipped in at some point in the making. Here’s what we thought:

simon – light, not much darker than brown glass
brad – very light

simon – candied beer?
brad – “america”

simon – caramel added for sure, slight bourbon smoke notes
brad – very mild, undecided

simon – cleanish, some sweet
brad – lingering sugar notes

Labatt’s Prohibition Series Bourbon Barrel Ale – 6% 12 fl oz – $8.99USD – USA

Try it? Yeah, one. Buy it? Yeah, one.

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