River Brew Review: Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout

anderson-valley-bourbon-barrel-stoutBeing in the land of abundant micro brews and growler fill stations I couldn’t wait to break out one of my growlers and see what I could find. Fred Meyer has a fill station with 16 rotating taps – who knew? I was in a hurry and wanted something dark and delicious, the incredibly helpful pourer plopped three tasting cups down with two porters and this stout. The porters were good, but standard, whereas this stout was interesting. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Barrels, the stout definitely has the heat generally associated with Wild Turkey. I went for it.

We are deep in planning mode for the big trip and we are finding that it is fairly high stress. Neither of us really like stress that much so it hasn’t been that much fun, but relaxing each night with a glass or two of this stout has been a nice way to wind down from the ups and downs of each day.

I will note that if you are the sole beer drinker in your house you may be better served buying a 22 of Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout – a half gallon of 6.9% beer is a lot to drink on your own. I’m definitely enjoying it, but each day the carbonation is a little less and I feel like I have to have at least one beer in order to get to the bottom of the growler before it goes flat!

AVBC Wild Turkey Stout

Appearance: Dark and thick. Black in color with a dark tan head. Poured in a brandy snifter, the first pour had about a one finger head. Nice lacing on the glass as you drink.

Smell: Caramel, vanilla and bourbon. Smells sweet, grainy undertones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet, but not overpoweringly so. The caramel and vanilla come out nicely, not too strong and mix with the light bourbon taste really well. The carbonation is right on for the style, smooth not overly bubbly, just verging on watery. You can taste the booze, but it doesn’t drive the flavor or feel. The aftertaste is mild and has a very pleasant burn.

Overall: This is the best bourbon aged stout that I have tried. It isn’t ridiculously boozy at only 6.9%, and as a result drinks very well. About two of these a night is perfect. I love that the bourbon doesn’t drive the flavor, but that it lends some incredible heat to the aftertaste. A very nice representation of the style.

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

ABV: 5.9%
IBU: 14
Malts: Pale Two-Row, Crystal (40L & 80L), Roasted Barley, Munich, Chocolate, Oats
Hops: Columbus, Northern Brewer
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, CA

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