Beer with a bourbon bite

Some Scottish distillers are aging their whisky in second-hand bourbon barrels. So, it should come as no surprise that some enterprising Kentucky brewers are using the same sort of casks to enhance their stout.

The Bluegrass Brewing Co. has partnered with the McLain & Kyne Distillery to produce a new dark beer with a strong Kentucky accent. They're calling it a "bourbon barrel stout" because it is aged for two to three months in former bourbon barrels.

About 900 gallons of the stout have been pumped into barrels that once held Jefferson's Reserve, McLain & Kyne's premium bourbon. Because of the aging, the beer's alcohol content should be 10 to 11%, roughly double the usual potency of domestic beers.

"We want to get into some larger markets such as Boston, Chicago, San Francisco -- the Northeast in particular," Roussell said. "That will allow us to bring our other products ... into more of a national arena." Plus, "the Japanese and Asian markets are very high on bourbon and anything with Kentucky on it." Roussell said. The beer also has potential in Europe, he said.

A distribution schedule for the stout has not yet been determined.

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Anonymous said...

Given the gradual but continual decline of beer sales in the U.S., any innovation probably is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Bourbon barrels. Whole trees. What next, grapes in your mug? This smacks of desperation on the part of too many brewers.