It’s not hard to find a Bourbon-barrel aged beer – it seems like every fourth beer coming out nowadays have been aged in some sort of Bourbon or whiskey barrel.
The latest beer from Thomas Hooker from Connecticut does just that – a saison fermented in white wine barrels, and the results are the best beer they’ve brewed in years.
The saison flavors take right to the wine barrels. The saison is dry, with a nice little hop kick, and a lot of spicy, peppery notes from the edition of black peppercorns. Usually, the use of peppercorns turns me off from a beer, but that’s where the wine barrel comes in – the vanilla oakiness provides a perfect balance for the peppercorns, and you get nice subtle fruity flavors from the wine barrels.
It doesn’t reach world-class level, but it’s their best beer since Liberator.