A reboot of last year's Campfire Stout, Bonfire sees Shelter's brewers deliver a slightly amped-up version of the same solid base beer as winter 2022 approaches. Although the alcohol is a mere 0.2 percent ABV higher than last year, the addition of some barrel influence has morphed this roasty stout into something new.
With a small portion aged for a month in wine barrels, Bonfire offers up a familiar roast aroma with a touch of minerality, bitter cocoa and a touch of drying wine character. Look a little deeper and dark chocolate, plus a touch of smooth smoke, also make an appearance.
On tasting, a toasty, bitter profile features upfront with a moderate body, bitter dark chocolate, and bold espresso. Some malt-derived astringency lingers but is softened by a touch of sweetness, vanilla and dusty cocoa. The small portion that was barrel-aged and re-blended, adds a touch of complexity, woody tannin and some sweet vanillin character, softening this otherwise roast and smoke heavy beer.
It may be a reboot on last year's stout, yet this version is certainly in a new realm: an unashamedly slightly brash, roasty stout prepped for winter warming.
- Barrel-Aged Stout