As winter 2023 drags on, it's hard to know if Hawkers are reaching the endgame with their ever-expanding barrel program or just warming up. How many variants will they end up putting out in 2023? Can they come up with more in 2024? Still, when you’re good at it and have such good barrels to play with, why the hell not?
With Bourbon Barrel-Aged Double Imperial Stout (you read that right, but in tribute to the way the BBC would present unlikely football (soccer) scores on Grandstand – DOUBLE IMPERIAL STOUT), the quality of the bourbon that predated the beer in said barrels shines through, bringing a top-notch maple syrup-esque depth to the sweetness it weaves through the swirling dark chocolate. There’s no point trying to deny there’s a boozy side to the aroma when it tips the scales at 14 percent ABV, but it’s no more than you’d expect in a dense after-dinner liqueur. Indeed, if the end of life on Earth as we know it is indeed nigh, I imagine there'd be beer lovers out there who’d choose drowning in a vat of this as their way out.
If, however, you want to face impending doom in the manner of Napoleon Wilson then Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Smoked Stout should do the trick. You wouldn’t say it possesses an aggressive smokiness but it certainly does enough to mask much of the bourbon. The smokiness is of the drier, earthy variety more than anything fruity or sweet – although that could just be down to the other elements it’s up against. Said elements have all been judged in a suitably Hawkers-esque manner too: this beer delivers aroma, flavour and gloopiness galore while daring you to argue it’s not balanced.
On second thoughts, maybe they should produce 500 barrel-aged beers a year, after all?
Published July 27, 2023 2023-07-27 00:00:00