Review #68 – Alphabet Brewing Co Jim Beam Bourbon Barrel Aged Salted Caramel & Banana Stout 86/100
Another amazing beer at the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, this one for me came a close second for the best beer at the Expo (well, from the ones I managed to try anyway).
Pumped from a keg into a flute glass the beer pours a rich dark brown colour, not much head at all. Oily and viscous, laces the glass very nicely forming a prominent necklace around the inside of the glass with every swirl.
On the nose, what hits you straight away is that wonderful aroma of rich, spicy bourbon. The bourbon adds such a welcoming dimension to this beer, adding to the aroma profile notes of vanilla, seasoned oak, sweet spice and rye. The dark malt that has gone into the beer adds an aroma reminiscent of burnt toast. Other notable aromas are that of overripe banana, caramelised sugar and custard. Such a complex nose on this one, it’s begging you to take a sip.
Honestly, the palate doesn’t say much more than the nose, and I mean that in a good way of course. It delivers the same savage burst of flavour, I mean what is even missing from that nose? not much. Well, all those flavours are present in generous, yet very well balanced levels on the palate – the overripe banana, the rich flavours provided by the bourbon barrel ageing process (vanilla, seasoned oak, sweet spice and rye) and the caramelised sugar, although the palate has an addition of molasses and a pinch of sea salt. This beer went down fantastically while chilling with a Cohiba Singlo Cigar.