Beer Man

A Rich Brew of Major Barrel-Aged Stout Releases Kicks Off November

A Rich Brew of Major Barrel-Aged Stout Releases Kicks Off November
Wiley Roots Brewing
For what it's worth, November 4 is International Stout Day, but in Colorado, where everything is higher (including ABVs), it's the barrel-aged stouts that are getting the attention.

A trio of breweries have or will be releasing some major new offerings, while a few others are bringing back some old favorites. And the releases won't stop there. The state's craft breweries will show off their biggest, booziest barrel-aged bad boys throughout the month, leading up to November 26, or Black Friday, which has become the traditional day for several more annual barrel-aged stouts to debut. Some of the BA monsters you can expect either before or on that day will once again come from the likes of Station 26 Brewing, Comrade Brewing, Oskar Blues, River North Brewery and others.

Here's your rundown for this week:
click to enlarge NEW IMAGE BREWING
New Image Brewing
New Image Brewing has made plenty of barrel-aged stouts over the years — but it hasn't been easy. "Our barrel aging bases have always been a challenge to brew, and in our original brewhouse there were some serious limitations that made it not just difficult, but truly unsafe," explains brewery founder Brandon Capps in a blog post. Stouts with the alcohol content that the Arvada brewery was going for require a huge amount of boiling malted barley, something that can overwhelm smaller brewing systems. So the brewery pressed pause on its program until it purchased a larger brewing system and installed it at new production facility in Wheat Ridge in 2019. Then it waited — for two years. The result of that patience is two new barrel-aged stout series. The first of these is Anaphora, which consists of a blend of two different kinds of stouts: a roast-forward version that was aged for twenty months in Colorado rye whiskey barrels, and a sweet version that was aged for eighteen months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The second new barrel-aged series, Noema, focuses on additional ingredients known as adjuncts, like toasted coconut, raw coconut and Ghana cacao nibs.
How to get it: The brews are available for sale starting November 3 on the Oznr app and will also be tapped at the brewery in limited amounts on Friday, November 5.

It has been more than a year since Wiley Roots Brewing has released a barrel-aged beer, in part because the Greeley brewery wasn't happy with the results of its last offering in the style. "Since then, we have learned from those missteps and are excited for the impact of those lessons on our beer," Wiley said in a recent Facebook post. The result will be Cryptonym, an imperial stout that was aged for eighteen months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The 14 percent ABV beer was then infused with fifteen pounds of toasted coconut per barrel, three pounds of Ghanian cacao nibs and one pound of vanilla.
How to get it: The beer will be sold by the can on Wiley's web page (for $15 a piece) starting November 4 at 7 p.m.
click to enlarge COPPER KETTLE BREWING
Copper Kettle Brewing
On November 2, Cerebral Brewing unveiled a set of new barrel-aged stouts as part of the brewery's sixth-anniversary week. They included Mysterious Forces, a blend of stouts aged in cognac barrels with almond and vanilla; Raven Magic, a collaboration with Superstition Meadery; and Exiles Grog, a 15.5 percent ABV imperial stout aged for fourteen months with coconut and nutmeg in rum and bourbon barrels.
How to get it: While the bottles likely sold out immediately, the beers will be tapped at the brewery on Friday, November 5.

Snowed In Mocha Stout returns to Copper Kettle Brewing for its 2021 iteration. This 12.5 percent ABV imperial oatmeal stout is made with chocolate and local coffee and aged in bourbon barrels. It is available on draft and in 19n-ounce cans to-go.
How to get it: It will be available at the brewery starting November 5 at noon.

Oskar Blues Brewery debuts BA21 vol. 6, a 13.3 percent ABV bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout with peanut butter and chocolate.
How to get it: It will be released at the Longmont and Boulder taprooms on November 6.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes