Check out Abita’s description of Bourbon Street Stout:
Bourbon Street Stout is an Imperial Stout that is aged in small batch bourbon barrels. Our Imperial Stout is brewed with a combination of pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Oats are also added to give the beer a fuller and sweeter taste. The roasted malts give the beer its dark color as well as its intense flavor and aroma. After fermentation the beer is cold aged for 6 weeks. This is necessary for all of the flavors of the malt and hops to balance and produce a very smooth flavor.
After the cold aging the beer is transferred into the bourbon barrels. It is then aged for another 8 weeks to absorb all of the flavors from the barrels. The result is a stout that brings out the roasted flavors from the malt and the warming toasted, vanilla, and bourbon flavors.
Last night, I was able to open up the Bourbon Street Stout and I shared it with my wife, Teresa, of I Eat BR fame (not so shameless plug).
It poured a deep black color with a nice two-fingered tan head. The aroma was distinctly bourbon, vanilla and malty, but neither was overpowering. The flavor had a nice mix of chocolate, vanilla, roasty malts, as well as the bourbon and oak. Everything worked well together, and no one flavor dominated. Teresa really got the chocolate flavor and commented that it stood out to her. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for an imperial stout, but I find that it actually works pretty well in this type of beer as it makes it a bit easier to drink. This isn’t a big chewy stout, but it still boasts a hefty 10% ABV. There isn’t a lot of residual sweetness, so this beer isn’t at all cloying, and that contributes to the drinkability Can you really call a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout drinkable? Well, I can, because this is my blog.
All in all, this is a great effort by Abita. If you recall, this beer placed 2nd in my Top 13 Beers from Louisiana in 2013, and it’s great to see a beer like this bottled by them. This is what the beer geeks have been asking of Abita. They have the resources to make great beers that the real beer connoisseurs will love, and this is a step in the right direction for them, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve long been asking them to bottle their Select series, since those are generally pretty creative and well done beers that I seek out. Hopefully this marks the beginning of a trend for Abita.
Check back soon for my review of Imperator.