Endless Beers: Stone Southern Charred
“A bastard has been set free and it’s out to make a mockery of you.” Yes, that is the warning that Stone Brewing Co. released to all citizens willing to try the new release: Southern Charred. As of November 4, Southern Charred will be available to all members of the free world willing to take on the challenge of a mockery. This ale is a barrel-aged version of a the Double Bastard Ale offered by stone. Southern charred was aged for 10 months in charred Kentucky bourbon and American oak barrels in order to provide what Stone claims to be “intense smoke and vanilla flavors.”
You may be wondering—why charred barrels? What’s the point? Well, think about it…If you aren’t there yet— smoke. This brew has a lot of characteristics of a porter. The charred barrels provide a smoky flavor to the beer that complements the porter characteristics. In fact, the smoky flavor enhances the typical double bastard flavor without overcoming the profile of the beer. With a high ABV of 12.6 %, be prepared to either share, or set aside about an hour for “relaxation time.” Tasting notes followed by the suggested pairings.
Appearance: The Southern Charred has a dark copper color with a fair amount of clarity.
Aroma: First is a nutty scent that is immediately followed by dark chocolate (this is very appealing and makes you very thirsty). Through the entire “waft” is a lingering bourbon scent that tempts you to take a swig.
Taste: First hit with a bitter chocolate taste followed by undertones of a sweet nutty flavor throughtout. Following the bitter start is a sweet, malty flavor that complements the bitter chocolate taste. Finally, taste ends with a warm and sweet alcoholic taste.
Mouthfeel: Crisp mouthfeel but not too dry. Warming feeling on the way down.
Overall: Next time I have this, I’ll be picking up a nice cigar to pair with this after-dinner “nightcap.” The drink is a great end to your night. You’ll end up enjoying the taste and trying to pick out individual flavors and how they got there. For instance—the smoke from the charred barrels is not in your face, but supports many of the flavors like the chocolate and the bourbon in every taste. This is a good replacement for your Crown Royal nightcap. Try it out.
*The Southern Charred is available for a limited time starting on November 4th.**
Suggested food and cigar pairings, provided by Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak:
Appetizers: Honey glazed figs stuffed with blue cheese, lamb sliders, bacon wrapped jalepenos, mushroom and walnut pate
Soups: Beef stew, white bean and hominy chili, roasted butternut squash, French onion soup
Entrees: Mushroom and barley pie, pork roast, BBQ St. Louis Ribs
Cheeses: Oregonzola, Great Hill Blue, Beemster X.O. Extra DOUBLE Aged Gouda, Maytag Blue
Desserts: Salted Caramel Pudding, Coconut Cream Pie, Caramel Bacon Buns, Pecan Pie
Cigars: Xikar HC Criollo Belicoso, Padron 1926 Anniversary, Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto, Casa Magna Colorado Robusto