11/24/19: Avery Brewing Company's Double Barreled Maple Stout

12:10 PM

Yesterday, I pushed passed the 50k mark in the draft of my manuscript, thereby completed NaNoWriMo. Meaning that today is the first day this month where I didn't set an alarm to wake up and start writing. So, I guess I ought to celebrate somehow, huh?

Since the blog's Christmas season starts on Friday, let's end the maple season on a (hopefully) high note. Again, we're dipping into Avery's Barrel Aged Series with Double Barreled Maple Stout. Let's see how this holds up.

To quickly catch you up on the history of today's brewery, I'll summarize the information found on Avery's "Our Story" page. Since its establishment in 1993, Avery has been bringing award-winning beers to Boulder, CO. After winning some notable medals at GABF early in its history, the brewery started its barrel-aged series in 2009 and saw a massive expansion in early 2015.

Double Barreled Maple Stout (DBMS, henceforth) released in April this year, marking a decade of Avery's Barrel-Aged Series with its 52nd release. This stout, according to its official page, is a 15.3% ABV behemoth that's decidedly not a pastry stout. Aged first in bourbon barrels before resting in maple syrup barrels with added coffee, cinnamon, and even more maple syrup, this is meant to be a breakfast beer you can enjoy any time of day.

The stout's nose is all maple and bourbon--exactly what I want from a BBA maple stout, that buttery goodness you get when those aromas are so intrinsically mixed. A return visit gives me the cinnamon and coffee, with just a touch of vanilla and woody oakiness from the barrels themselves. I should point out that there's actually not much booziness here, leastways nothing near as much as I'd expect. I think the bouquet here is intoxicating, but it's not super agreeable to Henrietta--she gave my tulip glass full of the stuff only one whiff.

Let's see how I can best unpack DBMS' flavor profile. At first I get the bourbon barrel--the smooth sweetness, coupled with the oak and the vanilla that goes with it. After that, there's a quick wash of maple syrup and black coffee. This is followed by a bite of cinnamon before that bourbon returns with a warming, booziness that lingers for a good long while in the finish.

When it comes to the stout's mouthfeel, there's a pretty healthy amount of carbonation here, especially considering that sky-high ABV. The beer's enormous and the mouthfeel reflects that, robust and full. It's a knockout.

You know, the sun's out now but a little while ago, when I first woke up, it was cloudy and snow was covering the ground. Last night, Lottie didn't want to go to bed when Michelle and I did. Turns out, in her puppy fashion, she was trying to tell us she had to go out (again--I let her out before heading to bed, as always). At one o'clock, I took her out again, and the snow was falling hard. I didn't even know we were due for snow, but the enormous flakes were quickly piling up on the ground, our roof, my car--pretty much covering everything in sight.

I remember one late-November day during my first winter break from college (back then OU's winter breaks spanned a time from before Thanksgiving until after New Year's. Overall, we were out a month-and-a-half) snow started falling in force, like what we saw last night. Standing out in the snow with Lottie while, from the door, Michelle watched the snowfalls fall, I knew today'd be the perfect day to dip in to the final maple beer of the season.

With Double Barreled Maple Stout, Avery's entry into the maple canon is nearly an out-of-the-park swing. Big and bold, the maple flavor isn't lacking at all. I'm happy I picked up two bottles (expect to see the second sometime in the coming years) because I'm excited to see how this develops. I'm giving it a 9.5/10. My bottleshop's sold out of the stuff but you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to grab some if you're lucky enough to find it.

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