11/3/21 Roak Brewing Company's Bourbon Barrel Aged French Toast Devil Dog

5:51 PM

Welcome back to Maple Month. Before venturing any further, have you read Monday's post? If not, you might want to check it out; today's beer is an evolution of the one I featured then.

You've read it? Great. That means we can jump right into today's beer: Roak's BBA Devil Dog. Let's see how it carries through with all the mapley, French toasty goodness of its non-barrel-aged brethren.

Here's Roak's "About" page. The info there is super concise already but, to sum it up further for you here, the Royal Oak, MI brewery's main goal is to provide the highest quality beer it can to its community. Seeing as how their distro range extends to Cincinnati, I'd say that community's grown quite large. 

Back on Monday, I noted that BBA French Toast has a spot on Roak's website. According to this page, the beer takes Roak's Devil Dog Oatmeal Stout, slathers it with maple, vanilla, and cinnamon, and lets it settle in "...once-used bourbon barrels." The result is the 11.4% bruiser I'm about to crack into. See why I didn't want to drink this and it's non-BBA twin on the same night?

A waft of the stout presents a bouquet that's strikingly similar to Roak's non-barrel-aged variant. Maple, vanilla, cinnamon, and the same (again, great) egginess I experienced two days ago. The barrel adds a heaping of new aromas to the nose, though, all of which are to be expected: oak, bourbon, a touch more vanilla (less sweet than the base vanilla in the beer), and a dollop of booze. Purrl only gave my can one whiff--I'm beginning to think she's not much of a maple girl. I love her all the same, though.

The flavor profile of this stout isn't super similar to the previous one: maple syrup, coffee, oak, and bourbon all hit together in the first part of my swig. These linger for a time (especially the boozy bourbon) before fading to the standard French toasty flavors of this can's sibling. These flavors wash away quickly before the finish hits: bourbon, maple, coffee, and a deep, booze-warmth, all of which linger for a good, long while.

BBA French Toast DD's body hits a little harder than the non-BBA variant. I'm getting a good snap of carbonation. Seems like the barrel-aging process has provided a noticeably fuller body. This is a stout that drinks in accordance with its ABV.

I've begun a new holiday tradition with my dad and brother (regardless of whether either of them have noticed it). When I'm up at my folks' during the holiday season, we break into a bomber of BBA maple stout the night before we open presents. I have a ton in my cellar that I'm aging, so we can observe how aging changes the flavor. Sitting in my folks' kitchen, with the warm glow of the Christmas tree in the next room over, and holiday tunes pouring through my parents' speakers, it's all a delightful experience.

Those stouts I'm cellaring are the same brand. That brand isn't Roak's BBA French Toast Devil Dog. But, I might have to start integrating this into that tradition. It's big, warming, boozy, and mapley. I'm always pleased when breweries showcase the sticky sweetness of the syrup in their beers, and Roak's done it exceptionally well. This gets a 9.5/10 from me. Roak's started a streak of excellent maple brews that I'm not entirely sure will hold through the rest of the month. I hope that I'm wrong, though.

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