New Belgium Brewing Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale

Brewmaster Deagon hard at work

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! For once in our lives, we had a chill weekend. We hung out with friends, went and visited Loggerhead Distillery in Sanford, and hit up Wops Hops while we were up there. Today we knocked out our meal prep, yard work, and other adult chores by noon, so I decided to finally take the plunge and brew my first 5 gallon batch of beer. While it obviously took much longer than my 1 gallon batches, it wasn’t too difficult and I think it will come out great. I’ve never brewed a porter or experimented with spices on the brew and decided to do both because, why not?

Anyways one of my good buddies gave me a high-end brew to review and I’m excited to get down to it! The Oakspire by New Belgium Brewing is a partnership between New Belgium and Knob Creek. What could be better than one of my favorite breweries and distilleries partnering up to release a bourbon barrel aged ale?

Appearance: This pours a, well, bourbon amber with a one-finger head that quickly fades to faint carbonation.

Aroma: There is a heavy maple smell that outweighs the obvious bourbon. Besides the maple and booze, there are wonderful notes of vanilla and caramel that sneak up on the 20190818_171941end. If there’s any hops to the nose, my sniffer missed it.

Taste: This has a super mapley start that slowly moves to a toffee and lightly roasted malt mid palate taste and finishes with a charred bourbon barrel finish. Man, that bourbon really comes through hard on the end, but it doesn’t overpower like many barrel aged beers I’ve tried. As it warms the flavors blend more and become more nuanced. At 9%, the booze isn’t nearly as heavy as you would expect either.

Mouthfeel: Oakspire is almost like a fine bourbon on the rocks with just a hint of carbonation that helps with the drinkability. This is a very heavy beer, but it is not undrinkable.

Value: He told me it was about $16/six pack. But for a beer this complex, sometimes it’s ok to treat yo’self.

Overall: I would give this a very rare 10/10. Oakspire is very complex, yet drinkable. It has a unique blend of sweet maple, smokey bourbon, and vanilla without one flavor overpowering the rest. It might be a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. This is a top 10 beer for me. Big shout out to Ryan for the hookup.

Well, football season is almost upon us. I’ve got an Oktoberfest, a NE IPA, and now a Porter ready to drink, or will be ready within a month. I’ll probably have a craft beer tailgate for the UCF vs. Pitt game, so grab a sixer, some UCF gear and come on through!

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

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