Almanac Beer Company (which I have to admit I hadn’t heard of until a few weeks ago) has a Farm to Barrel series of barrel aged beers. I was lucky to get two of them from fellow beer blogger Jay Hinman when he visited Oslo recently.
The Farmer’s Reserve No 2 is brewed with ginger, pumpkins and persimmons, then aged in white wine barrels.
Funky aroma from the barrel, then layer upon layer of fruit, warming ginger, crisp sourness to balance it all. I am usually very reserved when it comes to pumpkin brews. This proved they can certainly be fine, especially if you avoid the standard bag of spices associated with pumpkin pie.
Best enjoyed in front to a warm fireplace, says the label of the Barrel Noir. Belgian dark ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, blended with the same amount of imperial stout.
Very dark, fluffy head. The whiskey nose, unsurprisingly, takes firmly control here. Soot, prunes, marzipan, bitter chocolate. Some intense black pepper, too.
I get the point about the fireplace setting. But, as the heat leaks back to wherever it came from, when the white hawthorn flowers are gleaming back at the cherry blossoms outside my front door, it is quite all right. Ought to get up, get in, get the youngsters to bed, do the laundry….