Monday 26 April 2010

Oak aged beer

I'm still not sure about this oak aged beer malarkey, but I think they might be growing on me. The first bottle of Brewdog's Paradox that I had I couldn't finish* , Innis & Gunn didn't impress me and Fuller's Brewer's Reserve I could take or leave. But I've now found a beer "fermented and conditioned with oak" that I've liked from the off: Curious Brew Admiral Porter

With Innis & Gunn I noticed the vanilla flavour that comes from oak but it didn't seem to sit well in beer. With Paradox I noticed a whole new layer of 'eurgh' added to what have been a good strong stout. And with Brewer's Reserve I thought 'hmmm...bacteria', not what I normally look for in a beer.  But dedicated beer researcher that I am I've since tried all of these again and found them more enjoyable. 

Admiral Porter is contract brewed for a wine maker, and I think aged with oak chips rather than in an old whisky barrel, so should be safe from any whisky contamination. It was a good balanced beer that went down very easily. I'm not quite sure if this is because I'm getting more used to beers with a bit of oak in them or because this is just the mildest of the oaked beers I've drunk. Am I failing as a beer nerd here? Will other oak aged beer become more pleasant the more I drink them or are they just a bad idea in general?

*Don't worry, a mate drank the rest of it.

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