Recently, BeerGuyLA was in attendance for a potluck at Sunset Beer Company, hosted by the LA Beer Bloggers Association. Though there were several worthy offerings on tap, without fail something in the coolers at Sunset Beer Co. always catches my eye. Their selection makes it easy to find a brew worth the $2.00 corkage fee. ‘Tis the season for bourbon barrel-aged goodness, so this time I settled on the Third Anniversary by Figueroa Mountain.
Following up on their First Anniversary Black Ale and Second Anniversary Grand Cru, The Third Anniversary Ale is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in barrels from Cutler Artisan Spirits’ “33 Straight Bourbon Whiskey“.
A steady pour into a tulip produces a deep black body capped by a silky khaki-colored head leaving thin, but lasting lace. The nose is right in line with my expectations. Tones of vanilla, baker’s chocolate, coffee, and sweet bourbon.
Do yourself a favor and let this one warm up a bit before diving in. This is a layered brew and the coffee and bourbon tones don’t play strongly when it’s cold. The nose brightens up as well, revealing richer vanilla and bolder coffee. Initial taste is of a dark chocolate, but subsequent samples hit first on a quick bourbon, then drift to a rich chocolate middle ending on a boozy finish that slightly warms the throat. The body is big, with a creamy, silky mouthfeel.
According to Sean Lewis of Santa Barbara Beer, brewmaster AJ Stoll found the 100% barrel-aged version not to his liking, landing instead on a final blend with about 70% of the bourbon barrel-aged beer as its backbone.
|Style||Imperial Oatmeal Stout|
|Availability||Limited draft and bottle release|
|Rating||4 out of 5|
This brew is fairly well balanced and a body on the lighter side lends to drinkability in a style full of slow-sippers. Unfortunately, the down side for me is the price tag. Hopefully you can find a bottle elsewhere for less, but this is the only place I have seen it thus far and I had to throw down over $20.00 before corkage. This is a good beer, but with Firestone’s Velvet Merkin coming in at a lower price point, it’s a tough sell. I would love the opportunity to try this one on tap if it makes an appearance in LA.