The Art of Barrel Aging Imperial Stouts: A Review of Blue Monkey Brewery's Rum and Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverbacks

The rich and complex flavours of barrel-aged Imperial Stouts have become a staple in the craft beer world, and it's not hard to see why. These beers are designed to be sipped slowly, savoured, and appreciated. The barrel ageing process adds layers of depth and character that can transform a good beer into a truly exceptional one.

In this review, we'll be taking a look at two barrel-aged Imperial Stouts from Blue Monkey Brewery: the Rum Barrel Aged Silverback and the Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverback. Both of these beers are based on Blue Monkey's traditional, no-adjunct Silverback Imperial Stout, and they are two of the brewery's most sought-after releases.

But before we delve into the review, let's take a quick look at the history of barrel ageing in beer.

Barrel ageing has been a tradition in the world of spirits for centuries, with whiskey and rum distilleries leading the way. It wasn't until more recently that the craft beer industry began to explore the potential of barrel ageing. The process involves ageing beer in previously used spirit barrels, which can impart flavours of the spirit, as well as wood and char from the barrel itself. The end result is a beer with an added depth of flavour that can range from subtle to bold, depending on the barrel and the beer.

Now, let's take a closer look at Blue Monkey's Rum and Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverbacks.

Rum Barrel Aged Silverback

This beer clocks in at 11.6% ABV, and it is the slightly lower of the two in terms of alcohol content. The aroma of the Rum Barrel Aged Silverback is big and bold, with notes of fruit and wood coming through. It is boozy, but there is also a fresh, fruity character that you wouldn't expect in a beer of this magnitude.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverback

The Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverback is the stronger of the two, with an ABV of 12.4%. On the aroma, this beer is more reserved, with deeper and more complex notes of wood and vanilla. There is a hint of spice, and it is undeniably an Imperial Stout.

When it comes to taste, both of these beers are exceptional. The Rum Barrel Aged Silverback is a festive explosion of flavours, with a boozy and fruity character that is both bold and fresh. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverback is rich and complex, with a deep, dark character that is enhanced by the barrel ageing process.

Ultimately, the choice between the Rum and Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverbacks will come down to personal preference. Both of these beers are excellent in their own right, and they are well worth seeking out if you're a fan of barrel-aged Imperial Stouts. Whether you prefer the bold and fruity character of the Rum Barrel Aged Silverback, or the deep and complex flavours of the Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverback, you won't be disappointed.

In conclusion, the art of barrel ageing is a wonderful thing, and Blue Monkey Brewery's Rum and Bourbon Barrel Aged Silverbacks are two of the best examples of this style. Whether you're a seasoned beer drinker or a newcomer to the world of craft beer, these two beers are well worth seeking out. So, why not pour yourself a glass, sit back, and enjoy the rich, complex flavours of two of the best barrel-aged Imperial Stouts on the market today.

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