Hoppy Boston’s barrel aged beer week continues with a review of the bourbon barrel aged version of Jack’s Abby’s popular Framinghammer Baltic Porter. First, a quick clarification on the Baltic Porter style as I’ve seen some confusion in the past. Traditional versions of British porters are ales with top-fermenting yeast and warmer fermentation temperatures. Heavy versions of the style were re-named stouts, and the heavy stouts that were popular exports to the Baltic region of Europe became known as Russian imperial stouts. There were a few breweries in Finland that adapted the style, keeping the dark and high alcohol beer, but fermenting at lower temperatures with bottom feeding lager yeast. The resulting Baltic porter keeps the bold dark malt flavor without the fruity esters imparted by many ale yeast strains. A few American craft breweries have adopted the style and it’s no surprise that lager experts Jack’s Abby is one of them. Named after the breweries home in Framingham, MA, Framinghammer Baltic porter is one of Jack’s Abby’s most popular beers. In addition to the standard version of Framinghammer the brewery makes a number of barrel aged variants, including Bourbon Barrel Aged, Vanilla, Coffee, Cocoa-Nut, and PB&J. I grabbed some of the bourbon Barrel Aged Framinghammer on a visit to the brewery this fall, and pulled a bottle out of my “cellar” for Hoppy Boston barrel aged beer week.
Jack’s Abby Barrel Aged Framinghammer pours pitch black with a minimal light-brown head. The scent is a fragrant mix of dark roasted malts and boozy bourbon. The bourbon barrel flavor hits your tongue first with notes of vanilla, oak and warming alcohol. The malts mingle with the barrel aged flavor, touches of coffee, chocolate, currant and plum. There is also a touch of hops, but they are very subdued compared to the other flavors. This is a full bodied sipper, at 10% ABV there is absolutely nothing light about of this beer. The finish is a mixture of a little malt sweetness and some alcoholic burn. This beer is really good. I love Framinghammer and the barrel aging adds some additional complexity! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Jack’s Abby Reviews:
Jack’s Abby Bride Maker, Jack’s Abby Brewery/Hopstitution BAM, Jack’s Abby Copper Legend, Jack’s Abby Session Rye IPL, Jack’s Abby Mass Rising, Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew, Jack’s Abby Wet Hop Lager, Jack’s Abby Pro-Am Pilsner