I love a well made bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout as much as anyone, but it is definitely not a unique beer style anymore. When they are well done the combination of bourbon and malt is delicious, but there are way too many mediocre versions on the market. Instead off adding to the glut, I would love to see more breweries take some risks with their barrel programs, branch out to different beer styles and different types of barrels. I mentioned last week that an under-utilized beer style, in general but also for barrel-aging, is the Belgian quadruple. Quads are big and boozy but also complex and there is a lot of room to play with malt/yeast combinations to make a delicious beer. Brewmaster Jack’s newest release is Tennessee Prinse, a quadruple aged in Tennessee whiskey barrels. While I love a quality bourbon, Jack Daniels used to be a staple of mine when I was younger and drank whiskey on a somewhat regular basis, and I appreciate the subtle differences in flavor that Tennesse whiskeys provide. I also think it’s appropriate that a brewery with “Jack’ in their name would use whiskey from Tennessee. Brewmaster Jack Tennessee Prinse is available now in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles.
Brewmaster Jack Tennessee Prinse pours a deep brown with a minimal off-white head. The scent has plenty of whiskey along with some fruity esters from the Belgian-style yeast. The yeast hits the tongue first with notes of apple, pepper and bubblegum. This is followed by full malt flavor, hints of black cherry, date, molasses and currant. The whiskey rounds out the flavor with touches of oak, vanilla and some warming booze. Tennessee Prinse is a full bodied sipper, but drinks very smooth for a beer with 11.5% ABV. The finish has some fruity esters and just a little late alcohol. This beer is great, we really need more barrel aged quads, especially unique and well-crafted versions like this. Definitely worth a try. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
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