Every year on Black Friday there is a major set of barrel-aged beer releases from one of the biggest former-craft breweries in the country. Some people still go crazy for those beers (although many languish on store shelves), but I have started a new post-Thanksgiving tradition. Every year we go to visit my parents in Maine for the holiday, and on the way back south we stop at Barreled Souls so I can stock up my cellar on barrel-aged stouts, barleywines and other big beers for the winter. You might ask, if we stopped in November why am I writing about one of these beers in February? That is the best thing about big barrel-aged beers, I stock up the cellar and drink them at my ease over the following months or even years. On my visit in November, Barreled Souls had just released 4 variants of their Quaker State oatmeal stout, one with coffee, one with vanilla, one with hazlenuts, and a blend of the three, all aged in Knob Creek Bourbon barrels. I grabbed bottles of all 4 along with a number of other barrel-aged releases. I’ve enjoyed a few of these beers already, including the coffee/Knob Creek variant of Quaker State, which is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 500 mL bottles.
Barreled Souls Knob Creek Barrel Aged Coffee Quaker State pours pitch black with a solid light brown head. The aroma features a mixture of bourbon, coffee, and roasted malt. The flavor is malt-forward, notes of black chocolate, espresso, and tobacco. The coffee flavors are present but not overpowering, while the barrel aging adds some hints of vanilla and warming booziness. Some earthy hops round out the flavor and add some late bitterness. The version of Quaker State is full-bodied but smooth and not overkill boozy at 7.3% ABV. The finish is rich with some residual malt and bourbon flavor. Overall this is a really nice barrel-aged stout, lots of flavor without being so boozy that it will put you under the table. Looking forward to sampling all of the variants! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Barreled Souls Reviews:
Barreled Souls Prerequisite, Barreled Souls/Dancing Gnome Gnome’s Soul, Barreled Souls Hillrock Bourbon Barrel Aged Deep Space