Saturday, March 9, 2013

Madhouse Templeton Rye Barrel-aged Imperial Stout

The Madhouse Brewing Company is in Newton, Iowa. This is a 9.0% ABV imperial stout that has been aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels. The beer pours a dense black with a dark brown head of foam. The aroma is a rich dark chocolaty mocha with vanilla and oak. The whiskey is very light in the background, hardly even distinct. It has the lightest whiskey note of any whiskey barrel aged beer I have tried. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the chocolaty mocha coffee, vanilla and oak, but the whiskey, while still relatively mild, is stronger in the flavor than in the aroma. The finish is relatively bitter and dry, overcoming the sweetness inherently in the beer. There is an oaky astringency. The mouthfeel is full and creamy, without being heavy, with just the right amount of carbonation for the style. I love getting a hit of the rye from Templeton barrel-aged beers, and while this is as subtle of a whiskey barrel-aged beer as you are going to find, it is still rich and delicious. The barrel aging aspect melds perfectly into the beer. This is a class act!

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