Thursday, December 25, 2014

Millstream Barrel Aged Schild Brau Amber

This is a barrel-aged version of the Schild Brau Vienna lager from the Millstream Brewing Company of Amana, Iowa. Barrel aging beer is all the rage now, but you don't often see the Vienna Lager style barrel aged. They have been brewing since 1985. The regular version is 5.4% ABV, and I don't know if the barrel-aged version has a different ABV. It is my understanding they used whiskey barrels from Eastern Iowa's Cedar Ridge distillery.

The beer pours a deep amber and copper in color. There is a half-inch of fizzy head, off-white to very light tan. The head foams down quickly. The aroma is barrel forward, whiskey, vanilla, and oak, over a caramel malt base. The taste follows the aromas, whiskey, vanilla, oak, caramel, toasted malt, a touch of peat smoke. I am assuming this is bourbon barrel aged and not Scotch barrel aged, yet it has a tinge of peat smoke taste.  Checking online shows this is aged in Cedar Ridge Bourbon barrels, which do appear to be charred. My guess is that this relatively lighter beer (amber lager versus usual barrel aged stout or barleywine) allows the char on the barrel to actually show through the beer. I actually thought this one was a bit more successful at what it was trying to do than their Barrel Aged Back Road Stout.

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