You reach a certain point in life when every friend is obsessed with either air fryers, weighted blankets or instapots. It’s harrowing. With a sip of heavily casked stout, you can sit in gentle repose and rest assured they think your interests are equally lame if not vice-addled and shameful.
8th state had that masterpiece Neck and Neck, some other fantastic barrel aged gems, and then an innumerable lineup of procedurally generated non-ba pastry ales that were assembled at random with the same six adjuncts being pulled like balls out of the hopper. Finally, the BALs are back. The staves aren’t just back, they are completely saturated. These rings are ready to bust.
This beer flips their catalog on its head and shows pure unstepped on skills. This is a single barrel of Lot D buffalo trace, and this massive stout sat in it for 2 years. 230 bottles is a bold gambit and it paid off in a huge way.
To some this might even seem regressive, quadlike with the bonkers oak interplay. Those aren’t your daddy’s esters. This has an IED of prune, fig newtons, something Suarez would probably call “MACERATED CURRANT” and waves of black cherry fruit leather.
The taste is so far from pastry I can’t even believe that this is the same brewery that spins sugar for all the carnival palates. It is so delicate and dark fruit is sused out of the seams. It is wholly unique and I don’t think they could replicate this if they tried.
Dessert flavor mapping is pastiche, but taking a massive stout and reverse engineering old ale and Pannepot tones from it, that’s like using Heelies to slide into intercourse. Who is doing that. Common to most ultra casking you get this briny “green olive” taste that Napa Cab techbros like to throw around right before they say “A U S T E R E.” But it is all that.
Carb is dead still. Like from the barrel itself even. It is ugly and lets you run a Techdeck over its ample stout teddies, tolerant with the disrespect. It remains poised and mature.
To the rest of the world, you are a joke for caring about a 230 bottle ultra casked stout. But do you want the respect of people who own a Nescafe and treat going to Bed Bath and Beyond like an erotic experience?