Well here we are. 2019. I’m sure many of you are wondering what new beers we will be releasing this year. While we’re not ready to make any big announcements just yet, rest assured that we will have several new beers to introduce, along with adding increased availability of some of our one-offs and small batches. We are super excited about Commotion 12 packs rolling out soon, along with some of the new hoppy creations we’ve been working on.
But today’s post isn’t about hops. It’s all about Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy. We added the base beer as our winter seasonal in 16 oz cans last year, and the response to that has been incredible. The barrel-aged variants have always been a hit, and we’re glad to see so many of you enjoying the base beer this season. Expect to see that on taps and shelves through the rest of January.
And as much as we love the robust Baltic Porter for everything it is, we would be lying if we said we weren’t excited every time we put that beer into barrels. Nearly every time we brew the exact same beer – following process and relying on the science of beer making to make a consistent, high quality product. But once we take that beer and put it into barrels, it becomes a little bit more of an artistic expression. The wood of the barrel responds to and interacts with the beer in different ways depending on the age and condition of the barrel, as well as the spirit it once contained.
As we brainstormed about what to do for the next iteration of Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy, we came up with some crazy ideas. We originally intended to try some new adjuncts, but decided to wait and make a final decision closer to the date of release. Now that the release is upon us, we decided that we just couldn’t do it. We couldn’t add anything that could potentially detract from the depth of flavor and complexities created by these first-use Woodford Reserve barrels. It almost felt wrong to do anything to overshadow a beer 10 months in the making. I don’t know why this surprises me. Our friend Brian Landry of Jack Rose restaurant at the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans once opined to me about how his gumbo got better with the more stuff he took out. It makes sense. As we have learned with Pilsner over the years, depth and complexity of flavor are far more desirable than intensity of flavor.
To that end, we are proud to release our first barrel aged beer of 2019 with Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy. The Woodford barrels are indicated by burgundy wax.