This year, the brewery is releasing a “very limited” batch of the classic Scotch ale that has been cold-aged in bourbon barrels this Friday.
News 8 was invited to a special canning run Tuesday morning. There, we saw the empty cans transform into the finished product — the Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.
According to brewery officials, it has a heart ABV of 9.1% and it was a full year-long brewing process to bring it into existence.
Brewmaster Dean Jones says that Rochesterians “love Scotch ale,” and the drink is an area tradition. He wanted to combine the malt and caramel flavors of a typical Scotch ale with some characteristics of bourbon: vanilla, smoke, wood, and whiskey.
“We only had ten bourbon barrels at a time, so just like a distillery, there is no control over the aging,” Jones said. “We throw them in our draft center so it’s nice and cold, so the aging process is a little bit slower, and then we get to have the fun of tasting it.
“At first it tastes just like beer the first four months, and then around five or six, it starts to pick up all these really cool whiskey flavors and bourbon characters, and the barrel, and then wood,” Jones said. “Once that flavor extracts from that barrel, you start to get that wood character.
“You don’t want it to get too far, because then it will get dry like a Cabernet, which we don’t want,” Jones said. “You know it’s done when you pull the steel pin again, and again, and again, and you’ve had about four samples, and went ‘alright, this is done, this is perfect.
He described the beer as “perfect for winter.” The Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale will hit stories this Friday, November 22.