Stone Brewing Southern Charred
Stone Brewing Southern Charred reminds me of my childhood for a number of peculiar reasons. First, it should be noted that I originally hail from the great state of Kentucky. As a result, I’ve developed a natural affinity toward all beers Bourbon-barreled, and Southern Charred just so happens to fall into that category.
My love for bourbon barrel-aged beers first developed with Kentucky Ale Bourbon Barrel, which not so coincidentally is brewed in my hometown of Lexington, KY. Since that first sip of caramel-y, vanilla-y delight, I’ve caught a fever, and the only cure has been more bourbon barrel-aged beer.
The second reason Southern Charred takes me back to the age of TNMT outfits and re-creating scenes from Mighty Ducks II, is because I equate it to the adult version of a “Suicide” (the drink combining every kind of pop/soda into one glorious sugar-induced-coma-only-to-be-revived-by-the-equally-ridiculous-levels-of-caffeine masterpiece). As the Stone Brewing Blog reveals, the barrel aging process isn’t your run-of-the-mill, “Hey lets throw a simple base beer into a single barrel and see what happens.” Southern Charred’s barrel aging process is a bit more extensive. Here’s how they broke it down.
51% Kentucky Bourbon Barrels (10 months)
8% Charred American Oak Barrels (10 months)
41% Second-Use* Kentucky Bourbon Barrels (13 months)
Not to bury a lede, but at it’s core, Southern Charred’s backbone contains the base beer of 11% 2012 Double Bastard, which is an imperialized version of their already punch-packing Arrogant Bastard Ale. Translation? A booze-y bitter beer that’s been intensified even more.
This “Suicide”-like mélange of Double Bastard and triple barreling creates one helluva complex beer-kenstein. While not overly sweet, the triple barrel aged process definitely draws out the familiar caramel-y bourbon flavors one would expect. What really differentiates Charred is the subtle smokiness and mellowed hops play perfectly with that barrel aging process to create a rich complex beer that reveals itself throughout the tasting process. And while this beer weighs in at a robust 95 IBUs, those muted hops play second fiddle to the sweetness of the barrel aging
Southern Charred would be perfect to pair with dessert, however I’d stay away from enjoying it Thursday night as a post-Thanksgiving nightcap. Getting too boozed up on this hefty feller will assuredly lead to familia disputes of cataclysmic proportions. But otherwise, pair it with a pecan pie or brittle and it’ll go down great and let it take you on a delicious trip down memory lane.