Saugatuck Brewing Co. | Oak Wizard Oak Aged Imperial Brown Ale
Winter time used to be a bit problematic for this outside-day-drinking, IPA-loving, oak-aged-avoiding lady. I could never “find” something I liked. For a long time, I thought it was the beer’s fault. The truth is, I wasn’t so much searching for beers as I was avoiding styles that had failed me in the past. I hadn’t realized that times had changed and that brewers were getting savvy to the ins and outs of wood aging and making some stellar concoctions. Once I made that realization, I decided to give wood-aged brews another chance. Happily, I found plenty of good ones out there, including Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Oak Wizard, an oak aged imperial brown ale.
Traditionally, an imperial style ale has an ABV that exceeds 7%, but we’ll forgive Saugatuck on this one. With a penchant for making layered, well-balanced beers that have been deliberately structured to reward the drinker all the way through, it’s my opinion that Saugatuck can label its beers however it chooses to do so.
ABV: 7% | IBU: 25
Oak Wizard pours from the bottle a red-mahogany with a fluffy white head. On the nose is a sweet caramel with nut and slight wood notes. Caramel sticks to the tongue, along with chocolate, some coffee and more nuts. The oak is there, present throughout but coming through particularly at the back end.
A winter release that could be enjoyed by anyone, even the most hesitant of wood-aged beer drinkers, is quite an accomplishment.
Saugatuck Brewing’s Oak Wizard is another in a long line of beers made by people who understand how to translate the complexities of beer from the page to the pour. I look forward to what they’ll do next.
Featured Image Saugatuck Brewing Company