Ratio Beerworks | Genius Wizard Experience
Each year, Ratio Beerworks releases Genius Wizard, their bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout. This year’s release took place on December 13 and attendees of the release had the opportunity to participate in an immersive art event and culinary showcase in addition to trying this year’s Genius Wizard and its variants. This release marks the fifth time this big, barrel-aged beer is released.
Genius Wizard is a strong Imperial Stout coming in at 11.5% ABV. It’s brewed with a copious amount of base malt, specialty grains and molasses. Fun fact: Genius Wizard is the first beer brewed on Ratio’s 20 barrel system back in 2015 when the brewery launched. They took the first batch and put it into bourbon barrels to age for 12 months.
2019 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Genius Wizard
For a “big beer,” Genius Wizard is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. You’re met with notes of bourbon on the nose, which follows subtly in the taste of the beer. The lightly carbonated Stout has notes of chocolate brownie batter that accompany the booziness very well.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coconut Vanilla Genius Wizard
The added coconut and vanilla in this variant brought out the sweetness in the beer, though not overwhelmingly sweet. Once warmed up a bit, the notes of these adjuncts were more prominent in both the aromatics and the taste. The vanilla adjunct did an amazing job of smoothing out the beer to create a sublime pairing with the Voodoo chocolate coconut doughnut.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Pecan Genius Wizard
This variant of the Stout was reminiscent of pecan pie, with the notes of maple and pecan being bound to the original with an almost molasses-like aspect of the beer that was brought out. This was one of the sweeter variants, but delicious nonetheless. The aromatics were also true to the adjuncts of this version. Lightly carbonated, this beer is great for those who enjoy a sweeter Stout.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Novo Espresso Genius Wizard
This variant had local roaster’s, Novo Coffee’s, espresso added, bringing out the roasted notes of the beer. The espresso enhanced the hints of chocolate of the non-adjunct version and shines through in this beer. Something about coffee and barrel aged stouts just screams “match made in heaven.” For all you coffee lovers out there, this is the Genius Wizard variant for you.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Mayan Chocolate Genius Wizard
This variant was one that was extra-special. The beer was poured straight from the Laws whiskey barrels that the beer was aged in. You’re met with incredible tastes of rich Mexican hot chocolate and cinnamon as you’re tasting the beer. The aromatics reflect the adjuncts of the beer, creating a warm delicious sensation while enjoying it. Similar to the original, the beer is lightly carbonated and easily drinkable. The Mexican chocolate adds an excellent twist to the brownie batter in the non-adjunct original. All we have to say is: Muy bueno!
“Mystery Tapping”—Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chai Genius Wizard
My, do you get chai on the nose when you’re enjoying this beer. The aromatics really showcase the adjuncts of the variant, and it follows in the taste of the Stout. For those who enjoy a good chai, this beer is a slam dunk. Easily the most creative of the variants, this beer was unlike any other of the offerings. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even mix this variant with the Espresso Coffee version to create a “dirty chai” Genius Wizard.
The Genius Wizard Release Experience
Ratio teamed up with Spectra Art Space to transform the brewhouse into an immersive art installation for the party. This added to the overall experience of the release. It created a whimsical, dreamy vibe that tied the experience together.
The brewery also teamed up with various local eateries to incorporate a culinary showcase to pair with the beer, further enhancing this experience. The lineup for the culinary showcase included Smōk—Denver, Tavernetta Denver, Super Mega Bien, Work & Class, Yuan Wonton and Voodoo Doughnut. Needless to say, each participant showcased some of the best.
We enjoyed chili and Szechuan eggplant wontons from Yuan Wonton, shrimp ceviche from Super Mega Bien, which complimented the Mayan chocolate variant and Colorado lamb and pork meatballs from Work & Class. We also enjoyed Tavernetta’s take on prosciutto and crackers, which paired well the non-adjunct Genius Wizard, as well as mouthwatering brisket and jalapeno cheddar sausage from Smok. We even paired Voodoo’s doughnuts with some of the variants, namely their chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate icing and coconut with the coconut vanilla variant and it was outstanding.
Altogether, the experience was so fun and immersive, and created a whimsical atmosphere to enjoy this year’s release of the big, barrel-aged beer and its variants.