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Decipher Brewing | BBA Karabash Russian Imperial Stout

Decipher Brewing | BBA Karabash Russian Imperial Stout
Dane Skousen

Decipher Brewing joined an elite tier of breweries that make barrel-aged beers recently, following the release of Bourbon Barrel Aged Karabash, from their new “Babington Project.” This release comes in 14.2%… but we’ll get to that later.  

The Babington Plot was a plot in 1856 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, using coded messages hidden in beer barrel bungs. (We’ll let you do some sleuthing to see how that plot turned out.) Decipher Brewing picked this name based off their own work in the military with ciphers and what better way to link the two than with a BBA stout?

Originally shooting for around 10%, the brewery added their Imperial Russian Stout, Karabash, to bourbon barrels for a year and waited. To their surprise, readings following the opening of the barrel showed 14.2%. This is a heavy hitter to be certain but one that isn’t overpowering with bourbon flavor.  

The Pour

The beer pours an inky black, with a tan head. While the nose is mostly bourbon, tasting reveals lots of chocolate, some vanilla and even some coconut. This is a solid BBA Russian Imperial Stout. Unfortunately, while the BBA version is sold out in bottles, both the barrel-aged and non-barrel-aged versions of Karabash are still on tap at Decipher.  

The brewery will be releasing their second Babington Project offering, a BBA wheat wine, on February 27, and we recommend you get some as soon as it is out. Decipher also just placed a new batch of Karabash into Breckenridge bourbon barrels, for release this time next year.  

The Decipher Brewing ‘Babington Project’ looks to be a tasty way to introduce yourself to different styles of beer, and aging in barrels always keep things interesting!

Images courtesy of Decipher Brewing.


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