Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shaggin in the Wood

A Scottish proverb says that "double drinks are good for drouth (or thirst)."  The brewers at Tyranena channeled that proverb with their Shaggin in the Wood, which combines Scotch Ale with Bourbon barrels (although, without the bourbon). This beer is another of Tyranena's "Brewers Gone Wild! series.  I have previously reviewed the Bitter Woman IPA, another of the series; and, while both beers are from the same series, the Shaggin in the Woods was much more interesting.  

The Shaggin in the Woods originated as another, uniquely-named beer, "Sheep Shagger."  The Sheep Shagger is a Scotch Ale, brewed with 2-Row, Pale, Amber, Brown, Promise and Smoked Malts, as well as Northern Brewer and Golding hops.  The brewer took the Sheep Shagger and aged seventy percent of it in bourbon barrels.  The aged beer was then blended with the remaining thirty percent to, as the brewer describes it, "harness the same big caramel malt notes and smokiness that made the Sheep Shagger delectable, with added elements of bourbon and wood."

Shaggin in the Wood pours a bronze, almost rust color.  As the beer warmed in the glass, I could sense aromas of oak and bourbon, with tones of caramel and malts wrapped around those two elements.  The oak predominated over the bourbon, but the reason may be that the bourbon was merely waiting for its time to shine.  

With each sip of the beer, the bourbon begins to emerge.  Although it was present in the first sip, it became more pronounced with each taste.  Other flavors that also emerged, such as caramel and toffee.  As I tried to identify each individual flavor, I was impressed with how each one melded together to provide an enjoyable taste.  Normally, I have some reservations about bourbon aged beers (primarily due to the fact that I do not drink bourbon).  However, this beer was very drinkable, even for people like myself who ordinarily steer clear from hard liquor.  

This beer is available at stores in Wisconsin and Illinois.  This beer came from a Binny's located in suburban Chicago.  


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