The barrel-aged Imperial Porter, our first ever bottled beer.
Hey all, Phil here.
First up, we’re releasing a beer this week, only this time you’ll see it on liquor store shelves. It’s big, it’s bottled and it’s a supercharged version of our regular Porter. It’s also the first release in our Lineage Bottle Series; more on that later.
We’ve been brewing in Calgary since March 2014, and we drank our first pints of Show Pony at National in April. Why it took us this long to do a bottled release is simple; we were being bloody puritans. Every brewer I know is somewhat guilty of it, and this Imperial Porter is damning evidence. It took us this long because of a stubborn credo:
We want every bottled beer to get better with time.
This is restrictive, but important. It means the beers we bottle will be big. Like the 10.5% of this porter big. Alcohol preserves beer and is involved in a variety of chemical reactions that develop complex flavours over time. We’ve aged it in ex-rum barrels for 7 months until the tannins started to leach from the wood, giving it structure akin to a well-oaked red wine. It’s a touch rough right now, but will smooth out in time. This beer is already full of intense dark fruit, chocolate and raisin notes, and we expect these to only get better.
Our Imperial Porter is also the inaugural release in our Lineage Bottle Series; a marriage of craft distilling and craft brewing. As both brewers and pioneers in the Albertan craft distilling movement, we have the unique opportunity to showcase the overlap between these two creative pursuits. The Lineage series plans to highlight this by using the same wooden barrels for alternating ageing spirits and ageing beers.
While we initially used ex-rum barrels from Jamaica, we’ve already brewed this Imperial Porter again, distilled it into a spirit, and are ageing this spirit in the same set of barrels. We’re hoping that the spirit picks up many of the same attributes of the beer, while developing its own distinct character.
It’s an experiment, pure and simple. But one we hope will get us the world’s most interesting vertical tasting in a few years time. Release date for the Imperial Porter is November 2nd. There will be a sneak peak at the Last Best Social Club on the 3rd, and it should hit liquor store shelves that week. Stay tuned for a list of retail outlets, and there will be a limited amount for tasting over the bar at Last Best.
We’re pumped that this beer is finally getting into people’s hands and can’t wait to see how the next release turns out.