Bottle Logic “Red Eye November (2019)” Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Rye, Molasses, and Coffee

Name: Red Eye November (2019)
Brewer: Bottle Logic Brewing (United States)
Style: Mixed-Style Beer (Base Style: Imperial Stout)
ABV: 14.09%
Review Year: 2021

The 2019 vintage of Red Eye November by Bottle Logic Brewing (California) is an Imperial Stout (14.09%) brewed with rye and molasses, aged in bourbon barrels, and finished with an exclusive blend of Brazil Oberon, Colombia Patroness, Tanzania, and Honduras coffee beans from Mostra Coffee.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (34B), combining Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A), Alternative Sugar Beer (31B), Alternative Grain Beer (31A), and Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B), with Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.

TASTING NOTES

Opaque deep brown, thin brown head. Prominent rye spiciness meldedwith chocolate, molasses coffee, with a hint of alcohol. Full-bodied, moderately-low carbonation; with low astringency and dryness that lingered into the afterfeel. The flavor expounds on the aroma with intense and luscious chocolate, rye spiciness, vanilla, molasses, and cacao nibs. Malt backbone was moderately high and manifested as dark and roasty. The balance favored bitterness (moderately high) relative to the moderately low sweetness. Aftertaste had rye, spice, and wood-like impressions.

THE VERDICT

Reviewed two years after it was first released, Red Eye November (2019) is an outstanding example of an Imperial Stout brewed with rye, molasses, coffee, aged in bourbon barrels. The featured ingredients were present and were all in harmony. As an Imperial Stout, Red Eye November (2019) showcased a robust, dark and roasty malt backbone appropriate to the style. The mentioned malt backbone, together with the dryness and spiciness associated with rye, seemed to have tempered any excess and unwanted sweetness. Lastly, tannin-derived astringency is not a flaw for beers aged or conditioned on wood as long as it is not prominent. Again, outstanding.

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