Barrel Aged Beer Week at Town Hall Brewery is an amazing time. The brewery that helped start the barrel-aged beer revolution continues to create amazing beers that push the boundaries of barrel-aging. Their understanding of barrels is beyond remarkable (seriously, they can articulate about it for hours, and it’s wonderful). Double Barrel Xtra Milk Stout is one of the masterpieces they created for Barrel Aged Week 2020, and it’s a fantastic Town Hall Brewery creation.
Double Barrel Xtra Milk Stout
When one says that Town Hall Brewery helped to create the barrel-aged beer, it’s not an exaggeration. Back in 2001, they won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest (GABF) for their Czar Jack, barrel-aged imperial stout. At that time, there wasn’t a barrel-aged category. “Experimental Beer” was the closest they could enter in. Since then, we’ve certainly seen a barrel-aged explosion, where such has become mainstream.
Even though they’ve become popular, doing it with style and grace is a challenge that many don’t do well. Town Hall continues to do so amazingly, with beer like Double Barrel Xtra Milk Stout (and all the Barrel Aged Week 2020 brews too).
It pours a vicious jet-black, with a small medium-brown head of tight bubbles, which sits atop for some time. It eventually settles, leaving no lacing, but a ring of roam around the edge of the beverage.
Aromas of milk chocolate, roasts coffee, sweet malt bitterness, light oak, and wet bourbon assault the nose. It’s a beautiful blend of notes, and one that you should simply sit, sniff, and repeat. The bourbon becomes more and more forward as it warms.
Take a sip and that thick malt slides across the tongue. Chocolate and a touch of light caramel, roasty malt and a good bitter chocolate and coffee note, before you hit a lot of barrel fun. This beer was aged in two different bourbon barrels. The brewers at Town Hall put so much thought into these brews. They taste frequently, blend them, and only release them when they’re absolutely ready. This one is a barrel-aged delight that drinks so wonderfully. It’s a smooth milk stout dream, with a beautiful bourbon bump.
In double barrel-aging, they’ve smoothed out everything here, making a fantastically easy to drink brew with a ton of beautiful flavor to take in.
While many throw beer into barrels and release whatever comes out, the lengths that the brewers at Town Hall Brewery go through when creating these barrel-age brews is amazing. They put so much care and thought into them all, and yet, they sell them for a price anyone can enjoy. Beer is amazing, as we can enjoy world-class product at a decent price ($14 for this crowler), when compared to high-end wine which would easily run +$100 a bottle.
Town Hall Brewery has long made some of the best beers out there. If only more would experience their offerings. Drop in, have a pint, or take some to go. Everything you’ll have will be some of the best bee around.