philosophy, media, libations
Besides unlimited access to New Glarus brews, a big perk of living in Wisconsin is getting a chance at the Central Waters barrel aged beers. Peruvian Morning is somewhat legendary but they haven’t released it in bottles for a long time. I’ve heard that they had trouble with consistency due to the challenge of including coffee into the mix. It’s been a while since they released a coffee beer but they put out Cassian Sunset last week.
I almost missed this one because I didn’t see their instagram post until after I finished work. My main liquor store was already out but I found some at another place nearby. They had a limit of three 4-packs (12 bottles total) which seems odd to me. That seems like a pretty large limit, if you’re going to limit it at all, but I suppose some people would buy a whole case. I’ve never seen limits on their barrel aged Stout, Scotch Ale, or Barleywine (in Wisconsin, anyway) but this was obviously a much more limited release. I nearly missed it completely. By the time I got to the store they only had four 4-packs left. I only bought one because I’m never sure about coffee beers and I’ve had regrets in the past. But I’ll try anything Central Waters ages in bourbon barrels.
They typically let the beer sit for a whole year in the barrels but this must have been half of that. It doesn’t have a strong bourbon flavor like their other barrel aged beers but there are plenty of other flavors to savor. I typically prefer bourbon barrel beers at about cellar temperature so I put a bottle of this in the fridge but left it in longer than I intended.
At first it tasted like ice cream, with the vanilla taking the lead. The cinnamon and bourbon were way in the background. After it warmed a little, it went through a stage where some of the flavors were quite harsh and didn’t blend well. Then it really smoothed out once it warmed a bit more, probably about 60 degrees. The cinnamon started to some out and blend with the vanilla. The coffee was very quite and mostly added a nice bitterness at the end. The bourbon was never pronounced in the taste, it was much more prominent in the aroma. With all those other flavors, that wasn’t a problem. The most surprising thing was that the mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected. This made it very tempting to just gulp down, even at 10% ABV.
Central Waters has never disappointed me. I’m glad I bothered to go out and buy this one. It was nowhere to be found the next day. Still, it didn’t blow me away so I’m also glad I didn’t give in to the temptation to just buy as much as I could get. I wouldn’t have any problem giving this away but I don’t have the space in my cellar to add 12 extra bottles every time I get the chance.