Jan 18, 2017

Caboose Brewing Barrel Aged Vanilla Hobo Stout

I think it was back in May of 2016 that I first cracked open a bottle of Caboose Brewing’s Hobo Stout with Vanilla. It was a tasty and lightly robust stout with just a trace hint of vanilla. Fast forward to November of last year and I found myself with a bourbon barrel aged version of that same beer. Where the the original stout lacked the vanilla emblazoned on the bottle, this barrel-aged variety certainly delivered that ingredient and a solid helping of bourbon flavor — almost too much bourbon goodness, in fact.

I’m not sure of how long this beer sat in barrels, but the bourbon flavor within its dark depths is potent. It dominates right from the start along with that previously missing vanilla, barely allowing the wood, anise, cocoa and espresso notes to peek through the bourbony shroud. At just 8% ABV, the beer drinks (and tastes) much bigger than it really is. The strong barrel influence is matched only by the robust nature of the beer which gives it a rather raw overall presentation. A bit thin on the palate, as well, Barrel Aged Hobo finishes, as expected, very warming with a solid burn in the chest.

This beer is a bit rough as you may have guessed. The elements all play well enough with one another, but not fluidly. This is one barrel aged stout that could certainly use an extended period of time in the cellar to mellow out a bit. Caboose Brewing has themselves a burley bottle of a beer with Barrel Aged Vanilla Hobo Stout.