Jul 27, 2012

Blue Mountain Barrel House Dark Hollow

So far, I’ve had a couple of Blue Mountain Brewery’s limited run from their Barrel House. The Local Species was a tasty treat that was easy drinking and relaxing. Mandolin was just as tasty and it’s flavors seasonally appropriate. This third bottle from the series, Dark Hollow, is much more complex than the other two and my favorite of the trio.

This 10% Imperial Stout was aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for 100 days. This aging allowed for hints of wood, waves of bourbon and a touch of a char to seep into the layered depths of the beer. Being a fiend for stouts, this is the beer for which I was most excite. It did not disappoint.


Dark Hollow pours just like its name would imply — near black with a dense and creamy mocha head. Not a bit of light shown through.


You can certainly pick up the oak and bourbon on the nose. There’s also a subtle char, chocolate and espresso notes throughout the aroma.


The first two things I noticed upon the first sip are the bourbon presence and the hop bitterness. The bourbon is of a moderate temperament while the the bitterness is probably a little stronger than it should be. The bourbon, hints of wood and a rich espresso character come across the tongue first as the hops arrive and quickly fade to a lingering tingle in the slightly sweet and warming finish. The beer is full bodied with a moderately viscous feel.


The hop bite of this beer was a little alarming at first, but the palate becomes accustomed to it pretty swiftly. The bourbon is present throughout the drinking experience, but shines through more as the beer has had a chance to warm in the glass. This is a pretty big beer with assertive flavors. It also turned out to be my favorite of the bunch.


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