Sep 23, 2014

Heritage Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Kings Mountain

I knew the moment I first heard that Heritage Brewing would be storing some of their Kings Mountain in retired Catoctin Creek bourbon barrels that patience was going to be a problem. Kings Mountain, as it stands on its own, is a great tasting brew. The addition of a wood and bourbon-y influence after a few months in the barrels has only proven to make the beer that much better.

The effects of barrel aging haven’t overwhelmed the base brew as the bourbon, vanilla and wood notes prove to accentuate the smooth, roasty character that the beer already possessed. The alcohol (11% ABV) has increased a touch, but that only adds to the experience. Since this first bottle was drained, I’ve since purchased several more with cellaring in mind, as I think the beer will only continue to develop well over the next year or two.

Heritage Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Kings Mountain photo


The brew pours a murky, reddish brown in color with a dense cap of beige foam.


Vanilla, wood, light hits of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar and bready malt waft gently off the surface.


A smooth bourbon presence accompanies caramel, a hint of vanilla, toasted malt, woody notes and a light coffee character as this beer slides over the palate. It’s full bodied with a moderate amount of sweetness that lingers gently in the slightly drying and warming finish. Considering the level of alcohol within this beer, it’s deceptively smooth.


I like Kings Mountain, but I really like this barrel aged version. The company has taken an already solid and tasty brew and made it that much better. The smooth bourbon influence accentuates the brew’s original flavor profile — never demanding the spotlight for itself. I had trouble waiting for the original release of this beer. I’m going to have an even harder time letting the bottles I have sit for a little while longer.

Rating: 4/5

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