May 31, 2017

Wicked Weed Barrel-aged El Paraiso

Yesterday, I posted a review for Wicked Weed’s El Paraiso, an outstanding imperial stout brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs. And what better way to tweak a beer than toss it into bourbon barrels for a bit? That’s exactly what the North Carolina brewery has done with this version of their stout.

Now, just because you put a beer into barrels doesn’t mean you’re going to have a good product when all is said and done. Thankfully, Barrel-aged El Paraiso is one that has changed for the better. Prior to the time on wood, the big stout was fairly robust with a lovely earthy nuttiness. After, the robustness has been tamed, the nuttiness mellowed a bit in favor of bourbony decadence. The stout is incredibly smooth with excellent balance between all elements in play.

The extra time in the barrel has not only allowed that wood, bourbon and vanilla to settle in, but it has also allowed the beer to mellow a touch. Despite the higher alcohol content at 10.3% ABV, the beer drinks much smoother than the original version. There’s an added richness and decadence to the whole affair that simply sends the beer over the edge in terms of enjoyment. This is one that I will most certainly purchase again.