Anderson Valley 'Boont Barl' Bourbon Barrel Amber Ale

Anderson Valley Boont Barl amber ale 1
Anderson Valley 'Boont Barl' Bourbon Barrel Amber Ale. 6% abv. 16 IBU. Dark brown color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Superb retention and lacing. Nose of caramel, bourbon, vanilla. Aroma of sweet bread as the temp drops. Front taste of caramel, sweet orange essence, bourbon back. Aftertaste of bourbon, wood, toffee. Medium body. Mouthfeel is warm, sticky, sweet alcohol finish.

This is an very good beer - perhaps excellent - that falls short of the greatness that precedes it. I had a lot of high hopes for this beer, and I would certainly drink it again, but I cannot imagine buying it when the other wood-aged beers in their line-up are so extraordinary, let alone those from other breweries.

Anderson Valley first gave us their Bourbon Barrel Stout, a rich stout aged in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels, followed by their seasonal Pinchy Jeek Barl, a malty pumpkin ale version of their first creation. Both beers are outstanding, their base brews more than suitable for wood aging. In comparison, their new Boont Barl is a merely adequate taste amongst such fine barrel-aged beers. I've always considered Boont one of my favorite amber ales, but it is simply not worthy of a barrel program. Barrel-aging doesn't bring Boont remotely close to its world class brethren, or any other similar beer. On its own, there is certainly a lot to love, but it sits low in a growing field of bourbon barrel creations. Try it for yourself, but have a bomber BBS or PJB on hand to ensure a glorious tasting session. Mildly recommended.

From the brewery:

"What began with our flagship Boont Amber Ale and a passion for experimentation has become a unique addition to our Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Barl Series. The six month aging process in third-use Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels imparts flavors of coconut and vanilla and subtle bourbon aromas that are enhanced by a noticeable oak character in the finish. A great accompaniment to fine meals or to be enjoyed on its own, Boont Barl is a truly sessionable barrel-aged beer with finesse."

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